Star Wars

Since the release of The Force Awakens last year, the Star Wars franchise has exploded in popularity. The series is full of iconic moments, but one that always stands out is the explosion of the Death Star, Darth Vader’s ultimate weapon. 

With Rogue One set to be released in just 9 days, fans are getting more and more invested in the Star Wars universe. The new movie will see the rebels fighting to steal plans for the Death Star, but their motives might not be purely about the weapon's power: According to calculations made by a team of economics students at Lehigh university, Pennsylvania, actually building the Death Star would likely bankrupt the entire galaxy!

This is not the first time that fans have questioned the logistics of the project.

The report, released in February 2012, suggested that the amount of steel required to build the weapon would cost 13,000 times the world’s entire GDP of £541,261 trillion. To put that in context, it will cost around £369 million overall to renovate Buckingham Palace - simply buying the materials for the Death Star would cost nearly 1.5 billion times that!

"We decided to model the Death Star as having a similar density in steel as a modern warship,” the students wrote on their Centives blog.

"After all, they're both essentially floating weapons platforms so that seems reasonable.

"Building a massive space weapon is all very well, but you have to find the materials to build it with."

Star Wars

This is not the first time that fans have questioned the logistics of the project. The air vent that led straight to the weapon’s core would never have been approved by a structural engineer, after all.

Still, the price may not be the biggest potential issue. According to the study, we have enough iron on Earth to build just over 2 billion Death Stars, but there is a catch.

"Before you go off to start building your apocalyptic weapon, do bear in mind two things,” the students continued.

"Firstly, the two billion death stars is mostly from the Earth's core, which we would all really rather you didn't remove.

"Secondly, at today's rate of steel production (1.3 billion tonnes annually), it would take 833,315 years to produce enough steel to begin work.

"So once someone notices what you're up to, you have to fend them off for 800 millennia before you have a chance to fight back."

And so, it seems that anyone planning to follow their dreams of galactic domination will have to find an alternative to creating their own Death Star. Hopefully the release of Rogue One will tide fans over until science makes it possible for everyone to finally own their own lightsaber.