Film Theory: Luke SHOULDN’T Destroy The Death Star (Star Wars)

Film Theory: Luke SHOULDN’T Destroy The Death Star (Star Wars)


If you thought
your reserved D-box seats to the 3D IMAX showing of The Force Awakens
cost an arm and a leg, ha!
You ain’t seen nothing yet. [TITLE MUSIC] Hello internet! welcome to film theory where Today, hold onto your fitted Jedi leggings, a.k.a. your “Jeggings”… …because we’re talking about
the economics of building the Death Star. And before you wander away, thinking this is going to be a bunch of math
for the next fifteen minutes, well, there’s going to be some math, but that math will totally be worth it, because by the end of the episode, you’re going to learn that
there’s a Force in the galaxy far more dangerous than the Dark Side. And that Force is market force. In the context of that Force,
the Jedi are far more destructive than the Sith ever will be seriously! Get ready
to never look at this scene… …the same way again. It seems logical place to start is
to figuring out how much the Death Star costs to make. I mean,
this is one massive ship, right? So before we making any big revelations
about Star Wars, we have to get down to nuts and bolts.
Literally. According to Wookiepedia, the hull of the Death Star
is made of Quadanium steel. According to the information
that we have, all the outside parts of the Death Star
are made from this steel alloy, which is supposed to be a super-strong armor. And while it may be tough,
it’s not like it’s impenetrable or anything since all the generations of TIE fighters
that we see in the original trilogy were also made out of this alloy. We also see that it can be blown up
pretty much like any other regular ship. So it’s a special steel,
but as there’s not much information on it, and it looks and functions
a lot like normal metal, in our calculations
we’ll treat it like a regular steel alloy. Fortunately for us, some Economics students
and fellow Star Warsians at Lehigh University, PA actually calculated how much steel
it takes to build the Death Star. As with any fictional device
that you’re trying to bring into the real world, you’re going to face some limitations. And as a result,
make some assumptions. For them, they compared the Death Star
to what would basically be a battleship, but instead of floating on water,
it floats in space. This is pretty rational, since they both need to be protected
from all kinds of weaponry, both have to be airtight, and they’re both weapon platforms
that need to be totally self-contained, either in the vacuum of space
or in the middle of the ocean. Next,
they took the dimensions of the Death Star, which, according to
the Star Wars Encyclopedia and online wikis, is 140 kilometers in diameter,
or about 87 miles across. Just to give you some context,
that’s 1/25th the size of the Moon. Next, they scaled everything up
from a modern warship to the size of the Death Star, and found that you would need
1.08×10 to the fifteenth tons of steel to construct, as in 1.08 x 1,000,000,000,000,000. Sometimes this happens with our theories, where the numbers get so ridiculously big for us
to even know what they mean, so let’s put this in perspective. Comparing that number
to the steel on Earth, it actually doesn’t look that crazy. Based on the amount of iron
in the planet Earth, iron alloy makes steel,
by the way, just so you know, you could actually produce
two million Death Star shells out of it. Granted,
the Earth would literally be mined dry, completely gone,
and the core would be gutted, but it seems like producing one measly Death Star
wouldn’t be such a big deal, until you how long it takes
to turn the raw iron into steel. At the current rate Earth produces steel, it would take our planet more than 800,000 years
just to get enough for the Death Star. Not counting all the other parts
you need for such a massive space station. How long does it take to produce enough steel
to build you everyday warship for the ocean? Less than an hour. Ok, so this is going to be a big project. But it doesn’t stop there. Knowing how much steel it takes
is all well and good, but you can’t just mine
a gajillion tons of steel for free. That much steel will need some serious cash. Here’s where the numbers
get really crazy: Our friends at Lehigh
kept researching the Death Star stats, and were able to calculate
that at the price of steel in 2012, 1.08×10 to the fifteenth tons of steel
would cost you about 852 quadrillion dollars. Compare that
to the Gross World Product for 2014. That’s how much money was produced
by the entire world economy in a year. The gross world product in 2014 was
$77,868,768,000,000. that means the price for just the steel on the death star
would be almost 11,000 times all the money made in the world in a single year and I want to make sure
we’re really clear here, that this isn’t just some huge number
I’m waving out in front of you, this cost of the Death Star
has actually been verified in writing by the US Government. Good job guys, these are the sorts of things
you should be wasting your time on. A couple of years ago, a petition for the US Government circulated
to build a real Death Star, under the assumption
that it would bolster our national defense. And obviously
fend off the Rebel Alliance. [LAUGHING]
Sorry, I just love that this was a real thing that happened. It got so many signatures, the White House officially responded
with a huge letter. Even though they declined the request
to build a gigantic death ray in space, they did use data
to back up their decision. They also pointed out
that blowing up planets isn’t a good idea, but offered an alternative solution: If the government
wasn’t going to fund it, you could always ask for private funding
from NASA’s “C3PO” department, I kid you not. The world is run by a bunch of nerds.
It is glorious. Confirmed by the US Government,
this is what it would cost to build a Death Star. And we’re just talking about the basic model, remember, you need a lot more than steel
to keep this thing going, you need tons of quarters for crews,
all the internal life-support systems, on-board computers, laser engines,
huge plasma containment cells, the steel is just the beginning. Again, making the best comparison we can,
between the Death Star and a regular warship, we can make a rough calculation
for how much the rest would cost. Our friends at Lehigh
used USS Gerald Ford, which cost $17.5 billion,
including R&D. If we extrapolate that to the Death Star, the total cost for the first Death Star
