Parallels With Roman History

Pints of History has a started a series about Star Wars and real world history, beginning with a short piece about Rome’s transition from republic to empire:

The story parallels ancient Roman history. The first emperor, Augustus, led the Roman Republic as its most powerful magistrate, starting in 27 BCE — with an ever-repeating term of office, thanks to victory in a civil war. Like Palpatine, he centralized power in his own hands at the expense of the Senate, but he didn’t disband the Senate. In fact, he carefully preserved the forms of republican government.

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4 Responses to “Parallels With Roman History”

  1. timontatooine Says:

    It’s a shame it’s so short since you could just about fill a Star Destroyer unpacking the Augustus analogue of Palpatine, but it’s always great to see Star Wars getting this kind of deeper analysis. Having done Classics at college and then as a major at uni, with a Roman bent, it’s awesome picking up on these details and themes from ancient history that echo into the art of today, and Star Wars is rich with it. It’s certainly made me appreciate Lucas’ genius even more than I already did, and might just have contributed to Palpatine being my favourite character in cinema (as if the amazingness of Ian and the character himself weren’t enough). Looking forward to the next five installments. Thanks for sharing, LP.

  2. Tarrlok Says:

    That blog also has a good (also a bit short) post on the parallels between Order 66 and the dissolution of the Knights Templar. Real world history is less fantastical, of course, but it’s fascinating to see the particular details of the Templars and their end reflected in ROTS.

  3. Jason Fanning Says:

    They also mirror the events of the American Civil War. Separatists for Secessionists. Grand Army of the Republic over Grand Army of the Potomac. Even the trade dispute in the Phantom Menace is essentially a reference to a basic catalyst of the war. John C. Calhoun’s so called “Tariff of Abomination” or the Tariff of 1828.

    • Jason Fanning Says:

      I can also see a parallel to Henry VIII of England. Purging the Jedi religion with the Sith. Much in the same way Catholicism was purged for Protestantism in England. This of course led to much conflict throughout the history of England for hundreds of years. But all of this depends greatly on your own certain point of view.

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