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CT When you first saw ROTJ, what did you think was the status of the Empire at the end?

Discussion in 'Classic Trilogy' started by darklordoftech, Mar 12, 2020.

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When you first saw ROTJ, did you think the Empire still existed at the end?

  1. I thought the Empire was gone (I saw the original version first)

    54 vote(s)
    55.7%
  2. I thought the Empire was gone (I saw one of the versions with celebrations around the galaxy first)

    19 vote(s)
    19.6%
  3. I thought the Empire still existed (I saw the original version first)

    18 vote(s)
    18.6%
  4. I thought the Empire still existed (I saw one of the versions with galaxy-wide celebrations first)

    6 vote(s)
    6.2%
  1. darklordoftech

    darklordoftech Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 30, 2012
    Did you think the Empire still existed, or did you think it was toast? Specify whether you saw the original version first or saw one of the versions with celebrations around the galaxy first.
     
    Dagobahsystem and afterlight like this.
  2. DARTHLINK

    DARTHLINK Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 24, 2005
    A little of both. I was thinking the Grand Moff would still have some control.
     
    Vader fan 99 and afterlight like this.
  3. Darth Vader's Chest Plate

    Darth Vader's Chest Plate Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Mar 18, 2013
    Lost it's head controllers and it's show piece weapon, but the rest would still be operational, with a whole host of despots trying to fill the power vacuum at the top.

    It would have been easier to bring down without it's puppet master, but still a long way to go in removing imperial control from the galaxy.
     
  4. Sarge

    Sarge Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Oct 4, 1998
    After some thought, I concluded that the most interesting way to move forward with the story would be that multiple contenders would be vying for the emperor's title, and some or many former Imperials would be deserting to set up their own fiefdoms. The Alliance, still badly outgunned, would adopt a divide-and-conquer policy, trying to turn the remnants of the Empire against each other.
     
  5. afterlight

    afterlight Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Nov 4, 2019
    I'm just young enough to have seen the pre-celebrations ending to ROTJ, but not old enough to actually remember it in any detail. I think I assumed that the Empire was gone, although as an adult I'm much more enamored with the concept of a lengthy warlord period.
     
  6. Jedi_Sith_Smuggler_Droid

    Jedi_Sith_Smuggler_Droid Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 13, 2014
    I thought he was dead after seeing Return of the Jedi.

    But after seeing the Prequels and Revenge of the Sith I was pretty sure he was alive after Return of the Jedi.
     
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  7. Billy_Dee_Binks

    Billy_Dee_Binks Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 29, 2002
    Well, the Empire seemed pretty much defeated, even though we didn't really get to see what happened to a large part of their Imperial Star Destroyer fleet stationed around Endor. Maybe some fled, maybe other where destroyed just off-camera as the Death Star blew up and they got hit by that praxis ring.

    One thing about the "literal fall" of the Empire I do remember very well is from seeing the film in theaters in 1997: During the panning shot across the Corscuant celebration I managed to overlook a crowd of people toppling over the gigantic Emperor Palpatine statue. After the film a friend told me how cool he thought that was and I had to wait until 1998, when the VHS box set was released, before I could see it for myself.
     
  8. afterlight

    afterlight Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Nov 4, 2019
    For all that I've groused about various Special Editions changes over the years, I do like the toppling of the Palpatine statue. It's very fitting.
     
  9. Encuentro

    Encuentro Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Aug 8, 2013
    I was 10 when saw it in the theater in 1983. Like most people who saw it at the time, I assumed that the Empire was finished. It want even a question.
     
  10. Kenneth Morgan

    Kenneth Morgan Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    May 27, 1999
    I thought the Empire was still there, but it wouldn't be for much longer. All that was left was the mopping up.
     
  11. Binary_Sunset

    Binary_Sunset Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 28, 2000
    I first saw ROTJ in 1983, around my 13th birthday. I assumed that the Imperial fleet was destroyed by the Death Star's explosion. No more Empire. That said, even then I thought it rather uncertain.
     
    devilinthedetails likes this.
  12. Hernalt

    Hernalt Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2000
    Gettysburg. Lee's overconfidence was his weakness. And he had lost an enforcer, Jackson. So, high tide, turning point, and other realistic analogs.
    The Rebellion did not dismantle Rome in one day. Etc. What Lucas provided was a proof of concept, derived from first principles for all to see, where the exercise for the student was to extrapolate to the remainder.

    This is the kind of (great!) question that does not have an answer, because the question is the process itself. And unending process of inquiry. Kind of like that great question of how long was Luke on Dagobah.
     
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  13. Triad Moons

    Triad Moons Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Jan 14, 2020
    I saw Return of the Jedi prior to the Special Edition version, so I pretty much assumed that once Vader and Palpatine died, the Empire collapsed like the Droid army in The Phantom Menace and vanished. Now that I'm older and have actually seen the consequences of a war, it's harder to follow the happily ever after logic that the film paints the triumph of the heroes with and its nice to know that the EU grappled with the fallout the Empire had to deal with following Vader and Palpatine's demise.
     
