Hoth: The Failure of Imperial Military Doctrine

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BurnedOutMyEyes:

Ishal:

BurnedOutMyEyes:

Or at Kotor II and lose all hope.

Thats cute.

Kotor II garners a lot of dislike, but it ain't nearly as bad as clone wars animated or the prequels.

KOTOR I and II were the best thing to happen to Star Wars especially coming out around the time the prequels were alienating everybody.

Never said a bad thing about it.
It's probably the best Star Wars game I played, definitely my favourite, and if it weren't for the fact that the ending was basically a shitty placeholder (kind of acceptable, considering they had about a year and had to dash it for a stupid christmas release because LucasArts grrr) and the miles upon miles of cut content, I'd wholeheartedly say it's a masterpiece.
Certainly the best story to come out of Star Wars, far as I'm concerned, and its deliberately un Star Wars-like approach to questions of belief, morality, affection and war were just brilliantly insightful in my opinion.

It was a really fucking depressing game though.

Ahh. I think I misinterpreted what you meant then. Seeing a game like that being rushed out by Lucas Arts would make me lose hope too. Is that more along the lines of what you meant?

Yes, I agree with what you said as well. The un Star Wars-like approach is what sets it apart from nearly everything else Star Wars. Also, yes it was depressing. But I believe that was necessary.

A_Parked_Car:
As a fourth year military history major, I had the biggest smirk on my face the entire time that I read this. Brilliant.

One nitpick would be the caricature of the Second World War-era Red Army. They actually developed an extremely advanced form of combined arms doctrine by the end of the war (Deep Operations). Something that they had been organizing their forces around years before Germany did. Then the great purges took place and with it was chaos that took until around mid-1943 (or early-1944 depending on who you ask) before the Red Army really recovered fully. Not to mention the full-scale reorganization after the Winter War with Finland that was still not complete when the Germans attacked on June 22, 1941.

Even after the reemergence of deep operations theory post Stalingrad the red army never achieved the theoretical norms. Tukhachevsky called for combined arms from strategic to tactical levels. The Red army was never capable of coordinating arms at low level and instead relied on massed frontal assaults to achieve breakthroughs.

The problem the Empire really had was that they had geared their entire military to face an enemy that had similar amounts of resources to them, effectively preparing to fight a Force against Force war, akin to the United States prepping to fight the Soviets during the Cold War. What happened instead was that they got very lopsided wars - Vietnam, War on Terror, etc, or in their case the Rebellion, when they were prepping to fight the Yuuzhan Vong.

albino boo:

Even after the reemergence of deep operations theory post Stalingrad the red army never achieved the theoretical norms. Tukhachevsky called for combined arms from strategic to tactical levels. The Red army was never capable of coordinating arms at low level and instead relied on massed frontal assaults to achieve breakthroughs.

This is true. The Red Army was never a "scalpel" so to say. It was more of a "sledgehammer", but one that was wielded with far more precision than is so widely circulated outside of academic circles. Anyway, it is always nice to run into another student of military history. :D

bdcjacko:

But lets just look at the beginning of Star Wars (some times referred to as a New Hope). The Empire is hunting a "princess" who is also a spy and military leader and very important to this rebel cause. She just stole some sort of "plans" that are very important to them. At any point they could have killed her or blown up her ship so these plans would not have leaked. But for some reason they want her alive which gives her enough time to download the plans into some sort of robot and put it in an escape pod.

Not that I want to get caught up in Star Wars debates but I thought they wanted to capture her in order to learn about the hidden Rebel Base of Operation.

I would argue that an Imperial garassion suppression policy was actually necessary because of how the empire came to be. The empire was converted into an empire from the republic which was a republic (hehe). The sudden conversion into autocary would of come as a shock to many planets which had experienced millenia of freedom, liberty and representation. The loss of this would of created resentment for the Empire across many planets. Without the threat of a near by garassion planets would of been more likely to openly rebel, knowing that they would have time to marshall an army before the Imperial fleet arrived. Knowing this it could allow planets that despised imperial rule to co-ordinate and openly rebel at the same time, eventually combinating in a repeat of the seperatist war (except this time the would be the good guys :p)

The garrassion policy prevented planets from open rebellion and instead we got a guerilla style(?) secret rebellion made up from individuals from many planet hiding in unhabited world in secret bunkers shifting from planet to planet with no real home base which made co-ordination more difficult for the rebels.

