My memory doesn’t work like most people’s. I’m bad with hard details—from minor trivia-question stuff like what year the TIE interceptor debuted in-universe all the way to the major plot mechanics of books I read even a handful of years ago. I can tell you that Kenobi is my favorite Star Wars novel, but when writing my recent EU Explains piece I still had to read the plot summary on Wookieepedia to remember what the hell actually happened in it. What does stick in my mind is the big picture, the tone, the flavor of a character, a book, an era. That’s why I’ve always been into the sweeping, historical aspect of Star Wars canon(s); I have a good eye for context, and I enjoy picking out new insights from the tapestry of stories the franchise puts out and how they interact—intentionally or otherwise—even as their particulars are quick to flee my mind.
What’s been especially interesting over the past five years has been the things I notice about the new canon that feel distinctly different from Legends continuity. Foremost among these is the sense that the Galaxy Far, Far Away is bigger now; more anarchic, harder to get around. Even as hyperspace travel seems much faster than it used to be. While the EU tended to portray galactic society as not too different from contemporary Earth—where the relationship between Corellia and Rodia, say, was roughly along the lines of that between Vermont and Colorado, or Greece and Luxembourg—in the new canon there barely is a galactic society. Luke Skywalker is a myth, the Empire was good for employment, and it’s entirely possible to go through life without running into anyone who’d testify otherwise.
While novelist Alexander Freed has played with this provincial take on the galaxy more than most, one particular detail in his recent novel Alphabet Squadron really stood out to me. The central protagonist Yrica Quell isn’t the only Imperial defector in the cast, but as a participant in Operation Cinder, she is by far the most loyal Imperial in the book not currently serving with the Empire. Yet despite her cooperation with the worst the Empire could dish out, we also learn that during Yrica’s youth, her sympathies were with…the Rebel Alliance. Lacking any other way to receive flight training, she enlisted in the Empire with the express intention of learning just enough to ditch them and fight for the other side. Sound familiar?
As much as Yrica’s backstory reads like Luke Skywalker’s worst-case scenario, the commonalities of their two stories—combined with the rest of Alphabet‘s cast of rebels—catalyzed something in me: maybe the galaxy is just plain too big, too ornery, to individualistic, to comprehensively govern. Maybe its natural state is not representative government so much as rebellion itself.
How to Win Planets and Influence Species
I’ve talked about this before, too—what the canon Empire’s speedy downfall suggests about the overall state of the galaxy during the original trilogy, and how that same galaxy would respond to the sudden rise of the First Order. But what if those teeming masses that helped bring down the Empire—not the organized Rebels but the average schmoes even Palpatine needed a Death Star to keep in line—weren’t yearning to restore the Republic, but rather to be left the hell alone?
Certainly there were lots of former Separatists who felt that way. Well before Imperial grey came into fashion there were already countless planets open to leaving the Republic in favor of a (theoretically) less overbearing authority. Of course, by the time the story opens the Old Republic is nearing the end of a thousand-year downturn so it would be unfair to take that moment as representative of the Republic’s heights. But what did those heights actually look like?
Another big change from Legends is that those thousand years were really it for the Republic as we know it—prior to that the Sith may well have been the only entity to govern the entire galaxy at once. Jedi occupied the site of their temple on Coruscant as far back as five thousand years ago so something in the spirit of the modern Republic apparently existed way back when, but its actual sphere of influence is debatable—and the Sith ruins below the modern temple are a clear indication that the planet changed hands more than once in those days. The Republic, then, was not the final evolution of an increasingly cosmopolitan and interconnected galaxy but a pointed rejection of the ruthless domination of a death cult; a way to say “screw you, Sith, we’re gonna do democracy now!”
And for the next thousand years, that initial boost of populism seems to have sufficed. The galaxy was stable enough that no standing army was needed and five or six figures’ worth of Jedi were enough to keep things civilized. If we take the prequel era as the Old Republic at its worst, and the Separatist crisis as an outgrowth of its biggest failings (encouraged and inflamed by the Sith, of course), then I’d speculate that the early, “ideal” Republic was likely one with a very light hand, with a senate that regulated commerce and mediated disputes in ways that the average citizen really did see as representative of their interests, and a bureaucracy that stayed out of the way.
