World History and its influence on SW

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by JediHPDrummer, Mar 2, 2003.

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  1. JediHPDrummer Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 23, 2002
    star 3
    Hey guys, i'm a history buff and my major is world history. And in Star Wars, i see so many influences on star wars. I love how George can make adolf hitler, caeser seem like palpatine and ancient rome, Nazism like the republic to a dictatorship. In history, it repeats itself and their are running themes in history that whenever something happens this happens. So I want to get a good discussion about History and Star wars.
    Here's my 2 cents

    the fall of the galactic republic is about the same as the fall of the roman republic to julius caeser. The Senate in Rome was unstable when the roman republic was starting to fall. They couldn't solve anything, so what they would do is just send a person to go deal with it and then after that they would want ultimate power a dictator, and to be a dictator you would have to have sympathy from people, the plebians (the poor). Julius Caeser and Palpatine go on a very similar journey. Julius Caeser started as a young army general who teamed up with pompey and Crassus who all wanted to overthrow the senate and take over.

    But of course they wont always work together, using each other sometimes to get power like the trade federation, count dooku, sepratist movement and palpatine, palaptine is just really using them to get to power. So what happens is again the senate sends of caeser to take care of everything as an army genaral to expand the roman empire(not a dictatorship yet) so he goes of to fight the at Gaul which is present day france and he expands it tremendously and gets a lot of great sympathy. Kind of like when palpatine gets elected chancellor because of his sympathy for the naboo crisis. The Senate can't deal with the crisis itself so the queen deals with it which gives palpatine an easy way to power. the same thing happens to palpatine again, the senate is in a crisis and they cant deal with it, the senate can't solve anything so they give it to one person to resolve it and thats palpatine and his makes a grand army of the republic.

    Rome has had a lot of leaders that wanted power, the gracchus brothers, marius, sulla did get to be emperor, but only for a few years and gave power back to the senate and gov. But at that time the gov. had no real power. And at that time they had 2 crisis in their hand, Rebellion in the east by the turks and the greeks which again they appointed one person which was Pompey and the slave rebellion led by spartacus who again got Crassus to solve it.
    Then when pompey comes back to rome he wants to be recogized but gets rejected and thats when crassus, julius caeser and pompey get together to get ultimate power. they are all greedy to get power, crassus again wants to be brave so he goes to the east to get some sympathy from the people but sadly dies. Crassus is gone, so it leaves pompey and caeser. caeser is finished with the battles at gaul so he wants to come back and get power. But pompey wont let him and pompey tells caeser to "retire", pompey doesnt want to share power. But caeser refuses and goes and attacks pompey and wins, a theme throught history, when you have a army thats hout and fighting against pompeys army who have been sitting around, of course caeser's army will win.

    Pompey will escape to egypt, he will catch him there, and attack the egyptians. Ptolemeg and cleopatra were in power but they both wanted one person in power so of coruse caeser chose to overthrow ptolemeg, he kills him and pompey and egypt goes to cleopatra and caeser and cleopatra get married. This was a strong sympathy vote for caeser, so when he came back to rome, with all his power he decalred himself emeperor. And people liked him, lowered price of food, increases police force, built new temples and buildings, very popular leader. So the contrast with palpatine, you can see it, and i'm guessing in episode 3 he will be finished with the WAR! and he will win it, get a lot of sympathy and he already has power, he will declre himself emperor just like caeser did. And like hitler he will blame the jedi like he blamed the jews, so there we go. theres a h
  2. Koala3K Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 23, 2003
    star 1
    Wow! All that reading gave me a headache! And I don't think I absorbed too much of it, or recognized the significance to Star Wars.

    I have a few, more obvious, historical influences on the saga--

    The first thing I noticed was in the opening scroll for The Phantom Menace. The Trade Federation blockade and the trade restrictions and all seemed reminescent of the Intolerable Acts of the British after the Boston Tea "Party."

