back to article White House rejects Death Star petition: '$850qn too pricey'

Remember that "We the People" petition begun last month that asked the Obama administration to build a Star Wars–style Death Star? Well, the White House has responded with a witty rejoinder that essentially boils down to "Fuggedaboutit." "The Administration shares your desire for job creation and a strong national defense," …


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  1. Bruno Girin

    Here's the link to the full response, love it!

    1. LarsG


      Will be a great disappointment to the many gun happy Americans who would consider owning the best weapon in the Galaxy a right to bear arms.

      1. Andrew Moore

        Re: This

        I'm pretty sure the original read 'The right to arm bears' and it got misinterpreted.

        1. Khaptain Silver badge

          Re: This

          Are you sure that it wasn't the "right to bare arms", it was around the time that the t-shirt was invented.

          1. LaeMing

            Re: This

            It was all about the style of shirt colloquially referred to as a 'wife beater'.

            Which explains a more than most people in the developed world wish to know.

        2. hplasm

          Re: This

          Them's not bears- them's Wookies, an' the little onesa Ewoks...


          1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

            Re: This

            Will be a great surprise to the many left-leaning Americans who would consider that "deficits don't matter" and that debt is of no consequence because "we owe it to ourselves". Hopefully Krugman will write up a column exposing the fallacies in the White House's reasoning and we can get this government superprogram rolling.

            1. Steve Knox

              Re: This

              That's not left-leaning; that's left-fallen-off. In the US these days, left-leaning just means that you believe that taxes are one part of a sound fiscal policy, that guns, while they shouldn't be completely illegal, should not be freely handed out on street corners, and that rape victims shouldn't be further punished by having to choose between nine months of physical labor or being raped again by machine.

              But you go ahead and pat yourself on the back. That straw man put up quite a fight!

              1. Quxy

                @Steve Knox

                Worth the price of admission, that one was. Go ahead, have a pint on me.

            2. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

              Re: This

              Wow - I didn't think Dick "Deficits Don't Matter" Cheney could ever be considered left-leaning...

        3. scrubber

          Re: This


          Wookies or Ewoks?

        4. dssf

          Re: This

          No, that was another morphing, which became "the right to HARM bears"....

          OAN, I would like to see a Death Star try to take on a Borg cube, or take on the Xindi. The Andorians might cut tail and run, though. And, the Thoilians might as well kiss their slow, diamond-shaped asses goodbye with their slo-mo electric yarn in space thingy. And, how about a Death Star against a Dyson's Sphere (the one in STTNG)?

          And, boy, wouldn't it be fun to see Species 8472 make mince meat out of a Death Star crew. Shrieking and shrilling would haunt Darthy to no end.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: This @ dssf

            I note your excitement but you do realise the Borg cube, Xindi, Andorians, Thoilians and Species 8472 are fictional? Don't you?

            The Death Star on the other hand has already been built and is hidden in orbit behind the moon.

            1. Chemist

              Re: This @ dssf

              "The Death Star on the other hand has already been built and is hidden in orbit behind the moon"

              Due to massive budget cutbacks it's now the "Death Star starter edition" and is hidden behind the dustbin !

            2. Swoop

              Re: This @ dssf

              "The Death Star on the other hand has already been built and is hidden in orbit behind the moon"

              That's no moon...

            3. Thorne

              Re: This @ dssf

              "The Death Star on the other hand has already been built and is hidden in orbit behind the moon"

              That's no moon.

          2. Lamont Cranston


            Tell me you didn't just mix Trek and Wars?

            You did? Oh man...

      2. Winkypop Silver badge

        Re: This

        No, I'm pretty sure it said "right for bears to have arms"

        Obviously an early form of wildlife conservation.

      3. Old Handle

        Re: This

        But remember, it's an individual right, so a privately owned Death Star is still an option. In fact, based on recent developments in space technology I'd say it's far more likely anyway.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RE: Here's the link to the full response

      ..... as mentioned in the article!

    3. skeptical i

      White House science fair? Neato! [was: link to response]

      Sounds like a cool event ... a step or two up from whatever the previous administration's White House yoofs were doing, no doubt.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Chinese Death Star

    I bet the Chinese will get a Death Star soon enough. Then the USA will pull its finger out!