But the main problem with the Empire I would say was how it came to be. If it started out as small group of planets invading and conquering them and opposing Indirect rule it would been much more easier to maintain as you would be ability to maintain an elite effective army and a large empire at the same time and not have to rely on garrassion suppression.

Final thought. Empires must be born out of conquered provances or out of an anarchic state. The Empire took much from the people and planets of the republic namely power and freedom and offered little in return it was doomed to face rebellion in one form or another.

Omgsarge:

bdcjacko:

But lets just look at the beginning of Star Wars (some times referred to as a New Hope). The Empire is hunting a "princess" who is also a spy and military leader and very important to this rebel cause. She just stole some sort of "plans" that are very important to them. At any point they could have killed her or blown up her ship so these plans would not have leaked. But for some reason they want her alive which gives her enough time to download the plans into some sort of robot and put it in an escape pod.

Not that I want to get caught up in Star Wars debates but I thought they wanted to capture her in order to learn about the hidden Rebel Base of Operation.

They also wanted to get the stole plans back.

SonOfVoorhees:
Issue was he wanted Luke alive, other wise he would have blown the shit out of the place. Also, now they made all the storm troopers clones, it makes that whole battle pointless when all the soldiers are replaceable nobodies. Preferred it when i was a kid and the storm troopers were guys that worked as storm troopers.

They are.

Star Wars Battlefront II has a mission where the cloners betrayed them and sent sleeper agents into the army.
After destroying the cloning vats, the Empire started recruiting.

The only clone regiment left at the start of A New Hope was the 501st.

Yay! You made a link to the best Star Wars related thing in years!

RandV80:
...In other words a more or less official expanded universe that was completely contradicted when Lucas decided to make more movies. So when it comes to Star Wars cannon you can basically make it out however you want it.

The best way to sum up the Star Wars EU. I read a few Timothy Zahn books in high school, but everything in them seemed so strange that I decided not to trust anything not on celluloid (which, infuriatingly, didn't protect me from retcons and nonsense, but at least it's something).

What I took away from this is that I was playing the Hoth map from Battlefront 2 completely wrong. But damn, did I wreck havoc with the AT-AT.

bdcjacko:

snip

But what this ultimately come's down to you don't think they did the right thing in some situations, so thus it does not make sense. But we all know now that the Titanic made a mistake in not having enough life boats, we all know now that the maginot line the biggest defense of it's time had an integral fault, we all know now that building zeplins can lead to incidents like the Hindenburg disaster. All of these things seem pretty obvious with hindsight.

In response to your issuses I can come up with a whole host of reasoning.
-They didn't blow up the ship or kill her as they suspected she had the plan's and likely wanted to root out her conspirators (as vader does say something along the lines of " you will tell me all you know"), killing her would have solved that single issue but resulted in continued insurrection, as well as martyring her for her cause.
-The escape pod's I'll give you, but it was a necessary plot point, but they did send troops after it and follow it relentlessly on tatooine. Individuals make mistakes all the time.
- I don't really think it was "over reacting" blowing up a planet, the station was meant as the ultimate fear weapon, they had to use it to show what they were capable of, the ott grandeur and flamboyant show of force was kind of the point of this article.
-An be for the hostage thing, they were fighting a universe wide rebellion covering planets and entire race's, some of which had neigh on been exterminated by the Empire, is one royal hostage from a "peaceful" planet going to really sway in negotiations.

I will say this, yes Star Wars from all point was written primarily for the core story with rich backgrounds portrayed for the history and Jedi etc and the expansive universe and further thought went into it later. But isn't that the exact same as pretty much every major Sci-Fi whether it's Star War's, Star Trek, Star Gate, Battlestar, Terminator, Aliens none of those francises started off HUGE they grew an quite a few got lumbered with a few integral facts that don't 100% add up. I mean if you look at games Halo was originally meant to be more than likely a one off, an they have beaten a universe out of what started as a fairly shaky premise. I think to say Star Wars make less sense than any other Big sci-fi franchise when you get in the nitty gritty is a little bit silly.

But now day's there are these immense expanded universes that have rationalized things and put them into context, I mean I've heard of people obsessing over Star Trek Enterprise blue print's, you can't tell me fully laid out schematics were created for the ship before the series went into production. An it's the same with every other franchise, things get added and rationalized if they become successful.

