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This month (July 2011) on the GeekNights Book Club, we discuss Isaac Asimov's Foundation. It's a science fiction classic that every person should read, and it might not be quite what you expect.
The next book, for August 2011, is The Ear, The Eye, and The Arm by Nancy Farmer.
Also, nice backdating :B
To answer my own question, it's just an introductory episode for the Book Club and Scrym making your mouth watery for The Prince of Nothing.
Feedback: My one and only complaint stands: In a universe that had a bazillion worlds ( I can't remember the exact #) there HAS to exist schools/academics/universities to support this infrastructure, just like on earth.
Cutting the proverbial umbilical cord *should not* plunge each world into the dark ages. It should plunge each world (i.e 6 billion people) into over drive to strive for survival. All the academics and teachers and of course the workers would pool their knowledge and create an independent planet.
My example? Planet fucking Earth.
Imagine RIGHT NOW we are cut off from a "Galactic Hierarchy". Can we keep nuclear power going? Yes. Can we keep experimenting? Fuck yes. Can we keep our universities and academia going? Of course. Because we do RIGHT NOW.
Just a single planet could/should keep going. As Earth keeps going, so should any planet cut off from the empire.
People going to work that shit out.
When interstellar travel is trivial, the boundries of planets won't be so intimidating, and entire planets could conveivably specialize their knowledge/trade.
However, that said, I do agree with you. There's gotta be more than a few hundred thousand scholars. I'd imagine that some planets would be dedicated to academics and science, since we're talking in a purely macro sense. And those planets would be able to still make things work.
It never makes it clear, but you have to assume this for it to work I guess.
Ordered The Ear, The Hand and The Knee. God damn, wont arrive until an estimated 3 September!
Not like the episode will be on time anyway, :P
So shall I pre-order the Little Prince while I'm at it?
Yes, later in the stories your faith in Seldon is tested.
Also, if Leia was one of the main agitators/fomentors of the rebellion - even if she started from an early age, the Rebellion wouldn't have had very much time to get organized and on its feet. That whole timeline doesn't make sense to me.
It sort of reminds me of England under Oliver Cromwell. There was some odd oppressive stuff for about eleven years, but then things quickly went back to normal after he died. During those eleven years, most people just decided to wait things out, especially since there was no clear way that the Protectorate could last beyond Cromwell's life.
I mean, imagine if tomorrow you were handed sole control over the entire US government and all it's various arms, and you wanted to be as evil as you could, think what kind of power you'd have. You wouldn't need 20 years to become a rather scary and oppressive empire.
As to the latter, Leia wasn't a main agitator or formentor of the rebellion, it was actually Bail Organa, her father, and a group he got together with, who saw what was coming before Palpatine took over, and had started planting the seeds and gathering allies before Leia or the Empire were really born. Leia was one of the leaders, later on, but this was again a case of having the keys to the kingdom handed to her after her father died when her planet was destroyed, and even then, she wasn't really the head of the rebellion, but one of the leaders - the head of the rebellion, as much as there was such a thing, was actually Mon Mothma, the older, red-headed woman you see in the movies from time to time. In the first movie, she's even a representative in the Galactic senate, a position that it's doubtful she could have held if she was a leader of the rebellion at that time, and indeed, she only really became a true leader within the movement after she no longer held that position.
I really think that, if I were living there, I'd just lay low in a small town somewhere and see how things pan out, knowing that there'd be some sort of power struggle after P's death that would likely result in a much weakened Empire as a whole.
Also, the empire didn't die with Palpatine - It was only really defeated properly once the rebels took Coruscant, during a time when the empire was ruled by Isard. Even after that, there were still imperial warlords cruising about and causing trouble, not to mention those who gave up their imperial stylings, and just outright became pirates.
But that's all EU sort of stuff, and really not the kinda thing you're expected to know without making at least a cursory examination of that materiel.
I do have to agree, though - the empire really was more impressive as a mysterious, evil, galaxy-spanning empire like it is in the original films, than as the thoroughly explained Evil Empire of the EU. They're still rather impressive in the latter, but most certainly less so.
Also, they call it the "Old Republic" emphasis on the old. Apparently, it's not that old!
Seriously, I'll bet that Jan Solo has personal memories of the Old Republic. Boba Fett clearly would.
Except, that would be fan-fiction.
I think the Rome analog is probably a pretty good one. Even as the Empire was collapsing, the Romans were still the biggest name in the business and the scariest individual power around. It's name still had influence but was writing checks they couldn't cash anymore, and they had tons of nominal vassals who in reality just did whatever they wanted. At the end of the Old Republic's life, it could no longer enforce the law outside the Core; it had become little more than a vast bureaucracy moving around a lot of flimsiplast but not really accomplishing anything; a good visual indicator of how hard times had become for them is to look at the diplomatic ship they sent to the blockade of Naboo at the start of Episode 1; this thing was carrying two Jedi Knights and was painted the full red of a diplomatic vessel, but it was old, beat up, and seriously worn out. By contrast, the Queen of Naboo, a planet which is remarkable merely in that it is an bureaucratic sector capital without any real power, maintains a stable of chromed spacecraft for royal business, and the Trade Federation's sterile capital ships and sharp-edged, super-advanced droid fighters are meticulously maintained; it's visual shorthand for the Roman ambassador showing up with shoes worn from travel to mediate between a king decked out in jewels and a mercenary captain with fine armour and a silvered sword.
So, while technically the Old Republic disappeared merely twenty years ago, most of the characters in Star Wars would have only vaguely been aware of it's existence in the first place, with their sector governments or local corporate interests having far more power over an area. Even the Jedi would have been mythical to most even while they were still active. It's not hard to imagine the Republic fading away in importance before being suddenly and violently reborn as an Empire with the military might to show up at the doors of their on-paper territories and reminding everyone who was in charge.
As for X-Wings looking less advanced and more beat up, that has little to do with the time period and a lot more to do with the fact they are being maintained by rebel mechanics more concerned with getting them working than making them look pretty; heck, they've pulled all the armour off the Y-Wings just to make maintenance easier. The Tie-Fighters of the Imperials are a better indicator of the tech base of the OT; hyper-compact and extremely efficient designs with minimum weight penalty, providing an extremely small target and with no more equipment than it needs.
The reason that only Terminus had nuclear power wasn't because they kept it for the last 50 years, while everyone suddenly lost the HAS_NUCLEICS attribute because they left the empire which grants it. The encyclopedists brought with them (from Trantor- home of the greatest library of the empire, which you can guess from the first story, and is confirmed in the 3rd book) knowledge of nucleics, which was already lost on the fringes by that time.
P.S. You will also be happy to know that among all the stories there is a female protagonist: a 14 year old girl. So yeah, I guess you should do all your heroics before you turn 18, then it's baby-factory time!