PT The morality and ethics of using a clone army: The Official Thread

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by MrFantastic74, May 5, 2011.

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  1. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    How exactly is starting a war-which is exactly what Dooku is getting the various Sep leaders to agree to in AOTC-not endangering the lives of innocent beings? We also know that the lion's share of war crimes (including the orbital bombardment of Humbarine, which left the planet's surface reduced to slag and the planet in general completely uninhabitable) were committed by the Separatists in general. The Seps may have gone with droids for their army, but that hardly makes them the guys in white hats.
  2. Nordom Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 1, 2004
    star 4
    You left out a part of 2b.

    1: an official envoy; especially : a diplomatic agent of the highest rank accredited to a foreign government or sovereign as the resident representative of his or her own government or sovereign or appointed for a special and often temporary diplomatic assignment
    2a : an authorized representative or messenger
    b : an unofficial representative <traveling abroad as ambassadors of goodwill>

    So in both 1 and 2 other countries are mentioned, so my definition fits with 2 out of 3, hardly MUCH more narrwoly.

    Cambridge dictionary defines Ambassador: an important official who lives in a foreign country to represent his or her own country there, and who is officially accepted in this position by that country.

    So the title is commonly used in Foreign relations. In any event I said "Ambassadors are often used when dealing with Foreign representatives. " Not that is the ONLY thing it can mean. But it gives an indication that the planets and systems in the republic are sovergin worlds that work together. We are never clearly told if the republic is one nation or several working together, we have to use what is implied. In this case the title of Ambassador implies that were are dealing with many nations and not one. And as I said before, would the President of the USA send the US ambassador to talk with the Mayor of NY?

    Franchise generally means a right or privilege. In this case I take it to mean that the TF has a right to do business in the entire Republic. Most likely the senate gave them this right and the senate can also revoke it. If this were to happen then the TF would be unable to do business anywhere in the republic. Which would likely put them out of business.

    If Mercedes had a factory in France but refused to pay taxes or follow French laws then France would have every right to close that factory down. If the cars that Mercedes make do not comply with French rules and regulations then France could certainly make them illegal to sell in France. In short they can stop a company from doing business in France.
    Which seems to be the case with the TF in TPM. Without their franchise they can not buy or sell anything in the republic and this will put an end to them.

    Regards
    Nordom
  3. Nordom Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 1, 2004
    star 4
    Is it clear at the start of AotC that the seps are leaving AND forming a new union?
    Mostly they just talk about systems leaving, not that these systems are leaving and building some "Confederacy of Independent Systems". Is that title used anywhere in the films? I do not recall. Most often the seps are called just that, separatists. That Dooku and crew are plotting war is clear but did the senate know that? If some systems are unhappy with one organisation and want to leave, why would they so quickly want to join a new one? Couldn't they just leave and work alone? People do mention that more systems are joining Dooku but that could simply mean that they are leaving together and not that they are forming some "other republic".


    I think it unlikely that the situation can change THAT much in ten years. That the republic can go from many nations working together to ONE nation in such a short time.

    So the republic does seem to function as an organization of sovergin worlds that have come together.

    I think the films could have benefitted from knowing what the seps actually wanted, we are never told why they want to leave or what demands they have.

    I think that there is little evidence to support this. Gunray knows he works for Sidious in TPM and in RotS. So why would he NOT work for Sidious in AotC? Dooku mentions that he has a Master and noone asks who that is. The seps all follow Dookus and later Grievs lead with little to no idependent thought. The senate is shown to basically do what Palpatine tells them.

    Regards
    Nordom
  4. MrFantastic74 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 2010
    star 4
    Again, you misunderstand. I was only referring to the optics of using machines vs using a race of slaves to form armies.
  5. QuangoFett Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 11, 2011
    star 4
    Here is the opening crawl of AOTC:

    There is unrest in the Galactic
    Senate. Several thousand solar
    systems have declared their
    intentions to leave the Republic.

    This separatist movement,
    under the leadership of the
    mysterious Count Dooku, has
    made it difficult for the limited
    number of Jedi Knights to maintain
    peace and order in the galaxy.

    Senator Amidala, the former
    Queen of Naboo, is returning
    to the Galactic Senate to vote
    on the critical issue of creating
    an ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC
    to assist the overwhelmed
    Jedi....


