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Star Wars Infographic: How Did the Empire Pay for the Death Star?

The Star Wars universe may be the most well-known fantasy creation of all time. But that’s exactly what it is, right? A fantasy? Big bombastic characters, and even bigger and more bombastic weapons. Nothing in the universe makes sense — Jedi, plant-destroying machinery, the existence of Jar-Jar Binks — but it doesn’t have to, it’s a work of fiction.

Yet, in actual fact, that statement isn’t entirely true. Some things in this galaxy far, far away do make plenty of sense.

While using the energy of crystals to power weapons may be far beyond the science of our world, and manipulating objects with the mind would be considered nothing short of magic, there are definite similarities between the Star Wars universe and our own; similarities that help create a foundation of reality, from which the fantastical elements can be built. One such element that mimics our world is the way society, democracy and economy works within Star Wars. They have ruling classes, jobs, currency, taxation.

This is all pretty boring stuff. Stuff you really don’t think about when watching the movies. However, its background existence allows you to immerse yourself in the story by making it more believable and truer to real life. For example, in Star Wars: A New Hope, it is revealed that the Imperial Empire have constructed a superweapon the size of a small moon. We don’t stop to question what the heck is going on, because we totally believe, after what we’ve seen of the Empire and understand of our own world, that a powerful galactic regime like the Imperial Empire would have the resources to build such a technological terror. If the superpowers of Earth were scaled up to the size of an authority governing an entire galaxy, it wouldn’t be all that surprising to see them build a structure as monumental as the Death Star.

But, was the Empire actually able to build the Death Star? A new Star Wars infographic hopes to shed some light on this question.

Experts have put the cost of constructing the Death Star at around $852 quadrillion (which transfers to exactly the same amount of Star Wars credits). $852 quadrillion is a lot of cash. The total wealth on Earth is thought to be around $90 trillion, which means the superweapon would cost nearly 950000% more to produce than the GDP of planet Earth. Could the Empire really gather that much cash?

A team of UK chartered accountants asked themselves that very question. They wanted to know exactly how the Imperial Empire managed to fund one of the most iconic sci-fi weapons ever made. Was the Death Star part of the realism built into Star Wars, or was it purely a work of fantasy?

In this Star Wars infographic, the question as to whether or not the Imperial Empire had the money to pay for the ultimate power in the Universe is answered once and for all:

 

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