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"[The Galactic Senate of the Republic] will be made to [resolve its differences]."
"By whom?"
"Someone wise."
"That sounds an awful lot like a dictatorship to me."
"Well, if it works..."
―Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala[src]

A dictatorship was a political philosophy that has the leader, or a leading party, dictating laws and enforcing their will onto the common people, and was generally considered to have unlimited executive power. In general, it is considered the direct opposite of a democracy in terms of overall philosophy, although the latter sometimes evolves into the former. At least one example of a dictatorship is Fascism.

UsageEdit

The Sith generally adhered to dictatorships as their preferred style of governance, owing to their adherence to the dark side of the Force and their belief of the strong dominating over the weak. Examples of Sith-run dictatorships include the Sith Empire and its various offshoots, as well as the Daimanate and the Arkadianate.

In 22 BBY, while Senator Padmé Amidala and then-Jedi Padawan Anakin Skywalker are staying on Naboo temporarily to avoid a potential assassination attempt on the former, they briefly discuss the corruption that has befallen the Republic and wondering how to alleviate it. Skywalker responds that they probably would need to be made to resolve their differences by "someone wise", causing Padmé to guess that what Skywalker was proposing sounded similar to a dictatorship, with Skywalker not denying it and saying it may work.[1]

Opponents of the Galactic Empire generally referred to it as a dictatorship. In addition, Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, when killing Mace Windu, made clear his intention of gaining unlimited power.[2]

The Rebel Alliance, although fighting for the freedom of the galaxy, technically held a dictatorship regarding its upper echleons in the form of the Chief of State and the Alliance Civil Government.[3]

Behind the scenesEdit

A Dictatorship is derived from a real world political and economic philosophy that generally entails a country or a group of countries ruled by one person (a dictator) or by a political entity, and power is exercised through various mechanisms in order to ensure that the entity's power remains strong.

The concept of dictatorships, in particular their relation to democracy played a large role in the creation of the prequel trilogy for Star Wars, and to a lesser extent the original trilogy. George Lucas, when discussing the political elements behind Attack of the Clones, explained that, due to his upbringing in the 1960s, he saw it as democracies devolving into dictatorships due to their being voted in by the people, and cited examples in history such as Julius Caesar regarding the Roman Republic, Napoleon Bonaparte regarding Revolutionary France, and Adolf Hitler regarding the Weimar Republic.[4] During the 2005 Cannes Film Festival showing of Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith, George Lucas reiterated his statement, although he also implicitly compared George W. Bush and his War in Iraq to that of a dictatorship.[5]

AppearancesEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
  2. Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
  3. Rebel Alliance Sourcebook, Second Edition
  4. Dark Victory on Time Magazine's website (archived)
    "I'm more on the liberal side of things," [George Lucas] says. "I grew up in San Francisco in the '60s, and my positions are sort of shaped by that ... If you look back 30 years ago, there were certain issues with the Kennedys, with Richard Nixon, that focused my interest." Lucas' own geopolitics can sound pretty bleak: "All democracies turn into dictatorships—but not by coup. The people give their democracy to a dictator, whether it's Julius Caesar or Napoleon or Adolf Hitler. Ultimately, the general population goes along with the idea ... What kinds of things push people and institutions into this direction?"
  5. Revenge of the Sith invites Bush Comparisons, page 2 on CBSNews.com
    "Lucas said he patterned his story after historical transformations from freedom to fascism, never figuring when he started his prequel trilogy in the late 1990s that current events might parallel his space fantasy.
    "As you go through history, I didn't think it was going to get quite this close. So it's just one of those recurring things," Lucas said at a Cannes news conference. "I hope this doesn't come true in our country.
    "Maybe the film will waken people to the situation," Lucas joked
    [...]
    "When I wrote it, [the 2003 Iraq war] didn't exist," Lucas said, laughing.
    "We were just funding Saddam Hussein and giving him weapons of mass destruction. We didn't think of him as an enemy at that time. We were going after Iran and using him as our surrogate, just as we were doing in Vietnam. ... The parallels between what we did in Vietnam and what we're doing in Iraq now are unbelievable."
    The prequel trilogy is based on a back-story outline Lucas created in the mid-1970s for the original three "Star Wars" movies, so the themes percolated out of the Vietnam War and the Nixon-Watergate era, he said.
    Lucas began researching how democracies can turn into dictatorships with full consent of the electorate.In ancient Rome, "why did the senate after killing Caesar turn around and give the government to his nephew?" Lucas said. "Why did France after they got rid of the king and that whole system turn around and give it to Napoleon? It's the same thing with Germany and Hitler.
    "You sort of see these recurring themes where a democracy turns itself into a dictatorship, and it always seems to happen kind of in the same way, with the same kinds of issues, and threats from the outside, needing more control. A democratic body, a senate, not being able to function properly because everybody's squabbling, there's corruption.""

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

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