The Empire Were the Good Guys in Star Wars
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After 4 votes and with 21 points ahead, the winner is...
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The Galactic Empire were actually the good guys in the original star wars trilogy, and the Rebels were far worse than the Imperials. BoP is shared - I have to prove that the Empire were better than the Rebels. My opponent has to prove that the Empire were worse than the Rebels.
=How the Empire Was Created=
Before Palpatine stepped in and transformed the Republic into the Galactic Empire, the galaxy was in complete chaos. The Republic claimed to be a democracy, yet at least two of its worlds (Naboo and Alderaan) were ruled by absolute monarchs who had the power to opress their citizens. The economy was a disaster, and many planets such as Tatooine didn't even accept Republican currency because it was too unstable. The Republican Senate was a small group of corrupt wealthy oligarchs with almost no real power, and the Republican military was practically non-existent. And atop all this mountain of anarchy sat the Jedi Order, an ancient religious cult that controlled the government and had its own private army of lightsaber-wielding knights.
Long story short, a private corporation called the Trade Federation invades the planet of Naboo, the Galactic Chancellor is impeached for incompetence, and a policitian called Palpatine is elected to the position of Chancellor. A full-scale galactic civil war ensues, fought between the Galactic Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems. To save the Republic from collapsing, Palpatine commissions an enormous army of well-trained clones, finally creating some kind of military for the Republic. Palpatine also becomes close with a Jedi called Anakin, who saves his life during a kidnapping attempt by the Confederates.
Anakin becomes more and more loyal to Palpatine, and Palpatine eventually promotes him into the Jedi Council, the guys who are in charge of the Jedi Order. But the Jedis do not follow this direct order of the Chancellor! Are the Jedi a separate religious cult or a government body? If they're part of the government, they should follow the orders of the Chancellor, and if they're not they should stay away from politics and not be commanding the Republican Army.
Palpatine reveals to Anakin that he is a member of the ancient religion of the Sith, another ancient cult whose members the Jedi have killed and persecuted. Anakin tells this to the Jedi. And you know what they do? They try to f*cking assassinate him! The Jedi Order, a cult of religious fanatics with their own private army, try to murder the galactic equivalent of the POTUS just because he follows a different religion from them! Thankfully, Palpatine surives the attempt and orders the military to execute all the Jedi for betrayal. He then orders his Sith apprentice Anakin, now Darth Vader, to kill off all the Confederate leaders, which quickly ends the civil war and brings peace to the galaxy. Then, Palpatine transforms the Republic into the Galactic Empire, and strips the corrupt and incompetent senate of its power.
Now, you may say that Palpatine was the one who orchestrated the Galactic Civil War to seize power for himself, and you would be right. However, this was the only way to bring peace and stability to the galaxy. Even before Palpatine started the war, the galaxy was in a complete mess as I have already described above. The Confederacy of Independent Systems didn't come out of nowhere, these wealthy corporations with their own armies existed way before Palpatine and they could have started a civil war anytime they wanted. Palpatine was the one that gave CIS a push, and he only did so to destroy them so the government would end up with more power. You can see in Episode Three that instead of rewarding the Confederate leaders, Palps orders Anakin to kill them all. This isn't because Palps is a dick, no. He did this to prevent a civil war in the future, to stop the galactic corporations from having enough power to invade planets and fight wars with the future Imperial government.
Palpatine also destroyed the Jedi Order, which was terrible for the galaxy and needed to be eliminated to bring peace and stability. You can see the Jedi's true side when they tried to assassinate the Chancellor just because he was an adept of a different religion. At that time, they had no evidence at all that Palpatine was the mastermind behind the CIS, their only justification for trying to murder him was that he was a Sith. The Jedi are a danger to galactic stability. Even decades after the execution of Order 66, a few Jedi still constantly attempt to overthrow the Empire and create chaos, which proves that they are a bunch of evil fanatics who just want personal power and nothing else.
So, to summarize, this is what Palpatine did to bring stability and order to the galaxy:
- Eliminated the Jedi Order, which was too powerful and brough chaos to the galaxy.
