Death Star would cost $7.7 octillion per day to operate

Talk about death to the Empire's budget. A British company runs the numbers, including laundry and light-bulb bills.

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
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Gael Cooper
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Let's just say, it costs a lot to run this place.

Ovo Energy

Ever since Star Wars fans first laid their eyes on the monstrous Death Star in 1977, we've been fascinated with the Empire's ultimate weapon. Now with "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" due out Dec. 16, that obsession has returned.

Curious minds at Ovo Energy, an energy-supply company in England, decided to find out how much the massive armored space station would cost to operate. (Back in 2012, Lehigh University students delved into figuring out what it would cost to build the thing, but we're talking daily operations, here.)

Their calculations were impressively detailed, and they collaborated with science bloggers and professors to get even the trivial facts sketched out.

They're assuming a staff of over two million, which seems crazy-big, but hey, they're probably losing a couple hundred staffers daily to those deadly trash compactors onboard, so we'll go with that.

They've thought out how much it would cost to jump to hyperspace and to shoot and recharge its deadly planet-killing laser -- the one that sent poor Princess Leia looking for love in Alderaan places.

The company claims the space station has 85 levels and 257 sublevels, and just keeping the lights on alone would take 191,547,745,149 light bulbs. Which we're calling foul on, because come on, a station this advanced probably gets its lighting power from freaky futuristic luminescent squid or something. Seriously, are they sending stormtroopers (of which there are only 25,984) around with ladders and those telescoping bulb changers?

Speaking of the stormtroopers and other staff, the site totals up the cost of sheltering and feeding them, including a laundry bill of $62,632 (about £49,655 or AU$84,420) per wash and $172,185 (about £136,440 or AU$231,900 ) per dry.

And since it's a British company, when it figures out the cost of meals, it assumes each staffer is eating three meals and enjoying two cups of tea per day. (Probably Earl Grey. Hot. Wait, wrong series.)

But in the end, they come up with a daily operating cost so high that the numbers sound as fake as Jar-Jar's accent. The company estimates it'd cost $7.7 octillion (that's about £6 octillion or AU$are you kidding I can't count that high). An octillion is either a number with 27 zeroes after it, or maybe 48 zeroes, or maybe you just hire a third grader to keep drawing zeroes until his or her hand falls off.

But that's OK! Maybe there are ways to save money, like by skimping on shielding the thermal exhaust ports or something. Whoops.

(Via Mental Floss)