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EU Roundtable #2.2

Next up on our plate is my personal fave of Series 2. And I?m not just saying that because I?m in it. The theme here was the politics of Star Wars: was the Rebellion a terrorist organization? Would the Empire have fared better against the Yuuzhan Vong? Those questions and more were debated exquisitely by our three guests, each representing one of the GFFA?s three eras of government:

  • Supreme Chancellor David Pinkus, aka dp4m, Manager for the Jedi Council?s Literature & Gaming sections, and TFN proper?s newest editor extraordinaire!
  • Emperor Jay Shah, aka GrandAdmiralJello, Chancellor of the Jedi Council?s EU Community Senate; whatever that means.
  • Chief of State Marah Wojcik, aka NaboosPrincess, Manager for the Jedi Council?s Role Playing and EU Community forums.

Okay, so maybe there?s a slight bias in these things toward JC people. What do you want from me? Anyway, I remain Mike Cooper. Here goes?

You have just entered room "EU Roundtable."

Mike Cooper: While you'd think the political message of Star Wars is pretty cut and dry, there will always remain a division of fandom that thinks the Empire was the right way to go. Often citing the old "trains run on time" adage, they tend to prefer security and order to a free yet ineffectual representative democracy. It's an argument that certainly didn't start with the Rebels and the Empire, and certainly won't be ending anytime soon. Where is the line between freedom and security?

David Pinkus: It's important to note that, in a democracy, the line between freedom and security is where the people decide it is.

Jay Shah: That depends on whether or not someone really has freedoms. Freedoms don't necessarily exist if they are not protected. Sometimes democracies tend to devolve into mob rule, or personal self-interest--rather than that of a whole.

David Pinkus: The problem wasn't with the Republic in allowing the Empire to come to power. The problem was with the people wanting it to occur.

David Pinkus: Given that the Republic was effective for 25,000 years in protecting the public and safeguarding commerce, and that the Empire lasted a mere 30 years or so, with everyone wanting things back the way they were, I'd say the Republic

David Pinkus: was the way to go

Mike Cooper: the problem wasn't that they wanted the empire, they were just not involved enough to stop it

David Pinkus: And didn't the Moffs encourage "personal self-interest" far greater than a Republic would?

Jay Shah: The Republic did, though, change governments several times during massive galactic upheavals. If that sort of widespread devastation is necessary to uphold lofty ideals, I don't think that it is necessarily enough to protect it.

Jay Shah: The Moffs? How so?

Marah Wojcik: Because half of them were corrupt and only interested in getting rich, maybe?

Jay Shah: Like the entire Galactic Senate, you mean?

Jay Shah: Don't forget what the Senate was: a rule by the elite, utterly disinterested in the public good. We saw that well enough, with large businesses able to run amok.

David Pinkus: Moffs as regional governors kept the systems in line, according to their own dictates and whims. The Senate had to gain buy in from the rest of the senators in order to line their pockers.

David Pinkus: pockets

David Pinkus: Moffs answered to no one but the Emperor

Jay Shah: With massive military-grade weaponry, and even representation as a sovereign state in the Senate? That's massively corrupt.

Jay Shah: Untrue: Moffs were answerable to other authorities. Grand Moffs were the ones who answered only to the Emperor, and they were still subject to higher levels of the Imperial chain of command.

Mike Cooper: i thought fear kept the systems in line - fear of this battlestation

Jay Shah: Case in point, Imperial Advisor Ars Dangor, the man who appointed Grand Moff Tarkin was clearly not the Emperor.

Jay Shah: Cooper, that was Tarkin's personal beliefs, but not Imperial policy.

Mike Cooper: Tarkin Doctrine

Mike Cooper: maybe not policy, but intention

Jay Shah: Yes. Which is a nice way of naming his own beliefs, expressed in a communique to Ars Dangor.

David Pinkus: Right, but the Senate didn't have fear to keep systems in line. They had the constitution and laws which governed their own behavior.

Mike Cooper: but it went beyond him, didn't it?

Jay Shah: Tarkin's intention. Quite possibly not the Emperor's, because Lord Vader expressed that Palpatine would not approve of Alderaan's distruction.

David Pinkus: Local militias existed as protection for individual systems, but before Palpatine there was no Grand Army of the Republic.

Jay Shah: It governed the behaviors of systems, yes. But what of the Senate?

Jay Shah: And what if institutions like the Guilds?