- Eliminated the leaders of powerful corporations, who were too powerful and brought chaos to the galaxy.
- Created a strong military to prevent a civil war from happening in the future.
- Stripped the corrupt and incompetent Senate from its powers, and later completely dissolved it as it was useless.
- Made sure he had absolute control over the entire galaxy. This is good because Palpatine cared about the galaxy's peace and stability, and this could only be achieved with a smart and determined absolute leader such as him.
- Fixed the galactic economy. We can see in later episodes that Tatooine residents use galactic credits, while during the Republic they refused to accept them. The only reason for this is that the economy got better and the currency became more stable.
- Began the construction of the Death Star. This was necessary to prevent a civil war from happening in the future, so rebellious planets like Alderaan could be kept in line. Even the Death Star now makes sense, doesn't it?
So, now we know that Palpatine created the Empire to bring order and stability to the galaxy, and making the galaxy suffer through a civil war was the only way to achieve such a plan. Now, let's move on to the original Star Wars trilogy, where the rebels are supposedly the good guys and the Empire are supposedly evil.
=Why the Rebels Were Evil=
The Rebel Alliance was far worse than the Galactic Empire. They were a bunch of terrorists who blew up two Death Stars and killed billions of Imperial personnel. The point of the Death Stars was to prevent civil war by keeping rebellious planets in line, but the Rebels still destroyed them and did not care about the consequences. The rebels murdered Palpatine and the Empire's most competent officers, and they created a power vacuum in the galaxy which led to the rise of the First Order. So, essentially, these guys started two civil wars and completely ruined Palpatine's plan for a stable and peaceful Galactic Empire.
Now, you may say that the Rebels were fighting to stop Palpatine's oppression of galactic citizens. But the citizens weren't that opressed in the first place! All that changed after the Galactic Republic was that the people couldn't vote for their leaders, they now had to live under a monarchy. And... that's pretty much it. In exchange, Palpatine created a peaceful and stable Galactic Empire with a mighty military and a strong economy. Democracy is a small price to pay in exchange for stability, after centuries of Republican corruption, incompetence, poverty, and civil war.
The Rebels were incompetent idiots whose generals were people like Han Solo, a smuggler and criminal who thought that parsecs are a unit to measure time and not distance. Luke Skywalker's teacher Obi-Wan Kenobi was like a galactic Osama Bin Laden: a bearded old man who hid from the authorities in a cave in the middle of the desert, and then orchestrated two attacks against important government facilities because he thought the government was opressing his religion. Even the names of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Osama Bin Laden sound similar when pronounced. And so do the words Jedi and Al-Qaeda, by the way.
The Empire may not have been perfect, but it was far better than the Galactic Republic and the Rebel Alliance combined. Palpatine was a smart politician who wanted to bring peace and stability to the galaxy, and the Jedi were regicidal maniacs who just wanted personal power. Palpatine best summarizes what the Empire was in this quote:
"We are an Empire ruled by the majority! An Empire ruled by a new Constitution! An Empire of laws, not of politicians! An Empire devoted to the preservation of a just society. Of a safe and secure society! We are an Empire that will stand for ten thousand years!"
Your floor, Con.
My opponents argument has a lot of parallels to neo-nazi arguments for why Hitler was actually a good guy. "But he ended the depression in Germany!" "But he stabilized German society!" doesn't mean he was a good guy seeing as he committed many atrocities.
To begin with, here is a list of some of the empire's atrocities.
1. first and foremost is the destruction of Alderaan. the planet that the empire famously blew up using the death star. There's Genocide number 1.
2. They dissolved the senate, taking away all legitimate means for systems to oppose the laws imposed on them.
3. the Teardrop massacre. Imperial troops massacred a peaceful town and attempted to blame it on the Rebel Alliance.
