03 Dec 2015 9:57 PM +00:00 UTC

Why Destroying The Death Star Was A Huge Mistake

You don't have to wait for the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens to find out what happened after the Rebel Alliance blew up the second Death Star. You just have to read an economics paper written by Zachary Feinstein, a professor of financial engineering at Washington University in St. Louis.

Accoring to the paper posted on arXiv on Sunday, Feinstein argues that the Galactic Empire had spent such an insane amount of money on the two Death Stars that their destruction would likely have resulted in a "galaxy-wide financial crisis and economic depression."

Feinstein estimated that the two gigantic space stations would have cost the Empire about $419 quintillion. According to his analysis, this amount would have represented 0.21 percent of the total economic output of the galaxy and that the Empire would likely have taken out government bonds to cover much of the cost of construction. Finally, he assumes that the galactic stock market would have taken damage comparable to the hit the S&P500 took after 9/11.

Feinstein learned that the destruction of the two Death Stars would have resulted in financial losses of about a whopping sextillion dollars! (FYI: That's a 1 followed by 21 zeros) That means that the Rebel Alliance would have to give the galactic financial system a bailout equivalent to 20% of the total GDP of the galaxy to avoid a total collapse of their economy. That's a greater share of the economy than the entire federal governemnt in America spends today.

It's fascinating to know how academics analyze Star Wars as if the galaxy far, far away is real.