    Note how the Separatist movement is "under the leadership of the mysterious Count Dooku". The entire movement is led by Dooku. Couple that with Palpatine's comment that he "will not let this Republic... be split in two," and it's easy to see that a rival federation is going to be the result of the process.

    I suppose the OOU context of George Lucas basing the Clone Wars on the American Civil War would not be appropriate in this context of what is in the film itself.

    The ACW analogy still stands, though, even if the Separatists are not known to be forming a rival federation. The Separatists are leaving for purely political reasons, seeing the Galactic Republic as corrupt/worthless/overbearing/etc. You asked why the Republic can't just let the Separatists leave? The Confederate States of America did not exist until February 1861, two months after South Carolina seceded and years after talk of secession first began. The opponents of the secessionists had plenty of reasons to oppose them. Even if they sympathised with their cause, they did not believe threatening secession was good for the nation.

    That alone is enough for the Republic Loyalists to oppose the Separatists. You may not agree with their reasoning, but it makes sense for these characters to hold this position in context.

    Again, the example of the 19th Century United States is illustrative. The view of the USA as a conglomeration of separate nations was held by some factions while the alternate view of the USA as a discrete nation by itself was held by others. Depending on which faction had power in the branches of government at the time, the policies of the USA's federal government would reflect that. Power changed hands with every election, just like what happens in TPM.

    Evidently, Palpatine and his allies - ranging from that gung ho Gran senator to Bail Organa - have a different view to yours about what the Republic is. There's nothing incredible about their faction gaining power over the ten years of change between TPM and AOTC.

    In addition, AOTC was fairly explicit about why the Separatists were leaving. As Dooku tries to turn Obi-Wan, he mentions the corruption in the Senate. This is not a motive he's only revealing to Obi-Wan now to get him on his side; the knowledge of the Sith takeover of the Senate is that motive, said to be somethi
  6. MrFantastic74 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 2010
    star 4
    Thanks, me! Now that's a compelling Star Wars story!
  7. QuangoFett Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 11, 2011
    star 4
    I thank you as well. Very compelling. =D=

    However, I'm not sure it's any better than the actual story of the Clone Wars in AOTC and ROTS. ;)
  8. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9

    Riiight. I must be stupid or something. Feel free to actually answer me anytime, though.
  9. QuangoFett Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 11, 2011
    star 4
    Don't forget that the discovery of the Separatist conspiracy to attack the Republic with their new droid army is what unites the Republic Loyalists behind the cause of war, and what prompts them to take posession of the clone troopers.

    Also, don't forget that Obi-Wan has a healthy professional and personal relationship with Commander Cody in ROTS and that Anakin wants to save the lives of the clone pilots. Obi-Wan tells Anakin not to for the same reason he tells Anakin to abandon him to the buzz droids. Ruthless slave-drivers the Jedi are not. Any dirt is on the hands of the Loyalist politicians, some of whom are genuinely good-intentioned and all of whom are faced with the threat of droid invasion.

    All this is explained in the films. ;)
  10. MrFantastic74 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 2010
    star 4
    Your words, not mine. I don't need to answer your question that has nothing to do with the point I was making.
  11. MrFantastic74 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 2010
    star 4
    Yes, that is true. Thanks for your diplomatic posts, btw. There's no doubt that the Jedi treat the clones as human beings, and with compassion.
    But make no mistake, the clones are slaves. They have no freedom of choice to follow their own paths in life. They are forced to fight and die without the possiblity of leaving military service. The fact that the jedi treat the clones with compassion does not make the decision to use slaves any less unethical. :)
  12. QuangoFett Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 11, 2011
    star 4
    [face_peace] Certainly true. I don't think we're supposed to see the decision to use the clones (or stick with the Republic that uses them) as morally righteous in and of itself. Bail Organa says as much in AOTC. However, knowing that the Separatists are the ones who conspire to attack first, I think the decision is supposed to be seen as understandable. The threat of the Naboo Invasion writ large on a galactic scale and the dominance of the robber barons is not something the Jedi or the Loyalists take lightly.

