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I will make it legal!

So We’re Not Getting A Death Star But We Can Confirm We Have The Geekiest Administration In History

We already knew President Barack Obama was a nerd but this…this solidifies his place in our intergalactic records. Remember when we reported on that petition someone started to get the United States government to fund the building of a Death Star ala Star Wars? We all had a good laugh, knew it wouldn’t happen, and assumed they wouldn’t even get a response. They did. While it may not be the one petitioners were hoping for, it’s probably the single best response to anything, ever. 

Petitions submitted to need to get 25,000 signatures before the administration is required to respond. The Death Star submission got almost 10,000 more. So what about that reply?

First of all, it was titled “This Isn’t the Petition Response You’re Looking For,” so we knew right off the bat this was going to be good. The author of the reply, Paul Shawcross, Chief of the Science and Space Branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget, goes on to break down the most important reasons why they decided not to build a Death Star for the U.S.

  • 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?

Well, yeah, obviously.

In case you were wondering where they came up with that number, it’s from a study economics students at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania put together in early 2012. Instead of listing reasons why building a Death Star, especially by 2016 as the petition demanded, just wasn’t feasible, Shawcross went on to tout the science and technology already in existence we should be proud of.

However, look carefully (here’s how) and you’ll notice something already floating in the sky — that’s no Moon, it’s a Space Station! Yes, we already have a giant, football field-sized International Space Station in orbit around the Earth that’s helping us learn how humans can live and thrive in space for long durations.

And looking further…

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. We are discovering hundreds of new planets in other star systems and building a much morepowerful successor to the Hubble Space Telescope that will see back to the early days of the universe.

And back here at  home…

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.

While all the geek talk made us very happy, it was the start of their parting shot that made the most impact. “We are living in the future! Enjoy it. Or better yet, help build it by pursuing a career in a science, technology, engineering or math-related field.”

(via The White House)

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  • Anonymous

    It takes a wise person to know when something intended as an insult should be ignored utterly, and when a thing intended as a bit of fun should be enjoyed and shared.
    There’s far less allowances for humor in politics now. So I enjoy them when they pop up.

  • Grif

    Convert the moon instead

  • leigh

    i thought the note about the one man star ship flaw was a great point :)

  • JLM

    Count me amongst those who have more than a passing interest in exploring the viability of a Death Star. Silly goose.

    What is really appalling is the fact that our government — in the face of real problems like unemployment, no jobs initiatives, faltering economy, debt ceiling, spending orgy — is wasting time on things like this.

    There is a “bread and circuses” feel to this silly nonsense.

    Does anyone miss adult leadership and focus?

    I do.


  • Kate

    Because everyone knows that you have to be a miserable bastard who NEVER HAS FUN EVER in order to be considered a competent adult.

  • Anonymous


  • JLM


    Haha, what an insightful comment. Brilliant really.

    Actually, Katie darling, you can have a lot of fun and still be an adult, you just don’t have to be a complete idiot.

    Don’t worry though nobody thinks of you as competent in any fashion. Your secret is safe with all of us.

    Well played.

  • Anonymous

    While I think you make a fair point (but one that I’m sure everyone has also considered) the government has no choice but to respond to a petition with 25000 signatures. If they dismissed petitions with 25000+ signatures based on how relevant it was to our national conversation then it would undermine the whole point of government petitions. I’d rather the government made a point to respond than be “too good” to answer a petition that fulfilled the requirements. Besides, this response probably took some geeky aide about 30 minutes to write and get approved.

    Humor is important, especially when it’s poking fun at ourselves.