David Pinkus: What of the Senate?

Jay Shah: The Senate was not an egalitarian institution. It was an elite group of the highest stratification of society, and the Senators made deals with the rich Guilds in order to pass legislation that agreed with them.

Jay Shah: Through that, the common person was hurt and disenfranchised--but clearly, it was acceptable under a Republic not willing to reduce it's own ability to make money.

Mike Cooper: but was that the fault of the system, of of the individuals?

David Pinkus: Not all of them. And certainly 25,000 years of history indicates that it did a good job for a long, LONG time

Mike Cooper: *or of

Jay Shah: It was the fault of the system that allowed such individuals to escape unpunished.

Marah Wojcik: How would you punish them?

Jay Shah: As for those 25,000 years, I might remind you that it was not a contiguous history.

Jay Shah: Remove them from office, for one.

Jay Shah: Then have them tried under the law.

Marah Wojcik: That's the job of the people they represent, no? They need to hold their own senators accountable. You can't blame the system

David Pinkus: Wasn't Finis Valorum removed for such infractions?

Jay Shah: The people they represent have no control over them, and no power over them.

Jay Shah: Yes, the former Chancellor was removed--but only because it was politically expedient.

Jay Shah: Such charges were good at blackmailing others to get their way.

David Pinkus: But weren't the checks in place and functional that allowed it?

Jay Shah: The checks were in place, if hardly used.

Jay Shah: The Galactic Republic functioned well, I admit. When it ceased to do so, something had to be done in the interests of the People.

Jay Shah: There is a such thing as becoming too top-heavy.

David Pinkus: Back to the history though. 25,000 years of the Republic. Dealing with the Great Hyperspace War, the Great Sith War, the Stark Hyperspace War

David Pinkus: It functioned well enough to protect the citizens during all of those times.

Jay Shah: Indeed, which was why the Republic ostensibly still existed under the Imperial regime.

Mike Cooper: well, that's debatable given KOTOR 2

David Pinkus: We don't know the whole story yet

Mike Cooper: we know enough

Jay Shah: The Imperial Senate existed, and the institutions of the Republic (ref. Imperial Sourcebook) were completely operational

Jay Shah: And yes, there is KOTOR 2 that shows a supposed collapse of the Republic or somesuch.

Mike Cooper: i think it'll probably end up being more a matter of the scales tipping toward the sith than of the republic falling altogether

David Pinkus: WE don't know exactly the impact, because EVERY other source we have indicates it was 25,000 years of unbroken Republic.

Jay Shah: Palpatine: ...a Republic that has lasted over a 1,000 years...

David Pinkus: The Senate was operational right up until Palpatine could abolish it.

Jay Shah: The Senate was never abolished. It was merely suspended for the duration of the emergency.

David Pinkus: Yep. Reformation, not elimiation

Jay Shah: Then, reinstituted just before the Battle of Hoth.

Jay Shah: The Senate was only out of session for a few months.

Mike Cooper: so the 1000 years reference is only to a restructuring of the government?

Mike Cooper: that's three years

Jay Shah: A massive restructuring, at that.

Jay Shah: Given that we know from the Tales of the Jedi comics that the Republic was vastly different than it was near its demise

David Pinkus: Yes, the 1000 years is a reference to the Reformation of the Republic.

Mike Cooper: though oddly little changed technology-wise =)

Marah Wojcik: Even so, some restructure is expected in an institution spanning thousands of years. Obviously it can't stay exactly the same forever.

Jay Shah: Which is the precise reason for the Empire.

Jay Shah: It was yet another restructuring--most of the Republican institutions, down to the Senate, remained.

Mike Cooper: he's got a point there

Jay Shah: Thank you.

David Pinkus: Actually, the technology gets worse under the Empire, as is clearly shown via absolute canon between TPM/AOTC and ANH

Marah Wojcik: No, I think the Empire was far more than a "restructure"

Jay Shah: Explain.

Mike Cooper: but arguing that the empire's rise was necessary and arguing that it was a worthwhile system in and of itself are two different things

Jay Shah: Are you comparing the technology of Coruscant and Naboo to a rim world such as Tatooine?

Jay Shah: Because in TPM and AOTC, Tatooine has not changed much by the time of ANH.

Jay Shah: Though it is curious that the defenders of justice in the Republic cannot be bothered to even free slaves. :-)

Mike Cooper: it's a big galaxy

David Pinkus: Honestly, do you believe that if the Senate passed a law for equality for all species under Palpatine that he'd go for it and not unilaterally veto it?

