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Saturday, 8 April 2017

What If: The Galactic Empire invaded Earth?

Invasion of the Empire
I love Star Wars. While on YouTube earlier this week I saw a very entertaining two-part video detailing an invasion of our planet by the Galactic Empire (Part 1 and Part 2). These videos got me thinking: what would an actual invasion of the Earth by the Empire be like? Would Earth manage to resist the power of the Empire? As I'm rather illiterate when it comes to non-Star Wars related military all my information on the actual fighting of the Earth-Empire War comes from the YouTube videos themselves (which I highly recommend watching). This scenario will combine both Canon and Legends information.

The Coming of the Empire
The Galactic Fleet
Like all empires the Galactic Empire were always looking for more resources. Setting off from the planet Jakku the Empire sends several scouting parties into the Unknown Regions looking for resource rich planets to pilfer, or alternatively to build/hide superweapons like their Death Star (currently under construction). One of the scouting parties discover a mysterious star system which they name Sol, and discover that Sol 3 has life. They find the planet has satellites and that they have invented a primitive version of the HoloNet. However, upon investigation they find that this planet is extremely unusual. Humans live on this planet but there are thousands of different cultures, languages, and religions on this planet. The language English when spoken seems awfully familiar to Galactic Basic. Instead of one unified government like on Alderaan or Coruscant there are many regional leaders who range from monarchs, elected leaders, and dictators. The diversity of this planet also staggers the Empire. It has giant cities like Coruscant, deserts like Tatooine, forests like Kashyyyk, great oceans like Kamino, and tundras like Hoth. The Empire hated aliens so it was another bonus for them that the only sapient species on this planet were humans. Several Star Destroyers are sent to Sol 3 with a message: Join the Galactic Empire or else...

The propaganda machine would show the glories of being in the Empire: mass employment, access to advanced technology, the ability to live on different planets (solving the looming overpopulation problem), and preferential treatment as Sol 3's inhabitants are human. Also the threat of being destroyed by an intergalactic power is significantly reduced under Imperial rule. This is where my scenario differs to the YouTube video: Earth will not be united in their reaction.

The Invasion
The Invasion Begins
Earth is divided today. We would like to imagine that an invasion by aliens would unite humanity but there is a strong chance that we will remain divided. This has been shown throughout our history. During the Japanese invasion of China the leader of the Nationalists, Chiang Kai-shek, was placed under house arrest by one of his leading commanders, Zhang Xueliang, as he was going to ally with Japan over the Communist Chinese. During the Second World War it was famous that people allied with the invading Nazis instead of the resistance. Wars can unite people but equally they can divide people. While some would be enticed to join the Empire for the advanced technology and access to new markets others would notice the similarity with fascist regimes, like the Nazis, and the apparent xenophobia of the Empire. The Empire would exploit this. Unless if both ally with the Empire it could use Kashmir to entice Pakistan or India to their side, it could use the Korean conflict to get allies, it could use the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it could divide the EU, and the list goes on.

The Empire would first destroy satellites of hostile countries and then use Star Destroyers to rain down upon key military and civilian targets. Star Destroyers by themselves are capable of turning a planet's surface to glass so it is not too far-fetched to imagine that they could level entire cities. It is doubtful that they would destroy capitals (what if they killed the people who can call for a surrender?) but large cities would definitely be destroyed. If the USA opposed the Empire then San Francisco and New York would be destroyed, if Russia St Petersburg and Volgograd would be destroyed, China would have Shanghai and Hong Kong etc. The Cheyenne Mountain Complex would stand no chance against the blast from a Star Destroyer. Earth does have a fighting chance though. This is better explained in the YouTube videos which I would advise watching. Several nuclear blasts can take down a Star Destroyer and our jets are more maneuverable compared to the cheaply made TIE Fighters. The ground attack would also be difficult for the Empire. Stormtrooper armor is designed to resist laser blasts so they are weak against our ballistics. As shown in Return of the Jedi stormtrooper armor was easily pierced by Ewok spears. Our combat armor isn't designed to resist a longsword so stormtrooper armor isn't designed to resist bullets. Equally, Imperials rifles have a shorter range than our guns and their helmets themselves impede trooper vision.
AT-AT walkers
Earth would come into issue with Imperial vehicles. Many Imperial vehicles were made of durasteel; although weaker than titanium durasteel is very resistant to kinetic damage. Although severe blunt force can destroy them (like how Ewoks destroyed AT-STs with logs) we would struggle to take them down. With no Snowspeeders which the Rebels had we would be hard pressed to topple the AT-AT walkers. Our mines, and other paraphernalia, would help take down AT-STs our weaponry would struggle against the Empire's vehicles. Our body armor and tanks would be weak against the Empire's lasers and plasma blasts. Despite this we will still start to resist the Empire until Palpatine decides that he's had enough. With the Rebel Alliance causing problems, such as on Jedha, and not simply wanting to turn Sol 3 to glass Palpatine sends one individual to end the war: Vader. 

