PT Were the Clone Wars inevitable without Palpatine?

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by Big_Benn_Klingon, Jan 25, 2014.

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  1. Big_Benn_Klingon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 14, 2013
    star 1
    Altho it’s obvious that Palpatine and the Sith used their powers to influence events leading to war to some degree, it seems that the galaxy was already a “tinder-box” as far as long-standing political, economic and social tensions between competing interests within the Republic. To my mind Palpatine just threw the match on the tinder-box. Sooner or later it would have ignited anyways.

    My rl study of history has told me that real material interests always have to been at the core of any conflict. War rarely (if ever) happens simply because of conspiracy or the actions of individual politicians - there has to be actual concrete motivating forces/interests at steak for the factions involved to go to war.




    Thoughts?
    Last edited by Big_Benn_Klingon, Jan 25, 2014
  2. May_The_Force_Be_With_You Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2014
    star 1
    Good topic.

    To answer your question...no. The reason I say that is because it is called the Clone wars and Palpatine engineered virtually every aspect of it. The small things he didn't engineer, he'd manipulate people into following a course that he wanted. So I don't think that aspect ever would have occurred. Supposedly, he and his master even manipulated Sifo-Dyas to create the clones. So the literal aspect of the Clone Wars erupting without Palpatine seems unlikely.

    You are correct that in real life, a single individual never controls every aspect of a conflict the way Palpatine did. In fact - I don't even see it as he controlled every aspect, but rather manipulated to his own ends what was already there. He bribed the right people, stoked the fires of resentment from the Separatists, weakened the Jedi and disconnected them from the Senate, etc. You're right that the walls were already crumbling before Palpatine got there. He just knocked it all down.

    I do think that without Palpatine, the Old Republic would have inevitably fallen. It looks like it was gearing towards that with its decadence and corruption. The Jedi Order had stagnated to the point of becoming dogmatic and surprisingly cold for an organization that revolves its belief structures over compassion. What probably would have happened, without Palpatine, was Separatists breaking from the Republic due to its corruption (or whatever nefarious personal motivations - i.e. Trade Federation). The Separatists would have war machines while the Republic would have no clones. They'd be stuck with Jedi who claim "We're keepers of the peace, not soldiers". Maybe in desperation the Republic would turn to some kind of draft for non-clones? Either way - the Old Republic would have been split from the civil war and who knows what would have happened...
  3. Ezekial Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 24, 2002
    star 3
    In a well-written prequels...the answer would have been yes.

    In the badly-written prequels (mainly AOTC and ROTS) that we have? The answer is no.

    All evil in the universe begins and ends with Palpatine.
  4. Force Smuggler Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    Some Great Galactic Civil War could/would happen but the Clone Wars the way they were? Highly doubt it.
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  5. timmoishere Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 2007
    star 6
    The Clone Wars were a sham created by Palpatine for the sole purpose of discrediting and eliminating the Jedi, as well as allowing Palpatine to take more complete control of the galaxy.
  6. Big_Benn_Klingon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 14, 2013
    star 1
    Ya this is kinda what I imagine. I use the term "Clone Wars" for the purposes of clarity because that's what the conflict is actually called as it exists in the saga. The name of the war or whether or not clones would be involved - or the idea that it would be the exact same scenario, just without Palpatine is not what I meant to imply. The conflict would no doubt be a radically different one, but at the core of it would still be the same conflict of the various secessionists interests vs those of the Republic.

    On a side note, ive always found the term "Clone Wars" to be an unusual name, considering that clones aren't actually an issue of contention or cause the conflict other than being a type of soldier used by one side. IMO, the term "galactic civil war" actually seems to be a better fitting name for the Clone Wars than it is for the Empire's war against the rebellion.
    Last edited by Big_Benn_Klingon, Jan 25, 2014
  7. Vthuil Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 3, 2013
    star 4
    I don't think there would have been a galaxy-wide war without Palpatine. Some kind of major crisis would undoubtedly have occurred, but he played a very active role in militarizing both sides.
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  8. OBI-TUE_KENOBI Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 15, 2009
    star 1
    Galacticly some kind of skirmish probably was going to be inevitable because of a government that runs most of a whole galaxy. However the specifics of the wars we saw in the prequels on that scale would probably not have happened. I base that on the Trade Federation in Episode I, you could tell from the very beginning of the film that they were in way over their heads and most likely would not have even blockaded Naboo without the meddling of Darth Sidious. He basically took a buch of spineless greedy corporate types and told them lies to manufacture a war to gain control of a galaxy. A war, I point out that was fought by clones and robots, two completely made combatants to build up terror yet completely expendable. The Emperor is probably the best strategist ever heard of in politics. :)
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  9. DARTHVENGERDARTHSEAR Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2002
    star 4
    A lot of Palpatine's achievements can be attributed to his master, Darth Plagueis, who was responsible for a lot of the schemes — the clone army, especially. And if it wasn't for Plagueis, Palpatine wouldn't have gotten as far as he did in politics, too. But, alas, this is all present in the book and not on-screen. :(
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  10. Loupgarou Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 19, 2010
    star 3
    Seeing as the republic was bloated, weighted towards core worlds and full of easily-bought senators before Palpatine, thoughts of secession would have entered the minds of many regardless. But as much as i want it to be the CIS is not a confederacy of systems with varying goals and degrees of justifiability. It's an alliance of greedy corporations that simply uses those with goals other than 'oppress people to make money' for their ends and then disposes of them. These corporations would not have had the guts to oppose the Republic so directly without a push from Palpatine, and would also be unlikely to work together. So that's point one, but let's say that the Techno Union and Trade Federation and all the others do decide on their own to build a droid army and fight. The Republic would not have a clone army, sure, but they would have Jedi. The CIS wouldn't have Dooku, meaning no figure-head to attempt to add faux legitimacy to their cause. This matters because this means that to the galaxy, they'd just be evil business-men, not freedom fighters. and so very few systems would be sympathetic, meaning that the army-less republic is more likely to be able to gather troops from many worlds, led by Jedi.

