Hello my young Padawan learners. Today we have a lesson in economics, but don’t worry. It’s all about how much it would cost to build the two Death Stars created by the Galactic Empire in Star Wars and how their destruction would lead to the economic collapse of the entire galaxy. The Force is nerdy with this one.
- Zachary Feinstein, PHD, an assistant professor of engineering at Washington University in St. Louis has run the numbers and the cost of both Death Stars are staggering.
- Using the stats on the real life, recently completed aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald Ford which came in at $17.5 billion and has 100,000 metric tons of steel, Feinstein was able to estimate Death Star construction costs.
- The first Death Star from “A New Hope” cost $193 quintillion.
- The second Death Star from “Return of the Jedi” cost $419 quintillion.
And you thought the 2008 crash was bad.
- To top it all off having both super weapons destroyed in just a four year time period would also destroy the galactic economy which he estimates to be worth $4.6 sextillion.
- Maybe George Lucas wants to write a new flick, Star Wars: Wall Street. The film has no light sabers or space ships, and it just focuses on Darth Vader’s evil money man, Gordon Greedo behind a desk shooting holes in the financial sector.
- Feinstein says that without “a bailout” of at least 15 percent of that huge economy there would be a total financial collapse.
- The Dark Side is too big to fail! Thanks Vader!
"The outlook appears very grim for the common Imperial citizen," he said. "I think it is unlikely the Rebel Alliance could have found the political will and financial resources to provide the necessary banking bailout until it is too late.
However the good professor is assuming that the Galactic Empire would have a similar economic system that we do today, that would even be comparable. It would be like an Ewoks society trying to estimate how much it would cost to build an aircraft carrier.
I contend that given the level of technology in the Star Wars universe they would be living in a “post-scarcity” society. Where today things have value because they are difficult to make (iPhones don’t grow on trees)- in a civilization that has command of the resources of the galaxy (all the metal in the asteroids, fusion power, Wookie growls) and armies of artificially intelligent robots to build things on a whim- the real “cost” of a Death Star would be insignificant.
Also, you don’t really need to pay a union construction worker to operate the space crane when you can just use The Force to levitate the super-laser into place. On the other hand, “It’s just a movie so STFU.” –Noted.
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