On January 11, 2013 Paul Shawcross, the Chief of the Science and Space Branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget, issued a statement on behalf of the United States government in response to a public petition for the U.S. to build a fully functional Death Star as used in the science fiction movie series Star Wars.
The response was beautiful and expertly crafted with a wonderful tongue in cheek approach, with the following highlighted points in turning down the unusual petition:
- 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?
While people around the world got a good laugh from the response, staff of the Star Wars official website couldn’t help but add to the humor with a response of their own. Posted on the site’s blog, a person claiming to be an official representative of the Galactic Empire issued the following statement:
IMPERIAL CENTER, CORUSCANT – The overwhelming military superiority of the Galactic Empire has been confirmed once again by the recent announcement by the President of the United States that his nation would not attempt to build a Death Star, despite the bellicose demands of the people of his tiny, aggressive planet. “It is doubtless that such a technological terror in the hands of so primitive a world would be used to upset the peace and sanctity of the citizens of the Galactic Empire,“ said Governor Wilhuff Tarkin of the Outer Rim Territories. “Such destructive power can only be wielded to protect and defend by so enlightened a leader as Emperor Palpatine.”
Representatives on behalf of the nation-state leader from the unimaginatively named planet refused to acknowledge the obvious cowardice of their choice, preferring instead to attribute the decision to fiscal responsibility. “The costs of construction they cited were ridiculously overestimated, though I suppose we must keep in mind that this miniscule planet does not have our massive means of production,” added Admiral Conan Motti of the Imperial Starfleet.
Emissaries of the Emperor also caution any seditious elements within the Galactic Senate not to believe Earth’s exaggerated claims of there being a weakness in the Death Star design. “Any attacks made upon such a station — should one ever be built — would be a useless gesture,” added Motti.
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