The Death Star Is a Surprisingly Cost-Effective

by Christopher Paul on February 25, 2012

From Mother Jones via Daring Fireball:

It was only a few days ago that I wrote about how much the Death Star would cost. Kevin Drum does a little extra math and comes to the conclusion it’s rather affordable in in comparison.

“Star Wars may have taken place “a long time ago,” but the technology of the Star Wars universe is well in our future. How far into our future? Well, Star Trek is about 300 years in our future, and the technology of Star Wars is obviously well beyond that. Let’s call it 500 years. What will the world’s GDP be in the year 2500? Answer: Assuming a modest 2 percent real growth rate, it will be about 20,000 times higher than today. So we can figure that the average world in the Star Wars universe is about 20,000 times richer than present-day Earth, which means the Death Star would cost about 65 times the average world’s GDP.

However, the original Death Star took a couple of decades to build. So its annual budget is something on the order of three times the average world’s GDP.

But how big is the Republic/Empire? There’s probably a canonical figure somewhere, but I don’t know where. So I’ll just pull a number out of my ass based on the apparent size of the Old Senate, and figure a bare minimum of 10,000 planets. That means the Death Star requires .03 percent of the GDP of each planet in the Republic/Empire annually. By comparison, this is the equivalent of about $5 billion per year in the current-day United States.”

You’d think that by looking at the quoted text, that would be it… but no! Apparently, this spawned a ton of comments and what I quoted is actually the third version of the post. You have to read the comments – they absolutely make linking to the article worth it. Thankfully, the editor selected a few of them for the first page. But read it… Now.

Side note, there are some serious Star Wars (and Star Trek) fans reading Mother Jones.

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