I can imagine Vader landing on the lawn of the White House (if Trump decided to oppose the Empire) with members of the 501st. Televised we see the sheer power of the Sith Lord. Using the Force the White House's doors are forced open. The Presidential guard shoot at the Sith but their bullets are stopped mid-air. With one flick of his hand the guards clutch their throats as their life is slowly squeezed out of them. Vader's lightsaber flies to his other and a flash of red erupts from the end. Vader starts approaching the Oval Office and the guards fall one by one as Vader's red blade slices through them. Meanwhile, the 501st search through the White House dispatching security and arresting members of Trump's cabinet: Ivanka, Steve Bannon, Jared Kushner, Mike Pence etc. Vader then uses the Force to smash into the Oval Office where Trump is. His bodyguards are Force-lifted upwards with their heads smashing against the roof. "Mr President. I must inform you that your term has ended earlier than expected" Vader's lightsaber would then impale the president. The 501st would bring in Pence. "Mr Pence. I hope you are more willing to accommodate the Empire than your predecessor. Otherwise you will find me less forgiving than your other Lord." After seeing the fall of the United States the last free world leaders would flee to the apparent security of underground bunkers. However, as the Separatist leaders found out at the end of the Clone Wars there is no escaping the Sith...

The Empire's Vietnam
Earth under the Empire
As the United States found out in Vietnam, the USSR found out in Afghanistan, and the US-led coalition found out in Iraq and Afghanistan it is one thing to fight a weaker power but something entirely different to win the peace. Earth may have lost the war but it will win the peace. Those who aligned with the Empire would be given positions of power over the rest of us, but a loyal member of the Imperial government would be placed in charge. From Coruscant high-tech products and the HoloNet would be imported to Earth. With them would be Imperial mining teams to take advantage of Earth's rich resources. Slavery would publicly return to Earth. Some of the collaborators would be willing to have Twi'lek and Wookie slaves arguing that as they are aliens human rights don't apply to them. In contrast the rest of society would virulently turn against the Empire and the collaborators if they hadn't already.

Just by looking at our own history and contemporary world would we be able to see what the Empire would face. Guerrilla factions would spring up around the world to oppose the new regime. As shown with Jedha and Alderaan the Empire has very heavy-handed methods in dealing with revolt. We all know Order 66. There were many other orders for the Clone Army with Order 37 having troopers arrest civilian populations and execute them if someone does not give themselves up. Although clones were fazed out of the Imperial Army, in Legends due to the Kaminoans rebelling, it is not too hard to imagine that at least some of these orders remained in place. Order 37 would be used to quarantine civilians and execute them if rebel leaders would not hand themselves over. Thanks to this many would actually side with the rebels over the Empire. As Earth is more divided compared to any other planet in the Galaxy the rebel groups would not form one congruent unit; in comparison the Twi'lek resistance on Ryloth during the Clone Wars was only divided based on who would lead them. Looking at contemporary Libya, Somalia and Syria there are many rebel groups fighting not only the government but each other. We can imagine something similar in this scenario. However, the Rebel Alliance would seek allies on Earth. This would unite some of the rebel factions. Thanks to the Rebels and the fighting the Empire the Earth rebels would get Imperial technology. Most importantly Imperial armor more resistant to blasters. When the Death Star is destroyed during the Battle of Yavin support for the rebels would grow but only with the death of the Emperor at the Battle of Endor would Empire rule end. Vader would be universally feared on Earth so the announcement that he died at Endor would be a huge moral boost for Earthen rebels. The Rebel Alliance would help oust the last Imperials from Earth. The remnants of the Empire would flee further into the Unknown Region where they eventually will form the First Order.

Post-Imperial Earth
The New Republic
Like the rest of the liberated Empire Sol 3 would be integrated into the New Republic. However, the New Republic would be receptive to Earth's diversity. Instead of being one unified government like Coruscant Earth would have a similar government like Naboo. Naboo has two governments: one for humans and one for gungans where both are represented with human and gungan politicians. Earth would be the same but with a more diverse set of politicians. On Earth many former countries would return like France, the USA, Russia etc. However, the map wouldn't be the same as it was when the Empire invaded. With the Republic's aid the borders would be redrawn to accommodate various groups. Maybe an independent Scotland, a united Israel-Palestine, and a Kurdistan? However, for years rebel groups not affiliated with either the New Republic or the new world order would still remain, For years they would be a problem until they either willing disarm (just like the IRA in real life), or be destroyed (like the LTTE in real life). However, Earth would remain connected to the wider Galaxy as Earthen humans move across the stars and various species like Twi'leks, Wookies and Rodians come to Earth. There could be even a populist movement to leave the Republic, or even a resurgent racism against aliens. Maybe even the new Jedi Order would visit Earth looking for prospective new Jedi. Earth would remain part of the Republic until out of the depths of space the First Order comes and Earth would be eerily reminded of her past when Snoke and Kylo Ren come onto the scene...

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed it.

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