I’m sure the Empire and Darth Vader were pretty disappointed to see their precious Death Star blown to pieces, but one has to wonder how many galactic credits were blown on the building of this planet-destroying mega weapon.
Well, some Economics students at Lehigh University have done just that. They estimated the cost of the steel alone to be $852,000,000,000,000,000 (yes that’s quadrillion) and that it would take over 833,315 years to produce enough steel to get the project started.
While there aren’t many details on how they came up with this estimate, my favorite part of the post was reading through some of the 250+ comments. When discussions center around such an iconic movie, you’re bound to bring out fans from all walks of life, along with those who are willing to offer alternative suggestions (and corrections) regarding the cost of the Death Star. One commenter’s advice was:
A better method of estimating cost is to use a similar structure then scaling it to the new project. The closest structure to the Death Star is not an Invincible-class light aircraft carrier, rather a Nimitz-class supercarrier.
Thus, with rounding to make the calculations simpler:
Death Star: 1.0e15 tonnes
Nimitz Carrier: 1.0e5 tonnes
1 Death Star = 1.0e10
Nimitz Carriers Nimitz Carrier Cost = $4.5e9 ($4.5 Billion) or $45,000 per tonne
Death Star Cost = $4.5e9 * 1.0e10 = $4.5e19 = $45,000,000,000,000,000,000
Original Estimate: $852,000,000,000,000,000, about 50 times less than scaling a Nimitz Carrier.
This estimate is for the Death Star only and excludes support fighters and crew costs.
Is it worth building something that can so easily be destroyed (twice)? I’d have to go with ‘No’ because who or what would we use it on? We’ve already done away with Pluto. We can stand to lose another planet.
So what do you think? Yea or nay?