1686 Unlearn.

Liking the Empire has always seemed a little weird to me. Especially with the strong parallels drawn between it and Nazis. In light of the new films those lines are even more clearly drawn. With Hux basically Hitlering it up in episode seven they aren’t even playing like the empire aren’t space Nazis. The prequels try to humanize Vader, and succeed, especially if you take the animated series in to account. It’s a weird thing to want to do in some ways. Because Anakin is fictional it’s okay to make his motivations sympathetic. Of course telling tales of good Nazis isn’t exactly unheard of. It’s an interesting to think about. If you slap a coat of safety over something evil it becomes okay to emulate that evil, at least playfully.

The clone wars really muddles those waters with the clones being forced to do evil things with the inhibitor chip and genetic engineering. The very humanity of the clones is questionable in some ways since they are essentially looked at as disposable even by some of the Jedi. The clones are little more than a slave army. They don’t get the basic choice of what to do with their lives. It’s unethical to have created them at best, agreeing to use them no less so. Which makes me question how good the Jedi really are at heart. It’s a lot easier to enjoy Star Wars if you click off that thinky switch…

Some people thought I didn’t like Rogue One because I voiced some opinions on twitter about it, but I did enjoy it, just not the same way I enjoyed other SW media. It’s aa very different film tonally. It’s a war movie. Not as hardcore as some, but that’s what it is. Star Wars movies only graze the surface of the horrors of war, or the value of self sacrifice, most of the time. Even the Clone Wars cartoon only scratches the surface of those themes in the 8 or so seasons of it’s run. Rebels similarly skirts the edges of that stuff most of the time.

I’m certainly not against expanding the scope of Star Wars stories though. At the same time, it makes it harder to say who the intended audience is. Is it kids? I’m not sure I can say that of Rogue One. It’s walking a real fine line of what themes are acceptable for kids. Then again self sacrifice for a good cause is good, right? From a different point of view the rebels are terrorists. Of course in Star Wars the empire seems to know on some level that it is the bad guy. It doesn’t call the opposition terrorists, just rebels, which is a more positive word in our culture. If the empire really thought it was in the right it would paint the rebels as the evil, which naming them as thugs and terrorists would do.

Of course when you’re writing a space opera you don’t always think of stuff like that and someone has to come along later and kick you in the dick over it.


while I’ve be a fan of the Rebels/resistance side of things in the stories, I’ve always loved imperial design aesthetic for their ships/fighters

evil has a real sense of style.

Well, back to the Nazis again. Hugo Boss designed their uniforms. And the Imperial design aesthetic is definitely based on the Nazis. There’s also a general rule in military history. The side with the best dressed generals usually loses. This is probably related to another military axiom; no inspection ready unit is ready for combat and no combat ready unit is ready for inspection.

@Boxiar: As a WW2 enthusiast and re-enactor, I must refute the popular myth you quoted. Herr Hugo Boss did NOT design any of the uniforms used under the Third Reich. The famed all-black uniforms of the Allgemeine-SS were in fact designed by Prof. Karl Diebitsch (a prominent member of the early SS) and Walter Heck (a graphic designer). They were adapted from the regular army uniforms then in use.

That said, Hugo Boss *was* the primary supplier of uniforms to the Allgemeine-SS, the SA, and the Hitler Youth. His company is known to have used slave labor. He managed to get off (relatively) easy after the war, but I think he deserved the full rap. He died in 1948, but his company did not.

So while the SS uniform I have hanging in my closet can be (and is) characterized as “a Hugo Boss suit,” this refers to the manufacture and not the design. (To restate: I am a re-enactor, NOT a neo-nazi. Hanging next to that SS uniform are two US Army uniforms and a US Navy uniform from the same period. :)

Just looked up their vehicles from WW2. They have some really different sort of stuff. They even made their half-track vehicles (tires in front treads in back) look stylish. It’s no wonder the Russians would capture and repaint some of the Nazi’s stuff.

The Nazi’s style was just them taking the paradigm of military uniforms to a higher level. They wanted what every nation wants from soldiers – imposing, but not individualistic. They want every member of their army to feel inclusive by removing individualism from single soldiers. The Nazi uniforms were meant to be identifiable and terrifying to the people who opposed them.

Same goes for the Empire. They want an army where you remove all traces of individuality but maintain an appearance of solidarity that everyone recognizes easily AND easily terrify the public. Grey, black and black-on-white colors have always been somewhat conformity colors that intimidate people.

Some things are just more enjoyable when you turn off your brain. I find a lot of “terrible” anime like that.

