Thursday, March 15, 2012

Science-Fiction Royalty

!!Reader Warning!! This post contains images which may not be appropriate for very sheltered children or people living in the state of Kansas. -MM

Royalty in Science-Fiction is a subject I have been asked about more than once but have been reluctant to address. For one thing, Sci-Fi fans tend to be a little on the dogmatic side and I really don’t know much about the genre. I liked “Quantum Leap”, “Battlestar Galactica”, “Dune” and the old “Star Trek” series (if there’s no Kirk, Spock or Scotty it ain’t Star Trek in my book) and I liked the old “Star Wars” films but that’s about it. So much of it always seemed too preachy, leftist, incomprehensible and, well, just silly for me to take seriously. However, in all fairness, I’ve also never been terribly fond of much of anything in the Fantasy genre which I know many monarchists absolutely love. I have heard many, many good things about “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Chronicles of Narnia” but I’ve just never had any interest in trying to get ‘into’ them. Lest any think I am being biased, most of the fantasy stuff I have liked (books or films) are ones that I either had to read back in my school days (z.b. “A Wrinkle in Time”, “The Neverending Story”) or watched with someone else when it was their choice. In fact, much of the same goes for Sci-Fi -I saw the “Star Wars” prequels but rest assured I did not pay a dime to see them, and I am thankful for that as I would have felt profoundly ripped off (my apologies to any fans).

Longtime readers will recall I have addressed monarchy in “Star Wars” before (here), so I will not be delving into that too deeply but will take a look at least at what Sci-Fi examples of dealing with monarchy that I am familiar with. Based on what little I have seen, I think there seems to be an assumption on the part of many monarchists that the Sci-Fi genre is more friendly towards monarchy than it actually is, perhaps because Sci-Fi is often lumped together with the Fantasy genre which, while I know even less about it, is probably more pro-monarchy than any other. It tends to be more ‘fairy tale’ in nature and fairy tales and monarchy absolutely go hand-in-hand. Sci-Fi, on the other hand, based on what I have seen, seems to be more hostile toward monarchy than not. In my experience, when dealing with royalty from outer space the norm seems to be that they are evil at worst, spoiled brats at best and, if they are female, very, very scantily clad. Even in the “Star Wars” spoof “Space Balls” the princess was portrayed as an immature, spoiled brat. This may be why those Sci-Fi selections I do like tend to have nothing to do with monarchy at all so say nothing negative or positive about it either way. One thing I do like is imagination and weirdness. That being so, there’s no better place to start than “Flash Gordon”.

Emperor Ming the Merciless
I can’t help it, when I think of Sci-Fi movies, I think of “Flash Gordon”. It took all the usual stuff I hate most about Sci-Fi and just went so extremely over-the-top with it I ended up actually liking it. I thought it was hilarious and a pretty fun movie. However, we do see the usual negative portrayal of monarchy on full display. I refer, of course, to one of the most famous fictional villains of all time; Emperor Ming the Merciless. In the big “Flash Gordon” movie he was played by the incomparable Max von Sydow and, according to George Lucas, we have Ming the Merciless to thank for inspiring his later monarchial and aristocratic villains The Emperor and Darth Vader in “Star Wars”. Yep, it all started with the vicious, sadistic and fashionably flamboyant Emperor Ming. I hate two things about the character of Ming the most: I hate that they made him a monarch of course and I hate that they went with the whole Fu Manchu, evil-Asian villain stereotype. As far as villains go, Ming the Merciless is about as villainous as they come. He’s really just pure evil. There’s no rhyme or reason for him, he’s just a sadistic jerk. He started pelting earth with death rays (and you can’t be a sci-fi villain without a death ray) just for kicks. He demands slavish obedience or death and those are the only options.

