Is the Empire really evil?

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by Quixotic-Sith, Apr 8, 2005.

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  1. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    I started a thread on this in The Saga forum, but that was many moons ago. I'd like to see how things go here.

    We've got two movies under our belts, and we've seen very little actual evil on the parts of the main baddies - in fact, the only action that the public of the GFFA has seen has been in *defense* of the Republic, and yet, if the new ending to ROTJ is to believed, the Emporer's fall is greeted with throngs of happy people.

    Is this reaction justified? How much evil have we actually seen, aside from what is inferred from the films? Aren't the Chancellor's/Emporer's actions publically about maintaining security, rather than consolidating power?

    Please, no "It's evil, DUH" posts. We've all seen the films and we know that GL meant for the Empire to be evil, but does that correspond to what we've actually seen so far? Does what we've seen actually demonstrate that the entirety of the Empire was evil and its destruction justified?
  2. BaronFel88 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2004
    star 7
    I can imagine the taxes they imposed to fund the Imperial war machine were downright sinister. :p

    But just looking at the films (no EU), it's a little hard to really see the Empire as 'evil' aside from the Alderaan incident.
  3. mrfootball Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Mar 14, 2005
    star 2
    their leader is bent on driving people to hatred and causing mass genocide.

    nope, doesn't sound evil to me.
  4. -diVe- Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 15, 2002
    Dude, they killed some ewoks.

    If that's not evil, I don't know what is.

    Oh yeah, they also blew up an innocent planet. However, that pales in comparison to wiping out some ewoks.

  5. Sith-Jedi-Master Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2004
    star 4
    no or course they are not evil

    killing millions of humans, creatures...blowing up planets...

    nar not evil....

  6. Strilo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 8
    Let's watch the tone here. This is a discussion forum not a sarcasm forum.

  7. Lord_Morningstar Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2005
    star 1
    'Evil' is a difficult word, but I'd argue that any far-reaching totalitarian Government is invariably oppressive. We see soldiers in the streets of Mos Eisley, holding people up and opening fire on suspects at will, so there is no due process of the law. I doubt that those who fall foul of the imperial authorities have many avenues of appeal. No doubt taxes are also high. In addition, there is no democracy, with individual citizens or even planets being used by the Empire however it wishes. Take, for example, the moon of Endor or Alderaan. Finally, there are simple questions of legitimacy. Is staging a war and crisis, killing thousands and laying the Galaxy to waste really an appropriate way of taking Government?
  8. majin_yami Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Feb 14, 2004
    star 3
    IMO, of course they were evil. They were a dictatorship, took away civil liberties, not to mention being un-deniably racist and there little thing for super weapons that blow up planets. And they were headed by the two most evil people in the galaxy.
  9. Darth_Laudrup Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2004
    star 4
    They are like an extreme version of The Japanese Empire and Hitlers Germany with a small dose of Stalins Sovjet during WWII, so it is up to you to decide if they are evil or not. I must say that I lean towards a YES.
  10. Cloned_Sidious Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2004
    star 8
    Is the Empire really evil?

    Yes, but I like it.
  11. Genrader Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2003
    star 3
    I always argued when I played Star Wars Galaxies that the Empire were really the good guys.

    Really, though, outside of the EU did the Empire even affect anyone? How many civilians did we see crying in terror? I'm sure the Republic was actually better before it became too corrupted, but the Empire probably seemed like a relief at first.

    The common person knew nothing of Palpatine, they assumed he was just a guy bent on having order.
  12. lazykbys_left Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2005
    star 4
    Hmm . . . tough one.

    I think the problem with asking whether the Empire itself is evil is that Star Wars is a story in which the actions of a few can lead to major changes. We see evil individuals (Palpatine, Tarkin, Vader, etc.), but from what I've seen in the films, there's little that clearly states that the Empire, and not just a few key Imperials, is evil.

    In fact, in my opinion the celebration scene in the RotJ SE suggests that the Empire was not evil. If it was, I think there would be a different sort of fireworks as the Rebels and Rebel sympathizers deal with die-hard Imperials (unless, of course, we simply weren't shown how the stormtroopers opened fire on everyone who participated in the event).

    On the other hand -

    This is a government that at least two of its Senators actively tried to destroy. Also, quite a few people chose to risk their lives, reputations, futures, etc. to fight the Empire. I find it hard to believe that a non-evil government could create such an opposition. But then again, this is just inference.

    I'd say, judging solely from what we see on screen, the Empire was not entirely evil and might have been made to work with a few tweaks.

    - lazy



    Hold on, it says in the opening crawl for ANH that the Empire's evil, doesn't it? :D
  13. Lobot_Omy Moderator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 2001
    star 6
    I think Palpatine was a visionary, like Leto II. No one bothered to see things from his POV.