Jay Shah: Already done.

Mike Cooper: we can't even eliminate slavery on this planet

Jay Shah: As per the Imperial Sourcebook, all Imperial Citizens--regardless of species or status--are equal.

Jay Shah: Any perceived inequality is due to personal pique, and is present even before the institution of Imperial Rule.

Marah Wojcik: In policy, not in practice

Mike Cooper: so how'd the whole High Human Culture thing happen?

David Pinkus: "Developed by Emperor Palpatine himself, the idea of Human High Culture was deeply rooted in his xenophobic mentality."

Jay Shah: Human High Culture is coined from a speech by Minister Pollux Hax, in charge of Imperial propaganda. In said speech, the minister referred to the successes of the human race--especially since humanity was the originator of the

Jay Shah: Republic.

Mike Cooper: that's debatable, isn't it?

Jay Shah: Emperor Palpatine's mentality comes from his homeworld of Naboo, a world which was considered--under the Republic--to be a wellspring of culture.

Mike Cooper: they almost definitely didn't invent hyperdrive

Jay Shah: Certainly, Cooper, which is why it is not policy.

Mike Cooper: i meant the originator of the republic part

Jay Shah: It is merely a propaganda speech to make young youths feel good about themselves.

David Pinkus: Actually, hyperdrive is under debate as there's some confusion over how it got "invented"

David Pinkus: So, to be fair, humans may have (though not the original story)

Mike Cooper: last i heard it'd been given to the corellians by some other race, and they streamlined it

David Pinkus: The original story was "given to Corellians by extragalactic race"

Jay Shah: True enough, but the minister was referring to the Republican government itself.

Jay Shah: Which began on Coruscant.

Mike Cooper: but humans never held sole dominion over coruscant, did they?

Jay Shah: We don't know.

David Pinkus: Given the species in the lower reaches we can assume "not"

Mike Cooper: they definitely didn't evolve on coruscant

David Pinkus: Though it's debatable whether they're there via exile or via "there first"

Jay Shah: All we know about Coruscant--Imperial Center's--ancient history is that there was a battle between the Taungs and the Zhell, and that it was likely the human homeworld.

Mike Cooper: alright, let's move on

Mike Cooper: A logical follow-up to the last question would, once you feel that the line between freedom and security has been crossed, what should you do about it? Obviously, the Rebel Alliance decided it was necessary to overthrow the system, and eventually did just that. It came at great cost to both sides, however, and to the galaxy at large. The Empire went to great efforts to utilize this fact as a political tool, painting the Alliance as a harbinger of governmental chaos, as a terrorist organization, if you will. Calling the Rebels terrorists is an extremely touchy concept, especially in the modern political climate here on Earth, but how do you think the loved ones of a contruction worker aboard the second Death Star would react to a sermon on the Alliance's high-minded ideals?

Jay Shah: If the Rebellion sought to protect the people of the galaxy, why would the Rebellion kill them?

David Pinkus: The Rebellion WAS a harbinger of governmental chaos-- but when the government is "totalitarian despotism" it's the way to go. An important note here is that they were trying to restore the same Republic that people decry.

Jay Shah: That is what I would wonder, if my father or brother was killed.

David Pinkus: Jello, because anyone who chooses to aid evil consciously knows they're choosing to aid evil.

David Pinkus: The morality of the GFFA is simplistic. There's good, there's evil and there's nothing in between.

Jay Shah: Totalitarian Despotism? All the information seems to lead towards the Empire bringing on unprecedented prosperity to the galaxy.

Jay Shah: No, that's the Force.

David Pinkus: So it's perfectly justifiable.

David Pinkus: If the Force is universal, it's everything.

Jay Shah: What about non-Force users? Is it right to murder anyone under the Imperial flag?

David Pinkus: Yes

Jay Shah: All life on Imperial Center is forfeit, and thus, killing them all is justified?

Marah Wojcik: For some people, it did bring prosperity, but not for all. Not for aliens. Certainly not for the Wookiees, for example.

Mike Cooper: so what's vergere, david? good or evil?

David Pinkus: No, those are citizens. There's a difference between "under the flag" (as in marching under it) and living under it.

David Pinkus: Vergere is unquestionably evil.

David Pinkus: And Sith.

Jay Shah: And the construction worker marches under it?

