This may come as bad news to avid Star Wars fans, although it's probably good news to everyone else in the universe. I can officially announce that the United States government will NOT be building a Death Star. What, you didn't know they were even discussing it? Well they were. Kind of.
The US Government's petitioning website has received a lot of coverage recently, particularly in relation to the deporting of a certain TV personality, and the secession of certain states. However, even these causes have been dwarfed by the response to a petition to, "Secure resources and funding, and begin construction of a Death Star by 2016". The White House is obliged to respond to any petition which garners over 25,000 signatures. This Death Star building petition was supported by over 34,000 individuals, and although everyone expected a reply, I don't think anyone expected one this awesome.
Brilliantly entitled, "This Isn't the Petition Response You're Looking For", the response goes into some detail as to why the US Government can't and won't start construction. Here are just some of the issues:
"The Administration shares your desire for job creation and a strong national defense, but a Death Star isn't on the horizon. Here are a few reasons:
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?"
Hmmm. They've certainly done their research. However, it isn't all bad news. The responding author, Science and Space Adviser to the White House Paul Shawcross, also explained some of the great leaps humanity has made in space exploration. For example:
"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."
In the end, he concedes that even a Death Star is nothing compared to the way of the Force:
"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."
Head over the White House's petitioning website to get the full response in all its Star Wars referencing glory.
In other news, Ewoks everywhere are rejoicing!