Discussion The Empire in the ST

Discussion in 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Spoilers Allowed' started by purplerain, Oct 2, 2013.

  1. purplerain Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 14, 2013
    star 4
    So we all know a government can survive it's head of state dying. So what exactly will have become of the Empire in the ST? Did it go back to being the Republic when Palpatine died? Did the Rebellion "push it back" until it became a remnant that we'll see in the ST? Did the Republic "push it back" until it no longer existed? Which option will Disney go with?
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  2. The Hellhammer 7SA Forum Interrogator

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    It all depends on how you want to approach Star Wars. With a more fairy tale "happily ever after" approach, yeah, Empire collapses the moment the second Death Star explodes and everyone's instantly free and the galaxy is happy and utopian society springs from the ground where the furry feet of the Ewoks trod, to engulf the entire universe. A more realistic approach (and one that I find more fun, personally) is not so shiny and happy.

    This is a topic that is interesting to me on many levels, so please bear with me, hah. Also, I am aware that some of the things I say here are pretty close to the EU version of post-ROTJ GFFA but I am not referencing that, simply going by what seems the most logical course of events to me. So let's leave EU out of this.

    Let's take a look at the actual victory at Endor. It killed many of the Empire's key figures. Palpatine and Vader being the most obvious ones. Besides them, down went the Executor crewed by some of the Empire's finest. We're led to believe that those dolts on the Sanctuary Moon were also elite, so let's say they were. That's a heavy blow. But in actuality, the Empire's other losses were rather low. Vader's fleet was just one of the many fleets the Empire had at it's disposal and even this fleet was not annihilated. On the other hand, the Rebels pretty much threw everything they had into that fray, kinda hoping it all works out for the best (it did). The Empire, on the other hand, has thousands, maybe even tens of thousands of ships spread throughout the galaxy to maintain order, patrol regular routes, act as garrison troops, undergoing maintenance... point is, a galaxy spanning Empire has incredibly vast resources at it's disposal. There are millions of loyal Imperial troops out there during and after Endor.

    The Emperor's death is, of course, a significant blow but the vast military power of the Empire does not disappear overnight. I'm pretty sure that not each and every Imperial throws down his gun or scuttles his ship, saying "Well **** it, we've lost." There is bound to be some infighting, splintering and chaos. On the other hand, that may be down to a minimum. That is something that can arbitrarily be chosen as a "this or that" scenario and doesn't really reflect all that much on the fact that there are vast numbers of personnel and equipment out there that are opposed to the Rebels and still loyal to the Empire - even if they all fight each other at the same time, as well.

    Empires do not collapse overnight. Even planetary empires do not collapse overnight, for the most part. A scenario where a single battle leads to complete and utter and instant collapse of an empire is rather rare. A galaxy-wide Empire will take even longer to fall. Even if each and every Imperial sector is fighting on it's own and opposing the Rebels, it will take years, if not decades, to pacify them all. I never really liked much the "happily ever after" approach of Rebels instantly freeing the galaxy because it simply can't work that way. All those forces are still out there and they won't just all lie down and die because of one, however disastrous, defeat.

    That's where the timeframe of the ST comes into play. If we say it's roughly set somewhere between 30 to 40 years after ROTJ, that opens up the option to have the Empire in whatever state you want it to be.
    35 years (let's split it down the middle, eh) is more than enough to clean up most of the remaining Imperial forces, but on the other hand it makes perfect sense if they choose to still have a strong Imperial presence 35 years after ROTJ. It can go either way, really.

    My personal belief is that the Empire will either be featured as a Remnant with which the New Republic has to ally against a common threat or that it will simply be said that it fell during those 30 or so years, and the details of that struggle will be filled in at a later time in a series or something, and ST will go on it's own new merry course.
    Last edited by The Hellhammer, Oct 2, 2013
  3. Ryus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 25, 2013
    star 4
    Story needs a villain, Empires make good villains. Dark force users need fodder, Imperial Troops and Fleets make good fodder. The Empire is a belief in a system, ideas don't die with their creator. Bad guys want power, an old Empire to them is something to emulate. Trade Federation is a result of a corrupt system which likely can't repeat its history till a few thousand more years pass, but many revolutions against tyranny become tyrants themselves or least create something along the way that emulates what they fought to destroy so an Empire can return any time.

    Damn, The Hellhammer said it better than me. :p;) Know I know how follow up feels after witnessing greatness. ^:)^
    Last edited by Ryus, Oct 2, 2013
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  4. EHT New Films Manager

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    Dang, @The Hellhammer , were you just waiting for someone to make this thread? :p Well said.
  5. The Hellhammer 7SA Forum Interrogator

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    Nov 4, 2012
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    Yes.
    Yes, I was. :p

    I have no regrets. Hahah.
  6. EHT New Films Manager

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    It's a great post.
  7. StoneRiver Force Ghost

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    Oct 6, 2004
    star 4
    Nice one, @The Hellhammer - I pretty much agree with all that you say there.

    To play devil's advocate though, one question to ponder; who is to say that the employees of the Empire were happy with their positions?