David Pinkus: But that's another debate,.

Mike Cooper: no government brings prosperity for all

Mike Cooper: heh

Jay Shah: Marah: The Wookiees, unfortunately ,were under Tarkin's rule.

David Pinkus: Construction workers who choose to work on legitimate military targets are legitimate targets.

Jay Shah: And Tarkin was a very bad man, who deliberately disobeyed Imperial law.

David Pinkus: It's one thing to build housing for citizens in a totalitarian government.

Jay Shah: Not to mention, Tarkin had designs on the Throne itself.

David Pinkus: No one is suggesting those people are "fair game"

Jay Shah: if the Empire is totalitarian, who is the despot?

Marah Wojcik: Well he was certainly allowed to disobey Imperial law for a nice long time before anything happened to him. He was part of the Empire so I don't think we can disregard his actions entirely.

David Pinkus: NOTE: Clarity; it's okay to target the workers when they're ON the legitimate target, not when they're at home and happen to be working on a project during work hours.

Jay Shah: The Emperor certainly isn't: he's a recluse.

Jay Shah: Marah: A single person is not representative of a governmental system.

David Pinkus: Yes, you're right. The Emperor had no real power in the Empire. [sarcasm alert!]

Jay Shah: He had power: he did not exercise it.

Marah Wojcik: How in the world do you figure that one?

David Pinkus: The Emperor dissolved the senate./

Jay Shah: Wrong.

David Pinkus: Who dissolved the Senate?

Jay Shah: It was suspended for the duration--and by Ars Dangor, not the Emperor.

Jay Shah: Furthermore, by the Battle of Hoth, the Senate was restored.

Mike Cooper: man. that guy was busy

David Pinkus: Giving Darth Vader unilateral power himself seems like power and exercising therein to me.

Jay Shah: (ref. Imperial Sourcebook and SW Marvel comics "Hello, Bespin, Goodbye!" respectively)

Jay Shah: Lord Vader was the Supreme Commander of the Imperial Forces--a position analoguous to Ackbar's under the New Republic.

David Pinkus: Any government has "stooges" who take the fall for decisions of the real power. You can't really argue that hte Emperor was a doddering old man.

David Pinkus: And the penalty for failure was execution.

Jay Shah: Ars Dangor and Sate Pastage represented the Throne, the Imperial bureaucracy was the executive system, and the Senate ran the Empire.

Jay Shah: Only under Lord Vader, David.

David Pinkus: Exactly.

Jay Shah: He did not execute normal citizens.

David Pinkus: Who was given, and allowed to retain his position, by Emperor Palpatine.

Jay Shah: Just those "evil officers"

David Pinkus: Didn't he kill Xizor?

David Pinkus: Evil officers?

Jay Shah: Didn't the Rebellion blow up Xizor's Palace and kill everyone inside?

Jay Shah: Yes, those evil officers whose death was acceptable because they served the Empire by protecting the people of the galaxy.

David Pinkus: "Commander, destroy the skyhook."

David Pinkus: He killed a legitimate citizen, according to the Empire.

Jay Shah: And one that His Imperial Majesty the Emperor did not want dead.

David Pinkus: And yet was allowed to keep his position.

David Pinkus: And not suffer penalty.

Mike Cooper: Jay, something i'm noticing about your arguments...you repeatedly decry the republic for the flaws that allowed corruption...

Jay Shah: For the simple virtue that said Imperial citizen was a criminal. A criminal who was unlawfully using military force in capital terrority. AND arming civilian spacecraft as ell.

Mike Cooper: yet you don't seem to see anything wrong with the flaws in the empire that allowed for "personal" corruption, like the tarkin doctrine, anti-alien prejudice, etc

Jay Shah: The Empire is not perfect. However, she does work to protect all her citizens.

Marah Wojcik: Right, by making a good portion of them into slaves

Jay Shah: By law, anti-alien prejudice is not allowed. Unfortunately, by practice, those in the Core tend to lookdown upon those of the Rim--and the Core is human dominated.

David Pinkus: As well as Emperor Palpatine exercising his authority with a cadre of assassins known as Hands that answered only to him, eliminating anyone whom he desired -- Imperial, Rebellion, civilian

Mike Cooper: but flaws that lead to disenfranchisement are worse than flaws that lead to oppression?

Jay Shah: The only planet that was enslaved, by my knowledge, was Kashyyyk--which I addressed earlier.

