Lit Is the Rebel Alliance a dictatorship in canon?

Discussion in 'Literature' started by LelalMekha, Jun 21, 2017.

  1. LelalMekha Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2012
    star 4
    Although this matter has certainly been debated many times before, I wanted to revisit it in light of the current state of canon.

    A brief IU definition of a dictatorship is infamously given in AOTC, when Anakin "jokes" that someone wise should force the senators to resolve their differences. Also, Star Wars: The Visual Encyclopedia says that the Empire is a dictatorship because "ultimate power [rests] in the hands of the Emperor."

    Now, I know that the Alliance's aim is to restore democracy eventually--that's in their name, right? Nevertheless, the Rebels are not just a military movement, they also have a civil governement, and, to my knowledge, said government was never elected (directly or indirectly) by its citizens.

    Mon Mothma may have been right to think Chancellor Palpatine would become a dictator, but technically she's one herself, right? She has no hereditary right and was not voted into office. Now, is she restricted by laws, a constution or something? If yes, to what extent exactly?

    Let's make it clear that I'm not even considering moral implications here. I'm not trying to determine whether the Alliance's power structure is "right" or "wrong." What I'm trying to do is determine whether the Alliance is a dictature from a technical point of view.
  2. Charlemagne19 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2000
    star 8
    Mon Mothma in the previous Expanded Universe is the absolute authority over the Rebellion. In the Rebel Alliance sourcebook, it was established she would have military control over all branches of the government as per a state of martial law so the Rebellion could be controlled directly. This is something she talked about with them and agreed was an unfortunate necessity of the system.

    This is NOT what we see in Rogue One. That was the appearance of a much weaker ruler with several Senators beneath her.

    However, we do see Mon Mothma unilaterally overrule everyone else in downgrading the Republic military and establishing a new government so she clearly has the authority to dissolve the Rebel Alliance and replace it with the New Republic.

    My take is canon Mon Mothma becomes directly powerful after the death of Bail Organa and the fact her dissenters almost submitted to the Emperor/Death Star, ruining them politically as a force.
    Last edited by Charlemagne19, Jun 21, 2017
  3. Vthuil Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 3, 2013
    star 5
    I don't think Mon Mothma is 'the' leader of the Alliance in any sense in Rogue One. She's just one member of a leadership council (which doesn't seem to have been elected in itself, but does appear to consist of Senators). As C19 says, she probably only eventually wound up in that position due to the rest of the council being killed or discredited. Though actually, we do know at least one of the latter stuck around, and I'm also inclined to doubt that the transition from Rebellion to Republic was completely unilateral.

    also, inb4 jello
  4. DARTH_MU Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2005
    star 4
    No the rebel alliance was just a ragtag faction of the rich people as leaders.
    Really no organization whatsoever.
    Each faction were dictatorial though.
  5. Noash_Retrac Jedi Master

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    Nov 14, 2006
    star 3

    Umm, that is unusually bias. And GrandAdmiralJello does it better.
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  6. DARTH_MU Jedi Master

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    Feb 9, 2005
    star 4
    what doe GrandAdmiralJello have to do with my comments?
  7. Charlemagne19 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2000
    star 8
    Dude, they had a secretary of education in canon.

    :)
  8. comradepitrovsky Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 5, 2017
    star 2
    Well, let's be honest -- that's the propaganda chief.
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  9. Barriss_Coffee Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2003
    star 6
    I agree with Vthuil here, and I don't think at this stage we can say one way or the other. We haven't been given much specifics in how it's managed. Mothma certainly didn't come off as a dictator in Rogue One -- it was more like a general free-for-all of colluders, with her as chairperson directing the conversation (and at that, barely).

    Even in ROTJ it's hard to say, because she only has that one scene where she basically serves as team coach.
  10. SpecForce Trooper Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 2016
    star 4
    The Rebel Alliance is a military. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think soldiers vote on operations.
  11. Charlemagne19 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2000
    star 8
    Honestly, I'm confused why they're making it a government in exile too.

    Aside from Mon Calamari and New Alderaan, are there any places the Rebellion needs a civilian government?
  12. Barriss_Coffee Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2003
    star 6
    I don't think you're wrong Spec if you're referring to our planet today, but I don't think the Rebellion has particularly strict rules about those things. The hierarchy looks like a complete mess compared to anything on our planet. You've got Cassian doing his own thing with a troop of disgruntled soldiers (in the middle of the hanger!), Draven making up his own rules (which may or may not be legal?), Raddus running off against rules (but how strict are those rules? is anyone writing them down, holding folks accountable?), Leia going on a mission that, to my knowledge (based on Mon and Bail's convo), most of the rest of the rebellion "leadership" isn't even aware of, a bunch of random senators and other important folks showing up at Yavin for a quick meeting (we know their names, but what makes them more qualified than anyone else to be at that meeting and have a say? apparently Jyn is allowed up front and center with her gang of hooligans and nobody seems to care)... and then you've got the Rebels TV show, which basically depicts a developing but ragtag group of rebels, not a consistent military force, much like the old 80s Marvel comics.

    Honestly I don't see any semblance of a dictatorship in what we've seen -- it's an amorphous group that's still trying to take shape. In Rebels we see it starting to become a little more coherent, it's a bunch of people with the same end goal (destroy the Empire), but still it doesn't know what it wants to be itself.