I think I've ran in a roundabout trail of thought, basically if you look at any Sci-Fi long enough you will find something you don't quite feel will fit, as most of them started as thought's in some hairy guys head while living with his mum and didn't have the luxury of a writing team or fantasy writing's fix all "it was magic" to cover up things that were not 100% right. But to me having read and played my way through allot of extra star wars info this was a great piece.

Irridium:
Reading this just makes me wish for another Republic Commando and/or Battlefront game.

:(

That's why I originally clicked, cause I thought Fixer was on the front. Then I looked at the markings closer and was sad.

It's easy to see that the Empire slipped up...a lot...which kept this from being a total victory. But what about the Rebels? Yes, they suffered a massive defeat at Imperial hands, but it would have been much worse if not for their doctrine, which, in all honesty, was more of a necessity than a cumulative decision.

It makes sense that as soon as the probe droid was discovered they would have begun preparations for an attack, but it's also obvious the top brass would have seen any attack as a lost cause to begin with, thus leading to a contingency plan focused on evacuation and delaying tactics based on Rebel doctrine, which would of been to avoid a stand-up fight with the Empire unless absolutely necessary, instead focusing on harrassment of Imperial installations in order to stretch Imperial fleets thin and spread the cause of the Rebellion. The Empire finally got the direct confrontation they were after, but their own mistakes, along with the Rebels' foreknowledge and tactics based on their doctrine that prevented Hoth from being the Alliance's death knell.

Also, Battlefront must come back. Immediately.

bdcjacko:
The Star Wars universe is full of logical fallacies. There is no base line foundation of logic to begin with. It is merely computer animated spectical. With that said, there is no point to analytize the "debacle on Hoth." It is clear George Lucas has no idea how real militaries work and it was never nessicary for his story. I am all for there needing to be some sort of internal logic in a fantasy setting, but it is clear Star Wars has none.

Errr, well sort of.

One has to remember Star Wars is a tale of pre-destination and prophecy. The thing to understand is that all of this theology and mystical mumbo-jumbo is real, there IS a Force, and it's pretty much controlling everything, which most people do not realize. It guildes the universe through a cycle of good followed by a period of balance followed by a period of evil, followed by another period of balance, followed by things going back to good again, ad infinium. It's sort of like a perpetual oriental Yin Yang, which is probably a good analogy given how much the series took from asian mythology and mysticism.

The first thing you have to accept about Star Wars, which probably nails a lot of sci-fi nerds where it hurts, is that nothing the characters say or do in paticular matters. It's questionable at the end of the day if anyone has any real free will, despite it's appearance. The whole situation we're looking at is the end of a period of good, leading into a period of balance, your told flat out "Anakin will bring balance". The good guys interpet this as he will "stop the Sith and restore peace" but in a galaxy where peace has ruled so long there really isn't even much of an active military anymore, the only place for good to go is DOWN if things are going to be balanced. Likewise while evil is supposed to rise, it's not time for evil's reign yet, so you also know Papaltine is going to fail also. Vader's actions, both in wiping out the Jedi, and killing Sidious, leave things pretty evenly matched between what's left, and prime for evil to take over when it's time for the balance to clear.

The point to this is that The Imperial Military was doomed to have things turn out this way to begin with. Sure it manifests as incompetant leadership and other problems, but the point is that there was always going to be something preventing them from stopping The Rebels because it wasn't time for an "Evil Empire" to dominate yet. Everyone is just acting out parts in a cosmic puppet show. As a result argueing in terms of logic (beyond the whole "it's science fantasy" and thus illogical) is irrelevent given the central driving reality of the narrative.

Most of what I'm saying was hinted at during the original trilogy, but in the prequels, they really hit you over the head with it, of course it was easy to miss with the bad writing and mediocre (at best) acting. They discuss the prophecy, throw out a "b-b-but your were supposed to save us" at the end to really hammer home the mistakes, and all through the thing have Anakin rather badly embracing his angst since he ultimatly wants to be a good guy, but the universe pretty much conspires to make whatever he wants to do irrelevent and force him down a specific path.

