Timmy elsewhere

The Galaxy Needs A Central Bank After Death Star, Emperor Palpatine And The Rebel Alliance Triumph

36 thoughts on “Timmy elsewhere”

  1. The Empire probably simply took the materials and used slave (sorry, “conscripted”) labour resources to build the Death Stars. Additionally, in such a huge economy one moon-sized battle station is probably less than a modern aircraft carrier in terms of costs. Have you seen the size of their aircraft carriers (those big battleship things).

    And secondly, if you need a Central Bank, your banking system is admitting it’s shit. Let the market destroy it, and replace it with a better one that can manage risk properly.

  2. I have to admit I’m one of those people who think “where’s the infrastructure behind this?” when watching these sorts of films. PTerry did several times highlight the huge background infrastructure a London-sized city needs just so the people there can actually find food in the shops, and Asimov occassionally touched on the economics of Galaxy-striding polities.

    Conscripts/slaves is all well and good for lumpen labour, but not for high-skilled engineering like a space station. You can’t just make somebody into a aerospace engineer at the point of a gun.

  3. The USSR was pretty good at “allocating” skilled labour. Built a space programme with it. Anyone can be conscripted if the alternative is the Gulag for you and/or your family. When the system is like that, people just accept it.

    But to be fair, Star Wars isn’t a hard science fiction universe, let alone a hard economics universe. Compared to reality, it rapidly breaks down in all kinds of ways. It’s just a setting for a story.

    The thing that bugs me is nobody ever points out that the explosions are all wrong. A planet exploding (or even a space station the size of a moon) would look really, really slow from a distance. Not like something the size of a beach ball blowing up, which is of course what we’re actually watching.

  4. It was never really very clear what was so bad about the Empire’s governance anyway. They seemed to leave people pretty much alone, unless you were a “terrorist”.

  5. Ian B,

    There’s a scene that was edited out of Star Wars (I guess for brevity) where Luke and his friends Biggs are talking and Biggs explains the situation: “What good is all your uncle’s work if its taken over by the Empire?… You know they’re starting to nationalize commerce in the central systems…
    it won’t be long before your uncle is merely a tenant, slaving for the greater glory of the Empire.”

  6. I always wondered why they went and built another one when the first Death Star had such massive security flaws.

  7. “it won’t be long before your uncle is merely a tenant, slaving for the greater glory of the Empire”

    What exactly was Lukes straw chewing, bumpkin Uncle growing on Planet Sand anyway?

  8. The USSR didn’t build a space programming with conscript labour. They were very well paid by Soviet standards.

    More importantly compare the almost complete lack of Soviet innovation in any project that wasn’t their #1 priority. So much was poured into modest advances in (Nazi originally) rockets that they couldn’t even build a decent toaster. Once the US started to compete at anything the Soviets were quickly left behind.

    The lack on any significant Soviet innovations (not just engineering) is an appalling indictment of collectivised led thinking.

  9. So Much For Subtlety

    Chester Draws – “The USSR didn’t build a space programming with conscript labour. They were very well paid by Soviet standards.”

    Korolev was deemed by the NKVD to be insufficiently enthusiastic about whatever the Soviet state asked him to work on. So he was sent to Kolyma. After a few years of starvation and over-work, he was still alive, and the Soviet state graciously offered him a second chance. He could work on the Soviet rocket program or he could go out and log some trees for the rest of his short life. Needless to say he was bursting with eagerness to prove himself a loyal Soviet citizen.

    A noted driver of his team. He really did not want to go back.

  10. Chester Draws – I have heard all my life that we (U.S.) won the space race because our Germans were better than their Germans.

  11. It’s taken nearly 40 years for me to learn that the Galactic Empire’s evil was Socialism. No doubt we’ll meet Darth Attlee in this new film they’ve made…

  12. So Much For Subtlety

    Ian B – “It’s taken nearly 40 years for me to learn that the Galactic Empire’s evil was Socialism. No doubt we’ll meet Darth Attlee in this new film they’ve made…”

    As if Hollywood would make that film. No wonder it got cut.

