By now you’re surely familiar with the biggest and nerdiest human interest story of the year: The petition that asked the United States government to begin work on our very own Death Star:
Those who sign here petition the United States government to secure funding and resources, and begin construction on a Death Star by 2016.
By focusing our defense 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 defense.
And the official response that made us all proud to be geeks–to wit:
The Administration shares your desire for job creation and a strong national defense, but a Death Star isn’t on the horizon. Here are a few reasons:
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?
Those were the words of Paul Shawcross, Chief of the Science and Space Branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget…and no certified Star Wars nerd could have phrased it more eloquently (pause to hum “The Star Spangled Banner”–or “The Imperial March”, depending on your tastes)
There hasn’t been a more profound official response to the actions of geeks since the Jedi Church was officially recognized by the British Commonwealth in 2001.
Anyway, since the government isn’t helping, a Kickstarter campaign called the “Open Source Death Star” was begun to raise the necessary funds (£20,000,000–and that’s just for the plans!).
Which caused some concerned citizens with Rebel sympathies to start their own Kickstarter: The goal of the so-called “Rebel Alliance X-Wing Squadron” is to raise the comparably reasonable sum of $11 million to design and build a single X-Wing fighter (’cause, as the films proved: one is all you need) and train a pilot to fly it.
The campaign’s Stretch Goals will make you feel like stealing your own lunch money if you understand them:
Stretch Goal 1:
$4,485,672,683: That’s the world-wide box office total for all of the films (+ The Clone Wars). We figure we can build up an X-Wing squadron for that. We’ll be taking applications for Rebel fighter pilots after we reach our Stretch Goal.
Stretch Goal 2:
13 million Galactic Standard Credits: A Class YT-1300 Freighter (heavily modified) and a crew consisting of a Corellian smuggler and a Wookie co-pilot.
Stretch Goal 3:
One of our Backers / Rebel Comrades wisely suggested adding another stretch goal to include a prototype Y-Wing Bomber. So, if we reach $23,000,000, which is reportedly the production cost of the Empire Strikes Back, we’ll also build a prototype BTL-B Y-Wing heavy starfighter / bomber to help clear the path for the X-Wing to do its thing.
Is it bad that I’m judging this entire campaign based on the fact that they misspelled “Wookiee”?
(PS: Don’t worry, neither campaign is really serious–it’s just some clever fans having a little fun)