Anti-alien Empire Origin

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edaw1982
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Anti-alien Empire Origin

Post by edaw1982 »

I'm curious as to where the idea that the Empire (or atleast the military) was composed of Xenophobes? Is it a purely EU thing or is it because of the lack of aliens on Imperial vessels?
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Re: Anti-alien Empire Origin

Post by Thanas »

Well, there is that. You only have humans or people who are near humans on Imperial ships, so this is where the EU got the idea from. Mainly the X-wing novels pushed that idea front and center, whereas in the movies it was more implied. However, in the prequels Palpatine has no qualms about working with aliens. Might be he was only faking it at that point though.


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Re: Anti-alien Empire Origin

Post by Metahive »

I guess it's because of the scenes in ESB where Piett talks scornfully about the alien bounty hunters Vader hired and ANH where an imperial officer calls Chewbacca a "thing". EU writers often take such scenes and spin their own theories from that.
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Re: Anti-alien Empire Origin

Post by Eternal_Freedom »

The ESB scene doesn't provide evidence of xenophobia, since Piett says "Bounty hunters! We don't need that scum!"

He's not referring to the aliens, but to the profession.

The "Imperials are xenophobes" is a SW version of a Brain Bug.
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Re: Anti-alien Empire Origin

Post by Metahive »

You noticed the whole "EU writers often take such scenes and spin their own theories from that"-part, didn't you?
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Re: Anti-alien Empire Origin

Post by Thanas »

Eternal_Freedom wrote:The ESB scene doesn't provide evidence of xenophobia, since Piett says "Bounty hunters! We don't need that scum!"

He's not referring to the aliens, but to the profession.

The "Imperials are xenophobes" is a SW version of a Brain Bug.
And yet they went out of their way to make the rebels multiracial and the empire only ever is represented by humans. I would call that a valid interpretation.
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Re: Anti-alien Empire Origin

Post by Metahive »

Well, in ROTJ at least. In ESB and ANH the Alliance was just as human-centric as the Empire.
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Re: Anti-alien Empire Origin

Post by Crazedwraith »

Eternal_Freedom wrote:The ESB scene doesn't provide evidence of xenophobia, since Piett says "Bounty hunters! We don't need that scum!"

He's not referring to the aliens, but to the profession.

The "Imperials are xenophobes" is a SW version of a Brain Bug.
And the guy calling Chewie, 'a thing'? Doesn't count either?

And the fact that every imperial we see is a stuffy white british guy and the rebellion is more diverse. (slightly more diverse and mainly in RotJ but it's there)

Yeah the film isn't blatant about it but it's there. The EU didn't make it up out of nothing and anyway they're the 'evil empire' for goodness sake, why do people have a problem with them being depicted as evil?

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Re: Anti-alien Empire Origin

Post by Darth Quorthon »

There's a brief reference to it in the novelization of Episode 3, where Dooku is going on internally about how the new government after the clone wars would be a government of human authority, how Dooku would serve and Empire of Man. He reflects that it is no accident that the powers of the Seperatists are Neimodian, Geonosian, etc. Not sure how relevant that is, but there it is.
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Re: Anti-alien Empire Origin

Post by Eternal_Freedom »

Sigh...yes I know there are other arguments, I was specifically addressing that one scene in ESB. There are plenty of other subtler examples without needing to read things that aren't there.

I'd also say that the "Where are you taking this...thing" isn't evidence for a general Imperial xenophobic attitude, just that one guy.
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Re: Anti-alien Empire Origin

Post by RogueIce »

Yeah, technically that scene just says something about one officer, not the whole Empire.

Really the best inference you can get from the movies is the homogenous makeup of every Imperial we see in the trilogy, being as said a bunch of British white guys. To be fair though, the Rebellion was also pretty damn homogenous up until around the middle of RotJ when we see the Mon Calamari and IIRC a single Sullustan (Lando's co-pilot, of course; don't remember if there were any others).

They also got a little more diversity in their humans, too, though IIRC the black and Asian pilots blew up. :(

You could probably say the same thing with that whole "no women allowed" bias as well. The movie Empire had no women, but the Rebellion was hardly much better with only three. Granted Leia and Mon Mothma were pretty important in the hierarchy but the only "regular" Rebel female was that one operator on Hoth who looked an awful lot like Leia.
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Re: Anti-alien Empire Origin

Post by Havok »

I never bought into the racist aspect of the Empire. I mean a jailor being a dick to a prisoner? Shocking.

Mon Mothma was also stuffy and British. Vader wasn't. Hell, you could almost hear Ackbar being stuffy and British. Aside from the Mon Calamari and Nien Nunb the Rebel Alliance was exclusively shown as human.
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Re: Anti-alien Empire Origin

Post by Elheru Aran »

There's at least one alien commando in the briefing-room scene in ROTJ. I forget the species, but they're the ones who use slugthrowers according to the old EGWW.
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Re: Anti-alien Empire Origin

Post by Thanas »

The extended ROTJ scenes also has lots of aliens IIRC and the script mentions several alien races. The Empire is just humans.
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Re: Anti-alien Empire Origin

Post by Napoleon the Clown »

Thinking on it, I see no reason that a certain degree of bias against non-humans would be going on among the rebels, either. Most of them had a career with the Empire for some amount of time, so they could harbor some prejudice. Assuming Lucas ever even intended there to be a strong sentiment like that in the Empire. Think of Leia, for example. She refers to Chewie as a walking carpet, if memory serves.

