PT Why didn't the Republic have an army?

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by Darth Arthurius, Jan 30, 2018.

  1. Darth Arthurius

    Darth Arthurius Jedi Padawan

    Jan 29, 2016
    Why didn't the Republic have an army, and also:
    1) How centralized was the power of the Republic? IE was it centralized in the way the US is now, where the States must ultimately obey federal law, or was it closer to the US as it was under the Articles of Confederation?

    2) Was the Chancellor (pre Palpatine) closer in power and executive ability to a US President or to a British Prime Minister?

    3) Why did the Republic come together in the first place?

    4) How were Republic laws enforced across tens of thousands of planets without an army?

    5) Prior to the events of TPM, how important was Naboo in terms of the Republic?

    6) Were there any Galactic rebellions prior to the Separatist movement?
  2. Master_Rebado

    Master_Rebado Chosen One star 6

    May 31, 2004
    To answer the main question - George Lucas always said the SW story with the Republic/Empire was modelled around the Roman Republic/Roman Republic story and the German Nazi Party/Third Reich in how they formed and changed.

    Rome when it was a City State alone never had any standing armies,only ever raising armies with the consent of the Senate,this was to prevent what later came to be - Emperors.

    Rome had had a really bad time with their previous Kings so they wanted to keep it so one man could not command enough power to be a Dictator/King ever again.

    Dictator's were appointed only ever for short terms in a time of Crisis.

    You can see the parallel to Old Republic and Palpatine there I hope.

    Palpatine also mirrors Hitler in that he started off with the idea he is this benevolent person who wants only the good of the people and of course takes over and forms a tyrannical system to dominate with a plan to subjugate all of the Galaxy under the Empire.

    Again the parallel is quite clear.
  3. darkspine10

    darkspine10 Force Ghost star 6

    Dec 7, 2014
    Regarding the army, the Repubplic simply doesn't need in the pre-Clone Wars period. There were no major external threats, and no uprising till the Separatists started. The Jedi can deal with small planetary disputes, like on Naboo.
  4. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Master star 5

    Aug 8, 2016
    Legends really is helpful in explaining this from an IU perspective. The republic had been demilitarized for a thousand years by AOTC. The Ruusan reformation basically disbanded the republic military after the New Sith Wars and left the galaxy's security forces as-sector and local police and security forces-such as the Naboo security forces among other planet or system based organizations, the Judicial forces-which were basically the last real "army" and had a rapid response sort of role, and the Jedi which were used as diplomats, peacekeepers, and occasionally soldiers/warriors.
  5. The_Phantom_Calamari

    The_Phantom_Calamari Force Ghost star 4

    Nov 10, 2011
    There's also a parallel to the American Civil War. Before the war, the Union only had a small army whose job it was to defend America's frontiers from attacks by Indians--somewhat akin to the anti-pirate Judicial Forces in Legends. But with the secession of the South and the onset of hostilities, the Union had to rapidly raise a wartime fighting force both by calling on local militias and (to a much greater extent) recruiting volunteers locally and organizing them into new regiments for the Federal Army. There's a parallel here with the way the Galactic Republic created its Grand Army by combining the relatively paltry Judicial Forces and Planetary Security Forces and augmenting both of them with its massive new army of clones.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2018
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  6. sith_rising

    sith_rising Jedi Master star 4

    Jan 7, 2004
    I'd imagine that none of the members of the Republic wanted a standing, galactic army. Each planet has it's own security force, and probably some starfighters and very light cruisers to deal with pirates and things like that.
  7. MoffJacob

    MoffJacob Jedi Knight star 2

    Dec 25, 2015
    The (according to Disney/KK) now "Legends" Old Republic Canon explains this: the "For 1000 Years Peaceful Galactic Republic" arose from the ashes of centuries-long galactic conflicts with the (pre-Rule of the Two) Sith
    By TPM, the planets of the Republic had nothing more than militias/small fleets to deal with their own security, not strong enough to start a war against other planets-systems. Plus Coruscant/the Senate had the Jedi as Keepers of the Peace. It's funny because that is the goal that the ST Resistance is aiming for: restoration of the Jedi for Peace plus removal of armies from the Galaxy.

