Many things are open source these day, when companies or the powers at be don’t build something the way we like it, we make our own and put it out for the world to take and make their own as well. But one group is seeking to take the open source movement to the unlikely next level, which is to build an open source version of the Death Star.
A UK based group has started a Kickstarter campaign with the hopes of raising an initial amount of £20,000,000 to fund the design stage of a real Death Star, but with the stretch goal of raising “£543,000,000,000,000,00 ($850,000,000,000,000,000) to secure full funding for actual construction.”
The 850 Quadrillion is the joke amount projected by the U.S. Government as the unimaginable cost of actually building a planet destroying space station, when it officially responded to a petition on the USA.gov website calling on the U.S. to build a fully functional Death Star. With tongue firmly planted in cheek, the U.S. government responded it could not and would not build a Death Star.
Despite the absurdity of the campaign, it has amazingly raised over £206,551 with 1,166 backers and 52 days to go. Because of the way Kickstarter works, when the remaining days have run out and the fundraiser ends on April 1st, the money pledged will not be sent to the person who started the Kickstarter unless they actually meet their goal.
So is the UK group serious about actually building a Star Wars styled space station capable of blowing up an entire planet? Based on the FAQ section on their Kickstarter page, it’s safe to say the answer is “no.”
Can we destroy Pluto/Earth/Another planetary body?
Any decisions on targets will be based on donator pledge amount, higher pledges first. The amount is unimportant but you will be required to pay for shipping.
What kind of hardware will you use?
Nothing has been ruled out at this point including the suggestion of using a beowulf cluster of Raspberry Pi devices.
If you actually raise the required amount what will you do with the money?
Purchase at least 4m sq of high grade chicken wire. We are hoping the death star plans will have at least twice the resolution of the initial design.
Did you forget to account for the ~10% Kickstarter and Amazon get at the end of the project?
No, as we feel if we can actually raise £543 quadrillion pounds then Kickstarter certainly deserves their cut. As for Amazon, we’re sure they’ll agree to refund the fees once the station is complete.
Will it be solar powered?
Unlikely as it would make travel between solar systems more dangerous.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t the downfall of the first Death Star due to open source plans?
No, the first Death Stars was closed source and the theft of the plans resulting in the loss of many Bothan lives. Had the previous Death Star plans been more open, someone might have spotted the obvious design flaw. We believe that an open source project is safer, cheaper and better for everyone.
Although the question has been poised, what if this group actually raises the £20,000,000? Will they proceed with their goal to design a real Death Star? What would you do with 20 million bucks you raised as a total joke?
SCIFI.radio is listener supported sci-fi geek culture radio, and operates almost exclusively via the generous contributions of our fans via our Patreon campaign. If you like, you can also use our tip jar and send us a little something to help support the many fine creatives that make this station possible.