Worth noting, though, is that on the playing field Star Wars gives us a thousand years isn’t actually all that long. With long-lived aliens like Yoda and Maz Kanata kicking around, it’s likely not even out of living memory. What seems to a human like a timeless golden age (to an Earth human even more so) might seem to other species like a pleasant interregnum; a trial balloon that deserved a shot but was unlikely to go on forever. If anyone could have been convinced that the Old Republic was the galaxy’s rightful state it should have been Maz herself: she lived through the entire thing, and the entirely of the New Republic to boot, with the Empire barely a blip in that span of time. Having seen the peaks of this supposed utopia firsthand, surely she of all people would be dying to get back to it?
But Maz has nothing to say about the Republic. She speaks instead of “the fight against darkness” as an eternal cycle, with the entities changing but the conflict going on in perpetuity. And she does so not from Hosnian Prime but from a private operation well out of the line of fire (or so she thought, anyway). It says a lot to me that the longest-lived character in the franchise preaches not of representative governance but of the righteousness of the eternal struggle.
Several years ago, somewhat coincidentally, Eleven-ThirtyEight asked Star Wars novelist Jason Fry how to govern an entire galaxy. He was skeptical: “Frankly, I can’t imagine any government working on that scale—you have too many leaps upward in terms of the few representing the many, too much power concentrated in too few hands, and too many opportunities for very large populations to feel disenfranchised.”
Certainly this is exactly what happened to the Old Republic, until discontent got so bad that one power-hungry space wizard was gleefully handed absolute power and refused to give it up. And when the galaxy realized what it had done, it overthrew the most advanced, omnipresent military power the galaxy had ever seen in the span of a generation or so. Even Palpatine seemed to recognize that Star Destroyers and stormtroopers wouldn’t be enough to keep the rabble contained, so he sank twenty years’ worth of resources into a boondoggle of a superweapon…that was promptly destroyed. He then built another one, quite literally bet his life on it, and lost both. In the GFFA, keeping an Empire appears to be far more difficult than creating one.
That being said, democracies are no easy task either. While plenty would have been able to remember the Old Republic, recalling its true glory days was no doubt harder, and agreeing on what exactly made them glorious likely harder still. Restoring it wasn’t enough; the former Rebels had to make something better, and do so in a way that would please not just Core World idealists like Mon Mothma but former Imperials like Ransolm Casterfo, former Separatist worlds like Onderon, and to some extent even independent worlds like Ryloth.
This is where the real problem lies: the overwhelming majority of beings in the galaxy are provincial. They’re not hopping from planet to planet having adventures, they’re farmers and engineers and barkeeps. Only when the farmer leaves his farm does Star Wars suddenly concern itself with his desires, so for the vast multitudes who don’t it’s hard to say what exactly they want. Our best guide here is to consider the franchise’s origins: its plot may be World War II in space, but its setting is a mix of two primary influences—fairy tales and westerns. The new canon has largely returned the storytelling to those roots, hence our new, bigger, emptier galaxy.
Those two paradigms, fairy tales and westerns, have given rise to two primary types of planetary society: enlightened monarchies like Alderaan and Naboo, and dusty little shitkicker communities like Jakku and Cloud City (don’t tell Lando I said that), with naught but a lone sheriff to hold the raiders at bay. There are exceptions, of course, but the actual story content rarely pays them more than lip service. Chandrila is supposed to be the poster child for New Republic-style democracy, but their own democratic assembly as seen in Legends has yet to be canonized. Who runs the planet itself and how has thus far been irrelevant.