    Granted, a few of the guys at the top of the Imperial food chain would most probably be happy, enjoying the perks and benefits of their own positions, but then you have the everyday joes who may have been working for the Empire because it was the only option available to them. Would these people actually be pleased with the defeat of the Emperor/Vader, and want to make the transition to another, fairer, democratic regime? Or would they be content to just serve under a different master? Would all the star systems that no longer have a voice in their own futures due to the dissolution of the senate denounce the Empire immediately and get in touch with the Rebellion? Or would they sit and wait it out and just accept the continuation of Imperial control under the regional governors, hoping that the Rebellion will come to their aid soon?

    From a storytelling perspective, it would be plausible to consider that the deaths of Sids and Vader, with the destruction of the 2nd death star, could kickstart a domino effect of revolution throughout what was left of the Empire, thereby bringing about an almost immediate collapse.

    I'm not being argumentative, just covering all the bases ;)
  8. The Hellhammer 7SA Forum Interrogator

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    That's a very good point there @StoneRiver
    The way I see it (and overanalyze it :p ) is that we, as viewers, have an exclusive, behind the scenes look into the workings of the Empire and it's real nature. Our perspective constantly revolves around the biggest players in the galaxy at that time. Even the ships we see, Vader's Death Squadron is the elite of the elite. The 501st Legion also makes up most of the stormtroopers we see, and they are also the top of their respective branch. These guys are bound to be indoctrinated and can be considered "evil" - to simplify it. The rest of the countless billions who serve the Empire are in 95% of the cases just doing a job. They never even saw Vader, much alone the Emperor himself. They're just people working their jobs in the governmental machine of their time, without any ill will or evil predispositions.

    Probably a most appropriate comparison would be the fanatical Waffen-SS divisions of the Second World War when compared to the regular guy who just fights for his country cause it's war.
    The memeber of the SS is bound to lean more towards "evil" while it would simply be insane to say that each and every German who fought in the Second World War was a Nazi or a genocidal maniac.

    In the end, I think the a considerable majority of the galaxy would see it as a shift towards something more positive, if nothing else just because the Republic has been a firm bastion of galactic society for thousands of years. It's familiar and even though it's not the best system... well, like the say "the devil you know..." There are those who would still lean toward the Separatist side of things, but then again, they might see the Rebellion as either a good or a bad thing - good because it's a new beginning, bad because they're trying to restore the Republic that really didn't work all that well.
    Last edited by The Hellhammer, Oct 3, 2013
  9. Darth PJ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2013
    star 4
    The challenge here is how does one use the Empire/Imperial forces, narratively speaking, in the new films without it feeling like a re-tread and without it undermining what the protagonists achieved in the OT? There is so much great iconography associated with the Empire in Star Wars... be it Tie Fighters, Stormtroopers, Star Destroyers etc. that it will be difficult for those involved not to use those elements in some way.

    As mentioned in the thread about the villain, I'm not sure that KK/JJ would want the new film/films to focus on (or have a major component feature) the socio/political fallout of an Empire in ruin and the emergence of a 'New Republic' - I think that's best left to the EU post Ep VII. Personally speaking - I would hope that the Empire, as we knew it, would not feature again and that the new films would allow new characters and groups to become part of official Star Wars film lore/canon. For that reason, and as cliche as it may seem to us here perhaps, a Sith army is the better route to take. That way we can have a threat that has not been featured before (we've only seen Sith in single numbers and covert) but allows the filmmakers to adapt existing iconography in order to establish Sith versions of Stormtroopers, Tie fighters etc. etc. - which would be instantly recognisable, but evolved and unique. In turn, this enables the ST to have its own design aesthetic, stand apart from the other films, and progress the concepts involved.
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  10. JediGirl_Angelina Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2003
    star 3
    It's also possible that the gouvenors have some kind of a council where they were to report the progress of their regions, which now may turn post-ROTJ into emergency gathering about how to preserve the continuity of the Empire' power and do damage control. As hierarchic as the Empire's ranking system seems, I do think there were plans and steps made in case of a succession.
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  11. purplerain Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 14, 2013
    star 4
    By "going back to being the Republic", I meant that the Empire decides to hold elections.
  12. Ryus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 25, 2013
    star 4
    Rome didn't return to a Republic too many evil men wanted the top job too much, doubtful this could ever happen without feeling forced

    Walks into voting booth, looks at ballet

    Vote for Emperor Daniel Day-Lewis
    • Yes
    • No
    Looks at Stromtrooper looking at me getting ready to vote

    Looks at next option on ballet

    Vote for Lord Cumberbatch as #2
    • Yes
    • No
    Looks at Stromtrooper again

    Looks at ballet again... there are no other options
    Last edited by Ryus, Oct 3, 2013
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  13. Maharishineo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 25, 2013
    star 1
    Some good posts in this thread. Couple things to add:

    * It's not as if the Empires forces are Germans being forced to fight a battle they don't believe in against their will. Their will is to fight for the Empire as that's how the Stormtroopers were 'programmed'

    * Remember that it took the Empire 20 years to dismantle the Old Republic (as Tarkin alluded to in Episode IV) and that's when they had basically all of the military forces (the Clones were the Republic's army pre-Order 66) and the Republic/Rebels just had scattered Jedi and ragtag groups here and there. That didn't change after RotJ; the Empire just lost its leadership and best troops, but they still have many, many trained soldiers. It's a definite possibility the war is still being waged 30 years later.