    Plagueis and Sidious were smart to turn the Trade Federation into a bullyish army that spawned the Naboo Crisis, and then Sidious and Tyranus were smart enough to create a schism that forced the Republic to quickly amass an Army (of Clones, created, ehem, by Sidious and Tyranus)
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2018
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  8. Martoto77

    Martoto77 Jedi Master star 5

    Aug 6, 2016
    If the Republic didn't need or want an army because it's so peaceful, why are the TF, a constituent of the Republic, allowed to have one?
  9. The_Phantom_Calamari

    The_Phantom_Calamari Force Ghost star 4

    Nov 10, 2011
    They have their own defense force for protection against pirates. As is shown in the same movie, individual planetary constituents of the Republic have their own defense forces as well.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2018
  10. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Master star 5

    Aug 8, 2016
    And various megacorporations have droid security forces-both to protect their investments and personnel and enforce their contracts.
  11. Your Pal Friendpatine

    Your Pal Friendpatine Jedi Youngling star 1

    Dec 29, 2017
    I don't know for certain but I'd guess they weren't a total nobody just going by the fact that Palpatine managed to be fairly well positioned already. A lot of his political success probably came from being a Sith but it would seem like even a Darth would have trouble making political waves if they held a rinky dink office. And if he had managed to make it that far on his own he'd likely raised Naboo's profile in doing so. They should have at least been on the map for having pretty sweet starfighters, though I was never fond of the color.
  12. ConservativeJedi321

    ConservativeJedi321 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Mar 19, 2016
    In regards to the army, I always just assumed there was no need for it. The Galactic Republic had no serious foreign threats, so it had no need to go out of its way militarizing.
    Local and Judiciary forces were more than enough to deal with smugglers, pirates, etc. that plagued their boarders. So with no hostile competitors around they decided there was no risk to disbanding their military. That's why Sidious had to create the CIS, a new galactic power that put the Republic at risk and basically forced them to rearm.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2018
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  13. The_Phantom_Calamari

    The_Phantom_Calamari Force Ghost star 4

    Nov 10, 2011
    It's weird that people take such an issue with this, since there's plenty of historical precedent for republics shunning large, standing armies which persist during peacetime in favor of smaller, temporary forces only mobilized during times of strife and then swiftly disbanded after the threat has passed. Two of the most prominent examples of this can be found in the Roman Republic and the early United States. Thomas Jefferson in particular had a great aversion to standing peacetime armies as he viewed them as tools of imperialism. And indeed, it seems that these types of armies inevitably tend to coincide with imperialist policies on the part of the nations employing them. If you have a massive army ready and standing by to fight and conquer, chances are you're going to keep finding excuses to use it. Just ask Julius Caesar.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2018
  14. Slicer87

    Slicer87 Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 18, 2013
    Originally, the US did not want a standing army as it was viewed as a possible threat to erode liberty of the people its supposed to protect. Its why the Republic used Jedi knights and relied on each world's police forces. The creation of the army is a very bad thing as it was a major step for the Republic in becoming the Empire. Its similar to Animal Farm where the pigs raised an army of attack dogs from puppies they found to secure and enforce their power, which is similar Palp's main intention with the clone army. This is sort of a big contradiction the films have with TCW which tried to portray the GAR in a much nicer light than the films do.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2018
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  15. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Master star 5

    Aug 8, 2016
    In Legends the republic did have an army and navy that was basically put out commission after the end of the new sith wars

    After all what need was there for a galactic spanning military when the republic's main adversary of the past 4000 years was gone?

    There were conflicts of course-short sharp wars, planetary civil wars, Yinchorri uprising, stark hyperspace war, etc...

    These wars were usually localized in nature and required only the intervention of the jedi and judicial forces.

    While worlds like Naboo had their own security forces to defend against pirates, smugglers, etc...
  16. Darth Chuck Norris

    Darth Chuck Norris Jedi Knight star 2

    Sep 13, 2014
    The Trade Federation didn't have an army until after they left the Republic and became part of the CIS. They had their droid security forces, and started expanding it on a massive scale after separating from the Republic.
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  17. The_Phantom_Calamari

    The_Phantom_Calamari Force Ghost star 4

    Nov 10, 2011
    I don't think there's any contradiction there. The soldiers which make up an army can be individually brave and valorous even if the army itself is a bad thing.

    In fact I think that's the main metaphor at the heart of Order 66. The clones are good men, but they're ultimately subservient to a central command which can use them for evil ends. That's the dark side of the military which no one talks about (except for those branded as being subversive or unpatriotic). Lucas brilliantly gets around the cultural taboo which surrounds such conversations by presenting the entire scenario in a sci fi context which partially obscures its true import.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2018
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  18. Martoto77

    Martoto77 Jedi Master star 5

    Aug 6, 2016
    Looked like an invasion force to me. Not just "security".