What do these two types, bucolic kingdoms and ragged outposts, have in common? The nuances of representative democracy are not a high priority. Naboo might elect its queens, but they’re still queens, because that’s more interesting. Where a lone, all-powerful authority figure was disastrous for the galaxy as a whole, the needs of the average planetary community seem basic enough—less universal pre-k and more food and land—that autocracy suits them just fine. If you don’t like your particular planetary situation you’re ostensibly free to leave, but space travel is expensive and onerous enough that hardly anyone bothers; why else would you farm for moisture in your backyard when Mon Cala is hours away? Why else would smuggling be so profitable for those that do own a ship?
Naturally, this more cynical view of the galaxy makes for a fantastic plot engine during the corrupt Old Republic. The senate of the prequels, Jason Fry noted in the aforementioned interview, is “basically Rome, with flamboyantly corrupt senators, a handful of statesmen and chancellors who will always be tempted by an authoritarian power grab.” We’re comfortable with it not because it’s moral or aspirational, but because it facilitates the type of storytelling Star Wars is built for.
Alexander Freed seems to get this as well. Hazram Namir, the protagonist of his Battlefront: Twilight Company, comes from Crucival, a planet racked by constant warfare between local factions—other planets don’t even enter into it. Namir has fought so long he doesn’t know any other way to be, so when the Empire shows up it’s just the same war against a bigger enemy. If there’s a third category of planetary society worth considering it’d sooner be places like this—lawless hellholes straight out of Mad Max—than something at the opposite end … Continue reading Alphabet‘s Wyl Lark comes from the comparatively idyllic Polyneus, a planet that likewise doesn’t care much about the greater galaxy but where people live in harmony with the natural environment and have a strong sense of right and wrong. When the Empire’s presence became too much to bear their leader issued a decree that spread verbally across the planet:
Let every village send a warrior, for the battle against the Empire has become our battle; and no people in the galaxy fly as the people of Home fly.
“Home” is how the Polyneans refer to their planet. Their culture has so little interest in the outside galaxy that no more specific name is necessary. What I’ve come to understand is that that mindset is the rule in the GFFA—and true cosmopolitanism like Coruscant and Hosnian Prime is the exception.
A New Paradigm At Last
Representative galactic governance for the people of Polyneus, it seems to me, means leaving them the hell alone. But that doesn’t make them amoral or xenophobic; when the time came, they sent their warriors, as did Crucival, as did Onderon, as did Ryloth. This galaxy may or may not want a Republic but they emphatically will not stand for an Empire—a fact I’m sure the First Order will be reminded of shortly.
But after their defeat, what happens next?
Take Alderaan, for instance. Its archipelago continent was practically carpeted with a fine, whitish stone that was most often used as gravel. But take that stone to Rodia—show it to Rodians, whose eyes detected some wavelengths humans didn’t—and it became spectacular, iridescent, glittering. It became precious.
This passage from Claudia Gray’s Master & Apprentice, offered as an explanation of why two jewel thieves don’t really consider themselves to be jewel thieves, is also a great illustration of the complexities of not just policing but regulating an entire galaxy. A comparatively small group of senators—each representing a range of interests all the way from individual monarchs to entire planetary sectors—attempting to legislate around every possible interaction between every possible combination of planets in a million-planet society seems like exactly the kind of exercise in futility whose endpoint would be, well, the Old Republic.
If the Resistance wins its war and just plops another new senate back into place where Hosnian Prime left off, that would strike me as a woefully insufficient conclusion to the GFFA’s adventures in galactic governance. But surely something along those lines would be needed—not just for in-universe reasons but to provide a satisfying resolution to the story we’ve been following all this time.
I asked Nick Adams, our resident Republic obsessive, what he saw as the core duties (no pun intended) of a Galactic Republic. First among his recommendations was the establishment of common laws and a system of free trade, which as I’ve already stated seems like a dubious proposition. They could always just tell us that the New New Republic figured all this stuff out and everything is fine now, but if Leia Organa and Mon Mothma couldn’t pull that off I don’t know if I’m prepared to believe that Senator Poe Dameron could.
