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Star Wars: Professor calculates cost of Death Stars

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20th Century Fox Film Corp./Courtesy Everett Collection

It seems Emperor Palpatine may have fleeced the Galactic Empire for every penny to create the Death Stars.

Zachary Feinstein, an engineering professor at Washington University in St. Louis, published an study on Tuesday titled “It’s a Trap: Emperor Palpatine’s Poison Pill.” Feinstein’s report details how much both versions would cost (some $419 quintillion — that’s 18 zeroes!) by accounting for steel costs for basic construction and the other peripherals.

He also delves into how the construction and destruction of the massive weapons would have adversely affected the Empire. After the Battle of Endor in Return of the Jedi, the Empire presumably became no more. To keep everything afloat, how large would the bailout have to be?

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The market would theoretically drop 20 percent after DS2 explodes, and a total of 15–20 percent of the galactic gross product (GGP) would be needed to recover financially. With an estimated $4.6 sextillion Galactic economy, the bailout would run between $690 and $920 quintillion. To think all this could have been avoided if the womp-rat-sized exhaust port was covered up on DS1.

Check Feinstein’s full study here, and a breakdown here.