Considering human nature, I'd consider it not unreasonable for the upper echelons of the Empire leadership to be human supremacists. Not necessarily because of any formal policies, but because the kinds of people who would thrive in the Empire and would want to get into positions of leadership would tend to be egotistical, power-hungry assholes. If you look at history, you'll see people often are jackasses toward those they perceive as "others" or "outsiders."

Far as the EU concluding racism in the Empire was rampant, I imagine it mostly comes down to just a few characters being assholes.
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Re: Anti-alien Empire Origin

Post by Eternal_Freedom »

In fact, one of the Rebel characters in the Wraith Squadron books (Castin Donn) did have problems with non-humans. He asked for different quarters because the roommate, Runt (a Thakwassh IIRC) "smells."
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Re: Anti-alien Empire Origin

Post by Havok »

Yeah and what dickheaded names did Leia call Han? It's not prejudice, it's elitist at worst and more than likely her probably just being used to getting her way as a Senator that talks shit to Darth Fucking Vader and Grand Moff "I'll Blow Up A Planet To Make A Fucking Point" Tarkin without batting a fucking eye. Jeezuz, get some perspective people.
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Re: Anti-alien Empire Origin

Post by Havok »

Eternal_Freedom wrote:In fact, one of the Rebel characters in the Wraith Squadron books (Castin Donn) did have problems with non-humans. He asked for different quarters because the roommate, Runt (a Thakwassh IIRC) "smells."
Citing a character that was from the EU as evidence of racism in the movies is pretty fucking stupid.

"Hey, in the books that assumed the Empire was racist, there was this ex-Imperial guy that was actually racist." :roll:
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Re: Anti-alien Empire Origin

Post by Borgholio »

My 2 cents, it's not racist to say someone smells. If my bunk-mate had horrible BO, I'd want to leave too.
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Re: Anti-alien Empire Origin

Post by Eternal_Freedom »

Havok wrote:
Eternal_Freedom wrote:In fact, one of the Rebel characters in the Wraith Squadron books (Castin Donn) did have problems with non-humans. He asked for different quarters because the roommate, Runt (a Thakwassh IIRC) "smells."
Citing a character that was from the EU as evidence of racism in the movies is pretty fucking stupid.

"Hey, in the books that assumed the Empire was racist, there was this ex-Imperial guy that was actually racist." :roll:
Actually he was a Rebel pilot and was never part of the Empire. And yes, it's not relevant to the films but it still relates to the "The Empire was anti-alien and the Rebels/Republic wasn't" part.

And yeah, I wouldn't call him anti-alien for objecting to his roommates BO.
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Re: Anti-alien Empire Origin

Post by RogueIce »

Eternal_Freedom wrote:And yeah, I wouldn't call him anti-alien for objecting to his roommates BO.
For the record, it was rather clear from the scene that Runt didn't really smell and that it was just an excuse on Donn's part.

But Havok said it best:
Havok wrote:Citing a character that was from the EU as evidence of racism in the movies is pretty fucking stupid.
Sometimes I wonder if it's even possible for people around here to actually Stay On Target and not bring up irrelevant things from books/comics/whatever when people are just trying to discuss a movie or TV show on its own.

So yeah. Aside from a couple of isolated incidents and some demographics that the Rebels themselves were pretty damn guilty of for two-thirds of the trilogy, where did this whole anti-alien and anti-women thing come from with the Empire? Note they can still be pretty damn evil without racism/specism/sexism what with the whole blowing up inhabited planets to make a point and nobody blinked an eye at it thing. So questioning this is hardly Imperial apologism.
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Re: Anti-alien Empire Origin

Post by StarSword »

Borgholio wrote:My 2 cents, it's not racist to say someone smells. If my bunk-mate had horrible BO, I'd want to leave too.
It does when the other humans in the squadron note the guy has a distinctive odor but actually rather like it, and he also objects to the smell of the other nonhuman members.
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Re: Anti-alien Empire Origin

Post by Havok »

Seriously, how many humans exactly did Tarkin kill when he blew up Alderaan?
Seems to me like the Empire is just anti-Anyone Who Opposes The Empire.
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Re: Anti-alien Empire Origin

Post by FaxModem1 »

Would a possible root of this be the human slavery out on the rim in more alien dominated planets, such as Tatooine? Slavery seemed to be a common thing in the prequel trilogy, at least for humans there, but by the OT, we don't see any slave characters until Jabba's palace.

I could see a possible root out of, "They're taking our people and enslaving them!" being a rallying point for Imperial supporters against aliens.
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Re: Anti-alien Empire Origin

Post by Gandalf »

Havok wrote:Seems to me like the Empire is just anti-Anyone Who Opposes The Empire.
I think that in their actions onscreen, the Empire became characterised by people as space Nazis, which brought along the Nazi baggage.
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