"This isn't the petition response you're looking for."
Any petition posted on the White House petition page that receives more than 25,000 signatures within 30 days will receive an official response. The Death Star petition garnered over 34,000.
According to the original petition, "By focusing our defense resources into a space-superiority platform and weapon system such as a Death Star, the government can spur job creation in the fields of construction, engineering, space exploration, and more, and strengthen our national defense."
While the White House acknowledged the importance of job creation and a strong national defense, the response pointed out several pitfalls with a Death Star construction program:
- 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 the response may have disappointed Death Star advocates, there were some positive aspects to the reply.
"We don't have a Death Star, but we do have floating robot assistants on the Space Station, a President who knows his way around a light saber and advanced (marshmallow) cannon, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which is supporting research on building Luke's arm, floating droids, and quadruped walkers," the reply stated.
Furthermore, according to the response, "Even though the United States doesn't have anything that can do the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs, we've got two spacecraft leaving the Solar System and we're building a probe that will fly to the exterior layers of the Sun."
Well, at least that's something.
The response was penned by Paul Shawcross, Chief of the Science and Space Branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget.
See also: What Petition Would You Like to File with the Obama White House?