With just a few weeks until President Barack Obama is sworn in to his second term as President of the United States, his administration has responded to one of the most clever and unlikely petitions in recent memory. On Friday, Jan. 11, The White House released an official response to a petition gathering support to construct a Death Star from the popular Star Wars film franchise in 2016. The petition, entitled "Secure resources and funding, and begin construction of a Death Star by 2016", was filed on Nov. 14, 2012 and can be found here. The petition currently has 34, 435 signatures.
The official response, entitled "This Isn't the Petition Response You're Looking For", was written by Paul Shawcross, the Chief of the Science and Space Branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget. The response can be found here. Shawcross listed several reasons why the project would not be funded:
- 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. The Administration does not support blowing up planets.
- Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?
Shawcross goes on to explain all the advancements the government, NASA and private companies are making in space. From updates about the International Space Station to planned human missions to the Moon and even robots being sent to explore unknown star systems. Information about the appropriately named C3PO program is given as well.
The Force may not be with the petition, but the response gives a convincing argument to pursue math and science related job fields to make similar Star Wars ideas a reality. If anything, the response is worth a read for a good laugh and proof that the administration has a good sense of humor.