    Just making the best of a bad situation is enough for the Jedi to lose their moral high ground. We're still inclined to root for them, though, because the Separatists are far from that high ground.
  13. Nordom Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 1, 2004
    star 4
    Fair point. Still one of Padmes lines makes me think.
    She says that if the seps feel threatened they will turn to the Commerce Guild and Coorporate Alliance for help. If the CG and CA are also seps and all seps are united in some kind of Union, isn't Padme saying "If the seps feel threatened they will turn to the seps for help"?
    That is like saying "IF France is threatened they will turn to France for help."

    It sounds to me like the CG and CA are separate from the seps but are on their side and would help them in case of war. So a distinction seemed to exist between the seps and the guilds, the TF etc. Clearly the seps are mostly just the TF and others but Padme did not seem to know this.

    We are not talking about one country here, we are dealing with thousands of planets with billions upon billions of people. If the republic in TPM is "EU in space", a collection of sovergin worlds that work together. And in AotC the Republic is "USA in space", one nation. That is a HUGE political change. Take the EU of today and imagine that in five years there is no Germany, no France, no Spain, no Italy, no England, all the nations are gone and and instead we have a single nation. OR better yet, imagine that all the countries in the entire world votes democratically to become one nation in just ten years. The republic is old, thousands of years, and if the "EU in space" was the norm up to TPM then for all that to become "USA in space" is an enormous change. Compared to that, the issue to create an army would be peanuts.

    Also, regarding USA. That nation was created from pretty much scratch, the Native Americans were not consulted. So it was not several nations that came together. The EU is several nations that have come together but noone think of the EU as ONE country. Sure more power is becoming centralized but there is quite a lot of opposition to that, not all countries use the Euro etc.

    If Palpatine can do this without much protest then what he does in AotC and RotS is childs play by comparison. I view the DS as the formation of ONE nation, the empire. Now he had the means to totally destroy anyone that protested. Before that it seemed that systems could defy the emperor or even leave. Leia says "The more you tighten your grip the more systems will slip through your fingers."



    But much of the corruption in the senate is DUE to the TF and others. So why would the TF want to leave when the corruption serves their interest? Nute is able to remain as head of the TF despite four trials so clearly there is still much corruption but he benefits from it.
    It would make more sense if a planet like Naboo, who trusted the republic and it failed them.
    That Naboo would want to leave because of the corrupt senate and how their
  14. DRush76 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2008
    star 4
    When was it established that the corruption in the Senate came from the Trade Federation?


    However, knowing that the Separatists are the ones who conspire to attack first, I think the decision is supposed to be seen as understandable.

    Conspiring to attack was not really a good excuse for the Republic to attack first. They were still the aggressors, not the Separatists.
  15. JimRaynor55 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2005
    star 3
    No nation or military in real life will agree with this. If the military knows about an actual plan in progress to attack the nation, they will take action. Furthermore, the Separatists had already plotted to assassinate a Republic Senator, and were seen on video attacking Obi-Wan, a Jedi and agent of the Republic government.
  16. Nordom Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 1, 2004
    star 4
    Several things,
    1) The TF blockades Naboo and the Senate knows this and can not stop this. So several senators are on the TF's side here. Probably through bribes or other corruption.
    2) When Padme speaks to the Senate and tells them that not only has the TF blockaded Naboo, now they have declared open war on Naboo and by extension the Republic. And the Senate refuse to act or even believe her. One senator defends the TF and the blue guy says something to Valorum and he conceeds the point. Palpatine calles him the real power in the senate he seems to be on the TF' side. Again the Senate, or at least many in it, won't act against the TF, which suggests that the TF have them in their pocket.
    3) After TPM Gunray is put on trial and the evidence is overwhelming and yet he walks free even after four trials. So the courts are also corrupt and the TF benefits from this.
    4) Then there is the question how a commercial organisation can have a seat in the senate. Do Microsoft have it's own Senator, does GM? The race Gunray belongs to, I think, are called Neomodians (sp?) so the Senator could be from them but he is called the senator from the TF. So is he a representative of the Neomodians or the TF?

    I know that Palpatine is involved in this as well and no doubt he adds considerably to the corruption.
    But it not clear that ALL of this is his doing.

    Regards
    Nordom
  17. Nordom Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 1, 2004
    star 4
    About the last point. Is Geonosis a part of the republic? It does not seem so and if so then Obi-Wan is a trespasser/spy and the Geonisians would be well within their rights to arrest him.
    He landed uninvited and without permission.

