This stood out to me, mostly because Palpatine (as far as the movies go) is a bad literary character /empreparestobeflamedbygeorgelucasfanboys. His rise to power was, quite frankly, ridiculous. He is the product of a bad writer. The Sith Empire in SWTOR is far better written and much more believable in terms of how they function and how they came to power, but that's true of most of the Extended Universe.
Darth Vader and Palpatine were examples of great villains who were bad leaders and would never have been able to run a successful organization that wasn't fantasy. Darth Vader is a fool. Palpatine is a walking deus ex machina. The scene where Palpatine declares the Republic is now an "Empire" is so unbelievable and contrived, it reminds me more of the Nazi Party's Beer Hall Putsch in Munich than Hitler's (or any other successful dictators) rise to power.
It just reminds me of the scene Lucas inserted at the end of ROTJ of crowds celebrating in Coruscant when Palpatine "dies"... as if the Empire suddenly zapped back into being the Republic again just as quickly as the Republic became the Empire.
Oh and for some historical context...if you know anything about Emperor Augustus (Rome's first true Emperor after the Republic "fell")... he never called himself an Emperor. That was the beauty of it and why he was so successful.
Oh, sure. But knowing the SW stories, we have to take few things as granted. I agree that Palpatine was like a "rabbit out of the magicians hat", but hey, he is kinda canonical now. His rise to power was more than ridiculous, but not entirely impossible.
There were few factors that actually helped, namely:
- Senate's indolence to recognize arising problems;
- private businesses having higher priority than common sense;
- "colossus inertia" of the Republic
- Palpatine's incredible talents in plotting and finding "tools" and leverages to control the situation
All that in fact does not fall far from current situation on Earth (or at least in EU) and it seems it is quite repeatable course of events.
Yes, I have read about Augustus.
But what really makes me sorry is the fact that the so called "Christians" have ruthlessly destroyed the biggest and the most smart empire on this planet - Byzantium.
Those guys had it all. Way much more democratic and tolerant than anything else humanity invented.
Ok, there was corruption and palace wars (they are everywhere) and all kinds of other problems, but at least they knew that allowing some basic freedoms (religion, speech, work for profit) to their people would only result in country growth.
But yeah, the "unlimited greed for gold and power" of so called Western Empire has removed them form this planet. During the Crusade. How ironic is that....