Bad news for anyone hoping the petition to build a Death Star might be successful: the White House has struck back and shot down any chance of it happening.
In a light-hearted response, titled 'This Isn't the Petition Response You're Looking For', chief of the science and space branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget, Paul Shawcross, picks apart the petition. Still, at least the folks in charge of the US's purse strings have a sense of humour.
"The Administration shares your desire for job creation and a strong national defense [sic], but a Death Star isn't on the horizon," Shawcross writes. He goes on to list a few reasons why. The $850,000,000,000,000,000 cost is one ("We're working hard to reduce the deficit, not expand it"), as well as the fact the Administration "does not support blowing up planets."
Shawcross also raises the point: "Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?"
He points to the many space-based initiatives the US is pursuing, such as the International Space Station ("that's no Moon, it's a Space Station!") human missions to the Moon in this decade, and a powerful successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. Though he concedes "the United States doesn't have anything that can do the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs".
(I was going to make some Star Wars jokes of my own, but Shawcross seems to have nicked all the best ones.)
Internet pranksters set up the original petition to "secure resources and funding, and begin construction of a Death Star by 2016". It had more than 34,000 signatures.
Let's hope the petition to keep Piers Morgan in the US is a little more successful. Or maybe we could deport him to Alderaan?
Image credit: Lucasfilm