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Quote of the Week: "A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within." - Will Durant, American historian (1885-1981)


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Do you think the Empire is evil?
Poll ended at 2002-07-16 09:43pm
yes 32%  32%  [ 12 ]
no 57%  57%  [ 21 ]
not sure 11%  11%  [ 4 ]
Total votes : 37
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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2002-07-12 09:36am
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Admiral Piett wrote:
There is a substantial difference.Dresden and Hiroshima were not indipendent political entities but portions of Germany and Japan.

There is no difference. Alderaan was an independent entity. But it also voluntarily joined the Rebellion. That made it part of the Rebellion. Therefor, it was attacked.



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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2002-07-12 01:21pm
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There is no difference. Alderaan was an independent entity. But it also voluntarily joined the Rebellion. That made it part of the Rebellion. Therefor, it was attacked.[/quote]


There is a difference, Dresden and Hiroshima were part of states engaged in war.The states were not willing to surrender and would not have let a city surrender to an enemy aircraft/s,not to mention the whole concept of a city surrendering to the enemy aviation is "slighty" problematic from a technical point of view.
Alderaan is a member of a clandestine alliance than it could quit if its government decides so,certainly the rebels cannot go there and punish them for their treason(they have a quite effective deflector shield after all and they can ask to the empire to be protected),like the German government could have done to Dresden officials if they hypothetically had surredered to british bombers.
Tarkin had certainly enough political autority to ask them to surrender if he wished so,and Alderaan government had enough autority to comply.
If Tarkin had offered them to surrender BEFORE firing and had destroyed the planet only after their refusal THEN the situation would be similar.

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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2002-07-12 01:34pm
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Listen: Alderaan made itself part of an organisation which was involved in an open war with the empire at that time.#
Just like Dresden was part of an organisation which was making war with the allies, Alderaan was part of an organisation which was making war with the Empire. Both were regarded as feasible targets for a military strike at the time. No difference at all.



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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2002-07-12 04:17pm
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Admiral Piett wrote:
And when did the Allies give Dresden the oppertunity to surrender? They didn't. Instead, they spent WEEKS hearding civilian refugees into the city, then firebombed it, causing more loss of life then Hiroshima.

There is a substantial difference.Dresden and Hiroshima were not indipendent political entities but portions of Germany and Japan.And both states were not willing to surrender at the time of these bombings.A planet in the SW galaxy is instead a political entity like Germany and Japan.If the allied had had the possibility to wipe out Germany with a single bombing and would have done this without not even asking surrender before doing this then they would have been like the empire.And in anyway if one finds these acts objectionable(a fully legitimate opinion) should recognize that the empire did worse killing en masse his own citizens without even offering the possibility to surrender.


No, a planet ins the SW galaxy that is a part of the empire is a local political entity on par with a modern city. (think of it this way. The Empire is the USA. Alderan is Minneapolis, while the sector containing Alderan is Minnesota). They are NOT indipendent political entities, any more then Minneapolis is an independent political entity from the USA. Alderan DOES equate to a fair sized city.



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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2002-07-12 05:22pm
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What I mean is that Alderaan could have surrendered to the Death star.
Dresden simply did not have this possibility,for the various reasons I have already listed.Dresden had no real options aside from remain a part of the state she belonged to.Its destruction would not have taken place if Germany had given up and Germany would have been allowed to give up.Unfortunately this was not the case.If its destruction was deemed necessary for the war effort (in reality this is an highly debatable point,since she was virtually of no military value but this is an other problem) then there were not other ways and only the german political leadership is to blame(again in reality an highly debatable point).In the same way if the Alderaanian government had refused and had left Tarkin with no other options then the two situations would have been comparable.If Tarkin had devastated only a portion of the planet as a warning,before destroying all the planet the situation would still be comparable.
Given the state of politics in the star wars galaxy planets cannot be compared to cities but only to states.
The rebel alliance is just that,an alliance between planetary governments that planetary governments can leave in any moment,like Italy left the Axis in WW2.Would the allies have been justifiable if they had nuked(assuming that they had had the possibility of course) down Italy without asking or accepting italian surrender?
Tarkin was in a position that would have allowed him to ask to the political leadership of Alderaan to surrender,while the allied forces could not have asked to the mayor of Dresden to surrender the city to the allies.The mayor simple did not have such luxury.If they had had this option and would not have tried it then they would be like the empire.
As far I can see from my point of view the only way to go around this is thinking that eliminating an entire autonomous political entity ,thus capable of giving up the fight, with great loss of civilians when there are other options available is not a bad thing.

