Saga How do the planets in the fictional movies/comics/series of Star Wars govern themselves?

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by bobthekillerjedi, Jul 4, 2013.

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  1. bobthekillerjedi Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2013
    I understand that they're are senators (comparable to Canadian members of parliament?) from each planet (comparable to Canadian provinces?), that go to Coruscant (comparable to Ottawa House of Commons :D?), but how exactly do the legislative and executive branches function among all these senators? And what kind of powers would the grand chancellor have? How are fundings managed? And in regards to the original series, what governing body does the Emperor belong to, and what are his powers there? Do different governments collapse somewhere between the prequels and sequels? So many questions around the topic :D.
  2. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2012
    star 3
    The Senate is probably modeled on the US Senate (Lucas being an American) and probably also on a false notion of the Roman Senate (which was a self-perpetuating oligarchic institution with no representative element), as also is the American Senate. No House of Representatives though....

    The nearest Earth-like simily would be a UN with teeth, which just makes me shudder actually. So...don't think too deeply about it. The Republic, as it was originally conceived (as an unseen element in the OT) represented good - in terms of freedom, democracy etc., as opposed to the Empire which represented oppression, militarism...evil. That the apparent structure from the PT seems to lack any real democratic merit should just be put down to the simplification for the purpose of the story.
  3. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    Apr 26, 2009
    star 4
    I disagree about the Republic necessarily representing 'good' - from the get-go, it was established as having become corrupt over time (although not specifically so in the OT films themselves):
    - prologue to the Star Wars novelisation, 1977

    However, it was clearly portrayed as the better alternative to the Empire. It's always reminded me of Gracchus' line from Spartacus:
    Last edited by Darth_Nub, Jul 5, 2013
  4. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2012
    star 3

    My real point was not to look too closely at the mechanisms of the Republic because they are simply a surface rendition, or representation, of democracy.

    As an aside, the film you quote is typical of the idea I was talking about - the idea of the Roman Senate being democratic. If it is referring to what often Senators of this time meant by freedom (ie their freedom to make money) then the use of Gracchus is ironic. The Gracchi (by the time of Crassus) had been destroyed as a political force in Rome after the murder of the two brothers (Tiberius and Gaius) by Senatorial death squads (with no constitutional basis, though later it was claimed that 'legal' cessation of constitutional norms had been in place..) because they had dared to use the Plebeian comitia to pass legislation (perfectly legal) and therefore by-passed the authority of the Senatorial oligarchy. The Gracchi were reformers whom opposed the Senate's 'freedom'.
  5. MOC Yak Face Moderator, Classic Trilogy

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    Jan 6, 2004
    star 4
    Probably govern themselves as they wish. Likely a variety of systems. Once representatives become part of the Republic Senate obviously governed by their rules in terms of conduct, procedure etc.
  6. bobthekillerjedi Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2013


    I like the reference to the UN. "I've come before you to resolve this attack on our sovereignty now! I was not elected to watch my people suffer and die while you discuss this invasion in a committee!"-Phantom Menace. It reminds me of a sort of League of Nations type group, but I wonder how economic/financial issues are addressed among the planets. My guess was that each representative would address their own planet's economy with a cabinet of their own, since the Galactic Senate seems like a place where war-time issues are discussed
    Interesting prologue. I seem to be over thinking the whole process of Palpatine becoming Senator, and how he began going outside the limit of his power. I can imagine it took some time for the people to understand his intentions, but I wonder how exactly corruption came into the Republic. It's also funny pointing out all the WW2 references from the movies :D Palpatine changing his status to Emperor was like Hitler changing his status to Fuhrer. George Lucas even got the name "Storm trooper" from the original German Storm Troopers.
  7. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    Tribunes were probably the most "representative" part of Roman government:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tribune

    In addition to the ANH prologue, The RoTJ novel also has a bit of background about Palpatine's rise to become Emperor.

    Back in the days when he was merely Senator Palpatine, the galaxy had been a Republic of stars, cared for and protected by the Jedi Knighthood that had watched over it for centuries. But inevitably it had grown too large - too massive a bureaucracy had been required, over too many years, in order to maintain the Republic. Corruption had set in.

    A few greedy senators had started the chain reaction of malaise, some said; but who could know? A few perverted bureaucrats, arrogant, self-serving - and suddenly a fever was in the stars. Governor turned on governor, values eroded, trusts were broken - fear had spread like an epidemic in those early years, rapidly and without cause, and no-one knew what was happening, or why.

    And so Senator Palpatine had seized the moment. Through fraud, clever promises, and astute political maneuvering, he'd managed to get himself elected head of the Council. And then through subterfuge, bribery, and terror, he'd named himself Emperor.
  8. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2012
    star 3

    In terms of the Tribunate...absolutely (that was the office that the Gracchi used), and the Senatorial elite were vehemently opposed to the power of the Tribunes.

    As for the prologues; one can see how the emphasis upon the Emperor (now named) as the true power, rather than being subservient to the assistants and boot-lickers (who, in the form of such as Tarkin, were the villains of ANH) has altered. One can read the former as a sort of 'perception' while the Emperor was really instituting a 'Hitler-esque' chain of command (by which I mean that he lets it be known what results he desires, leaves areas of responsibility of office vague and overlapping and allow the competition for his approval bring about those results).

    Interestingly, the way it is portrayed in the ROTJ novel (specifically"and no-one knew what was happening, or why." and the following "And so Senator Palpatine had seized the moment. " ) leaves it open to what we are (I think) shown in the PT - that Palpatine is behind it all. That was what no-one knew "He was deceived by a lie. We all were."
    Last edited by only one kenobi, Jul 5, 2013
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