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Vigil

The Empire is evil.

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Contrary to its claims of being unarmed, it was straight-up the leading supplier of munitions to the rebellion, pretty much the opposite of unarmed. 

In the novelization, yes - which also had multiple Emperors, of which Palpatine was only the first - and with the current Emperor being controlled by his advisors.

Safe to say that things changed.

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I think it's fair to assert that a Base Delta Zero is a significant undertaking requiring a colossal military presence simply from how rare it is. That, or/and it can be countered by a respectable planetary shield: Thrawn's fleet is unable to attack a shielded planet in the Thrawn Trilogy and the planetary shields are what prevents a proper assault on Coruscant in both Stackpole and Zahn's EU works. It's also possible that a BD0 can only realistically cripple a planet rather than wipe out its population when you take into account military resources and timescales: the destruction of Taris is a BD0 which destroys everything over a few stories tall but is hardly an extinction event.

 

It makes sense to me that:

  • Base Delta Zeroes are highly destructive but take a long time and are impractical as an extinction event: the bombardment can be survived. They require an extended siege which limits their applicability as a shock and awe method.
  • Base Delta Zeroes do not work well against planetary shields: a developed world has the defences to resist them and an undeveloped world isn't sufficiently populated for a BD0 to be effective. The only situation where a BD0 can be carried out on a developed world is one where the Empire is already in control. This may require firing on one's own troops (as with the destruction of Taris) which does not inspire loyalty and is probably less effective than an occupation for most purposes.
  • An extinction level BD0 in a realistic timescale would require a commitment of military resources the Empire couldn't afford without leaving other parts of the galaxy undefended. The speed of the Death Star is as much of an advantage as its power.

Nah, it's roughly the equivolent of Exterminatus, minus cracking into the mantle directly. A single star destroyer has more than enough fire power to glass a planet, and usually the Empire masses a small fleet of them for it just to save time. You also have to remember most planets don't sport several surface to orbit ion cannons and turbolasers to repel invaders. Lucas went out of his way during a pissing contest with trekkies to guestimate the destructive power of a Star Destroyers, they can power dump and put out several nukes worth of damage.

You've only seen BD0 in one game which was Kotor,, and it wasn't a common thing in the EU books either.

 

This is true, it would however take an abysmaly long time. In the latest Aftermath book something similar happens with 3 Star Destroyers involved, but they do take enough time to still act.

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Lucas went out of his way during a pissing contest with trekkies to guestimate the destructive power of a Star Destroyers, they can power dump and put out several nukes worth of damage.

 

Problem was - the EU (Incredible Cross Sections) - upjumped it considerably by giving us 200 gigaton bolts on troop transport ships (with fans extrapolating from that to multi-teraton bolts from ISDs)

 

Keep in mind that at the height of the Cold War, 25 megaton warheads on fielded nukes (as opposed to tests) were considered extremely large.

 

Nearly 10,000 times a Really Big Nuke, for a single turbolaser bolt coming from a troop transport, is a bit much. I can certainly see a city being "glassed" with a single bolt from an ISD - but it does not take 10,000x Big Nuke level of yield, to do that.

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The Empire is less corrupt and more effective at the basic roles of the state (at its core, law enforcement and defense) than the Republic was.

 

However, the Emperor is personally evil, and by extension there are a great many outright evil underlings enabled by his example.

 

That said, the damage that any of those evil people can do is generally limited, especially compared to the invasive and incredibly dangerous republic bureaucracy and the out-of-control crony super-corporations that abused their wealth and influence to the detriment of the people. Throw in the vileness that was the Jedi Order and between the two I'd take the Empire over the Republic.

 

Of course, to the above there are a handful of exceptions, namely the Death Star and other superweapons enabled evil people personally to affect the lives of far more people than normal. As for accusations of widespread oppression, most of that was localized to urban populations that were generally non-contributory and often essentially leeching from productive worlds. In an effort to make them worth the expense of maintaining order, the Empire has to tax them in the same way they do producers, but since they're nonproductive they feel the weight of those taxes far more, and like most urban mobs they then agitate. Historically that problem is solved by large-scale bribery (the prototypical bread and circuses), or by mass conscription, but the Empire isn't willing to kowtow to the mob nor to compromise the quality of the Stormtrooper Corps. This leads to simmering resentment and, like in many historical situations, breeds rebellion.