Princess Aura
We also get another anti-monarchy stereotype with “Flash Gordon” and that is in the person of Ming’s daughter Princess Aura. She’s evil, alluring and, from the look of her wardrobe, pretty chilly. Ming is just as merciless when it comes to his own daughter, his cruelty toward her only adding to his own villainy. Princess Aura, however, at least is not as pure evil as her father since she does sort of come around to being on the side of the good guys in the end. Though, that’s debatable, best as I recall it may have just been selfishness on her part but I do remember she ended up helping out the heroes and being severely punished for it. Not being an expert on all things Sci-Fi, I don’t know if she was the first space princess to wear a metal bikini as a costume, but I do know she wasn’t the last. That has become almost as standard as having a villainous emperor. So, there are Ming the Merciless and Princess Aura, two typical members of outer space royalty: evil, arbitrary and sadistic emperor and spoiled, barely clothed princess. Moving along then.

The Emperor
Enter the world of “Star Wars”, a movie which came out before “Flash Gordon” but which was a totally new franchise. “Flash Gordon” had been around since the 30’s and, in fact, George Lucas only came up with “Star Wars” because he was not allowed to do a “Flash Gordon” movie, which had been his first choice. In “Star Wars” we get all of the basic stereotypes but they take some time to come out. First, we once again have the villainous, arbitrary and sadistic emperor. In fact, in the original films, he didn’t even have a name, he was simply “The Emperor”. He is spoken of (with fear and trembling) in “Star Wars” but is not actually seen until “The Empire Strikes Back” and then only as a holographic image. I have heard they have since changed that image to that of the actor who later played the Emperor. If so, I would categorize that as George Lucas ruining something with his mindless tweaking. That first glimpse we get of the Emperor was very effective, very creepy. I am told it was made by superimposing the eyes of a chimpanzee on the face of a woman and then dubbing in a masculine voice. However they did it, I thought it worked great and if they changed that it’s only one more reason for me to skip the “re-mastered” versions.

How they bow & scrape on the death star
In “Return of the Jedi” we finally see the Emperor in person after already getting used to Darth Vader as the resident super-villain of the “Star Wars” universe. It says something about the Emperor that even the awesomely sadistic Darth Vader is considered to be a teddy bear compared to the Emperor. True, he lacks the sense of style of our friend Ming the Merciless, sticking to a simple black hooded robe, but he’s no less pure evil. Destroying whole planets just to set an example -done. Establishing a system of rule based purely on fear -done. Willing to sell-out your most devoted henchman in order to advance your cause -done. It was also in “Return of the Jedi” that we got another staple of sci-fi royalty: a space princess in a metallic bikini. Yes, to the eternal joy of frustrated nerds the world over, Princess Lea finally joins her objectified sisters of the golden bikini. Sure, it is only because she’s being held prisoner by a slug-like alien mobster but, hey, they had to work it into the story somehow right? Princess Lea generally fares better than most sci-fi princesses -but not by much. Our first introduction to her in “Star Wars” was, as usual, as a princess who, while certainly tough, determined and one of the good guys, was nonetheless spoiled, arrogant and just rather stuck-up, even going so far as to insult the men rescuing her for doing it improperly. Her image recovered in “The Empire Strikes Back” but it was also at that point that she stopped being so much a female heroine and more just the typical girl in a romance and by the next movie she’s in a metallic bikini with a dog collar chained to an alien mob boss. What a downward spiral.

Princess Lea
It is okay for Princess Lea to be a good guy because she’s fighting for the republic. Though, why there are princesses and lords and knights in a republic we are never really told. “Star Wars” is rather odd that way. Overall, the Empire comes off as being far more egalitarian than the Republic. We don’t see much of it but we are led to believe that there is the Emperor, Lord Vader and there the ‘upper class’ ends. Everyone else is simply military personnel and they advance on merit (you screw up, you die, someone who didn’t screw up gets your job -very meritocratic). On the other side we have a princess, of what we don’t know, as well as knights and eventually a queen. But, if I start getting into all the stuff there that makes no sense, we’ll be at this all day, so we’ll move on. I think I mentioned “Dune” at the beginning so why not toss that example in. Again, I’ve never read any of the books (I almost never read fiction, I have nothing against it, I just hardly ever do) but I liked the movie and I liked the more recent mini-series. However, there again we have the evil, dastardly Emperor and once again he also has a daughter who is spoiled, arrogant and so on but who does more or less come around to the side of the good guys. “Dune” may deserve a bit of a pass though because it is set in a purely monarchial, feudal sort of universe. There are no republics or republicans, there is an Emperor and then there are the aristocrats, some of whom are good (Duke Leto) and some of whom are bad (Baron Vladimir). I don’t think there was a princess in a metallic bikini, best as I recall, but there was certainly plenty of flesh being flashed in the mini-series lest anyone think “Dune” was above that sort of thing.