Jay Shah: Cooper: It's about numbers. The majority was better under the Empire.

Jay Shah: Both systems were imperfect.

Mike Cooper: really?

Marah Wojcik: But it allowed for the slave trade, even if it wasn't enslaving entire planets

Jay Shah: It's just a question of which was worse.

Jay Shah: The slave trade was not legal

Mike Cooper: by what statistics would you consider the majority to have been better off?

David Pinkus: So, slavery wasn't allowed in the Republic and slavery wasn't allowed in the Empire. But one more planet (Kashyyyk) was enslaved under the Empire, so that's not a Pareto Improvement.

Jay Shah: Trillions in the Core and billions in the Outer Rim.

Jay Shah: And slavery on Tatooine and other worlds was ended, David.

Mike Cooper: you're saying the core outnumbers the other two-thirds of the galaxy?

Jay Shah: We know it does.

David Pinkus: Slavery wasn't ended on Tatooine.

Jay Shah: How so?

David Pinkus: Oola.

David Pinkus: Ryloth.

David Pinkus: Han Solo's Revenge.

Jay Shah: Jabba the Hutt was a crime lord, and one belonging to Black Sun-- an institution utterly destroyed by the Empire (ref. Wedge's Gamble)

Mike Cooper: where is that from? i can't imagine there aren't more than 999 billion people in the entire outer rim

David Pinkus: But if it exists it's not ENDED.

Jay Shah: as for Hutt Space itself, the Empire made an effort to put the region under law

Mike Cooper: so did the vong

Jay Shah: the Vong had no law.

David Pinkus: Sure they did.

Jay Shah: The Vong simply killed them all.

David Pinkus: The Vong had as much law as the Empire did.

Jay Shah: The Empire also brought modern medicine and civilization to Rim worlds, and ended the milennia long Sepan Civil War--one that the Republic noticeably ignored.

Mike Cooper: they didn't wipe out every planet they conquered; they had to govern people somehow

David Pinkus: Because you didn't understand it, doesn't mean it's not there.

Jay Shah: Conceded, David, regarding Vong laws.

David Pinkus: (NOTE: *I* don't understand it either. I have the death penalty in twelve systems...)

Mike Cooper: only twelve?

Jay Shah: Those that he committed crimes in.

David Pinkus: I'm working on thirteen.

Jay Shah: The Imperial system says that all worlds are self-governred

Marah Wojcik: So the Empire did a few good things, Jay...bringing medicine to some Rim world doesn't make up for all the other injustices they perpetuated

David Pinkus: Doesn't that mean that if slavery is allowed by the government, it's allowed?

Jay Shah: As long as they agree with overarching Imperial laws, existing governments remain in place.

Jay Shah: No, because that disagrees with overarching Imperial law.

David Pinkus: Omwat and Falleen races were obilterated by the Empire.

David Pinkus: One by bombardment and the other by bioweapon.

David Pinkus: Alderaan was destroyed.

Jay Shah: Omwat was not obliterated--just a few cities. Furthermore, Tarkin's conduct is not such that I will defend.

David Pinkus: Yet he was allowed to continue his work unabated.

David Pinkus: And without penalty.

Mike Cooper: okay, as great as this particular discussion is going, we kinda drifted away from the primary intention of the last question, so i'll be more direct about it: could the rebellion have been classified as a terrorist organization?

Jay Shah: Yes.

David Pinkus: So which is worse -- a corrupt Senator not being removed, or the destroyer of worlds being allowed to survive?

David Pinkus: Yes

David Pinkus: But only by an illegitimate government making the claim.

Mike Cooper: well, define legitimate

Marah Wojcik: I'll go with yes, too....though they were really forced into it

Jay Shah: the Senate gave Palpatine the imperial dignity, don't forget.

Jay Shah: If it's illegitimate, then so is the Senate's authority--which makes no sense.

Mike Cooper: not accepting a despot's authority over you doesn't make you any less oppressed

David Pinkus: The Republic was supposed to be a republic, not an Empire ruled from an Emperor.

David Pinkus: Hence, illegitimate.

Mike Cooper: but what makes the republic legitimate? longevity?

Jay Shah: What makes the worlds that the Republic took by force legitimate?

Mike Cooper: government only exists inasmuch as it's not challenged

Jay Shah: Yes.

Jay Shah: It's for the people.