    So without Palpatine, you'd have a less well-managed and undoubtedly full of in-fighting CIS versus a republic that's banded together in a time of need. Not only would the republic win, but it might actually spur positive talks and actions towards unity. There may have been a war, but it may have simply made the republic better in the long run.
  11. Cushing's Admirer Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2006
    star 6
    I think given how it was presented, yes. He merely caused things to happen faster and more intensely due to being a Sith Puppet Master.
    Last edited by Cushing's Admirer, Jan 26, 2014
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  12. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2012
    star 3
    Unlike many here I just don't see any of the parties having the 'stomach' for a Galactic wide war. At the beginning of TPM the Trade Federation are shown to be less than enthusiastic about military action - they are essentially ordered to do so by Sidious. Later in AOTC the Separatist leadership are duped by Dooku (Tyranus) into creating a droid army on the understanding that they will overpower the Republic. There seems to be no military leadership within those organisations - they all seem to be provided by the Sith.

    So, the war that we see unfold would be very unlikely without the Sith, as I see it. As for the long run....well we don't know. We don't know because we don't really have any clue as to the 'grievances' the Separatist systems have. The idea that the Republic is crumbling is...something we are told, not shown.
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  13. Cushing's Admirer Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2006
    star 6
    The very premise of the Saga is war, unfortunately, thus I think it's very likely. I equally don't buy that only two individuals caused the whole mess. The Jedi were already way too stiff and cold for their or the Galaxy's good.
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  14. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2012
    star 3


    Indeed it is the premise. It is also the premise of the movies that Palpatine is indeed manipulating everything toward war. What we are shown is that Palpatine is in control of what the TF are doing; that the TF leadership are not comfortable, or particularly willing participants. So, without his forcing the issue with them....where is the will for war? Same with the droid army. It takes the goading and negotiating of Dooku to put together a military strikeforce. Without Palpatine and Dooku, where is the will to make war?

    As for the Jedi.... I don't remember the Separatists having grievances against them specifically. I see no connection between some 'inevitable' war and the Jedi. Nor do I see the 'stiffness' or 'coldness' that is so often trumpeted as the reason for their and the Republic's downfall. If that is what is supposed to be told through the movies then I can only say that it failed from where I see it.
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  15. Cushing's Admirer Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2006
    star 6
    I didn't say he wasn't I simply said these two men aren't the sole causes.
  16. May_The_Force_Be_With_You Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2014
    star 1
    Ah I see. So you meant the Clone Wars to be interchangeable with some kind of conflict that would have been like the Clone Wars? In that case - I think so. Or at the very least, radical changes would have come independently. Eventually - someone would have questioned the way the Jedi Order was behaving. (Perhaps Qui-Gon would have allied with Dooku and tried to force a change from within?). In terms of the Republic, the others make a persuasive point that the CIS seemed...less sure of themselves without Dooku/Sidious manipulating them. If no civil war would have erupted, I bet there would have been maybe a more peaceful change.

    In the deleted scenes, there was another faction of people that (Padme, Bail, Mon, etc.) who didn't like the direction of the Republic. Maybe they would still emerge but to champion the cause of restoring the Republic to a non-corrupt and bureaucratic mess it had turned to?
    Big_Benn_Klingon likes this.
  17. SithStarSlayer Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2003
    star 6
    The Clone Wars were brought to you in part by, Darth's Bane & Zannah.
  18. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    It does go right back to the novelizations of the OT though:

    ANH novelization:
    Introduction:

    Aided and abetted by restless, power-hungry individuals within the government, and the massive organs of commerce, the ambitious Senator Palpatine caused himself to be elected President of the Republic. He promised to reunite the disaffected among the people and to restore the remembered glory of the Republic.