Like naurto?

no, naruto isn’t something that is like turn off your brain, it has way way way way too much filler. thats more like having enough patience to cover the sky. I was thinking more along the lines of slice of life and harem comedies and such that are often repetitive and just questionable progression/scenarios at best. Shonens tend to test patience, but the story telling is usually on point

Meh naturo is overrated. Go pick up an issue of one piece

My brain shut down, caught fire, and imploded when you suggested I deal with One piece. Can I go watch Gurren Lagann instead? Or something else with giant robots?

Might I suggest one of the ‘Brave Police’ series?

I’m currently watching Brave Police J-Decker (??????????? ). It’s got some cheesy moments, but it’s good.

…you seriously missed the whole point of what I said, even when I specifically and tried to tactfully address shonens. I’m not wanting to spark the debate of what is-or-is-not crap. Anime isn’t so widely accepted fans should be at each others throats. We have similar hobbies. We don’t have to agree on ever single masterpiece or not, but can we at least accept the fact we have awesome hobbies and its more fun to exchange ideas than to cut someone down for their’s? You don’t have to cram down a recommendation because of someone elses likes or dislikes, its really just better to accept we, as a community, can support and actually bring more people to the fandom and make it grow by just allowing people to like what they like. When you don’t like something, no one is forcing you to watch it, so just let it be. I know this is the internet, but not everything has to be about whose taste is better and who is right and wrong, sometimes its cool to just know there is people out there who like similar things. Like between failures ^_^

A lot of people like to pose the “if you could go back in time, would you kill baby Hitler” question. Wonder what the outcome would have been if someone had actually payed him to be a painter? If he had been fulfilled as an artist, would have still gone on to found the Nazi party? Vader is sympathetic because, aside from being fictional, he’s not Space Hitler. Oh, he made some very bad choices and did reprehensible things. But he didn’t found the Empire and he basically got suckered in by Palpatine. The Emperor was Space Hitler. Vader is more like Space Himmler. Vader, in the end, found redemption because he was led astray. Ol Palpy was pretty much irredeemable. Like Hitler.

I was wondering how long it would take someone to call me out on that.

A lot of the blog is stuff that will bring nerds out to correct me. XD

Eh, Vader gets called Space Hitler a lot. It struck me as I was reading your commentary that the reason Vader can be sympathetic is because he actually isn’t Space Hitler. But without the commentary, I don’t know that the though would have occurred.

The problem is, even if Hitler did become a successful painter, he is very much a German Nationalist. Which means he will join the Imperial German Army when the war starts if the Austro-Hungarian army turns him away as it did in our time line. So, he’s probably still going to end up in a Nazi-like movement, just less “kill Jews and Slavs” involved. Which means he’ll probably focus more on being anti-Communist in order to win power. And then after annexing Bohemia and setting up a Slovakian puppet state, will try to find an excuse to fight the USSR, and if the Winter War between the USSR and Finland still happens, he has the perfect reason to fight… sorry my inner alternate history theorist took over for a bit.

Uncle Joe was itching to expand and I think there would have been a Second World War. If Stalin had invaded Poland and gone after the Weimar republic (assuming it didn’t fall to the communists or someone else didn’t start something like the Nazi party) you might have seen the Soviet invasion of Poland and Germany as the tripwire to bring Great Brittany and France into the War against Russia in alliance with Germany. I have no idea where that leaves the Spanish Civil War, the Empire of Japan or Mussolini.

Well, Mussolini is going to try that crap in the Balkans, except it will be even more embarrassing with no Germany to bail him out when the Greeks say “No” and proceed to push the Italians out of Albania. And without German “volunteers” and Stalin too busy focusing on the home front to undermine the Republican forces from within, Franco might very well end up losing the Spanish Civil War. However, the USA now has no reason to interfere in WW2, especially if the Empire of Japan declares war on the USSR for the northern half of Sakhalin (Karufuto), the parts of Manchuria the Russians annexed, and also claim to be protecting China from “Subversive Soviet Influences”. With Japan fighting the USSR, there’s no need to embargo them and keep them from buying oil. Which means no Pearl Harbour. Which eventually leads to the collapse of the Soviet Union, because the Red Army can’t fight a two-front war and won’t have the same amount of time to recover from the officer purges if they have to deal with the French and Polish military and a British expeditionary force in addition to the Germans, Romanians, and Hungarians. The end result? Communism and Facism are defeated, but America remains isolationist and Germany becomes the power that dominates Eastern Europe. The only outposts of democracy left east of the Rhine are most likely Greece and the Scandinavian countries. The ideas of “Greater Germany” and “Mittel-Europa” have no been realized under a totalitarian military dictatorship that does it’s best to distance itself from “those wacky Blackshirts” from Italy.

