A project set up on crowdsourcing website Kickstarter that seeks to build an “open source Death Star” has already generated $322,548.
The project, which aims to acquire $31.4 million by April 1, is being commissioned because “we need to protect ourselves from threats far far away so lets build a death star,” referring to the Star Wars moon-sized weapon capable of destroying a planet in one blast.
It noted a White House online petition that failed last month as inspiration for starting a project on Kickstarter. “In November 2012, the people asked for a death star. The government said NO!” reads text for the project, which was set up by the website gnut.co.uk.
The White House said in a response to the petition for the Death Star that the planet-killing weapon “isn’t on the horizon.” It said that it would cost more than $850,000,000,000,000,000 (850 quadrillion) and noted that “the Administration does not support blowing up planets.”
“Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?” the White House quipped.
But apparently not satisfied with that response, the Kickstarter project creators went ahead to come up with an “open source” version. “In light of continuing threats we should build it ourselves,” it said, showing an “initial design” with just a simple drawn circle on a white background.
And even though it seeks to generate some $31.4 million, that is only a short-term goal used “for more detailed plans and enough chicken wire to protect reactor exhaust ports.” Overall, it wants to generate the $850,000,000,000,000,000 referenced by the White House.
“The main challenge is assuring Kickstarter that this is a joke and not a serious project. As proof, the goal has been set high enough to make successful funding almost impossible,” it acknowledged.
Kickstarter project funding is all or nothing; a project must reach its funding goal within the set time or backers’ credit cards are not charged.
In the project’s FAQ, there is a question asking if the open source Death Star would be able to destroy “Pluto/Earth/Another planetary body,” drawing this response: “Any decisions on targets will be based on donator pledge amount, higher pledges first. The amount is unimportant but you will be required to pay for shipping.”
Another asks what the project creator would “actually do with the money,” which got the response that at least four square meters of “high grade chicken wire” would be purchased. “We are hoping the death star plans will have at least twice the resolution of the initial design,” it said.
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