(note: The Beaverton is taking the rare step of publishing an anonymous Op-Ed essay. We have done so at the request of the author, a senior Commander on the Death Star whose identity is known to us and who would be in danger of being force lightsaber murdered by its disclosure.)
Emperor Palpatine is facing a test to his ironclad dominion of the entire known universe, unlike any faced by a modern galactic leader.
It’s not just that the Jedi Counsel looms large (namely because he ordered them all executed). Or that the galaxy is bitterly divided over Emperor Palpatine’s leadership.
The dilemma — which he does not fully grasp even though he can literally read minds — is that many of the senior Imperial officials are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.
I would know. I am one of them.
To be clear, ours is not the popular “resistance” of the Rebel Alliance. (Ugh, those Rebel scum). We want the Empire to succeed and think that many of its policies have already made the galaxy safer and more prosperous. At least for us, anyway.
That is why many of Palpatine’s jackbooted warlords have vowed to do what we can to preserve our Imperial institutions while thwarting Emperor Palpatine’s more misguided impulses until he is out of office, or in the unlikely event that he is hurled down a reactor chute while shooting lightning.
Although he was elected as an Imperial, the Emperor shows little affinity for ideals long espoused by us space conservatives: free minds, free markets and free vaguely humanoid creatures. At best, he has invoked these ideals in scripted settings. At worst, he has attacked them outright with the lightning from his hands that I mentioned earlier.
Don’t get me wrong. There are bright spots that the near-ceaseless negative coverage of this autocratic galactic Empire fails to capture: effective deregulation, historic tax reform, the complete annihilation of the planet Alderaan, and more.
But these successes have come despite — not because of — the Emperor’s leadership style, which is impetuous, adversarial, creepy, and largely based around choking subordinates to death with his mind.
Meetings with him veer off topic and off the rails, he engages in endless evil cackling, and his impulsiveness results in half-baked decisions, such as building a second Death Star with basically the exact same design flaw.
This isn’t the work of the so-called “Deep Empire”. It’s the work of the Steady Empire, which is basically just like the Deep Empire except we are onboard with about 98% of what the Emperor wants to do and are happy to use him to name Imperial Judges to lifetime appointments (so that we can stop wookies from controlling their reproductive rights).
Given the instability many witnessed, there were early whispers within the Empire of invoking the 25th Amendment, which I’m pretty sure was some kind of big laser. But no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis, or risk getting lightning-ed. So we will do what we can to steer the Empire in the right direction until — one way or another — it’s over.
Obi Wan Kenobi – a lodestar for restoring honor to public life and our galactic dialogue – put it best in his farewell remarks. All Imperial citizens should stand up to the Emperor, by laying down their weapons and not putting up any resistance whatsoever.
There is a quiet resistance within the Empire of people choosing to put the galaxy first. But there’s also a very loud Rebellion that are actively fighting a war against him, and if they succeed, I will absolutely pretend that I was on that side all along.