Sorry, “Star Wars” fans. Despite a wildly popular petition on the White House’s “We the People” website, the U.S. government has officially decided not to create a full-scale Death Star to intimidate its foes across the galaxy.
Commencing with the words "We petition the Obama administration to secure resources and funding, and begin construction of a Death Star by 2016," the petition was a fairly straightforward -- and hilarious -- request for the government to create a weapon capable of obliterating the likes of the planet Alderaan. The petition, created in Novemeber, garnered a little less than 35,000 signatures before the White House officially responded.
And unfortunately for “Star Wars” fans everywhere (but fortunately for members of the Organa royal family), Paul Shawcross, the chief of the science and space branch of the Office of Management and Budget at the White House, penned a response to the petition saying the U.S. will not be building a Death Star, after all.
Still, for an official White House response to a pretty ridiculous request, it’s a great read. We may not be getting a Death Star, Shawcross noted, but we do have plenty of amazing space-age inventions already. And that’s pretty good in the end (although I’d still rather have lightsabers, all things considered).
Read the complete White House response to the Death Star petition below.
“The Administration shares your desire for job creation and a strong national defense, but a Death Star isn't on the horizon. Here are a few reasons:
"Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship? The Administration does not support blowing up planets. The construction of the Death Star has been estimated to cost more than $850,000,000,000,000,000. We're working hard to reduce the deficit, not expand it.
“However, look carefully (here's how) and you'll notice something already floating in the sky -- that's no Moon, it's a Space Station! Yes, we already have a giant, football field-sized International Space Station in orbit around the Earth that's helping us learn how humans can live and thrive in space for long durations. The Space Station has six astronauts -- American, Russian, and Canadian -- living in it right now, conducting research, learning how to live and work in space over long periods of time, routinely welcoming visiting spacecraft and repairing onboard garbage mashers, etc. We've also got two robot science labs -- one wielding a laser -- roving around Mars, looking at whether life ever existed on the Red Planet.
“Keep in mind, space is no longer just government-only. Private American companies, through NASA's Commercial Crew and Cargo Program Office (C3PO), are ferrying cargo -- and soon, crew -- to space for NASA, and are pursuing human missions to the Moon this decade.
“Even though the United States doesn't have anything that can do the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs, we've got two spacecraft leaving the Solar System and we're building a probe that will fly to the exterior layers of the Sun. We are discovering hundreds of new planets in other star systems and building a much more powerful successor to the Hubble Space Telescope that will see back to the early days of the universe.
“We don't have a Death Star, but we do have floating robot assistants on the Space Station, a President who knows his way around a light saber and advanced (marshmallow) cannon, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which is supporting research on building Luke's arm, floating droids, and quadruped walkers.
“We are living in the future! Enjoy it. Or better yet, help build it by pursuing a career in a science, technology, engineering or math-related field. The President has held the first-ever White House science fairs and Astronomy Night on the South Lawn because he knows these domains are critical to our country's future, and to ensuring the United States continues leading the world in doing big things.
“If you do pursue a career in a science, technology, engineering or math-related field, the Force will be with us! Remember, the Death Star's power to destroy a planet, or even a whole star system, is insignificant next to the power of the Force.”
Eric Brown is an IBTimes political reporter who eats far too much pizza. He is a graduate of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and currently resides in Brooklyn.