    Regards
    Nordom
  18. QuangoFett Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 11, 2011
    star 4
    Is it so unfeasible that the political Separatists actually have convergent interests with the cartels and corporations? The enemy (TF et al.) of their enemy (Palpatine, central government) is their friend, it seems.

    Gunray and the TF may still benefit from the corruption but that doesn't mean they are fine with Palpatine's government and don't want to fight it. Remember the populist anti-corruption rhetoric used by Palpatine at the end of TPM?

    Abraham Lincoln was fairly neutral about slavery (far more than Palpatine is about corruption) and even if he had been a zealous abolitionist, he would not have been able to get all he wanted through the U.S. federal government. However, the threat of any of the slaveowners' power being undermined by Lincoln's almost entirely Northeastern and Midwestern constituents was enough to prompt them into armed rebellion. This in spite of the fact that they had almost absolute power over their slaves at the beginning of the American Civil War.

    And why would Naboo join the Separatists? The Republic's stronger central government under Palpatine is to their benefit. The Separatists actually do something more than just be opposed to corruption - they secede over a political issue. That's something Naboo's appointed senator can't condone, despite her frustration with the corruption.

  19. Nordom Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 1, 2004
    star 4
    My posts have gotten a bit long so I'll try to be shorter.

    About the republic.
    If the republic had been a collection of soverign planets for 1000 years and THEN becomes one nation is just ten years. That means that up until TPM everyone thought "Yes we work together but we still have our sovergin planet." Then in just ten years all thoughts of sovergin planets go away and all planets are now just the republic. What you describe, that over time the planets would feel less and less like sovergin planets and more and more as one nation. That would have been going on since the formation of the republic.
    So by TPM the process would quite far gone so Palpatine could not have done it all.
    So in TPM the republic would not be much of an "EU in space", they would be a hair away from "USA in space".
    So to change something that has been the case for 1000 years in just ten years is a huge change. What might better explain it is an outside threat, that the republic faces a danger from the outside and initially the divided nature of the republic makes them weak.
    So then there is a call for greater centralized power. So between AotC and RotS I can see that the republic would get more unified and less diverse. But between TPM and AotC there still is no war, there is a threat that some might leave but still no fighting.

    About Naboo wanting to join the seps.
    Consider, Naboo got invaded and they turned to the senate for help and got nothing.
    So they trusted the republic and the republic just left them to fend for themselves.
    So the people of Naboo could ask "Why are we in the republic when they turned a deaf ear to our suffering and just left us to die."

    About Palpatine.
    How anti-corruption was he really?
    1) He uses the same bureaucrats as Valorum. The ones he called "The true rulers of the republic" and the script says further "Enter the bureaucrats, the true rulers of the Republic, and on the payroll of the Trade Federation, I might add. This is where Chancellor Valorum's strength will dissapear." but I do not have the film on hand to check if this is what is said in the film. So much of the same bureaucrats are still in power and if they were corrupt in TPM, is there much evidence that they are not in AotC?

    2) The courts are still quite corrupt as Nute can go through four trials and get away with a slap on the wrist if that.

    So is there much evidence that the senate/republic is significantly LESS corrupt after ten years of Palpatine? I do not really see it.

    Regards
    Nordom
  20. JimRaynor55 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2005
    star 3
    Are you trying to be contrarian? Because some of the things you're arguing for really don't make sense at all. Naboo would not join the Separatist movement, when its own former senator and native son is the pro-union head of the Republic government. And not when the face of the Separatists are the big corporations, including the Trade Federation which invaded their planet just a decade ago.

    And of course Palpatine was not really anti-corruption. He was a lying Sith Lord who was at the very core of the Republic's corruption. He ran as a strong leader who would take charge, battle corruption, and defend the Republic. He's a liar and a bad guy, that's the point.
  21. Nordom Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 1, 2004
    star 4
    I think you misunderstand me or I was unclear.

    I was talking about what reason the seps had for wanting to leave. The movie does not tell us much about why the seps are doing this or what they want. Dooku mentions that they have demands but not what those are. The corruption in the senate is brought up but the TF seems to benefit from it so why would they want leave because of a system that they benefit from?

