It is a period of civil war. Rebel pranksters, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the forces of Taking White House Petitions Too Seriously. Specifically: They have secured the 25,000 signatures necessary to get a formal response from the White House to their call for America to build a 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," the petition reads.
"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."
Some estimates put the cost of doing so at around $852 quadrillion, roughly 13,000 times the gross domestic product of the entire Earth—even when factoring in the savings of not putting any guardrails around any of the facility's seemingly endless number of bridges, spans, shafts and pits. And history cautions against being too proud of the technological terror thus constructed, because the ability to destroy a planet, or even a whole system, is insignificant next to the power of the Force.
Crossing the 25,000-signature threshold—right before the Dec. 14 deadline—doesn't actually guarantee a response. The White House has made clear that it will pick and choose which petitions will get an answer. We may have to rely on the Bothans.