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Saga Why didn't the New Republic kill all the Imperials after Jakku?

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Mandalore the Ascendent, Feb 11, 2018.

  1. Mandalore the Ascendent

    Mandalore the Ascendent Jedi Youngling

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    Dec 6, 2017
    As far as I am aware, the New Republic wins the Battle of Jakku and is then able to sign a peace treaty with the Galactic Empire. This is called the Galactic Concordance and involves the Empire disarming. Some extremists go off into the Unknown Regions and found the First Order.

    Okay, correct me if I am wrong in this, but the Empire are Nazis in space? So it is reasonable to assume that the fall of the Empire would play out in much the same manner as the fall of Nazi Germany and people would react to them in the same way.

    So if you look at what happened to Nazi Germany:

    - Unconditional surrender. The entire country occupied and divided between the Allies.

    - The Nazi Party is banned. Its members and senior military figures arrested, thrown in prison or outright executed. Israel conducts a campaign of assassination against those who try to escape this.

    - The entire Nazi state is dismantled. German militarism is actively and consciously suppressed with great effort made to encourage a move towards pacifism and neutrality.

    - Great effort is made to publicise the crimes of the Nazi state. This is something which exists even today. People around the world are essentially taught in school to remind them how evil the Nazi's were.

    Now, compare this to Star Wars:

    - The New Republic offers a generous truce that allows the Empire to retain much of the core and inner rim. This is an obscenely generous offer since it means the rebels will have failed to liberate the galaxy from Imperial rule. They even allow the formation of a successor state to go unpunished.

    - As per the above, the Imperial State is not dismantled.

    - No Imperials are punished for their crimes. No attempt is made to pursue General Hux the Elder and the other Imperials into the Unknown Regions. Essentially every Imperial is pardoned regardless of their complicity in an illegitimate totalitarian regime that committed genocide.


    Now, a few people might be saying "but the Empire isn't anywhere near as evil, so the Republic was simply being proportionate in its response". This doesn't add up.

    * The Empire committed genocide on Alderaan with the Death Star and intended to use these weapons for that purpose. It is reasonable to infer from this that they use more "traditional" methods of repression such as the gulag and death camps. This is especially true considering that they enslave and massacre non human species, but it would also apply to political dissidents, prisoners of war and the like.

    * Such crimes are magnified by the fact that before the Empire the galaxy knew 1000 years of peace under the democratic republic.

    * They are being led by a Dark Lord of the Sith. If you look at the supernatural nature of Star Wars, this makes the Empire and all those who serve it comparable to Orcs from Lord of the Rings in that they are servants tied to an unnatural force that represents chaos and evil incarnate. Destroy the Sith and by extension the Empire and you restore balance. So by extension, killing every Imperial is a just and righteous thing to do.

    Basically showing forgiveness towards these people would be deemed immoral. I am sure the Republic would give them a trial, but if you're an officer or member of the Imperial State then you are either spending a lifetime in jail or getting hanged.
     
  2. Snafu55

    Snafu55 Jedi Knight star 2

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    Oct 19, 2015
    Ehh it's much like post WW1 Germany... and defeats the point of a Democracy if you totally ban material in schools and environments, (ie we still allow the KKK and Neo-Nazis exist).
    Many members of the Republic were like Isolationists America, France, and Britain post WW1, when the Germans were rearming and annexing Austria and Czechoslovakia. They were too paranoid and afraid of another war (cognitive dissonance) or didn't mind the fascists who were doing well during the Great Depression.
    In the new canon, I haven't read many of the books, but many senators didn't believe the First Order much of a threat or were being payed off by the FO. And many people in the mid rim and core worlds liked the empire.
    I do disagree with how easily the New Republic left the Empire with a slap on the wrist, but the Resistance was formed for just that to watch the FO's actions, unlike the New Republic.
    Whether they should of executed the Imperial War criminals left... I don't believe many war criminals were left, I thought they fled to the unknown regions to form the First Order imao XD
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018
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  3. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 10 Staff Member Manager

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    Mar 4, 2011
    I also think they probably could not agree on exactly what type of new government they wanted to form—most were too young during the Old Republic to remember how it was structured, and those that did, probably had a good idea of how Palpatine was able to use the bureaucracy to his own advantage in the first place. So they were as occupied with the formation of the new government as with the appropriate punishment for the remaining Imperials, whom they probably underestimated, not considering them too dangerous without Palpatine and Vader around.