 

And as for Alderaan, it was a hotbed of treason and insurrection. Contrary to its claims of being unarmed, it was straight-up the leading supplier of munitions to the rebellion, pretty much the opposite of unarmed. It was even supplying the insurrection with naval assets.

 

Not certain if parody of right-wing chickenhawks or not. 

 

Yeah but the 1stOrder has diversity so that means they are the good guys unlike the Republic.

 

I mean look at this picture no black guys. Proof that the resistance is racist.  :P   :P   :P

False. 

The only two black guys in the galaxy fought for the Rebellion and then the Resistance.

Technically both of then worked for the Empire/First Order first.

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Star Destroyer is a classification of ship that BY DEFINITION can perform a Base Delta Zero operation without other assets. This classification comes from the Old Republic days (admittedly under Palpatine's rule, however). Even a Venator or Victor(y) class ship can pump out enough turbolaser blasts to DBZ an unshielded planet within one presumed 90 minute orbit, assuming the equivelent LEO firing position.

Any shielded world such as the Core worlds or the early Colonies would not have to worry about a BDZ, but then the operation was not meant to target those worlds. During the Seperatist crisis and the CW it was the outlying, less wealthy and less populated systems that were rebelling, leading to the creation of a policy to threaten those worlds from stepping out of line. It was only with the possibility of wealthy and shielded worlds like Alderaan rebelling that the DS was needed to threaten an entire galaxy. Notice the Ultimate Weapon was designed by the Seperatists to threaten the wealthy core worlds of the Republic.

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Star Destroyer is a classification of ship that BY DEFINITION can perform a Base Delta Zero operation without other assets. This classification comes from the Old Republic days (admittedly under Palpatine's rule, however). Even a Venator or Victor(y) class ship can pump out enough turbolaser blasts to DBZ an unshielded planet within one presumed 90 minute orbit, assuming the equivelent LEO firing position.

 

Isn't that fanon though? I can't recall ever reading that it was canon that a BDZ took 1 orbit and required at most 1 Star Destroyer-class ship.

 

The Imperial bombardment of Kashyyyk in Aftermath: Life Debt involved 3 Star Destroyers - and was stopped by the New Republic before it had progressed very far.

 

In the Legendsverse - there's plenty of sources that counter the notion of turbolaser bolts melting hundreds of square km of planetary surface per bolt:

 

http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Talk:Base_Delta_Zero/Legends

 

Any shielded world such as the Core worlds or the early Colonies would not have to worry about a BDZ, but then the operation was not meant to target those worlds. During the Seperatist crisis and the CW it was the outlying, less wealthy and less populated systems that were rebelling, leading to the creation of a policy to threaten those worlds from stepping out of line. It was only with the possibility of wealthy and shielded worlds like Alderaan rebelling that the DS was needed to threaten an entire galaxy. Notice the Ultimate Weapon was designed by the Seperatists to threaten the wealthy core worlds of the Republic.

 

At least 1 Core World was subjected to a BDZ-ish bombardment by a fleet led by Grievous's battleship Invisible Hand (Humbarine) - showing it is sometimes used on them- though it's possible that world's shields were disabled first.

Edited by Ironlord

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Star Destroyer is a classification of ship that BY DEFINITION can perform a Base Delta Zero operation without other assets. This classification comes from the Old Republic days (admittedly under Palpatine's rule, however). Even a Venator or Victor(y) class ship can pump out enough turbolaser blasts to DBZ an unshielded planet within one presumed 90 minute orbit, assuming the equivelent LEO firing position.

Isn't that fanon though? I can't recall ever reading that it was canon that a BDZ took 1 orbit and required at most 1 Star Destroyer-class ship.

 

The Imperial bombardment of Kashyyyk in Aftermath: Life Debt involved 3 Star Destroyers - and was stopped by the New Republic before it had progressed very far.

