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Lit What if Palpatine was NOT the Sith Lord ?

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Jid123Sheeve, May 17, 2021.

  1. Jid123Sheeve

    Jid123Sheeve Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 9, 2016
    This thread was inspired by this tweet



    There are a lot of "What If's in Star Wars and with this thread I wanted to discuss the direction Star Wars would have gone if Palpatine was NOT a Sith Lord.

    As we all know one of the big influences of Palpatine was Richard Nixon since Star Wars made during that time (Or a bit after that) and in general the idea of corrupt politicians consodliating power and turning a republic into a Empire.

    In the A New Hope novelization this is a more direct parallel to the times with Palpatine being just that, a corrupt politician. HOWEVER instead of the genius machiavellian who is pulling all the strings, he is the ineffective politician who is being manipulated by the likes of Tarkin and military offices (And maybe Vader)

    So I guess what i wanna discuss is, what would Star Wars have been like if the Empire was not controlled by a evil Sith Lord

    What if the Empire as a entity wasn't so tied to the Evil Wizard bad guy and does making Palpatine NOT a Sith Lord and would that actually strengthen the Nixon allegory.

    What is sorta the political message then of Star Wars in terms of the evils of the Empire.

    How does that change the dynamics and the overall direction of Star Wars.

    Lets discuss it's a interesting "What If"
     
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  2. Alpha-Red

    Alpha-Red Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Apr 25, 2004
    Wouldn't that mean that Star Wars would just be more like the Dune universe instead? You got an emperor, but he's not all-powerful, and he's subject to manipulation by bigger power players...
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2021
  3. VexedAtVohai

    VexedAtVohai Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 4, 2020
    What would we be working from here? Just the novelisation and original film? Splinter of the Mind's Eye?

    Or are you thinking of the same universe (Mace Windu existed, the Sith are as later depicted, etc) but with only Palpatine altered?
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2021
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  4. SyndicThrass

    SyndicThrass Jedi Master star 4

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    Sep 25, 2016
    Well, we wouldn’t have gotten Dark Empire or Rise of Skywalker.
     
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  5. Jid123Sheeve

    Jid123Sheeve Jedi Grand Master star 5

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    Jul 9, 2016
    Never said what we had is a bad thing ;)

    Mostly just the ANH novelization although if you wanna at Splinter you can, I'm more interested in the direction Star Wars could have gone and how some of the political themes play out if Palpatine was not a Sith Lord and it making it easier to not just reduce things to "A Evil Wizard is the Problem"

    I don't know much about Dune so I'll take your word for it. But it is intersting that (Especially after Return of the Jedi) we see more and more the all incompasing Evil Emperor as the big bad who you need to destroy in order to defeat the Evil Empire.

    Instead of dealing with the Empire as a institution it's all sorta personalized in one individual.
     
  6. AusStig

    AusStig Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Well then I guess Vader might be more active in killing the Jedi, even if something like Order 66 happened it might have been Vader who defended Palpatine first.

    But I am not a fan, I think it would make Palpatine too 'normal' while I like him being something else.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2021
  7. SyndicThrass

    SyndicThrass Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 25, 2016
    For as much as Lucas might make the Nixon comparison, Palpatine isn’t really all that similar to him, or to any real world politician. The Original Trilogy is a fable, a fairy tale and Palpatine within that context is a fairy tale monster. Even with the context of the prequels and the Julius Caesar/Adolf Hitler elements added Palpatine is still ultimately the wicked witch in Revenge of the Sith.

    And the Empire’s chief enforcer, and sort of the meta “face” of it is Darth Vader, a character who is rooted so deeply in the fantasy side of Star Wars. I’m not sure you could divorce him from it neatly either.

    So basically what you’re left with is an Empire that’s very unrecognisable to the concept as we know it. The conflict in the films would become something else entirely.
     
  8. VexedAtVohai

    VexedAtVohai Jedi Master star 4

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    Jul 4, 2020
    Deleted.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2021
  9. Jid123Sheeve

    Jid123Sheeve Jedi Grand Master star 5

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    Jul 9, 2016
    True but I do think one can undermine any deep political meaning in Star Wars because it just says "It's the Evil Space Wizards Fault" and all you have to do is get rid of evil space wizard and you win.

    Oh I agree with all that, it's why people wanna apply to much deep political meaning to Star Wars i feel like i can't take it seriously since well....Evil Space Wizard.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2021
  10. AusStig

    AusStig Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 3, 2010
    That is your view.

    But in your solution is to just make him a normal person, so get ride of the normal person and you win.
     