I’d say Vader is more comparable to Rommel or Kesselring. Himmler was a really f-ed up little critter. (Don’t try to verify that statement on a full stomach.)

Also, Palpatine is way more stable and rational than Hitler ever was. No parallel is ever exact. :P

Not that I’m heavily into Star Wars lore, but:
I think that George Lucas said that, [at least…when HE was the head of the SW realm], that the star wars films were for kids. He used that line of reasoning + put the ewoks + stuff in his films, and for doing TV cartoons like- The Droids, and The Ewoks.
Stuff like that.

Well that little explanation, like many by Lucas was after-the-fact and was his way of excusing himself – he is the Real Life version of Pee Wee Herman – Kinda smart in some ways but a total wanker in others.

I think one of the other reasons why people focus on Nazis as the default evil instead of say Genghis Khan and his successors is because Nazis mixed in a lot of pseudoscience and neo-pagan mysticism to try to justify themselves, whereas people before who were evil were either equal opportunity evil, just owned the fact that they were evil, or were a “darker shade of grey”. Attila? He owned the fact that he liked killing people. Genghis Khan? Made no attempts to hide the fact that if you stood in his way he would kill you and your family. The Vikings? Never attempted to justify their raiding except by saying “It’s what we do.” Caligula? Very frank about being a narcissistic psychopath. The list could go on infinity.

There’s also the very simple, Nazi’s are much more recent.

It was just 70 years ago.

and the whole – we almost did that ourselves but don’t talk about it – don’t look under the rug please – hey look at them and what they did – we beat them up and took all their stuff and make their children and their children’s children pay etc etc etc

Nazis are not just recent, I believe we can say they are current. The white house seems to be filled with them of late. I always wondered how Hitler could have occurred now I know.

You want Nazis, go to Berkeley, CA. There’s a new breed of Sturmtruppen using violence to stifle free speech. This is happening NOW. In America. For real. Fun times, amirite?

They’re called BAMN and Anti-Fa and they’ll try to beat the shit out of you if you don’t agree with exactly what they say.

Sound familiar?

Nazi is short for national socialist party. They were, are, and have always been a leftist organization. They were called right wing in Germany, where the right was socialism and the left was communism. We recognize that both of these are left wing-at least in relation to our political arrangement. Not to say that no republicans can resemble them, but they can’t do so and be conservative.

But can you really be on the right without supporting the absolute authority of the monarch?

Um, yeah. You might be a republican, but not a conservative,and as for being on the right-honestly no,but the word means little anymore. Conservative is supposed to mean smaller government, lower (if any) taxes, and fewer regulations. The place conservatives (not republicans) differ the most from libertarians is defense spending and borders.

If you think the Empire is bad, watch “Genesis of the Daleks” some time. Davros is all but spelled out as a Nazi. So, basically, rooting for the Empire is the same thing as rooting for the Daleks…

I would go the step further and call them Eugenicists but those in Real Life [tm] were only a small minority of Nazi party members.
Eugenicists promoted sterilization, marriage laws and segregation of the mentally handicapped….. and in the politicization of poor & uneducated = mentally handicapped but all that has been swept under the rug.

I know they like to say Vader redeemed himself at the end, but would they have considered him redeemed if he hadn’t died to kill Palpatine?

He may have been led astray, but he still did some terrible things. I could almost forgive the killing of soldiers. Two warring ideologies and Anakin was not only scared for Padme, he was tired of the way the Council acted (understandable), and he was a powerful young adult led down the wrong path.

However, he killed the children (gah, younglings was the worst word ever in the movies imo :p) Also, you’d think growing up a slave he would have been against an Empire that embraced slavery.

The Empire and their Sith Leaders may be Space Nazi’s, but their health plan is probably the best there is. I mean look at Darth Vader. He lost an arm, a leg and had his entire body burnt by FREAKIN LAVA and yet they got him back up and force choking bitches in no time.

What do the Republic and the Jedi have to offer that can beat that?

Technically, if you want an example of a good Nazi, Oskar Schindler was a certified member of the Nazi party…

Lots of sci-fi that’s easier to enjoy if you turn off your critical thinking. Star Wars, of course. J.J. Abrams Star Trek. That Ender’s Game film (which would be 1000 times better without the Ender branding), and I’ll stop listing examples now.

The Enders Game book was a lot better than the movie.

Remember: never read the book BEFORE seeing the movie.

Too late for those of us who are sci fi fans and read books when they come out – the book came out 1985 and could have been produced easily enough with today’s cinematography true to the story. Unfortunately, as is usual for Hollywood, they had their own cocaine/amphetamine induced visions of the story without actually reading the books.

On a completely different note.