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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2002-07-12 05:38pm
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No, a planet ins the SW galaxy that is a part of the empire is a local political entity on par with a modern city. (think of it this way. The Empire is the USA. Alderan is Minneapolis, while the sector containing Alderan is Minnesota). They are NOT indipendent political entities, any more then Minneapolis is an independent political entity from the USA. Alderan DOES equate to a fair sized city.[/quote]

If the US is at war with Minnesota then they can ask Minnesota to surrender,if they nuke the state down without asking/accepting surrender then they are like the empire.If bombing down Indianapolis,which is portion of Minnesota(I do not really know) is necessary to force Minnesota to surrender and Indianapolis cannot surrender indipendently the US is like the allies in WW2.Your point is valid only if the sectors are equivalent of governments in the SW galaxy.Observing Naboo I would tend to exclude that things work in this way,although I can be wrong.From a demographic point of view Alderaan is a city and probably even a small one.But this is not the point.

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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2002-07-12 06:14pm
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If Alderaan is dependent from the sector government which has joined the alliance as a whole,if the empire cannot separate and protect the planet from the sector if it gives up the fight,if its destruction is a necessary step to victory,if,if,if, then the destruction of Alderaan would be comparable to Dresden(again I repeat in reality that was a different case).
If the allies could have afforded to occupy Dresden and defend it but they had decided of not doing so then they would have been like the empire.

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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2002-07-12 09:48pm
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Uh...the history books I've read (yeah, not just Slaughterhouse 5) claim that the bombing of Dresden was a wholesale slaughter and largely unnecessary. (tens or hundreds of thousands of civilians died, babies were sucked out of their mother's arms into raging firestorms, etc...) and all it did was destroy one of Germany's, and indeed, Europe's most beautiful cities. That's what I read, anyway. So why is Dresden being used as an example of "Well, it wasn't so bad, it wasn't a holocaust." No, it wasn't. But Dresden/Alderaan both appear to have been a brutal and uncessary mass murder.

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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2002-07-12 10:52pm
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Alderaan can be equated to a city, but it can secede from the established governernment at any time. Or at least, it could have until Tarkin blew it up.



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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2002-07-13 01:58am
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Darth Yoshi wrote:
Alderaan can be equated to a city, but it can secede from the established governernment at any time. Or at least, it could have until Tarkin blew it up.


Yes, it can (could) secede from the established government any time it wanted. Provided it was willing to face the consiquences. It did, and faced the consiquences, and so was no longer in existance. (admitedly, this is not what would have been expected, what with the DS being classified. They probly expected blockade and eventual seige, along with publicity).



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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2002-07-13 02:24am
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Doomriser wrote:
Uh...the history books I've read (yeah, not just Slaughterhouse 5) claim that the bombing of Dresden was a wholesale slaughter and largely unnecessary. (tens or hundreds of thousands of civilians died, babies were sucked out of their mother's arms into raging firestorms, etc...) and all it did was destroy one of Germany's, and indeed, Europe's most beautiful cities. That's what I read, anyway. So why is Dresden being used as an example of "Well, it wasn't so bad, it wasn't a holocaust." No, it wasn't. But Dresden/Alderaan both appear to have been a brutal and uncessary mass murder.


