Dominating the Star Wars galaxy with their armies of Stormtroopers and fleets of Star Destroyers wasn't enough for the Empire. They also decided it was necessary to build a space station capable of destroying entire planets. As seen from the ending of Revenge of the Sith to the beginning of A New Hope, it took approximately 19 years to construct the first Death Star, meaning it cost a lost of time and manpower. Still, this begs a bigger question: how much would it financially cost to build a Death Star? According to one source, quintillions of U.S. dollars.
With Rogue One: A Star Wars Story only a few months away from release, the folks over at Twizzle have crunched the numbers, and they place the exact cost of building a Death Star at $22,452,000,000,000,000,000. What's even more astounding is that ridiculously large amount only overs the construction of the shell, ignoring the armament, communications systems, etc. You can see the full graphic over at their website, but they break down where all of this money is going, taking into account the size of the space station, how much material would be needed for construction (specifically steel) and the cost of sending those materials out into space, which will always be expensive. Needless to say, it's an impossible venture with present day resources.
While the ability to destroy a planet may sound like a significant power to wield, with all this money needed to build the station itself without any weapons, maybe Emperor Palpatine would have been better off axing the project and devoted the Empire's resources to building more Star Destroyers and TIE Fighters. They're less expensive, and if you gather enough of them together, you can certainly lay waste to an enemy planet, though probably not obliterate it
Clearly the Earth's various governments shouldn't bother working together to build a Death Star. They're better off outfitting the moon with some kind of defense system to ward off alien invaders. Still, it is worth noting these super stations wreaked havoc on the Galactic economy back in the day. Last December, a separate analysis showed that the cost of building both of the Star Wars franchise's Deaths Stars added up to $419 quintillion. The problem is that by the time the second Death Star was destroyed in Return of the Jedi, $920 quintillion was needed to stabilize the Empire's financial resources. Forget the Emperor and Darth Vader dying! Clearly these Death Stars bankrupted the Empire to total annihilation, and its remaining forces had to spend the next three decades collecting enough money so that the new First Order would be properly funded.
You can see the first Death Star again when Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters on December 16.