would be as high as $193 quintillion. So that’s how much the Death Star would cost
in our Earth Dollars today, and that seems like a lot, right? And it is,
for a single planet. Remember, we’re only looking at it
from Earth’s perspective. The Death Star was built
using an entire galaxy’s worth of resources, with thousands of inhabited planets
and trillions of people. Coruscant alone has over one trillion inhabitants. When you look at it that way,
and that it took about twenty years to build, It’s actually not that bad. But while the building cost isn’t such a big deal
in the grand scheme of the galaxy, the cost of destroying the Death Star
is something else entirely. When the first Death Star was being built, almost everyone in the galaxy
was going about their own business. Like we said,
building a space station hardly affects them. It’s a government project,
just like building a bridge. But when good old Luke comes along
and “uses the Force”, that’s when the real problems for the galaxy start. I’m not talking about planets blowing up, although, yeah,
sorry about that Alderaan, [SAD TUBA] I’m talking about everyone’s worst nightmare:
a recession. [HORRIFIED ORCHESTRA] And before you laugh this off, a recession across an entire galaxy
is no cakewalk. The biggest issue here
is that terrorism hurts the economy, and bad. Destroying the Death Star
would be the largest-ever galactic terrorist act. Oh yeah,
it’s easy to forget, amidst the cool laser swords
and fun space battles, that the Rebels are exactly that,
Rebels. Sure, the government may be controlled
by an evil Sith Lord, but it’s a stable system. And even then,
the majority don’t realise that the Sith are that bad. To them,
the Rebels are trying to overthrow the government, and just successfully blew up
the largest military base in history. And that isn’t good. Compare the Death Star attack
to something we know here: 9/11. Following 9/11,
two of the world’s most important stock indexes, the Dow Jones and the S&P 500, dropped overnight by 14% and 12% respectively,
and then stayed there. Now, you don’t have to know
what those are, it’s a topic for another day, what you do need to know is that
sudden drops like this result in economic crashes. As consumers become nervous
and spend less money, which in turn results in less income for companies. Companies are then forced
to make lay-offs, and the resulting higher unemployment
means even less spending. Lower productivity for everyone,
companies and individuals alike. The economy struggles to recover. Destroying the Death Star
would cause this kind of collapse, except instead of being on a national scale, this would literally ripple across
thousands of other planets. The other big problem
is the murder of major political and military figures. This might seem like a good thing,
Because “yeah! We got the bad guys”, especially with the second Death Star,
you’re talking about killing Emperor Palpatine, but history shows
that killing major leaders won’t stimulate the economy. This is comparable
to April 23rd, 2013, when the Associated Press tweeted
that the White House had been attacked, and that President Obama
had been injured. Of course,
the tweet was wrong, but in the four minutes
it took before they got it retracted, the stock market dropped by 1%.
In four minutes. There’s no question that the Death Star’s destruction
would be to send the galactic economy reeling, the Galactic Trade Federation
would take a huge hit, slowing down all the major galactic trade routes,
and causing serious resoursh shortages. …and causing serious resoursch shertages?
I cannot say that. That is really hard to say. Resource shortages. Causing serious resource shortages,
as remote planets’ imports take a big hit. Oh, I did it!
And things only get worse from there, remember, the Rebels destroyed two Death Stars! Emperor Palpatine dies in Death Star II,
that would lead to a collapse of the political system. Without any sort of central structure or leader, the Empire would have defaulted on all its debt
to the planets. that may not seem like a big deal,
but it means the Empire can’t pay anyone back, including for the Death Stars. All those resources and money
used to make this thing, to quote South Park: SOUTH PARK CHARACTER-
And it’s gone. These are the most expensive
military projects in history. Not to mention financing
a war against the Rebels for years- -one might call it
a war on terror- -and now, none of it
can be paid for. All the industries
related to military manufacture would collapse. And many other industries
would follow suit as a result. So what does all this mean? It means that destroying the Death Star
is a lot more complicated than: “The good guys won!”.
In fact, it’s pretty reasonable to think that
it wouldn’t lead to a prosperous, democratic Republic, where everyone gets flowers and medals, it would actually lead
to a deep recession, and a massive power grab, where lots of individual factions
rush to take control of the galaxy. Meanwhile, the ordinary citizens of the galaxy
would suffer for years to come, cut off from all supplies
and resources from other planets, stuffing their credits into their mattresses,
waiting out the recession caused by the Jedi. Destroying the Death Star would in fact
have the exact opposite effect that they think: Economists, they are not. That’s the point here. Ultimately, there’s a big difference
between a political and a violent revolution. We think of Emperor Palpatine
as being this really destructive guy, but his revolution from Old Republic to Empire
was much smoother and safer than the Rebels’. Sure, Palpatine used manipulation
and coercion to get power, and eventually bumped off
a few Jedi- -but he pretty much
left the galactic population alone. Everyone else was able
to live their lives without too many problems. Again, sorry, Alderaan.
Bummer for you. The armed and violent coup
that the Rebels perform is much more sudden, and ultimately more destructive
to more people. Really, if the Rebel Alliance
truly wanted to bring peace to the galaxy, a better way of living life
for everyone, to reform their Republic
they need to take a page from the Dark Side, and work a little magic
behind the scenes, rather than just destroying
not just the Death Star, but the whole galaxy’s way of life. So what, The Force Awakens
takes place thirty years after the original trilogy? Ha! Nah…
Everyone should be in economic devastation. That’s the true story
of The Force Awakens. But hey,
that’s just a theory! A Film Theory! And cut!