More compelling were Nick’s further recommendations of a set of universal rights, and a forum for the resolution of interplanetary disputes. This sounds to me a lot like the domain of the World Court here on Earth—a place where the whole galaxy can come together under truly extraordinary circumstances like sending Armitage Hux to the Space Hague.
Once you start thinking about the complexities of governance in these silly space movies it’s easy to get lost in the weeds—but if there’s one legislative failing of the Old Republic that feels fully within the films’ purview to address here at the end it’s the original sin that kicked off this whole story: the toleration of slavery. And why was it tolerated in the case of poor little Anakin Skywalker? Because he happened to be born outside Republic territory, and the Republic was too busy dealing with its internal problems to give a shit.
A Galactic General Assembly, if you will, wouldn’t function that differently from a Galactic Senate, it would just have a much narrower range of responsibilities—one that reflected the realities of the galaxy the canon has been showing us. A Galactic Bill of Rights could represent a set of ideals for all beings to aspire to rather than some bare minimum standard that’s been deemed realistically enforceable. Coruscant, or its new equivalent, would be less an authority figure in this system than an aspirational one—a shining city on a hill, a monument to shared principles, yet freed from the responsibility of keeping the entire galaxy in line with them.
Nick’s final recommendation, naturally, was a standing naval force. But I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the best-case-scenario Republic, the one that lasted for a thousand years, was the one with no armed forces. After Jakku, the galaxy’s wounds were too fresh and the New Republic too imperfect to prevent Imperial sentiment from rising again, but that doesn’t mean Mon Mothma was wrong in principle to try and get the galaxy back to that place.
So who does keep the galaxy in line, then? Who would protect the powerless, guard peace and justice where the government can’t reach? You already know what I’m going to say.
The fall of the Republic and the fall of the Jedi were intertwined, so a new paradigm for one necessitates a new paradigm for the other. With no central galactic authority to tether themselves to, imagine Rey’s Jedi Order as nomads, moving from planet to planet like Caine in Kung Fu, following only the will of the Force and the needs in front of their noses.
The Jedi of the prequels were already too far gone, too compromised, to function this way—but we’ve seen snippets of what it might look like. A former Sith in his final moments seeking not vengeance but comfort, cradled in the arms of his sworn enemy. A man with no Force abilities whatsoever walking through a swarm of blaster fire to pull a switch. A farmboy with ten minutes of X-wing time firing the shot that sealed the fate of an entire Empire. That same farmboy single-handedly saving the Resistance from the lotus position half a galaxy away, and in so doing inspiring a whole new generation of heroes. A true Jedi knows exactly where, when and how to act, and that’s more powerful than a whole fleet of Star Destroyers.
* * * * *
Am I saying the new galaxy I’ve sketched out here would be an ideal one? Not for them it wouldn’t—but that’s not the goal. What it would be is interesting, and fresh, and a wide-open door to a whole new era of stories that feel genuinely different. Star Wars, as Maz Kanata wisely recognizes, is a perpetual conflict machine, and whether or not they ever make Episode X there’s almost nothing The Rise of Skywalker could do that would convince me we’ve returned to another millennia-spanning era of peace and prosperity (any more than I believed that about Return of the Jedi). What I want instead is a sign that our Star Warriors have learned something from all this conflict, and aren’t just cleaning up an Episode IX mess with an Episode I solution. The Republic was a nice experiment, but it failed. Twice. It’s time to try something else.
|↑1||Even as hyperspace travel seems much faster than it used to be.|
|↑2||If there’s a third category of planetary society worth considering it’d sooner be places like this—lawless hellholes straight out of Mad Max—than something at the opposite end of the spectrum.|
12 thoughts to “Let Every Village Send a Warrior – The Case Against a Galactic Republic”
Galactic history has already proven that when governance is weak that evil rises. Without some central authority and military, what prevents powerful worlds from exploiting weaker ones? In your model, how would the “shining city on a hill” and Rey’s young school of Jedi stop Kuat from building a large navy to oppose was its will on its neighbors? Or stop the Corporate Sector from establishing control of trade in the Outer Rim?
