“Mesa no be thinkin’ issa good idea,” said Senator Jar-Jar Binks (G, Naboo). “Wesa come so far, makin’ da peace wit da Naboo. Now wesa free from da bombad empire, but dey still flyin’ dat bombad flag. Mesa gettin’ da bombad feelings from dis.”To the Gungans, as well as many other races throughout the Galaxy, the Imperial Flag is a haunting reminder of the suffering inflicted by the Galactic Empire and its terrible specist policies.
One of the more terrible examples in the enslaving of the wookiees of the Kashyyk system. Noble warriors and skilled engineers, the empire subjugated their people completely, forcing them to work in the spice mines on Kessel, denying them even the basic freedom of celebrating Wookiees Life Day. We spoke to one survivor of the terrible ordeal, Chewbacca.
Wow. Moving.But others on the Core system seem to turn a blind eye to the plight of these and other races throughout the Galaxy. On the same day most of the Galaxy celebrates Yavin Day in commemoration of the Alliance victory against the first Death Star, many of the systems in the Deep Core celebrate Tarkin Day, a day commemorating the death of the man who gave the order to destroy Alderaan.
Tarkin Day supporters tend to come heavily from the families of former Imperial soldiers and government functionaries. One group dedicated to keeping the memory of Grand Moff Tarkin alive is the Sons of Imperial Troopers and Hoth Veterans (or SITH). Their spokesman is Jerruth Toll, a CPA on Coruscant who likes to shoot blasters on the weekend but never signed up for service even when eligible.“You have to remember your history or else you forget it,” Toll said. “Grand Moff Tarkin shouldn’t just be cast aside because he obliterated one innocent planet- I mean, remember that the Rebellion wasn’t exactly innocent at the time either. They were using Alderaanian support… not that I’m saying it was right, per se, to blow it up, but he had reasons. And that isn’t really even the point. We shouldn’t be judging Tarkin by today’s moral standards but by those of the culture he lived in. Was he specie-ist? I mean I guess so, but back in his day so was everyone so it was ok and we shouldn’t be mad about it.”
When asked about the infamous Tarkin Doctrine, in which Grand Moff Tarkin supported the Emperor’s decision to abolish the Senate and use fear to keep the local systems in line, Jerruth Toll had this to say, “Look, just because you say things like ‘fear will keep the local systems in line’ suddenly everyone thinks that you’re trying to create a terror state or something. It wasn’t like that, Tarkin was just trying to find a way to maintain control and he thought the best way to do that was to create a giant battle station and use it to blow up inhabited planets. Would any of us have made a different decision?”
We tried to end the interview on this note, but Toll decided to add this about Wookie enslavement under the Empire, “And I’d just like to finish by reminding people that the Wookies didn’t really have it so bad. I mean, Slavery was the first form of social security. If you stop and think about it a minute, it was a cradle to the grave proposition. They never had it so good as far as job security to begin with. It wasn’t the best of job security, but it had benefits.”
It is clear that the Imperial flag and commemoration of galactic history will continue to be a fraught and divisive issue. At least so long as there are galactic citizens willing to celebrate a corrupt government run by a power-mad tyrant that was literally empowered by fear and hatred. So, you know, forever.