Birth of an Empire

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by The_Abstract, Feb 25, 2003.

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  1. The_Abstract Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2002
    star 4
    We know Star Wars is mostly Good v. Evil morality tale, but the politics of that struggle have been fleshed out a lot more with these two new movies. Feel free to apply real world analysis to the fall of the Republic and the rise of the Empire. Analogies are welcome, but please no simple "U.S. = Empire, Bush = Palpatine" theories. Those belong in the Senate. ;)

    To focus the thread, let's start at the beginning. And then when we get to the end, stop.



    Where does this Palpatine figure come from and what could possibly drive his bid for power?
  2. urgent_jedi_picnic Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 14, 2003
    star 4
    Well, Palpatine comes from Naboo I think. His drive for power? Not much movie evidence to go on to answer that question. I guess there are a few possibilities.

    1. He's human. Who doesn't want to be the head honcho at some point?

    2. If the senate in the PT is like the U.S. senate, there's probably alot of what U.S. media calls "pork" which is where a congressman adds on a $5 million dollar bill for "wood utilization studies" in his own district to boost his area's economy. I would imagine that most senators are interested in elevating the status of their planets, not focusing on galaxian peace. Anyway, Palps could have started off righteous, intending to unify the galaxy for a common purpose. Technically he did.

    3. Palpatine's personal history: I actually don't want to go here because the speculation could be WAY to broad, but if Palp's has always been a Sith, then he is driven by revenge to conquer the galaxy and destroy the Jedi.

    All I can come up with without speculating too much.

    The Picnic :eek:
  3. MetalGoldKnight Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2002
    star 4
    Palpatine wants power because of his arrogance. He believes that he is superior to most other beings (and in terms of power and intelligence he's probably right) and that because of this everyone else should bow down to him.

    Palpatine's arrogance is what drives his desire for power, and his abuse of power once he gets it. Ironically, it's also what leads to his downfall, just as Anakin's obsessive attachments to people is what leads to both his fall and redemption.
  4. JediHunterCommand Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2003
    star 1
    I think Palpatine's motives have always been pretty well understood: his lust for power.

    What's a more interesting question to my mind, if people don't mind me hijacking the thread, is why so many people fall in with Palpatine. As fall in they must: fear might keep some systems in line, but not everyone! So why? I have my own notions but I'm interested to hear what other people think.
  5. orangefuzz Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 21, 2003
    star 4
    Has anyone ever noticed the little joke that George Lucas plays on the Republicans in Ep. I? Think of Nute Gunray. Kind of like Newt Gingrich, isn't it.
  6. urgent_jedi_picnic Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 14, 2003
    star 4
    What's a more interesting question to my mind, if people don't mind me hijacking the thread, is why so many people fall in with Palpatine. As fall in they must: fear might keep some systems in line, but not everyone! So why? I have my own notions but I'm interested to hear what other people think.

    Well, by the time of ANH fear was needed to keep the local systems in line. At the moment (between AOTC and Ep3) the galaxy is in a full blown war. If Palpatine can end the war, people could hail him as a hero. Then as they discover his evil ways and policies in the Empire, support waivers.

    Also, remember that the average galaxian is probably tuned into the holonet for all their news. And there's no such thing as a news network without a spin (regardless of what Bill O'Reilly may claim). They can only report the news they are aware of. What does a news network do during the war? Support their side of it. The average war creates a great amount of patriotism for the countries/planets/galaxies involved. Emotions will already be running high. When Palps defeats the Seperatists, the galaxy may rejoice!

    The Picnic :eek:
  7. The_Abstract Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2002
    star 4
    I agree...one thing that's only been hinted at in EU sources is the importance of the Holonet. Palpatine would be smart enough to take control of that as well and pump out his propaganda. There's tons of examples of state-owned media around the world, and in this country we get cries of bias from both sides of the political spectrum.

