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The Short Empire
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Wajeb Deb Kaadeb
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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2018 2:05 pm    Post subject: The Short Empire Reply with quote

One of the disappointments I had (among many) with the prequels was how they established the short existence of the Empire.

Before the prequels, the Old Republic seemed to be something that existed a long time ago--at least a couple of generations.

And, the Empire seemed to have existed for quite a while--maybe a hundred years? Maybe a couple of generations--50 years or so. As if it were something that Luke's grandfather had to contend with, where no one alive remembers the Republic.

I remember the speculation that Palpatine had kept himself alive through the use of his dark sorcery. And, his face was all screwed up as a side effect of this power he'd used to extend his life.

Certainly, this was Lucas' original concept, as implied and described in the original novelization of Star Wars.



The Empire only being 19 years old at the start of A New Hope seems....wrong. Wrong, like Threepio being the creation of Anakin Skywalker.


Am I the only one who would have preferred a long, ancient Empire--or at least one that is a few generations old?
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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2018 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eh, I think the short age of the Empire adds to the tragedy of the Old Republic. A thousands-years-old democracy(-cum-erstwhile-Jedi-theocracy) is undone in only a decade and a half because too many people in the galaxy became complacent by forgetting about how freedom requuires eternal vigilance and too many others were seduced and/or corrupted by Palpatine to favor their own interests above democracy and the health of the government.

I think that just adds to the emotional impact about how fragile freedom really is. Sometimes it really only does take a (relatively) short time for everything to go to s***. And the consequences can reverberate for years, decades or even generations.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2018 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not uncommon for a government based on a cult of personality to not last long without the personality
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Amazing. Everything you just said was wrong.
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Wajeb Deb Kaadeb
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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2018 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder about the Imperial Fleet. If the Empire has been around for 19 years, then all of the senior officers were originally Old Republic officers.

None have come up through the ranks of the Empire.
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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2018 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:
I wonder about the Imperial Fleet. If the Empire has been around for 19 years, then all of the senior officers were originally Old Republic officers.

None have come up through the ranks of the Empire.



Yes most were.

Tarkin, Motti, Tagge, Bast and Yularen just to name a select few.

I dare say the empire was but an extension of the republic, seeing how corrupt and how much of an empire in all but name and ruler it actually was I think we should look not at how the empire was cut short by tactical blunders of epic proprtions but rather what the empire was an extension of and how long the republic actually "gone"


Looking back the empire evolved from the "good guys" with the rebellious confederacy being the bad guys.

The same bad guys hunted down by the "good empire" shortly after the end of the war....

So I can understand how it is how it is, but in the eu as wel love the real sound and thus real "working" empire is the Fel Empire to follow after 45ish aby or something, even in the old timeline after the events of what is now the last jedi timewise
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2018 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You also have to figure that any officer promoted to flag rank in the Empire is almost certain to have been an ardent supporter of it, and was likely pretty disgusted by the corruption and weakness of the Republic. Either that or they were corrupt and ambitious themselves, and the Empire could offer them far more power than the Republic ever could.
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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2018 11:31 pm    Post subject: Re: The Short Empire Reply with quote

In the early 90s Lucasfilm vaguely implied to publishing that the Empire was about 35 years old in ANH. Of course that ended up being close to the time Palpatine rose to power in the galaxy, but the evolution of the Republic into the Empire was still many years in the making.

CRMcNeill wrote:
It's not uncommon for a government based on a cult of personality to not last long without the personality

He wasn't talking about how quickly the Empire ended after it lost its personality it was centered on. He's saying that his impression from the classic films alone was that the Empire existed longer in the past. If the Empire before ANH would have been multiple generational, there would even have been multiple emperors before Palpatine. I think that was definitely the idea in the The Star Wars (rough draft). In the "Journal of the Whills" prologue of the 1976 Star Wars novelization, the Empire was explicitly started by Palpatine, the current and only Emperor (but Wajeb may not have read the novelization before seeing the prequels).

In the ANH film alone, an older Empire may still have been a possibility. By RotJ though, that is a lot less likely because the Emperor being a powerful master of the Dark Side implies the cult of personality - that Palpatine is the Emperor because there is something special about him personally, not that he just inherited the title in a line of Imperial successors. (Although I do think that idea of a House of Palpatine ruling by virtue of hereditary Dark Side power is intriguing.)

Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:
One of the disappointments I had (among many) with the prequels was how they established the short existence of the Empire.

Before the prequels, the Old Republic seemed to be something that existed a long time ago--at least a couple of generations.

And, the Empire seemed to have existed for quite a while--maybe a hundred years? Maybe a couple of generations--50 years or so. As if it were something that Luke's grandfather had to contend with, where no one alive remembers the Republic.

Luke's grandfather? No one alive? In ANH, Obi-Wan clearly remembered the Republic. And it was established that Luke's father fought in the Clone Wars as a Jedi Knight with Obi-Wan, and that the Jedi Order was defeated with the onslaught of the Empire. It was all in Ben's hut.

Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:
I remember the speculation that Palpatine had kept himself alive through the use of his dark sorcery. And, his face was all screwed up as a side effect of this power he'd used to extend his life.

Certainly, this was Lucas' original concept, as implied and described in the original novelization of Star Wars.

You certainly are misremembering the Star Wars novelization. Palpatine was not likely even a Force-user at the time. Here is more from the aforementioned "Journal of the Whills" prologue (which was not written by the ghostwriter):

George Lucas wrote:
Aided and abetted by restless, power-hungry individuals within the government, and the massive organs of commerce, the ambitious Senator Palpatine caused himself to be elected President of the Republic. He promised to reunite the disaffected among the people and to restore the remembered glory of the Republic.

