You know how they say no one ever benefitted from destroying an entire planet? Well, it doesn’t happen in reality, and it doesn’t happen in fiction, either. The Rebels may have destroyed the Death Star (twice) in Star Wars, but that didn’t really guarantee a happily-ever-after for them. Hence, the upcoming movie - Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It seems, the economics of destroying a Death Star was too much for the Rebels to succeed post-war.
Professor Zachary Feinstein, from the Washington University, St. Louis, has written a paper, titled “It’s a Trap: Emperor Palpatine’s Poison Pill’, analysing the economic results of destroying two Death Stars. The paper was published on the Arxiv open source server, and while many of you may find research papers boring, this one definitely doesn’t fit that bill. Feinstein’s paper explains the finance side of things in Star Wars, just the thing you wanted to know about Star Wars!
In the paper, Feinstein takes into consideration the cost of raw materials involved in making the Death Star. Before you say it, yes, the cost is in dollars. He arrives at a conclusion that if the Death Star cost $193 Quintillion for the Empire to make, the GDP of the galactic economy would be somewhere around $4.6 Sextillion per year.
Further, Feinstein scoured through prequels and Wookiepedia to understand the galactic banking sector, which would definitely have invested in the development of the Death Stars. This means, destroying the Death Stars directly affected the banks themselves, and quite heavily at that. This would, in turn, create a financial crisis in the galactic empire, requiring something of a Galactic Bailout. The rebel alliance would hence need vast reserves of cash in order to avert this crisis.
Feinstein concludes the paper with, “We modeled the state of the economy of the Galactic Empire prior to the destruction of the two moon-sized battle stations and the fall of the Imperial government. This allowed us to calibrate a financial network of the systemically important institutions, thus providing a picture of the economic repercussions from the Battle of Endor. In this case study we found that the Rebel Alliance would need to prepare a bailout of at least 15%, and likely at least 20%, of GGP in order to mitigate the systemic risks and the sudden and catastrophic economic collapse. Without such funds at the ready, it likely the Galactic economy would enter an economic depression of astronomical proportions.”
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