Discussion in 'Literature' started by AdmiralNick22
, Sep 6, 2015.
Don't see the word Coruscant appear even once in that article.
True, but "The Rebel Alliance's Declaration of Rebellion condemned Emperor Palpatine and his Empire for instituting a policy of blatant speciesism and genocide against the nonhuman peoples of the Galaxy."
It'd be strange if Palpatine instituted this everywhere except where he lived...
Like I said though, Ciena Ree visits Imperial Coruscant and is surprised to find it so cosmopolitan and diverse after her own mostly-human upbringing.
I'd also note that the Declaration of Rebellion is a partisan, ideological document and we should not be accepting its allegations as fact. Far from it, in fact.
But even putting that aside, Coruscant and the Core Worlds were the heart of the Republic. The Empire tried to encourage as much continuity with the Republic as possible even while changing it to fit the New Order. The purported anti-alien policies would most likely occur out of public scrutiny and away from Coruscant, if they even existed to the same extent as canon.
We chatted about this a bit with Jason Fry when anti-alienism came up in his Edge of the Galaxy book series. A sports coach hated aliens, and the Leonis family patriarch remarked that such small-minded bigotry wouldn't occur in the Core Worlds. Not only is this evidence of what I'm saying above, but more to the point: Jason was asked about this and he said that his thoughts were that the Empire wasn't so much anti-alien as a matter of policy, but that if an individual was anti-alien they'd probably be an Imperial. This is a fine distinction to make of course, but an important one.
After all, in canon, the Emperor's Grand Vizier is an alien. He's the one running Coruscant most of the time, and he's the public face of the Imperial government to the citizenry and media.
(I'd suggest, OOU, that the differences with Legends are due to exactly the need to account for the Prequels and the diversity of them. The EU tended to assume the Core Worlds were largely human and therefore the Empire reinforced existing stereotypes. The PT told us the opposite, which is why the canon goes the opposite way: the Empire sort of allows existing diversity to continue but imposes anti-alien policies where people aren't looking).
Mas Amedda is literally a token. Palpatine: "I'm not speciest, my vizier is an alien!" Sure, Sheev. And actually, I know Sheev himself isn't a speciest. However, he used speciesm to bring out the worst in his followers, and to keep them under control.
I have no doubt Mas Amedda willingly looked the other way while the Empire mistreated aliens even on Coruscant. He wants to keep his power. He'll walk out of the room to pretend it's not happening, like in ROTS.
From http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Coruscant :
The Empire's policies against non-humans and its tightening control of the population caused unrest, especially among the alien populations of the underworld. As the Galactic Civil War took shape, the Empire began moving its Mon Calamari population on Coruscant. The aggressiveness of the forced relocations caused rioting to erupt in the Old Market Sector, which was brutally put down by Imperial forces.
Also from the article: The planet's residents were known as the Coruscanti and of the estimated one trillion inhabitants of the planet, 68% were believed to be human.
I'd hardly call the most senior governing official in the entire Empire a token.
As for that bit about Mon Cals, thanks -- that's interesting. I noticed it's from "One Thousand Levels Down," which is one of the first (if not the first, I forget) new canon stories we've ever gotten. Good story, if rarely ever mentioned. But the Wook overstates it quite a bit -- Mon Calamari were being relocated from one specific area, IIRC, not the whole planet. It's been a while, and I don't have that issue on hand to check.
In any case, it's an interesting datapoint and I appreciate it. But I don't know that it is enough to support the idea of "humanocentrism." Same with the bit about the planet's population estimate.
Alderaan is very, very human. Would we call it humanocentric?
Those were everybody's war mongers, not just the First Order's.
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I think you're overstating Amedda's importance. How important do you think Vader found Amedda? If he's replaceable, he is a token. And he was very replaceable, see Amedda and Leia in Aftermath Life Debt--
"You…you're serious. You want me to surrender…the entire Galactic Empire?"
"You don't have the power, do you?"
"So, get it back. And then bring a treaty to our door."
And who replaced him? Oh yes, Gallius Rax, a human.
I have no doubt Coruscant laws treat everyone equally. But Palpatine ingrained xenophobia in their minds, not the law:
"Well, officially we're not allowed to disrespect aliens, either. I say officially, because that what's the General Orders say we're supposed to do. But that's not always what we really do."
"You dislike nonhumans?"
―Eli Vanto and Thrawn discussing xenophobia in the Empire[src]
From One Thousand Levels Down:
As the crowd grew, the Mon Calamari pointed to the strangers one by one, naming species and planets Anandra barely knew — names she’d only heard mentioned in muted asides. Then finally, he pointed to her.
She knew she would have questions tomorrow. She would need to learn how these people lived, what they hoped for. She would need to share news from the upper levels. She would need to decide whether to give up her blaster or use it against the Empire.
