Pentagon’s Top Cost Assessor Puts Death Star Price Tag at $300 Quintillion

‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ premiere / AP
December 22, 2015

Jamie Morin, the Pentagon’s top cost assessor, recently priced the total cost of producing and operating the Death Star at $300 quintillion.

Morin, the director of the Defense Department’s cost assessment and program evaluation, told Vice News in a recent interview that the Empire’s Death Star, also known as the DS-1 Orbital Battle Station, would cost $300 quintillion to create and maintain.

Though unable to produce a "reliable cost estimate" because of the Pentagon’s inability to build the Empire’s chief weapon, Morin said that he arrived at the figure by accepting a previous acquisition estimate of $193 quintillion from a researcher at Washington University in St. Louis.

Morin told Vice:

Historically, we have seen operations costs for our major systems come in roughly between 50 and 70 percent of the total cost of buying and maintaining that system, with ships generally coming in at the top of that range. If we think of the Death Star as a ship, and we accept the previously published $193 quintillion acquisition cost estimate, then $300 quintillion might be in the right range for a lifecycle cost estimate. However, it’s important to note that lifecycle cost estimates for weapons systems depend heavily on how long you intend to keep that system in your inventory. Based on the Empire’s past experience, they may not want to assume that they can keep their orbital battle stations around very long.

As the Pentagon’s director of cost assessment and program evaluation, Morin is charged with ensuring that the Defense Department keeps costs low. He formerly served as comptroller of the Air Force, where he allegedly earned the nickname Darth Vader.

Published under: Pentagon , Star Wars