    Besides, the Jedi don't seem like the most open organization in the galaxy. Many of their practices would seem strange to most of the galaxy, and Han would be a great example of someone who is cynical about the Force. To make a controversial analogy, just think if the Catholic Church recruited boys and girls at a young age to join certain religious orders. (btw the way, I'm Catholic) You don't think the average person would find that a bit kooky? If Han's supposed to represent the common man, then the Jedi are screwed in Episode III.
  8. Darth_Shade Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2003
    star 1
    Yeah Nute Gunray entire name is a pun about two republicans 1.Nute-Newt Gingrich(sp?)2.Gunray-Reagan. I belive this is on the Epi 1. commentary I'm not sure though. It's not surprising considering the Emperor was based on Richard Nixon
  9. neeldawg66 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 21, 2002
    star 8
    Great thread. I think the citizens of the Republic don't realize how truly evil the Emporer is until it's too late. By ANH he has a huge army, a battlestation that can wipe out an entire planet and regional governors to keep the many planets in line. At the end of the Clone Wars he is probably seen as a great leader who saved the Republic from the Separatists. I'm sure so time after this, when the Jedi are wiped out, that some people know the truth about his evil ways but not many because, as urgent_jedi_picnic mentioned, he probably controls the information that many citizens get from the Holonet news.
  10. Darth_Surly Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2002
    star 2
    Han's statement notwithstanding, Palpatine does need to do something to discredit the Jedi. It's clear that they wield a great deal of political power and influence (the fact that they can "take" children demostrates this) and I wonder if people would allow them to be destroyed without some sort of reason.
  11. urgent_jedi_picnic Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 14, 2003
    star 4
    Han's statement notwithstanding, Palpatine does need to do something to discredit the Jedi. It's clear that they wield a great deal of political power and influence (the fact that they can "take" children demostrates this) and I wonder if people would allow them to be destroyed without some sort of reason.

    I agree. I would imagine that it is a fabricated reason. Enough has transpired by AOTC for some good speculation here.

    Bill O'Reilly vs. The Jedi:

    1. Kamino believes the Jedi ordered the army. Palpatine/Holonet Bill O'Reilly: "The Jedi, guardians of peace, took it upon THEMSELVES to order a massive clone army. It seems that their dedication to peace is truly questionable."

    2. The Jedi are beaten by a droid army at the end of AOTC. Only the clones saved them. Palp/O'Reilly: "The Jedi have become inefficient and useless. They could not prevent a war, and they couldn't even win a battle on their own. We need a reformed justice system that WORKS!"

    3. Dooku was a Jedi, now he leads the enemy. Palp/O'Reilly: "This man has brought pain and suffering to the entire galaxy! If the Jedi can not control their own rogues, then who will?"

    Even better, imagine if you were sitting at home and you saw all 3 of these points on the news. What would you think?

    Any other ideas as to how to get the Jedi out of the way for the Empire?

    The Picnic :eek:
  12. The_Abstract Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2002
    star 4
    I think it may be done similar to how Hitler redirected all the German misery to blaming Jews and other minority groups for their struggles. It's something that's in the back of citizens' minds- this elite Jedi Order with a mysterious way of life, living all secluded in the their temple. They think they're better then everyone else. They have "magic powers."

    We can infer from the timeline that the galaxy has gotten progressively worse for 10 straight years. That's analogous to the post-Depression world. So people should definitely be tired of all this chaos, especially with ineffective representation.

    The Jedi will take the rap, and for the most part, very few average citizens will take part, most will be indifferent or ignorant, and 20,000 Jedi will "quietly" disappear, along with the remaining vestiges of their ancient religion.
  13. Emos-Edud Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 29, 2002
    star 4
    OrangeFuzz,

    Don't forget Lott Dod.
  14. urgent_jedi_picnic Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 14, 2003
    star 4
    Lot Dodd? That's great! [face_laugh] How did I miss that one?

    Good idea Abstract. In times of great peril, scapegoats are easily created.

    The Picnic :eek:
  15. NiktosRule Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 8, 2001
    star 4
    Palpatine's lust for power is why the Empire is born. His whole body and mind are consumed with the one goal of getting power however it can best be obtained.
  16. urgent_jedi_picnic Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 14, 2003
    star 4
    Okay, lets look at some of the hurdles that need to be jumped going from Republic to Empire:

    1. The Jedi. We've begun here already. How/why will they be eliminated?

    2. The Senate. How will they accept their power loss considering the corruption that already exists there?

    3. The Public. How do you get James B. Sentient to support the new regime.

    I'm sure there has to be a few i'm missing. Thoughts?

    The Picnic :eek:
  17. Krede Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 20, 2000
    star 4
    I think The_Abstract is on to something.

    Somehow Palpatine will turn the public against the Jedi. As soon as the Jedi find out that he's Sidious (Dooku pratically told Obi-Wan), they will most likely try and go against him and his rule. That would make it seem as if the Jedi are trying to stage a coup.

    The public will of course support Palpatine, who saved them from the seperatists and not those crazy Jedi who hide in their tower and think they're better than everybody else.