    1. Swoop

      Re: Chinese Death Star

      But half an hour later you get the urge to build another one...

  3. Andrew Moore
    Thumb Up

    Bravo sir...

    Well played. Between this response and the one earlier in the week from the West Midlands Railways, it's starting to look a great year for witty rejoinders from the public sector.

  4. Epobirs

    Huge missed opportunity.

    The first step in such a project would focus on the portions e have some idea of how to do. FTL drives, planet destroying beams, and much else about a Death Star is currently beyond our knowledge.

    But what if we start with the stuff we do have an idea of how to do and work up from there? We may never have a Death Star amusement park in solar orbit but the intent of creating the framework of such an object would be a good D.D. Harriman sort of dodge to kick start an asteroid mining operation. Once you have that, a vast amount of potential is unleashed. (Whoever produced a cost estimate based on boosting all of the mass needed up from the Earth's gravity well really needs to read more on the subject of large scale extra-planetary construction.)

    1. Anonymous Coward

      >> the intent of creating the framework of such an object

      Put that way it sounds like a risky trick:

      (1) United World Govts put out tender to procure materials to build a Death Star

      (2) The ingenious Harriman executes the low bid, mining asteroids, etc

      (3) UWG say "ha-ha! actually we've no idea how to build a real Death Star. And if we write you a cheque for that orbiting stockpile the electors will string us up. But don't worry about that - you've shown how resourceful you are and the potential is vast"

      (4) The ingenious Harriman sets about creating a proper vengeance weapon - dispensing with an FTL drive and adding a fine objective to sear "CHEAPSKATE PUNK" on the arses of all involved.

  5. Steve I

    I find their lack of faith...


  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They seem to blow up everything else, even themselves with their assault rifles.

    As for the price, well they could always borrow the money and not pay it back like they seem to do for everything else.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      borrow the money and not pay it back

      "As for the price, well they could always borrow the money and not pay it back like they seem to do for everything else."

      You do understand, I hope, that for some people, receiving interest on that money is preferable to having the principle paid back, right?

      Oh you don't?

      What a surprise.

  7. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

    Expect to see this petition..

    .. coming back in a few years as a Pentagon proposal....

  8. Jason Hindle Silver badge

    Funny thing is

    While building a Death Star is absurd, a major government sponsored project such as putting humans on Mars for a few years, or even practically sending a probe to another solar system and back could stimulate innovation in business and growth in the economy (thinking what the US had to do collectively, to send people to the moon, or even the Lavi fighter jet project, which stimulated a modern, high tech industry in Israel).

    Of course, such a project could never happen here in Blighty - all the money would go abroad.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Funny thing is

      Unless Einstein is wrong, there's no chance to send a probe to another solar system and back - unless your aim is to build a probe able to work for hundred thousand years. Sending humans to Mars is achievable - the other would just stimulate sci-fi business.

      1. annodomini2


        Saying there is 'no chance', is like saying to someone 200years ago that we'd all be walking round with personal communication devices.

        Doing it in someone's lifetime would be a challenge, but 100-150 years is feasible. It would require more effort than is financially viable, but it's not impossible.

  9. This post has been deleted by its author

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What irony

    This decision by Obama who's re-inugural committee is soliciting $1 Million or more per "donation" for face time with the President, even though they use mostly tax payer money to pay for the inauguration and anything they can attached to the inauguration, aka theft of tax payer funds.

    1. Naughtyhorse

      Re: What irony


      a republican talking about the mis-appropriation of public money???

      so i guess the answer to the question "Who were the republicans trying to fool by not having Bush, or any of his cabinet attend their last convention?" would be _you_ then. And a bloody good job they have done.

      Seeing as the tide is out right now, i have a once-in-a-lifetime deal on some prime development land that only a smart operator like you, or that very nice Mr trump would be interested in......

      1. Turtle

        @Naughtyhorse: Re: What irony

        If you think that either side has any compunctions about engorging themselves on public funds, taxpayer money, and corporate donations, then you really are shallow and delusional.

