Building a Death Star Would Cost $852 Quadrillion. Worth it.

Students at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania have calculated that it would cost over $852,000,000,000,000,000 (or $852 quadrillion dollars) just to buy the 1.08×1015 tonnes of steel needed to build a Death Star. That’s more than 13,000 times your entire planet’s GDP. Lehigh’s students estimate that at Earth’s current rate of steel production (1.3 billion tonnes per annum), it would take a mere 833,315 years to produce enough steel to begin work.


Here’s why:

It pays for itself.
“But that astronomically large figure doesn’t even factor in energy and labour costs, to name but a few. How could something that expensive possibly pay for itself?” we hear you ask. EASILY, that’s how, imaginary question-asker. Once you’ve built yourself a Death Star, you travel around the galaxy and point your $852 quadrillion megalaser at other people’s planets. You’ll be surprised how quickly and COMPLETELY OF THEIR OWN FREE WILL they offer to help cover your costs.

It’s cool.
Is there a cooler, more bad ass, more famous super weapon in the entire universe? No. Can you really put a price on cool? Yes, probably. But for the purposes of our argument? NO. Absolutely not. Unless the price you’re talking about is $852 quadrillion dollars. Plus, you get to say, “We blow up planets now. Blowing up planets is cool.”

Everybody else is doing it.
As the caring utterly merciless totalitarian space dictatorship that we are, it would be quite remiss of us if we didn’t give you Earthlings some perspective: it’s all giant planet-destroying doomsday weapons out here in space. It’s Science Fact that literally every alien race ever has one and THEY WANT TO KILL YOU WITH IT. Daleks? Reality bomb. Romulans? Black hole-generating mining vessel. Vogons? Constructor Fleet. Why? Who knows? Maybe it’s for Earth’s natural resources. Or MAYBE it’s to prevent Nickelback from making more albums. Okay, it’s almost definitely the Nickelback thing.

Like you were really going to do anything better with that money anyway.
What the hell else are you going to spend your money on, Earth? Housing? Education? Universal health care? Drastically reduced greenhouse gas emissions? Greatly alleviating unemployment and class inequality? Pffft. You know what the problem is with all of those things? NONE OF THEM EXPLODE ANYTHING. Trust us, nothing melts away your cares like melting away somebody else’s planet.

This could be yours, Earth. USA! USA!

It’s good to keep busy.
If you’ve ever spent ages lovingly building a huge LEGO Star Destroyer or diorama, fashioning an AT-AT out of pancakes or even sunk a lot of time into a non-Imperial weapon of death-related hobby (weird), you’ll know there’s nothing more fulfilling than taking the time to craft something with your own hands. Well, take that feeling and multiply it by four GAZILLION when planet Earth unites to build it’s first Death Star. Surely there can be no more satisfying feeling than putting the finishing touches on your very own 160km in diameter death laser that you (circle appropriate):

  1. built with your very own hands
  2. forced enslaved aliens on countless planets across the galaxy to build for you on pain of death.

In conclusion, what are you waiting for?

Via the fantastic folk at, who were the first of many to send us the tip.

Read about our very reasonable “A Death Star for America” initiative here.
Will Apple get there first? Did you know Steve Jobs was building the Galappletic iMpire?

44 thoughts on “Building a Death Star Would Cost $852 Quadrillion. Worth it.

    • whose that possible that USA could be the earth . which source have to USA. ? ???????????. every country want peace. what you think about this? i hope USA also want peace in the whole world. we are peace full people. i would like to say that USA respect the human being of every country,..????????

      • Pijay – I think, and I’m not exactly sure about this, they might not be serious about actually building it. I think this might be a joke other than the fact that some very clever people made learning how to work something out fun.
        And if you don’t like the idea of blowing up planets – I suggest you shoot at asteroids with your death star instead.

  1. All of that money spent, and a rebel with a small ship and some fairly cheap weapons can turn it back into raw materials easily. I would hope spending that kind of money includes the fix for that “problem”…..

    • Well of course not, they would have no money back left to fill the spot so some Anonymous sorta rich fag would come with a rebel ship and blow it to smitherns

  2. The only problem is some punk kid in an X-Wing can place a two well-aimed proton torpedoes at the exhaust vent and blow the whole thing up. I’ll buy one as soon as you put a cover on that exhaust vent. :)

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    • Rachel Maddow would be much more badass filming a commercial in front of a half-built Death Star instead of a puny little Hoover Dam. That’s fucking infrastructure.

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  6. How will you keep Dr. Who from landing the Tardis inside the death star and planting explosive charges that convert your puny death star into useless space trash??? BTW, when Horton Heard the Who, do you suppose it may have been Dr. Who?

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  8. Just make sure Lockheed does not build it, or it’ll come out cube shaped and upside down. Then they’ll -charge- you to rebuild it.

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  10. A friend just pointed out the following:
    “The Death Star was made of durasteel which is stronger, lighter and cheaper than steel. So their math is off by several trillion dollars.”

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  13. You realize, of course, that the actual cost to build the Death Star would only be about $100 quadrillion, and that the rest would just be Haliburton over-billing and gouging the tax payers at every turn, don’t you?

    Still, what a great way to put the U.S. back in the space race. With China poised to go to the moon by 2020, we could totally steal their thunder if we blew the moon up first and put our death star in it’s place. A giant, planet-destroying laser might also be a really good deterrent for rouge nations like Iran and North Korea as well. Nukes? Seriously, North Korea? That’s all you’ve got?? Look UP, mother****ers!

    Pissing contest final score: North Korea: 0. Iran: 0. US of A: 1. but a really big 1.

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