'This is not the petition response you're looking for' - Death Star plans rejected by White House

Statement says the White House is keen to emphasise its belief in galactic peace, saying that it does not support the blowing up of other planets

The US government has rejected a petition calling for the building of a Death Star battle-station, on the grounds that the administration does not support the destruction of other planets.

The proposals were submitted on the White House website, where they attracted 34,000 signatures, meaning it qualified for an official response.

The White House is obliged to respond to all petitions that get more than 25,000 signatures.

In a tongue-in-cheek response a senior US government official said the Obama administration "does not support blowing up planets".

The official also said the cost of building the Death Star, estimated to be around $850 quadrillion, was too high.

Star Wars fans submitted the petition saying the building of the giant battle-station, which is armed with a superlaser with the power to obliterate planets, would spur job creation and strengthen defence.

The petition called on the government to begin construction by 2016.

In a lengthy statement on the White House website entitled: 'This is not the petition response you're looking for', Paul Shawcross, Chief of the Science and Space Branch of the White House Office of Management and Budget, writes: "The construction of the Death Star has been estimated to cost more than $850,000,000,000,000,000. We're working hard to reduce the deficit, not expand it."

It goes on to state that the administration "does not support blowing up planets", and asks: "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 statement goes on to draw comparisons between a Death Star and the football field-sized International Space Station.

It also points out that the Nasa Mars Rover is equipped with a laser.

The statement also says the White House is keen to emphasis its belief in galactic peace.

Mr Shawcross signs off by urging students to pursue careers in science-related fields.

"If you do pursue a career in a science, technology, engineering or math-related field, the Force will be with us!" he wrote.

"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."