Lit Serving the Empire with the Light Side

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Daneira, Aug 9, 2017.

  1. Havoc123 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2013
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    Agreed on everything but the Fel Empire but that's an opinion, you say it yourself. And yeah I'd also add that the Sith Empire is probably the closest thing we have to a deep look into an Empire that is truly and honestly ran on the Sith Code, and we see infighting even while their leader is still around. Infighting and competition that's actively encouraged. There is some of it in Palpatine's Empire, but once again it didn't truly start until after his death and the 'competition' was more of who should inherit the Empire and its ideals (mostly, there are some exceptions like Tavira) rather than a strive for personal power like it is in SWTOR's Sith Empire. We see that even though this Sith Empire starts out with a massive fleet at its disposal and a much bigger force along with the element of surprise, the infighting does it in and it only starts getting back on its feet when Marr, Lana and the Inquisitor/Warrior get it together. Even its own Emperor has abandoned the Sith Empire for what he sees as a better and more united structure.

    And yeah I agree, the storyline of SWTOR flows better if its the Inquisitor as the Outlander. I wish they still did separate storylines, because I think the Agent, Trooper, Jedi Knight, Smuggler would be doing very different things at the time. Another James Bond like storyline where instead of Valkorion/Arcann as his main villain, the Agent has to face Vaylin and her attacks on the Galaxy? Sign me up. Or how about a Smuggler who has to ferry supplies to the Republic and repeat the heroics of Hylo Visz. For the Trooper you could have it all be set on a battlefield where he learns comradery with his new Sith allies as they take on a greater evil. But this is all for the SWTOR thread. :p

    On the topic, I like the viewpoint that Vader is basically a corrupted version of the Jedi, enforcing his view of peace on the Galaxy in the same way the Palpatine-era Empire is a corruption on the Clone Wars Republic. Tarkin does call him 'the last of the Jedi' after all.
    Last edited by Havoc123, Aug 10, 2017
  2. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

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    The Rule of Two has always been questionable but it works nicely in comparing how the Empire and Sith Empire differ if we ignore a lot of the other Sith groupings.

    The Sith Empire is grossly dysfunctional and the only time it starts working is by the time the Sith have actually dramatically culled their own numbers. Marr, Lana, the Wrath, and the Inquisitor are generally completely off-kilter in terms of how Sith operate. As such, the Sith Empire only becomes functional the more they start acting like Dark Jedi versus Sith Lords. They are still darksiders but it seems canonically, the Outlander is a ruthless do-gooer at worse rather than the cartoonishly evil Sith Warrior or Inquisitor you can play. So, effectively, I think we can confirm the LS choices for those two are likely or at least, "Significantly less evil and more focused on preserving the Sith Empire than other Sith."

    In canon, the Emperor and Vader being the only Sith Lords with their Inquisitors (who are all seemingly loyal to the Empire) means that they don't have this kind of problem. They may have to deal
    with the occassional traitors but no one can challenge either of them.

    We also do see the moment there's actual SITH training among Darksiders that Palpatine is basically betrayed left and right. Canor Jax, the two Dark Siders who went after Palpatine's clones, Lumiya, and others all betrayed Palpatine. Starkiller and Vader also qualify as Dark Siders who betray the Emperor by going light. It's likely Jerec planned to use the Valley of the Jedi to fight Palpatine for Dark Lordship as well.

    Vader was, of course, plotting against the Emperor in both universes but biding his time. Perhaps too much.
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  3. Havoc123 Jedi Master

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    This is also why Kaan, who was a Dark Jedi at heart, probably would've ruled a better and much more stable Sith Empire than those that came before. If anything, Bane set up his Rule of Two on the very premise of keeping the backstabbing around, just limiting the number of Sith as to not have too much backstabbing to ruin the master plans.