    Everyone knows that the Imperial military represents Nazis-- the stormtroopers are even named after the German stormtroopers! But even the ways George Lucas shot the rows of officers in ROTJ's opening Death Star scene was inspired by the old footage of Nazi soldiers standing in rows. In fact, behind the scenes, the prop department was using Nazi pistols to create the blasters used by such officers!

    I agree with you on Vader exterminating the Jedi as Hitler did the Jews, but I'd compare the entire Empire's rise to power to that of Hitler's. Palpatine used a war (or a threat of one) to create support for himself, just as Hitler used WW1 to gain popularity. Then, in the aftermath of that war, both dictators created huge empires and began to commit genocide. Think of all the little student Jedi seen in Episode II.... all of them will grow up to be killed by the bad guys. Even the cute little Tradoshan (or similar species).

    Anyway, the secession of the Rebel Alliance from the Empire could be compared to the American Revolution, or maybe the Civil War (more so to the former).

    Gosh, there are lots of ways the villains of Star Wars could be compared to real-life dictators, and the Star Wars events compared to historical ones in reality, but I'd like to end this post now.

    --Koala3K
  3. Dark_Lord_Rising Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2003
    star 1
    Lets not forget the Jedi could be seen as the Church and the sith as the Gnostics or Mormons that split on spiritual views.
  4. HKChicago Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 8, 2002
    star 2
    There was a time when I could have gone on and on about the parallels of Sidious's rise and Augustus's rise... but I've forgotton all of the details...
  5. ForceHeretic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2002
    star 4
    I was going to make a similar thread

    You beat me to it

    People agree, you had the same idea as me
  6. Obi-Ewan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2000
    star 4
    Well, there were plenty of Germans and Japanese living in America during World War II, who had relatives in Europe. Now, in SW, nobody knows that Luke and Leia are related to each other or to Vader, but suppose they did!

    Palpatine has a bit of Nixon and Hitler in him as well. Now I'm not sure I agree with Lucas's views on Nixon. Nixon's tactics in Vietnam was basically to bomb the VC into submission--and he brought us closer to winning that war than anyone else. But in Star Wars, the equivalent is the Death Star and its shield generator on Endor, and the Ewoks--representing the VC--are the heroes. The Hitler analogy I'm more willing to recognize, and it's an important lesson to take from the trilogy. Living in a democracy means that the people choose their leaders, and even choose their tyrants and dictators. In Star Wars, the politicians of the galaxy willingly elect Palpatine, and then roll over whenever he gives an order or asks for more power. We, the people, hold the reigns of government, and delegate that authority to others. However, we must always be vigilant about who we allow to wield that power.

    I remember that EW said that TPM could be called 1776: A Hyperspace Odyssey, and that's not too far apart. AOTC reminded me of the civil war, and I liked the extra twist of essentially having Lincoln and Davis in bed together.

    Of course real life history isn't Lucas's only source; he also turns to history as portrayed in other movies. Westerns and Samurai films obviously inspired Han Solo and the Jedi.
  7. JediHPDrummer Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 23, 2002
    star 3
    Here's a nice article by Edward Hudgins
    http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/comment-hudgins052002.asp

    Myths often manipulate our understanding of current events. Thus it is appropriate to comment on mythmaker George Lucas's latest Star Wars prequel, Attack of the Clones. Yes, the series is principally entertainment, and Episode II is enjoyable, with great special effects, lots of action, and an outstanding John Williams film score. But what messages does Lucas hope we'll take home from the theater?

    Lucas has been thinking about the fall of republics since he gave us the first installment of his epic 25 years ago. In Clones we find the Galactic Republic threatened by separatists. The Senate must decide whether to create a Grand Army of the Republic (the name of Lincoln's army during the American Civil War!) to meet the threat. Peace and order in the Republic normally are ensured by the Jedi, philosopher-knights aided by the mystical power of the Force, but those protectors cannot fight a full-scale war.

