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Why Do We Like The Empire?


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I started pondering this last night, but couldn't come up with any concrete answers. Most fans of the SW moves/games/whatever love the Empire, but there are lots of reasons we shouldn't. They were tyranical, oppressive, xenophobic, and just plane bad. Despite this, we love them! I've only met a handful of people who prefer the rebels over the Empire, and of those few, an even smaller number like the rebels for who thay are, not because they've got Luke Skywalker.

This isn't the only time that a large number of people like the badguys. In almost every WWII game, players prefer to play as the Germans rather than the Allies. And, if you look at all of the similarities between Pre-WWII Germany and the rise and fall of the Empire, it makes one wonder.

So I guess my question to you all is, why do movie goers and history buffs and gamers like the dark side better than the light?

History is on the move, Captain. Those who cannot keep up with it will be left behind, to watch from a distance. And those who stand in our way will not watch at all."

- ”Grand Admiral Thrawn"

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I couldn't tell ya...I love the Rebels. The only redeeming qualities of the Empire are the Imperial Star Destroyer and the TIE Defender, IMHO. Oh, and that they see fit to hire cool bounty hunters with lotsa cool toys. :wink:

 

But if I had to guess, I think it's because a good sandwich just has to have Miracle Whip (a sandwich just isn't a sandwich without the tangy zip of Miracle Whip... :wink: ). Similarly, the whole SW saga wouldn't be nearly as appealing without villians like Vader, Fett, Thrawn, Isard and Zsinj and likable bad-guys like Piett and Pellaeon. And, as we all know, any villian aspiring to ueber-coolness and having his own online fan-club, has to have either:

1) Lotsa cool gadgets;

2) Twinked-out subordinates;

3) A cool ride;

4) Evil supernatural powers and disposition;

or

5) all of the above.

 

The Empire just happens to fit the bill for #5. :wink:

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So basically, people are more likely to place doing what they want over any moral delimas. I know that we aren't actually doing any of the aatrocities that the Empire did, but there is still the moral aspect, or at least there should be.

History is on the move, Captain. Those who cannot keep up with it will be left behind, to watch from a distance. And those who stand in our way will not watch at all."

- ”Grand Admiral Thrawn"

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People like the underdog and everyone knows that in a movie the badguys always lose, therefore, they like the badguys.

 

Also, heroes are just that and usually pretty boring. It's the villains that always makes the movie great. So villains are always cool, they have to be while heroes can be pretty lame and still do their job.

 

And, off course, we all secretly like an order that will get rid of those pesky green minorities that can't be bothered to get their syntax right!

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When you think of the Empire as the 'bad guys' in a movie/game way, you overlook their racism, their opressions and their general...uh, bad behavior. They're just the 'bad guys' and those are pretty much cooler everywhere. Were the Empire around right now as a political faction, you'd really think differently about them. Same with WWII Germany. Those Nazi guys are really so much as a stereotype, no longer seen as what they actually were (with a lot of help by their continuing presentation in video games and movies like Indiana Jones).
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Bear something in mind about the whole 'Imperial Xenophobic/racist' thing; GL didn't and has not mentioned anything in his work concerning the subject, other than an unfortunate Imperial Officer refering to Chewie as 'a thing' which was quickly followed by Leia refering to Chewie as 'a walking carpet...' Smacks of racism on both counts if you translate that into our little world and replace Chewie with for example a Muslim...or not if you put aside or the dodgy b-rate additions to the SW mythos since.

 

Think about it before you slate my inbox with hate mail.... :roll:

 

It's not really practical for an Empire to dominate the known galaxy in the sole-hands of one particular species(ie humaniti), nor is it realistic, so it's one deep flaw the SW community has accepted without thinking about; as per normal.

 

Anyway; ultimately, I think Tex has banged it fairly square on the head... :lol:

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Right, but even without the racism bit (which was really never that clear in the movies, although hinted to by the complete absence of other species among the Imps), the general badness of the imps remains: they build a doomsday weapon (well, doomsday if viewed on planetary scale) and employ it on a densely inhabited world as a test.
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They hate pasifists :?:

-"The major is a good man means well and works hard. Undortunatly, he would not be able to get a clue if he went out into a field full of horny clues during clue mating season , smeared his naked body with clue musk, and danced the ritual clue mating dance."-

 

-"Now there's an image I'd really have preferred you'd kept to yourself."-

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Interesting. My experience has been quite the opposite: most of the people I know like the Rebels more than the Empire. I fall into that category too.

 

People like the underdog and everyone knows that in a movie the badguys always lose, therefore, they like the badguys.

