Great Job, Internet!: Read This: Was Star Wars’ Empire on the brink of financial ruin?

Many conspiracy theories abound when it comes to Star Wars—some insane, others intriguing, some a bit of both (Darth Jar Jar, anyone?). But what happens when someone applies cold hard knowledge to the stories of a plucky Rebel alliance taking on a bloated Empire? Turns out readers get a grim economic portrayal of the financial standings of that Empire.

Zachary Feinstein, Ph.D., assistant professor of electrical and systems engineering in the School Of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis recently unveiled a paper entitled “It’s A Trap: Emperor Palpatine’s Poison Pill” that lays out the case that the Empire was in dire fiscal straits at the end of Return Of The Jedi. After pumping most of its money into two ridiculous (and, in hindsight, easily defeated) Death Stars, it would need a galactic bailout. In this video, Feinstein lays out how they …

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