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I am interested if anyone with experience in Irish culture could answer a rather odd question for me. I am a big sci-fi fan, and I am wondering whether anyone could tell me which Star Wars faction is most like the Irish: the Galactic Empire, the Rebellion, or independent Mandalorians, all of which can have a case made for them.
I'll make the case for the Rebellion first. Most of all, their appearance matches the Irish. They have the same freedom-loving attitude and supportive nature I have heard the Irish are well-known for. Furthermore, they actively champion the cause of freedom and democracy for everyone and challenge injustices.
However, the Galactic Empire is also similar to the Irish by facts. First of all, their primary concern is the safety and sovereignty of their people; the Empire came about by legal means and was widely embraced by the people. Palpatine set the events in motion for the conversion from Republic to Empire and for the eventual destruction of corrupt elements after the Republic had been in the same state of decay almost for one thousand years, just as the Irish spent 700 years trying to fix the problems and abuses forced on them by the British. Secondly, their military forces are designed for peace-keeping operations. When watching the movies, one might see a massive war machine, but one must also remember that the Empire was safeguarding over 50 million different planets with just as many armed and dangerous groups intent on doing whatever they please; as such, their military is parallel to the modern Irish one. Finally, Sith is the Irish Gaelic word for faery or sprite; as such, one might consider a parallel between them and the Celts of ages past, whom they resemble. (Here one must consider that only two eras of the Sith, those led by Revan and by Palpatine, actually follow the Sith principles; other groups calling themselves Sith often stray from their ideals and end up involved in evil activity.)
However, a third group parallels the Irish: the Mandalorians. Mando'ade (the native name for Mandalorians) are a group of people united by shared ideals and an honor code. They are a family-centered, nomadic people. They often do not take sides in wars, although they allied themselves with both Revan (after their first war against him and the ailing Republic 4,000 years before the first Star Wars movie and the Battle of Yavin) and Palpatine during his conversion of Republic to Empire while maintaining a conspicuous aversion, even hatred, towards the Jedi. They often sell themselves out as mercenaries, but will immediately rally to any threat to their home planet of Mandalore and their family, as this is their first priority.
The following sources give additional information. However, a word of caution: do not associate the light side with good and the dark side with evil. Both have been used for the right and the wrong reasons; light is non-attachment and logic-based reasoning, while dark is drawing strength from all of one's emotions, especially anger, which psychology rates as one of the strongest. It is also important to note that the Empire only used forced labor (often labeled slavery in Rebel literature) on species or groups who took active steps to undermine the stability of the galaxy; for example, the Wookies tried to bomb out Imperial installations and ships who had just rescued them from being delivered into the hands of those who would literally skin them alive for the conversion from Empire to Rebellion. Many smaller species are listed as being "enslaved," but they are from unreliable fan-fiction sources who often contradict canon. So, look at the source and see how close it parallels an event in the movies. Furthermore, the Empire cannot be compared to the Nazis or another racist or ethnically oppressive regime, since it did not start genocides or make ethnic killings of any kind legal.

I would very much appreciate any ideas anyone has on this subject. Please feel free to present your own unique arguments. If you are not a sci-fi person, just use any faction as a metaphor for a reasonable parallel in the real world. Thanks!

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I'd actually say we're a combination of the Republic, the Rebel Alliance, the Jedi and the pre-Republic freedom fighters from the Lucasverse.

Ok, before I explain why, let me first explain what the Lucasverse is. It's essentially the backstory that Lucas created for the prequels, which was later used in pre-movie Expanded Universe stories, such as those about Revan. The Lucasverse itself is completely separate to Expanded Universe and is purely Lucas' creation.