"Knights Of The Old Republic 2" was based on Lucas' notes and writing apparently (I've actually heard he ghost wrote a big part of it) and if the prequels didn't cause you to "get it" that game should. The central premise being that a Sith named "Kreia" manages to figure out how The Force manipulates everything and it slots her off, she basically sets out to free everyone from The Force and give us free will. Due to problems finishing the game her plan is never fully explained or written out, the first step is to pretty much decimate all of the force users The Force works through, the whole "destroy the force" bit is never explained, how you attack a metaphysical entity that manipulates a chosen few through micro-organisms it puts into people's bloodstream is a good question, and the storyline arranges for Kreia to be killed before we ever get to what she thought she might be able to do. It does however end with her spouting Prophecy raising the question if her whole "rebellion against The Force" schtick was in of itself just The Force making her do what it wanted. As a direct result of what she did, you pretty much have The Sith Empire, which is pretty much the dominant force in the galaxy at this point, coming into contact with The Republic. As we all known, this eventually ends with The Sith losing badly... so badly in fact that come the movie timeline nobody even knows what a Sith is anymore because the good guys pretty much resort to the genocide of entire species (like "Sith Purebloods") and total war tactics, scortching as much evidence of their civilization out of existance as possible. Even when the good guys want to know more about The Sith in the present, they can't find anything out, because they literally wrecked everything thousands of years beforehand. All of this occurs because Kreia pretty much sent Revan and "The Exile" on a collision course with The Sith and brought The Republic to it's attention, starting a battle it was ultimatly going to lose (especially since The Force decreed it was good's turn).

To put it into perspective, nobody really fights anyone else in Star Wars, it's like a kid playing with action figures. Sometimes the drama leads to someone winning against the cycle, so it can lead to other things later, but at the end it always turns out the same way. Darth Maul doesn't beat Qui-Gon Jin because Darth Maul is a better fighter/more powerful force user, he does it because The Force says so (as an example). You might notice that the good guys are all freaked out because their Force powers are weakening, and going "cloudy" they can't detect things they should be able to. There is a reason for that. It's also why someone like Sidious can take out 3 Jedi Masters. The Force is cleaning house on the good guys. :)

Kind of a downer... but yeah... and the point is that it's not a military drama so focusing on high strategy wouldn't have been fun to begin with. Truthfully if they wanted to make things even more overt they could have done something like have all the imperial power cells malfunction at once due to a "manfacturing error" or something manipulated by The Force, but they way they did it was a bit more entertaining.

Just some food for thought.

I never really thought about that. OTOH, I've long since held up the feeling that the Imperial loss at Endor was only possible due the Imperial Army and Navy being mind bogglingly retarded. Long story short, the Empire had to do only 2 things to win the battle.

1.) Guard the shield Bunker. More specifically, keep the door closed until the battle is over. What did the "Legion of the the Emprorers finest troops" on ground fail to do? Guard the Door. What did they do? Start chasing teddy bears into the woods because obviously that's something that just couldn't wait a few hours. Then they opened the door because some dude on a TV told them to. Because that's how that's how military operations work, apparently.

2.) Kill the Rebel fleet. Despite being trapped between a fleet 5X bigger then theirs and a giant space laser that can't be touched, the Imperial Navy somehow fails at this. By sheer numbers alone the rebels should have been routed within in an hour.

God knows they they managed to control the galaxy until then.

GundamSentinel:
but who's to say he decides what is canon and what isn't?

Because up until recently he owned it? If I choose to write a Dragon Age fan fiction, does that mean it's automatically canon just by existing? Logic doesn't work that way you know.

Therumancer:
snip

Kotor 2 spoiler

Ishal:

BurnedOutMyEyes:

Ishal:

Thats cute.

Kotor II garners a lot of dislike, but it ain't nearly as bad as clone wars animated or the prequels.

KOTOR I and II were the best thing to happen to Star Wars especially coming out around the time the prequels were alienating everybody.

Never said a bad thing about it.
It's probably the best Star Wars game I played, definitely my favourite, and if it weren't for the fact that the ending was basically a shitty placeholder (kind of acceptable, considering they had about a year and had to dash it for a stupid christmas release because LucasArts grrr) and the miles upon miles of cut content, I'd wholeheartedly say it's a masterpiece.
Certainly the best story to come out of Star Wars, far as I'm concerned, and its deliberately un Star Wars-like approach to questions of belief, morality, affection and war were just brilliantly insightful in my opinion.

It was a really fucking depressing game though.

Ahh. I think I misinterpreted what you meant then. Seeing a game like that being rushed out by Lucas Arts would make me lose hope too. Is that more along the lines of what you meant?

Yes, I agree with what you said as well. The un Star Wars-like approach is what sets it apart from nearly everything else Star Wars. Also, yes it was depressing. But I believe that was necessary.

Pretty much what I meant, yeah.
In hindsight, I could have probably worded it better though.

