"Star Wars" fans don't like taking "no" for an answer. The White House may have denied a petition to build a Death Star, but that hasn't stopped Dark Side wannabes from taking matters into their own hands. There's now a Kickstarter project gathering funds to build an open-source Death Star.
The project has a modest initial goal of just $30 million. That will fund initial plans and the massive amount of chicken wire needed to protect the reactor exhaust ports. The first stretch goal is where things get more serious. If the project raises $850,000,000,000,000,000, then work will begin on the actual construction. OK, that's a mighty big "if," but a geek can dream, right?
In a bid to keep costs down, the Death Star will be constructed with only open-source hardware and software. That means the plans would be available to anyone who wants to build a Death Star of their very own. I'm pretty sure there's an alternate universe somewhere where every person has their own open-source Death Star. It's probably the same universe where Spock has a goatee.
There are only two pledge levels. A pledge of $1.50 gets you a thanks and "the knowledge that we're one step towards a safer planet." A $15 pledge gets you all that plus your name etched onto the underneath of a MSE-6-series repair droid in use on the finished station. It's no surprise the majority of the project's 700 backers have chosen the droid option.
In a lot of ways, it's too bad this Kickstarter is just a joke. Maybe we could start smaller next time, like building an X-Wing Fighter or genetically engineering some Ewoks. Still, my hat's off to Kickstarter for letting the Death Star project proceed to the public. With 53 days left, there's just an ever-so-slight possibility it might reach its goal.