    Lucas correctly sees republics potentially undermined by large armies fighting foreign wars. After all, the Roman republic was destroyed in part because Julius Caesar used his armies and conquests to expand his personal power. That's why America's Founders were suspicious of peacetime standing armies. But while the American military has never directly endangered our republic, the concentration of power that results from permanent overseas conflicts has. And let's not forget that a reluctance to fight for freedom, for example, against terrorists, born from moral uncertainty, can also lead to the death of a republic.

    The Galactic Senate also must decide whether to give the Supreme Chancellor broad, supposedly temporary emergency powers to deal with the separatists. Lucas offers a clear parallel with Chancellor Hitler who, in 1933, acquired such powers to deal with a supposed internal threat to Germany. In the Roman republic a dictator could be elected by the Senate for a six-month term to meet a direct threat. But it gave Julius Caesar a ten-year term and when he sought to be made dictator for life, he was assassinated by defenders of the republic. (By the way, in Clones we find that the elected Queen of Naboo is actually term-limited!)

    For much of the 20th-century political power in America has grown in scope and become concentrated not in the hands of a single man but in government in general and Washington in particular. But Lucas seems confused concerning such threats to republics. The good guys in Clones believe the Senate is growing corrupt, usually a safe assumption about most legislative bodies. But what is the source of the corruption? And what is behind the separatist movement?

    In Episode I Lucas was ambiguous. He showed us the evil Trade Federation blockading and invading a peaceful planet. But we weren't sure whether they were Pat Buchanan protectionists wanting to limit exchange or free traders who resented controls on their markets. In Episode II the bad guys, the anti-Republic separatists in league with the Dark Side of the Force, include the Trade Federation, the Banking Clan, Commerce Guild, and Corporate Alliance. That's about as obvious a slap at business as you'll get. And the head of the Federation is Nute Gunray. Get it, Newt Gingrich?

    In fact, commerce usually is the backbone of a republic and a check on political power. When the American republic functioned at its best, its citizens did not spend much time engaged in politics but, rather, in creating farms, businesses, railroads, factories, and the richest country on Earth. Lucas the liberal sees economic power as a danger, and fails to realize that it is political power, even in the hands of a republican government, that corrupts commerce and society.

    In Episode II Lucas gives a nod to the moral qualities needed to ensure a republic's survival when the soldiers of the clone army, who will overthrow the republic in Episode III, are described as genetically engineered to be "totally obedient" and "less independent." Of course
  8. Grizham1 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 5, 2001
    star 2
    No one really mentions this much, but most fans seem to equate the Imperial Officer Corp to that of the Wehrmact/Schutzstaffel High Command, but they remind me more of British Naval Officers than anything. I suppose the fact that the 'Ships' such as the Star Destroyers and Tie fighters are called ships make me think more of sea-based fighting than land has a lot to do with this. But the main reasoning behind this assumption is that the British Navy ruled the world for hundreds of years, dominating the waves by going where they pleased when they pleased (not to mention striking where they pleased!). I was really just wondering if anyone else out their had ever thought of this, b/c the Imperial Officer Corp wasn't necessarily evil, nor was the Officer Corp of the German High Command. They both had good and bad men serving in them, like all things this isn't cut and dry, not all Nazis were evil, nor were all Imperials supposed to be evil I imagine.