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  1. Listening to you talk about math makes me happy and like math. I don't know why. I could just listen to a 30 minute of you talking about math

  2. Yeah but this is a fictional sci fi movie and they wouldn't pay for anything they would just take what they want

  3. MatPat I'm a big fan but under the Emperor's rule multiple species were destroyed or enslaved. An example is the Wookies

  4. Are you wife the Empire or what the rebals save the galaxy!!!!!! And all you care for is the money that the Empire lost? Thayer disrve that and Thayer are not even close to be the government and I don't think earth even exist in the star Wars unuvers or galaxy because at the beginning of each star wars movie it says long time ago in a galaxy far away duuuu?

  5. Waiiiiiiiiiiiit a second… at 11:40, you can see the united federation of planets logo, and starbuck's, can't fool is sci fi needs matpat!

  6. ok any other jessi vee fans Notice that in the background at the start to 2:06 has her intro music in the background?

    and a few other times

  7. According to most ppl in the empire from both swtor and ea bf2- most ppl agree with the empire. And prefer the emperor over the republic

  8. Umm every heard of that little conflict called The Clone Wars? It was more devastaing then the rebel alliance resisting the empire.

  9. Dude hurry up. Your dragon on is killing you get a big thumbs in your butt it was not interesting and I was kind of pissed off I watched it wasting my time

  10. Everybody knows what it's it's made of give me a f**** breakstop telling everybody what they know and tell everybody what they need to know I'm very pretty much just find your videos and and give them a big old thumb in the butt

  11. And of course everybody knows I know exactly what you're going to tell them because it's common knowledge stop making videos unless you actually know something that nobody else knows

  12. Well technically the empire was a run by raisin face as he said “I am the senate” and two he blew up every Slave and contractor after Death Star 1 was made. It was corrupt from the start as the republic was so yes on the economics no on the empire is good

  13. You can also compare this to Hitler and WW2.

    And yes, just like your theory MattPat, a similar situation happened twice to Germany. (WW1 and 2). However, at the end of the 2nd one America stept in to help Germany and other countries.

