The Galactic Empire under Emperor Palpatine may be bad, but the Rebel Alliance could be so much worse.
By now we have all heard a familiar tune: “The Galactic Empire has used weapons of mass planetary destruction, this time to destroy the planet of Alderaan. Now the United Federation of Planets has to intervene and put a stop to the regime of Emperor Palpatine once and for all.” It’s a nice idea, but it ignores how complicated the situation is.
There is no hard evidence that The Galactic Empire has destroyed Alderaan or used weapons of mass planetary destruction. The “proof” that the Empire committed this atrocity which exists are the unreliable accounts of rebels that claim the Empire used a moon sized space station, they called a “Death Star”, to destroy Alderaan. Unfortunately, Federation inspectors can’t examine this “Death Star” because it was conveniently destroyed by the rebellion shortly after it destroyed Alderaan.
The Empire itself admits that it did have a moon sized space station in operation and was in the vicinity of Alderaan during its destruction. However, they claim this “Death Star” was really “Research Station 667″, a civilian based scientific expedition tasked with investigating black holes. According to the Imperials, the Research Station witnessed the rebels destroying Alderaan, and then they were chased down by these same rebels until the Research Station was destroyed in orbit of Yavin, killing over a million Imperial civilians.
We here at the Federation News Service understand that an asteroid field was found where Alderaan once was and we know the Imperials have produced weapons of mass planetary destruction, but it’s perfectly possible that a radical rebel faction captured some of these weapons from the Galactic Empire and decided to use them. Until we have a proper fact finding mission to determine what exactly happened at Alderaan, by Federation inspectors, we won’t know for sure.
Now we are under no delusion that the regime of Emperor Palpatine isn’t a reprehensible dictatorship that has repeatedly murdered its own citizens in cold blood. So it seems obvious that we should be supporting the Rebellion in this civil war even if Palpatine didn’t destroy Alderaan. In theory, the Federation doesn’t even need to intervene directly, it could just provide the rebels with weapons. It sounds so simple and easy, but there would be severe consequences for the Federation if it took that course.
Unfortunately, the so called “Rebel Alliance” can hardly be called an alliance, let alone a unified front. It’s a rag tag bunch of fighters with a variety of political beliefs and backgrounds which include nefarious smugglers like Han Solo, the religious extremists known as the Jedi Order, and the Hutt Cartel. Weapons falling into the hands of any of these groups could result in them being used against us to kill thousands of Federation Citizens.
Even if the Rebellion succeeds in toppling the Palpatine regime, it would not result in peace. The Jedi Order would try and reinstate the religion of the Force and exterminate the Sith minority, the Wookies would attempt to separate from the Empire, and the Hutt Cartel would rampage through a countless number of worlds unchecked. The entire region would be destabilized and thousand more lives would be lost.
Therefore, the only logical course of action is to continue to observe the situation. If the Federation Council finds evidence that weapons of mass planetary destruction have been used, Starfleet will act and punish the Palpatine Regime. Until that happens, the Federation should look for a peaceful settlement to this civil war and hope for the best.
Live Long and Prosper
Federation News Service
In response to: Rachel Shabi’s fine article over here.