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Implied starting date of the Empire from OT dialogue — Page 6

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Servii said:

I do wonder what George was picturing when he thought of the Clone Wars.

Hmm… so Obi-Wan was a vet of WWII. But we can’t exactly say WWII. Let’s come up with something less on the nose.

Well, World Wars I and II were both wars with the same name.

Same name is sort of like being the same war.

Same war… Cloned wars… Clone Wars.

Alright, on to the next scene.

Death of the Author

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Well, completely ignoring the PT, I get the following.

Luke. In ANH we find that Vader hunted down the Jedi. Luke’s father died (in ANH there is nothing linking Anakin and Vader). So we can come to the conclusion that the events where the Empire rose were not earlier than Luke’s conception. Anakin knew of Luke’s at least impending birth before he died.

Leia. Kenobi severed her father in the Clone Wars. This doesn’t tie specifically to Leia’s age, but does pin down her father being of the generation of the Clone Wars.

Kenobi. He speaks of the Jedi, before the Empire, before the Dark times. There is no clear link between what he says and the Clone Wars, only that he and Anakin both fought in the Clone Wars. So Kenobi, Anakin, and Leia’s father were all in the clone wars in some capacity.

All of that agrees with the PT.

In TESB we get a more firm timetable of the Empire with Vader being Luke’s father. We do hear Luke thinking Dagobah is very familiar, but we don’t get any reason why. From the context of the film it was most likely a force vision.

In ROTJ we find out that Luke and Leia are twins. This firmly plants the start of the Empire at their birth. Why? Vader did not know Luke had a sister which means he was not present at the birth. So the event that turned Vader and started the Empire happened between conception and birth of the twins.

We still have no indication of when the Clone Wars took place. It could be a month before or a decade before.

From the actors it is also hard to guess. Alec Guiness was was 63 when ANH was released. Sebastian Shaw (true he wasn’t cast yet) was almost 72. Phil Brown was 61 and Shelagh Fraser was 56. So Alec, Phil, and Shelagh were contemporaries and from the dialog in ANH, Sebastian was cast to show how the Dark Side had aged and warped him. Anakin was Kenobi’s student. When you look at the ages in Attack of the Clones, the relative ages of Kenobi, Owen and Beru are not that different, 31, 27, and 18) from the ANH cast (63, 61, 56 about 30 years older). So Anakin was young enough for Kenobi to train (also remember that Yoda said Luke was too old in TESB, so Anakin would be younger than Luke… by a lot). So Sebastian’s advanced age much have had a reason beyond Anakin actually being older than Kenobi.

So from the casting and the dialog just in the OT, the Clone Wars had to have taken place somewhere between 30 and 20 years before ANH. Officially it was 22-19 years before. So all the timings of the PT fit with what we see in the OT, except the age of the actors. But there is also nothing in the movies indicating how long the Clone Wars lasted so adding in another 5 to 10 years of war doesn’t break anything. Also, Ahsoka appears to have grown up considerably more than 3 years, and she is introduced when the Clone Wars are well underway (Anakin was still a Padawn when they started). So the official timeline seems too short and doesn’t really fit with the ages of the actors cast in both the OT and PT.

As a side note, Jimmy Smits was much older than the others in AOTC, but he was contemporary by the time he appeared in Rogue One (he was 61 when it was released).

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 (Edited)

Completely spitballing, it’s possible the Republic could have transitioned into the Empire gradually enough that you really can’t strictly say Year X was the Republic, Year Y was the Empire. There’s nothing textual that supports this, but it fits in with the metaphor for American Imperialism.

yotsuya said:
This firmly plants the start of the Empire at their birth. Why? Vader did not know Luke had a sister which means he was not present at the birth. So the event that turned Vader and started the Empire happened between conception and birth of the twins.

I don’t think we can necessarily assume that Vader turning to the dark side and the rise of the Empire happened at the same time.

Death of the Author

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SparkySywer said:

Completely spitballing, it’s possible the Republic could have transitioned into the Empire gradually enough that you really can’t strictly say Year X was the Republic, Year Y was the Empire. There’s nothing textual that supports this, but it fits in with the metaphor for American Imperialism.

yotsuya said:
This firmly plants the start of the Empire at their birth. Why? Vader did not know Luke had a sister which means he was not present at the birth. So the event that turned Vader and started the Empire happened between conception and birth of the twins.

