Kevan Karanjia, Staff Writer
December 17, 2012 — Despite looming budget cuts and a space program relying on Russia to make missions into space, the United States government will be forced to respond to a citizens request to build a "Death Star."
The online petition submitted to the White House website asks the Obama administration to secure resources and funding for the construction of a Death Star by 2016.
First featured in the classic Star Wars series, the Death Star is a round, moon-like space weapon that can destroy an entire planet with a single blast of energy.
Over 26,000 signatures were recorded on the "We the people" section of the White House website, forcing government officials to give a response.
According to their web page, “We the People helps the White House understand the views of the American people and have a focused and civil conversation with them.”
If a petition surpasses 25,000 signatures, it will be reviewed by White House staff and receive acknowledgement.
The authors of the petition stated in their request that its construction would be a boost to the economy by creating jobs and aiding in national defence.
“By focusing our defence 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 defence,” stated the petition.
In February, students from Lehigh University of Pennsylvania calculated that, it would cost $852 quadrillion, or 13,000 times the world’s gross domestic product to build a Death Star.
The students estimated that to build a 140 km diameter ship at current production rates, it would take 833,315 years to mine the required amount of steel to begin work on such a weapon.
Star Wars devotees are known as a passionate group of fans that have spread around the world.
According to a government census in the United Kingdom, the number of official "Jedi" followers topped 300,000 in 2001, though this number has since declined to under 200,000 as of 2011.