Once secure in office he declared himself Emperor, shutting himself away from the populace. Soon he was controlled by the very assistants and boot-lickers he had appointed to high office, and the cries of the people for justice did not reach his ears.

In the 70s, Vader was described as a "Dark Lord of the Sith", but it was likely that the Emperor was not conceived of as being Vader's Sith master until preproduction for TESB.

Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:
The Empire only being 19 years old at the start of A New Hope seems....wrong. Wrong, like Threepio being the creation of Anakin Skywalker.

Am I the only one who would have preferred a long, ancient Empire--or at least one that is a few generations old?

It's an interesting idea but I can't say I prefer it. I fully embrace the Empire being the masterplan of Palpatine's to fully implement the revenge of the Sith, and thus the Empire being Palpatine's cult of personality. The prequels are a thrilling backstory to the classic films. And Palpatine's Empire maintained some semblance of the Republic that he served as Chancellor over in that there still was a Imperial Senate all the way until the Death Star was ready.

If it's any consolation, Anakin didn't actually create Threepio. He just cobbled him together from a few existing junked protocol droids. Threepio was quite pointless in TPM alone, but he made a lot more sense to me when Anakin returned Tatooine for his mom and left with the droid. We got the wonderful bit with the Threepio/battle droids in the Battle of Geonosis, and then after Anakin and Padme got married they exchanged their droids as wedding gifts, the reason that Jedi has the Naboo droid Artoo and the senator has protocol droid in RotS, a much better fit for both.

And I feel 19 years is too short of a time for the Empire to have existed in ANH too. I've added a few years to my SW timeline here and there, including an extra year after RotS where there were few minor simultaneous Imperial Clone Wars born out of the Great Clone War before them. In my SWU, that make the Empire, Luke and Leia 20 years old in ANH.
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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2018 11:35 pm    Post subject: Re: The Short Empire Reply with quote

Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:

Am I the only one who would have preferred a long, ancient Empire--or at least one that is a few generations old?


No you're not. I;d have MUCH preferred it be at least 50 year old. That way there's more gravitas to what we see happen IN ANH, and beyond. Especially seeing how old Obi wan was IN ANH compared to how young he looked at the end of ROTS..
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Wajeb Deb Kaadeb
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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2018 11:49 pm    Post subject: Re: The Short Empire Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
In the early 90s Lucasfilm vaguely implied to publishing that the Empire was about 35 years old in ANH. Of course that ended up being close to the time Palpatine rose to power in the galaxy, but the evolution of the Republic into the Empire was still many years in the making.


The reason I asked this was because of something I read in the Sourcebook write-up of the Mon Calamari. There, it says that the Calamari (and Quarren) were slow to develop technology, and the first Calamari starship ran into an Imperial patrol--it didn't go well.

Later, the Mon Cals excel in starship design.

I couldn't see that happening in just two decades, and I realized that the writers of that section of the book were operating under the assumption that the Empire had been around for a lot longer than 20 years or so.
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Wajeb Deb Kaadeb
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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2018 11:51 pm    Post subject: Re: The Short Empire Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
He wasn't talking about how quickly the Empire ended after it lost its personality it was centered on. He's saying that his impression from the classic films alone was that the Empire existed longer in the past.


Correct.



Quote:
If the Empire before ANH would have been multiple generational, there would even have been multiple emperors before Palpatine.


Or that Palpatine was extraordinarily long lived--possibly through a corruption of the Force.
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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2018 12:34 am    Post subject: Re: The Short Empire Reply with quote

Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:
The reason I asked this was because of something I read in the Sourcebook write-up of the Mon Calamari. There, it says that the Calamari (and Quarren) were slow to develop technology, and the first Calamari starship ran into an Imperial patrol--it didn't go well.

Later, the Mon Cals excel in starship design.

I couldn't see that happening in just two decades, and I realized that the writers of that section of the book were operating under the assumption that the Empire had been around for a lot longer than 20 years or so.

That certainly could be, but my impression of the WEG background for the Mon Calamari was that they still had advanced exploration versions of the Mon Cal Crusier type of ships when the encountered the Empire. Being slow to develop technology doesn't mean that they weren't highly technological. It just means that it took a long time to get there. It was also a reference to real world Earth history that shows that technological advancement occurs the fastest in times of war, but the Mon Cals were peaceful. The main reason the first encounter with the Empire didn't go well is because the Mon Cals didn't have much in the way of weapons. The Empire saw an advanced but peaceful people whose planet was ripe for the picking.

Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:
Whill wrote:
If the Empire before ANH would have been multiple generational, there would even have been multiple emperors before Palpatine.

Or that Palpatine was extraordinarily long lived--possibly through a corruption of the Force.

The canon character is nearly 90 when he died, and he had became the leader of the Republic in his early 50s. I for one am glad that Ian McDiarmid only had to wear old makeup in AotC and Emperor make-up after a certain point in RotS.
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Wajeb Deb Kaadeb
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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2018 1:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm....reading the Mon Calamari write up in the Sourcebook again, I supposed this sentence...

Quote:
The first Calamari starship met the Empire, and made peaceful overtures.


I read that that sentence as the very first Calamari ship met the Empire.

Looking at it again, I suppose the intent of the sentence may be to say the first Calamari starship to meet the Empire. Not the very first ship, but the first ship to encounter the Empire.

I read it the way I did because the section had just discussed how slowly the technology on Mon Cala had risen to the Empire's level.

Another side story--about the Quarren who lowered the planetary shield and allowed the Empire to invade (the Gaius Baltar of the Mon Cala peoples!), says that Ackbar is on the Council and at first excited with the contact with the Empire.

So, maybe that doesn't refer to a long standing Empire after all.
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