Finally we come to “Star Trek” and, as stated, I can only really speak to the actual, original show. The rest I’m not that familiar with. I’ve been told that the Klingons got an emperor in “Star Trek: The Next Generation” but, based on a little poking around I’ve done for this write-up, if that’s true no one seems to have noticed. Anyway, one thing you need to know about “Star Trek” and probably most pop-fiction these days is that anything called an “empire” is bad. If there are bad guys, they have an empire. So, in “Star Trek” the most frequently recurring bad guys were the Klingons and the Romulans. Neither have an “Emperor” but they are both referred to as empires. Why? Because they’re bad guys and that’s all there is to it. As best as I can recall, we only ever saw one monarch in “Star Trek” and that was in the last season episode “Elaan of Troyius”. In the context of just that last season of the show, I have to say it comes off as very anti-monarchy.

"Her Glory" The Dolman of Elaas
I present as exhibit A the issue of the reception of the reigning monarch of Elaas. Just to fill in; the USS Enterprise was charged with escorting the ruler of Elaas, known as the Dolman (and here I was thinking that was a Hungarian cavalry jacket) to the planet Troyius to marry the local ruler and end the war between the two worlds. When the Dolman is beamed aboard the only special consideration is that Kirk and company drop to one knee, and even that is only at the prompting of some surly bodyguards. Compare this to another episode in the same season (and probably the worst ever in my book) called “The Savage Curtain”. In that one, they beam up Abraham Lincoln (no joke) and even though Kirk himself says he doesn’t believe it can possibly be the real Abe Lincoln, he orders “presidential honors” be given which include a security detachment, a musical recording of salutary drums, a boatswain whistle to pipe the guest aboard and everyone in full dress uniforms. Now, compare that to when the ruling monarch of a sovereign planet beams up and the only special attention is a reluctant drop to one knee and some annoyed expressions.

Sadly, it gets no better from there. The Dolman of Elaas (played by France Nguyen) is basically a combination of the stereotypical sci-fi evil emperor and scantily-clad princess put together. Her preference seems to be to wear as little as possible, she is violent, spoiled, rude, petulant, vindictive and, well, rather dumb. She nearly kills the ambassador of her husband-to-be and tries to seduce Kirk into marrying her and using his starship to annihilate her enemies. Yeah, she’s a real peach. In the course of the episode we find out the Klingons are trying to thwart the mission by sabotaging the Enterprise and then showing up to blast it to bits after disabling the engines. The Dolman, totally unintentionally, helps to get the engines working again, allowing Kirk to smack the Klingons hard enough to convince them to give it up and go home. The Enterprise goes on and we are to assume the Dolman marries the ruler of Troyius and presumably everything works out thanks to Kirk teaching her that she has to treat people with courtesy if she doesn’t want everyone to hate her. As “Star Trek” goes, I thought it was one of the better episodes but it still manages to cram in every typical sci-fi prejudice against monarchy in under an hour.

Others may know some more positive examples to point out. As I said at the beginning, I like this or that but am no expert on the genre. I wouldn’t know Dr. What from Stuff I Lost in Space or Babylon Nine from Deep Space Five. The only sci-fi TV shows I ever watched had nothing to do with royalty or monarchy. The closest thing probably would have been Imperious Leader on “Battlestar: Galactica” and even that was just a robot in a lizard costume so I hardly think that counts. Based on what I have seen, the image is a very negative one and full of constantly repeated stereotypical characters. For all you sci-fi fans out there, feel free to make use of the comments box to let me know if there are better examples out there. From what I’ve seen, the genre has not been kind.

16 comments:

  1. One particular science-fiction franchise I adore could be considered monarchistic. It's called Warhammer 40,000, and I'm afraid it is very nerdy indeed (wargaming miniatures, I shall delve no further).