    In real life, the inspiration was the Viet Cong. You know, as the good guys. Which probably explains why the good guys turn out to be a small committee of unelected and unaccountable political radicals who control “democracy” through fake elections and sham parliaments.

  13. “where’s the infrastructure behind this?”
    There is a bit of fluff about this in the TIE Fighter game that was set from just after the Battle of Hoth to just before the Battle of Endor.

    There were several missions based around the enormous amount of resources being poured into the Endor system to build the Death Star, slaves as well as construction materials.

    The Alliance knew something big was being built, but didn’t know what or where exactly until the Emperor gave the information away to lure them into a trap. Before finding out they’d been blowing shit up like normal and raiding convoys. The “many Bothans died for this information” bit from the film was supposed to be about the rescue of a load of slave labours from one of the those convoys. That mission had you (a TIE Fighter pilot) knocking out a lot of rebel ships to ‘sell’ the rescue as the Emperor had wanted the convoy raided so the Alliance would find out about the Death Star.

  14. So Much For Subtlety

    Ian B – “And secondly, if you need a Central Bank, your banking system is admitting it’s shit. Let the market destroy it, and replace it with a better one that can manage risk properly.”

    There is never a sensible reason to build anything the size of a small moon if small ships the size of the Falcon can travel between stars. It is almost as if they have not heard of nuclear weapons. The US won’t risk their carriers anywhere near people who *might* shoot back.

    But clearly what the Empire is missing is some Ferengi to run the Imperial Central Bank for them. I suggest they import some. I mean, look how much Jar Jar Binks enriched their story lines.

  15. I still don’t get why they had to fly all the way along that horizontal trench to shoot into a vertical exhaust port either. Especially as the designers seem to have thought they would fly down it as well, hence all the guns, guns which can’t hit something flying in a straight line down a narrow trench.

    Or why you’d design a fighter that needs an additional robot for basic control functions, stuck in a hole in the fuselage with its top sticking out.

  16. So Much For Subtlety

    Ian B – “I still don’t get why they had to fly all the way along that horizontal trench to shoot into a vertical exhaust port either.”

    Well if it was a later film I would say it was to sell the game rights. Some of the prequels were basically three outlines for computer games strung together with something loosely called a plot. What is the pod race but an excuse to sell merchandise?

    I assume it was because they were raised on WW2 air combat films and had just not got their heads around the whole 3-D space thing.

    “Or why you’d design a fighter that needs an additional robot for basic control functions, stuck in a hole in the fuselage with its top sticking out.”

    Actually that I can believe. Modern fighters already are so complex that a lot of the flying is done by an additional set of computers. That is even if you ignore the inherent designed instability that means planes like the F-16 can only be kept flying properly by computer because they have a strong tendency to do otherwise.

  17. “I still don’t get why they had to fly all the way along that horizontal trench to shoot into a vertical exhaust port either.”

    It was suppose to be a like the Dam Busters. There was only one way to line up the shot because it was ‘shielded’ from above. But really Star Wars is like Star Trek (and frankly most Sci-fi) you shouldn’t think to hard about it…that way lies madness.

  18. So Much For Subtlety

    Crazed Weevil – “But really Star Wars is like Star Trek (and frankly most Sci-fi) you shouldn’t think to hard about it…that way lies madness.”

    Sure. After all, once a single fighter has got to that trench, the game is over for the Death Star. A single nuclear device exploded outside would ruin their day. They would not even have to do that. I am sure the Alliance, perhaps with some Jedi Mind Tricks to help, could find someone willing to ram their fighter into the Death Star. How much energy does the Falcon going to 0.9 c represent?

    It is entertainment and nothing else.

    So I suggest we concentrate on the really important questions. Like did Leia have sex with Jabba? I think so. We should ask why Star Wars is enabling rape culture.

  19. “Chester Draws – I have heard all my life that we (U.S.) won the space race because our Germans were better than their Germans.”

    It’s a line from the movie The Right Stuff.

  20. ‘It’s a line from the movie The Right Stuff.’

    The line was in use well before the movie. Obviously, Wolfe had heard it.

