The following article appears as part of the Nexus’ April Fools’ Day edition.

Nearly two months after an antiwar protest resulted in the relocation of a conference on campus, UCSB’s Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies proposed a new addition to the university’s Long Range Development Plan – the Death Star.

When finished, the UCSB Death Star will be the size and shape of a small moon, and will contain tractor beams, a Superlaser and the phrase “Go Gauchos!” inscribed onto its backside. While researchers expect the total costs to exceed $6 billion, ICB Director Annie Vader said she believes the Death Star is a worthwhile investment for the university.

“The Death Star will provide the campus with a plethora of new funds and research capabilities,” Vader said. “It can also solve some of our ‘other’ problems.”

When pressed further about what she meant by “other problems,” Vader declined to comment. However, this reporter did note that the director was looking at a poster of UC Berkeley Nobel Prize winners during the remark.

UCSB alum and local activist Luke Warmington said he and his colleagues were surprised by the announcement of the project and that he will try to stop it by any means necessary, perhaps even by Force.

“This is just not cool,” Warmington said. “First they build bombs to level Iraq and now, what? The fucking moon? You can bet your ass we’ll be at their next conference eating their sandwiches and drawing penises on university property.”

However, ICB Research Coordinator Gerald Palpatine emphasized that his team plans to use the Death Star solely for research purposes. For example, he said that the Superlaser, which produces fusion energy that mirrors the energy powering the sun, could one day lead to the discovery of safer and faster laser eye treatments for the elderly.

“Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen,” Palpatine said.

During a presentation to UCSB administrators, Palpatine discussed in great detail how important the project was to furthering the reputation of the university. He said it would show a side of UCSB that no one has ever seen before.

“It is unavoidable,” Palpatine said. “It is your destiny.”

Meanwhile, in response to dissent from local activists, Vader said she was disappointed by their attitudes.

“I find your lack of faith disturbing,” she said.