    In its universe, the "Imperium of Man" is a vast, galaxy-wide domain headed by the God-Emperor of Mankind, a enthroned corpse who has been sitting there for ten thousand years while his domains slowly crumble around him, and the Imperium is driven to ever-more cruel and brutal measures to control its own population and to oppose its enemies - all of which desire nothing shorter than the utter extinction of mankind, and some, life itself. So despite being utterly barbaric and awful on a basic level, the Imperium is the only hope for mankind, including its immensely devoted populace and their worship of their monarch.
    The whole thing is described in a way that feels very monarchist, even if the future is immensely dystopic (the other factions are arguably worse than even absolute totalitarianism and unfettered corruption).

    It would be difficult to explain here though.

    P.S. I also find your little prods at Kansas amusing.

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    1. Thanks, I don't know how many people have been around long enough or were paying close enough attention to remember where that came from.

      I've never heard of Warhammer but it sounds familiar to a RPG a guy I went to school with many, many moons ago was heavily into.

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    2. It was your video on Portugal, if I recall, no? I may be mistaken.

      I wouldn't be surprised, Warhammer has been around since the seventies.

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  2. Tsk Tsk Tsk

    You've only watched American TV Sci-Fi so what do you expect! See the works of John Whitbourn. Who has Stacked up awards for writing a universe where Mary Queen of Scots Ascended the English throne, also Code Geas which is about a Prince whose master plan for world peace was to become an evil emporor conquer world, get killed, and let his peace loving sister inherit the throne, also The Mote in God's Eye from Jerry Pornell Also Anne Macaffery's Dragonriders of Pern has some Monarchial elements. There's Harry Turtledove. And i could go on and on and on. Also have you done a profile of The Xuantong Emperor yet if not you should

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    1. Have you tried clicking on the prominent picture of him on the sidebar? There's been quite a bit of coverage of the last Emperor.

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  3. Sci fi, as a genre is most definitely not kind to Monarchy, and I say that as a fan of that genre and fantasy when it comes to books and movies and, more recently as of late, games. What you point out is true and it really has alot to do witht he nature of Sci fi as a genre with alot of stories being sort of parables for how problems currently in our world would play out in a futuristic and exacerbated fashion and blah blah blah. As a result of this, certain tropes have developed and remain true even in the more nuanced works of sci fi in modern times: Federatons good, empires bad, and several of the things you point out here remain true. I addressed how the revolutionaries abuse the metaphors Aliens tend to be in Sci Fi for their pompous 'the end of history' ideological one ups manship and it can ruin alot of good stories. Especially the remake of the earth stood still, the original being an anti-nuclear parable, the remake being a pro-environmental parable: The earth as a life sustaining planet was so precious that Humanity's extinction was preferable to the planet's desolation. Bloody serious.

    In my own two blog posts dealing with the issue of Sci Fi I outline the reason the revolutionaries are so fixated on it as a genre: Its the same as when Atheists believe the discovery of real life space aliens would lead to the death of religion, in that it is 'claiming the future as belonging to them' and trying to force others to look backward because they claim to be looking forward, and it flies right under the radar because Fantasy and Sci Fi, despite being the most allegorical of all fictional genres tend to get the least in depth study into them if you discount the sheer magnitude of Tolkien speculation.

    I suppose I should supplement my calls for more monarchist friendly intellectual debate and propaganda with calls for more monarchist friendly fiction to help aid that. One can only tolerate the secular alien stereotype only so long before one is sick of it.

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    1. They do tend to base their vision of the future on their own established prejudices -their own liberal values will be embraced by all and lead to a utopian future where all the bad guys represent what are really aspects of the human past. I suppose it says something about my reactionary nature that much of the sci-fi stuff I have liked has been the opposite; wherein our technological advancements end up trying to kill us (Battlestar Galactica, Terminator, Bladerunner to some extent, etc).

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  4. If it were a choice between Emperor Ming the Merciless or President Sarko the Sulkiness, i know where my my loyalties would lie.