    I then said that based on what happened in TPM, Naboo would have a good reason to be disappointed in the republic and the senate, as they did nothing when the TF attacked their planet. So I was mostly talking about a what-if with Naboo wanting to leave the republic. Then I added that in this scenario the TF and crew are still WITH the republic and their armies are used against Naboo and the others that want to leave. I then added that this scenario would be difficult for Padme as she would be torn between loyalty to the republic and loyalty to her people. Remember she is no longer the queen and if the queen and the people of Naboo decide that they no longer want to be a part of the republic, Padme would have to follow their wishes, no matter how much she personally disagrees.

    That Naboo would not want to join the TF-run seps in AotC is clear and I did not mean that.

    About Palpatine, my question is how much has changed between TPM and AotC and from what I saw, not much. There still seemed to be as much corruption as before. So I do not see Palpatine as some anti-corruption crusader nor is there much indication that the people in the films see him that way either.

    Regards
    Nordom

  22. JimRaynor55 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2005
    star 3
    Anything Palpatine does or says is a lie engineered for political gain. He is at the heart of, and is in some ways the source of, the corruption in the Senate. He exerts control over other Senators, as well as the Trade Federation. Whatever corruption goes on will benefit the Trade Fed only so far as it also benefits Palpatine. He clearly intended to throw them under the bus as early as TPM. Palpatine got himself elected as the guy who would take action because Valorum couldn't. He might have strung things along so that the Trade Fed would still exist as a threat to the Republic's stability, even as he did a lot of things to antagonize them into seceding.
  23. Nordom Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 1, 2004
    star 4
    As I said before I understand that Palpatina is behind these things, that he is creating chaos and distrust to serve his own ends. That is not in question.

    What I was trying to find out if the characters have a motivation or reason beyond "Palpatine told them to."
    If the every action or choice by the characters is due to "Palpatine told them to."
    That makes the story/characters less interesting to me.
    "Why did the TF blockade/invade Naboo?" "Palpatine told them to."
    "Why did the senate refuse to listen to Padme?" "Palpatine told them to."
    "Why do the seps want to leave?" "Palpatine told them to."
    "Why is the senate wanting an army?" "Palpatine told them to."
    "Why did the Jedi trust the clone army?" "Palpatine told them to."
    Etc.

    I have gotten this thread way off-topic so I'll stop here. But in closing I would have liked that the characters had more independent motivation for what they did. That Palpatine takes something that is already there and uses it/twists it rather than simply telling them to do something, which is how some of this stuff came across to me.

    Regards
    Nordom

  24. JimRaynor55 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2005
    star 3
    There are simple answers to your questions:

    Palpatine coordinated with the Trade Federation with his Darth Sidious identity, who presumably had compatible goals with them. TPM states that the Trade Fed is asserting its military might to get its way in a dispute over taxes. The Trade Fed was serving itself.

    Palpatine tells Padme that the Senate is corrupt, and that the Trade Fed has bought out the people who are in power. This is one thing which seems entirely true.

    As TPM very clearly demonstrates, the Republic is a complete mess. The Senate is useless, and the Republic is incapable of performing the very basic service of ensuring the safety of its member worlds. Palpatine, somebody who was elected in opposition to the Trade Fed, has been Chancellor for a decade, presumably antagonizing the big corporations the whole time.

    They want to raise an army because there is a very real threat of the Separatist movement taking up arms against the Republic. Something that actually happens, since Palpatine's apprentice is the leader of the Separatist movement.

    Obi-Wan is a Jedi who can sense evil intentions. He picked up nothing from Taun We or the Kaminoan prime minister. They were completely hospitable to him, and even encouraged him to report back to the Jedi Council and come back again. Something that is the very opposite of conspiring against the Republic. The Kaminoans state that the order for the clone army had been placed on behalf of the Senate, and it was a well-known fact that there was a sizable faction of Senators who had been wanting to militarize the Republic. Yoda himself had the good sense to remain suspicious, which was why he went in for his own personal inspection (which presumably went the same as Obi-Wan's). He activated the clones in a moment of emergency. After that, the clones proved themselves to be loyal soldiers, and it was all-out war.
  25. thejeditraitor Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 19, 2003
    star 4
    gee, i thought all the politics in the prequels bored people.
    good to see some people like discussion.
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