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When the Rebel Alliance destroyed two Death Stars in the original “Star Wars” trilogy, it appeared to herald a new era of freedom for a galaxy that had been living under the tyranny of the Empire.

But according to an academic paper published Tuesday, the demolition of the planet-sized space stations would have had a disastrous effect on the fictional sci-fi universe — namely triggering “an economic depression of astronomical proportions.”

The paper entitled “It’s a Trap: Emperor Palpatine’s Poison Pill” was written by Zachary Feinstein, a financial engineering professor at Washington University in St. Louis.

Feinstein worked on the assumption…

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