Saga Does Democracy work in a Galaxy Far, Far Away? So much squabbling!! They need someone wise!

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by BigAl6ft6, Jul 25, 2017.

  1. BigAl6ft6 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2012
    star 6
    Sort of cobbled together from a few posts I made in the Lit forum about issue #4 of Rogue One comic adaptation but this did pop into my head upon viewing Rogue One. Which is, as Anakin puts it, I don't think the system works.

    When I first watched Rogue One, I do like that the Rebel Council is still sorta in Republic / Imperial Senate mode, endlessly debating and not getting anything done so Jyn and Co. have to actually do something. you can take the senators out of the senate and make them a Rebel Council but they're still bickering senators, dangit. Democracy in Star Wars kinda stinks, doesn't it?

    They do make with the squabbling a lot. the Old Republic had so much bickering it led to a Separatist succession movement.

    Even when faced with something called a freakin' "Death Star", the Senators (soon to be former Senators) and higher up muckity mucks of The Council (who are still in Senator mode) can't agree on a course of action and it takes "Rogue One" (and, y'know, Admiral Raddus taking off with all the booms) to get them going.

    The New Republic has it's own internal divisions and they don't clamp down on the First Order so they get blown up.

    Anakin spewing authoritarian dogma to Padme on Naboo actually started to sound sensible considering what happens to democratic debate in a galaxy far far away

    ANAKIN: I don't think the system works.
    PADME: How would you have it work?
    ANAKIN: We need a system where the politicians sit down and discuss the problems, agree what's in the best interests of all the people, and then do it.
    PADME: That is exactly what we do. The trouble is that people don't always agree. In fact, they hardly ever do.
    ANAKIN: Then they should be made to.
    PADME: By whom? Who's going to make them?
    ANAKIN: I don't know. Someone.
    PADME: You?
    ANAKIN: Of course not me.
    PADME: But someone.
    ANAKIN: Someone wise.
    PADME: That sounds an awful lot like a dictatorship to me.
    ANAKIN: Well, if it works...

    It's possible the war probably wouldn't have happened without Sith Lord intervention. But the Senate was bogged down in procedure and endless debates and planetary conflict even before Palpatine was elected Chancellor. The fact that the democracy isn't working is a reason it becomes the Empire in the first place.

    I think Sidious accelerated the collapse of the Republic but I don't quite believe that the Republic actually works, as Anakin mentions, they spend a lot of time bickering and nothing gets done. Same with the Rebel Council, same with the New Republic.

    All 3 situations it takes a strong move of someone outside the system, Sidious, Jyn and Cassian, and General Organa, to get things moving from the Republic senatorial stalemate. (Yes, I know I just compared Sidious to Jyn and Leia but kinda roll with it. he DID get things done, wicked and evil they may be.)

    Star Wars is a story where a single individual can change the fate of the galaxy, that is baked into the very first movie itself. But the reason that happens is because the galaxy is a cold, uncaring place that only a few individuals can change because the power holders don't seem to care.
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  2. anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 9
    Preemptive warning to all posting here not to make any comparisons to real world politics. Keep it on GFFA terms.

    Great thread @BigAl6ft6 . I'll try to add my thoughts later. (I need to look at the Rogue One comic again myself.)
  3. BigAl6ft6 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2012
    star 6
    Yah, I agree, to try to keep the debate to Democracy in Star Wars. And how it keeps dangblasted falling apart. Or being blown up! Yikes!

    The Rogue One comic #4 is basically the same as the movie but the Rebel council scene in there always pops to me as "Geez, these people are really bad at this whole decision making thing". And the Rebel Council seems pretty deep on Republic / Imperial senators.

    But one thing that is also fun in the Rogue One comic is it integrates a cut trailer line into the narrative (changes it slightly but makes me very happy): Bohdi and Jyn are outside of the council meeting and Bohdi says they can't go in there and Jyn responds "We're Rebels, aren't we? Let's rebel!"