If the answer is hoping that Chandrila will speak out, Mon Cala will build a navy to counter it, and that Ryloth will send pilots is a tad naive. The galaxy has proven it can rally a few times, but is that really to be counted on? “Every village sending a warrior” isn’t a strategy, its a Pollyanna-like wish. We see this very risk in the Sequel Trilogy. If the “good worlds” don’t show up, do we just hope things will get better?
The answer is not abolishing the idea of a galaxy spanning republic. The answer is building a republic that meets the needs of its citizens. The Galactic Republic failed because it got complacent and didn’t listen to its citizens. It’s senators and Jedi were too insular. The New Republic actually built a republic that was much closer to what the galaxy needed. It was initially focused on its citizens, rebuilding, and being egalitarian. Where it failed was not having a governmental structure that could find consensus on important issues, as well as lacking a navy capable of protecting its citizens from emerging threats.
We don’t know much of the era pre-1000 year piece, but even it had an “Old Republic”. It’s also telling that after the Sith rose and nearly destroyed everything, that the galaxys answer was to build a new Republic. All this points to a galactic government being needed and wanted. The KEY is making sure to adapts to the needs of its citizens and the times. To do otherwise risks the rise of evil and the fall of a republic yet again.
Wow, I never thought I’d see the day that you’d speak so cynically of Mon Cala’s willingness to join a worthy cause! Must have hit pretty close to the mark to get you all riled up like that. 😉
As far as the sequel era is concerned, the New Republic rejected and ostracized the Resistance from day one; if their scattered allies were slow to recognize how dire things had become I think we know exactly who to blame. And if—let’s be real, when—the Resistance is back to fighting shape in ROS, where do you think those new fighters will have come from? Certainly not Hosnian Prime; they missed their chance.
You say the OR failed due to “not having a governmental structure that could find consensus on important issues”, and I’d agree—my problem is, what does that even mean? And what’s the likelihood that ROS, being a Star Wars movie and not a Jon Meacham book, could offer a solution to that that would be at all satisfying? At best we’d just have to take their word for it.
Looking ahead to your hypothetical aggression from Kuat and the Corporate Sector, the answer to those scenarios is that I have no idea how they could be stopped. But there is one period in known galactic history where we know for a fact that such crises were kept in check for centuries (or more likely, never became crises to begin with), and that period did not involve a Republic navy. We don’t know to what extent the government was involved in heading off those problems versus Jedi peacekeepers on their own, so I’ll grant you that I can’t say definitively that a Republic would hurt in that scenario—but I can say quite definitively that a navy was unnecessary. And when one did show up it was a harbinger of the end times.
So without a navy, without a Republic, how exactly do a few Jedi stop a war? Beats me—but it sounds like an awesome story and I want to read it one day.
Joke all you want, but put yourself in-universe and in the shoes of those who lived on Hays Minor (our friends, the Tico sisters). Do you sleep well at night knowing that, in the event your poor, backwater world is attacked that a “coalition of the willing” will EVENTUALLY amass the a fleet to come to your aid? Are you okay with waiting under occupation? Or dealing with bloodshed? Even if Mon Cala, Chandrila, Sullust, and Corellia do muster the political and military will to act timely, it is still ad hoc and reactionary. Their willingness is and continues to be noble and worthy of note, but it is still reactive.
The proactive approach to avoiding bloodshed on a localized or galactic scale is some sort of government. Not the Galactic Republic. Not the Galactic Empire. Not the New Republic, at least as we saw it in its later years. Just because the prior republics didn’t get it (ie, the balance needed for a galactic government to function) right doesn’t mean that a republic can’t work.
You made the comment about where the “new ships” in TROS will come from. While I wouldn’t rule out some being NRDF ships, I can as easily argue that those allies are the worlds of the New Republic setting up where the federal government can’t or didn’t act. I’ll remind you that a galaxy-spanning republic isn’t all centralized bureaucracy on a capital. It is ultimately composed of united member worlds and citizens. When ships from Mon Cala, Corellia, Sullust, and Ryloth start popping up, I see the New Republic’s members rising to the challenge, NOT a simple loose coalition of a warrior from every village.