    It just seems odd that members of the Republic have the means to wage war against each other, and the Jedi are seemingly unable or unwilling to get involved. "We are not an army."
  19. Sith Lord 2015

    Sith Lord 2015 Jedi Knight star 3

    Oct 30, 2015
    Sure it was an invasion force, which was probably built up without knowledge and approval of the senate. Or the TF kept the real size of that army secret, so to the outside it really appeared as nothing more than a security force. Remember it was Sidious who supported the Separatists, and was likely secretly helping the TF increase its military. He had planned it for long before the invasion in TPM. He was the one undermining values of the Republic, and only used the TF to create war and destroy the Republic.
  20. Samuel Vimes

    Samuel Vimes Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 4, 2012
    I don't think that reasoning works.
    The fact that the TF had an army was not a secret.
    So Panaka knew that the TF had an army.
    Also note, "Battle-hardened." That would imply this army has been in battles before.

    The opening crawl also mentions "Deadly battle ships."
    I didn't get the vibe that people were unaware of the military might of the TF.
    Just that they were going farther than they have in the past.

    And this is where questions arise about the republic's lack of an army.
    We know that private armies exist.
    The TF have one.
    We are told that the cloners on Kamino have made clone armies in the past.

    So several big private armies while the republic has not a single soldier.
    How can that work?
    Won't there be a risk that those with private armies will try to force the republic to do what they want?

    Say that the senate had believed Padme when she told them about what the TF had done.
    Could the senate have forced the TF to obey?
    Suppose that the TF turned their weapons on Coruscant and said "Do as we say or we'll blast you into pieces."
    Does the senate have any military might behind their words?

    Bye for now.
    Old Stoneface
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  21. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Chosen One star 10

    Sep 2, 2012
    In Legends at least (and possibly newcanon, given comments about "military history" in TCW) the Republic had enough "police ships" to handle piracy all across the galaxy - these police ships could be grouped into task forces, sometimes led by Jedi, and sent against groups causing sufficiently serious disturbances of the peace.

    The Battle of Malastare Narrows took place before the Clone Wars:

    and involved a blockade, which contested unsuccessfully by a Republic force with Yularen present "He tore our ships apart. We barely escaped with our lives" - and the blockade was finally broken by a Jedi-led task force.
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  22. Martoto77

    Martoto77 Jedi Master star 5

    Aug 6, 2016
    IIRC. In TPM, nobody challenges the reported size of the TF's "security" force. The size is not the issue. It's what's being claimed they are doing with it that is controversial.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2018
  23. DarthTalonx

    DarthTalonx Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 12, 2014
    Agreed. The Jedi couldn't maintain the peace. It was clear Palpatine was right. The corrupt Republic tolerated crime, tolerated slavery in the Outer Rim being open on the streets itself. It tolerated inaction and a lack of unity. Citizens didn't act as Galactic citizens.

    The Empire was needed and did bring about positive change in that regard. Sadly it got mixed up with the Sith ideology. And whilst a meritocracy for the most part (Imperial Academies, Piett over that clumsy Admiral), it sadly allowed a few crackpots like Tarkin to get to the top and ruin it all. It also let an Emperor who became overconfident, interfere with protocol and prevent a crushing obliteration of the Rebellion to restore the corrupt Republic.

    Interestingly, had Windu not been stopped by Skywalker, I wonder what a Jedi led Junta Republic would have looked like? That would have been interesting. A Republic run by a Jedi Council and the will of the Force enforced by the Jedi led Grand Army of Clone Troopers.
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  24. darth-sinister

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

    Jun 28, 2001
    The Federation definitely had an army, but very seldom was it all together at once. That's why when Obi-wan and Qui-gon arrive in the docking bay, they don't see anything amiss. But once they find the full might of the Droid Army in the main bay, they realize it's more than just a blockade.

    QUI-GON: "Battle droids."

    OBI-WAN: "It's an invasion army."

    QUI-GON: "It's an odd play for the Trade Federation. We've got to warn the Naboo and contact Chancellor Valorum. Let's split up. Stow aboard separate ships and meet down on the planet."

    OBI-WAN: "You were right about one thing, Master. The negotiations were short."
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  25. Martoto77

    Martoto77 Jedi Master star 5

    Aug 6, 2016
    So the TF were trusted to spread their forces thin across the galaxy and never to concentrate them where they have sufficient might to conquer and occupy a planet.

    All amidst a corrupt political system that is tolerated by the Jedi who are handcuffed to it.

    So there is, effectively, no real response. Except maybe a lucky nine year old crashing in just the right place.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2018
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