        1. Naughtyhorse

          Re: @Naughtyhorse: What irony

          talk about delusonal,

          not too sure what you actually read inside that bubble of yours...

          i never made any claims as to the fiscal propietary-ness of obama. unless of course you are reading the version of this site scraped by fox news and re-presented in o'reileyVision.

          dumbass redneck writes on a forum and makes a tit of himself...

          film at 11

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @Naughtyhorse: "propietary"

            Even if you hadn't spelled it wrong, that was not the word that you were looking for.

  11. Irony Deficient Silver badge

    quantitative easing via platinum coins

    The US Treasury could authorize the minting of 852,000 trillion-dollar platinum coins, deposit them at the Federal Reserve, and the subsequent introduction of the largest public works project in recorded history would effectively end unemployment until Sol became a red giant. (No Treasury bonds issued, so no effect on either the deficit or the debt ceiling. Inflationary effects would depend upon how quickly the Death Star National Space Station construction projects ramped up.)

  12. DJO Silver badge

    Well a death star was a pretty silly idea but a 2001 style spinning space station is achievable. Perhaps not in orbit but at L2 so the solar radiation is shielded by the bulk of the Earth. Not cheap but not ludicrously expensive if built over a couple of decades.

    Or maybe build Thunderbird 5 manned by a remote controlled puppet for the really cheap option.

  13. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    "but a Death Star isn't on the horizon."

    That's not a horizon over there....

  14. nuked

    Wait, the death star in the films isn't real?

    1. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

      No. It wasn't really not finished.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    >The Administration does not support blowing up planets.

    When did America become Canada?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They don't support blowing up planets while the only one of any importance has them on it.

      But wait and see what happens once China has started an agressive space exploration project and made Mars a truly "Red" planet......

  16. Katie Saucey

    Pfffft damn White House

    I bet these guys gov let them build one..

  17. tkioz

    Okay that was cute, better then I expected, but given the Germans have recently demonstrated a Death Ray, I find their lack of laser-armed space stations disturbing.

    1. graeme leggett

      that was a mis-reporting.

      the Germans displayed a dead ray - it washed upon some beach somewhere.

      Nothing to see here, move along bitte.

      (hums German, German overalls )

  18. dssf

    How much would it cost to build a Galactica, TRS type?

    Since we can see the WH would not go for a Death Star, then, what about BSG-type ships? Instead of going after expensive future tech for planet-slicing laser/maser/plaser beams, hyperlight jumps, and being the size of a planet, why not build frames, then haul partial factories out to the promising A belts, then finish construction there?

    Then, build, locally, the ships and vehicles necessary to haul to other planets the various suitable spheres and domes to our own solar system planets. Over time, if mounting from asteroids or comets or other suitable rocky bodies with less gravity, we could probably launch vastly heavier, better-shielded, slightly faster ships to go out on farther exploratory runs.

    Just asking. So, how much would a Galactica type of ship cost? Same hull, with the landing bays supporting excavators, then mid body having the factories, and the fwd end the habitability section. It could even. Be modular so the ship could almost operate like a very huge Moon Base Alpha Lunar Lander/Eagle Shuttle. The Hab/Engine section could haul the factories around and maybe even the landing bays could detach or go with the hauler as required for various mining missions. Get all the interested nations involved. Then apply those platinum coins to it.

    But, what might be scary is if on those asteroids, 6 BILLION TONS of platinum suddenly are discovered. Talk about astronomical inflation...Would their screams be heard from that far in space?

  19. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. John 78

      Re: Costs

      Which is a lot less, than it's going to cost us to bail out previous govenments unfinanceable promises then.

    2. dssf

      Re: Costs


      I failed to make my own comment make more sense. I was trying to make the juxtaposition of a Death Star being a huge, expensive weapon, that while it can create jobs, probably would be obsolete in less than a generation and maybe end up being used as a spare housing shelter. OTOH, a fleet of maybe 10 quasi-Galactica ships could be huge, slow-moving ore mining ships. I probably came offf as trying to compare the merits of weapons systems vs costs.