In regards to your final point, story merits aside, in-universe it would absolutely be horrible. Worlds big and small, bereft of support from each other and a government, would devolve into anarchy. Furthermore, even if the major systems are all fine, I’ll ask you to tell me who will step in to help Hays Minor? Rey’s Jedi, if they evolve back to the origins of the Order, aren’t galactic policemen. They are galactic do-gooders following the will of the Force.
The second you make the Jedi solely responsible for the peace and security of the galaxy, the second you risk the rise of another Palpatine. The galaxy deserves better. A republic, a “more perfect union” that evolves to the needs of its citizens IS the answer.
I must have missed the story where the Republic did a damn thing for Hays Minor! Your Kuati Death Fleet was a hypothetical, but Hays Minor was a thing that actually happened while the Republic existed and had a fleet and they had no response whatsoever. I don’t think we know for sure if it was part of NR territory or not, but either way the NR doesn’t come out of that looking too great.
You’re very convinced that the simple existence of a Republic makes crisis response more assured when we’ve literally never seen anything but the opposite: the established government ignores the problem and a few scrappy upstarts rise to the occasion. That may (or may not, frankly) be less realistic than an orderly, thorough governmental response, but it’s the quintessential Star Wars story, and it always will be.
You say that there needs to be “some sort of government” and I don’t know that I’m completely disagreeing with that—I’m just advocating for something closer to the UN than to Rome. Or if naval capabilities are that important to you, think of NATO; a mutual defense/nonaggression agreement among an assortment of local navies sounds just as good to me as a centralized navy, and with a fraction of the bureaucracy (and much less risk of being coopted by one crazed dictator).
My proposed model isn’t all the dissimilar from a hybrid UN/NATO, albeit in my model there are certain areas that my galactic government would be the final authority in. My hypothetical republic is built around the five core areas we discussed- common laws, free trade, universal rights, a forum to mediate disputes, and a central navy. These functions have value and protect lesser worlds from being exploited by larger, more powerful ones. Governing beyond these functions is pretty impossible on a galactic scale. Since I didn’t get a change to elaborate on my federal model further, let me briefly outline it.
My “galactic level” government is detailed above. Below that would be localized groupings (for arguments sake, sectors, assuming they are a more manageable size) that have regional assemblies. These regional assemblies would be mini-senates, serving the more direct needs of the area. Say you’re a regional assembly-being from Mon Cala. You probably know more about what your sector needs in terms of funding, support, or governance than a galactic senator on Coruscant or Chandrila. Yes, your world/sector sends senators to the galactic government, but outside of the five areas I highlighted, they are largely not a factor in your day to day.
I’d also highlight the power of symbols and a name. Its no coincidence that the Resistance chose the Starbird of the Alliance and New Republic. Amilyn Holdo spoke with passion about the restoration of the Republic. While the size, scope, and powers of a hypothetical galactic government can vary, the power of the name and symbol would remain.
At the end of the day, these are all hypothetical discussions about a fictional galaxy, so there is really no way to be right or wrong. However, it is sure fun to imagine the possibilities!
Fun discussion. For me, the role of a galactic government is less martial. It’s not specifically about knights in shining armor defending the innocent (despite the Arthurian backstory of the golden age republic and Jedi).
For me, it’s that isolated worlds breed conflict, distrust, and ignorance. Wars happen. Competition happens. Barriers get built. The galaxy gets smaller.
We don’t know why the Republic arose. In Legends, it started as a trade league and became a collective galactic project.
That’s the real purpose. For folks to work together, learn from each other, interact with each other, etc.
Focusing on the people who don’t know the larger galaxy is a mistake. That’s where the story lies, for thematic reasons. But they’re not the galactic majority. But even if people are homebodies, that doesn’t mean the galactic government doesn’t have value.