    And yeah, those loyal Inquisitors were mostly ex-Jedi themselves. Makes sense they wouldn't have the chaotic mode of operating of the Sith. I think Vader was plotting only because he wanted to rule a more well, as you said, fascist empire and not power for power's own sake. He toned down on the plotting because for awhile inbetween Episode 3 and 4 he just didn't give a damn and had 'given up on life' so to speak. Any plotting he had in that time he was just playing the role of enforcer and Sith that Sheev expected him to play. Then he finds out he has a son and he thinks back to his original plans and what he said to Padme on Mustafar.
  4. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

    Member Since:
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    I feel like also bringing up another series by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman in DRAGONLANCE. This is notable for Star Wars because neither author has ever hidden the fact they used the OT as a major influence for their work as well as the fundamental backdrop of Good, Neutrality, and Evil.

    One of the interesting plotlines was built up for DRAGONS OF A SUMMER FLAME where the Forces of GoodTM (i.e. the worshipers of the Light Gods*) were complacent because the previous war had been a complete disaster for the forces of evil despite centuries of planning giving them decided edges in the beginning. A large part of this boiled down to the fact the Generals of Evil (the worshipers of the Dark Gods*) were constantly backstabbing one another and unable to put the cause over personal ambition.

    Well, after this failure, The Queen of Darkness creates the KNIGHTS OF TAKHASIS which basically are (in D&D terms) LAWFUL EVIL and creates from whole cloth a "philosophy" that the world is inherently chaotic and only ruthless domination of the public can bring peace. This is notably complete hypocrisy and pandering on her part because Takhasis has no cared about anything but sole dominion of the planet Krynn. However, the philosophy works far better than even she'd imagined as not only does the new religion spread rapidly but her forces are remarkably more effective with high morale. Eventually,they conquer much of the continent because the forces of good kept waiting for Civil War to break out. It takes an invasion of Satan**, basically, to end their reign.

    One notable thing about this was the Knights of Takhasis did have some serious issues later on during the war when Takhasis herself planned to cut and run. Basically, the soldiers of her armies were actually prone to struggling with their darker orders and sometimes resisting her will because they believed in the cause. Their organization completely falls apart only when it's discovered their goddess could not give two figs about anyone but themselves. Then the few remainders revert to their old ways or defect.

    Last edited by Charlemagne19, Aug 10, 2017
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  5. Ackbar's Fishsticks Jedi Master

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    Aug 25, 2013
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    I'm not sure it's about underdogs so much as general attitudes towards right/wrong in entertainment changing.

    Was reading a conversation about this in another blog that I like not long ago. The point was that the overbearing smugness of classic shows like Star Trek TNG - "we know best, and if you don't agree with our obviously correct morality, you're just too primitive" - was being replaced by the overbearing smugness of shows like 24 - "we are smart because we are realists who realize you have to get your hands dirty and do unpleasant things in order to Do What Must Be Done, unlike those faint-hearted idealists who care more about doing the right thing than getting the right result." A lot of the fanboyism that I see for the Empire/First Order in Star Wars and the RDA in Avatar, and other obvious villains, seems like an extension of that mentality.
  6. Ackbar's Fishsticks Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2013
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    I think in general, the old expanded universe lost sight of the basic original premise of rebels out to overthrow one type of government and replace it with a better one. (I'd like to think the Disneyverse hasn't, but TFA and Rogue One didn't leave me very hopeful). The fact that the governments the good guys restored kept either going authoritarian or being ineffective messes, and that the heroes, the Jedi in particular, kept having to take matters in their own hands and disobeying the government, and being shown again and again to be right to do so, pretty much sinks the premise of what the Rebels in the OT were fighting for. Based on the way the post-ROTJ universe kept turning out, the logical conclusion is that Thrackan, Krennel, and the Confederacy of Independent Systems were right - galactic democracy will never work, and why are we even trying anymore?