    Onto the Nazi influence, their is a very interesting comment on imdb.com under the New Hope section that the award shots at the end of the movie are modeled directly after Triumph of the Will, which was a Nazi propoganda shot sometime during the 30's I think, maybe during the 36' olympics? But Tarkin character reminds me in many ways of Himmler, especially since he hunted down the Jedi with Vader, ala killing the Jews with Hitler, and he exterminates a whole planet in A New Hope. The scary part about the Nazi comparsion is that if anything Hitler is very much like Vader. I don't know if I want to go down this road, but the way in which Hitler's youth was shaped is almost the same as Vader's. Here goes, Hitler's mother died when he was young, so does Anakin's, Hitler fought in a huge war for what he believed was right and in the end was betrayed so to speak, and so does Anakin. The really scary thing thought is that Vader is forgiven? at the end of Return of the Jedi, Hitler will never be forgiven, so in respect to Lucas I"m sure that he intended Vader to be a combination of a lot of things, but the humanization of Vader as is happening in these movies is rather scary. How could the biggest murderer in the universe ever be forgiven? I don't know. One more little side note, Hitler's mother died from a sickness, but was treated by a Jewish doctor that wouldn't take any money for his work, Hitler never forgot what this doctor did for him and years later when Hitler annexed Austria this doctor was allowed to leave. Some indirect comparsions could be made to Anakin here, this is all conjuncture of course but it's some interesting thoughts the reason Obi-Wan and Yoda might be left alone was b/c they did favors for Anakin that endeared them to him, interesting huh? Well if you read this long hope you enjoyed it.
  9. YODA the all powerful Moderator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 5, 1998
    star 4
    As for Roman parallels, here is something I posted a few years back.

    Subject: The Jedi Council and Rome
    Author: YODA the all powerful Date Added: 8/11/99 3:54am (PST)
    For those of you who don't know, I am a history major. You have been warned.

    I am currently taking an extensive class on Ancient Rome, and I came across something in my homework that made me think about the Jedi Council's role in Republic Politics.

    I must first preface this by saying that much of what GL is doing in TPM screams of Roman historical refrences. Primarily the reference to the "Republic" which was first defined by Rome. The rise of Palpatine and the death of the Republic paralleling Caesar Agustus' rise and the fall of the Roman empire... well, I could go on.

    Anyways, the following passage is from Cicero:
    But the highest and most important authority in the state is that of the augurs (the highest religious authority), to who is accorded great influence. But it is not because I myself am an auger that I have this opinion, but because the facts compel us to think so. For if we consider their legal rights, what power is greater than that of adjourning assemblies and meetings convened by the highest officials,with or without imperium, or that of declaring null and void the acts of assemblies provided over by such officials? What is more important than the abandoment of any business already begun, if a single auger says, "On another day"? What power is more important than forcing consuls (highest political office) to resign their offices? What right is more sacred than that of giving or refusing permission to hold an assembly of the people or of the plebians, or that of aborogating laws illegally passed?... Indeed, no act of any magistrate at home or in the field can have any validity for any person without their authority.

    Now it must first be said that Cicero is one of the most widely read sources of Roman History. So if GL is up on his Roman Antiquity, then he may have some knowledge of this passage... doubtful, but it may be lurking in the back of his head somewhere.

    My question then is this:
    Does the Jedi Council hold similar authority over the Senate and the Supreme Chancellor?

    Is Palpatine's crusade to destroy the Jedi not merely religious, but politically inclined?

    Also, I seem to remember some quote from Mace Windu after OB1 announced he was ready to face the trials that expressed concern about how their religion could impact the politics of the Republic... "Now is not the time for this... <something about the Senate and Naboo>"

    This to me shows that the Jedi Council does play some role in Galactic Politics, but is religion as politically powerful as it was in ancient Rome?

    I will probably have some more thoughts on this topic next week. Interesting readi so far though.
  10. JedikiruAugustus Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 7, 2003
  11. starwars6554 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 2002
    star 6
    Another thing that is similar to World History with Star Wars is Kamakazi Pilots and TIE fighters in that TIE fighters rarely come out of battle alive. And the purpose of Kamakazi pilots was to die.
  12. Imperial_March Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 11, 2002
    star 2
    Well don't forget how the Empire is like the old Soviet Union with perhaps the death star as nuclear weapons.

    Ronald Reagan called the USSR the 'Evil Empire' drawing on this Star Wars analogy. He of course took this further with his 'Star Wars' Space Defense plan.