I assumed one orbit, but it has also been implied that the Destoryer(s) hold station above a world and BDZ over the course of one planetary rotation, which would imply approx 24 hours for operation completion for earth standard planets. Three ships would cut this time to a third.

Anyway, the old WEG Imperial Sourcebook was, IIRC, the initial 'source' for info on BDZ.

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 but it has also been implied that the Destoryer(s) hold station above a world and BDZ over the course of one planetary rotation, which would imply approx 24 hours for operation completion for earth standard planets. Three ships would cut this time to a third.

 

 

Or, to ensure no escapes - 3 ships are needed to take up geostationary orbit, 1/3 of an orbit apart - each covering part of the planet - and stay there, shooting at the planet and shooting at any ships that try to leave.

 

 

Anyway, the old WEG Imperial Sourcebook was, IIRC, the initial 'source' for info on BDZ.

 

Yup - and later sources mentioned that mercenary regiments (such as the First Sun Mobile Regiment) are sometimes tasked with performing the equivalent mission - suggesting it does not require orbital bombardment, and can involve a ground operation.

 

The important part is that assets are destroyed, not how they are destroyed. Plenty of room for variation - bombers laying down a carpet of bombs across less populated areas, Star Destroyers targeting only cities, etc.

 

 

Possible method of breaking the shields of a planet like Humbarine - a hail of proton torpedoes, like with a Torpedo Sphere in WEG - enough torpedoes create a temporary hole in shield, allowing shield generator to be targeted and destroyed. A planet with a shield hole is now helpless to ships flying through the hole, and thus under the shields covering the rest of the planet.

Edited by Ironlord

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but it has also been implied that the Destoryer(s) hold station above a world and BDZ over the course of one planetary rotation, which would imply approx 24 hours for operation completion for earth standard planets. Three ships would cut this time to a third.

 

Or, to ensure no escapes - 3 ships are needed to take up geostationary orbit, 1/3 of an orbit apart - each covering part of the planet - and stay there, shooting at the planet and shooting at any ships that try to leave.

 

Anyway, the old WEG Imperial Sourcebook was, IIRC, the initial 'source' for info on BDZ.

Yup - and later sources mentioned that mercenary regiments (such as the First Sun Mobile Regiment) are sometimes tasked with performing the equivalent mission - suggesting it does not require orbital bombardment, and can involve a ground operation.

 

The important part is that assets are destroyed, not how they are destroyed. Plenty of room for variation - bombers laying down a carpet of bombs across less populated areas, Star Destroyers targeting only cities, etc.

Base Delta Zero is not just orbital bombardment or selective targeting cities for destruction. It is the total destruction of a planet's surface, melting the crust and evaporating any water on the surface. The 'base' is changed to zero, nothing is left. And any ship that can perform this duty to an earth-like planet in a single orbit (or rotation, it's a bit vague) is classed as a Star Destroyer, even such ships as the Invisible Hand.

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Base Delta Zero is not just orbital bombardment or selective targeting cities for destruction. It is the total destruction of a planet's surface, melting the crust and evaporating any water on the surface. 

That was Saxton's fanon - it isn't necessarily the approach the rest of the EU took to it.

 

"Asset destruction" can be done via other means than melting or vaporising. For an ocean planet - as long as life in the seas is pretty thoroughly killed (concussion from explosions in the water, or poisoning of the water) then the asset is destroyed - it doesn't have to involve total ocean evaporation with all water molecules propelled to escape velocity and leaving the planet.

Edited by Ironlord

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Ok, I guess we really don't know what BDZ means in the new canon, but it sure isn't good.

And turbo lasers are powerful enough to vaporize space rocks quite easily, vaporizing the surface of a planet is entirely doable. Let's hope Lothal or another other planets are not subjected to that kind of attack.

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The Empire is less corrupt and more effective at the basic roles of the state (at its core, law enforcement and defense) than the Republic was.

 

However, the Emperor is personally evil, and by extension there are a great many outright evil underlings enabled by his example.