In our real world, the Union of the 50 states or the EU or the UN don’t all lack value because the majority of the billions of people on earth don’t travel the world. Some of them see the benefits of an interconnected world. Some of them don’t And are left behind.
That’s a reason to fix the system, not to scrap it.
And maybe if SW is a pastiche of the real world, SW ought to start seeing the value of a Galactic Republic instead of seeing it as corrupt garbage with an “every world for themselves” message. I don’t think that’s the real message of the saga. But that sometimes gets lost in the focus on the frontier.
Think back to Lucas’s comments on the Republic. Or on Leia. I don’t think he’s against the Galactic Republic. I think he thought it lost its way and needs to do better.
Maybe in canon the NR took the wrong lessons. Maybe they should’ve listened to Leia instead of a Mothma.
As I said to Nick (and, well, in the piece), I don’t oppose something in the spirit of the UN—but that feels to me like a difference in kind from a Galactic Republic and not just a difference in scale, no? And similarly, a lot of this came out of my suspicion that a galaxy with a million different planets and species might just be too much for the degree of interconnectedness we’re beginning to see here on Earth. I fully support it in reality, but even if it would be equally beneficial to the GFFA (and I do think it would, hence Coruscant playing an aspirational role) I can’t help but wonder if there’s such a thing as too big to govern. Are you convinced the Republic model is infinitely scalable?
Well, it depends on what we mean by “govern” — the galaxy may very well be too big to centrally administer. In the EU, Imperial Center was basically one big planet of ministries and bureaucracies. But that doesn’t mean that an organizing and unifying notion of a galactic community isn’t valuable.
I’d suggest that it would be something closer to an EU integration than the UN, if only because the UN tends to be aspirational and encourages the big power players to do as they like. It’s a playground for the powerful. Perhaps the Republic was the same way with the Core Worlds and economically powerful Rim worlds controlling the agenda, but I like to think at some point there was a sense of togetherness.
But who knows? Maybe the wistfulness for the Old Republic is the wistfulness of Core Worlders who always had it good and benefitted from the galactic connectness, and the frontiers which didn’t really see the Republic never did.
Something like the Republic was necessary in order for world like Coruscant and Kuat to exist. Coruscant would require a lot of interstellar trade to keep itself fed. The shipyards of Kuat would need a lot of material to keep producing starships.
Keep in mind there is also the Holonet, a network of Hyperspace routes, and agencies responsible for making sure your average Starship wasn’t a flying death trap. So the Republic did manage to create and maintain a network of infrastructure that allowed Galactic Civilization to exist.
It’s also something to be said that when the Trade Federation decided to go war, they started with converted merchant vessels. The Grand Army of the Republic had an Army of 5 million at the start of the Clone War and the Empire’s Stormtrooper Legions numbered 100 million soldiers. Prior to the Clone wars the Republic had essentially a coast guard to shut down piracy. So there’s a lot of focus on keeping trade and communication open and running relatively smoothly.
TL;DR Version: Something had to make sure Galactic Civilization kept chugging along, why not Space UN?
Something to consider: The Hutts exist as a faction. They control a sizable chunk of space, but it’s this loose family syndicate. They have their corner of the galaxy, but, as a whole, they aren’t expansionistic. They don’t want to be bothered actually ruling people and much rather make money with criminal enterprises to keep themselves in luxury. However, the Hutts would be too much trouble for someone like to Sith to outright invade.
Space UN is definitely around what I’ve been thinking. As for the Hutts, they couldn’t be touched under the Republic but in a different galaxy they’d make for a great new project for a new Jedi Order.
So, will this article ever get a sequel since Episode 9 essentially did this with the Peoples Fleet Thing. I mean sure not in any great depth but as far as I’m concerned if it’s there it’s there and someone can take that thread and role with it.
Although if Rogue Squadron is Post Episode 9 then I would hold off on doing a follow up.
The People’s Fleet was very much in agreement with my premise here but I don’t think there’s much of anything new to add now other than “see??”
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