Why I love the Internet: I thought to myself, they often talk about overseas military bases as being places where a lot of famous chains come and claim territory (the obligatory McDonald’s in Baghdad or what have you), and presumably Starbucks would be one of those chains. So if the United States really did ever build a Death Star as so many folks wanted, how many Starbucks would it have?
Then I thought, this is the Internet. Someone will find out for me. So I took to Quora and asked. Here’s the best answer so far, from Tom Vaughan:
Quick back-of-the-napkin math here…
The Death Star is probably going to be a pretty densely populated place; perhaps comparable to Manhattan. According to an article I found on Slate, there are about 400 Starbucks on the island of Manhattan which is essentially a 2-dimensional plane about 87 square kilometers. That equates to about 4.6 Starbucks per km^2
There seems to be some debate amongst Star Wars fans about the size of the 1st Death Star and the 2nd Death Star (read this for a facepalm: Death Star II ) but let’s use 200km wide as the size of the second Death Star (from the Return of the Jedi movie).
I forgot the calculus to do this “the right way”, so what I’ll do is pretend the Death Star is a cube (width^3) and figure out how many 2D “floors” it has on which Starbucks would exist, and then account for the fact that it’s actually a sphere (4/3 * pi * r^3), where r = 100km.
Assume the average deck of the Death Star is… say… 10m high ? Then a 200km high Death Star has 20,000 floors. Each floor is 200km^2 which, using Manhattan density, is 184,000 Starbucks per floor. If it were a perfect cube and all 20,000 floors had 184,000 Starbucks, the whole thing would have 3.68 Billion Starbucks.
Let’s shave off the edges and make it a sphere and I think we just divide our Starbucks by the same ratio as (200^3) :: (4/3 * pi * 100^3). That ratio is about .52, so I think you’re looking at around 1.9 Billion Starbucks in the Death Star.
Looking at that 1.9 Billion number, I realize I may have made some false assumptions about the relative density of the people in the Death Star, or I may have just misjudged just how damn big a 200km sphere is my whole life.
We can make some assumptions about the volume of Tie Fighter docking bays, shield generators, planet-destroying weapons systems, etc. where it wouldn’t necessarily make sense to have a Starbucks but if there’s one thing we’ve discovered on Earth, it’s where there’s an opening, someone _will_ build a Starbucks there.