The Death Star was a fearsome battle station in the Star Wars saga - but purely fictional. (20th Century Fox)
The White House says building a Death Star would be an out-of-this-galaxy waste of money -- not only because it's against government policy to blow up planets, but also because the United States already has access to a space station as well as a laser-wielding space robot.
Today's official statement on the Death Star issue, titled "This Isn't the Petition Response You're Looking For," was written by Paul Shawcross, chief of the science and space branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget. It comes in response to a "We the People" petition that called on the federal government to start building a "Star Wars"-style Death Star battle station 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," the petition read.
The petition garnered more than 25,000 online signatures within a month, partly due to a signing campaign that went viral on 4chan, Reddit and Twitter. Under the Obama administration's rules for the "We the People" program, that required the White House to come up with a reply.
Shawcross and his colleagues clearly rose to the challenge, with an essay that should satisfy the policy geeks as well as the "Star Wars" geeks.
Click here to read more.