    :p
  14. Smuggler-of-Mos-Espa Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jan 23, 2002
    star 6
    The Kingpin of it all, Sidious, was drenched in evil. Therefore his own actions and the actions ordered upon his army we're evil as well. One doesen't completely conquer a galaxy without a diabolical plan.
  15. DARTHMORDOR Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jun 17, 2003
    star 4
    well if you consider destroying an entie planet and all it's people a good thing then yes your right not much evil. vader kills his own officers for incompitence imagine what he does to those he has no intrest in.

    the empir has a military presence on most worlds. this does not lend to a happy place.

    yeah, evil, duh!
  16. ThrawnRocks Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2004
    star 6
    Yes. They blow up a planet. They enslave wookies and Mon Cals, and they are very racist against all creatures who aren't human. They commandeered Cloud City, and just did whatever they wanted. They destroyed the senate. And that's only from the movies...
  17. GRAND_MOFF_KEVIN Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2004
    star 5
    Palps was evil, there is not a doubt in my mind. However the Empire as a form a government is not evil. Its like Communism, it has many good points (always having jobs etc.) but has many bad things (no personal freedoms etc.) So the Empire its self is not evil, its leader Palps is evil.
  18. Chaotic_Serenity Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Oct 10, 2004
    star 4
    Actually, I completely support totalitarian systems. I think it's the best way to control a galaxy as vast as the GFFA without getting caught in the quagmire of beaucracy that wound up becoming the downfall of the Old Republic. The problem with this, however, is finding a benevolent dictator to fill that space who would be just as concerned as fulfilling the needs of his people as his own. And since the really does not exist, we're forced to support the next best system - representative democracy. Palpatine is obviously not such a figure, and that's why his empire is deemed "evil."

    As for the the whole empire...hmm...I would say they were malevolent and oppressive, but I hesitate to call them evil since there were plenty of people in the system who thought it was the best thing for the galaxy or who were simply caught up in it.
  19. hear+soul Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 5, 2004
    star 6
    The trade federation killed a bunch of people on Naboo and they two are closely linked.


    [Sidious = Palps. Sids ran the TF]
  20. rogue_wookiee Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2004
    star 6
    No.

    Some of the leaders of the Empire were evil. Most notably Palpatine and Tarkin.

    But the Empire is everyone. There were many good, loyal men in it. Men who thought order was important and thought that the Empire was better than the near-anarchy of the Republic.
  21. plokoon_da_sith Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2005
    star 1
    Maybe a little unorthodox, but not necessarily evil. Strilo edit: Spoilers are not allowed He created this empire to solve the problems of corruption in the Republic, and is basically seen as single handedly restoring peace to the galaxy. If anything, the Rebel Alliance can be seen as a glorified terrorist organization. Their beliefs did not reflect the beliefs of the majority of the galaxy, only those select few who joined.
  22. Jediknight_Wendy Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Feb 16, 2005
    star 1
    If everyone hated or considred the current goverment to be vile or evil they would all REBLE..and most didnt imagin the horror that the clone wars brought to the galaxy worlds riped apart destruction and massacar everywere people became afraid and simply voted to give the chancellor some powers he during normal times would not be able to typically have the romans did it several times and if you look at it in a real world sense take the patriot act...now once the empire rose and as well all know did crush the separatist they tightened security around the galaxy now that a more martial form of goverment you would expect most citizens i would think didnt know about all of the genocide that occured alot like the german civilans of WWII were left in the dark about the horrors at the death camps the public dosent even know about emperore. quote ~~Sidious does not consider himself evil but rather a savior. After the destruction of the Jedi order, he has no need to reveal his Sith identity, for he is now the beloved Emperor Palpatine, who has restored peace to the galaxy. ~~ so one could imagin he is just the beloved leader of the galaxy the one man who helped carry the galaxy through something as the clone wars and about the Rebellion...i would say they are considered terrorist after all they are wageing a war against a legitament goverment and something i dont think people seem to dawn on is the fact that during the reble strikes innocent civilans sure got injured or killed so i guess this can only renforce the idea more not everyone who is in the empire is a Tarkin there are just some common joes trying to make there way through the galaxy the only time i think people stopped and for once question the ethics of the empire was when Alderaan was destroyed by the death star however im sure that state ran media convenced the majority it was a horrid attack by the rebellion and a crack down had to be started ((We then had hoth..and the empire gaining a streak of winning victorys)) however i still dont think people hated the empire...it was SAFER to a degree at least in my mind..and the old republic was bound to be overthrown one way or another as it was corrupt and such
  23. Bacon164 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 22, 2005
    star 7
    Good lord! I think that's the longest paragraph I've ever seen! :p
  24. Darth_Arisin Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Apr 6, 2005
    star 1
    The Empire is certainly not evil. Palpatine knew the Republic was corrupt and decaying from the inside. To quote the Guide to the Star Wars Universe: "Like an immense tree with decaying roots, the Republic appeared strong but was slowly dying from within." He saw an oppportunity to restore power to the government by doing away with bureaucracy. Even as a Sith Lord, all he wanted was peace, an end to the chaos. The Rebellion was a terrorist organization made up of the few people who disagreed with Palpatine. They felt that they were acting in the name of the entire galaxy when in reality, they were fighting for themselves. Through their selfish acts, millions of loyal Imperials were killed. Many say the destruction of Alderaan was evil. I disagree. You must think on a galactic scale. The destruction of Alderaan is comparable by Earth standards to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Nothing more.
  25. Bacon164 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 22, 2005
    star 7
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