    The senate will still exist up until the time of ANH, but won't have much power since Palpatine will have direct control of the army and probably have most of the senators on his payroll.
  18. G-FETT Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2001
    star 7
    Well, I always assumed Palpatine was pretty much based on Hitler. EVERYTHING he does is to expand his own power base. His entire thought process is about how he can hold on to, and develop ever increasing power. I would guess (though I don't suppose we will ever know) this is how Palpatine was first seduced (I assume at one time he had a Master?) Basically the more power he got/gets, the more he wants. Power is one of those things like Anger/hate/fear, it makes you greedy, and through that lies the dark side. Notice in AOTC both Dooku and Anakin talk about having power/wanting power/being powerful.

    One of the best things Lucas has done with the PT is to show how Palpatine got power. Or rather, how he was GIVEN power. He didn't just invade the Republic from the outside (as I had always assumed) rather, he was given power from the inside. In much the same way Hitler was given his power, rather than taking it. Notice how Palpatine and Hitler both came to power from an economic crisis. Palpy the the Trade Blockade over taxation, Hitler the Depression caused by the Wall St Crash. I have always assumed The Empire is based on the Roman Empire, and Lucas' vision of what would have happened of Hitler had succeded in creating wrold domination.

    As to how Palpatine will make his final move in Episode III, the destruction of the Jedi, we only have to look at Hitler. Just as Hitler blamed all his Countries problems on the Jews, Palpatine will blame all the galaxies problems on the Jedi. I think he will probably reveal the truth to the galaxy, that Dooku ordered the Clone Army, but instead of addmiting that Dooku did it under his (Palpatine's) orders, I think Palpy will say Dooku did it under orders from the Jedi. That the Jedi were working with The Sepratist's all along. That they were plotting to over throw Palpatine and the Senate, and create of totalitarian regime, with Dooku and the rest of the Jedi running the show. Basically he will say the Clone War, and the subsequent econonic crash is all the fault of the Jedi. The majority of the galaxy will believe him, and Palpatine (in crushing the Sepratist's AND Jedi) will be hailed a hero. He will be GIVEN the status of Emporer, rather than crowning himself Emporer.

    I love the way Lucas has played this political aspect of the S/W movies. I know many people find all this boring, but I'm quite interested in politics, so all of this is quite interesting to me. :)
  19. JediHunterCommand Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2003
    star 1
    I had the idea that Palpatine might try to link the corruption that was mentioned in TPM to the Jedi. He'd say that the Jedi were only interested in protecting the status quo (and many of their actions could be twisted to "show" this) and were protecting the corrupt officials. Of course, if Palpatine were trying to frame some of those officials so he could replace them with his own stooges, and the Jedi got wise and tried to stop him, it would be even more "evidence."

    But I think the Hitler analogies are good points. Something that's frequently forgotten is that the Jews were always seen as filthy rich (a perception that goes back a long, long time) and so the people in Depression-era Germany hated them even more. The Jedi, being more powerful, could easily be despised for that.
  20. RKMeibalane Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 20, 2002
    star 2
    The idea of Imperial propaganda being displayed on the HoloNet is insteresting. I wonder what types of programming were shown. Obviously, the news reports were biased in favor of the Empire, so the Rebels were most likely portrayed as troublemakers.

    I wonder if cartoons were shown on the HoloNet. I can see it now:

    "Can Lord Vader defeat the evil Jedi Knights? Tune in next week for another exciting episode of 'Sith Lords.'"