So let's start:

The Republic

Well Ireland is a republic (though a different kind than the Star Wars version which is a cross between the roman and American republics). Our politicians though are like many in the galactic republic, more interested in serving their own desires than the interests of the people and while in the galaxy far far away, Outer Rim Worlds were largely ignored, In Ireland, many rural areas are also left to fend for themselves to a large extent and as such are in decline, with the focus being on the economic centres such as Cork, Limerick and Dublin. And while at it's core, Ireland is about freedom and equality and human rights, like the Republic, there are times where those ideals are lost.

The Alliance:

Well this should be obvious since we fought the British, struggling to gain freedom for centuries. A quick note here, this would make Britain the galactic Empire - an oppresive, brutal regime, which certainly fits the British Empire. Anyways, like the Alliance, Irish rebellions failed in early years and it wasn't until we adopted unconventional tactics that we began to see a change and have success.

The Jedi: Like the great order, the Irish are known as peacekeepers. We don't start wars and we don't fight without just cause, however when we are forced to fight, we are among the fiercest fighters around. We are also known as scholars and great keepers of knowledge. In fact Ireland during the Dark Ages was a shining light, like Ossus, home of the ancient Jedi library beforeit was destroyed.

Pre-Republic freedom fighters: In the Lucasverse, the Sith ruled the galaxy, oppressing and enslaving its population until the Jedi defeated the Sith, using an ever-growing army of Sith slaves who desired to be free and joined the Jedi to fight the Dark Lords. That idea of fighting for freedom fom oppression is part of the core of Irish culture and history. Like the Rebel Alliance, the ancient army of the Jedi fought against overwhelming odds in the name of freedom, ultimately destroying the Sith (apart from Darth Bane) and forming the Galactic Republic (as I said, this isn't EU, it's from Lucas' original prequel backstory). While we didn't destroy the British Empire, we did ultimately bring freedom and form a republic that stands today.
First of all, I should like to say thanks and ask that you tell all your friends to view and respond to this post. I really appreciate getting to talk to someone about this.

Second, I would contend that the Empire is radically different from the British. First of all, the name signifies that it is meritocratic (rule by merit). Usually, if an empire is one group dominating, its name comes first, such as the Roman Empire where the Romans had control. In this case, the Galactic Empire is ruled by the Galaxy. Local (I emphasize local) governors had control, not a centralized force like England had. Third, if we look at the movies, we can see that Palpatine does not follow the ancient Sith entirely and learns from their errors. If we throw out the EU, then the Empire enslaved no one, since they dedicated massive numbers of troops to the defense of alien species, like the Wookies, from the Separatists who showed us that they would use slavery like on Naboo. (Palpatine only used the Seps, never fulling backing them and eventually ordering their elimination.)

Secondly, I would contend that the Irish are radically different in their methods if not their ends from the Jedi. Jedi detach themselves radically from their emotions and their families, two things that if I know anything about the Irish they are well connected to .

I do agree that the Irish are a force for peace and freedom. However, my logic leads me to connect to the Empire with freedom. It dedicated thousands upon thousands of troops to defending the galaxy from the slaving Separatists. It also notably freed the slave soldiers known as clone troopers who were being used by the Jedi. The 501st legion (Vader's forces) was comprised entirely of clone troops, who were made free men at the end of the Clone Wars. Finally, I would contend that it is highly unlikely that the Empire would be oppressive, since Vader himself was at one time a slave and vowed to end slavery on Tatooine. Why he would stop at just one planet when he is second-in-command to the most powerful force in the galaxy would be beyond me.

Again, thanks for talking. I'm mostly playing devil's advocate here for discussion purposes and because I am dangerously wary of appearances in Star Wars, because the duality of every situation yields an Irish connection to both sides.
P.S. I would also add that the Empire never invaded anyone. They were focused on keeping the peace in their own sector of the galaxy rather than expanding and taking over someone else's, radically different from the British.
I strongly disagree. The Empire wasn't about defending the galaxy, it was about oppressing it and eliminating anyone who challenged its power. The war agaist the Separatists wasn't fought by the Empire, but by the Republic and they certainly didn't free the clones.