    Which, once again, is what gets the trolley moving, Jyn and Co don't listen to the council, they go off on their own and that saves the galaxy! Like Anakin sez "Then they should be made to" by "someone wise". In this case, the wise ones were Jyn and Cassian (and Raddus, being Rad)

    Like Palpatine describes the whole Republic senate "There is no civility, only politics!" Yes he's a lying Sith Lord but gotta be truth in there somewhere. And Sidious himself also admits to the Trade Federation that he "Has the senate bogged down in procedure". there has to be a political mechanism in place in the first place which is malleable for him to bog them down in it.
    Last edited by BigAl6ft6, Jul 25, 2017
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  4. DARTH_MU Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2005
    star 4
    It's too big a Republic.
    When the CIS want to secede, they should allow it.
    A loose confederation works best.
  5. Jester J Binks Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 19, 2016
    star 4
    [IMG]
    mesa propose that the senate
    give immediately representative powers
    to the clones.
  6. CLee Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 2017
    star 1
    Well a big part of the problem is that, contrary to Anakin's expectations, rarely is one or some things actually in the best interests of all the people, different people and groups usually really do have opposing interests, and even when there are things that are for all the people they usually aren't clearly so early on, it understandably takes a while to persuade and compromise.
    It's possible the Republic had excessive thresholds for passing legislation but that's an understandable procedure. It's also possible that the Separatists thought the Republic government was too decisive, active and imposing.

    Getting the Senate/government to overlook an invasion of one of its planets is a bit much/extreme ineffectiveness but it seemed that a big part of that was that Valorum was distrusted with (false but for the most part genuinely believed) corruption allegations, that a chancellor didn't need to have more power per se or that power was too divided, there just needed to be more trust among the politicians for the leader to be able to lead and end the crisis. Some skepticism and investigating of corruption of leaders is a good thing but it shouldn't be too easy for false claims to spread and persist.
    Last edited by CLee, Jul 26, 2017
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  7. Kenneth Morgan Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 27, 1999
    star 5
    This was addressed way back in the prologue of the ANH novelization. It says that the Republic had grown so big and so powerful, that the bureaucracy needed to keep it going had become overstretched and unable to do much of anything. This resulted in corruption setting in, so that while the Republic was outwardly as powerful as ever, it was rotting from inside. And then along comes Palpatine...
  8. Nibelung Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Apr 18, 2017
    star 2
    It doesn't work because the plot depends on it not working. Simple as that.
  9. PymParticles Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 2014
    star 5
    I don't think a government that large could ever work. There are too many distinct cultures and too many different species with different needs all trying to find a uniform fit for everyone, basically, and that's ignoring the corruption that must have been running rampant through it. It's an outright wonder it lasted a thousand years in the form it finally dissolved in.
  10. Nibelung Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Apr 18, 2017
    star 2
    It's also worth noting that, while the member worlds of the Republic may send elected representatives to Coruscant, it's unclear how democratic the planetary governments themselves are.

    The Landsraad in Dune was based on the Imperial German Parliament, which had a freely elected national legislature - in stark contrast to the often very unequal and class-restricted governments of the various German provinces (particularly Prussia). Something similar may apply here: AFAIK nothing says that a Republic world with a free franchise in elections to the Galactic Senate can't be governed by an absolute monarchy at home.
    Last edited by Nibelung, Jul 26, 2017
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  11. Martoto77 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2016
    star 4
    Gosh. If you based your impressions of how democracy works and who it works for, or otherwise, on the only discourse given in the movies - this is what you get ....


    A politically naive teenager that doesn't understand or care about the difference between democracy and dictatorship


    A twenty something former Queen and Senator who is supposedly steeped in the system yet comes across with the demeanour and the newly acquired nous of a high school class president candidate, and who is also easily enthralled by the teenager upon whom the concept of politics is obviously lost.

    If the depth of the political implications of the story on the characters is supposed to define Star Wars, then Aotc did its damndest to try and sandbag that aspect.

    It only tantalises me up to the point where you realise that the characters in it are not worth caring about in respect of how the political system affects them and vice versa.
    Last edited by Martoto77, Jul 27, 2017
  12. Alexrd Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2009
    star 5
    They are technically free to leave, but that's not the issue. The issue is that the movement is large enough that, once they leave, the Republic will be left defenseless against it (i.e: the government not being able to deliver its most basic function: the protection of its people). As stated in AOTC, there aren't enough Jedi to protect the Republic.
  13. DARTH_MU Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2005
    star 4
    That's assuming that once CIS systems will declare war against the Republic once they secede.