Cool look into matters of doctrine, but... Star Wars has almost zero logic.
George Lucas knows nothing of military affairs and leaves huge plot holes and logical fallacies in his stories because of it.

Your analysis sounds great, but not because it reveals some deep meaning that was originally thought up.

Jedi-Hunter4:

bdcjacko:

snip

But what this ultimately come's down to you don't think they did the right thing in some situations, so thus it does not make sense. But we all know now that the Titanic made a mistake in not having enough life boats, we all know now that the maginot line the biggest defense of it's time had an integral fault, we all know now that building zeplins can lead to incidents like the Hindenburg disaster. All of these things seem pretty obvious with hindsight.

In response to your issuses I can come up with a whole host of reasoning.
-They didn't blow up the ship or kill her as they suspected she had the plan's and likely wanted to root out her conspirators (as vader does say something along the lines of " you will tell me all you know"), killing her would have solved that single issue but resulted in continued insurrection, as well as martyring her for her cause.
-The escape pod's I'll give you, but it was a necessary plot point, but they did send troops after it and follow it relentlessly on tatooine. Individuals make mistakes all the time.
- I don't really think it was "over reacting" blowing up a planet, the station was meant as the ultimate fear weapon, they had to use it to show what they were capable of, the ott grandeur and flamboyant show of force was kind of the point of this article.
-An be for the hostage thing, they were fighting a universe wide rebellion covering planets and entire race's, some of which had neigh on been exterminated by the Empire, is one royal hostage from a "peaceful" planet going to really sway in negotiations.

I will say this, yes Star Wars from all point was written primarily for the core story with rich backgrounds portrayed for the history and Jedi etc and the expansive universe and further thought went into it later. But isn't that the exact same as pretty much every major Sci-Fi whether it's Star War's, Star Trek, Star Gate, Battlestar, Terminator, Aliens none of those francises started off HUGE they grew an quite a few got lumbered with a few integral facts that don't 100% add up. I mean if you look at games Halo was originally meant to be more than likely a one off, an they have beaten a universe out of what started as a fairly shaky premise. I think to say Star Wars make less sense than any other Big sci-fi franchise when you get in the nitty gritty is a little bit silly.

But now day's there are these immense expanded universes that have rationalized things and put them into context, I mean I've heard of people obsessing over Star Trek Enterprise blue print's, you can't tell me fully laid out schematics were created for the ship before the series went into production. An it's the same with every other franchise, things get added and rationalized if they become successful.

I think I've ran in a roundabout trail of thought, basically if you look at any Sci-Fi long enough you will find something you don't quite feel will fit, as most of them started as thought's in some hairy guys head while living with his mum and didn't have the luxury of a writing team or fantasy writing's fix all "it was magic" to cover up things that were not 100% right. But to me having read and played my way through allot of extra star wars info this was a great piece.

But Star Wars isn't Sci-Fi, it is Science Fantasy. Once it is accepted that Star Wars is Science Fantasy, there is no longer a need for it all to be explained and the extended universe is moot.

Also back on point of people not be logical, the prequels. Those people don't make a lick of sense. Their motives and actions seem to constantly contradict each other. I would go into more detail, but I think there are far more definitive reviews all over the internet, such as the Plinkett Reviews, so I am not going to bother.

Great article. It makes Sith sense to get rid of the Jedi hunting commando units. If they can kill a Jedi, they can kill a Sith.

It's also worth noting that the elite 501st, Vader's unit of original clone troopers and hand picked newer recruits, was around half strength following a great deal of the unit being killed on the first Death Star. Further enforcing the idea that Vader was forced to use less proficient and experienced troops.

McFazzer:

Therumancer:
snip

Kotor 2 spoiler

I'm pretty much only going by what's in the movies and things I can tie to George Lucas' concepts. There really aren't any solid answers I can give you. to a lot of the questions, especially involving KoToR2 which was seriously cut and unfinished. I use it mostly because it spells all of this out in no uncertain terms by what it DOES say.

If I had to put things into perspective, I'd say nobody is ever really cut off from the force or becomes a real "void" The Force might seem to cause that to happen as part of the grand drama. From a certain perspective one could argue that if The Force had a desired outcome in mind, it intentionally arranged events for "The Exile" to be apparently "severed" from The Force, specifically so Kreia would think this might put him outside of it's purview and "restore" his powers as part of her own arc leading to the endgame that it wanted.

