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Faraer
30 July 2003, 06:01 AM
So, a fact from the Hyperspace section of starwars.com: the CG model of the Galactic Senate, previously said to have 1,024 pods -- and therefore the same number of senators -- actually has 2,048 according to John Knoll. This lessens the burden on each senator having to represent about a thousand of the million+ inhabited worlds (although sources continue to differ: Republic #55 has 'over a hundred thousand') and often more, since many Core World systems have their own representation. So this is good, and makes galactic politics less claustrophobic.

AzmoDanakar
30 July 2003, 10:47 AM
Which begs the question, are there Junior Senators and Senior Senators? Is representation that far removed from the people the contributing factor to the dissolution of the republic?

Faraer
30 July 2003, 11:14 AM
For the vast majority of its existence, the Republic is a near-Utopia, a legendary democratic golden age. The difficulties that realistically would occur in governing a galaxy -- just as those with a few thousand Jedi keeping the peace, or the Jedi Council coordinating the Jedi -- we must assume are overcome. (Star Wars consistently allows big things to be determined by smaller ones, whether the Senate, the Jedi, the heroes of Yavin, the 1,200,000 clone troopers, or the Battle of Endor.) When we consider the Republic's decay, which is only noticeable (except to a prescient few) in its last century, we imagine that the paths of government, which had worked smoothly for millennia, become impediments as the dark side cloaks the galaxy and, to quote, Jedi Quest #3, those with power hide the truth, and the weak go along in hopes they will become the strong.

What do you mean by junior senators? Each political unit (usually a sector but sometimes a system) has one senator and other representatives/aides who share the Senate box, as Jar Jar in Episode II, Baskol Yeesrim in Episode I, and Chom Frey Kaa in Twilight and Connus Trell in Bounty Hunter (who were presented as Twi'lek senators but treated by Lucas Licensing as representatives since the senator of Ryloth is Orn Free Taa). Some senators are more influential than others, but they're not divided formally. Then there's the Legislative Youth Program (http://www.holonetnews.com/50/news/1344_6.html).

Arkadin
30 July 2003, 11:15 AM
kinda makes sense that the lack of representation or unequal rep. in the Senate contributed to the downfall of the Republic. Remeber Qui-Gon couldn't get Watto to accept Republic credits? It seems that some places whether by poilitical or spatial distance weren't really part of the Republic they belonged too.

Oh and as a side note, equal representation is the reason why the US has a bi-cameral (sp?) legislature. The House makes sure that states are represented by population and the Senate gives an equal voice of 2 senators per state. Interesting to see that on our backward little world someone devised a fix for a galactic problem..*LOL*

Dax Freeman
30 July 2003, 11:19 AM
I think that there are probably Junior Senators. Jar Jar Binks is one example. He was the Representative of the Gungans on Naboo, and (theoretically) since the senate only recognized the Humans on Naboo, he became the Junior Senator so to speak under Padme Amidala, Senior Senator of Naboo.

I would also theorize that since we see almost all Senate pods with three individuals in them, that not all would have been elected at the same time. Thus bringing us back to Senior and Junior senators.

As far as this being a cause of the Republic's downfall, I don't think so. Junior Senators would have been an institution since the beginning of the Republic. The Senate had been falling apart since the end of the Sith War about a thousand years before Episode 1. The end of war brought about a new era of peace and tranquility. Politicians not worrying about saving the galaxy at large tend to worry about themselves.

Faraer
30 July 2003, 11:29 AM
Well, EU wise, there aren't junior senators because we'd have heard about them in our many views of Senate politics. And then to reverse direction, the idea that peace contributes to the fall of civilization is certainly opposite to Lucas's intent in the films. Peace and justice go hand in hand.

Dax Freeman
30 July 2003, 03:03 PM
Faraer, it may be true to Lucasfilms intent that peace and justice doesn't a Republic make fall, but let's look at our own history...
The most grand of Republic Earth has ever seen, the Roman Empire, was fallen by greed and corruption among its own Senate and Emperors, among other outside things. It lasted nearly a thousand years before it was crushed by its own inner workings. In the last half of that, the wars for domination over its neighboring lands were mostly over and the land rested in peace and tranquility (although subjugated by Roman Legions). Senators had time to squabble over petty things and finally when the world saw that the Empire was busy fighting itself, they pounced, eventually crushing Rome itself...and casting the world into the Dark Ages.
Oppositly, war doesn't especially make that same Republic fall. Let's look at the Cold War. Although the world held its breath at the thought of Kruschev or Kennedy pushing the button, the world also grew. The threat of war and or falling behind actually spurred more growth in technology, medicine, public works, socio-economic knowledge, etc. As it was, we didn't come to be destroyed, but I guess it could have happened just as easy

As far as not hearing about Junior Senators...well you don't hear about your average state's junior(freshman) senator or representative unless they do something bad or just plain dumb. They are "led" by the senior members of the Senate and usually what they say goes. Example...Jar Jar Binks allows the formation of the Grand Army of the Republic even though his Senior Senator was leading the opposition to it. Ooops. Don't think the galaxy will forget that one. ; )

Faraer
30 July 2003, 03:39 PM
Leaving aside pre-Episode I EU, which contradicts Lucas's intent on any number of issues, the Republic has only had two full-scale wars. It's a peaceful utopia that shows what can be accomplished when people cooperate and don't fight. Now, in its last thousand years the Republic does subtly decline because of the imbalance in the Force caused by the Sith, but Star Wars isn't a milieu in which people naturally squabble unless there are wars to distract them.