  14. oierem

    oierem Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 18, 2009
    But that's the truth for most fairy-tale/fantasy stories: after Voldemort dies, everyone lives happily ever after. After the Ring is destroyed, goodness is restored to Middle Earth. After Scar is defeated, the circle of life is restored, the grass is green again and all the animals are happy again. When Indy returns the sacred rock, live returns to the indian village....

    It's not realistic in the real world, but in the real world bad guys aren't dressed in black and have ugly voices. In fantasy, the good guys/bad guys are presented in a simplified straighforward way that allows the "happily ever after" type of ending to work.

    Star Wars is a fantasy, a fairy-tale that is MEANT to have a "happily ever after" logic, even though that never happens in the real world.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2020
  15. Valiowk

    Valiowk Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Apr 23, 2000
    To be fair, the penultimate chapter of The Lord of the Rings is "The Scouring of the Shire".
     
  16. Triad Moons

    Triad Moons Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Jan 14, 2020
    I wasn't arguing that at all, believe me. I know Lucas's intent with the films, and how he likened his story to a fairytale, I'm just saying as an adult it's harder to let that wash over me where it was just something I accepted as a kid without questioning anything.

    That was a gut-punch when I first read it as a teen.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2020
  17. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2019
    I first saw the original VHS versions when I was a little girl, so I did think the Empire was gone because Vader and Palpatine were dead. However, as I got older and read in the old EU, I realized that it was also sensible to assume that some of the Empire and its military/political leaders would survive after ROTJ and need to be dealt with. That also holds true for the New Canon books. I suppose I'm fine with either interpretation.
     
  18. darklordoftech

    darklordoftech Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 30, 2012
    Is it possible that Lucas’s intention was that the Imperial Senate re-convened and voted to go back to being a Republic and picked a new Chancellor?
     
  19. Jedi_Sith_Smuggler_Droid

    Jedi_Sith_Smuggler_Droid Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 13, 2014
    That's an interesting idea. I'd think the Rebels would want to start fresh with an all new government. How would that work bringing back the senate. Very interesting idea. We know some of the senators were on the side of the Rebellion and are key leaders. But there must have been pro Imperial senators also. And the senate was dissolved three to five years before the empire falls.

    You raise a lot of great questions.
     
  20. darklordoftech

    darklordoftech Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 30, 2012
    Palpatine got his power from the Senate, so I think it would make sense for that power to return to the Senate upon his death.

    Thrawn or Pellaeon taking over upon Palpatine’s death is like John McCain’s father becoming President upon President Kennedy’s death, and Isard taking over is like John McCone becoming President.
     
  21. Jedi_Sith_Smuggler_Droid

    Jedi_Sith_Smuggler_Droid Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 13, 2014
    Except at the time of his death Palpatine is Emperor. His military governors have replaced the senators. So a population would have to oppose the governors before having a representative senator. And the senate would most like have to be started over from scratch. Some of the old senators could return but others wouldn't be around anymore.
     
  22. LedReader

    LedReader Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Oct 24, 2019
    I assumed it was a more drastic version of the scenario presented by ANH as a stand-alone movie in the event that Lucas was never allowed to make sequels. The Empire doesn’t surrender and the war goes on, but at this point an eventual Rebel victory is inevitable so we don’t necessarily need to see exactly how it plays out. In this case the death of the Emperor means the collapse is accelerated much faster than if the Battle of Endor was just a conventional (devastating) military defeat like the Battle of Yavin. With its leadership in disarray the remaining Imperial forces are not able to put up as much resistance as their strength would reflect on paper. For a rough WWII analogy, D-Day has just been a success. There’s still a lot of battles left to be fought, but under the circumstances of a two-front war Nazi Germany’s days are numbered, and after that the victors have to figure out how to handle reconstruction. In regards to the added celebration scenes I prefer to view them as a series of time-jumps confirming the Empire’s eventual collapse on each individual planet rather than a immediate simultaneous response to the Emperor’s death, although for some places like Tatooine I totally believe that the Empire could have ceased to exist almost instantaneously without a shot fired.
     
  23. Sith Lord 2015

    Sith Lord 2015 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 2015
    When I first saw ROTJ I was probably pretty naive, when at 16, in July 1983, I watched it on a bootleg VHS tape. In Saudi Arabia that was all that was available, and forget about comics, novels, games or other EU material. All I had was the (crappy quality) tape, which looked like a 10th copy, and the Kahn novelization. I remember the last line of the novelization was something like "the Empire was dead. Long live the Alliance!" Add to that the way the movie ended, it was pretty clear to me. No ambiguity at all. I had no reason to doubt what I saw and read. For me the Empire was defeated, period. To make myself clearer, I never read any EU, not until years later. So it never ever occurred to me that the Emperor could still be alive, was cloned or some other joker thought of reviving the Empire. To me ROTJ was the definitive conclusion to SW. Those were somehow simpler times!
     
  24. AEHoward33

    AEHoward33 Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Aug 11, 2019
    I thought the Empire still existed, but would soon fall apart without Palpatine.
     
    Kenneth Morgan likes this.
  25. Alpha-Red

    Alpha-Red Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Apr 25, 2004
    I watched the original first, and I was pretty sure I got the impression that the Empire still existed.