4. The Empire committed a massive genocide against the Caamasi. It was only a couple years after the emperor came to power, and the Caamasi were known as being against the emperor and in support of the Jedi. Due to Bothan sabotage of the shield generators, the emperor bombarded the planet into oblivion, leaving the Caamasi without a homeworld, and millions dead.
5. The empire forced the Toprawa to abandon technology and beg for food from the empire or starve.
6. The enslavement of the Wookies.
7. When a rebel squad broadcast the destruction of the second Death star on Coruscant, Imperial troops came in and mowed down the crowd watching it in a public square. This was not an uncommon occurrence.
8. enslavement of the Amanin.
9. The Chromans were enslaved by the Empire for their mining skills and put into forced labor. One slave was periodically selected at random for death to serve as an example. The "example" was made by strapping a Chroma to a rock and allowing his body to deteriorate in the sun, not unlike a worm or a slug baking on a hot sidewalk.
10. Dozens of other instances of cruel enslavement.
11. Ryloth massacre.
12. The Empire hunts down and murders any force-sensitive children they find.
I think that's enough for now.
Sure, the Empire may have brought stability. But it came in the form of an autocratic, mass-murdering, politically suppressing, slave-driving, totalitarian dictatorship that brings stability through force and terror.
The destruction of the Death Star was necessary. It's important to remember that the Death Star was a weapon of mass destruction that the Empire used to genocide the alderaans for no reason whatsoever. Just to prove a point to Leia. Such a weapon could not be in the hands of an empire that enslaves numerous species throughout the galaxy and uses mass murder as a tool to control opposition.
As for creating a power vacuum that led to the rise of the First Order. That's just not true. The power vacuum was filled by the new Galactic Republic. The First Order were the remnants of the Empire that are attempting to reassert control. They defeated the New Republic's military and are now at war with a new rebel alliance. If anything, the rise of the First Order is proof that the Rebels were too merciful. They didn't wipe out their enemy and they were able to bounce back.
Now, you may say that the Rebels were fighting to stop Palpatine's oppression of galactic citizens. But the citizens weren't that opressed in the first place!
Untrue. Just look at my list of atrocities.
The Rebels were incompetent idiots whose generals were people like Han Solo, a smuggler and criminal who thought that parsecs are a unit to measure time and not distance.
This argument has no warrant. There's no reason given as to why this matters. After all, these "idiots" overthrew a galactic empire.
Luke Skywalker's teacher Obi-Wan Kenobi was like a galactic Osama Bin Laden: a bearded old man who hid from the authorities in a cave in the middle of the desert, and then orchestrated two attacks against important government facilities because he thought the government was opressing his religion.
except the twin towers weren't a massive weapon that the U.S. government had just used to wipe out an entire species. So there's that.
Even the names of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Osama Bin Laden sound similar when pronounced. And so do the words Jedi and Al-Qaeda, by the way.
First, this doesn't matter.
Second, how the hell are you pronouncing Al-Qaeda?
The empire was a cruel slave-driving dictatorship that routinely used mass murder for political purposes. The stability they brought to the empire is farcical. It's similar to the stability that Hitler brought to Germany. You wouldn't argue that He's a good guy, would you? I sure hope not. But if you wouldn't then there is no reason why you would argue that the Empire were the good guys.
First I will counter my opponent's main points, then I will move to my counterarguments.
1. The destruction of Alderaan was not malevolent, it was necessary to maintain the stability of the Empire. Alderaan wasn't blown up because the Emperor was a genocidal megalomaniac. The ruthless destruction of Alderaan was supposed to be a warning to the Rebels. The Rebels needed to understand that rebellion is futile, and they needed to understand that to preserve peace in the Empire. Furthermore, Leia Organa, one of the de facto rulers of Alderaan, was a high ranking rebel spy caught stealing classified information. This was a punishment to her and the Alderaan citizens that supported her. The destruction of Alderaan is similar to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in which many civillians died but the point of which was to ensure peace and stability. Were all those attacks ruthless? Yes. Unjustified? Not at all.