    And I agree that any decisions were probably along the lines of the armistice at the end of World War I, with disagreement on how harshly the remaining Imperials should be punished.
     
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  4. Martoto77

    Martoto77 Jedi Master star 5

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    Aug 6, 2016
    The civil war was only intended to change the regime. Not to liberate conquered territories or annihilate the Empire. The Empire was the Republic.
     
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  5. Oissan

    Oissan Force Ghost star 7

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    Mar 9, 2001
    Just because the Empire was in part inspired by the Nazis, doesn't mean that you can just project history 1-to-1.
    Like Snafu55 said, the fall of the Empire is much more similar to the end of WW1. What happened after WW2 was a direct consequence of the method applied at the end of WW1 not working out. The Treaty of Versailles was not harsh enough to take Germany out of the picture entirely, but also so harsh that it deeply antagonized the Germans. Seeing how the war ended with German troops still on foreign territory, it was rather easy for people to fall for the claim that Germany wasn't truly beaten in the field, and that the treatment of Germany was very unfair. This, in combination with the fact that Germany managed to rise again, followed by this time actually causing an even bigger war, was what led to the decision that Germany needed to be beaten decisively this time around. Both to make sure that people wouldn't fall for the believe that Germany wasn't truly beaten, and to actually make sure it wouldn't be able to rise again.

    In other words, what you describe above happened for the sole reason that the different approach that was tried before didn't work out. In the history of Star Wars, there was no WW1-like outcome that could have caused people to make sure that this would need to be taken to the bitter end. What you are seeing is the development from WW1 to WW2, not the aftermath of WW2. Even the First Order fits into that picture. While the Empire isn't really a good match for Imperial Germany, it very much functions as the same militaristic entity; order, discipline, all that stuff. The First Order, on the other hand, is much more unhinged and extreme, just like the Nazi-leaders.


    I also have to add that while certain key figures of the Nazis were executed or served long prison-sentences, quite a few staunch Nazis had no trouble sticking around and serving in the government of both the Federal Republic of Germany as well as in the German Democratic Republic. Neither the Allies nor the Soviets could really afford to do much about that, because they were too busy with the developing cold war and needed the support of the German people.
     
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  6. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Chosen One star 10

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    Sep 2, 2012
    Going by the newcanon Lost Stars novel, many Imperial military officers are going on war crimes charges shortly after the Battle of Jakku.
     
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  7. Lt. Hija

    Lt. Hija Jedi Master star 4

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    Dec 8, 2015
    IMHO we look too much at the conflict Alliance vs. Galactic Empire as if it had been a conflict of nations while in fact it was a galactic civil war, emphasized by Solo's "Look, I ain't in this for your revolution."

    Although the Nicaraguan Revolution hadn't started yet in the summer of 1976 (however, it'll never cease to amaze me how prophetic the medal ceremony in ANH looked, considering that three years later the scene appeared to be re-enacted on July 20th, 1979 in Managua), I think it invites comparison to the Galactc Civil War illustrated in the OT: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicaraguan_Revolution
     
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  8. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Chosen One star 10

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    Sep 2, 2012
    The aftermath of revolutions and civil wars, is often trials for important figures in the previous regime.
     
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  9. Martoto77

    Martoto77 Jedi Master star 5

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    Aug 6, 2016
    I shook hands with Daniel Ortega about 35 years ago.
     
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  10. Ghost

    Ghost Chosen One star 7

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    Oct 13, 2003
    Where did you get your info from?

    The Empire ceases to exist within 1-2 years of ROTJ, they surrender. Only Coruscant I think remains under their control past the battle of Jakku, but the Empire soon ends there too.

    The First Order comes from their secret bases/fleets in the Unknown Regions, but the vast majority is from the New Republic worlds that declared independence about 5-6 years before TFA.

    The Empire was vilified, look at how the Senate reacts to merely learning that Leia is the daughter of Darth Vader.

