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Kappa Smith

Galactic Empires - Racial Stance

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Hello, grab a beverage as I'm going to talk about the Galactic Empire between the years 19 BBY and 4 ABY (after the battle of Yavin). During this time period the Empire had a strict culture in the beleif that humans are superior to other species. This racism also carried over to humanoid females and a distrust in droids. This culture lead to policys and prejudice where humans became the only race capable of rising to the pinacle of Coruscant's political powers. Aliens and humanoid females were completely blocked from the higher ranks of power within the Empire's military and government. This went as far as having Admiral Daala a story book character of the Imperial Navy being promoted in secrecy by Grand Moff Tarken. Daala would be considered C-Canon, In other words it's on a level lower than the films, but equal to the books.

The only female stormtroopers known are based in a far later time period (137 ABY), Jes Gistang is the only named female stormtrooper and she wears armor shaped to her femenine figure.  Jes Gistang can also be considered canon however being the best example we have we can accuratly assume if there were female stormtroopers in the time period of the original trilogy they too would wear similar armor and not armor fitted for a males build; like the stormtroopers we see in the original trilogy.

Given that the Empires main fighting force during the Empires rise was made up of clones I beleive the racism and hate towards droids, alien species and even the anti humanoid female culture to be rather realistic. An all humanoid male fighting force. If you have seen the original trilogy you will notice not a single alien or woman aboard any Imperial ship, in any station, nor fighting in any battles, besides hired help and prisoners. It is also noteable that the only droids used are for reconnaissance among other tasks, they are never witnessed playing a fighting role in battle alongside Imperial forces.

Hope this helps with better understanding of the Galactic Empire and their racial stance, thanks for reading <(o.o)-b

 

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The examples given are all Legends, and nu-canon is running things a little differently. C-canon is the old way of doing things.

The alien thing remains true, probably entirely. Read Thrawn, which gives an insight into the humanocentric views of the Empire. The "no girls allowed" depiction has fallen to they wayside, however, even among stormies.

So, what you said is true. However, it's only about half the overall picture.

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Blackbird wrote what I was going to write so...

Only say that Disney is giving a different view of what GL had in mind in 1977 (which was based on space nazis - and even those the WWII nazis - like the Galactic Empire had a few exceptions).

Edited by Kentares

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Thrawn being an alien was just another thing that made me despise the character as a kid. Also, he's not even really that alien. He's basically a human with (what passed in the 90s for) cool features: blue skin and red eyes. His "alieness" was strictly limited to being yet another "tell rather than show" characterization of Thrawn being so super awesome and special:  even the arch-racist Emperor had to promote this ultimate genius. Blech.

For my money, Imperial racism is best exemplified in Piett's reaction to the bounty hunters in ESB: "we don't need that scum." It went beyond simple distaste for aliens to a deeper hatred of everything not conforming to the Imperial vision of monolithic order. The furthest contrast to this would be the Galactic Senate of the Old Republic, an institution representing thousands of cultures - a total quagmire. Imperial racism isn't just a matter of malice but rather also a matter of their idea of power, efficiency, and aggression.

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1 hour ago, Manchu said:

For my money, Imperial racism is best exemplified in Piett's reaction to the bounty hunters in ESB: "we don't need that scum." It went beyond simple distaste for aliens to a deeper hatred of everything not conforming to the Imperial vision of monolithic order. 

IIRC the novelization of Empire Strikes Back (long time ago...) Piett's reaction was related to bounty hunting that he truly despised and was never meant as a racist comment relating to aliens (or droid) because in his mind waging war for profit instead of order and peace was the worst kind of being.

Edited by Kentares

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@Kappa Smith the 90's called.. they want their out of date fiction back.

I appreciate the intent of trying to educate people, but one should try to do so with the most up to date info.

While covered earlier, humans are the most numerous species especially in the core, where the majority of the empires power lies.   

It must be remembered that the official second in command of the empire, even if not officially in command of the military was Mas Amedda a chagrian.  He was aware of palpatines identity before he became emperor, as in he knew Palpatine was a Sith.  After his death (Palpatine), Mas Amedda attempted to rule the empire, or at least Coruscant while it was blockaded.   The true power was actually Rae Sloane (a female human) and Gallius Rax.  But the official surrender of the empire was signed by Mas Amedda, as the political leader.   

The point is this; the empire wasn't necessarily anti alien, it was that the bulk of the empire was drawn from the human dominated core worlds.   Some of these core worlds did look down on aliens as being inferior, but that was just as likely to be because they were outer rim yokels as opposed to aliens.  