    * How old are the Stormtroopers?

    * Are the Stormtroopers still being produced? This is all the Empire really needs to keep the war going indefinitely.
    Last edited by Maharishineo, Oct 3, 2013
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  14. StoneRiver Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 6, 2004
    star 4
    @Maharishineo - Some valid points there, but there is something else to consider in relation to your post. Are Stormtroopers still clones or are they enlisted general public?

    If they are still clones, then yes, undoubtedly their will would be to fight for the Empire. But if they were joe public, trying to make a living under Imperial rule, who knows what their will would be....

    This whole scenario with the Empire is very interesting as it would appear JJ and co. can do what they like with the Empire and it will somehow fit.
  15. purplerain Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 14, 2013
    star 4
    Everybody acts like the Empire either stays a disctatirship or suddenly dissolves. They're's so many other options that nobody talks about.
  16. StoneRiver Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 6, 2004
    star 4
    [face_peace]


    Feel free to elaborate :)
  17. MillionthVoice Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 28, 2013
    star 2
    Everyone seems to forget that this is a Civil War we're talking about. The aim and end result being a change of regime, not the acquisition of territory. The empire turning back into a republic. The Imperial center is Coruscant, that is the heart of administration, and most probably, coordination. We have no reason to assume it stays 'imperial'.
    How long would the US last with the President dead, Senate dissolved since 4 years and the Pentagon overtaken?
  18. Maharishineo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 25, 2013
    star 1
    We have a chain of command with the Speaker of the House being next in line for president if the President and Vice are taken out. Whether we could sustain ourselves during a state of war would depend on the ability of the next-in-line leaders and power of our remaining military forces.

    Can you really call it compare it to a normal Civil War when there's no internal conflict among the battle forces? One side is fighting for justice/freedom/etc whereas the other is led by a greedy, power-hungry few (I think it's safe to assume whoever was next up after the Emperor also has a lust for power and would continue the fight) and their will is carried out by a non-questioning clone military force, commissioned for battle? There's much less room for 'coming to terms', understanding one another, compromising and just wanting peace. It's not a matter of political differences; it's good versus evil.
  19. Darth PJ Force Ghost

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    Jul 31, 2013
    star 4
    What would be left after Palpatine's death would invariably falter. Assuming there was no succession plan, outside of Vader, then there would be a power vacuum at its heart... in-fighting and intetnal back stabbing. What was left of the Empire would soon kill itself off without the requirment for much external intervention... or so our own history shows us.
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  20. Darth Horn Rollo Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2012
    star 1
    I'd like to see some complexity. You can think about the death of Alexander and the break up of the Macedonian Empire into three smaller Empires, led by 3 former generals of Alexander. This would allow for several different villains (Imperial, Mandalorian, Sith?) to step in and try to fill the void, with inevitable fighting between rival factions and the New Republican along with the Jedi trying to restore order.
  21. Immortiss Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 10, 2013
    star 4
    Did Sate Pestage and Gaius Grajeetus die on the Second Death Star?
  22. MillionthVoice Jedi Grand Master

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    Jan 28, 2013
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    Is it really no internal conflict? Do you think Admiral Piett would have fought on (if he had survived),rather than taking some minor administrative position? Would they even support Palpatine, if they knew he was Sith?
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  23. Maharishineo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 25, 2013
    star 1
    Perhaps "no" conflict is a bit too definitive but that's also how I felt about your post, speaking as though it was 'a matter of fact' the Empire would crumble and there wouldn't really be any chance that war could carry on.

    It's interesting to break all of this down because I feel as though all doors are open for Episode VII and they can take it in whichever direction they like. Perhaps the Empire does go down quickly, but I think it could still be going strong 30 years later, too. I think it'll be somewhere in the middle (as others have said in the thread, it seems unlikely they won't tap into the Imperial themes that have been so popular, like the troopers, fighters etc).
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  24. purplerain Force Ghost

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    Sep 14, 2013
    star 4
    Perhaps after ROTJ, the Empire went back to being the Republic, but kept fighting against the Rebellion.
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  25. Darth Chiznuk PT Trivia Master / Game Host

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    The way I've always seen it is that the entire Imperial system is a cult of personality that revolves around the Emperor. So when Palpatine is taken out it's not just the Empire losing a leader but really they lose their very soul (evil soul mind you :p). The scene in ROTS when he declares the Empire is most telling. The Senate fawns over him because he's their savior, he's order and security personified. He's the very reason the Empire exists and no one military leader can simply step into those shoes and everything goes on as if nothing has happened. The Galactic Empire isn't the Roman Empire where there was hundreds of years of tradition, it's more like Nazi Germany or any of the other countless dictatorships that are built around one person. The ideology is so closely associated with that one person that when he's gone there's really nothing left to fight for other than personal ambition or to save your own neck. Imperial governors fighting to keep their territory or stay safe from being tried as war criminals. But they'd be scattered and leaderless and easy pickings for the rebels.