G.I. Joe: Retaliation, the action blockbuster currently in theaters, has about the same action-to-plot ratio as a small boy playing with G.I. Joes in his bedroom for hours on end. If you understand this — that the film aspires to be nothing more than a $135 million version of a kid playing with his toys — it’s pretty damn enjoyable. Need to know more?
But how big is the Republic/Empire? There’s probably a canonical figure somewhere, but I don’t know where. So I’ll just pull a number out of my ass based on the apparent size of the Old Senate, and figure a bare minimum of 10,000 planets. That means the Death Star requires .03% of the GDP of each planet in the Republic/Empire annually. By comparison, this is the equivalent of about $5 billion per year in the current-day United States.
In other words, not only is the Death Star affordable, it’s not even a big deal. Palpatine could embezzle that kind of money without so much as waving his midichlorian-infused little pinkie. If it weren’t for the unfortunate breakdown in anti-Bothan security and the shoddy workmanship on the thermal exhaust ports, it would have been a pretty good investment, too.
“The NSA was spending billions of dollars on new collection systems and vast amounts of computer hardware and software, and jamming it into its headquarters, but did not build additional power stations to keep the systems up and running. So you had these embarrassing instances … where if you plugged in a coffee pot, you literally could knock of the electricity for an entire wing at NSA headquarters.”—Historian Matthew Aid details why America’s spies are struggling to keep up. (via nprfreshair)