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The Empire seems very similar in a lot of ways to Nazi Germany, which only survived because it was able to plunder resources from its neighbors, but the Empire was basically the only real force in the entire Galaxy (yes, I admit that there are the Hutts and whatnot).

Judging from the footage of Coruscant at the end of 'Return of The Jedi' it seems society had not crumbled, or at least not in the capitol.

Did the rest of the Empire not look so well? Or did the Empire have some secret to making socialism work? Or did the Empire have more neighbors than I seem to realize?

  • Relevant: Star Wars: The Empire and Taxation – Rogue Jedi May 31 '16 at 0:23
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    It's quite easy to make your economy work when you employ slave labour. – Valorum May 31 '16 at 0:29
  • @Valorum But that would result in poorer conditions than seen in the movies (well Tatooine excepted [but that was a Hutt world anyways] ) – DarthRubik May 31 '16 at 0:33
  • @DarthRubik - Poorer for the slaves, certainly. But much better for everyone who's not a slave. – Valorum May 31 '16 at 0:34
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    Hopefully the new films will focus on this. Star Wars fans always like it when the movies feature resource management and complex trade movements. – Rogue Jedi May 31 '16 at 1:03
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The major plot of Star Wars: Rebels gives us a really good insight into the 'behind the scenes' working of the Empire.

Plundering resources

There are multiple examples of unsustainable practices such as strip-mining and the removal of ores and minerals from planets on the outer rim, away from the prying eyes of pesky senators. In the episode "Homecoming" we learn that they've basically turned the planet Ryloth from a paradise into a starving semi-wasteland dustbowl.

Corruption / Unfavourable Supply Arrangments / Taxation

With the senate on its knees, local governors are free to make deals that are personally favourable (offering their planet's labour to build TIE-Fighters, for example) even when it's not in the planet's best interests to do so. On top of that, the Empire seems to be top-slicing every single deal that takes place and funneling that money into building the apparatus of a police state.

Slavery

It's pretty clear that the Empire is built on a foundation of slavery. The Twi'leks and the Wookiees are especially well known for their forced labour being used, as sexual slaves and as construction workers respectively (don't get them mixed up).

Shady dealings

As you've said, the Empire does a pretty fair trade with the Hutts. Hutt space is a major provider of slaves, vice goods and raw materials looted from worlds without advanced defence systems. There's also a fair amount of indentured/slave mining operations.

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    "don't get them mixed up" - Different people have different interests. – Rogue Jedi May 31 '16 at 0:53
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    @RogueJedi - I can just imagine walking into an Empire brothel and asking the madam "I like 'em big and I like 'em hairy. What have you got?" and them bringing out Chewbacca in a gold bikini. – Valorum May 31 '16 at 0:54
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    I have no doubt that there's quite a bit of wookiee fan art of that certain type on the internet. However, I value my sanity, so I won't try and confirm that. – Rogue Jedi May 31 '16 at 0:56
  • @Valorum So basically the Empire is just eating up its resources at an enormous rate....given say 50 years they would have crumbled? – DarthRubik May 31 '16 at 0:57
  • @DarthRubik - No. The whole point of the Tarkin doctrine is that they would dominate the galaxy without the need for an expensive Star Fleet, just the one Death Star and a few Destroyers for anti-piracy duty with local Governors managing their planets directly for the benefit of the Empire. If anything, the Empire should have been pretty stable financially if the Rebels hadn't kept destroying these major infrastructure projects. – Valorum May 31 '16 at 0:59

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