Tag Archives: Star Wars

Death star to debt star – crashing the galactic economy

Picked up this great interview from a colleague which talks about the destruction of the Death Star being an Imperial trap to financially bankrupt the Rebel Alliance?

Assistant professor of Washington University of St. Louis, Zachary Feinstein wrote a paper entitled ‘It’s a Trap: Emperor Palpatine’s Poison Pill’ which discuss the fundamental connections between the destruction of the Star Wars ‘death stars’ and the crashing economy.

Feinstein suggests that Emperor Palpatine planned that if defeated during the “battle of valdor” in episode 6, there would be economic repercussions on such a scale that the “rebels” would never be able to take power. Furthermore, with no galactic central bank the Stars Wars universe wouldn’t be able to deal with debt. He calculates the cost of construction of each “death star”:

Death Star 1 – 140 km in diameter and valued at US$193 quintrillion
Death Star 2 – 900 km in diameter and valued at US$419 quintrillion

Below is the conclusion from the paper.

We modeled the state of the economy of the Galactic Empire prior to the destruction of the two moon-sized battle stations and the fall of the Imperial government. This allowed us to calibrate a financial network of the systemically important institutions, thus providing a picture of the economic repercussions from the Battle of Endor. In this case study we found that the Rebel Alliance would need to prepare a bailout of at least 15%, and likely at least 20%, of GGP in order to mitigate the systemic risks and the sudden and catastrophic economic collapse. Without such funds at the ready, it likely the Galactic economy would enter an economic depression of astronomical proportions