      Anyway, arre we not told that in order to make money we must spend money? Unlocking dormant, non-circulating money, however, is a good thing so long as the intended returns on investment are likely to be realized. Then again, it is not popular or politically job-securing to create jobs by building large amounts off affordable housing. Even roads, which seemingly might fit the argument "if you build a road, they'll come" claim.

      Just ruminating. Not looking to stir anything up.


  20. Anonymous Coward

    Cheapskates. pft....

    1. veti Silver badge

      One word:


  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They'll change their tune

    I'm sure they'll change their mind once China starts building a large network of space based weapons platforms.

  22. Wallyb132

    Typical bullshit...

    The Administration does not support blowing planets?


    If they dont, then why did they nuke the moon in 2009?

    1. DJO Silver badge

      Re: Typical bullshit...

      They're quite happy to blow up moons, they have never said anything to the contrary. Blowing up planets however might be construed as being a bit naughty.

  23. Anonymous Custard Silver badge


    Maybe they should have targetted the petition at Pope Palpatine in the Vatican?

  24. MichaelC72

    Not a rounding error

    "...a full $2 quadrillion higher that the figure Shawcross cites."

    Well, he does say "has been estimated to cost more than $850,000,000,000,000,000." and I'm fairly sure that $852qn is more than $850qn.....

  25. jai

    Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good robot-with-a-laser-on-Mars at your side, kid!

    Just how many Bothans died to bring us this information?

  26. Silverburn

    X prize ver 2.0

    NASA is not yet able to "do the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs,"

    Yep, but I bet the boys at Ansari are wording the scope of the next prize right as we speak...

    1. Steve Todd

      Re: X prize ver 2.0

      It always made me wonder what George was smoking when he wrote that line. Given that a Parsec is a unit of distance (about 3.2 lightyears) what was he on about?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Parsec

        There is an explanation for that, however tenuous it sounds. You should be able to find it.

        1. DJO Silver badge

          Re: Parsec

          Even stranger is that a long time ago in a Galaxy far far away they would use units like "Parsecs" which like many units are unique to the Earth (the parsec is dependant on the Earth-Sun distance - 1AU and 360 degrees each with 60 minutes and 60 SEConds)

          1. James Hughes 1

            Re: Parsec @DJO

            Stranger even than using units called parsecs (unique to earth) is that they all speak passable English as well. That's just weird. How could they possibly know?

      2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: X prize ver 2.0

        "It always made me wonder what George was smoking when he wrote that line. Given that a Parsec is a unit of distance (about 3.2 lightyears) what was he on about?"

        I have thought about this, and come to the conclusion that the Kessell Run must be some sort of variation on the travelling salesman problem, and Hans Solo had managed to stumble upon a proof for P = NP.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: X prize ver 2.0

        The Kessel Run was one of the most heavily used smuggling routes in the Galactic Empire.[3] Han Solo claimed that his Millennium Falcon "made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs". A parsec was a unit of distance, not time. Solo was not referring directly to his ship's speed when he made this claim. Instead, he was referring to the shorter route he was able to travel by skirting the nearby Maw black hole cluster, thus making the run in under the standard distance. By moving closer to the black holes, Solo managed to cut the distance down to about 11.5 parsecs.[source?] The smuggler, BoShek, actually beat Solo's record in his ship, Infinity, but without cargo to weigh him down. A few months later, Han Solo beat both his own and BoShek's records in a run he made with Luke Skywalker.[2]

    2. IglooDude

      Re: X prize ver 2.0

      I was thinking DARPA challenges, but yeah, ditto here.

  27. Steve Todd

    If they had any sense

    They would be petitioning the White House to build a squadron of X Wings, while training their pilots to bullseye wamp rats. Much cheaper and you've got no worries about losing a Death Star arms race.

  28. Zog The Undeniable

    The name's a bit of a problem

    Call it a Freedom Star and they'd have gone for it.

  29. ukgnome

    This is the second civil service jolly response that has been reported. Who knew the worker bees for the USA and UK were staffed with actual human beings?

    I salute all the hard working comedic staffers and civil servants - have this beer on me.

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