 

That said, the damage that any of those evil people can do is generally limited, especially compared to the invasive and incredibly dangerous republic bureaucracy and the out-of-control crony super-corporations that abused their wealth and influence to the detriment of the people. Throw in the vileness that was the Jedi Order and between the two I'd take the Empire over the Republic.

 

Of course, to the above there are a handful of exceptions, namely the Death Star and other superweapons enabled evil people personally to affect the lives of far more people than normal. As for accusations of widespread oppression, most of that was localized to urban populations that were generally non-contributory and often essentially leeching from productive worlds. In an effort to make them worth the expense of maintaining order, the Empire has to tax them in the same way they do producers, but since they're nonproductive they feel the weight of those taxes far more, and like most urban mobs they then agitate. Historically that problem is solved by large-scale bribery (the prototypical bread and circuses), or by mass conscription, but the Empire isn't willing to kowtow to the mob nor to compromise the quality of the Stormtrooper Corps. This leads to simmering resentment and, like in many historical situations, breeds rebellion.

 

And as for Alderaan, it was a hotbed of treason and insurrection. Contrary to its claims of being unarmed, it was straight-up the leading supplier of munitions to the rebellion, pretty much the opposite of unarmed. It was even supplying the insurrection with naval assets.

I've met people who actually believe this stuff

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Base Delta Zero is exactly what the plot requires it to be.

It can be done with whatever is just enough for our heros to out fight because they're very smart, brave, and love people.

It takes just long enough for our heros to stop it- or can be done just quickly enough that our heros could have been there in time if only they had listened...

Whichever BDZ is- either glassing the planet or "merely" making it uninhabitable- it is certainly different in kind to turning a planet into an asteroid field. That is a whole different level of destruction.

I'm not saying these things lightly, or in jest. In my mind the story is never about what exactly Base Delta Zero is, or how many gigawatts the Death Star has. To me, all of that missed the point.

The point is to explore the sort of people who who order that kind of crime. I want to know what it is to live with that knowledge. I want to see what kind of heroism it takes to stop that kind of action. I want to find out if I have it in me to recognize the BDZ kind of thinking from the inside of a beast that is demanding it. I want know if I can stand up against it.

Edited by Punning Pundit

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Base Delta Zero is exactly what the plot requires it to be.

It can be done with whatever is just enough for our heros to out fight because they're very smart, brave, and love people.

It takes just long enough for our heros to stop it- or can be done just quickly enough that our heros could have been there in time if only they had listened...

Whichever BDZ is- either glassing the planet or "merely" making it uninhabitable- it is certainly different in kind to turning a planet into an asteroid field. That is a whole different level of destruction.

I'm not saying these things lightly, or in jest. In my mind the story is never about what exactly Base Delta Zero is, or how many gigawatts the Death Star has. To me, all of that missed the point.

The point is to explore the sort of people who who order that kind of crime. I want to know what it is to live with that knowledge. I want to see what kind of heroism it takes to stop that kind of action. I want to find out if I have it in me to recognize the BDZ kind of thinking from the inside of a beast that is demanding it. I want know if I can stand up against it.

SWRPG is another board. This is the little plastic spaceship board.

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The Imperial bombardment of Kashyyyk in Aftermath: Life Debt involved 3 Star Destroyers - and was stopped by the New Republic before it had progressed very far.

 

There's a critical word there which hampers Aftermath as an example for any world: Kashyyyk.

 

Kashyyyk is a forest world covered in giant trees: there's a huge amount of wood. One of the LotF books has the same thing happen to Kashyyyk, hence its title: Inferno.

 

Turning Kashyyyk into an ecosystem destroying wildfire is a very different task to turning Tatooine to glass.

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You know

 

It kind of shocks me that anybody can defend the morality of a faction that was not only capable of, but did destroy an entire planet that was unarmed and historically had never attacked anybody.

They provided massive support to an armed insurgency in the form of ships, credits, and personnel at great personal risk.

The fact that they underestimated the magnitude of that risk does not absolve them of their involvement. The Empire got sick of rebels disappearing into their waiting arms and re-emerging ready to fight again.

Yes, they were personally peaceful; but the value of their support to the Rebellion cannot be understated.

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BDZ stands for Base Delta Zero: it's when a bunch of capital ships glass a planet from orbit.