In fact they continued to use the clones, as well as create new ones using different DNA samples and recruit normal humans into the ranks of the stormtrooper, increasing the regimes military power, not to protect the people, but to ensure the Emperors domination over them.

ake no mistake about it, the Empire was fact the opening crawl of A New Hope states as much, which makes it a fact, but even without that, the Empires actions alone make it evil.

As for who controlled the Empire, all power lay with Palpatine. The Senate was useful only for trivial matters in local regions, a job that was ultimately given to the Governors, who reported directly to the Emperor.

And let us not forget Alderaan. An attack on a civilian target that destroyed millions. The Empire didn't bring freedom, quite the opposite in fact. They oppressed the galaxy and destroyed any voices of opposition, using fear and intimidation to rule. There was also a strong prejudice within the Empire against non-humans.

Ireland is nothing like that, though Britain sure was. While the formation of the Galactic Empire is based on the formation of the roman Empire, the actual running of the Empire was more like the British Empire, with one absolute ruler (the monarch) and regional governors to manage the colonies. Where the British Empire differs is that the government (parliament) had power in Britain, whereas the Senate was there to keep up appearances.

If you throw out EU (which I'm happy to do because it sucks :P ), you're right, the Empire didn't enslave people...but they did oppress them, there was no freedom for anyone. Clones were still used and controlled by the Empire in Return of the Jedi...they weren't freed.

Also, in Revenge Of The Sith, on Utapau, after the clones turned against kenobi, the prime minister of Utapau is arrested and led away by the clones.

As for the Jedi connection, well I wasn't really referring to the philosophy of te Irish and the Jedi. Just that we have the same basic ideals and principles when it comes to peace.

Now stop running Palpatines propoganda war for him haha
Okay, thanks for pointing all of this out. I really appreciate an in-depth discussion of the target. I'm attaching a file I think you might like to read. It puts out some good points, and I'll summarize.

One, Alderaan was not a civilian target. We have no reason to believe that Alderaan is purely civilian just on Leia's word, since all she's doing is running cover for the Alliance. She might very well be hiding a huge weapons cache for the Rebels under the cover of the civilians, using them as a shield, much like the Iraqi insurgents are famed for doing. One point in favor of this is the fact that the Rebel general knew Bail Organa personally. Since he is aristocracy on Alderaan, he easily has the power to give the Rebels a haven. I agree Britain attacked civvie targets (dam Black-and-Tans :spit:), but the Empire's weaponry was designed to hit only a precise target. Their ships, esp. the TIE bomber, were designed to destroy a target while minimizing collateral damage through insanely precise, sniper-style weaponry, just like the Irish snipers were famed during the War for Independence. That's not to say that civilians were not killed. But, if you look at the proportions (1 planet out of nearly 5,000,000,000) it's remarkably similar to the Irish bombing campaigns. Sometimes brutal and yes unpleasant tactics are needed in war. The results are just different.

Second, we don't know who the clones lead away in Revenge. Someone was backing Grievous, and it is more likely that Palpatine would seek to eliminate Rebel-rousers rather than a standing government. He can be quoted as saying "Once more the Sith will rule the galaxy, and we shall have peace." He's not looking for slavery or oppression (Vader -- the stronger Sith -- wouldn't have put up with it given his background) but rather stability in a galaxy famed for long-lasting feuds and wars in which millions die daily and the Republic was powerless to stop. This is why he reformed the government; by changing the structure, he was able to respond to emergencies and internal warfare much faster.

Third, the stormtrooper corps was recruited from naturally-born populuses. The clones received the same status, though the program continued. This included pay and leave. Not slaved. Revenge of the Sith was too soon for the changes to have taken effect. Let's remember that the Empire had 20 years of absolute peace in which it slowly made its changes before the Rebellion came along and screwed everything up.