  21. JediHPDrummer Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 23, 2002
    star 3
    HISTORY LESSON!
    the fall of the galactic republic is about the same as the fall of the roman republic to julius caeser. The Senate in Rome was unstable when the roman republic was starting to fall. They couldn't solve anything, so what they would do is just send a person to go deal with it and then after that they would want ultimate power a dictator, and to be a dictator you would have to have sympathy from people, the plebians (the poor). Julius Caeser and Palpatine go on a very similar journey. Julius Caeser started as a young army general who teamed up with pompey and Crassus who all wanted to overthrow the senate and take over. But of course they wont always work together, using each other sometimes to get power like the trade federation, count dooku, sepratist movement and palpatine, palaptine is just really using them to get to power. So what happens is again the senate sends of caeser to take care of everything as an army genaral to expand the roman empire(not a dictatorship yet) so he goes of to fight the at Gaul which is present day france and he expands it tremendously and gets a lot of great sympathy. Kind of like when palpatine gets elected chancellor because of his sympathy for the naboo crisis. The Senate can't deal with the crisis itself so the queen deals with it which gives palpatine an easy way to power. the same thing happens to palpatine again, the senate is in a crisis and they cant deal with it, they senate can't solve anything so they give it to one person to resolve it and thats palpatine and his makes a grand army of the republic. Rome has had a lot of leaders that wanted power, the gracchus brothers, marius, sulla did get to be emperor, but only for a few years and gave power back to the senate and gov. But at that time the gov. had no real power. And at that time they had 2 crisis in their hand, Rebellion in the east by the turks and the greeks which again they appointed one person which was Pompey and the slave rebellion led by spartacus who again got Crassus to solve it. Then when pompey comes back to rome he wants to be recogized but gets rejected and thats when crassus, julius caeser and pompey get together to get ultimate power. they are all greedy to get power, crassus again wants to be brave so he goes to the east to get some sympathy from the people but sadly dies. Crassus is gone, so it leaves pompey and caeser. caeser is finished with the battles at gaul so he wants to come back and get power. But pompey wont let him and pompey tells caeser to "retire", pompey doesnt want to share power. But caeser refuses and goes and attacks pompey and wins, a theme throught history, when you have a army thats hout and fighting against pompeys army who have been sitting around, of course caeser's army will win. Pompey will escape to egypt, he will catch him there, and attack the egyptians. Ptolemeg and cleopatra were in power but they both wanted one person in power so of coruse caeser chose to overthrow ptolemeg, he kills him and pompey and egypt goes to cleopatra and caeser and cleopatra get married. This was a strong sympathy vote for caeser, so when he came back to rome, with all his power he decalred himself emeperor. And people liked him, lowered price of food, increases police force, built new temples and buildings, very popular leader. So the contrast with palpatine, you can see it, and i'm guessing in episode 3 he will be finished with the WAR! and he will win it, get a lot of sympathy and he already has power, he will declre himself emperor just like caeser did. And like hitler he will blame the jedi like he blamed the jews, so there we go. theres a history lesson for all of you.
  22. DellowFelegate Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2002
    star 1
    I like G-FETT's thoughts, especially about the Senate giving Palpatine the title and powers of emperor. I can imagine the scene now...

    PALPATINE: Well my fellow citizens, we have at last vanquished the Separatists who sought to rend our republic in two! (wild applause) And now that the crisis that prolonged my tenure is past, it is time that by law I step aside...(fake dejection on his face)

    ENTIRE SENATE: NO!!! NO!!!! NO!!!

    SOME SENATOR: I move that this body proclaim Palpatine emperor, so that he never has to leave us!! (wild applause)


    A major theme of the prequels seems to be that evil is often self-inflicted. Just as Anakin creates his own fall, so does the republic.
  23. bedada3 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 2002
    star 4
    When a republic turns into an empire, the republic doesn't fall. It rises too high.

    "fall of the republic" doesn't work.
  24. DarthAttorney Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2000
    star 6
    There's some great posts in this thread guys, keep it up! :D

    "I think he will probably reveal the truth to the galaxy, that Dooku ordered the Clone Army"

    I'm not so sure about that. Think about how it looks if you remove what we know from the Jedi point of view. Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas commisioned the clone army at the say-so of the Jedi Council, using Republic credits to pay for it and then hid the whole deal from the Senate! :eek:

    Add to this that the most high Jedi Master, Yoda, knew of the existence of the clone army! He himself led them from Kamino to Geonosis to save the Jedi's bacon in their most dire hour! And he's going to stand in front of the galaxy and tell everyone that the Jedi didn't know? Not to mention that the villainous Count Dooku used his superhuman powers to tear the galaxy asunder! These powers are uncontrolled! We must reign them and their mysterious powers in so this can never again be allowed to reoccur!

    The hide of these Jedi who stole Republic funds, deceived the Senate for no less than 10 years and continue to lie about their knowledge!

    See, it's not hard. ;)

    I also wonder what Palpatine will use as the catalyst that moves the citizens of the Republic/Empire from potential energy (general distrust in the galaxy towards the Jedi) to actual kinetic energy (the Jedi purge). I mean, the Reichstag fire triggered it in Germany and hopefully someone can cite something in the Roman scenario that led to the same deal in Rome against the Christians.

    There has to be a clear point where it all changes from one state to another and I think it's going to have to be something surrounding that young Skywalker chap going nuts and getting very violent in a very public way ;)

    Edit: And in regards to Palpatine retaining his powers, it's simply a case of going from one enemy to the next and simultaneously whittling down any detractors who might stand against him by sending them to the front lines. Between AotC and ANH, we know the battle moves from the Seperatists to the Rebel Alliance. If Palpatine keeps the Republic/Empire in a constant state of emergency then he'll never need to lay down the powers he's had invested in him "when the crisis abates".....because they never leave the crisis ;)

    When all opposition to him within the Senate is eliminated, he can call himself Emperor and people will go along because they stand to gain as much as he does. :)
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