In honor of May the 4th Be With You Day, I thought I’d talk a little bit about the politics that informed the Galactic Forces of the Star Wars movies (with help from Luke, our IT Summer Student).

The stage is set

A trade war has broken out, set off by the taxation of space routes by the Galactic Senate. The emboldened Trade Federation blockades the peaceful planet of Naboo in protest. The Trade Federation’s political power in the senate – which is the result of a capitalist democracy in action – allows them to twist the truth, and stall for time. What we don’t find out until later is this blockade is just an excuse to start an invasion and is in fact a prelude to a full-scale war, and it was all orchestrated carefully by a single person in an effort to secure total power for himself…

The story begins

At its core, Star Wars is the story of Palpatine’s desire to have total power, and his willingness to manipulate everyone to get it. First a senator, Palpatine uses the Naboo trade war to secure his appointment as Supreme Chancellor of the senate. He then uses this brewing war, and the fear it creates, to scare galactic politicians into heartily supporting the militarization of the Galactic Republic. He also easily manipulated certain naïve politicians (like Padme and Jar Jar Binks) into helping him get what he wants: more power.

In a wonderful move of manipulation, Palpatine is given emergency powers by the senate to act quickly and decisively in the war. He promises that he will lay down these powers when the conflict is finished, but there always seems to be something else: the Separatists in the Clone War, then the Jedi, and then the Rebel Alliance. (This is not dissimilar to when the government of the United States pivoted from the Iraq conflict to a broader war on terror; a war with no end in sight – what better way to keep up support for the government and military than with a constant array of conflicts?).

Finally, Palpatine’s greatest moment was his ‘restructuring’ of the Galactic Republic into the first Galactic Empire, a xenophobic, supremacist, militarized regime that he claimed would bring ‘peace and stability’ to a fractured galaxy. Anxious for order and stability in a post-war society, politicians of the time praised this move, and accepted the Empire with open arms. Palpatine became emperor of his galactic empire, and ruled with total power.

Behind the story

  • George Lucas said in a 2005 Chicago Tribune interview that “democracies aren’t overthrown; they’re given away.”
  • Lucas explained to Liberal columnist Maureen Dowd that “Anakin Skywalker is a promising young man who is turned to the dark side by an older politician and becomes Darth Vader. George Bush is Darth Vader. [Vice President Dick] Cheney is the Emperor.”
  • When asked whether the Emperor had once been a Jedi, Lucas said: “No, he was a politician. Richard M. Nixon was his name. He subverted the senate and finally took over and became an Imperial guy and he was really evil. But he pretended to be a really nice guy.”

What’s in the Pipeline:

  • Ben is finishing custom projects and working with new client projects.
  • Carol is editing new courses, working on custom projects and writing blogs.
  • Jan is working on CA releases and editing eLearning.
  • Sydney is creating CA eLearning and working on custom projects.

Tech Topics:

  • Implemented a new feature to allow for recording TTS audio over a full course.
  • Update the workflow report to include the workflow completion date.
  • Allow for {bio} and {email} tokens in the workflow send email step message and body.

Course Count:

Courses released this month:

Here is the official count of courses for both courseware and eLearning, broken down by Computer and SoftSkills.

Computer SoftSkills Total Courses
Courseware 280 169 449
eLearning 879 164 1043

Leadership Quotes from Star Wars:

Qui-Gon Jinn “The ability to speak does not make you intelligent.”
“Your focus determines your reality.”
Han Solo “Great kid. Don’t get cocky.”
Yoda “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”
“Fear is the path to the dark side.”
“The greatest teacher failure is.”
Obi-Wan Kenobi “In my experience there is no such thing as luck.”
“Be mindful of your thoughts, Anakin. They will betray you.”
“You will find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.”
“Who’s the more foolish, the fool? Or the fool who follows him?”
Padme “Anakin, you’re breaking my heart! And you’re going down a path I cannot follow!”
“All mentors have a way of seeing more of our faults than we would like. It’s the only way we grow.”
Jyn Erso “Trust goes both ways.”
Finn “I made a choice.”
Maz Kanata “The longing you seek is not behind you. It is in front of you.”
Hera Syndulla “If all you do is fight for your own life, then your life is worth nothing.”
Luke Skywalker “Let go of your hate.”
Snoke “As long as the seed of the Jedi lives, hope lives in the galaxy.”
Rey “I need someone to show me my place in all of this.”
Leia “Hope is like the sun.  If you only believe it when you see it you’ll never make it through the night.”
Dameron “Tell us you have a plan!”
Darth Vader “I find your lack of faith disturbing.”
Gold Five “Stay on Target.”
Ahsoka Tano “This is a new day, a new beginning.”