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  5. The problem with Sci Fi, and I think you hit on this, is that its often subtle propaganda designed to promulgate the opinions of its creators. Writers in the genre tend to be overwhelmingly leftist, and what this means is that science fiction writers working in monarchies (eg, HG Wells), tend to be very anti-establishment, anti-monarchical, and anti-capitalist. Their visions of the future are either a socialist utopia that creates a (pleasing to them) contrast with the horrors of the present-day, or a dystopian vision of what the world will become if we don't change our ways now and embrace socialism and atheism

    For American sci-fi writers, they just work off of what they know, namely the legends and folklore surrounding the American revolution that has been indoctrinated since preschool. So, while European sci-fi is typically of a socialist-motivated nature, American sci-fi often takes the form of "republic vs. monarchy" or "the people vs. oligarchy". Both versions are very bad for monarchists.

    Also, though you did mention Mel Brooks' Star Wars parody, Spaceballs, as being somewhat anti-monarchy for its depiction of a spoiled brat princess, I think it does deserve honorable mention for having, as its main evil villain, a President. Its one of the few movies out there where the republic is the bad guys and the monarchy (Druidia, I believe) are the good guys. That may have been a simple tongue in cheek reversal of the situation in Star Wars, but still nice to see.

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    1. You're right, it completely slipped my mind that the bad guys had a President in that one. Can't believe I didn't remember that -they were trying to be funny but actually nailed it as far as most presidents go as I remember.

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  6. Starwars Expanded Universe got something called "Fel Empire" - which is non-evil version of of Galactic Empire - no genocide, no slavery, no intolerance of aliens, less police state - no totalitarism, just average hereditary autocracy with elements of military oligarchy. Part of "Legacy" Comics series. You might want to check in on Wookiepedia.
    Another thing which is REALLY good is Anime "Legend of Galactic Heroes" Which is essentially Prussia/Kaiserreich in Space vs Generic Republic in Space. Both good and bad people are on both sides. One of main reason republic got it so bad, its because corrupt and stupid politicians make things constantly difficult to their hypercompetent general (first idiotic thing they do is to conitnue to wage war on Empire when they have decent chance for peace on favorable terms because they want to use jingoism to win election), while another equally hypercompetent general on Imperial side keeps earning victories.

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  7. It seems Servant Of The Cheif beat me to it but...


    ...Sci-Fi, and in fact all Fiction, often does rest on the ideas of the Original Authors. But the reason why so many Sci-Fi Writers are Lefties should be noted as well. It's actually the same reason why so many Lawyers are Democrats or so many Scientists are Atheists. There is nothing inherent in Science Fiction that promotes Liberalism or Atheism, just as there is noting Inherent in studying the Law that makes one a Liberal or in Science that makes you a Liberal and Atheist. It's just that we have linked these things Culturally together.

    In the 19th Century, when Modern Sci-Fi came around, it was through the works of men like Jules Verne or H. G. Wells. While not all of the early writers of “Romances” as they were called then were Liberals, the most prolific and influential of the Authors were. Notably the Aforementioned H. G. Wells. But, the only reason he was influential in his Fiction was because he tied the Fiction to the common beliefs of the day people were constantly exposed to. The 19th Century was an Era where people embraced the Myth of Eternal Progress. Just 50 to 100 Years after the Enlightenment and the Two Revolutions, the Ideals and principles and Philosophy of that former Era had been refined, and its own Mythology accepted as Truth. This was the Prism by which men had already begun seeing the world. With the advent of the Industrial Revolution, the idea came that man, using Science and Technology, could completely Conquer Nature and exploit its vast wealth for its own Gain. ( As an Aside, I do get a kick out of Modern Lefty Environmentalism given that the Heroes they still venerate often wanted every last scrap of Virgin woodland chopped down for new Factories.) The Whig View of History, of a Linear progression upward, had been fully developed. In this view, there is a pinnacle of Human Perfection on top of a Proverbial mount Olympus, and all of Human History has been mans inexorable climb to the top of that Mountain, which e will one day reach the peak of and have a perfect Society that has matured past the primitive past onto the model future based on Reason and Scientific Advances.



    Of course, this understanding of History presumes that the Ideals given in the Enlightenment, and for that matter by men like Karl Marx, were simply the natural progression of man toward that Final state. I have mentioned this before, but it basically see’s man beginning his Evolutionary Journey to godhood as primitive Savages who develop tribal cultures, which turn into primitive Monarchies, then more advanced Monarchies. Eventually the King’s power is limited by a Parliament and from that point on Kingdoms erode and become Republics, which come into play once man becomes Rational.