Marah Wojcik: And the people overthrew the Empire

Jay Shah: If the people and their representatives feel they are best served by a monarch.

David Pinkus: And the Republic tried to engender equality for all -- in practice as well as theory.

Jay Shah: Wrong, and even admitted by the Rebellion, Marah.

Jay Shah: Only a tiny minority of the galaxy disliked the Empire.

Jay Shah: A fraction so tiny as to be non-existent

David Pinkus: Only because humans are a virus.

David Pinkus: [shrug]

David Pinkus: A fraction so tiny?

Mike Cooper: david, the matrix roundtable is down the hall =)

Jay Shah: Yes. Let me find a quote.

David Pinkus: I'd say there were quite a few races not thrilled with the Empire that make up a statistically significant sample size.

Mike Cooper: by all means, jay

Mike Cooper: i still want to know where it says there are more people in the core than the rest of the galaxy

Jay Shah: This is from an essay that is not my own, but it uses the "Rebel Alliance Sourcebook" as the source and quotes some phrases.

Jay Shah: Major Hextrophon comments in the Rebel Alliance Sourcebook (West End Games, 1994) that one finds ?there is still much skepticism concerning the Rebellion? in the Core, where many view the rebels as ?brigands, pirates and anarchists

Jay Shah: ."

Jay Shah: if the existent laws are the same, how is the Empire oppressing people

David Pinkus: Wait. That's the evidence for "fraction so tiny?"

Jay Shah: Imperial Sourcebook: "The Empire has not completely altered the governments of hundreds of thousands of worlds.Less than one planet in 80 has been so modified."

Mike Cooper: well, if the empire says so it must be true =)

Marah Wojcik: Perhaps they think of them a pirates because they don't truly know what the Rebellion is all about, and because they are living in the Core they're constantly bombarded by Imperial propoganda.

David Pinkus: Right, but that's a) from the mouths of the Imperials (which is hardly unbiased) and b) not reflective of how many worlds are cooperating out of FEAR rather than LOVE for the Empire.

Jay Shah: the Imperial Sourcebook is written by Rebel historians

Jay Shah: it's a Rebel source, canonically

Jay Shah: "Imperial changes have created resentment on some worlds, but the resentment is rarely cause enough for significant support of the Rebellion.?

David Pinkus: Dammit! My apartment is packed up and I can't dig mine out!

Jay Shah: same source, from a Rebel's mouth

Mike Cooper: okay, david is running out of time, so let's get to the last topic

Mike Cooper: The Galactic Civil War, for better or for worse, proved to be a long and messy ordeal that led into years of infighting between the many members of the New Republic, and a government that, when faced with the invasion of an outside force, proved almost totally ineffective. Would the Empire have stood a better chance at repelling the Yuuzhan Vong?

David Pinkus: Unquestionably yes.

Jay Shah: Definately.

Marah Wojcik: Definitely.

David Pinkus: See! We can find common ground!

Mike Cooper: ::looks at watch:: um...argue anyway

Jay Shah: Lovely. Long live the Emperor.

Jay Shah: Uh, we can argue the second part again.

Marah Wojcik: That doesn't mean it's a bad thing the Empire feel, though

Marah Wojcik: er, fell

Mike Cooper: well, let me rephrase the question

David Pinkus: Okay, the thing is -- pre-Palpatine, there would have been very little impetus for the local militias to band together and crush the Vong at Vector Prime.

Mike Cooper: what was the republic doing wrong as of the invasion?

David Pinkus: See my above answer.

Mike Cooper: yes, obviously =p

Jay Shah: The New Republic was too concerned with the Core.

Jay Shah: Recall the Senator from Vortex?

David Pinkus: The individual sector fleets could only guard "so much" while worrying about the Remnant, pirates, etc. and the need to protect the Core Worlds and the breadbaskets covered much space.

Jay Shah: The Republic was only concerned with the rich worlds that lined the pockets of the Senate.

David Pinkus: Then you have the militias who had no reason to send ships to face a threat of unknown size, disposition and... er... threat.

Jay Shah: Recall that the Jedi who acted against smugglers were condemned by the highest Senators in the Republic--why? Because the Senate got kickbacks from them.

Jay Shah: So--what's worse?

David Pinkus: If the Empire were in charge and not dealing with a Rebellion, sending 1% of the SD fleet would have solved the problem (using the 25,000 number).

