Lit If Palpatine or Darth Vader were ever captured what could they be charged with?

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Matthew78, Jun 27, 2013.

  1. LelalMekha Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2012
    star 4
    This is all the more unacceptable considering that Mon Mothma's own father was an arbiter-general, and as such a magistrate. Has that woman no honor?
  2. General Immodet Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 5, 2012
    star 4
    Sometimes when I was reading some of the post-ROTJ novels, I somehow questioned Mon Mothma's leadership.
    Wasn't Mothma the leader of the Rebels while Teshik and Bevelisk were executed?
  3. Aegon Starcaster Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 27, 2013
    star 2
    Hmmmm. Palpatine... How about charging him with allowing that separatist goon, Jar Jar Binks on the Republic Senate,
    so that he would be granted emergency powers? No? Ah well, it was worth a shot. How about charging him with not ordering
    the jedi to execute Binks before he could set foot on Coruscant in 32 BBY?
    Last edited by Aegon Starcaster, Jun 28, 2013
  4. LelalMekha Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2012
    star 4
    Well, no. My mistake. Leia Organa Solo was the Chief of State under which Bevel Lemelisk was executed. However, Mothma was indeed in charge when the New Republic executed Teshik.
  5. General Immodet Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 5, 2012
    star 4
    I have always understood people who are pro the dead penalty, but I also understand people who are against.
    How do you decide who gets to hang and who does not?
    Are there better options? When do we become the monsters?
    There is a thin line between good and evil. Perhaps, there even is no good and evil...
    By the way, I am not talking about war situations.
  6. Skaddix Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 3, 2012
    star 5
    How do u know the trial was fair we have the innocence project getting plenty of innocent people out of jail for crimes they did not commit
  7. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 7
    The Caamas Document, from his private files?

    Interestingly, the Han Solo trilogy (I think in Rebel Dream) has a mention of Vader having destroyed Caamas.
  8. Dr. Steve Brule Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2012
    star 4
    Haha, wow, I never made that connection before. That's a bit of an oopsie.
  9. MercenaryAce Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2005
    star 5
    In addition to the other things mentioned, I imagine High Treason would be a likely charge, given the two of them organized a military coup and attacked the lawful guardians of the Republic, repeatedly violated the Republic Constitution -even before he bothered to rewrite it-, and especially because Palpatine created the CIS and thus is responsible for everything that happened in that war.
    Hansa likes this.
  10. Starkeiller Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 5, 2004
    star 4

    =D=

    I think the sequel trilogy is going to make it painfully clear to everyone that every single misfortune in the SW movies can be traced back to Palpatine (and I'm counting the Tusken raid that killed Shmi).

    As for the trial.... o_O

    In Dark Empire, Luke realized that Palpatine cannot be subdued. In the unlikely event of his capture, all he has to do is kill himself (which he apparently can do solely through will) and wake up comfortably on Byss, just like Kenny ("Oh my God, they killed Sidious! You bastards!" :p )

    Vader? He's the Chosen One, goddamn it. I'm still waiting for The Force Unleashed III, in which you start as Vader and have to cut and Force-blast your way through the Rebellion, leaving mayhem left and right.

    Trial? Please.... Show the two most powerful and malicious Force users ever the respect they deserve. Ysalamiri? Pfff! Energy cage? Pffff! [face_talk_hand]

    Although, if we accept this as a thought experiment, It would indeed probably be a revolting Jedi-controlled monkey trial that would make the two most horrible people in the universe look good. :rolleyes:
  11. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    I don't recall the document ever specifying Palpatine's role at all -- been years since I've read HoT, but wasn't it just about the Bothans bringing down the shields or some such?

    Regardless, it was obtained without a valid warrant and therefore has to be excluded at trial. :p
  12. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 7
    That was part of the document (the part that had been altered when Flim gave a copy to the New Republic). But it would surprise me if the document didn't say on whose behalf they did so.

    The copy that the New Republic actually used to resolve the whole thing, was the one R2-D2 downloaded from the Hand of Thrawn's records.
  13. Darth_Pevra Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2008
    star 5
    I don't think Vader would ever lower himself to being tried by the Republic. He'd sooner somehow get rid of his shackles and take as many republic soldiers with him as possible. And what a slaughter it would be.

    Palpatine on the other hand would try to somehow weasel out of the guilt (probably by blaming Vader for "mind controlling" him or something).
    VanishingReality likes this.
  14. Lazy Storm Trooper Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 18, 2012
    star 4
    I wouuld think the opposite.
  15. The Kulvax Sisters Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 10, 2013
    star 2
    This post may have inadvertently uncovered the true Grand Plan here, the plan set out by Jar Jar Binks, Chancellor Palpatine was clearly the poster boy and this Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious gimmick was clearly a charade, the real mastermind behind this plan is one seemingly innocent and imbecilic Gungan, whom from behind the scenes was clearly trying to gain revenge for his original Exile from the underwater bubble cities of Naboo.
    I propose to the court that this trial of 'Emperor Palpatine' vs the New Republic is a complete fallacy and move for the arrest of one Darth Binks, the true Sith war criminal here.
  16. Skaddix Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 3, 2012
    star 5
    Nah Palps was running the show but Jar Jar was his greatest agent
    Riven_JTAC and Aegon Starcaster like this.
  17. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    The Emperor doesn't seem to be the sort to admit guilt -- especially not if the document was written as a trap in case the Rebels ever found it, much like the doctored Jedi records he left around everywhere.
    Darth_Pevra and Vialco like this.
  18. MercenaryAce Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2005
    star 5
    Actually, I do wonder how you prove anything in a world where data is so easily replicated or fabricated
    Last edited by MercenaryAce, Jun 29, 2013
  19. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Well, to take this seriously for a second :p