As far as Earth goes, I don't think the freely created Galactic Republic is comparable to the conquered Roman Empire (though I'm sure its Senate, or the version in movies, did influence the SW Senate). I'm no expert on Roman history, but I know the causes of Rome's fall are disputed, and that historical empires, governments that expanded past their natural borders, have always been finite war or no. The Clone War and the Galactic Civil War, like the War of the Ring, represent a sudden brief apocalypse in which long-sleeping forces resolve themselves to determine the fate of the cosmos. It partakes of the imagery and even the meaning of our World Wars but it's mythology, not history. And there have been any number of non-full-scale wars in the Republic; and the one we know about in the EU, the Stark Hyperspace War, was a stage in the Republic's fall.

As for junior senators, I'm just speaking for the Lucasfilm continuity, and none of the descriptions of Jar Jar in Episode II call him that. I also wouldn't want to link the SW government too closely with that of the United States (it had slipped my mind that the US has junior senators, since I don't live there).

Dax Freeman
30 July 2003, 04:30 PM
After our little discussion here, I can see where we can both agree.

You do make some very good points about galactic apocalypses and the such. I don't disagree that the Darkside of the Force and the imbalance it caused was/is a great driving force for the downfall of the Republic. However, the imbalance could have come about because there were only two Sith, while the Jedi numbered in the thousands. To all things there must be balance. If either side is tipped, the outcome is always evil. Darth Sidious just found out that by playing the forces of Light against one another they would eventually destroy themselves, and with a little help it just happens/ed faster.

I just think that in a thousand years of relative peace since the Sith War, the matters of peace and justice would be easy for the thousands of Senators and tens of thousands of worlds to take care of. Internal squabbling and the general complacancy of the Senate overrides the will to make the galaxy a better place. And even though SW is a mythical beast, it's based on reality. Take a look at the US. We are based on Rome as our basis of basis.

I don't disagree that even within those thousand years there were terrible conflicts between worlds and governments of those worlds. There must have been, see Ep I where the government of Naboo goes to the Senate to ask for help because the Trade Federation is taking over the planet. The Senate has to send a committee to the planet to verify the attack because it wasn't even sure that there was an attack. I'm sure most worlds are/were taking things into thier own hands...and thusly the Jedi are the ones making sure its all fair.

And it doesn't much matter to me about Junior/Senior Senators. I was just making a comment. Binks is referred to as Representative so he may not even be a Senator at all to begin with but he did take the place of Senator Amidala.

I don't want to get into a fight here. I'm just expressing my views.

Ardent
31 July 2003, 06:31 AM
Actually, evidence is coming to light that Rome collapsed because without territories to conquer and exploit, it simply could not shoulder the cost of running an empire any more and dissolved because of legionnaire payroll issues. When you have that many professional soldiers suddenly without pay, you get mercenaries, and mercenaries allow wealthier men to carve out kingdoms. ;)

AzmoDanakar
31 July 2003, 07:36 AM
It bears noting that Rome fell for many reasons. My personal favorite of which is it extensive network of good roads. The 'barbarians' were able to use the roads as well as the Romans to gain access to its holdings. Could such parallels be drawn with Hyperspace routes and X4 and faster modifiers?
As far as Junior Senators, maybe that wasn't the correct term, I did mean what has been stated about Jar Jar and such. Just wondering if there is was an attempt to give equal voice to all within the Republic. Selonians and Drall for example being represented along with the humans of Corellia, savvy?

Faraer
31 July 2003, 03:13 PM
I don't want to get into a fight here. I'm just expressing my views.Absolutely.

You'd certainly think there'd be Selonian/Drall planetary representatives, except that's an area of the EU I have trouble with because if the senator of Corellia appeared in Episode III as an extra, MAYBE Lucasfilm would call him Garm Bel Iblis, but I doubt they'd create a whole alien makeup to match an EU species.

If we take the Republic as including 100,000 full-member worlds and 1,000,000 settled dependencies, the average per senator is 50 member worlds and 500 colonies, which matches the 36 full-member worlds of the Chommell sector represented by senators Palpatine and Amidala (a figure supported by Lucas in that he lowered that figure from a higher number in the Episode I Visual Dictionary manuscript).

Wampa Jedi
31 July 2003, 08:07 PM
Not going to get into real world politocs, I just want to throw out how theRepublic senate works in MY game.

Most worlds have there own governments. They in turn elect someone to represent them in the galactic senate. Some smaller worlds may share 1 galactic senator, some have there own like Naboo. Some corporations are also so large that they have a voice in the government, Trade Federation for example.

The jedi worked with the senate to keep the peace between these governements. For example when the Trade Federation blockades the planet Naboo, this can be in commite and debated for a while. The senate sends out the Jedi to get an impartial view of the situation or to help with negotions.

Thats my simplified view of the republic political structure.