But that night, she could put those concerns aside. That night, she'd found home and family in the depths of Coruscant.
It's clear--aliens are put into the lower levels. People from above levels barely even know their planet names and species names.
And Naboo has a demonstrable history of interspecies conflict that's a key point in TPM, while Coruscant as featured in the very same film doesn't. As Jello's saying, it is if anything depicted as the cosmopolitan opposite of Naboo's provincial attitudes (with Amidala, who's part of both worlds, being the one to bridge the gap and bring more progressive attitudes to play on her home planet). TPM also makes a point of slavery being viable on rim worlds as opposed to the core. I consider those lines to be pretty clearly drawn.
Context is important. This is post-Endor, with the Empire crumbling, with the civilian government sidelined, and with Gallius Rax pulling strings behind the scenes in order to ensure it comes all crashing down. Yet even then Rax acknowledges that Amedda is the titular head of the Galactic Empire. That's far from being a token.
I don't see that has anything to do with Palpatine -- it has to do with what I was mentioning earlier from the Edge of the Galaxy book, that people have their own individual biases.
We're extrapolating from one child to how the citizenry of Coruscant behaves? And what from that passage says that aliens are put into the lower levels? All this passage establishes is that aliens are on the lower levels that this kid has never heard of -- not that aliens are not found on the upper levels.
I think you're reading a lot into texts that aren't there and using texts to support positions that they don't support.
Compare this passage from Lost Stars, to a character at the pinnacle of Imperial culture on Coruscant: the Royal Imperial Academy. She is similarly unfamiliar with various types of aliens, but encounters them nonetheless. And she's not on the lower levels.
"Instead, Ciena’s faith came from her sheer joy in the academy, and in Coruscant itself. Although she loved and missed her life in the Jelucani valleys, her universe had expanded a hundredfold, and every new part of it seemed wonderful to her. To walk along corridors with members of a dozen different races; to hear their various languages with their unfamiliar syllables, whistles, and clicks; to look into the sky and spot a dozen different types of spacecraft every single day— it enthralled her."
Gray, Claudia. Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Lost Stars (Kindle Locations 703-704). Disney Book Group. Kindle Edition.
And let's not forget, @sidv88, your entire thesis was about "Coruscant elitism" -- this discussion of changes under the Empire is a digression, because you cannot support the assertion that Coruscant is inherently anti-alien. The Prequels and Clone Wars alone firmly disprove that idea.
In light of the Prequels and Lucas's ideas about the galaxy, the Core Worlds are not the EU's discriminatory planets. They're advanced, progressive, and diverse. Including and perhaps especially Coruscant.
In the EU the Rim was literally the territory of the Sith for a thousand years, while the Republic held out in the Core. Of course the Rim is the worst part of the Empire! A stormtrooper beating an alien on Tatooine is just reliving the good ol days where the Sith encouraged that stuff. The Core would naturally be the most Republican place.
Would all humans in the GFFA not be of the same species? Yes, it's likely that some humans have become different species on different planets.
Mirialans, Chiss, Wroonians, Pantorans, Barolians, Zeltrons. All just colonists who spent a while on their worlds and adapted. The Chiss, for example, were from Generation Ships long before the Republic.
The KOTOR/SWTOR stuff was always a little weird about that. They were Rim-based yet adopted some of the superficial mannerisms of the Galactic Empire, which themselves were rooted in the Old Republic (the Coruscanti accents, but even things like uniforms -- the Old Republic Judicials at the beginning of TPM wore uniforms with the same cut as Imperial ones).
Most of the EU's lore about Imperial atrocities etc. were written in the earlier days, before the PT and before KOTOR/SWTOR. And we were meant to think these were Core-based attitudes. But of course, that had to change after the Prequels.
This was my biggest problem with SWTOR. It made sense in KOTOR because the Sith officers i.e. Saul Karath had defected to the Sith with Revan/Malak, so they were Core World-bred. It was SWTOR that has a Sith Empire in the Unknown Regions that somehow had the mannerisms, accents, and dress of a Core World Empire. They did it for brand recognition, of course (which is why Republic troops looked just like clone troopers), but it was still annoying. KOTOR didn't need a bunch of recognizable PT or OT era things to be the 2003 Game of the Year.
That really has always bugged me from an in-universe perspective. Generally I'd put it down to it being similar to how the Krayt Empire was composed of a lot of GA bureaucrats on a lower level. Vitiate's Sith needed a backbone on which to build the empire, as they were fairly small to begin with, leading to at least half of the Sith Empire in reality being a 'Vichy Republic'. That's one way I could interpret it.
I reconciled that to be the result of the human stock in Sith space being descended from the Tapani Sector, which is about as Core as you can get in the Colonies.