 

As to females in the empire, there is now written, that there is no glass ceiling to a female.   Case in point, Grand Admiral Rae Sloane.  However, the empire did put forth the idea that one of the most important roles a female can perform is giving birth to the next generation of soldier - sonething that biologically, only females can do.   People are a necessary resource to maintaining the military run Empire, especially since the clone trooper programs were phased out.   Homosexuality was not a big deal per se, except that did exclude the idea of continuing the Empires next generation.

Droids were quite common in the empire, but they were treated as nothing more than hardware, routinely mindwiped and with restraining bolts applied.   

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Samophange, it's not outdated that the Empire hates and distrusts Aliens. In fact, it's one of the central points of the new canon Thrawn novel.

Some snippets. 

Theres plenty more, but I'm not going through the who,e book. But it's clear that the Empires anti-alien bias is still very real and very strong in new canon.

The female thing you are quite right about though. That's pretty much non-existent now.

 

“Good,” Deenlark said. “Because we use a lot of big words here. We wouldn’t want you to get lost.” He shifted his glare to Thrawn. “What’s your excuse, alien?”


“My excuse for what, sir?” Thrawn asked calmly.
“Your excuse for living,” Deenlark bit out.”

(Deenlark is head of the Imperial Academy)

 

“You dislike nonhumans?”
Eli hesitated. How was he supposed to answer that? “There were a lot of different nonhuman groups in the Separatist movement,” he said, choosing his words carefully. “The Clone Wars killed a lot of people and devastated whole worlds. There’s still a lot of resentment about that, especially among humans.”
“But were not other nonhuman groups allied with the Republic?”
“Sure,” Eli said. “And most of them did all right. But humans still carried most of the weight.” He considered. “Well, that’s the perception, anyway. I don’t know if it’s actually true.”
Thrawn nodded, either agreement or simple acknowledgment. “Either way, would it not be more reasonable to resent only those nonhuman groups that opposed you?”
“Probably,” Eli said. “Well, okay—definitely. And it probably started that way. But sometimes that sort of thing seeps down to other groups.”

 

“Eli could see the disgust in his face. He didn’t like being caught, and he especially didn’t like being caught by an alien.”

 

Edited by Extropia

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To the sexism charge: Governor Pryce, Admiral Sloane, Captain Brunson, Captain Ciena Ree.

All since Disney, but all very strong characters and very influential in universe.

The alien charge is interesting as the Imperials are all too happy to work with and hire alien help.  With Grand Admiral Thrawn and his successes and influence it seems like they're happy with aliens who work well within the system, the prolific use of spies, politicians, bounty hunters, etc, they work with aliens quite often.  One reason for the lack of aliens in the stormtrooper corp and other branches could be quite easily that the Imperials are sticklers for appearance.  Let's look at the lack of customization and personalizing in the Imperial military, there's nothing like what you would see during the days of the Grand Army, it's all been abandoned.  There is no use of artwork/nose art on ships (Chimaera excepted,) fighters, vehicles or armor, instead its just rows and ranks of not just matching, but identical equipment/personnel/vehicles.  It's even a physical thing, Leia specifically called out 5'7" Luke Skywalker as being too short to be a stormtrooper...

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Thanks for all the replies, I have read them all and here are a few areas I can touch up on;

There have been several females of athority in different empires but we are sticking to 19 BBY - 4 ABY. Its safe to say cartoons are also on a lower level than the films. I do acknowledge that Disney is determined to change the face of star wars into their own ideal family friendly image. Having coloured characters, aliens and woman working together is to potray an atmosphere without real world issues making it ideal for children, this naturally takes away from the realism in some circumstances. It is obvious that the empires uniform potrays power just like most armies in our own history, even the rebels have uniforms. I do not beleive the Galactic Empire excludes such a huge portion of the galaxys population (aliens) because they want to look pretty or uniformed. The rebels still acheive a basic uniform with most alien species. If it is not the evident racism then perhaps there is a different reason behind the anti alien approach, though there are none that I can think of without sounding stupid.

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46 minutes ago, Kappa Smith said:

If it is not the evident racism then perhaps there is a different reason behind the anti alien approach, though there are none that I can think of without sounding stupid.

Oh, they still totally are racist against aliens. Thrawn (the novel, so we're clear, and an excellent read) outlines the general reason: because the Separatists were mostly aliens, they were blamed by the Empire as instigators, and turned the majority of the Core Worlds against most aliens. It also added another element to this: it's not just xenophobia against aliens, but they also treat Rimworld humans with contempt, basically viewing them as uneducated backwaters.

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1 hour ago, Bohun242 said:

Sexism was never intended feature.

It seems back in 70's it was easier to imagine space fighter and planet destroyers than female in the army... ;)

Correct. Even George Lucas never expected that change about how the women would belong to a real army. Check the lenghty interview he gave when TFA got out.

