act on instinct said:
No, Palpatine did not need to be brought back. Returning the Big Bad just to knock him down again is the easy answer to the difficult question of how to bring peace to a galaxy fractured by war. It implies that the only thing truly wrong with the attempts at peace was one dude who was always behind everything and if he were to die everything would be all unicorns and rainbows.
In the end, it isn’t individual people who are a threat to peace, not really. It is much more the systems that subvert democracy and the twisted incentives prioritizing armed conflict over negotiation. TLJ was on the right track with this necessary argument, despite how poorly it was implemented. Palpatine’s return, along with his magic fleet, throws this necessary perspective in the garbage.
I don’t want to prolong a debate at its end but after reading what everyone had to say for 5 pages this is the comment that resonates with me most. I really hoped the ST would at least try to tackle this concept. Lucas himself was intrigued by the idea and I think it really expands the lore from all sides where each generation faces a unique environment, giving a fairly full and rounded summary of the stages of war and peace. Though much like the reality it isn’t so easy to figure out vs destroying a boogeyman, which isn’t an invitation to have no big bads or anything, just not zombie hitler.
I think this is the third time I’ve mentioned this on OT.com, but different threads every time so it’s the first time I’m mentioning it in this thread.
I wonder if it would be a good idea to use the Japanese Dubs to Blackened Mantle a new conflict for the ST. The idea being that the Rebel Alliance was an alliance between two factions: Old Republic aristocrats, Senators, wealthy and powerful elites, who found themselves on the outside of Palpatine’s coup on one side, and a populist faction made up of Outer Rim and Mid Rim citizens who suffered the hardest under the Empire.
Logically that’s what the Alliance should have been formed from, these two factions obviously should have existed since 1977 and these two factions should have opposing interests once the Empire was gone: One side wants to restore the Republic, the other wants to create an entirely new system. Because the Empire didn’t come from nowhere, it was the ultimate conclusion of the flaws of the Republic, and it’s not like the Republic was that great anyway. Many people on the populist side might have suffered under the Republic just as badly as under the Empire.
Civil war finally breaks out, although I would put this a year or more after Luke disappears, so that he doesn’t look like an asshole by directly causing a major galactic war. The First Order comes from the first faction and the Resistance comes from the populist faction. The Empire vs Rebels imagery is now commentary on the Republic, its loyalists, and those who want to restore it, as well as good real world commentary that I don’t want to get into too much lest I start another argument.
Luke would probably be a mediating force before the civil war, but once war breaks out, it’s obvious that Luke would side with the Resistance. Leia and Han both did, for one, but he grew up a backwater farmboy. That’s why the Resistance wants him to return and the First Order wants him to not do that.
If this was a rewrite and not a fanedit, I’d have Mon Mothma be the leader of the First Order. But maybe Hux is her son or something. Or maybe making an OT hero into a downright villain is a bad idea. Or maybe who cares since Mon Mothma’s in like one scene in RotJ.
Snoke would probably have to be something more than just some guy, though, because that doesn’t work well with this conflict. Maybe his dark side something something helps the First Order do something something, but I don’t know what. I don’t like the idea of Palpatine being alive past RotJ in any way, and the conflict doesn’t have room for him manipulating anything, so I’d say Snoke shouldn’t be involved with Palpatine. But who knows.
Issue is I have no idea where to get the Japanese dubs of the ST, or if they’re even as good as the dubs of the PT. So this is firmly in what-if land. I also have no idea how this would be executed.