CT How evil was the Galactic Empire?

Discussion in 'Classic Trilogy' started by Barkey Foreman, Apr 5, 2014.

  1. Barkey Foreman Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Mar 10, 2014
    I have to state first and foremost I am not familiar with the EU aside from the KOTOR games so please forgive my ignorance.

    I am wondering what all the big fuzz about rebelling against the Galactic Empire. When I was still a Star Wars fan years ago, I was also a history buff. When I watched the Rebels int he OT fight the empire, as much I LOVED Star Wars, I thought Princess Leia were stupid and naive for fighting in the name of "freedom". In fact I thought the Empire wasn't that bad and was actually a lesser evil compared to some of the chaotic parts of the Galaxy I seen in KOTOR (namely Korriban the home planet of the Sith). That the Empire overall was better than the Republic because it succeeded and bringing order.

    Sure there was executions but it was no worse than what I read of the Roman Empire during Pax Romana. Specifically what crossed my mind was that if the Empire was so evil why didn't they use RAPE as a form of torture for Princess Leia when she was captured?

    Leia and the Rebels (except for Luke because it was his duty as the first new Jedi in years) seemed like children who thought democracy was the key to bringing peace adn if they replaced the Empire with a new democratic style (or in this case, Republican style) government, all corruption would go away and wars would stop just as we frequently see in the 3rd world when new democracies emerged. And I already was expecting the new Republic to face near collapse in its early years and facing problems just as much as the Empire did so reading the recent EU stuff after Episode 6 did not surprise me. A bunch of naive idiot idealists I thought.

    I already stated I am new to EU, bt based on what I've seen in the movies there is nothing to indicate Palpatine was anything close to as bad as Hitler or even Saddam Hussein. I mentioned if the Empire was evil they would have Leia raped? Many fans are already horrified by what little is shown when a robot is sent to interrogate Leia. If this was the Imperial Japanese Army of World War II, they would have locked Leia in a brothel building and gangraped her. This is just the start, she'd probably be forced to service 50 or even hundreds of soldiers daily and in addition to brutal successive rapes almost immediately after another, would be beaten hard daily with permanent injuries.

    The Imperial Japanese Army would probably have had Lando beheaded and let on a game of killing spree where Japanese grunts bayonet inhabitants of Lando's facility to death by the hundreds and thats the start.

    I apologize if I am breaking rules by posting some really nasty stuff, but after having recently returned to Star Wars and being a huge history buff (especially World War II), for all the talk of the Empire being evil, it doesn't strike me that much.

    Even their use of the Death Star to destroy Alderan was by Mongol standards not even close to the average horrors the Mongol Horde did to cities they conquer. The only difference was the size and population of Alderan. But if it was the Mongols, they wouldn't destroy it with the Death Star they would have sent an army into Alderan and ravaged the land themselves,mass raping the millions of women the planet and murdering children for fun. The Mongols would have sold anyone in Alderan who survived the brutal massacres to brutal slavery where they'd get whipped daily and raped.

    Does the EU make the Empire more terrifying than they were onscreen that Leia and rebels really had no choice but to fight? I mean for example did Stormtroopers rounded up women to be sent to prostitution and ravaged local stores to steal hardworking storeowners property? Did they ever round up a specific group and did experiments of them much like the Nazi Josef Mengele did on thousands of Jews? Did Palpatine ever advocate a "Final Solution" much like Hitler did?