    I can see that. The Fel Empire in general seems to be a place where backstabbing and corruption are still very much a thing, almost as much as they are with the Sith - even if you accept the Fels themselves as the good guys, you're still left with the fact that the Moffs haven't changed much since the days of Palpatine's Imperial Court. With those kinds of elites, it seems pretty much a foregone conclusion that the system will revert to older and nastier ways as soon as circumstances allow it and that the kinder, gentler, "New Order with a personal face" was always hanging under a sword of Damocles.
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  7. GrandAdmiralJello Comms Admin + Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    WEG had the best nuanced take in the Empire in Heroes and Rogues, when they were discussing how to create characters for an Imperial campaign. They identified the kind of punch-clock Imperial you described, somebody just doing their job for the day and not otherwise especially nice or malevolent.


    Yeah, it's when people start passionately for real advocating for the Empire that I think folks might want to take a step back. It's worrisome.


    Missa ab iPhona mea est.
  8. Landb Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Mar 7, 2017
    If the CIS hadn't been Sith patsies managed by corrupt megacorps they would have been correct.

    Calling the Republic, New or Old, a democracy is ridiculous. "Representative democracy" becomes an increasingly dubious phrase at every increase of scale, and at a certain point cannot be called 'representative' or 'democratic' any more than the 'Democratic People's Republic' of North Korea. US Senators and Congressmen have a hard enough time accurately representing their constituencies, which average out at a piddling 3.2 million and 700,000 respectively. With the numbers we have, a single Galactic Republic Senator represents 50 trillion sentients. That is more than 467 times the total number of humans who have ever lived since the beginning of time added together. With numbers like that, any claim of meaningful representative democracy is utterly farcical. That's before even getting into how many Senators are appointed by (not always democratic) regional governments, or apparently even sufficiently powerful private corporations.

    Regional powers certainly had more influence vs. the central galactic authority under the Republic than under the Empire, but the people? They were powerless from the start. The main difference between the two for an average citizen isn't how much freedom or influence they have over galactic government policy, but which tiny group of powerful individuals they're happier under the thumb of. (Luckily for the Republic oligarchs, Palpatine was an evil wizard who filled the high ranks with pointlessly malicious sociopaths, which made them look rather good by comparison.)

    In any case I figure a lightsider could serve an authoritarian galactic empire, but almost certainly could not serve the Galactic Empire for any significant length of time unless they were out in the ass-end of nowhere and never left.

    Not gonna lie, I still enjoy a bit of COMPNORposting, and just figure people can tell I'm being ironic because the serious Empire supporters all go for Sith or lame milquetoast authoritarians like Pellaeon or Thrawn instead of full-on Stalinist Soviet-style COMPNORite ideological purity.
    Last edited by Landb, Aug 10, 2017
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  9. vncredleader Jedi Master

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    Mar 28, 2016
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    Good point. Though I would say that TNG (as much as I adore it) was often just as if not more smug than 24.
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  10. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

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    I confess, I actually hated Rogue One when I first left the movie theater. Just the minute changes to the Rebellion left me irritated.

    A big thing which I did think was lost in later EU was that not only are the Jedi the heroes but so is the Rebellion.

    It's not Mages over Muggles with the Rebellion unimportant.

    Mages and Muggles BOTH are needed.

    In fact, I'd argue the Prequels show the lack of Muggles in the Clone Wars fight is why it was such a disaster.
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  11. GrandAdmiralJello Comms Admin + Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    I find heroes that are pure as driven able to be boring. Heroes that struggle, and then make the right choice, are more interesting.

    And if the Empire is complex, so are the Rebels. It's an Alliance. They have many types in their cause.


    Missa ab iPhona mea est.
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  12. Havoc123 Jedi Master

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    If Caedus 100% succeeded with his plan, there could've been Jedi unwittingly serving an authoritarian GA. He had no intention if wiping them out and only wanted to 'prove them wrong'. If he took more subtle measures, it'd have been doable. I mean, in my opinion, Luke's NJO at that point was very dark so it wouldn't have been a stretch anyway.
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  13. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

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    I write nothing but villains and anti-heroes in my writing with the single exception of my upcoming Weredeer Books.