    -Palpatine/etc would obviously be tried by a military tribunal, simply because there's no way this is a civil case-the NR would be dumb to try that, as Jello is pointing out quite aptly. In other words, Nazis in space get the Nuremburg Tribunal in space.

    Nuremburg featured the following (mostly retroactive, because the crimes in question were on a scale unseen in modern history, which was highly controversial at the time) charges:

    -Conspiracy to wage wars of aggression in violation of international agreements.
    This one, I think, would not be terribly applicable to the leadership of the Empire. We as the audience of course know that Palpatine and members of his inner staff were definitely co-conspirators in the Clone Wars, but I don't see how you'd prove it in-universe; everyone with complete knowledge of the conspiracy is either dead (Dooku and the Separatist Council) or blindly loyal to Palpatine (Ars Dangor, Mas Amedda, and so on.) There's also seemingly very little or no physical evidence; so far as we know, Palpatine/Darth Sidious never actually met directly with any of the Separatist Council besides Dooku, and all communication was through the holonet. Plus of course there were no "international agreements" in place, as the galaxy=!Republic for the most part at the time.

    -Crimes against peace.
    This one is quite a bit easier. "Crimes against peace" in the context of the Nuremberg tribunal meant specifically Germany's undeclared wars against Denmark, Norway, Belgium, and other European countries, and the Soviet Union. The Empire as we know initiated campaigns of conquest against most of the Outer Rim systems per the Essential Guide to Warfare, systems that had existed for eons with the Republic as a neighbor they had little to fear from.


    -War crimes, particularly in regard to to breaching international agreements about treatment of prisoners of war.
    I don't think this one applies here. There was never any kind of "agreement" between the Empire and the Rebellion about prisoners of war; I think this would probably be absorbed into count four or not present at all.

    -Crimes against humanity-murder, enslavement, extermination, deportation, and other inhumane acts against civilian populations.

    Caamas, Alderaan, Kashyyk, the various campaigns of extermination described in Boba Fett: Agent of Doom all qualify.

    ~~

    The big issue was of course that there was very little precedent for these charges; the same would apply to the Imperial leadership, although the New Republic and its member states would presumably proceed ahead anyway. I strongly suspect any senior Imperial staff with direct ties to Palpatine-IE Dangor, Pestage, and the rest of the IRC-would probably fall on their swords for him; Hitler's senior staff, and also General Tojo in regards to Emperor Hirohito, were always quick to absolve them of blame.

    Palpatine I don't think would ever be captured alive. He's a Sith Lord; his response to an attempt to arrest him would be to kill or try to kill his captors; if he died, he has his clones on Byss to go to. A trial was never a realistic option when the suspect is a somewhat-immortal Sith Lord.

    Edit: A point on military courts-they operate by different rules than their civilian counterparts, the big one being discovery of evidence. If it's been captured either in battle or by other means, it can be used.

    Also, a major portion of the reason for the Nuremburg Tribunal was to discredit the Nazi Party and their ideology. It's reasonable to assume that a similar trial in the Star Wars galaxy would have a similar point: To discredit High Human Culture and the military dictatorship of the Galactic Empire.
    Last edited by DarthBoba, Jun 29, 2013
    Hansa and Starkeiller like this.
  20. Starkeiller Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 5, 2004
    star 4
    A very interesting analysis.

    However, I believe that the main difference between the Galactic Empire -- a political system with massive appeal across an entire galaxy -- and the National Socialist Workers' Party of Germany -- a localized, highly idiosyncratic political organization that could never become an international movement due to its very nature -- necessitates that the Republic, in this fantastical scenario, would focus almost entirely on the crimes the Empire committed and then covered up or blamed on rebels instead of an attempt to discredit High Human Culture.
    Last edited by Starkeiller, Jun 30, 2013
  21. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    You can't really disentangle the Empire from High Human Culture, though. It's leadership was almost entirely human or at least humanoid, aliens were frequently classified as basically animals in official Imperial law, and were subject on Coruscant to living in ghettos. The Empire's gradual disassociation from the more brutal aspects of HHC took place over decades, and even in Legacy, 138 years later, it's still mostly human-led, although aliens at least aren't being blatantly subjected anymore.