    Those guilty of war crimes did see justice. It's only the bureaucratic leftovers that carried over from the Republic that say in place, if not guilty of war crimes.

    Mon Mothma ensured that militarism was suppressed, and the military was drastically cut.

    Killing every Imperial is NOT a "just and righteous thing to do." See: the moral lessons of Star Wars.
    (btw: basically EVERYONE was an Imperial. Han trained at the academy. Leia and Mothma were Imperial Senators. Etc.)
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
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  11. darth-sinister

    darth-sinister Manager Emeritus star 10 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

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    Jun 28, 2001
    The last part is why there was no "Imperial Purge". The Republic had to be better than the Empire was, which meant trials for the top officials and the worst offenders. Most lower ranking officers would be tried based on their actions during the Empire's reign. Someone like Agent Kallus would be tried for his past crimes, but his later actions would be taken into consideration. Someone like Tarkin, on the other hand, would face serious repercussions.
     
  12. Mandalore the Ascendent

    Mandalore the Ascendent Jedi Youngling

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    Dec 6, 2017
    If you search Canon "Imperial Remnant" on Wookiepedia it states that the Empire continued after the Galactic concordance with much of its territory. So the Empire is never dissolved and the Rebellion never won because it's goal was to restore the Republic and by extension destroy the Empire.

    I think that enormously downplays the magnitude of the Empires crimes. In the real world, we put people on trial for being a member of the SS, or being involved in the Holocaust; the guy who ran the trains for example. Those crimes were so horrific that a point was made about voiding the excuse that it was "just orders".

    Let's say you were part of a Stormtrooper unit that massacred an entire village of innocents; like we see in the Force Awakens. Are you saying they should be pardoned? To me that suggests that the grunts are involved. What about all the personnel on the Death Star? These are clear examples that even line soldiers are willingly complicit in the atrocities of the Empire.

    Han Solo, Finn, Iden they all choked when asked to do anything bad for the Empire. In other words they had a conscience. Which only proves that those who go along with it are wilfully evil and have to die. It's quite clear that we are not supposed to have any empathy for the Imperials in the films and rightly so.

    If the Empire was truly vilified by the New Republic then it would have followed a similar course to the Allies dismantling Nazi Germany after the war. However it would be inconvenient for the NR to have hunted down the Imperials so they had to make an inexplicable peace treaty. If they hate Vader so much then why don't they attack the First Order? Why not actually dissolve the Galactic Empire? Why not hunt down those Imperials who fled into the Unknown Regions?

    It's not a natural or believable reaction considering the scale of bloodshed and horror unleashed by the Empire that the NR would not punish former Imperials. Pretty much every citizen of the NR and alien should despise and hate the Empire as evil incarnate. They would probably view an Imperial loyalist the same way you would a former member of the SS.

    I don't think you can compare it to the Treaty of Versailles. For one, the Empire committed horrific crimes that extend to genocide and mass murder. These are far beyond anything Imperial Germany did. Secondly, this was a civil war to restore democracy against a totalitarian state. WW1 was a clash of Empires. Totally different. It makes sense to impose on a defeated nation. But the Rebels states goal was to replace the State with a Democratic Republic. So the conflict could rationally only ever end with the Empires dissolution and by extension the First Order.

    I also don't buy the Pro-Imperial thing. The Empire and FO are the cause of chaos and instability in the galaxy. The Republic "endured for a thousand generations". We are explicitly told that the balance in the force can only be restored by destroying the Sith and by extension their proverbial Orcs. People should know this post RoTJ, the same way people learned about Hitler in Germany and what he really did. So I really don't understand why anyone would support the Empire unless you were insane or brainwashed. Especially since Star Wars is not morally grey and all the Imperials are evil it feels like a plot contrivance to explain away why everybody doesn't instantly side with the Rebellion/Resistence. Because apparently people love a totalitarian regime that will enslave you, kill your parents and wipe out all the aliens...
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
  13. Martoto77

    Martoto77 Jedi Master star 5

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    Aug 6, 2016
    The rebellion was never intended to destroy the Empire. It was intended to restore the senate and the constitution, i.e. revolution, regime change.
     