I will give you this: the Empire could have done with a change of decor. While effective, the Imperial standard colors are white, grey, black, and a little bit of red for variety. Not the best for morale. I also agree that the Empire was brutal: some methods were harsh. But let's remember two things: one, the galaxy of the Empire is unforgiving, cruel, and Iraq-writ-large, and two, the Irish cracked down hard on their own during the Civil War shortly following the War of Independence in '22. It took a while to settle things down. Rather similar to the assault on the traitor Jedi who tried to overthrow the Republic/Empire when things didn't go their way, isn't it? I will also concede that Ireland is currently more like the later Republic than the Empire, but let's remember that they are the same thing.

Fourth, as far as the power structure itself is concerned, if you go back to Celtic antiquity, the Ard Ri of Eirinn was remarkably similar to the Emperor. Unlimited power, chosen by merit, loved by the populus (as shown by the fact that until A New Hope most of the Imperial Military was formed from recruits not conscripts and that's a lot of people)... Sound familiar?

Anyway, thanks for talking. I am really enjoying this discussion, and I hope you'll keep discussion. Just know that we both believe in "Eirinn go bragh! Ireland Forever!" I can't help running a propaganda war when I actually agree with this stuff. Oh, well. We're on the same side, just taking different views of how that side works. (EU: Empire and Rebellion team up against a slaving and destructive alien race about 20 years after Yavin. Same side.)
Again I disagree. I think you've been blinded by Palpatine's manipulations.

the Jedi weren't trying to take over the Republic, they were trying to stop Palpatine. The Jedi serve the Senate, and Palpatine was making the Senate obsolete and destroying democracy. As per the laws o the constitution, the Jedi would have taken control o the Senate until a new leader was elected, much like the Irish system where, when a President leaves office, a special group takes over until a new President is sworn in.

Also, that article was written before Revenge of the Sith and is completely wrong. As for was a civilian target and Tarkin knew this:

"You would prefer a different target, a military target? Then name the system"

Tarkin knew full well that Alderaan was a defensive civilian target but he carried out the attack anyway just to demonstrate the stations power. And don't forget:

"Fear will keep the local systems in line, fear of this battle station." Sounds like oppression to me.

As for not expanding...Bespin wasn't part of the Empire, but they quickly took over.

As for Palpatines line about peace...are you serious? Yes there was peace in the old times before the Republic, when the sith ruled....but that peace was attained through oppression and slavery. The same thing happened under the Empire...the clones were never freed, the galaxy was oppressed, with any voices of opposition being silenced, and Vader wasn't stronger than Palpatine because of the events on Mustafar, and remember, he slaughtered innocent children so I wouldn't put any faith in him freeing slaves.

As for the academies...the Empire had a monopoly and created the academies to gain new recruits and would regularly draft graduates into the fleet.

There can be no doubt that the Empire was evil....certainly there are those within the Empire who were just doing their jobs and aren't evil, but the Empire as a whole was indeed evil, along with the key figures within the regime.

To suggest that killing millions on Alderaan is nothing because there are trillions in the galaxy is like saying the Holocaust didn't matter because the killed Jews were a few million among a world population of billions.

The stormtroopers are clones, even in the time of the original trilogy. They're just not all clones of jango fett.

As for the old High Kings (Ard Ri na hEireann would be how to say it), actually the High King was just the most powerful, and not beloved by the people. he was just the provincial king who was the richest or had the most military power.

Palpatine was loved early on by the people because he manipulated and lied. He started a war or his own gain. Once he became Emperor, things began to decline. The Emperor ruled with an iron fist with nobody to oppose him and by the end, the people hated him (see ending of "Jedi" special edition).
I guess we just take different sides. Anyway, I would always stand for Eirinn, whether Imperial or Rebel. Kind of the advantage of the Mandolorians, huh? Ability to side with anyone depending on the cause while still standing for their own beliefs. Oh, well. Thanks for responding to my posts. I really appreciate it.


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