You are fully correct about Dresden.Although the bomber command did not expect that level of destruction(a firestorm is not easy to ignite),the result
was probably welcomed in anyway.But the point here is not this.The point is that you cannot compare,from a political point of view(because from a demographical point of view Alderaan is probably the equivalent of a small town), a city in a modern state to a planet in the SW galaxy.
If,for the sake of convenience, we replace Dresden with Berlin,that was bombed more than 900 times,I mean more than nine hundreds,we will face the same problem.


Last edited by Admiral Piett on 2002-07-13 04:54am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Tokio vs Alderaan PostPosted: 2002-07-13 02:39am
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Let us use an other example.Tokio was literally burned in a massive bombing comparable,in scale to the destruction of Dresden,with more than 100.000 deads.Tokio being the capital and an industrial city was an obvious military target.
Let assume that Alderaan was the arsenal of the rebellion (quite likely in reality).
Are the two attacks now comparable?
No because Tokio could not realistically have seceded from Japan and its destruction was thus necessary for the war effort.
Alderaan could have seceded from the rebellion, thus eliminating its support to the rebel war effort.Maybe they would not have surrendered in any case and at that point Tarkin would have been forced to destroy the planet.But he did not try,this is the problem.

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 Post subject: Re: Tokio vs Alderaan PostPosted: 2002-07-13 06:31am
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Piett, you seem to place a great importance on two factors.
1) Can Alderaan make its own decision?
2) Whether Tarkin went through the "police procedure" and asked for surrender before opening up with his toy.

But I can also suggest that Alderaan already MADE its decision. It was by no means coerced into joining. If the Rebels can't stop people from seceding when they want to, they definitely can't force people to join them. If you choose to be a Rebel at the beginning, you don't expect mercy from government forces.

Besides, you can also say that non-verbal cues had already suggested that Alderaan was not quite willing to capitulate easily. Most people don't show a submissive response to be with DEFLECTOR SHIELDS UP (as the visual evidence suggests high probability of the presence of a working deflector). There was no sign the planet even TRIED a communication. In fact, given how much energy shielding tends to take and the way they block all the normal trade traffic, they probably raised it as the Death Star came into the system! That's an act of Defiance. The next step up would be to lock any planetary defense guns they have. Is that really so peaceful, so submissive, so unworthy of being beaten into the ground?

In the Imperial POV, I can argue that the Alderaanians made their decision of defiance not once, but _twice_. Harsh punitive measures are needed to re-assert authority. We all know the Empire's harsh.

I'm not saying that Tarkin's decision was right, just that these reasons may not wash.

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 Post subject: Shameless bumb... PostPosted: 2002-07-15 09:20pm
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--This is a shameless bumb in the hopes IDMR, Lord Chaos, or Darth Wong will address my previous reply... :oops:



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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2002-07-15 10:30pm
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Busy, rare animals these are, you don't have much chance of them responding.


BTW, did you mean bump instead of bumb?

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 Post subject: Re: Shameless bumb... PostPosted: 2002-07-16 09:45am
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Nova Andromeda wrote:
--This is a shameless bumb in the hopes IDMR, Lord Chaos, or Darth Wong will address my previous reply... :oops:


Umm, you replied to me?

::searches through posts::



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 Post subject: Again ... PostPosted: 2002-07-16 10:47am
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Here are some facts:

- Alderaan was a miltary target, the main source of munitions for the Rebellion. (The fact that Leia was lying about "having no weapons" is easily proved, since she herself had weapons)

- Imperial citizens were allowed to walk around armed and travel (in armed vehicles no less) wherever they want to go. Something you can't do in most countries on earth.

- In the Old Republic, Tatooine had rampant slavery and the Hutt crime lords rules openly (they were even treated like celebrities). Under the Empire, the slaves were free and the Hutts forced to live in secluded bunkers in the middle of nowhere. Just how far they had fallen is emphasised by the piddly amound of money Han owed Jabba.
- In the Empire, in someone cuts someone else's arm off in a bar brawl, security is sent to investigate. In the Old Republic, its "Jedi business" and no one does anything about it.

