The site Overthinking It (they don’t call it that for nothin’) has an article The Economics of Death Star Planet Destruction. Is there anything that can be learned from such a self-described overthought article?
As you might imagine, the article approaches the Death Star and the threat of planetary destruction from an economics point of view. While this is a reasonable starting position, don’t forget economists often operate with all the accuracy of monkeys tossing darts or voodoo queens throwing chicken bones (no insult to monkeys or voodoo queens intended).
As polymath Nassim Nicholas Taleb has said, economics schools need to be marginalized, the Nobel in economics needs to be shut down to deglamorize the field, and metaphorically, the people who were driving the school bus blindfolded when they crashed it should not be given a new bus. Anyway…
In summary, the article says:
war generally makes little economic sense and only under certain conditions
the Death Star is an instrument of war
the Death Star therefore doesn’t make too much sense
As such, the Death Star can only be explained under the very small condition-set, that is, as something needed to advance the storyline of the Star Wars franchise and to fill the pockets of Lucas Industries.
While film as art may exist (to include bad art), after Return of the Jedi, the Star Wars franchise largely served as an ATM.