The White House has responded to a petition submitted to its We the People website instructing the government to secure funding for and building a Death Star by 2016. Unfortunately, the answer is no and the Obama Administration has outlined several reasons why it’s not going to happen — in a rather amusing way.

In the aptly titled “This Isn’t the Petition Response You’re Looking For”, the government explains why the Death Star isn’t actually happening:

  • The construction of the Death Star has been estimated to cost more than $850,000,000,000,000,000. In this time of economic uncertainty and fighting in Congress over the national debt, it seems that President Obama is more interested in reducing the deficit, rather than expanding it.
  • The Administration does not support blowing up planets
  • The government doesn’t want to spend “countless taxpayer dollars” on a Death Star that has a fundamental flaw that can be “exploited by a one-man starship?” (they do have a point)

On November 14, the petition to build the Death Star was created and quickly surpassed the 25,000 signature minimum in less than a month. The White House’s policy states that any petition that exceeds 25,000 signatures must be responded to.

In a response penned by Paul Shawcross, the Chief of the Science and Space Branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget, the Administration outlines its space policy — while mixing in a few Star Wars references. In all seriousness, the government says that the world already has a space station that is the size of a football field. It’s currently inhabited by six astronauts from America, Russia, and Canada, who are conducting research and learning to live and work in space over long periods of time.

When it comes to space crafts, Shawcross admits that the United States doesn’t have anything that will do the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs, but there are two spacecraft leaving the Solar System and he says the US is building a probe that will head to the exterior layers of the Sun.

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.

And if you didn’t think the government can be nerdy enough, Shawcross ends the White House’s response by saying that the Death Star’s power to destroy a planet, or even a whole star system, is insignificant next to the power of the Force.

Photo credit: Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images