Jay Shah: Oppression of a few worlds, or purposeful neglect and a lack of concern for those who joined the Republic for protection? This I pose to you.

Jay Shah: Yes, and the 25,000 percent number is rather low.

Jay Shah: Given that we know that each sector fleet had 24 ISDs, and there were tens of thousands of sectors...

Marah Wojcik: It's only a question that arises in retrospect, though. They had no idea the Vong were coming. Of course we know they were there for a long while...but there was no large-scale invasion until the NJO

David Pinkus: Asa matter of fairness, the Republic wasn't ENTIRELY concerned with the "rich worlds" lining their pockets. There was some pragmatism that said that if worlds seceded they'd lose power, money and prestige.

Jay Shah: It's not, though, Marah.

Marah Wojcik: You can't just run around saying "Oh let's live oppressed in case an alien civiliation invades tomrrow"

Jay Shah: It's proof of concept.

Mike Cooper: i still don't grant the "few" premise, jay

Jay Shah: The Republic has proven it is not interested in fairness--when push came to shove, the Republic FAILED.

Jay Shah: That it works when everything is fine and dandy is irrelevant--the true test of anything is in times of chaos.

Jay Shah: I'm still digging for a quote, Cooper.

Mike Cooper: marah - tell that to bu...um, nevermind

Jay Shah: All I can find is that the Alliance has no allies in the Core, which we know.

David Pinkus: Right, but remember that WE'RE operating with hindsight too. We all *believe* that the Empire would have responded better, but we don't know for sure.

Jay Shah: And that the Rebellion got most of its support from rich nobles.

Jay Shah: Which tells us what?

David Pinkus: Is it possible that the Old Republic could have responded more effectively with 20,000 Jedi still around?

Jay Shah: Well, gee, that these rich nobles want to get their ancestral power back.

Jay Shah: No.

Marah Wojcik: That's true, too, about the Jedi

Jay Shah: I'd like to see 20,000 Jedi attack a 8km long Vong ship.

David Pinkus: I'd say yes. But I'd rather be sure with 25,000 Star Destroyers.

Jay Shah: They would get blown out of the sky.

Jay Shah: That, or someone would pull a Revan and everyone would be in trouble.

David Pinkus: I'd doubt it, if technology came back to the fore that it was at the time of TPM/AOTC

David Pinkus: Jedi Aces are quite proficient (see: Tiin, Saesee)

Jay Shah: Yes, in tiny fighters.

Jay Shah: I would like to see said tiny fighters defeat a Vong armada.

David Pinkus: As I recall, one tiny fighter took out another 8 km long Imperial ship... ;-)

Mike Cooper: someone did pull a revan. his name was anakin

Jay Shah: After 12 MC80s blasted into ti (ref. ROTJ novel)

Jay Shah: *it

Jay Shah: and it's 17.6km long, but that's neither here nor there

Jay Shah: :-P

Mike Cooper: whatever size it was, one fighter didn't take it out. that's just saying the last torpedo that finally destroys a ship "took it out"

Mike Cooper: *that's like"

Jay Shah: How so, Cooper? It seemed to me that Kyp was more in the danger of creating dark siders than Anakin

Jay Shah: Exactly, Cooper.

Mike Cooper: anakin did create darksiders. kyp didn't

Jay Shah: Solo?

David Pinkus: Damn you, JEllo! :-P

Mike Cooper: solo? wait, what are we arguing, exactly?

Jay Shah: something to do with the Empire and the Republics.... :-P

Marah Wojcik: I'm lost :-P

Mike Cooper: oh, you mean did he create them solo...i thought you meant han was a darksider =)

David Pinkus: The fact that the Dark Side exists as a tangible element that tempts those strong in the Force would not be changed by the system of government.

Jay Shah: no! Anakin Solo.

Jay Shah: No, but it means that Jedi cannot be used as an army.

David Pinkus: Though it seemed to be more prevalent under the Empire than the Republic in the later years.

Jay Shah: Especially Jedi who use tactics such as sticking failures into labor camps.

Mike Cooper: anakin skywalker. you know, the one who turned to the dark side

Jay Shah: And Jedi that steal babies from their parents.

David Pinkus: Jedi didn't "steal" babies.

Mike Cooper: they "borrow" them

Jay Shah: Refer to the Baby Ludi incident, HoloNetNews

David Pinkus: And the Corps weren't"abor camps"

David Pinkus: That was ONE incident where the parents were believed dead.

