A petition with over 34,000 signatures calling for the development of a real Star Wars-style 'Death Star' has provoked an amusing response from the White House.
Submitted under the 'We the People' online petition initiative begun under President Obama, a recent petition called for the US government to "secure resources and funding, and begin construction of a Death Star by 2016."
As the government promised that any petition with over 25,000 signatures would merit a response, there has been a statement issued by Paul Shawcross, the chief of the Science and Space Branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget.
The statement lists three witty main reasons for not beginning the construction of Darth Vader's favourite weapon of mass destruction:
1. "The construction of the Death Star has been estimated to cost more than $850 quadrillion. We're working hard to reduce the deficit, not expand it."
2. "The Administration does not support blowing up planets."
3. "Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?"