    HOWEVER, it's STAR WARS. This is kind of like the 80s Doctor Who (late 5th Doctor) where the writers wanted to do nasty brutal thuggish antiheroes and were stuck with a character who is fundamentally pure good and compassion. You don't want to try to change Luke Skywalker or Leia. They ARE pure good and driven by compassion and love. You don't want that kind of character for Superman, Luke, Captain America, or Frodo.
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  14. GrandAdmiralJello Comms Admin + Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    Yes, Leia and Luke are good.

    But not everyone they work with are.


    Missa ab iPhona mea est.
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  15. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

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    Mind you, that's part of why there's an issue with the use of the term Dark Jedi vs. Sith because Revan and Malak's Sith Order is basically Ruthless Fascist Jedi.

    Ditto Stover's brief take on Dooku.
  16. DurararaFTW Jedi Knight

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    At the very least in what we saw of Malak's Sith Order they entirely operated on whoever is more powerful is in charge. Don't see anyone advocating that what they do will bring peace or order either. Malak's end speech makes it pretty clear that he is under no delusions that he is anything but a villain and a conquerer. Dunno what about them remains so fundamentally Jediesque.
    Last edited by DurararaFTW, Aug 10, 2017
  17. vncredleader Jedi Master

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    I feel like the thing is that the purer and more optimistic heroes like Superman work best when we have people who are good and yet have trouble being good. Like Superman works so much better when lex is someone who tries to be good and yet falls into the evil that comes so naturally to one like Superman. Or even good allies like say Harvey Bullock contrasted to batman. Harvey is a good man and yet he was corrupt for a while cause Gotham broke him, he is one of the people who the city knocked down who never really got back up. Harvey eventually becoming a better man is uplifting but he still he cynical which makes Batman's constant hope in the good inside of everyone and mindset that all life is precious all the more impressive.

    Jyn and Cassian needing to get their hands dirty sometimes creates a more effective Alliance that allows Luke and Leia to be more pure
  18. Vialco Jedi Grand Master

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    That would never have happened. Sooner or later, Luke Skywalker would have discovered who killed his wife and that would have been the end of Chief of State Jacen Solo.

    Even before that, the Jedi Council were extremely displeased at Jacen's arrest and usurpation of Cal Omas. They would never have let him remain in office for very long. Mere weeks after his coup, the Jedi were ready to arrest him.
  19. Havoc123 Jedi Master

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    If he succeeded is the keyword, he was flopping in very big ways from the start.
  20. Sarge Chosen One

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    Life creates the Force, and makes it grow.

    The Empire destroyed life, and made it die.

    Lightside and Empire are about as compatible as oil and water.
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  21. Vialco Jedi Grand Master

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    My point is, even if Darth Caedus succeeded, the Jedi would never have served someone they knew was evil. They would have destroyed him at the first opportunity. Palpatine was only able to command the Jedi for as long as he did by pretending to be a benevolent ruler. As soon as the Jedi caught on to his dictatorial tactics, they moved to remove him from office. Remember that Mace and his team were headed to the Senate to force Palpatine to give up his powers before they knew he was a Sith Lord.

    A Lightsider would never knowingly serve an evil government or ruler. If they did, their morality is so warped and twisted that they can't be called a Lightsider.
  22. Daneira Jedi Knight

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    Jun 30, 2016
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    Evil is a point of view.


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  23. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

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    Yes and the audience should generally agree the bad guys are bad. :) Otherwise, the storyteller has done a poor job.
    Last edited by Charlemagne19, Aug 10, 2017
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  24. Vialco Jedi Grand Master

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    [IMG]
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  25. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

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    Hey, Evil being a point of view is perfectly valid in storytelling.

    It's just the problem with that is it presumes the audience WON'T have a point of view.

    Which obviously they should in fiction.

    :)