  21. So Much For Subtlety

    Bloke in Malta – “she “strangles Jabba the Hutt with the literal chains of the patriarchy”…”

    You know I find that a pretty sexist assumption. How do we know that Jabba is male?

    I think when it comes to obese aliens that binary gender assumption is pretty weak.

  22. Going back to the economics briefly, isn’t there a semi-independent Trade Federation and (in the more recent movies) a Banking Federation that is autonomous enough to finance a rebellion?

    Which suggests that the financial structures of the galaxy would be far more robust to the Emperor’s death than this paper believes.

  23. Crazed Weevil – There’s a similar line in the classic “Thumb Wars” (all three films conflated into one, played by thumbs):

    “Use the instrument panel, Luke, that’s what it’s there for”

  24. SMfS: “assumption. How do we know that Jabba is male?”

    Apparently they are hermaphrodic like worms. Iucky bastards.

  25. Richard wrote:
    “Going back to the economics briefly, isn’t there a semi-independent Trade Federation and (in the more recent movies) a Banking Federation that is autonomous enough to finance a rebellion?

    Which suggests that the financial structures of the galaxy would be far more robust to the Emperor’s death than this paper believes.”

    In the storyline, Palpatine effectively nationalised the banks just before the fall of the republic (and he became emperor). However, this appears to have been a fascist arrangement rather than socialist, as the Banking Clans carried on semi-independently.

    The upcoming film appears to be set in a period of serious economic decline following galactic civil war. It’ll be interesting to see if Abrams adopts Lucas’s youthful independent approach or his later Hollywood leftwattery. That there has been a non-story-driven decision to have female and black leads does perhaps hint toward the latter.

  26. ‘It’ll be interesting to see if Abrams adopts Lucas’s youthful independent approach or his later Hollywood leftwattery.’

    Not interesting enough to get me to go see the movie.

  27. So Much For Subtlety

    Steve – “Space drugs.”

    Influence of Dune? No doubt it was part of Lucas’s effort to reach out to ordinary Americans. Who are, of course, a bunch of inbred moonshiners.

    Dongguan John – “Apparently they are hermaphrodic like worms. Iucky bastards.”

    There you go. Jabba should be given the Caitlin Award for Personal Heroism or something. Not an example of the oppressive chains of patriarchy at all. More like, helping Princess Leia come to terms with her inherent bisexuality.

    Excuse me, I think I need to have a lie down now.

    But anyway, Frank’n’Fatter is clearly not one of us but one of them.

    PJF – “It’ll be interesting to see if Abrams adopts Lucas’s youthful independent approach or his later Hollywood leftwattery. That there has been a non-story-driven decision to have female and black leads does perhaps hint toward the latter.”

    Hint? Come on. There is no way he is not going to make a leftwattery film. That is why he was chosen. Even as a youth Lucas was a left wing ar$ehole. The Rebels were inspired by the Viet Cong.

    Gamecock – “Not interesting enough to get me to go see the movie.”

    I am afraid I probably will. Reluctantly.

    Ian B – “The Abrams movie will probably be shit, just sort of big budget fanfic.”

    If only. Nothing wrong with fanfic. But Lucas et al seem determined to spit all over their fans. Just google “Han shot first”.

  28. So Much For Subtlety:
    “Even as a youth Lucas was a left wing ar$ehole. The Rebels were inspired by the Viet Cong.”

    Maybe I wasn’t concentrating at the time, but I get the impression that the Rebels/Ewoks = Viet Cong bollocks is part of the later Mr Guilty Liberal Billionaire Corporatist Lucas, not the Han-shot-first; move this walking carpet out of my way; Indy-just-shoots-the-raghead early hungry Lucas.

    “That is why he was chosen.”

    Abrams’ Star Trek was a hell of a lot more naughty fun than anything since the original. And Super 8 caught that seventies / eighties vibe quite well. I shall remain uncharacteristically hopeful until Disney pisses all over me.

    I don’t think I can go to the cinema anymore without committing mass murder (they all deserved it your honour). But I may upgrade my home AV for the HD Blue Ray release.

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