A few months ago, a tongue-in-cheek online petition asked the White House to build a real, working Death Star by 2016. The petition soon reached the 25,000 signatures required to be taken into consideration by the Obama Administration. Surprisingly, the White House issued a response that delighted Star Wars fans and gave President Obama an extra dose of geek cred.
The official White House response from Paul Shawcross, Chief of the Science and Space Branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget, is entitled “This Isn’t the Petition Response You’re Looking For.” It points out many glaring implausibilities with this petition request. Namely, the White House’s position on an intergalactic civil war a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…
- 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 continued to point out the many real-world advances the U.S. has made in the field of science and space exploration, including the International Space Station, various probes that will explore the Sun and outer planets, and the powerful James Webb Space Telescope. The Chief of the Science ended the response with a few parting words of motivation to inspire young minds.
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.
While it’s good to know that the White House has a sense of humor, what would their response be to the online White House petition to build a real, working ion-powered version of the Enterprise? That’s the response Trekkies would love to read.
Read the entire official White House response.