    Of course, it's ran by the Sith, but
    CIS reps: Yay! We seceded
    Sidious: Now declare war.
    CIS reps: um... why?
    Sidious: Just do it.
    CIS reps: no
    Sidious: Kill them, Lord Vader.
    CIS reps: battledroids! to me!
  14. Alexrd Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2009
    star 5
    It's a possibility that they shouldn't ignore, with or without the Sith scheming behind the scenes.
  15. Martoto77 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2016
    star 4
    That is imperialism right there. With or without Sith scheming.
  16. Alexrd Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2009
    star 5
    In what world is that imperialism?
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  17. DARTH_MU Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2005
    star 4
    I agree with Alexrd this time.
    Martoto 77, are you saying anyone who declare war is an imperialist?
  18. CLee Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 2017
    star 1
    I thought it was more the case that the Republic just wanted the Jedi to keep policing the worlds that wanted to separate and, since those worlds refused to receive the Jedi or otherwise cooperate with them, crime seemed to be increasing, that was the difficulty the Jedi had in fulfilling their functions.
  19. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 10
    Right. There were a number of incidences going on across multiple worlds/systems that made it difficult for the Jedi to help maintain order. Much less the Senate. These hostile actions were being tied to the Separatist movement and is why Palpatine was negotiating with them to bring about a peaceful solution. The Jedi were being stretched thin as a result. You can glean that from the title crawl and the opening scenes in the Chancellor's office.
  20. Alexrd Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2009
    star 5
    What's stated in the opening crawl is that "this separatist movement, under the leadership of the mysterious Count Dooku, has made it difficult for the limited number of Jedi Knights to maintain peace and order in the galaxy".

    It's not the Republic wanting the Jedi to police the Separatists. It's the movement itself, and the call to separate from the Republic that's creating unrest. Worlds/systems are divided and this infighting and conflict is problematic since the Jedi already have their hands full as it is.
    Last edited by Alexrd, Jul 27, 2017
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  21. Alexrd Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2009
    star 5
    Not even declare war. But having an army in and on itself.
  22. DARTH_MU Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2005
    star 4
    Having a standing army is common sense.
    That's not imperialist
    I guess some people don't know exactly what Imperialist means.
    oh well.
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  23. BigAl6ft6 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2012
    star 6
    I think "the galaxy is too darn big" is probably a decent answer, since not everyone is going to agree eventually someone has to start strong-arming them to keep it from all boiling over. but even the Rebel council and the New Republic (which was smaller than the old republic) still had their own problems until some outsider goes off and moves things along. The ANH novelization quote does sort of lay that out, it's so big it's corrupt and rotten from the inside out.

    I'm not sure the source, but I'm 90% certain there's a Lucas quote around the time of the release of ROTS where he flat out says something like "All democracies eventually turn into dictatorships" When, if you take a long view of the politics in Star Wars, it seems to happen a bit, on both sides. Okay I am somewhat comparing independent military action taken by Jyn and Leia to "dictatorships" but, hey, ain't that far off.
    Last edited by BigAl6ft6, Jul 27, 2017
  24. CLee Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 2017
    star 1
    I guess I focused more on the order part than the peace part-but it seems like the prospect of potential or actual separations wouldn't have much current impact on either presently unless they were also actively already refusing to cooperate with the Jedi (and their authority not being nearly Galaxy-wide was causing them to have more difficulty and be less effective).

    That's definitely one of the problems with separation in real life, that often the people within the separating region are themselves divided about whether they should do so but I didn't get the sense that in the film there was violent conflict within the separating worlds although I guess even nonviolent conflict between the leaders of the world, with some outright wanting to leave the Republic, would reduce the authority the Jedi had.

    Although it wasn't really clear if the Separatists, before the war started, were against the Jedi or what their alternative to law enforcement would be (other than, presumably, a lot more involvement by local planet forces).
    Last edited by CLee, Jul 27, 2017
  25. Martoto77 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2016
    star 4
    If the CIS want to separate, the possibility of a hypothetical war afterwards which the Republic might not win being used as an excuse to deny the CIS their freedom is a form of imperialism.

    It's like saying the slaves can't be freed because they would outnumber the existing free people. Or a colony can't be given independence because it needs the colonist to protect them from themselves, or so they claim.
    Last edited by Martoto77, Jul 27, 2017
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