    Witch brings the question ask you and anyone in the comments.

    Who, or witch planets could have help bring back the New Republic?

  14. Not to mention that both battleships and the Death Star are vulnerable to fighter attack. Or in the Death Star's case: Vulnerable to a random X-Wing pilot that had no experience of piloting it…

  15. Let's try to make a unsc stalwart class light frigate that's 479 meters in length and 112 meters in height with a capacity of 514 people ( I have the Halo warfleet guid next to me

  16. Did you forgot that ever citizen that helped build the death star was killed after by Vader the empire never played back the planets they forced the Galaxy to give them supplies

  17. But Matpat, the economic recession wouldn't be felt by the galaxy because Operation Cinder would be busy destroying the planets that resources come from, effectively softening the economic blow

  18. Democracy is not always good. It is really about, the living quality of the people.
    So dictatorship is actually fine, if the people are fine.
    That is philosophy, kids!

  19. The number you quoted for the Death Star's size is wrong the first Death Star was 120 KM while the second was 160 KM. That means neither is the 140 that you quoted.

  20. Well… they still have the plans for the base on that one planet. Star killer. All they need now is to find some blueprints for a giant circle. Or just find the remains of both of the Death Stars and use the plans and resources/remains from Star killer base to construct a blueprint. Just saying.

  21. but your theory misses one thing
    whenever a death star is destroyed
    another bigger one is built
    and thats good for the economy i guess

  22. Well the empire has complete control over the Galactic senate which is like the space government for multiple solar systems so they probably have the funds or since it’s the empire they probably just mined a planet dry without even paying because realistically who’s gonna stop them?

  23. …forget about the financial costs, how many people were on the death star(s)? Commanders, typical footmen, technicians, repairmen, cleaning staff (or Droids?), cooks, general workers, etc…. dear god, that would be a lot of lives since it was a giant planet-sized ship right? Unless it was only machines running all the needs for everyone on board which includes cleaning, cooking,and repairing and operating machinery on the actual death star itself.

  24. You make it seem as if the empire adhered to the operational parameters of a capitalist system. They didn't. They used brute force and fear tactics to just take whatever they wanted, often enslaving entire native populations to force them to gather or mine or build with the natural resources on their planets without any sort of compensation for it. The empire just took what it wanted. When you have a galactic military super power, a fleet or starships capable of destroying a planet, and a murder happy magic enforcer, why would you bother buying or asking nicely for anything? You wouldn't need to.

  25. This assumes, however, that the imperial economy was capitalistic. I've heard from many sources that the economy actually took on somewhat of a command/collectivist form

  26. the galatic empire was a empire , when they conquer ed millions of planets at took the steel and other metals. since they conquered the planets so they don't have to pay the planets but the build it self by workers. the empire uses it to scare its enemy like the hut clans.

  27. When the Emperor took over the galaxy, he didn't leave the citizens of the galaxy alone. He did it by literally staging a war to create chaos so that when he was done playing his little game he could end the fighting, wipe out his enemies, and be hailed as a hero simultaneously.

  28. Nah, this one is weak. There are droids. Droids change the entire dynamic of producing stuff. Making a boat on this planet with our current level technology doesn't correlate to the cost of a galactic empire producing a giant space sphere. And the Empire can just subjugate a few planets if it needs more resources to deal with the loss of the death star. It's not a democracy, it's not going to respond economically like the system we have now. Weaker theory than normal.

  29. You're forgetting about the massive amounts of slave labor the empire uses that would cut the costs drastically.

  30. A terrorist group so hell bent on destroying the official government that they have no plan for the aftermath, and because of that the galaxy never recovered even after a few hundred years after the fact in legends, and in cannon no wonder why the first order (the empire) wants to take over the galaxy again

  31. Am I the only person from legends who know that darth vader made the rebellion to end the empire and his master? Until Solo…

  32. 11:39
    I never knew Starbucks is a galactic power-hungry faction which have a gigantic military force and proves to be a threat to the Empire

    The More You Know

  33. They got the steel from Old Republic and Separatist starfighters, capital ships, walkers, droids and other stuff that they built during the Clone Wars to create the Death Star dismantling them…

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