White House answers Death Star petition: No.

Build this Death Star, we will not. That’s the message from the White House in an official response to a petition urging President Barack Obama to build the moon-sized planet-killing space station from Star Wars.

“The Administration shares your desire for job creation and a strong national defense,” writes Paul Shawcross, chief of the science and space branch of the White House’s budget office. But “the Administration does not support blowing up planets.”

Plus, Shawcross points out: “Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?” (Cue speculation that China has built an X-Wing fighter). And with the price tag estimated to run at least $852 quadrillion, Shawcross says, “we’re working hard to reduce the deficit, not expand it.” (Hmmm, so the stimulative impact of government infrastructure spending does not balance out its cost? That might come up again as Obama clashes with Republicans this Spring over how best to reduce the national debt.)

Shawcross goes on to list various high-tech projects funded with taxpayer dollars, throwing in a few Star Wars reference for good measure (the International Space Station features “onboard garbage mashers.” NASA has a Commercial Crew and Cargo Program Office – C3PO? Really? Someone had a bit of fun with that one).

It’s sad news in a way, as if more than 34,000 petition signers cried out in terror and were suddenly silence. But it’s good news for the Senate! After all, building the first Death Star enabled Emperor Palpatine to dissolve the Senate. That means that there’s no need for regional governors to take direct control over their territories and use fear to keep the local systems in line.

No word on whether the president will now take the time to answer the question he was asked in his Reddit chat last year: Star Trek or Star Wars.