Marah Wojcik: The news loves to dramatize things anyway

Jay Shah: it was clearly a belief among Republic citizens, at the time, that the Jedi were not to be loved

Jay Shah: Even through history, they were looked upon as high and mighty

David Pinkus: And defenders of the Republic.

Jay Shah: They were, after all, too important to save Naboo.

Mike Cooper: the barabels seemed to like them okay

Jay Shah: They did, yes.

Mike Cooper: the republic wouldn't let them save naboo

Jay Shah: of course not, because corrupt businessmen controlled it.

Jay Shah: :-)

Jay Shah: oh, and the Jedi were the Chancellor's private troops....

Mike Cooper: no, your boss controlled it

David Pinkus: They weren't too important. The Chancellor dispatched them to end the blockade!

Jay Shah: That reminded me that Emperor's Hand mention, earlier.

David Pinkus: No, they had the authority to decline missions.

Jay Shah: The Republic was corrupt long before Palpatine was even born.

Jay Shah: Did they? When?

David Pinkus: Because we don't see it doesn't mean it's not there.

Jay Shah: Nor does it justify that it was.

David Pinkus: Because we're only seeing through a lens of history (e.g. the books are showing us stuff, as are the movies)

Jay Shah: You can't say "A exists because nothing says it doesn't."

Marah Wojcik: I don't think the Republic could order them around

Jay Shah: Because I could say that Barney the purple dinosaur was a Grand Moff, because nothing says he wasn't. :-)

David Pinkus: That's true, you could.

Jay Shah: And he was the evil mastermind pulling Palpatine's strings.

Mike Cooper: if the jedi did accept every assignment they got, it's only because the republic knew better than to give them BS assignments

Jay Shah: Chancellor.

Jay Shah: The Senate had nothing to do with it.

Mike Cooper: if valorum told qui-gon to go kill some political opponent, he wouldn't have done it

Jay Shah: Which is another sign of a bad system: where the parts of the government don't trust each other.

David Pinkus: I packed all my books... :-(

David Pinkus: [cries]

Jay Shah: That's okay, I don't have mine either.

Marah Wojcik: it's not a lack of trust, just a desire for autonomy. The Jedi probably don't like to be ordered around. Who would?

David Pinkus: Mara

David Pinkus: [rimshot]

Jay Shah: Autonomy?

Jay Shah: So then the Chancellor can be autonomous from the constitutional rule of the Senate?

Jay Shah: Tsk tsk... that is bad.

Marah Wojcik: No, because that's the government. The Jedi are Jedi. Two different things.

Mike Cooper: autonomy for the jedi

David Pinkus: NO, the Chancellor can't be autonomous from the Senate.

Mike Cooper: they went to naboo as a personal favor to valorum

Jay Shah: Jay Shah: Which is another sign of a bad system: where the parts of the government don't trust each other.

David Pinkus: The Jedi are entrusted with enforcing the laws of the Republic.

Jay Shah: And enforcing them selectively.

Jay Shah: After all, the Guilds could do what they wanted.

Mike Cooper: okay, let's leave it here

Jay Shah: only until someone from NABOO was in charge was the Trade Federation dealt with

Jay Shah: okay

Mike Cooper: david has better things to do...

Jay Shah: There is nothing better than defending the honor of the Empire.[/loyalist] :-P

David Pinkus: My GirlfriendImplant(TM) went off and the shocks are painful.

Mike Cooper: ::points to the invisible camera:: say goodbye to the kids at home!

Marah Wojcik: It's been fun!

David Pinkus: This... is CNN (Core News Network)

Mike Cooper: glad you all could make it

Jay Shah: Brought to you by: Imperial Center Hourly

Jay Shah: Remember kiddos, serve your Emperor! ;-)

Jay Shah: *bows and shakes hands*

Mike Cooper: i can't believe the Core television station got Vader to do their spots...

Jay Shah: Good job, guys...

David Pinkus: Good debating with y'all.

Jay Shah: They offered him a new podracer :-P

Jay Shah: Vader: Yipee!

Whew. Having been present at both random chats and the strictest chats possible, I?d say this one achieved a perfect balance between the two. Here?s hoping it wasn?t a freak occurrence. Much-belated thanks go out to my three debaters; coming up in the third and final of our interim series, things get verbose, historical, and just a little rowdy when future staff member Paul ?Thrawn McEwok? Urquhart makes his EU Roundtable debut.

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