    I mean going by the movies, the Empires were not so much evil in the traditional sense. It seemed more like pragmatic evil much like the Mongols-who were pretty NICE GUYS by history's standards despite what I said to what they would do to Alderan? I mean the Mongols could be negotiated with to avoid attacking your city and leave you in peace. Assuming you surrender, the Mongols would just leave your country to be provided you pay a tax (which was pretty light compared to say what Stalin forced on the various states of the USSR). In fact the Mongols would even send their own resources and armies to help you quell local problems as long as you serve as a loyal vessel to the Mongol Empire. The Galactic Empire seems no difference (even though the Mongol and it are evil compared to a genuine Republic like Canada).
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  2. My young Padawan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 13, 1999
    star 1
    Democracy is actually a good thing Barkey, regardless of what some of your teachers may have told you. To determine which absolute despotic ruler is best is sort of like picking your poison. Rape is not the only weapon that is used against women. You seem to be way too focused on that. I would say that George Lucas was simply telling a story about people fighting for freedom and as Americans we loved it as much as we loved Rocky and Superman back then. After all, it was a post-Vietnam America and we needed something to celebrate while we listened to our disco music. [face_flag]
  3. SkywalkerSquadron Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2013
    star 4
    You mention rape as a punishment a lot. I think rape is usually not committed for the punishment or interrogation of the rape victim, but typically more for the pleasure of the rapist. That's not to say rape isn't a damaging and terrible experience for the victim (it is), it's just that rape is often committed simply for the pleasure of the rapist.

    You said: "if the Empire was so evil why didn't they use RAPE as a form of torture for Princess Leia when she was captured?" There are plenty of other evil forms of torture than rape.

    You also talk about how the acts of the Mongols and the Roman Empire are worse than the acts of the Galactic Empire. That doesn't mean the Empire isn't bad, it just means other organizations have been worse. They destroyed the whole home planet of of the person they were interrogating, and the planet was full of innocent, peaceful people. That sounds like a pretty harsh interrogation method to me, while you seem to be saying their methods aren't that bad. And keep in mind that Star Wars movies are family-friendly. They're probably not going to be showing a whole lot of rape, prostitution, and beheadings (all things you mention).
    Last edited by SkywalkerSquadron, Apr 5, 2014
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  4. Cushing's Admirer Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2006
    star 6
    From what's shown, I don't think the Empire's all that bad. Then again, they don't show that much. There's a lot of accusations, some implications, and a few *deliberate* attempts to paint the Empire black which I don't buy. Alderaan being one of them.
  5. Padawan Fangirl Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2013
    star 3
    It's simple: Leia and the rebels fought for the democracy and freedom because the oppressive Empire was, in fact, a dangerous, evil government. Any government that hunts down potential/assumed opposition(read: the Great Jedi Purge and any small uprisings), destroys a whole planet literally to the point of total destruction, and basically has an overbearing military presence(it seems like stormtroopers of some sort were everywhere), is evil and far too powerful. No, democracy/republicanism doesn't solve everything, but it gives people a chance to speak their minds, which the Empire was infamously against. So even though it may seem just like trying to overhaul a government you don't like, the Rebellion was important if not necessary to save the galaxy. And it is not the same as trying to bring democracy to third world countries where the more powerful will quickly use the system to build a dictatorship.

    Sent from my stupid little astro droid using TapaTalk 2.
  6. MOC Yak Face Classic Trilogy and Saga Co-Mod.

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    star 4
    I believe it was Churchill who once said that democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others, or something like that.

    The Empire didn't agree.
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  7. Anakin Solo Revanchist Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 9, 2011
    star 4
    I'd be willing to put it on par with 17th-18th century Britain and the American Revolution. The British weren't inherently evil, but their government over the American colonies was tyrannical. People were scourged for refusing to take licenses, jurors were jailed for voting "not guilty", unfair taxes were being leveled against the people, and Britain wouldn't let the colonies print their own money. The Americans eventually resorted to fighting for their freedoms.
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  8. MOC Yak Face Classic Trilogy and Saga Co-Mod.

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    I'm sure not all the British people were evil, but some of the things you've described there as government actions were, if not evil, then pretty bloody unpleasant.
  9. Tornado Wrangler Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 22, 2013
    star 1
    It's easy to bring order when you take away freedom.

    I think I would have moved away from someone in the theatre if I heard them mumble "Wait a minute . . if they're so evil, why aren't they raping her?" during the interrogation scene.

    The Empire has only been in existence for 20 years or so. Most of those older rebels remember living in the Republic. I wouldn't call them children for believing the freedoms they once had are worth fighting for.

