I think we can all agree Jarjar Binks gets a bad wrap. If there’s still some hatred left in your soul for the beleaguered Gungun I’d recommend reviewing some of the videos that speculated his Sith lordship. The evidence is compelling, I assure you. With that out of the way I have one more bone to pick with the guy. He was obviously responsible for the downfall of the Galactic Republic by calling for immediate emergency powers to be rendered to Chancellor Palpatine who we later find out [Spoiler Alert] is the Emperor featured in the prior sequels (a sentence which rarely makes sense outside of Starwars). However, when you think more deeply about the structure of the galactic senate maybe it wasn’t Jarjar’s fault after all.
What kind of deliberative body allows a total rando (perhaps part of Padme’s delegation) to make a sweeping declaration that robs the entire Galactic Senate of its legislative authority and grants supreme executive authority to the Chancellor based on a singular vote. I mean, what were the limits of the Chancellor’s powers anyway? Also, I’m sure that room wasn’t big enough to hold a representative from every single world, and by world do we mean world or do we mean distinct government authority of some type, like a league of some sort that has multiple planetary holdings. Wait a minute… I’m lost, where was I?
The point is this: Considering the movies as standalone features meant to be viewed and understood without the aid of other material in the IP (and there’s A LOT of stuff) there’s just not much said about the way the government operates in Star Wars. I think, really, this is the case because it’s there to serve a dual purpose, to demonstrate the Emperor’s cunning and to set the desperate scene for the sequels. Could you imagine if great pains were taken to make the Senate realistic and demonstrate this to the viewer. You could write a whole political intrigue drama about one of Sidious’ clerks (Darth Addendum) gaming the system and exploiting loopholes in the Galactic Constitution (is there one?) concerning prosecutorial discretion on the part of the chancellor’s office which allows him to use back channels to ignore growing aggression from the trade federation until the time is ripe! But that doesn’t sound as exciting as Sidious throwing floating chair thingies at Yoda, at least not to their target market. Would Lucas have benefited from developing his Senate? Maybe, but the gains would have been measured in raised eyebrows from constitutional scholars and NY Times crossword puzzlers, not sure it would’ve impressed 11 year old me.
But you know what did? Throwing chairs at Yoda.
Stay tuned for more writing from the WorldCraft Club as we explore worldbuilding and the crafting of fictional settings to inspire your creativity.
We’re happy to host guest blogs on here whenever we can, it gives James a break and let’s other people contribute their ideas. Let us know if you have a worldbuilding concept or strategy to get off your chest, we’d love to hear it.