So rebel troops, you just defeated an evil empire. Now what?
You thought it was over? A glorious battle. A hard-won fight that seemed to eke out victory from the scrambled hope of long odds in a classic struggle of good versus evil. Sure, the hubris of the Empire contributed to it’s likely-deserved defeat and as the shredded remains of the second Death Star burned up in the atmosphere of Endor you were dancing and celebrating in the treetops.
Now you’re in charge. And there is a lot of cleaning up to do.
The Galaxy is a Big Place
Vast and expansive, with great stretches of varied opinion, need, want, interest, and patience for your little rebellion. In that big galaxy it’s pretty safe to assume that not everyone was as jaded against the once-glorious Empire as you might have been. Many folks may even have enjoyed knowing that a strong guy in a black cape was running the show. A few of those were probably benefiting from that rule, and they’re not only be upset, they may be outright preparing to stand against you.
I mean, sure. They blew up planets on a whim to set an example against those who disagreed with them, and they ruled with an iron fist of fear and oppression, but then also they provided a mostly stable economy across thousands of worlds. Billions of jobs –or at least billions of livelihoods, legit or otherwise– are suddenly flapping in the solar winds of change. The change may have potential for a net long term positive effect for all, but in the immediate future, the days following the trigger that fired the photon torpedo and cast the galaxy into a state of transition, certainty in anything at all was caught in the blast. And some folks are going to be closer to that blast than others.
Uncertainty isn’t a bad thing. Often, however, it’s uncomfortable… even for those who created it.
Clever entrepreneurs will adapt. Why? Because there is always a market for something, and maybe the interplanetary trade in food will be upset for a few years or perhaps the demand for tie-fighter fuel will diminish –what with fewer space battles and all– but citizens of the big-wide galaxy will find new ways to make their way in the changed galactic economy when they realize that there is no longer an Empire disrupting business in ways they didn’t even realize were space blockades.
The thing about change is that someone tends to lead that change, and most everyone else eventually follows along: the explosion of the universe’s biggest orbital battlestation didn’t get rid of all the leaders, after all, it just blew up the guys who happened to be in charge.
A Subtle Kind of Power Vacuum
And leadership is tricky. Yes, you rebels led the charge and took control of the remains of the old galactic senate, but in doing so a great big hole in power was created. Han and Leia were awesome tactical fighters, but Han used to be a scruffy nerf herder and Leia was still living in her parents basement when she joined the rebellion. So of course, as the smoke clears from the sky of that now famous forest moon, people are going to be asking themselves are all these kids who were just picking up blasters and fighting in a rebellion qualified to lead the galaxy?
Cynics and opportunists will move in. The remains of the Empire are still out there too, piloting a few of those well-funded star destroyers and maybe even in control of a droid army or two, and if you don’t think they’re going to show up in unexpected places to try and cast their influence wherever they can, well… one could write a whole series of books on that topic, I’m sure.
Leadership will trickle down through the ranks and in the days following the Battle of Endor, interesting characters will emerge. Leaders. Deceptors. Turncoats, maybe. Some of your best may even just take their bounty and go home: this isn’t doom and gloom, though. It’s natural and normal –frustrating, yes– but who doesn’t have a hard-to-explain gold bikini in their wardrobe? It will all be surely be spun by the galactic media in every possible and conceivable light.
The trick will be to figure out who these people are early. Who are the true rebels. Who are the friends of change in the galaxy, even if some of these people have spent their whole lives slaving under the last regime. Who can be trusted. Who can be motivated to pursue the light side of the force. But also, who is none of these things and needs to be punted out the nearest airlock.
Rebels: Now you’re in charge. So, let’s make the galaxy an awesome place to live.
Star Wars is licensed to Disney or something, I don’t own the rights and this is an unofficial parody that borrows names and ideas to make an entirely different point that actually has nothing to do with that awesome bit of intellectual property. Instead, it’s kinda an analogy about local politics. Get it? I also don’t know who drew that awesome cartoon I’m using as a feature image. It was all over Twitter: let me know and I’ll credit/remove… but for now it pretty much perfectly preludes my point above.