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  14. Mandalore the Ascendent

    Mandalore the Ascendent Jedi Youngling

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    Dec 6, 2017
    Regime change involves destroying the previous government and state.
     
  15. Martoto77

    Martoto77 Jedi Master star 5

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    Aug 6, 2016
    Not necessarily. The Empire was the Republic. The Empire didn't destroy the Republic. The Republic voted for the Empire's formation. And when it collapsed it was not because of an external enemy to the Empire intervening and occupying it.

    It was a revolution.

    Last time I checked, Russia and France were not destroyed. Armed popular uprisings forced their respective regimes to abdicate and/or were decapitated. Literally and figuratively.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
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  16. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Chosen One star 10

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    Sep 2, 2012
    The "Orc" comparison isn't really appropriate. Better LoTR examples are the Easterlings, and the Dunlendings.

    When Saruman is defeated - his human followers, the Dunlendings, aren't executed - the heroes know that they've been manipulated by him, and they are sent back to their homes.

    When Sauron is defeated, the Easterlings are spared, not massacred.

    Both of these come from the novel.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
  17. Mandalore the Ascendent

    Mandalore the Ascendent Jedi Youngling

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    Dec 6, 2017
    The reason Orcs were treated differently was because they wilfully helped the Dark Lord and committed atrocities in his name. The Dunlendings were both manipulated and not major participants in the various massacres; neither were the Easterlings or Harad.

    You can't say the same of Imperial Officers and Stormtroopers. Let's take the canon example from Battlefront 2 in which you have them commit a program of genocide on "loyalist" Imperial worlds to "split the wheat from the chaff" as it were. This includes Stormtroopers going door to door and shooting people. The insinuation is that this is happening across the Empire and part of Palpatines design. That really does make them no better than Orcs, creatures of destruction blindly following the orders of a dark lord. They are monsters with the faces of men.

    There is no rational justification for following orders like this. We are not provided with one. The Empire is a machine to keep the Sith in power. If they were manipulated then why is that story point never brought and why do intelligent characters like Tarkin not ask "are we the baddies?" The implied answer is that most of them do not care.
     
  18. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Chosen One star 10

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    Sep 2, 2012
    The orcs are more like "mind-controlled minions" - when Sauron dies, they start acting crazy - even killing themselves.

    Imperials, generally speaking, aren't on the same level of fanaticism as orcs.
     
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  19. Ghost

    Ghost Chosen One star 7

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    Oct 13, 2003
    It's not the first time Wookieepedia has been dreadfully wrong.

    The Empire is dissolved.

    The Rebellion's goal wasn't to destroy the Empire, but change its leadership and reform back to Republic.


    There's no peace treaty. They hunted down every wanted Imperial they could.
    The First Order is not the Empire (and the reason why so much of the fleet is gathering on Hosnian Prime is probably because the New Republic was close to declaring war).


    You keep repeating your misunderstandings.



    You don't understand Star Wars, then.
     
  20. Mandalore the Ascendent

    Mandalore the Ascendent Jedi Youngling

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    Dec 6, 2017
    Of course the Empire is evil. The premise of Star Wars takes that for granted, there is never a question mark over this.

    The term "Imperial" refers to members of the State. A State is a government and its associated apparatus. That is not the same thing as a Nation or collection of people. A good comparison is the distinction between Nazi and German. One refers to an extreme political party, the other to a country and group of people.

    This isn't The Old Republic where the term Imperial does refer to a group of people because the Sith Empire is a nation state whose people are distinct from the Republic.

    So when you say kill all the Imperials, that is not only a perfectly rational thing but is what our heroes actively set out to do for the whole of the OT.

    Why would the Republic accept that the First Order is not simply the Empire by another name and attack it on that basis? This is a rogue entity founded by war criminals guilty of genocide and who have sworn allegiance to a Dark Lord. They idolise the Empire and actively look like them. This is like distinguishing the SS from the Nazis. If Nazis had formed that state in Argentina do you really think the Allies and Soviet Union wouldn't have crushed them because "oh but they have a different name now"?

