Can Fans Raise $31.4 Million on Kickstarter to Build A Real-Life Death Star?

Foiled by the U.S. Government's refusal to build a real-life Death Star, "Star Wars" fans are attempting to raise £20,000,000, or $31,490,000 on Kickstarter for the cause.

Foiled by the U.S. Government’s refusal to build a real-life Death Star, “Star Wars” fans are attempting to raise £20,000,000, or $31,490,000, on Kickstarter for the cause.

The moon-shaped spaceship and weapon of mass destruction first appeared in “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.” It was powerful enough to wipe out a planet with a single laser beam, but not quite powerful enough to overcome The Force.

In November 2012, members of 4chan collected 34,435 signatures on a White House petition to raise funds and begin construction on a real-life Death Star by 2016.

In his official response to 4chan’s petition, White House science budget chief Paul Shawcross said the Death Star would cost $850,000,000,000,000,000 to produce — and no.

Kickstarter has given the project the green light (or hasn’t rejected it formally, anyway). The modest goal won’t meet the White House’s estimate, but it will be enough “for more detailed plans and enough chicken wire to protect reactor exhaust ports,” the project’s creators wrote, and they also have a “stretch goal” to reach the full amount.

To date, they’ve raised £217,686, or $344,030.95, from 1,294 backers.

Kickstarter has only been open to UK projects since October 31, 2012. If the project is successful, it will have earned the most money on the crowdfunding platform since OUYA raised $2,589,687.77 for a portable TV games console, and both the crowdfunding platform and Amazon Payments will collect a percentage of the funds.

Do the project creators care about the fees? “No, as we feel if we can actually raise £543 quadrillion pounds then Kickstarter certainly deserves their cut,” they wrote.  “As for Amazon, we’re sure they’ll agree to refund the fees once the station is complete.”