 

Whether that's "demolish everything over two stories tall" or "literally turn it to glass" is the debate.

Freeza made a planet explode on DB:Z, so I expect BD:Z will do the equivalent with the Star Wars universe's inferior tech.

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But if all you Rebels want to really understand why we Impies keep trying to make the Empire good, I'll give you my personal opinion. Godwin won't like it though.

 

 

It's a little like rooting for the Nazis. 

 

 

Downfall, Das Boot, Night of the Generals: there are plenty of films that have German WW2 protagonists that fight for the Nazis, even though they don't buy into the crazy ideology. There were plenty of German generals who didn't drink the cool-aid either, and continued to care about their own men and civilian casualties alike while, let's face it: fighting for the bad guys.

 

When I play Nazis in WW2 tabletop games, I can slot myself into the "You are bad guy, but not bad guy." area reserved for Nazis that weren't Nazis. Family men, strong women, and ingenious scientists all whom happen to be working for a psychopathic maniac. Then, I can enjoy the snappy uniforms, fancy tanks, and hi-tech fighters that were produced by those bad guys. 

 

If I win, it's a tragic victory for the heroic bad guys. If I lose, it's a tragic defeat where normally good men died in the name of an evil empire. I have fun either way.

 

 

Back in SPACE, the Empire are Space Nazis. Stormtroopers, cool uniforms, one-race policy, genocide, double parking - they have it all. They are the bad guys. The Rebels are American action heroes, British bomber pilots, and French resistance fighters IN SPACE. They are good guys. The problem is, for those of us playing as the Empire, that very little is shown of the personal lives of its generals and troops.

 

We know everything about the Rebellion heroes: favorite bars, favorite foods, preferred weapons, etc. We know little about the average Imperial captain, gunner, or pilot. And because we never see any bad guys working for the rebels it becomes hard to play as Inglorious Scum or Imperials with a Family. The Rebels we see are all good. The only good Imperials we see are defectors.

 

Because until recently the Rebellion was portrayed as incorruptible pure pureness, the only way to play the Empire with a good conscience was to make the system better than it was. 

 

 

 

 

So in short, we have to believe that there's something good in the Empire to root for, or else it would be hard to have fun playing them. Does a Stormtrooper think he's a bad guy?

Edited by OneKelvin

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BDZ stands for Base Delta Zero: it's when a bunch of capital ships glass a planet from orbit.

 

Whether that's "demolish everything over two stories tall" or "literally turn it to glass" is the debate.

Freeza made a planet explode on DB:Z, so I expect BD:Z will do the equivalent with the Star Wars universe's inferior tech.

Probably happens quicker than goku summoning a spirit bomb though.

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But if all you Rebels want to really understand why we Impies keep trying to make the Empire good, I'll give you my personal opinion. Godwin won't like it though.

 

 

It's a little like rooting for the Nazis. 

 

 

Downfall, Das Boot, Night of the Generals: there are plenty of films that have German WW2 protagonists that fight for the Nazis, even though they don't buy into the crazy ideology. There were plenty of German generals who didn't drink the cool-aid either, and continued to care about their own men and civilian casualties alike while, let's face it: fighting for the bad guys.

 

When I play Nazis in WW2 tabletop games, I can slot myself into the "You are bad guy, but not bad guy." area reserved for Nazis that weren't Nazis. Family men, strong women, and ingenious scientists all whom happen to be working for a psychopathic maniac. Then, I can enjoy the snappy uniforms, fancy tanks, and hi-tech fighters that were produced by those bad guys. 

 

If I win, it's a tragic victory for the heroic bad guys. If I lose, it's a tragic defeat where normally good men died in the name of an evil empire. I have fun either way.

 

 

Back in SPACE, the Empire are Space Nazis. Stormtroopers, cool uniforms, one-race policy, genocide, double parking - they have it all. They are the bad guys. The Rebels are American action heroes, British bomber pilots, and French resistance fighters IN SPACE. They are good guys. The problem is, for those of us playing as the Empire, that very little is shown of the personal lives of its generals and troops.