    Well actually Palpatine dies Gallius Rex and the events of Battlefront 2 show the Imperials doing precisely that and killing themselves aimlessly. Just because they aren't shooting themselves in the head is hardly a compelling argument for their humanity and capacity for redemption. Ask yourself this. If you kill every single Orc in LoTR would that be a good thing? Yes, our heroes actively do this without question. This would make the world a better place. If Orcs had a conscience they wouldn't be on team evils side, so by definition they are beyond redemption. Now, if you killed every Stormtrooper....
     
  21. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Chosen One star 10

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    Sep 2, 2012
    Lost Stars does a great job of showing why someone with a conscience might remain with the Empire, despite being extremely troubled by it - having an "I made a promise and must stick to it no matter what" honor code.
     
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  22. Bazinga'd

    Bazinga'd Hand of the Mod Squad and Enforcer of the Realm star 6 Staff Member Manager

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    Nov 1, 2012
    Evil is always relative and subjective. Known as moral relativism.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
  23. Mandalore the Ascendent

    Mandalore the Ascendent Jedi Youngling

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    Dec 6, 2017
    If the majority of characters within the universe and the audience would describe the Empire and FO as evil then that consensus forms the basis of commonly accepted morality. So yes, Hux may as a character think he is doing the right thing, but because he is violated the consensus of the majority of people in that universe and how it's depicted you can infer that he is an evil character. We wouldn't throw people in jail for crimes if moral relativism held true.

    Even then, it's hard to understand what could motivate Hux or Tarkin to do what they did. Tarkin simply wanted to test the weapon. Hux contradicts himself multiple times:

    - The Republic is a peaceful government that does not support the Resistence. The FO would be screwed if the NR had tried to destroy them.

    - He says the Republic causes chaos and proceeds to do a chaotic act of slaughtering a few billion people and starting a war.

    - He says they lie. About what? You are proclaiming that you want to kill billions of people and conquer the galaxy. Either they are stating the truth or they're saying something trivial compared to this truth.

    - How is the Resistence showing treachery? The FO is not a legitimate nation state like the Empire it's a terrorist organisation like Cobra Command. You can't betray something you aren't loyal to. They aren't associated with the NR so aren't breaking the terms of the Galactic Concordance but what he is standing on is a clear violation of the Galactic Concordance.

    - He is clearly describing freedom and democracy as disorder.

    Basically this speech is obscene and shows that he is either mad or that this shows how brainwashed members of the FO are. But I think he legit believes what he is saying. But we as the audience are not supposed to agree with him. We are meant to conclude that this is a horrible act and any action taken to destroy the First Order and all of its drones is a necessity forced upon the good guys by the villains.
     
  24. Bazinga'd

    Bazinga'd Hand of the Mod Squad and Enforcer of the Realm star 6 Staff Member Manager

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    Nov 1, 2012
    Even in a society where moral relativism prevails, there is still absolute morality on certain issues. So a pure state of moral relativism never exists.
     
  25. Ghost

    Ghost Chosen One star 7

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    Oct 13, 2003
    But you see, "Imperial" is closer to "German" than to "Nazi" in your comparison. The Empire as a system is evil, but not all members of it are, even if they're not making the best choice by sticking with it. Not every teacher, nurse, pilot, logistics official, etc. who works for the Imperial government is evil. And no one is irredeemable. Even if not redeemed, the message of Star Wars is to not kill people needlessly, especially not when at your mercy.

    No, they seek to overthrow the Emperor and his henchmen and power-hungry moffs & admirals/generals, restoring democratic self-rule.

    Retribution is never justice.

    Going by your example, I don't think the US or Soviet Union would have declared war on Argentina until they committed aggression or another holocaust (and unfortunately it's not a given even in the second example).

    Also, the New Republic just thinks of the First Order as the New Republic politicians and worlds that declared independence from them 6 years before The Force Awakens. The war criminals in the Unknown Regions is more like their hidden force. Even the Resistance didn't know much about it until The Force Awakens.

    Tolkien himself said his intention was never to compare Orcs to humans... and later came to regret making all Orcs evil altogether.

    And beyond that, the message is clear in Star Wars. Life is sacred to the Force.
     
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