Edited by Kentares

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3 hours ago, Kappa Smith said:

There have been several females of athority in different empires but we are sticking to 19 BBY - 4 ABY. Its safe to say cartoons are also on a lower level than the films. 

@Kappa Smith you seem to be of the mindset thet the old stories, now called legends, are still how things happened.   Since Disney bought Lucasfilm, they have maintained that any stories, regardless of medium (television, movies, comics, etc) are canon - that means what happens in the stories is the current true hapennings of the Star Wars universe.   You can still enjoy the old fiction, now called legends, but these stories have been replaced by the new.   

To quote Yoda, "you must unlearn what you have learned".

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1 hour ago, Bohun242 said:

Sexism was never intended feature.

It seems back in 70's it was easier to imagine space fighter and planet destroyers than female in the army... ;)

There is also the interesting fact that Return of the Jedi had a couple of female pilots whose actors were dubbed over with male voices or edited out. 

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12 hours ago, Manchu said:

The movie shows Piett's xenophobia: after he makes that remark, he is shown to be repulsed and frightened by Bossk. 

Read the novelization (which gives a clearer view and thoughts of the characters). That was honest fear. Not racism.

 

10 hours ago, Manchu said:

How about giant hairy monster that screams? a.k.a. Chewbacca? xenophobia ...

I guess anyone.. even Dalai Lama would (politely) fear a walking carpet the size of a basketball player in a menacing stance.

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I'll be honest, I treat written media as so far divorced from what star wars is that I don't really view the new Thrawn novel as worth very much in informing us of the realities of galactic culture. It doesn't help that it was written by a person who wrote these books in the old cannon as well.

Imo the only thing worth looking at as 'law' are the things that show up in the movies and tv shows. The books and comics can be cherry-picked for what you like. Even Pablo Hidalgo dislikes the idea of a hard 'cannon' to which every single detail must be hammered into conformity with, so I'll take him up on that!

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7 minutes ago, codegnave said:

I'll be honest, I treat written media as so far divorced from what star wars is that I don't really view the new Thrawn novel as worth very much in informing us of the realities of galactic culture. It doesn't help that it was written by a person who wrote these books in the old cannon as well.

Imo the only thing worth looking at as 'law' are the things that show up in the movies and tv shows. The books and comics can be cherry-picked for what you like. Even Pablo Hidalgo dislikes the idea of a hard 'cannon' to which every single detail must be hammered into conformity with, so I'll take him up on that!

Well...you can take that stance sure, but the OFFICIAL stance is that the novels are equal status to everything else in the new cannon. There is no longer the tier system anymore.

But really, everyone can take what they want, it's their hobby :)

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5 minutes ago, Extropia said:

Well...you can take that stance sure, but the OFFICIAL stance is that the novels are equal status to everything else in the new cannon. There is no longer the tier system anymore.

But really, everyone can take what they want, it's their hobby :)

Yes, I'm sorry that was were my thinking went toward the end my post but I kept the earlier parts in because ?????

I know its all cannon after the wipe, I don't mean to dispute that. But when I'm thinking about Star Wars I tend to ignore the stuff I don't like! I won't try to argue that such and such detail explained in so and so novel is WRONG, but until I see Specieism as Policy in the empire spelled out for me, it will just be something that is common within the societal beliefs of the upper classes of imperial culture!

Edited by codegnave

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45 minutes ago, Blackbird888 said:

The books spells it out.

You can choose not to read them, that's fine, but the system they use to tell the Star Wars story is through novels and comics and cartoons, as well as the movies. They no longer use tiered levels of canon.

Again with this tiered thing. Ive read like 5 things from the old EU. I'm not speaking in tiers. I'm talking about small details being part of a rigid cannon structure not being the reality that the story group, or most fans, works under. And if the books spells it out that's a shame. Ive not seen it anywhere else and its pretty lazy and uninteresting writing. I would have thought it would come up at some point in Rebels if that were the case.

EDIT: Ack, I'm sorry, I'm arguing. First post was poorly written and I've just been trying to clarify and argue since then, not something I want to do here. Sorry to waste peoples time!

Edited by codegnave

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You can disregard all the legend content in my original post. However the empire are still racist, untrustworthy of droids and look down on gender eqaulity, this we know of due to evidence in the films. However for all you keyboard warriors this is all in open contradiction with star wars rebels where I am sure there are a few woman high up in the Galactic Empire and no doubt aliens and droids are treated with more respect and trust simply due to star wars rebels being void of real world issues; as its aimed at a childrens audience. So in this special case I personally choose the scummy Empire I knew and loved in my childhood over anything else, this does not make me wrong and if you choose to disagree you aren't wrong either. Though I do have my personal grievance with this unorthodox way of doing things.  

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