2. The Senate was incompetent and did nothing to help the galactic citizens. During and before the Civil War with the Confederacy, the Senate did nothing to fight the Confederate army. It was only Palpatine who commissioned the army, and only Palpatine that eventually ended the Civil War. The Senate was basically pointless, it was a waste of space and Imperial credits. Sometimes, democracy must be sacrificed in exchange for peace and stability. I would rather live in a country with a benevolent absolute monarch than a democracy run by incompetent and corrupt oligarchs.
3. The Enslavement of the Wookies was not immoral. The Wookies are an undeveloped alien species that communicate through grunts and do not even wear clothes. They are not mentally developed enough to be considered sentient beings. The only person that can communicate with Wookies during the trilogy is Han Solo, a criminal and rogue that thinks parsecs are a unit of time. You may say that a Wookie named Chewbacca is able to be a co-pilot the Millenium Falcon. Yes, and monkeys are able to drive cars . But this does not make it immoral to enslave either species.
All of the other "crimes" are not mentioned or discussed in the original trilogy, Star Wars: Rebels, the prequels, the Han Solo and Rogue One movies, and any of the other Star Wars canon. All these crimes may have been just invented by the New Republicans to sabotage the Empire's legacy. So we don't know if they have actually been commited or not.
If the Empire was an authoritatian machine of oppression, then why would it have such a weak military? At first, this may seem as a joke, but it is not. The first Death Star, for example, was very poorly designed and was destroyed during the first battle it participated in. It seems that the Empire simply built the Death Star as a facade to scare away potential rebels. The Death Star was built to keep the galaxy peaceful and stable, not to actually subjugate worlds. If the Empire were truly evil megalomaniacs, why would both Death Stars have such pronounced flaws?
The Imperial stormtroopers cannot aim very well, and their armor looks threatening but does not do anything in combat. The Empire's starfighters are terrible, they are unequipped for war and do not even have hyperdrives. The rebels, meanwhile, utilize X-wings and B-wings and many other great combat starfighters. AT-AT's and AT-ST's also look threatening, but do very poorly in combat. Perhaps the Empire just designs its military to look threatening to avoid potential combat? And they are not actually ready for battle because the Empire is a peaceful regime? During Episode Four, we see Stormtroopers acting as law enforcement and conducting traffic on Tatooine. Why would evil megalomaniacs do things like that?
Comparing the Empire to Nazis is not an argument .
the destruction of Alderaan was necessary.
No, it wasn't. For starters, stability does not justify anything. Genocide crosses that line. Two, If anything blowing up a planet would serve to make the rebels hate the empire more and be more willing to fight. Which, by the way, is exactly what happened. This is now overtly the same argument as " Hitler brought stability to Germany, therefore, the Holocaust was Okay."
You are also ignoring the fact that the monarchies of Naboo and Alderaan were democratic. The monarch of Naboo was democratically elected. and the government of Alderaan was a parliamentary constitutional monarchy similar to Great Britain. Does Britain deserve to be Nuked? "The Alderaan system actually consists of seven planets. Alderaan was the capital planet of that system. There was a Senate and my father was the president of that Senate."
―George Lucas, assuming Leia Organa's character
Leia Organa, one of the de facto rulers of Alderaan, was a high ranking rebel spy caught stealing classified information. This was a punishment to her and the Alderaan citizens that supported her.
So we punish people by genociding their entire species now? Do you consider this justice?
With Hiroshima and Nagasaki the war was already over. The only question was whether it would be through an island hopping campaign or Japanese surrender. While the Bombings were justified. murdering all Japanese citizens would not have been. Blowing up one planet would not force a rebel surrender. Because they could still win. All it would do is galvanize support for the rebels bringing MORE political instability within the empire. "The destruction of Alderaan failed in its psychological goal; wiping out a peaceful and idyllic paradise caused great consternation, especially in the Core Worlds; Atour Riten, the Death Star's librarian, who had been writing what he had intended to be a neutral record of the current war against the Rebellion, concluded, after the destruction of Alderaan, that such an action was one which made it impossible to be neutral in the conflict any further."