    I think the debate here is whether it's more a bunch of "rebels" or an "alliance". "Alliance" gives the impression of a centralized organization. But is it that or really just an allied group of insurrectionists? At the moment, I'm inclined to believe it's the latter.
    Last edited by Barriss_Coffee, Jun 21, 2017
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  13. LelalMekha Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2012
    star 4
    Rogue One did make me wonder how they manage to coordinate and achieve anything...
  14. Fin McCool Jedi Knight

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    Apr 18, 2015
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    The Rebellion is more a conspiratorial enterprise than a civil government. Mon Mothma (never just Mon, Wendig!) takes on more autonomous authority as her co-conspirators die or lose influence. The conspiracy as a whole has agents who provide a structure, and it gains assets along the way. More and more people view it as legitimate. Once the need for the conspiracy becomes irrelevant, it dissolves and takes the place of the existing order. Such is the nature of rebellions.
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  15. AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature

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    May 28, 2003
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    The Alliance has always been tricky to define, even in the old EU version. The Rogue One Visual Guide does a great job explaining the setup and organization of the Alliance. The very nature of the Alliance to Restore the Republic is unique. While it is clear that Mon Mothma has ultimate say, it is also apparent that she strives for consensus from her political and military commanders before making decisions. It's a democratically run military organization with a singular head of state with expansive powers with a quasi-governmental setup. :p

    At the end of the day, its interesting when you consider that both Palpatine and Mon Mothma had near unlimited control of their respective organizations, but only Mon Mothma willingly gave up her emergency powers and devolved powers back to the people and their duly-elected senators once the Empire fell. It is a case study in ultimate power and how it can corrupt some, while others can willingly set it aside.

    When I get home from work, I'll pull up the quotes from the VG that do the best at showing what the Alliance is. But, in short, it is an organization that defies a neat definition on multiple levels.

    --Adm. Nick
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  16. CT1138 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2013
    star 4
    This. They're a military resistance fighting for democracy.
  17. DARTH_MU Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2005
    star 4
    unless there are soldier's soviets? Not that the rebels have soldier's soviets.
  18. LelalMekha Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2012
    star 4
    The Alliance is not just a military. They have a civilian government, a cabinet made up of six ministers with specific portfolios (including finance, industry, and education).
  19. MercenaryAce Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2005
    star 5
    Yeah - frankly, I liked it in Essential Warfare when it was said that Mothma deliberately avoided making a government in exile because she wanted to emphasize them as Republic loyalists, and because the CIS had set up a government and Mothma wanted to avoid comparisons to them.
  20. DARTH_MU Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2005
    star 4
    actually, the best thing for the rebels should have done to maintain legitimacy and declare the Empire illegitimate was to declare themselves government in exile.
    They could have allied with the CIS, but no. I have no idea why not. All they had to do was say the CIS was actually trying to separate because their leaders knew Palpatine was trying to declare an Empire. The CIS would have joined the rebellion, and war would have ended sooner or not at all started.
    Last edited by DARTH_MU, Jun 21, 2017
  21. Charlemagne19 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2000
    star 8
    I think, at that point, the answer was, "They don't."

    Hence Scarif is needed to galvanize them to become a singular purpose in destroying the Empire as it's their Rubicon.

    The CIS had been completely destroyed by that point hadn't it? All of its military assets seized by the Empire, its leadership executed, and the worlds it possessed ruled by Moffs?
    Last edited by Charlemagne19, Jun 21, 2017
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  22. DARTH_MU Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2005
    star 4
    Yes the majority of CIS leaders were massacred at Mustafar.

    However, in the new canon, in Lost Stars, Jelucan was a part of CIS, and the rebellion must have already been formed by Mon Mothma and Bail Organa before the planet was annexed by the Empire, right?

    Furthermore, surely the CIS worlds' armies are not all battle droids right? there are surely CIS citizens who were willing to fight?

    But to grant the rebellion legitimacy, even if the real CIS were gone, they could have brought out an old Neimodian and say here's Nute Gunray. He survived. The CIS just joined the alliance to restore the republic. See Russian time of troubles with the fake Dimitris. And Pugachevs, it can be done.
  23. Charlemagne19 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2000
    star 8
    Interestingly, Jelucan welcomed the Empire with open arms. But I do think the Moffs were created for the explicit purposes of ruling ex-Separatist worlds to weaken the Senate.

    Cassian Andor is so far, strangely, the only CIS soldier we've seen.

    I think in the galaxy, the majority of Rebels considered Nute Gunray less a worthy opponent and more a war criminal.
  24. DARTH_MU Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2005
    star 4
    Now that I think more, I realize the rebel alliance are just like the white army of the russian civil war. Except they won of course.
  25. GrandAdmiralJello Comms Admin + Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    Initially, it seems as if Mothma was more or less first among equals. As chief of state, she had no more than nominal authority over everyone else, and the Rebellion seems to have been depended largely on the individual support of various senators and their resources. Mothma made a show of acting based on consensus, but had no trouble quietly encouraging others to go her way in an underhanded fashion.

    As the Rebellion went on and Mothma assumed the pretense of being chancellor, she aped the emergency powers that the legitimate chancellor once operated under and used those to justify her near-dictatorial control. She later made a great show of giving up these powers after the Battle of Endor, and then holding "elections" using her handpicked senators who happened to vote for her as they assembled on her homeworld, suddenly the capital of the New Republic.