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Death-Star Economics

I found this article on the economic sense of the Death Star and thought it deserved a repost.

One of the authors posited the question:

What’s the economic calculus behind the Empire’s tactic of A) building a Death Star, B) intimidating planets into submission with the threat of destruction, and C) actually carrying through with said destruction if the planet doesn’t comply?

What follows is a good discussion of how the Death Star made perfectly good sense, from a certain point of view. The Romans apparently used the same strategy in their empire. If a city seemed to be harboring more rebels, they would raze the city to keep the others in line. It mostly worked for them.

Additionally, there is a discussion of ‘playing chicken’ in the game theory sense. If one convinces his opponent he is crazy and will do what ever he needs to do to win, his opponent will often capitulate. From this perspective, the Emperor may have hoped to destroy Alderaan and save the galaxy. Spoiler: it didn’t work.

I don’t have much to add to the article, but it’s a fun read, so check it out.

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