Having refused to build a moon-sized battle station in space - and worse, invoking the power of the Force without so much as a nod to the Dark Side - the Obama administration should have expected some mockery at the hands of the Galactic Empire.
It got that this week, in the form of an unusual press release on the official Star Wars website. Datelined "Imperial City, Couruscant", the post crows about the "overwhelming superiority" of Imperial forces over the United States.
The post quotes one Governor Wilhuff Tarkin (not yet promoted to Grand Moff): "Such destructive power can only be wielded to protect and defend by so enlightened a leader as Emperor Palpatine."
Tarkin wouldn't confirm rumours that the Imperials themselves are constructing a Death Star of their own, though Admiral Conan Motti (not yet the guy who was force-choked by Darth Vader) warned the Senate not to believe the petition response's "exaggerated claims" of a weakness in the Death Star design, "should one ever be built".
Motti also took issue with a claim in the White House petition, based on calculations by economics students at LeHigh University, that the Death Star would cost US$852 quadrillion (or 13,000 times global GDP). The estimate was based on the market price of steel.
"The costs of construction they cited were ridiculously overestimated, though I suppose we must keep in mind that this minuscule planet does not have our massive means of production," wrote Motti.
The White House could not be reached for comment. But there were one or two fans in the comments section of the blog eager to point out that since the movie took place "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away," Tarkin and Obama are not actually contemporaries.
Thanks for the fact check, guys.
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