While Star Wars is a piece of Science Fiction (or Fantasy depending on who you ask), the dedicated fanbase always finds ways of bringing Star Wars into the real world. Fans always seem to find creative ways of thinking, especially if it could somehow work in modern day society.
What Is The Cost To Build One AT-AT Walker?
For those of you who aren’t familiar with these vehicles, the AT-AT Walkers stand for All Terrain Armored Transport and are some of the most deadly machines created by the Empire. These walkers were famous for the Battle of Hoth mission in The Empire Strikes Back. They overwhelmed the Rebel soldiers and eventually overtook the base.
While they’re set to appear in this year’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, fan’s have been more than willing to do a bit of research to find an actual price-tag for one of these walking behemoth’s. Case in point, the team over at Best Casino may have found an answer to this very question.
After doing a bit of research, the team came up with a number resulting in a approximate guesstimate of $226.5 million. How did they come up with a number that ridiculous? Well, they were able to utilize a few items that have actually been used before.
For instance, the lasers located on the front and sides of the Imperial Walker have a total cost of $72 million. The side lasers could be the same ones that are used on the USS Ponce named the LaWs lasers. The front lasers would require a more powerful type equal to roughly 1 MW of power. The closest comparison we have for a laser with that magnitude would be the ATHENA (advanced test high energy assess) which can be developed by the organization known as Lockhead Martin. Each of those lasers would cost roughly $25 million a piece to make.
As far as the entire heavy armor on the walker is concerned, the strongest armor closest to the AT-AT Walker can be found on the American M1 Abrams tank. This armor has a fantastic power-to-weight ratio making it ideal for this type of Imperial Walker. After measuring the height and width of the machine, total costs would range upwards of $146 million. That’s more than half the budget right there!
The team also referenced the gas turbo engines located in the M1 Abram tanks, and applied it to the leg joints and motor of the Walker. The cost? Roughly $8.5 million.
Lastly, you can’t forget to pay the stormtroopers who pilot and operate the machine right? The folks over at Best Casino sure didn’t. According to them, combining the total number of salaries between three stormtroopers (that’s 1 gunner, 1 pilot, and 1 commander), will cost an annual salary of around $192,000. That number is of course chump change when you take into account everything else that was needed to make this machine complete.
What Other Structures From The Empire Have Been Thoroughly Researched?
I’m glad you asked! While the AT-AT is one of the strongest mobile machines of the Empire, two of their most well known structures has to be both the Imperial Star Destroyer and of course the Death Star.
Kynan Eng, over at Quora.com did some heavy research regarding a total cost for one Imperial Star Destroyer. Though Eng was able to remove all of the “unnecessary” calculations such as hyperdrives, tractor beams, force field shields, and artificial gravity generators, he still came up with a crazy price-tag of $636 billion. That number doesn’t even include the price to take all of those component to space which he calculates would be roughly $44.4 trillion!
To figure out the length price of the Star Destroyer, Eng referenced the world’s largest cruise liner called the Allure of the Seas. It’s 360 meters long and 60.5 meters wide with an overall height of 81.3 meters. Eng took those numbers and multiplied it by 44.4 to come up with a rough estimate of its volume. He also makes allusion to the Gerald R. Ford class aircraft carrier of the US Navy as well as the International Space Station.
In his article, Eng continues to make mention of other resources made or found on this planet such as the ATHENA laser acknowledged earlier for the Star Destroyers weapons, the NASA Evolutionary Ion Thruster (NEXT) and the Lockheed Martin F-22 for its engines, as well as the largest and cheapest commercial rocket known as the Falcon Heavy to make light of the space transfer costs.
Though those are some very steep prices, NOTHING in the Star Wars lore could come close to an actual cost for the Empire’s greatest weapon; the Death Star.
How Much Would A Death Star Cost In Real Life?
Last but not least, we have the incredible moon-shaped battle station known as the Death Star. This incredible machine would take many years to construct and LOTS and LOTS of cash to bring it to life. Cheyenne Macdonald over at Dailymail.com wrote an article relating to this very question and researched that a professor majoring in electrical and systems engineering at Washington University in St. Louis named Dr. Zachary Feinstein, concluded that it would cost roughly $419 quintillion to completely build a fully functioning Death Star.
Feinstein did these calculations based on the Gross Domestic Product or the ‘Gross Galactic Product’ in Star Wars terms to the Galaxy’s economy. As referenced earlier, Feinstein makes note of the USS Gerald Ford aircraft carrier as a starting point. It’s steel could be used to manufacture the outside structure of a working Death Star. The aircraft carrier already costs $17.5 billion to make and is contrived of 100,000 metric tons of steel. Using those numbers, he guesstimates it would cost about $419 quintillion dollars to make. That’s A LOT of steel to produce!
While it’s fun to come up with types of crazy numbers, we know that none of this could be possible. It’s great to even think how some of this COULD be done, even if we had the necessary resources and the budget to create a project like this. Still, you have to give credit to those who actually took the time to do a little research and apply real math and science to come up with a number that may or may not sound realistic.
However, what I can promise you is that we will all be able to see Imperial Star Destroyer’s, AT-AT’s and of course the legendary Death Star once again on the big screen when Rogue One hits theaters on December 16!
What do you think of these calculations? Do you feel that these estimates are way off or on point? Share your thoughts in the comment section below and feel free to browse around at some of my other articles!