January 18, 2013

White House Denies Death Star Petition

My dreams of the Empire raining development and destruction alike on Earth have been shattered by the men in office, and what’s worse is that they’ve done so without firing a single rifle or canon. Their denial of a possible Death Star, making it impossible in fact, was pumped full of Star Wars puns and wit that you just have to appreciate at a time when the government is personified by the general population as bleak and devoid of a sense of humor.

It can’t be helped, that the expenses as well as natural resources needed to construct a 120-160 km wide moon, optimized with gamma ray cannons, and hundreds of men’s restrooms aren’t abundant enough on Earth’s surface. Assuming that they were, we don’t have the manual labor or even the amount of money on the planet that it would take to finance such a project.

It can’t be helped. However, we can still dream, and that is what petitioners did when prompted by IGN and various websites to sign their name to the cause of answering such a request.

You could imagine the series’ reach into the minds and hearts of millions of human beings — branching out all across Europe and Asia, and down under in Australia, back to the shores of North America.

Star Wars has delighted children and adults alike with tales of the Skywalker family and their journey across Tatooine and the galaxy.

Those delighted individuals have passed on a cultural tradition amongst movie buffs and science fiction fans alike that is striking to see. Striking, because despite the fact that none of us will ever wield a light saber, or soar across Tatooine blasting wompa rats in our T16, we can always imagine how that must feel.

This imagination is what we all share as Star Wars fans-that suspicion of disbelief and it has forced The White House to actually deny us construction of a Death Star. I don’t have the slightest clue how this ordeal picked up any momentum, and perhaps it’s because of my disbelief that most other Americans didn’t see it coming either.

If you were urged to sign a petition to have a Death Star constructed, you’d more than likely set aside that part of your brain. “It’s not possible…” echoes throughout the back of your mind as you go about your regular, boring day. But sign away we did, and it just so happens that Americans broke the thirty five thousand mark — obligating the White House to actually respond to such a ridiculous request.

Chief of Science Paul Shawcross responded with a denial entitled “This isn’t the Petition Response you’re looking for”, a play on Ben Kenobi’s line in A New Hope when using a mind trick on storm troopers that were looking for R2 and C-3PO. In the film, Ben actually says “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for…”.

It looks like Paul is down with the Jedi, and in his detailed response, he highlighted key issues in such a construction of the Death Star, including the cost and resource needs. He also claimed “The Administration does not support blowing up planets”, and even punched holes in its design by bringing to light the fact that the entire structure of the ship can be breached by a three meter long opening.

Apart from obvious requests and even more obvious denials, I can smile, because at least one person in congress can manage to display a sense of humor.

Likely, Shawcross saw this as an opportunity to laugh and joke with Star Wars fans and non-fans alike. If you’re forced by law to commit to the denial of our request, at least have a little fun with it. I’d love to know what you think below in the comments!

Image Credit: Lucasfilm

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