 

We know everything about the Rebellion heroes: favorite bars, favorite foods, preferred weapons, etc. We know little about the average Imperial captain, gunner, or pilot. And because we never see any bad guys working for the rebels it becomes hard to play as Inglorious Scum or Imperials with a Family. The Rebels we see are all good. The only good Imperials we see are defectors.

 

Because until recently the Rebellion was portrayed as incorruptible pure pureness, the only way to play the Empire with a good conscience was to make the system better than it was. 

 

 

 

 

So in short, we have to believe that there's something good in the Empire to root for, or else it would be hard to have fun playing them. Does a Stormtrooper think he's a bad guy?

This.

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So in short, we have to believe that there's something good in the Empire to root for, or else it would be hard to have fun playing them. Does a Stormtrooper think he's a bad guy?

With Godwin out of the way, now it's Bible Time™!

Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the Lord pondereth the heart.

Proverbs 21:2 (GNV)

 

Of course a Stormtrooper doesn't think he's a bad guy. Neither does Darth Sidious nor Vader nor Tyranus nor Maul nor Snoke. (Kylo Ren/Ben Solo might think that he is, but he's the exception that tests the rule.) Neither did Hitler nor Stalin nor Mao nor Pol Pot. 

A man might line up a hundred non-combatant men, women, and children simply for living on the wrong side of town or calling God by a funny name and order every single one of them to be shot and hanged and still believe that he's a good man. 

(An aside: The use of poison gas in Nazi death camps wasn't simply a matter of being "more effective" than using bullets and rope to exterminate slavs, Jews, and other "undesirables" but because it was found that shooting and hanging men, women, and children was very hard on the psyches of the men of the Algemeine-SS charged with carrying out those executions and many of these men took their own lives. So a method was sought that reduced the feeling of personal responsibility among those charged with carrying out the killing and poison gas was settled on. That the poison gas was more efficient simply meant that the men of the SS wouldn't look weak in the eyes of the Führer.)

Now, here's the thing about Stormtroopers who think that they're the good guys: They would have to come from settled world that benefit from the Empire. They have to also possess a certain level of racism against non-humans. The Japanese fought to the death against the US to protect their homes and families from being bombed by American bombers. The Germans fought to stop the spread of communism and to defend what little freedom they had (as bad as things were under Hitler, things really sucked when the Soviet Red Army marched into Germany). 

So why does the 'good' Stormtrooper fight? To defend his (or her) home from the chaos of a galaxy in which non-humans are the legal and social equals of humans. (In the Empire, there is no negative social connotation for believing that non-humans are, well, less than human. In fact, that perspective is what one is supposed to support in "polite society". For many in Imperial society, the "human's burden" is likely the most benevolent viewpoint one might find among high-ranking officials of government - and therefore also among the wealthy and powerful.)

Obviously, many Stormtroopers do it because their fathers or mothers fought in the Grand Army of the Republic and then in the early days of the Empire. Some likely admired the Clones and expected that joining the Stormtrooper Corps would allow them to emulate their heroes. Some do it because it's the only job they could do that would get them out of whatever poor situation they were born into. Most, though, are conscripts. And conscripts fight because the alternative is a prison - and an Imperial prison for draftdodgers is likely to be pretty horrible (I'm thinking forced labor, the Emperor will get his blood and sweat from you one way or the other). 

Ultimately, though, there are probably vanishingly few Schindlers, Rommels, and von Stauffenbergs in the Empire. Guderians and von Mannsteins the Empire might have in spades (although so far, most of what we've seen from the Empire is bumbling ineptitude - we might see that change in Rogue One, where we might not only meet a Guderian or von Mannstein or two, we might even meet our first morally ambiguous rebels among Saw Gerrera and his partisans). Legends Thrawn was, of course, an Imperial von Mannstein. It will be interesting to see if Orson Krennic is an Imperial Guderian (and/or if Rebels Thrawn is a von Mannstein or Guderian). 

Actually, I suppose the Empire did have a Schindler in Bail Organa, a von Stauffenberg in Crix Madine, and a Rommel in Anakin Skywalker. 

Edited by Vigil

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