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In episode 6 of Star Wars Rebels ("Empire Day") I noticed the Imperial Crest being displayed in a black/white/red color scheme in a few scenes of the episode, distinctly resembling the colors of the Nazi flag.

I've seen all of the released movies (including bonus material from the DVDs), watched The Clone Wars TV Series and the film as well as having read related magazines (and played a few games set in this era like Empire at War, Jedi Knight 2 and 3), but I cannot remember the crest being displayed on a particular color background – It's normally black, white, grey or no background.

Is it just me? Have I overlooked something in the media listed above? Has the crest been depicted like this in other media previously?

I'm interested in both in and out-of-universe answers. Does this relate solely to Empire day or have we seen it elsewhere?

enter image description here

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    Regarding on whether or not the crest has been displayed like that in other media - the only fully canon materials are the 6 movies, the Clone Wars series, Rebels and a few books from this year. They are not at all beholden to whatever designs were displayed in previous games, books or comics. Also, there have historically been connections made between Nazis and the Empire. This just feels like one more.
    – phantom42
    Dec 17, 2014 at 15:25
  • I've edited out the unnecessary chatter. The question is an excellent one and stands up perfectly well without it.
    – Valorum
    Dec 17, 2014 at 15:34

4 Answers 4

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The Empire and its Imperial Troops was almost certainly lifted from the nazis as George Lucas generation, as well as the previous one, were personnally tied to World War 2.

If you watch the movie straight through from 1 to 6, you can also make correlations to different wars and movement within the 19th and 20th centuries.

In this vein though, the Empire were a bunch of straight-up Nazis; they didn't even go out of their way to defferentiate between the uniform of a Nazi officer and the uniform of an Imperial Officer at all.

SW-Nazi resemblance

Im pretty sure that Disney simply want to keep this aspect in mind.

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  • Sorry for not being clear enough: I want answers to be as less as possible about political movements, actual wars or anything associated and as much as possible about Star Wars. I know from the DVD bonus materials of 4-6 that George Lucas used WW2 footage as the basis for some scenes. So some SW uniforms are likely to look like from the 1940s and all of these, being it allies or axis, look very similar as they are based on almost the same technology and had the same function to fulfil. You can do a one-to-many comparison, but I don't see how a comparison of uniforms relates to my question.
    – LiveWireBT
    Dec 23, 2014 at 12:39
  • oh ok then... use your rep and put a bounty :P
    – Rocket
    Dec 23, 2014 at 16:40
  • The Imperial and Nazi uniforms look similar but I think it's far too strong to say that "they didn't even go out of their way to differentiate" them. The Nazis were evil but they knew how to make great looking uniforms -- nothing like those ridiculous Imperial rank-squares, for example.
    – Null
    Feb 19, 2015 at 14:27
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There's not many shows of public Imperial pomp and ceremony shown in Star Wars prior to the events of Empire Day in Rebels. So it may just be that this is the first depiction of it.

The Force Awakens was in development concurrently with the first season of Rebels and we do get a flavour from the Empire's successor, the First Order, using similar motifs.

Red First Order Banner from The Force Awakens

I can't find any interviews which state that one might have directly inspired the other, but they're both adapted from similar real-world inspiration. The Rebels Recon for that episode mentions that they wanted to show how the Empire attempts to convince everyday people that they are better off under the Empire, and it would make sense (given the notorious and deliberate similarities between the Empire and the Nazis) that the design team would use a similar design scheme for the banners.

Beyond that, we also have the very first, Empire Day, which was actually a promotional event for Empire Strikes Back. While it doesn't use the Imperial crest, it does use red in it's official logo.

Happy Empire Day artwork from 1980

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This reddit post helpfully organized some other examples of the banner.

enter image description here

A Two-Edged Sword, misidentified in the post as A Double-Edged Sword, is the apparent earliest example, being a Legends story from 2005.

One also appears in Star Wars: Propaganda:

enter image description here

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Hanging banners is common among empires, as well as nice clothes outfits. It's all about symbolism.

Even though they aren't alike, George Lucas wanted them to resemble WW2 and the German Reich. While they are inspired by them and have similarities they aren't very "Nazi" to me.

Regarding the Empire with banners, it's simple; it's an Empire, they hang banners a lot. Be it Rome, Germany, Soviet Union, etc.

You'll also find that pretty much 95% of the weapon props from the original trilogy are that of WW2 prop-guns stripped down and put things on it to make it look more science fiction.

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    Sorry but the question was "Has the crest been depicted like this [on a red background] in other media previously?"
    – LiveWireBT
    Jan 6, 2016 at 0:16
  • Yeah, but this kind of banner is definitely a Leni Riefenstahl/*Triumph des Willens* reference. Mar 19, 2017 at 6:34

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