” From a different point of view the rebels are terrorists. Of course in Star Wars the empire seems to know on some level that it is the bad guy. It doesn’t call the opposition terrorists, just rebels, which is a more positive word in our culture. If the empire really thought it was in the right it would paint the rebels as the evil, which naming them as thugs and terrorists would do.”

Well the term started with the French Revolution and before then the term Rebel had the same connotation as Terrorist does today.

In America one group calls themselves a Republic and home to freedom yada yada yada … Their founders are called Rebels and Patriots yet they were anything but and not exactly supported by the local populace either…. that whole freezing and starving in a fort in winter in an agricultural area kind of illustrates just how much love the garnered.

And after typing all that I realized I made no mention of one huge parallelism that goes back just a bit further in the modern era.

The British Empire and the American Republic that spawned from it that soon after went about “liberating” others.

Ugh. The concept of terrorism can be hard to completely lock down, to me, anyway.
I’m not telling other people what to believe, and I’m not telling governments what to do, but:

I’m kind of emotionally torn about using [special forces groups, aka SF people], in missions that are not defensive missions, and/or that aren’t data gathering missions.
I think George Carlin, the comedian, had a good point. One of his jokes/ideas was something like: I’m puzzled. When my government does these things, it calls them, “special forces”. When other countries’ governments do these things, my govt. calls them, “terrorists”. I don’t know what to think about that.” That’s kind of a complicated knot to think about.

This might be an idea that I left out of my post:
if I let my country’s special forces do offensive attacks, can I get angry- when other countries’ special forces do offensive attacks?

I dont know if I have ever commented before, but I need to say the last panel of Thomas is currently my All time Fav! It is rare we get a face looking almost into the camera perspective and this one of Thomas is Amazing! Keep up the great work!!

Something that is a bit of a sort topic for me, and I apologize in advance for the soapbox I’m about to grab here, but I really want to clarify a topic:

The Empire from Star Wars is simply a classical Totalitarianism Police State regime. Nazi Germany employed this political model, sure, but they weren’t the only one in history to have done so, simply the most infamous. They aren’t even the only ones to have attempted (or even succeeded) at genocide, nor even the most recent, simply the most infamous.

People keep comparing this or that to ‘Nazi’, to the point that it has become a watered-down buzz-word that has absolutely no meaning left. It’s rapidly becoming a go-to comparison for damn near everything. The last three presidents were *frequently* compared to Hitler by the opposite political party. Publicly.

Brutal oppression of a conquered race is nothing new in humanity. Neither is genocide. Heck, Saddam Hussein killed millions of *his own people* in an attempt to exterminate a people who just happened to believe *slightly differently* than his own preferred style of Muslim. He employed WMD, particularly gas, in an attempt to exterminate them. But no one ever refers to this, it’s always Hitler and his gas chambers.

Hell, you want brutal oppression, just take a look at Stalin’s regime. He executed his entire home town just so no one could counter his carefully crafted and entirely fictional backstory. His secret police were even worse than the SS in many ways, including randomly disappearing people because they happen to be in casual contact with someone they feel might become a bit disgruntled.

Hell, dress the Stormtroopers in Roman Legion outfits and give them appropriate equipment for that day and have them marching in a muddy (or bloody) field. You wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. They even use the exact same formations. Dress the Empire up in a Caligula outfit. Done. That’s not to say that Star Wars was a deconstruction of Roman rule, just saying that the shoe fits pretty damn well.

My point is this: Damn near anything used to justify a comparison to Nazi Germany can be used equally well as a justification for a comparison to nearly any Totalitarian Police State in the history of Mankind. Unfortunately for us, there’s no shortage of examples, either in the far past or recent times. And while Hitler was an unabashedly evil person, there are no shortage of those in our history either, and Hitler, arguably, isn’t even in the top ten list.

Can we please stop with the gratuitous Nazi/Hitler referencing? Respect Godwin’s Law.

Thomas’s first line spells out exactly why Nazis are always going to be the go to for that kind of comparison. They did it with the most style. Others have tried but have never managed to make evil look so cool.

True. Do everything with the best composure (PR) and you will impress, be good or bad. Even the almighty Tiger, albeit being a slow, cumbersome and only capable of covering 50 km of distance on its own, was enough to instill fear and awe. It’s about that. We humans are indeed irredeemable “fashionistas”, and both the good and bad guys know that. ;)

Reminds me of an episode of “Angel” where it flashback to WW2 and Spike took the Nazi jacket because it looked cool :)

I think the reason for Darth Vader being “okay” to idolize in pop culture is more Emperor Palpatine was the real “Hitler” of the Imperial Space Nazis while Anakin was formerly a decent guy seduced by the dark… and at the end of 6 he was back to being himself obviously…

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