-Bespin is completely free and autonomous. They can conduct free trade and live as they choose. There is -no- evidence of any Imperial oppression until they begin to harbor known fugitives; Lando even makes a comment to that effect.
- When rogue Imperial officers illegally seize a rebel transport, they are forced to concoct a cover story. The Imperial Starfleet is bound by the rule of law, even if some officers break that law.

Overall, there is very little evidence that the average Imperial citizen don't enjoy all or more of the rights of the average American citizen.

On the other hand, the Rebellion is an organization whose primary goal is to re-establish galactic rule of elitists: the pampered nobility and "Jedi Knights" who are above the law. When Obi-Wan says to Yoda "that boy is our last hope", who do you think the "our" is? Its the Jedi. Obi-Wan and Yoda are simply using Luke as a tool (and a disposable tool at that) to regain the authority of their own kind. Freedom, democracy, and rights have absolutely nothing to do with it. Its a good thing that they died before they could further pollute Luke's mind with they're "I have a high midicolorian count so I can do whatever I want" attitude that created Vader in the first place!


Aaron

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 Post subject: Re: Again ... PostPosted: 2002-07-16 12:29pm
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I do not care much about the EU.With this in mind these are my replies.

- Alderaan was a miltary target, the main source of munitions for the Rebellion. (The fact that Leia was lying about "having no weapons" is easily proved, since she herself had weapons)

If I have understood well you means that one should never try make an attemtpt to take prisoners even when it may be possible.Alderaan could not certainly go away or fire back to a thing like the death star.If you really believe in this philosophy I can only hope you are not a member of the armed forces or,worse, the police.

- Imperial citizens were allowed to walk around armed and travel (in armed vehicles no less) wherever they want to go. Something you can't do in most countries on earth.

Ian is a smuggler,smugglers are often armed but this does not mean that carrying weapons is legal.We do not know if the blaster turrets of the Millennium Falcon are legal or would cost him the jail if he got caught by an imperial patrol ship.And as I have already said space was probably already patrolled in the Old republic by sector forces,otherwise why did they exist in first place(Naboo starfighters for example)?

- In the Old Republic, Tatooine had rampant slavery and the Hutt crime lords rules openly (they were even treated like celebrities). Under the Empire, the slaves were free and the Hutts forced to live in secluded bunkers in the middle of nowhere. Just how far they had fallen is emphasised by the piddly amound of money Han owed Jabba.
- In the Empire, in someone cuts someone else's arm off in a bar brawl, security is sent to investigate. In the Old Republic, its "Jedi business" and no one does anything about it.

Can you give me any proof that the slaves are free?Can you give me any proof that on Tatooine they do not still keep podraces and Jabba is present as the guest of honour (if he is not the organizer).But even if this is not the case he was not worried by the idea of going around,for a not too urgent problem,in a city filled with stormtroopers.Certainly they did not try to arrest him in his palace,albeit to locate his palace and arrest him would have been a joke for the imperial forces.Keep also in mind that crimelords fear others crimelords and thus tend to live in fortified palaces.It is the same even in the real world.


-Bespin is completely free and autonomous. They can conduct free trade and live as they choose. There is -no- evidence of any Imperial oppression until they begin to harbor known fugitives; Lando even makes a comment to that effect.
- When rogue Imperial officers illegally seize a rebel transport, they are forced to concoct a cover story. The Imperial Starfleet is bound by the rule of law, even if some officers break that law.

Bespin is free but Lando states clearly that the imperial control is a threat
and only the small size of his businness has not awoken the interest of the Empire,yet.

Overall, there is very little evidence that the average Imperial citizen don't enjoy all or more of the rights of the average American citizen.

Try to go in front of the imperial palace at Coruscant with a placard with
"Emperor Palpatine sucks" written on it.

On the other hand, the Rebellion is an organization whose primary goal is to re-establish galactic rule of elitists: the pampered nobility and "Jedi Knights" who are above the law. When Obi-Wan says to Yoda "that boy is our last hope", who do you think the "our" is? Its the Jedi. Obi-Wan and Yoda are simply using Luke as a tool (and a disposable tool at that) to regain the authority of their own kind. Freedom, democracy, and rights have absolutely nothing to do with it. Its a good thing that they died before they could further pollute Luke's mind with they're "I have a high midicolorian count so I can do whatever I want" attitude that created Vader in the first place!

