The Obama administration has rejected a petition demanding the building of a Star Wars-like Death Star on the grounds of expense and because it would be contrary to their policy of not “blowing up planets.”

The online petition, created last November, urged the White House "to secure funding and resources, and begin construction on a Death Star by 2016".

The US petition suggests that "by focusing our defence resources into a space-superiority platform and weapon system such as a Death Star, the government can spur job creation in the fields of construction, engineering, space exploration and more, and strengthen our national defence".

The petition was signed by 34,400 people and petitions that gain 25,000 signatures within 30 days automatically trigger a response from the administration. The same service has been used to urge the government to deport chat show host Piers Morgan for his criticism of US gun laws. More than 100,000 signed that one.

However, under the heading “This isn’t the petition response you’re looking for” Paul Shawcross, the head of the Science and Space Branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget, outlined the reasons why the White House was not planning to build a Death Star, the artificial planet used with devastating results by the Imperial Empire in Star Wars and Return of The Jedi.

Shawcross wrote: “The Administration shares your desire for job creation and a strong national defense, but a Death Star isn't on the horizon. Here are a few reasons:

"The construction of the Death Star has been estimated to cost more than $850,000,000,000,000,000. We're working hard to reduce the deficit, not expand it.

"The Administration does not support blowing up planets."

And this zinger: "Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?”

Read the full White House response here.