As far as The Force being sentinent, it's never been said. Instinctual might make a degree of sense, but when you have clear propheciee like the one with Anakin it's hard to say. Maybe in some odd way it's both at the same time.

As I understand things it's largely a mish-mash of eastern concepts. The idea of free will and genuinely choosing your own destiny is largely a western one and relatively recent. Entire religious and civilizations have been built around the idea of destiny, fate, and free will being an illusion. Oftentimes used to reinforce caste systems in the sense that "this is what the universe intended you to do", or "these people were ordained to be important and rule". You might seem to make desicians, but everyone from the highest emperor, to the lowest peasant, is simply playing their assigned role in some cosmic play. Some thief steals something, so it was ordained, but it was also ordained that the guard is going to chop his head off for it, neither are at fault, if anything blame fate, and hope maybe someday you get a better role.

To a western mentality that's kind of grim, but it's also possible to take a sort of peace in the idea. Especially if you happen to be one of the people that believes they are important.

In the context of Star Wars I get the impression that few even understand the concept, so they might as well have free will. To someone like Han Solo a bunch of mystical Mumbo Jumbo about an all powerful force that controls everything is still bunk (if he decides to hold up his hand in front of his face and wiggle his fingers, he believes he chooses to do that, not some omniscient puppet master). The Jedi or Sith are a bit more aware of things but tend to be viewed as arrogant since even according to them their powers make them "special". They see themselves as working The Force's will towards a specific end as dictated by their doctrine. To your typical Jedi he knows there is a force in all things and it controls the universe, but doesn't nessicarly believe it dictates everything, though he DOES know it makes prophecies and those prophecies come true, even if not always the way one would expect (which to a Jedi probably raises interesting philsophical questions they debate long into the night in their temples), much as eastern cultures did. It's a very rare situation where someone like Kreia sees "the big picture" and in the final question for the game, it comes down to whether she deciphered that herself, or was shown it.

Now, while this goes totally outside of the movies, games, books, etc... I've always felt that a finale for Star Wars might be to contreive some way where people are able to act outside of fate, sort of like Edding's Sparhawk (for real, not just being manipulated to think that), and as a finale ending things on a high note while ending pre-destination. Killing The Force might not make your typical fan happy, but it would be a conclusion. Of course to most people they just see space magic, laser swords, space ships, etc... and don't really get the concepts or what things actually mean other than driving the plot along (the prophecies, foreshadowing, and the details). Pulling all of this out to your average Star Wars fan would probably come accross sort of like the ending of "The Matrix" or "Mass Effect 3" even if
it was arguably always there. Things that are grounded in pseudo-reality and then end with a metaphysical victory usually don't go over that well. I've oftentimes also wondered if that's a big part of why Lucas and company were so reluctant to continue the series officially.

Soviet Heavy:
General Veers was a military genius responsible for reintegrating Walkers into the Imperial Army. He was an honorable man, and a smart tactician, managing to take a nearly stationary walker and still manage to gun down high speed Snowspeeders. However, he overlooked the flaw in the AT-AT's design, that it could be tripped with cables. The man responsible for pointing out this flaw, Veers had bumped down to Stormtrooper duty rather than officer material

Actually...

Didn't his own AT-AT have cutters for such an occasion?

MrPeanut:

Soviet Heavy:
General Veers was a military genius responsible for reintegrating Walkers into the Imperial Army. He was an honorable man, and a smart tactician, managing to take a nearly stationary walker and still manage to gun down high speed Snowspeeders. However, he overlooked the flaw in the AT-AT's design, that it could be tripped with cables. The man responsible for pointing out this flaw, Veers had bumped down to Stormtrooper duty rather than officer material

Actually...

Didn't his own AT-AT have cutters for such an occasion?

It did, but then Hobbie Klivian decided to ram the cockpit with his Snowspeeder. Another design flaw: not taking suicide runs into account.

Slycne:
It's also worth noting that the elite 501st, Vader's unit of original clone troopers and hand picked newer recruits, was around half strength following a great deal of the unit being killed on the first Death Star. Further enforcing the idea that Vader was forced to use less proficient and experienced troops.

Blizzard Force was an elite unit at Hoth, under the command of the Empire's top field Commander, General Maximilian Veers, who also happens to have the most badass name in the history of anything.

According to Battlefront 2's gameplay, any time you see competent Stormtroopers in the Original films, they are 501st troops. Wiping out the Tantive IV with minimal casualties? 501st. Managing to win the day at Hoth despite numerous setbacks? 501st. Getting their butts kicked by Ewoks but still managing to pull off one handed snap shots that can hit Leia from a mile away? 501st.