I don’t think we can necessarily assume that Vader turning to the dark side and the rise of the Empire happened at the same time.

There may not have been a moment as you lived through it, but historians would be able to pinpoint a moment when a key thing changed. Hunting down the Jedi could be that key thing.

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When it comes to the fall of Rome, historians will typically say something about how Rome never really fell, it slowly faded away over centuries, but if you really need a specific date, here are some good candidates (235 AD, 476 AD, 1453, etc). One of these is usually used as THE date Rome fell (476), but almost always with the clarification that that’s not actually how it worked out.

Maybe it could be something like that with the Galactic Republic/Empire. Here’s the date where the Jedi were officially declared enemies of the state. Here’s the date where the position of Emperor was created. Here’s when the Republic began imperializing the Outer Rim. Here’s the first major policy shift away from democracy toward autocracy. Et cetera.

Maybe the date where the Jedi were declared enemies of the state is the 476 AD of the Republic/Empire. Generally accepted to be the turning point, where yesterday you had the Republic, today you have the Empire, but it’s just a convention created millennia later. Not all that much actually changed, and other historians in other contexts would use different dates for different reasons.

Death of the Author

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 (Edited)

SparkySywer said:

When it comes to the fall of Rome, historians will typically say something about how Rome never really fell, it slowly faded away over centuries, but if you really need a specific date, here are some good candidates (235 AD, 476 AD, 1453, etc). One of these is usually used as THE date Rome fell (476), but almost always with the clarification that that’s not actually how it worked out.

Another Roman history buff? Excellent! My personal view is that Roman civilization disappeared starting with the The Last Persian War of 610-628 and then the Great Islamic Invasions 6 years later. The state that emerged at the end of this period a century later was not recognizable as Roman civilization any longer.

Maybe it could be something like that with the Galactic Republic/Empire. Here’s the date where the Jedi were officially declared enemies of the state. Here’s the date where the position of Emperor was created. Here’s when the Republic began imperializing the Outer Rim. Here’s the first major policy shift away from democracy toward autocracy. Et cetera.

My own attempt to create a backstory for the OT that I am working on in the script writing/re-writing section takes this approach. It starts with government corruption and economic difficulties (a widening gap between rich and poor), then comes The Clone Wars, then comes The Emperor. Even in the official canon we get a glimpse of this idea; in TPM Shmi effectively tells Padme that Republic authority has ceased to exist on Tatooine.

Maybe the date where the Jedi were declared enemies of the state is the 476 AD of the Republic/Empire. Generally accepted to be the turning point, where yesterday you had the Republic, today you have the Empire, but it’s just a convention created millennia later. Not all that much actually changed, and other historians in other contexts would use different dates for different reasons.

It would seem likely that the Jedi would not accept the end of democratic rule sitting down. So the destruction of the order would have to take place before, or almost concurrent with, Palpatine’s assumption of the title of Emperor. However; in the novelization to Star Wars Obi-wan talks about “the later corrupt Emperors”. This opens the possibility to the idea that there was an initial Emperor who was perhaps a benevolent despot - seizing power in order to save the Republic. Perhaps the Jedi served, albeit grudgingly, under the initial Emperor.

Problem is, all of the above would seem to contradict the novels opening crawl where it states that the Jedi had been exterminated at the behest of the corrupt government (the Moffs and Grand Moffs I would guess), that Palpatine declared himself Emperor (implying there were no prior Emperors). Here is the relevant text:

Aided and abetted by restless, power-hungry individuals within the government, and the massive organs of commerce, the ambitious Senator Palpatine caused himself to be elected President of the Republic. He promised to reunite the disaffected among the people and to restore the remembered glory of the Republic.

Once secure in office he declared himself Emperor, shutting himself away from the populace. Soon he was controlled by the very assistants and boot-lickers he had appointed to high office, and the cries of the people for justice did not reach his ears.

Having exterminated through treachery and deception the Jedi Knights, guardians of justice in the galaxy, the Imperial governors and bureaucrats prepared to institute a reign of terror among the disheartened worlds of the galaxy. Many used the Imperial forces and the name of the increasingly isolated Emperor to further their own personal ambitions.