    The analogy is especially strong in esb --- consider the bespin mining colony. Lando was always concerned that the Empire would notice it and close it down or incorporate it into the mining-guild-system. This is similar to how every business operation or indeed anything in civil society was encorporated into the state until Gorbachev allowed some private enterprise --- perhaps he was being like vader here, allowing Lando to act free from interference in exchange for something.
  13. Imperial_March Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 11, 2002
    star 2
    ah but of course the ethos of the imperials is thoroughly BRITISH!!!!!!
  14. lil_jedi_blondie Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 14, 2003
    star 1
    Don't forget the last scene of the SE when you see coruscant and the emperor's staue falling. When that was put in either:

    A. George was modeling after the fall of the Soviet Union when Lenin's statue's were knocked down.

    -or-

    B. He can see into the future and saw Saddam's statue's being pulled down and drug all over the place.
  15. starwars6554 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 2002
    star 6
    It's probably your first choice. ;)

    The Jedi Knights are like the Muskateers of France. They were the guardians of the country, and when a new "evil" leader took control, they were systematically hunted down and killed. They were also master swordsmen.
  16. zombie Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 1999
    star 4
    Personally, i see much more parallels to The French Revolution and Napoleon than any other totalitarian regime.
  17. Falls_the_Shadow Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2002
    star 3
    The Fall of the Knights of the Jedi Temple
    Does this sound familiar?

    An order of warrior monks marked in history (1) by their humble beginning, (2) by their marvelous growth, and (3) by their tragic end.

    In time, this order acquired great wealth, which may also have contributed to a certain laxity in morals, but the most serious charge against it was its insupportable pride and love of power.

    The order was quite independent, except from the distant authority of the head of the central government.

    In the dwellings of the order, which were both monasteries and cavalry-barracks, life was full of contrasts. The members of this order were "in turn lions of war and lambs at the hearth; rough knights on the battlefield, pious monks in meditation; formidable to the enemies of the Light, gentleness itself towards all others." Having renounced all the pleasures of life, they faced death with a proud indifference; they were the first to attack, the last to retreat, always docile to the voice of their leader, the discipline of the monk being added to the discipline of the soldier. As an army they were never very numerous. They were forbidden to offer a ransom. When taken prisoners, they scornfully refused the freedom offered them on condition of betrayal.

    The order became involved in the weak and irresolute government, exposed to all the disadvantages of internal factions and corruption. However, this Order was soon opposed by a new military force that became its rival. While the members of the Order sacrificed themselves with their customary bravery in the final struggles of their government, they were, nevertheless, partly responsible for its downfall.

    What is the name of this order? There are two answers: one is our familiar Jedi; the other is the Knights Templar. A brief concise article is found here: Knights Templar

    (As you can see in the link, my entire post was just this article with a few minor edits.)

    The full title of the Templars was the Poor Knights of the Temple of Solomon & Christ. Solomon, son of David, was also called Jedidiah. (See 2 Sam 12:25 "And he sent by the hand of Nathan the prophet; and he called his [Solomon's] name Jedidiah, because of the LORD."

    Like the Templars, I think the Jedi will be declared enemies of the state based upon ?the strength of so-called revelations of a few unworthy and degraded members.? [Dooku, distinguished senior Jedi started a war, Anakin, the future Vader.] Then the whole order will be disgraced in the public?s view. Some of the leaders, like Mace Windu, might be executed in public. The average citizen of the Republic/Empire will see the Jedi as best, members of a useless ?hokey religion? or at worst, enemies to peace. In the OT, none of the rebels outside of Han Solo seems to know of Luke?s Jedi ties. Interestingly though, the rebels use the phrase, ?May the Force be with you? yet no non-Jedi has used that phrase in the PT. Perhaps the rebels are the citizens who realize too late that the Jedi were the first martyrs?
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