    In Episode I, Palpatine orders that the Gungans be "wiped-out . . . all of them". Killing-off an entire intelligent species just for existing seems a little worse then Hitler, actually. Palps was from Naboo, and knew the Gungans were an advanced intelligent race.

    What is evil is relative to your time and place. Earth's history is full of evil. We are living in the least evil time in history. And the trend is likely to continue. Things that were not considered evil before are now looked upon with horror and disgust. Maybe in the future, some things that are common place now will be looked on the same way. What if future people look upon meat-eaters the same way we look upon slave-owners of the past? My point is, in the Star Wars galaxy, they've already been through all this. There's been a galactic civilization for 20,000 years. In the United States, women have only been able to vote for less than a hundred. They should be well beyond the evils we see today and in our recent past. Rape should not even be in their vocabulary. The "no rape = no evil" logic you seem to apply here doesn't hold-up well. Just because they didn't do the most gruesome and horrible things possible doesn't make them "not-evil" by the standards of their time and place.

    Again, you're applying a pre-industrial civilization's standards to a galactic civilization's standards.

    Ok, you really need to let the sex stuff go. It's not going to show its face in any official Star Wars movies or books. I'm sure you can find some erotic fan fiction somewhere on the internet to suite you needs, but seriously, let it go. In the society that Star Wars takes place in, women are simply not sex objects, or at least no more than men are. Jabba had his female dancers, yeah, but if he were oriented towards males he would have had male chained dancers.

    But, before we get to the EU, remember that, onscreen, they killed prisoners of war (Vader choking the unarmed/surrendered officer). They did murder a community of merchants on Tatooine (the Jawas), then customers of said merchants. Officers were murdered by a superior officer on the spot without cause. They took over a private mining operation. Oh, and blew up a planet. And Palps did round-up a specific group: Jedi. The Final Solution was order 66. AND he justified it by blaming them for the problems he created.

    In the EU, I know they enslaved the wookies and the nohgri. I don't really want to do the research into their other atrocities.


    Perhaps they were not only rebelling against the large scale actions of the Empire, but to the fact that they seemed to have no rights that protected them from the government or military. I have not, and I'm guessing you have not, lived under a dictatorship. Until we have, how about we stop pretending to know what its like.

    And for real, please stop it with the rape and prostitution stuff. It's not part of Star Wars.
  10. Vthuil Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 3, 2013
    star 4
    I motion we start this thread over (because it is a perpetual question) somewhere where the opening post isn't going "rape rape rape rape".
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  11. rdhight Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 8, 2014
    star 3
    I second the motion.
  12. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    So yeah, SW is a fictional universe...so the creator(s) can basically make the Empire as good or as evil as they want. George Lucas seemed to be pretty intent on depicting the Empire as evil, and if the current list of Imperial atrocities isn't enough yet, he and other authors can always add more...because it's a fictional universe and they can do that. While I know a bunch of fans like myself don't always accept George Lucas's authority regarding canon (especially with the PT) and we often like to disregard stuff we don't like or come up with our own "personal canon", I think the idea of the Empire being evil is something most of us do accept. Of course, if you take the view that the Empire is good and the Rebels evil, well I guess you're entitled to your own "personal canon" just like the rest of us :p
    Last edited by Alpha-Red, Apr 12, 2014
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  13. Cushing's Admirer Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2006
    star 6
    I don't see the Empire as 'good' I don't see anyone in SW as 'good' all are grey.
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  14. Lord_Anzeroth Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 2, 2013
    star 4
    As Alpha_Red posted, GL has all the power in his hands to reshape the Empire any way he wants it to be.

    I believe that GL has deliberately vilified the Empire and the Sith in every movie and lionized the Jedi. This is done because the average viewer does not want to have any moral dilemmas as to who is the "bad guy" in the movie. In ANH we see Alderaan being blown up by the DS. The viewer immediately recognizes the bad act and he/she shapes the Empire as the "bad guys" in his/her head. The Rebels aim to destroy the Death Star, and thus are the "good guys".

    This is overly simplified.