  11. Jid123Sheeve

    Jid123Sheeve Jedi Grand Master star 5

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    Jul 9, 2016
    To be fair in the original ANH it seems more that the Empire focused more on the corruption of institutions than just the evils of one super powered person.

    I mean sure we see the evils of the Empire in all its fascets but at again at the end of the day...Evil Wizard.
     
  12. AusStig

    AusStig Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Feb 3, 2010
    While Palpatine may have allowed or encouraged that, Legends makes it clear the evil of the Empire will go on after him.
     
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  13. Jid123Sheeve

    Jid123Sheeve Jedi Grand Master star 5

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    Jul 9, 2016
    I mean we still see some of that in Canon with probably Non Palpatine connected Remnants.

    But you don't really see anything big build up without really some sorta Force-User being uniting them all.

    Heck before we find out Snoke is just a Palpatine Clone you'd think he was able to do it because well...Force User.

    If anything that's one thing you gotta give Legends is that they do let non-force users be just as threatening ...at least sometimes .
     
  14. AusStig

    AusStig Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Well Palpatine is behind it all until ep 9.


    Well the Vong are a pretty big threat. And Gideon, is threatening it is all about context. With force wizards running around, they will always be more powerful, so unless they choose not to, they will end up running things.
     
  15. darklordoftech

    darklordoftech Force Ghost star 6

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    Sep 30, 2012
    Thrawn isn’t a Force-user and he caused plenty of trouble in The Thrawn Trilogy.
     
  16. Jid123Sheeve

    Jid123Sheeve Jedi Grand Master star 5

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    Jul 9, 2016
    Well yeah that was one of my points.
     
  17. SyndicThrass

    SyndicThrass Jedi Master star 4

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    Sep 25, 2016
    It’s why I was drawn to the Thrawn Trilogy when I first read it. The Empire existed after Palpatine, and instead of a gnarled old sorcerer pulling the strings it learnt much more into the cold militant and technological side of the Imperials.

    I wish they had stuck to that more in canon, though I think Gideon was kind of a step in the right direction, using the Dark Troopers as his big weapon.
     
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  18. darklordoftech

    darklordoftech Force Ghost star 6

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    Sep 30, 2012
    The plots of ESB and ROTJ would be completely different if Palpatine wasn’t a Force-user. ESB’s plot is driven by the fact that Vader needs Luke in order to gang up on Palpatine. If Palpatine wasn’t a Force-user and Vader managed to get past Palpatine’s security, Palpatine would have no means of defending himself.
     
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  19. Jid123Sheeve

    Jid123Sheeve Jedi Grand Master star 5

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    Jul 9, 2016
    I mean that's why if you take out legends and just look at 1-6 i feel like the political message boils down too "Evil Wizard Bad" cuz...Who else but a evil wizard could pull his off.
     
  20. SyndicThrass

    SyndicThrass Jedi Master star 4

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    Sep 25, 2016
    I don’t know if I even look at 4-6 for anything resembling a political message. I’ve heard the takes before. Endor is Vietnam and all of that. But it’s too much of a fairy tale for me to look too deeply at it that way.

    1-3 are a different story in that, I think you can at least gleam one reasonably well formed political message. That message being, that sometimes elected officials will take advantage of a crisis to maintain their own power and that it’s a slippery slope that can turn democracy into fascism.

    Of course, Lucas was using exaggerated and cartoonish figures in a High Fantasy setting to convey that message to 12 year olds, so it’s not as profound or perfect of an allegory as say, 1984 or Dr Strangelove or what you, but it’s there.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2021
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  21. Jid123Sheeve

    Jid123Sheeve Jedi Grand Master star 5

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    Jul 9, 2016
    Oh I don't deny its there but I wonder if its a stronger message if Palpatine also a "Evil Space Wizard"
     
  22. Alpha-Red

    Alpha-Red Chosen One star 6

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    Apr 25, 2004
    It still works. For all of Palpatine's mystical powers, one power he doesn't have is that of mind control. Or at least he couldn't mind trick the entire Senate...probably not without the Jedi sensing him. Everything he did to accumulate political power, he had to do it the muggle way.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2021
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  23. Dagobahsystem

    Dagobahsystem Chosen One star 9

    Registered:
    Sep 25, 2015
    Read the thread title as "What if Palestine was NOT the Sith Lord" by mistake lol.

    Apologies, I'll show meself out.
     
  24. Jid123Sheeve

    Jid123Sheeve Jedi Grand Master star 5

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    Jul 9, 2016
    Yes but would a non Sith Lord have been able to do the things Palpatine did in the Star Wars galaxy?
     
  25. Riv_Shiel

    Riv_Shiel Jedi Master star 3

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    Apr 12, 2014
    Yes.
     
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