The Sith seems "quite" elitists on their own.We do not know yet if Anakin will be placed under trial by the Jedi for the Tusken massacre,provided that they will have been informed of it.

I do not like the rebel alliance:a bunch of politically correct farmboys who fly over a collection of space trash (the only exception is the X-wing).
But the imperials remain the bad guys.You may like them,as I do,but I would not want to live under them.

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 Post subject: Reply to IDMR... PostPosted: 2002-07-17 01:37am
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--"Umm, you replied to me?

::searches through posts::"

--You and Darth Wong argued that my position rested upon the premise of basic rights. I then asserted that both of you missed the derivation of those basic rights and that they were not my premise. I actually have serveral basic premises. Some of them are intelligent entities, no inherent alliances between those entities, the entities pursue some goal in a rational manner, the entities must or can interact, etc.



Nova Andromeda

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 Post subject: Re: Reply to IDMR... PostPosted: 2002-07-17 04:06am
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Nova Andromeda wrote:
--"Umm, you replied to me?

::searches through posts::"

--You and Darth Wong argued that my position rested upon the premise of basic rights. I then asserted that both of you missed the derivation of those basic rights and that they were not my premise. I actually have serveral basic premises. Some of them are intelligent entities, no inherent alliances between those entities, the entities pursue some goal in a rational manner, the entities must or can interact, etc.


Oh, in which case, read my last post in the thread.



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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2002-08-02 05:14pm
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I think you guys are overanalysing the definitions of good and evil
in its most basic and abstract form a good government provides its military with cool looking uniforms in classsical black and/or white that will never date while an evil political force humiliates its troops by forcing them to wear skivvies anoraks and waistcoats in such heinous colours as tan, taupe and cream with no regard to the fact that 6 months into warfare they will be ridiculed for their incredible lack of style and flair! And in regard to Veers shooting fleeing rebel troops he was doing them a favour.
:wink:



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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2002-08-02 05:25pm
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I know a lot of people are saying that a lot of this is the fault of the EU for igoring Lucas' vision of pure evil vs good, yadda yadda, but I think the real problem stems from Lucas' vision itself! How can Lucas be so naive to believe that not just one human, but an empire of humans, can be all unquestionably evil, and another group unquestionably good? Personally, I think such is simply stupid. What Lucas should have done was just have a bunch of robots, whose programming went haywire.

I'm sorry, but sometimes I think even Lucas can be an idiot!



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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2002-08-02 05:41pm
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Dresden was a major transportation target. Its rail yards had been bombed twice before, and indeed the 8th Air force bombers that attacked after bomber command area bombed aimed at the rail yards as well.

The city was in use for a multitude of military purposes, defended by guns and planes. It's was a perfectly legitimate target, and the only thing that saved it from being flattened in 1944 was likely the need to retain a worthwhile target for the A-bomb.



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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2002-08-02 11:05pm
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why are you arguing about the empire's enemies, or the u.s.'s? how a nation treats it's enemies in time of war is irrelevant, because it's <i>war</i> and you are to kill them all or break their will before they did the same to you. okinawa in the pacific had five times the civilian casualties of dresdan, and that didn't really matter, because they were at war. yes, how they were treated was horrifying. but it's supposed to be; that's what war is.

I fail to see how you can argue about morality when talking about the empire's enemies. when it's war, morality goes out the airlock.

what the emprie does to maintain it's control is the exact same as any other country in time of war. extreme brutality.

if you wish to argue the empire's morality, look at it's civilians. do they live in fear, or can they pursue life liberty and happiness? the u.s. has been horrifying brutal to it's enemies, but is regarded as 'good' because of how it treats it's populace.



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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2002-08-03 01:14am
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*Agrees with Enforcer* I believe everything in this thread could be summed up as Evil is in the Eye of the Beholder.

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