by Taylor Anderson
This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, read on at your own risk!
When I generally think about the causes of the fall of the Republic in Star Wars, my mind usually focuses on Palpatine and his meddling in senate affairs in such a way that he was gradually able to secure political power. While that certainly plays a part in the fall, I think we also have to wonder why the Republic was so weak that a single madman could gain solitary control of it in the first place. Certainly, I could point my finger at the Trade Federation or the Techno Union as sowers of unrest in the Republic which led to Palpatine’s rise, but that isn’t it, exactly. No, the reason the Republic fell was due to its crumbling institutions, namely the Jedi Order, which failed to protect and delegate the way it was designed to do.
This is what’s most fascinating about Darth Vader 7. Not Vader cutting off all the hands of his Inquisitors, and not an aging Jedi scrambling to preserve the last of Jedi knowledge before all her kind go extinct. The reason for this is that it presents the Star Wars universe as something more dynamic than what is presented in the movies. We’re used to the idea of absolute good and evil in the Star Wars universe but Charles Soule suggests that that may not be the case.
This revelation comes in the form of Palpatine’s commentary on the actions of Jocasta Nu, who is trying to retrieve an unknown ancient artifact from the Jedi Archives which can apparently bring down the Empire. In discussing her plan of action with Vader, Palpatine states the following:
While Palps certainly isn’t the most trustworthy, reliable, or unbiased source of information in the galaxy, what he says has a certain logic to it. If the Jedi did indeed claim all sorts of artifacts in the name of the Republic, it casts their order in a problematic light, to say the least. After all, whenever government-sanctioned organizations start claiming things from indigenous owners, you know bad things are afoot. More, Palpatine points out that the Jedi were in power for so long that they began to abuse the power, which is the sure fire sign of a government which has begun to rest on its laurels.
What this does is make the history of the Star Wars universe more interesting because it is no longer simply a matter of good and evil. George Lucas perhaps has not gotten enough credit for trying to do this in his prequels, even if it wasn’t nearly enough to save his movies from his other blunders. However, Soule has picked up where Lucas left off and the result is intriguing and worth reading.
The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?