    High Human Culture would have got to be addressed in a meaningful manner in any trial for it to matter, IMO, and certainly would have been in an alien-majority Rebellion with species like the Bothans and Mon Calamari in powerful positions in it.
  22. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    The problem with the Nuremberg analogy is that there's no such thing as international in the GFFA -- the Empire and Republic (and the NR) are notionally galactic governments: there is no higher law to appeal to. Nuremberg had legitimacy because it wasn't just the French or the British prosecuting the Nazis, but the whole world (even then we still heard accusations of victors' justice). Anything that would've happened in this scenario would be the equivalent of a domestic criminal trial -- subjecting the sovereign of the galactic government to a criminal trial by the galactic government that succeeded it, which would automatically taint the proceedings.

    Finally I'm unsure to what extend those charges even work. You pointed out problems with a lot of them, but even the ones that you think would work have problems. Crimes against peace? That only worked because of the Kellogg-Briand Pact, so that aggressive war was a violation of international law -- without that specific treaty, all the usual elements of customary international law would still allow recourse to war as a valid incident and implement of state prerogatives.

    The only one that would work is "crimes against [sentience]" but you'd still have to prove knowledge, control, and state policy and I guarantee you that the system was designed so as to insulate the Emperor from any possible culpability. Indeed, witness the notion that the Emperor was secretly controlled by his bootlickers and the like: that sort of official deniability would be difficult to get around, even if you could get someone like Luke Skywalker to testify that no, the guy was in charge.
  23. Starkeiller Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 5, 2004
    star 4
    Of course, but, in the Empire, racism/speciesism was not a primary, defining characteristic as it was for the Nazis, but a logical consequence of the humanocentrism that was already a reality in the Republic for millennia. Under a democratic government, it was unspoken; under a tyranny, the state naturally integrated this unspoken sentiment as an official policy. To borrow a Marxist term (divorcing it, of course, from its Marxist context of class struggle and the whole "humans as 100% products of society" virulent hogwash), humanocentrism was more of an ideological state apparatus used to further the ends of the regressive state apparatus (the military that went around oppressing the alien-majority Outer Rim) than it was the cornerstone of Imperial ideology. In effect, as Plagueis explained to Sidious, the Sith needed the alien-hating elites in order to run the Empire, because they were the people who would naturally support it. In post-WWI Germany, the entire mythology of anti-Semitism and Aryanism was fully formed, and Hitler was the orator it needed to put it in power, so that this whole perverted worldview was inseparable from the Nazis before Hitler even knew what a "Nazi" was.

    Let me put it this way: the Nazis are most infamous for attempting to eradicate the Jews; the Empire is most infamous for destroying the human world of Alderaan. It wouldn't have made much difference if Alderaan was populated by Bothans or Rodians or Duros. As long as they were dissidents, the Empire would have targeted them, regardless of their species.
    Last edited by Starkeiller, Jun 30, 2013
  24. BigAl6ft6 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2012
    star 5
    They'd probably end up getting them on tax evasion like the Feds did for Al Capone. Nothing sexy, just nice and legal and tight.
  25. Vialco Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 6, 2007
    star 4
    This topic is of some interest to me, so here goes.

    First of all, the Rebels are actually the Alliance to Restore the Republic. Therefore, they recognize the Old Republic as the last legitimate body of government and consider the Empire to be an illegal regime. So, if Palpatine or Vader were ever captured and not killed on the spot, they would probably be charged with Crimes Against Civilization, the highest crime that existed in the Republic. It was what Depa Billaba would have been charged with, had she been fit for trial.

    Capturing Vader is much easier than capturing Palpatine, as the Emperor remains firmly ensconced within his palace on the most fortified planet in the Empire. To capture Darth Vader would probably require either ysalamiri, hundreds of special ops personnel, an entire Mon Calamari battlefleet-or just one Jedi Knight, if his name is Skywalker.

    In any case, capturing Vader is possible, and, if the Rebels could imprison Vader, try him for his crimes, and then publicly execute him, the amount of prestige and moral capital it would bring them would be infinite. The entire galaxy feared and hated Vader and if the Rebels were actually able to show him powerless and weak, then they would be seen as very powerful. Capturing, trying and executing Darth Vader would bring the Rebel Alliance a great deal of prestige.

    Capturing Palpatine on the other hand is a much more difficult challenge. The first step is getting to the Emperor, a near-impossible task if he's on Coruscant. The best way to do this is to seize him while he's in transit, hard to do as he rarely leaves the palace. Of course, we're assuming that he can't foresee this attempted capture, which is most unlikely. But the best way to capture Palpatine is to take a page from Zaarin's book and seize him while in transit. If you can capture and disable Palpatine's shuttle and board it with a elite team equipped with ysalamiri, then you could actually subdue the Emperor. Without the Force, Palpatine is just a feeble old man, and heavily armed soldiers wouldn't have any difficulty taking him into custody. At which point, of course, the entire Imperial Fleet comes roaring after you for daring to harm their precious ruler. And you'd better hope that those ysalamiri have a good shelf life, because if by some chance they die, the Rebels would die even faster than Mace's posse.

    But if the Rebels did capture Palpatine, they would probably charge him with crimes against the Republic and for ordering the Destruction of Alderaan. They would find him guilty, and execute him. At which point they've pretty much won.

    Of course this is all hypothetical, as it would be beyond the Rebel Alliance's capability to capture either Vader or the Emperor. But it's interesting to think about nonetheless.