Fans of the original Star Wars trilogy have long wondered: Why, after having it blown up the first time, did the Empire build another Death Star? Now the Pentagon weighs in on why the would-be ultimate force in the universe was really just the Emperor's folly.
Never mind that the first Death Star was destroyed by an untrained rookie pilot who, basically, closed his eyes and hoped everything would be okay—and that the second planet-killer was destroyed before it actually destroyed any planets, thanks to some pre-industrial moppets—the entire Death Star program was doomed from the start.
At least that's what Air Force Lt. Col. Dan Ward argues in an article in Defense AT&L, the Pentagon's internal acquisitions journal. To wit:
The truth is, Death Stars are about as practical as a metal bikini. Sure, they look cool, but they aren't very sensible. Specifically, Death Stars can't possibly be built on time or on budget, require pathological leadership styles and, as we've noted, keep getting blown up. Also, nobody can build enough of them to make a real difference in the field. ...
In the single most realistic scene in the whole double-trilogy, Darth Vader complains that the second Death Star construction project is ... behind schedule. ... In the Star Wars universe, robots are self-aware, every ship has its own gravity, Jedi Knights use the Force, tiny green Muppets are formidable warriors and a piece of junk like the Millennium Falcon can make the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs. But even the florid imagination of George Lucas could not envision a project like the Death Star coming in on time, on budget.
The good lieutenant colonel goes on to argue that the Empire should've funneled all of that money—$15.6 septillion and 94 cents, according to Gizmodo—into making better droids, which have proven to actually change the course of star wars.
Then again, Palpatine was never a particularly level-headed leader.