    What about the millions of stormtroopers/imperial officers/prisoners who died in that blast? The Technical Book of Science Fiction Films has estimated that over 31 million personnel were stationed aboard the Death Star. They had nothing to do with the destruction of Aldeeran. They were following orders, and disobeying them meant military discharge or even execution.
    But the awe-inspiring explosion of the DS in the end of ANH and the heroic music by John Williams made its destruction look as an act of “good” done by the Rebels.
    And what about the “villainous” acts that the New Republic/Galactic Alliance committed during their reign?

    As Obi-Wan said, it is all a matter of perspective. However, this perspective was forced to us by GL.


    In regards to actual “villians”, like Vader and Tarkin in ANH and the Emperor in ROTJ, there is huge debate to be made.
    IMO, from the three that I mentioned, only the Emperor was truly evil. The other saw violence and death as something necessary in certain situations for various reasons.

    Thankfully, Star Wars books, comics and videogames have not followed this course of action and have shown more reasonable and less emotionless "villains", as well as more realistic "heroes".
  15. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    The most recent splatbook concerning the Death Star put its population at a bit over 1 million, rather than 31 million.

    Regarding the Emperor - a case could be made (supported by the RoTS Visual Guide) that even he wasn't doing "evil for its own sake" - that he thought the violence and death that he created (by orchestrating the Clone Wars, for example) was "necessary" for his overall goal of bringing about a peaceful and orderly galaxy.

    However - just because the Emperor thinks he's "doing the right thing by the galaxy" - doesn't mean he is.
  16. Cushing's Admirer Chosen One

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    Jun 8, 2006
    star 6
  17. The_Riddler Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2013
    star 3
    IMO, from the three that I mentioned, only the Emperor was truly evil.
    ---------------

    even that is debatable :p

    not saying he is a saint or even a good guy by any means, but he was no more "evil" than Anakin was.

    He was conditioned or "groomed" by his master and the dark-side.

    And the British were evil in the eighteenth century? o_O is that what they are teaching students these days?
    Last edited by The_Riddler, Apr 13, 2014
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  18. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    That's not exactly what was said. What was said was:


  19. The_Riddler Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2013
    star 3
    well even so, isn't Tyranny associated with evil?

    the post just sounded wrong to me, as if there was only one side to that whole thing, which wasn't the case

    anyway back to discussing the "evil" empire ;)
  20. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    Different writers use the term "tyrant" differently. I've seen it used for "any illegitimate ruler" - with the point being made that "some are wiser and more just than their legitimate predecessors".

    Regarding the Empire - different writers will focus on different aspects of it. Lucas focused on the planet destroying (the Death Star appears as a hologram in AoTC and RoTS, and actual Death Stars appear in ANH and RoTJ).

    Regarding the life of the normal Imperial: I think this says it pretty well:
    Last edited by Iron_lord, Apr 13, 2014
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  21. Lord_Anzeroth Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 2, 2013
    star 4
    There have been many Dark Jedi that had taken Sith as masters and followed the Dark Side, but none of them had that psychotic/ultra-violent behavior that I believe Palpatine had. IMO, his moral alignment was defined solely by him.
  22. The_Riddler Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2013
    star 3
    disagree, he had more humanity in him than Maul did
  23. Iron_lord Chosen One

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    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    Maul seemed pretty "human" (or at least Dathomiri ;) ) in TCW.
  24. Cushing's Admirer Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2006
    star 6
    I didn't see it. Re: the films which is what my friend is talking about, I agree with him. Regardless, even Sids is physical thus for me even he isn't beyond redemption though I do think in the films again he was the ring master.
  25. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9


    You never saw "Clerks", did you?





    The New Republic only attacked Imperial outposts, command ships and the like. They never went out to build a superweapon to end the war like the Empire did repeatedly. The Galactic Alliance had stopped short of annihilating the Vong, thanks to the efforts of the Jedi. Then you had an effort to try and avoid a second "Clone War" which was again orchestrated by the Sith. Later on it was taken over by a former Imperial officer who had made many questionable decisions.

    Ian McDiarmid said that Palpatine is absolute evil with no redeeming qualities other than he likes opera.
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