This also implies that Palpatine might not be completely evil. The line that “the cries of the people for justice did not reach his ears” seems to imply that he was being kept in the dark (no pun intended) on what was going on in the Republic. The Moffs and Grand Moffs were the true rulers of The Galaxy Far Far Away.

“It is only through interaction, through decision and choice, through confrontation, physical or mental, that the Force can grow within you.”
-Kreia, Jedi Master and Sith Lord

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theprequelsrule said:

SparkySywer said:

When it comes to the fall of Rome, historians will typically say something about how Rome never really fell, it slowly faded away over centuries, but if you really need a specific date, here are some good candidates (235 AD, 476 AD, 1453, etc). One of these is usually used as THE date Rome fell (476), but almost always with the clarification that that’s not actually how it worked out.

Another Roman history buff? Excellent! My personal view is that Roman civilization disappeared starting with the The Last Persian War of 610-628 and then the Great Islamic Invasions 6 years later. The state that emerged at the end of this period a century later was not recognizable as Roman civilization any longer.

Maybe it could be something like that with the Galactic Republic/Empire. Here’s the date where the Jedi were officially declared enemies of the state. Here’s the date where the position of Emperor was created. Here’s when the Republic began imperializing the Outer Rim. Here’s the first major policy shift away from democracy toward autocracy. Et cetera.

My own attempt to create a backstory for the OT that I am working on in the script writing/re-writing section takes this approach. It starts with government corruption and economic difficulties (a widening gap between rich and poor), then comes The Clone Wars, then comes The Emperor. Even in the official canon we get a glimpse of this idea; in TPM Shmi effectively tells Padme that Republic authority has ceased to exist on Tatooine.

Maybe the date where the Jedi were declared enemies of the state is the 476 AD of the Republic/Empire. Generally accepted to be the turning point, where yesterday you had the Republic, today you have the Empire, but it’s just a convention created millennia later. Not all that much actually changed, and other historians in other contexts would use different dates for different reasons.

It would seem likely that the Jedi would not accept the end of democratic rule sitting down. So the destruction of the order would have to take place before, or almost concurrent with, Palpatine’s assumption of the title of Emperor. However; in the novelization to Star Wars Obi-wan talks about “the later corrupt Emperors”. This opens the possibility to the idea that there was an initial Emperor who was perhaps a benevolent despot - seizing power in order to save the Republic. Perhaps the Jedi served, albeit grudgingly, under the initial Emperor.

Problem is, all of the above would seem to contradict the novels opening crawl where it states that the Jedi had been exterminated at the behest of the corrupt government (the Moffs and Grand Moffs I would guess), that Palpatine declared himself Emperor (implying there were no prior Emperors). Here is the relevant text:

Aided and abetted by restless, power-hungry individuals within the government, and the massive organs of commerce, the ambitious Senator Palpatine caused himself to be elected President of the Republic. He promised to reunite the disaffected among the people and to restore the remembered glory of the Republic.

Once secure in office he declared himself Emperor, shutting himself away from the populace. Soon he was controlled by the very assistants and boot-lickers he had appointed to high office, and the cries of the people for justice did not reach his ears.

Having exterminated through treachery and deception the Jedi Knights, guardians of justice in the galaxy, the Imperial governors and bureaucrats prepared to institute a reign of terror among the disheartened worlds of the galaxy. Many used the Imperial forces and the name of the increasingly isolated Emperor to further their own personal ambitions.

This also implies that Palpatine might not be completely evil. The line that “the cries of the people for justice did not reach his ears” seems to imply that he was being kept in the dark (no pun intended) on what was going on in the Republic. The Moffs and Grand Moffs were the true rulers of The Galaxy Far Far Away.

You have to remember when reading that last part that Palpatine was constantly being duplicitous. His character of Senator/Chancellor/Emperor Palpatine was seen to be easily manipulatable. But as Darth Sidious, he was always controlling things Even the Emperor we get in the OT is an evil and powerful being who could not be controlled by others. He used tricks and the force to get the politicians and bureaucrats to convince him as Emperor to act. So on the surface the Emperor is a puppet, but in reality he is controlling the politicians and bureaucrats who think they are controlling him. An excellent way to maintain power.