 

I see it the other way. I think the Rebels, not the Empire, were the underdog based on their situation and what they were up against. Though I'll admit that wherever there's an underdog with a good cause, you'll see me there cheering them on. :wink:

 

Now, with that being said, I do know some people who like the Empire. Mostly the reason seems to be "The stormtroopers and Star Destroyers are awesome!" like Jahled mentioned. I think some of the others are fascinated by the absolute power the Empire has. One friend has tried to convince me numerous times that the Rebels are just a group of despicable, merciless terrorists trying to overthrow the lawful government. :roll:

 

On the topic of Alderaan... Alderaan had some fairly strong ties to the Rebel Alliance. Those Rebel Fleet Troopers on the Tantive IV? Alderaanian. Bail Organa, Leia...definite ties there. There's also a fair amount out there that says Alderaan may have been peaceful, but they had a military and they had defenses, so they weren't complete pacifists. This Technical Commentary has more info. I think all that had just as much to do with the decision to destroy Alderaan as just being Leia's homeworld and a strong bargaining chip.

 

Anyway, my two credits, FWIW. :wink:

 

-Thumper

TIE pilots shake at the sound of my name! ...Hey, wait! You're not supposed to be shaking with laughter!

 

Which way did they go? How many of them were there? How fast were they going? I must find them! I am their LEADER!

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The Alderaanians actually demillitrised. They put all their weapons on a automated ship which was escorted by two other ships. Read the x-wings serie.

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I don't think that Alderaan can be placed on the shoulders of the Empire. WHile yes, it was an Imperial Battlestation that destroyed it, and yes, it was manned by Imperials, in the end it was Tarkin acting on his own, without the approval of the Emperor. From the way in which we see the Emperor directing Vader in ESB and RoTJ, I find it hard to believe that he would allow a person who is essentially a politician (Moffs and Grand Moffs are not technically part of the Imperial Navy) to run rampant with so much power. That said, after Tarkins previouse exploits with a Star Destroyer on a certain Rebel leaders homeworld, you'd have to expect him to do somethin like that.

 

P.S: Sorry about any spelling mistakes folks. I just got up not ten minutes ago :wink:

History is on the move, Captain. Those who cannot keep up with it will be left behind, to watch from a distance. And those who stand in our way will not watch at all."

- ”Grand Admiral Thrawn"

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Right, but even without the racism bit (which was really never that clear in the movies, although hinted to by the complete absence of other species among the Imps), the general badness of the imps remains: they build a doomsday weapon (well, doomsday if viewed on planetary scale) and employ it on a densely inhabited world as a test.

 

Oh please.. It's pretty much standard human behaviour, really. Read some recent historical studies on the reasons the US congress had for using the A-bomb on Japan, for instance. Think about it, they didn't *have* to target a cities, now did they?

 

But the blowing up of Alderaan is more analogous with the chemical attack on that Kurdic village. I'm pretty sure what Ali's defense on that action is going to be. It was war, they where helping the enemy, the punishment for treason is death.

 

As for there not being too many aliens on board Star Destroyers... There *are* advantages to using an anatomically homogenous crew. Also, the rebels seem to have only _humanoid_ species among them, so they're probably racists as well. (No Hutts that I know of anyway...)

 

Ok, I'm rambling on a bit here... sorry 'bout that. I just don't have a very high opinion of human nature. The key thing I wanted to say is that Nazis weren't all "bad guys" in reality. Many were convinced they were serving a good cause right up to the end. No doubt the Imperial Navy is no different.

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Of course, destroying Alderaan was a pretty normal act if the situation is seen as a normal war. Taken into a movie universe, however, it was a typical 'bad guy' action, something the 'good guys' just wouldn't do.

 

As for the Nazi part... I tend to differentiate between 'German Soldier' (or, to be even more accurate, 'Soldier in the German army') and 'Nazi', meaning between those who fought for the good of their country or those who were simply forced to fight (like my grandfather) and those who were actively engaged in mass murdering and the manipulation of the citizens to fuel the war with hatred. I'm sure analogs to both could be found among the Imps.

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That is a point that most people ent to forget. The soldiers in the Wermacht were not Nazis. They were Germans who fought because they wanted to defend their country. The SS were Nazis. The Gustappo were Nazis, but the average German Soldat wasn't. I'm sure there were some in there that believed in the propaganda of the NSDAP, but most didn't.

 

I tend to think that in the Empire most of the military was part of the Imperial "Nazi" party. You didn't have to be in the army or navy, it was pretty voluntary. I'm sure there were those who joined for the "romace" of being a soldier and those who were there when the Republic fell, but not all of them. I think of the Stormtroopers as the SS of the Empire. Even the name was borrowed.

History is on the move, Captain. Those who cannot keep up with it will be left behind, to watch from a distance. And those who stand in our way will not watch at all."

- ”Grand Admiral Thrawn"

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If you look at the Empire during Palpatine. It is a rather nasty sight. But during Pellaon thy really got better. Aliens were not discriminated and diplomacy was in place. Pellaon is still my favorite Imperial.

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The discrimination is better, but we really don't get an idea of how the average citizen lives. Their may still be oppression there.

History is on the move, Captain. Those who cannot keep up with it will be left behind, to watch from a distance. And those who stand in our way will not watch at all."

- ”Grand Admiral Thrawn"

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