The small fleet that Vader brought with him to Hoth was Death Squadron, it was the best of the best in the entire Empire. But the Imperial approach of "backstab your way to the top" meant that officers were constantly competing with each other for more power and fame, which lead to fumbles like Ozzel's screw up or Colonel Starck losing a third of Veers' AT-ATs in an avalanche.

Therumancer:
wall of text

Your theory is pretty good on paper, but I'm not sure I can agree with it in practice. If the books are anything to go by, the division of power goes from the New Republic's good to the Empire versus Rebels neutral to the New Jedi Order good again. Unless you count the single generation in which the Empire was in charge(and that constitutes the period between Luke and Leia's birth to around their early 20s) as evil, then the Force is simply predominantly good. Though I'm not sure what happens after Luke founds the New Jedi Order, so what might actually be happening is a continuous neutral stance where good suddenly bellyflops evil in a futile attempt to stay afloat.

Anyways, you know what I've always been curious about since KOTOR 1? The notion of gray Jedi, or force users who really don't care at all about sides as long as they aren't being total dicks. It feels like the only logical outcome in the Star Wars universe if they want to end the Good vs Evil struggle is to merge. From the brief time I played SWTOR, the Jedi can be pretty infuriating by practically lobotomizing themselves in order to not fall victim of emotions or something, and the Sith really just want to blow up everything. I can't be the only one that thinks a middle ground is much better than anything else, specially since either side's disregard for a society with multiple trains of thought is half the reason the Star Wars universe non-force users get pulled into war. I don't know, I just feel like force-sensitives in general cause more Bothan orphans than any Grand Moff ever has.

I think I deviated from the topic a little.

Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting. -Sun Tzu, The Art of War

A great general, this man was. Hmmm, yes.

sid:

Therumancer:
wall of text

Your theory is pretty good on paper, but I'm not sure I can agree with it in practice. If the books are anything to go by, the division of power goes from the New Republic's good to the Empire versus Rebels neutral to the New Jedi Order good again. Unless you count the single generation in which the Empire was in charge(and that constitutes the period between Luke and Leia's birth to around their early 20s) as evil, then the Force is simply predominantly good. Though I'm not sure what happens after Luke founds the New Jedi Order, so what might actually be happening is a continuous neutral stance where good suddenly bellyflops evil in a futile attempt to stay afloat.

Anyways, you know what I've always been curious about since KOTOR 1? The notion of gray Jedi, or force users who really don't care at all about sides as long as they aren't being total dicks. It feels like the only logical outcome in the Star Wars universe if they want to end the Good vs Evil struggle is to merge. From the brief time I played SWTOR, the Jedi can be pretty infuriating by practically lobotomizing themselves in order to not fall victim of emotions or something, and the Sith really just want to blow up everything. I can't be the only one that thinks a middle ground is much better than anything else, specially since either side's disregard for a society with multiple trains of thought is half the reason the Star Wars universe non-force users get pulled into war. I don't know, I just feel like force-sensitives in general cause more Bothan orphans than any Grand Moff ever has.

I think I deviated from the topic a little.

Well, a lot of this comes from the so called "Expanded Universe" and for the most part it's not canon. Indeed it's not even the first "future" of the setting, we had a bunch of "young adult" novels written involving titles like "The Glove Of Darth Vader", "Prophets Of The Dark Side", and other titles which were pretty much stepped on before the EU, and then you have the entire Dark Horse comics continuity which was also knocked out of the ball park.

The thing is that EU writers themselves really don't "get it" or if they do, they tend to want to give the average fan what they want to read. Given that the future of the universe would be pretty grim in terms of "everything sucks, everyone dies, misery reigns for 5,000 years without even the faintest glimmer of hope" there isn't a lot to write about.

The best way to justify the EU if you really have to is to make the arguement that it's unknown how long the period of balance lasts exactly between the cycles of dominance, so it going both ways for a while is going to happen, but it's ultimatly going to end with a reign of darkness, which again, is ultimatly what people don't want to read, which is again probably why Lucas decided to drop things where he did on a relatively high note.

