Update: On Saturday, President Obama himself weighed in on the request by the public for the United States to build a Death Star with a "Star Wars"-themed tweet of his own:
Barack ObamaBarackObamaWhy would we spend taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a 1-man starship?OFA.BO/yfxWt3
Previously: Apparently $850 quadrillion is too much for the cash-strapped Obama administration to spend on a moon-sized superweapon capable of destoying planets with a sole laser strike.
Responding to an overwhelmingly popular request on the White House's website, Paul Shawcross, chief of the Science and Space Branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget, claimed that the $850,000,000,000,000,000 it would take to build a Death Star similar to the ones seen in "Star Wars" and "Return of the Jedi" would be too costly.
Also, the U.S. isn't currently interested in blowing up any planets, Shawcross said.
"The Administration shares your desire for job creation and a strong national defense, but a Death Star isn't on the horizon," he wrote to the 34,435 people who signed the petition titled "Secure resources and funding, and begin construction of a Death Star by 2016."
The reponse is titled "This Isn't the Petition Response You're Looking For." Shawcross concluded by suggesting the public steer away from the Dark Side.
"Remember, the Death Star's power to destroy a planet, or even a whole star system, is insignificant next to the power of the Force," he wrote.
Predictably, many were disappointed with the White House's reply.
A serious mistake, Mr. President. You can never have enough planet-sized lasers - nbcnews.to/WZqSvf#starwars
11 Jan 13
The White House has promised to reply to any petition that accumulates at least 25,000 signatures within 30 days.
The most popular open petition that has yet to receive a reply is asking for the administration to "legally recognize Westboro Baptist Church as a hate group." That petition has garnered 315,549 (and counting) signatures in less than a month.