    Once secure in office, he declared himself Emperor, shutting himself away from the populace.

    Ben, of the Jedi:

    "In many ways they were too good, too trusting for their own health. They put too much trust in the stability of the Republic, failing to realise that while the body might be sound, the head was growing diseased and feeble, leaving it open to manipulation by such as the Emperor."

    RoTJ novelization:
    Palpatine musing:

    Back in the days when he was merely Senator Palpatine, the galaxy had been a Republic of stars, cared for and protected by the Jedi Knighthood that had watched over it for centuries. But inevitably it had grown too large - too massive a bureaucracy had been required, over too many years, in order to maintain the Republic. Corruption had set in.

    A few greedy senators had started the chain reaction of malaise, some said; but who could know? A few perverted bureaucrats, arrogant, self-serving - and suddenly a fever was in the stars. Governor turned on governor, values eroded, trusts were broken - fear had spread like an epidemic in those early years, rapidly and without cause, and no-one knew what was happening, or why.

    And so Senator Palpatine had seized the moment. Through fraud, clever promises, and astute political maneuvering, he'd managed to get himself elected head of the Council. And then through subterfuge, bribery, and terror, he'd named himself Emperor.
    Last edited by Iron_lord, Jan 27, 2014
  19. Alexrd Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2009
    star 5
    Without Palpatine, the Trade Federation wouldn't have the guts to blockade (let alone invade) a planet. As such, the chances of the Clone Wars happening would be close to zero.
    Last edited by Alexrd, Jan 27, 2014
  20. Ananta Chetan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2013
    star 4
    "Everything that has transpired has done so according to my design."


    ;)
    Last edited by Ananta Chetan, Jan 27, 2014
  21. Ezekial Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 24, 2002
    star 3
    And this is one of my biggest problems with the prequels. Prequel fans will flip flop around and vary their justifications. The prequels are more complex than the original trilogy. No, they are not. Realistic politics does not have all evil beginning and ending with one man.

    Then they shift to saying that Star Wars is a simple tale of good vs evil. Again, no, it is not a simple tale of good vs evil, not when there is the suggestion that....an evil man who killed little kids was really just a good guy who was tricked.

    AOTC and ROTS were the worst films, by far, in the entire series. It's like those North Korean propoganda videos that rip off video games to show missiles devastating Manhattan. Like, everyone knows that the Korean situation is very complex, but to hear the North Koreans tell it, it is black and white, them vs the world. Same with the prequels. Everyone knows from the OT that the political situation is complex. There are parallels to the real world, the Death Star is like the Atom bomb, Star Destroyers are like Navy destroyers, so logically the closest parallel to the Clone Wars should have been The Great War of 1914. But no, to hear the prequels tell it...it's the tale of how one side was wholly illegitimate, tricked by one near-omniscient man alone...
  22. SithStarSlayer Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2003
    star 6
    So, was that just the long version of post #3?
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  23. Polydroxol Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2014
    star 2
    I think some sort of war without Palpatine would have erupted, however, it would never be the extended, focused, and acutely architecured conflict/scheme that was the Clone War. This war would most likely end in a united Republic overcoming a spirited but divided as well as logisically challenged Confederacy.
  24. Big_Benn_Klingon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 14, 2013
    star 1
    Well I think it's hinted in the movies that the separatist discontent is deeper than simply corporate greed and certainly the Clone Wars series expanded on that. Also, my perspective about war not being the work of conspiracy or individuals applies to capital and capitalists as well. I assume real material interests and motivations (inter-republic competition etc) rather than some moralistic "evil" motivated the separatist financial interests to action. Big capital doesnt take risky actions (like war) without strong material motivation other than the "greed" of it's top managers. It seems likely that the Trade Federation and the Techno Union etc. were relative 'have-nots' of the republic corporate world and going to war was their only option to remain competitive with the capital in the core

    I actually don't think the Naboo-TFed conflict in itself is particularly important to the eventual Clone Wars - but the republic's political reaction to it (or more specifically, the lack there off) is actually what matters. In this specific case, Palpatine would have just searched out a party who's own material desperation would have made them the easiest to manipulate. An extremely successful TF wouldnt risk everything on some political/military gamble if they weren't already desperate.

    The inevitability is that the Jedi have bound themselves to defend the Republic. It doesn't matter if the separatists have a problem with them or not - the Jedi are the default enemy of anyone who apposes the Republic
    Last edited by Big_Benn_Klingon, Jan 28, 2014
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  25. The Star Wars Archivist Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 22, 2013
    star 3
    No. If you're saying the Clone Wars would've started without Palpatine... you're wrong. It was him who started the Separatists in the first place, using the face of Dooku. He was manipulating everything.
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