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Wow reading that was great! As a newcomer to this site (but an oldie film fan as I was a kid during OT era) this was so interesting and fills in a lot of gaps if you only watch the films (never read any EU or NEU books).
Have to say reading all of that shows there is a really rich vein to be mined for an anthology film (done in the style of Rogue One I suggest) or TV series. There is the challenge of the OT characters but perhaps the story(s) could be from others POV so they only do very small cameos (like Leia in RO).
Yes but in Legends they never conquered the Core. Save for a handful of bastions at Teta, Corellia and a foothold in the Bormea, which totalling a decade jointly.
And most of those instances post-date ToR.
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RE: Core Worlds & discrimination, it's really a mixed bag. There is no denying that Coruscant is one of the most (if not the most) cosmopolitan planets in the Galaxy. It was the galactic capital for millennia and long ago ceased being a "human" planet. Of course, a world can of course be both cosmopolitan and also have elites that practice discrimination, but I don't think it's fair to say humans are more susceptible to this than other species.
Because Palpatine's Empire in practice (even if not in formal policy) made humans the primary species of it's military and political apparatus, the worst sorts of humans often rose to the top of his echelons of power. The Empire of the EU pursued a formal policy of racism and oppression of non-human species. As @GrandAdmiralJello has pointed out, in the new canon these sorts of things obviously exist, but they seem to not be part of a formal Imperial policy. That doesn't make them any less evil, just less institutionalized.
The upcoming Star Wars and Darth Vader comics will tell us the story of Mon Cala's occupation and eventual liberation. I'm interested to see what the Empire's motives are and how they are explained.
All this Palpatine being pro-human stuff is funny to me personally, since when I was a kid (before the prequels came out), I always thought the Emperor was an alien. I didn't even know he had the name Palpatine until reading my official Super Star Wars (for the Super Nintendo) Strategy Guide.
I mean what human has that kind of skin and eyes? And that bumpy forehead? We all accepted that Worf from Star Trek was an alien...
Kinda off topic, but I do wish that George Lucas didn't make Palpatine's face become deformed as a result of the duel with Mace Windu. I loved the old explanation, which was that Palpatine was so immersed in the Dark Side of the Force that it was literally decaying and deforming his body.
More on topic, I'm very curious about the New Republic's military industrial capacity in the months post-Endor. Per Lost Star, it appears that most major shipyards are still in Imperial hands. However, we know of three major yards producing combat craft for the NRDF very quickly (Mon Cala, Nadiri, and Corellia). Nadiri is in the Bormea Sector, so it presumably feel into NR hands when that portion of the Core was liberated an Chandrila became the first capital. I'm still assuming that Mon Cala (with help from Telaris) was liberated pre-Endor, so the Rebels had it's shipbuilding capacity immediately after Endor.
Corellia is the big unknown to me. It it one of the largest yards in the Galaxy, I am wondering if there was a major battle or if Corellia simply declared independence from the Empire and booted out the local Moff. Corellia is cranking out assault frigates and Bunkerbuster corvettes pre-Jakku, so I wonder how it fell into NR control.
I think one of the failures of the sequel trilogy is we did not get a good lead up to it. Sort of a new Essential Atlas that gave us the broad strokes of galactic history in the new canon and carried up to just before TFA. ROTJ/Endor, Battle of Jakku, formation of the NR, the Imperial controlled space and he FO's operations in teh Unknown Regions, The rise and fall of Luke;s academy and the political/astrogeographic breakdown of the known galaxy. They could have done this as sort of a "story bible" that stories would have to fit in without giving too much away about what the ST was going to cover.
So you'd want this hypothetical pre-TFA story bible to not "give too much away about what the ST was going to cover" . . .and at the same time cover "the rise and fall of Luke's academy". . . I'm seeing a BIT of a contradiction here.
Anyway, as much as I'd like the Endor-Jakku era to be expanded, I'd rather it be expanded gradually through stories instead of them making a lore book that pre plans everything out that all future writers have to follow. You used the Essential Atlas as an example. I love that book, but can you imagine if, for example, the sections on the Imperial Warlords were written before The Thrawn Trilogy and X-wing books, and Zhan and Stackpole/Allston were expected to base everything off of it? . Lore/reference books should be made to support stories, not the other way around.
It just strikes me as a bit of a weird expectations. After all, when the prequels were being made, even when we all knew the broad strokes such as Anakin's fall, the most we got was some general information about the Trade Federation and state of the Repubic in the Visual Dictionary. IMO it's about on par with the general information of the rise of the FO we've gotten now in the visual dictionaries and similar sources. They weren't exactly going to give us a complete history of the clone wars or something at that point (especially since I think at that point the rough outline still had clones as the bad guys).