When it gets to concepts like Jedi and Force Users who aren't on one side or the other, the basic answer would be that they are all still tools of The Force, or they wouldn't be able to do anything at all. They ultimatly play out their role in the cycle as assigned, and contribute to things going in one direction or the other whether they want to, or see it, or not. To put things into perspective someone like Jolee from KOTOR is pretty much attached to Revan's crew, where Revan is moving things along as The Force intends, and arguably acting as one of the dominos that is going to end The Sith Empire, whether he lives or dies, that's his destinied role.

The thing is that people still seem to have free will even if they are all playing their role. Force sensitives who have no declared side. "Dark" Jedi doing evil things and using darkside powers for the greater good, Sith acting in the name of love and chaotic compassion, it all goes the same place in the end. Like the Yin Yang symbol I'd guess part of the overall point is that nothing is ever pure good or pure evil, as there is always a "dot" of the other on each side. To put things into perspective the era of good that comes to an end with the movie trilogy, a nearly utopian Republic (or the closest to it that you can have) with no real need for active militaries and just police forces for the occasional pirates and raiders or hwhatever, was bought with Genocides that make Hitler look like a complete pantywaist. Reven and The Exile are both conceptually dealing with some issues about what war made them do when they had to REALLY fight and reconciling that with the light side (and freaking out Jedi who never fought in real wars), at the end of the story though the "Good" Jedi pretty much put every single Sith pureblood to the sword, young, old babies, boom... the entire lineage wiped out of existance. They purify entire worlds to eradicate any trace of Sith taint. They burn books, they destroy libraries, they demolish temples and places of healing, the kill the wounded. When it's over the desendants can't find any real records about these guys because the destruction was so total. Sometimes epic evil has to occur for the greater good. To some extent I believe that it can also be argued that what Vader did in wiping out all the Padawans and little kids in training arguably mirrors what The Jedi did to The Sith, though it doesn't go that far as it's not time for a reign of evil yet. Conceptually at one point lightside force users did pretty much walk through Sith temples and gut all the students who just had the misfortune of being picked up by The Sith for training. Likewise given the bloodlines involved (the race made of the genetic remnants of the actual sith race...) there were doubtlessly Jedi who pretty much went waltzing through maternity wards and sliced up all the babies one crib at a time. Think of any nightmarish genocide example you can think of The Jedi did it... so yeah there is your grey side (since they are
serving the light side), or so called seemingly contridictory "Dark Jedi" right there. The Jedi did some F@cked up things on an epic scale to build a borderline utopia, and arguably The Sith despite their culture of sadism and depravity had their own discoveries and genuinely benevolent wonders as well. Dark origins or occasional light moments... Yinyang so to speak.

Robert Rath:
Hoth: The Failure of Imperial Military Doctrine

The Battle Of Hoth was just the tip of the iceberg on how the Imperial Army was failing in its mission.

Read Full Article

I stand in awe of your epic level nerdery. Well done!

get ready to have your mind blown..........why was the empire bad?

honestly, name a strictly bad thing they were doing

lizards:
get ready to have your mind blown..........why was the empire bad?

honestly, name a strictly bad thing they were doing

Death Star -------> Alderaan.

*pew*

DVS BSTrD:
I seem to remember something about Admiral Ozzel's little blunder of "coming out of light speed too close to the planet". I got the impression that Vader hadn't wanted the rebels to be aware of their presence as soon as they arrived.

He didn't, Imperial command was full of Rebel sympathizers. I recall one EU book where the Death Star's main gunner (who fired the shot at Alderaan) suffered a major crisis on conscious and that his fellow officers all treated him differently. Hence his repeated "stand by's" at Yavin. He didn't want to pull the trigger again and was hoping the Rebels would somehow be able to stop him. Alderaan changed how everyone perceived the Empire, even it's own commanders. They knew the Empire had to be stopped, so they started making "little" mistakes to give the Rebels a chance to stop them.

Here's something I always wondered: what happened to the regular military when the clones were introduced? I don't remember seeing too many regular soldiers after that point. Did they all lose their jobs? Where they reassigned to some other duty? I always assumed that after order 66 there must have been some sort of split; where the old soldiers remained loyal, not all of them obviously Tarkin is pretty old, to the republic. Many of them would probably have been killed, but some that survived would have become important members of the rebellion. The rebel soldiers however are quite young in general, so I thought maybe the commanders/generals are important veterans who survived. I'm sure the information I'm looking for is somewhere in the Star Wars mythology, but my knowledge doesn't extend far past the trilogies and some old republic games. What happened to the regular Republic Military between the introduction of clones and order 66, and what happened to them afterwards?

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