The Wookies are an undeveloped alien species that communicate through grunts and do not even wear clothes. They are not mentally developed enough to be considered sentient beings.
In "Solo, a Star Wars Story" Han Solo not only speaks with Chewbacca but also recognizes the existence of a Wookie Language. This disproves the notion that they don't possess a language. You again come back to this "Han Solo is an idiot" argument which doesn't prove anything. As for wearing clothes, there are tribes in the Amazon and Africa that wear little to no clothes. Are we allowed to deny their sentience and enslave them? It's also worth noting that the Empire makes a habit out of denying the sentience of the species they want to enslave. This is the danger that you open up when you let people decide who's sentient and who isn't.
The other atrocities I mentioned are mentioned in the novelizations of star wars that were declared Canon in the first issue of LucasFilm Magazine.
"Gospel,' or canon as we refer to it, includes the screenplays, the films, the radio dramas and the novelizations. These works spin out of George Lucas' original stories, the rest are written by other writers. However, between us, we've read everything, and much of it is taken into account in the overall continuity. The entire catalog of published works comprises a vast history—with many off-shoots, variations and tangents—like any other well-developed mythology."
If the Empire was an authoritatian machine of oppression, then why would it have such a weak military? At first, this may seem as a joke, but it is not. The first Death Star, for example, was very poorly designed and was destroyed during the first battle it participated in.
Remember that in Rogue One it was revealed that the Death Star was sabotaged by one of its chief engineers. Had that not been the case then it would have been a much more formidable weapon.
not to actually subjugate worlds.
Sorry, Alderaan. You don't count.
The Imperial stormtroopers cannot aim very well, and their armor looks threatening but does not do anything in combat.
This is a result of plot armor on the part of the main characters. Note that when not fighting the franchises principle protagonists the stormtroopers are plenty deadly. Their armor is likely not intended to be armor at all but rather a uniform. This allows stormtroopers to know who not to shoot. The advanced laser weapons in Star wars appear to have made armor obsolete as no one wears effective armor.
The Empire's starfighters are terrible, they are unequipped for war and do not even have hyperdrives. The rebels, meanwhile, utilize X-wings and B-wings and many other great combat starfighters.
The empires starfighters don't have hyperdrives because they are carried on Star Destroyers. They are skirmishers that accompany the imperial fleet. Rebels have no such carriers as such their small ships require hyperdrive.
AT-AT's and AT-ST's also look threatening, but do very poorly in combat.
How so? even if you exploit their chief weakness using cables, it's still not enough to save, say, your rebel base from destruction on Hoth.
During Episode Four, we see Stormtroopers acting as law enforcement and conducting traffic on Tatooine. Why would evil megalomaniacs do things like that?
Because they want the empire to function. Even the evilest regimes want their government to function and their tyrannical laws to be enforced.
Comparing the Empire to Nazis is not an argument
If the empire is doing to same things that the Nazis were doing then either the empire is bad along with the Nazis or the Nazis are good with the empire. Your pick.
Extend my arguments.
I'm going to concede this debate. Con has pointed out the many atrocities commited by the Empire and that my arguments could be also used to defend Nazi Germany. Vote Con please.
Everyone knows the Death Star was an inside job: https://vimeo.com/61930750
As a judge, I would appreciate some minimal citation effort. I don't want to just take someones word for it based on fan fiction about what Yoda did to Luke.
I Googled a couple of the events, and the current government officially denies much of it... Which is strange, because when I was growing up with Empire issue history books, they seemed to have committed many more human rights violations. (yes, this is referencing Disney's decision to basically declare everything except the movies to be Fan Fiction).
Long live the Empire!
Good topic for a debate. I suggest adding a couple limitations, mainly what shall be cannon for the debate (that way some jerk like me doesn't quote one of the expended universe books). Plus a general definition for good guys... Better yet, a direct resolution along the lines of 'The Empire Was Morally Superior To The Rebels.'
Come to think of it, a simple apply in comments rule is your best bet to get someone looking for the right spirit of debate.