    Republicanism, like Atheism, is linked to the Enlightenments Praise of Reason, which is why we often see Monarchy ridiculed not only as outdated, but as silly and irrational.

    The Free thought Movement and Humanism gradually overtook the intelligence in the United Kingdom and Europe as well as in America, and basically everyone in respected Circles understood Human History as an Eternal Progression upward onto a final, perfected State. It is actually rather similar to Mormon Theology in a way as Mormons also believe in Eternal Progression towards perfection, but I digress.

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  8. Anyway, while Jules Verne and some early respected Writers did not embrace all of this totally ( or even any of it in some cases), as the Intelligencia became obsessed with the Future and asked what sort of Future would Technology and Science bring us, and conflating this with social and political norms, they began to create Fanciful predictions. Men like Wells, who I shall use as an example here as he was the most prolific and influential, or even Edward Bellamy who wrote “Looking Backwards” then took these Ideas and aspirations and turned them into Novels, show in how the Future will unfold along the predicted path into a sort of Socialist Utopia with advanced Technology and total Egalitarianism.



    These Novels were Unique in that they weren’t just papers written in Universities to be read amongst small elite, but distributed to the general public. They contained fanciful new Ideas, and in the case of men like Wells not all of those Political. People are initially attracted to them because of the scientific possibilities of things like Alien Invasions from Mars, or Time Travel. The Political Ideas are of course smuggled in as well under this banner.

    Over Time, people did begin o notice the Political Trends. This doesn’t actually bother Casual Readers, who tend to read a book or watch a movie and let it go. Only those who seriously think about these topics actually even delve into the deeper ramifications of the Ideas.

    Anyway, writers of this kind of Fiction began to associate with each other, and Science Fiction as a whole began to be associated with a specific kind of person and a specific kind of beliefs. In other words, a Cliché group formed around it.

    Over Time, the Ideas and expectations and outline of Future History became something of a stereotypical pattern, based on a then popular outline of how Human Future history would unfold. It’s now deeply engrained in the Science Fiction community so much so that nearly everyone accepts the basic outline of how the Future will develop. This is why Babylon 5 seems to follow the same type of Social Development that Star Trek did in first creating a United Earth Government ( Oddly similar to modern Evangelicals and the End Times Prophecies, although the One World Government is evil in that) and eventually a United Federation or Confederacy of various lien worlds working cooperatively in a Democratic Republic. This Pattern actually began in the 17th Century with the writings of John Locke, but was not formally developed in Fiction until the late 19th Century by Social Progressives who fully embraced the Idea and refined it. Now, even if you don’t share the same Political perspective of 19th Century Social Progressives ( and few do given they promoted Eugenics and strip-mining and such) the overall outline of the Future they presented us has become Standard simply by Virtue of Cultural Osmosis.

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  9. As these stories became popular and copied each others Themes and Ideas, even wile changing some things in each retelling, the Standard vision of the Future remained and became a sort of expected narrative backdrop to all of these Stories. In the end, it’s now just the Routine presupposition. It’s really only a handful of Sci-Fi that rejects this and most of it is indeed Anime from Japan, though some Western works like Dune also seem to reject it.

    At this point, most Writers of Sci-Fi are Lefties simply because the early Sci-Fi community developed around Leftism in the 19th Century with Leftest writers and leftist Academics. The stories inspired future writers who eventually learned from the earlier writers how to write a story and even absorbed their political Philosophy either by meeting said writers and taking them on as a Mentor, or else by reading interviews with them and treating them as wise sages who dispense truth. The Love of the Genre and acceptance of the general outline of the future made them receptive to the ideas behind the thinking and they followed suit.

    In much the same way that Enlightenment Inspired Atheism lead to the Publication of works critical f Religion by Atheists in the 19th Century and the writing of the Conflict Thesis by Draper, so that our culture accepts that Religion and Science are at odds and opposites of each other, so that when young people begin to learn about Science they have a seed planted in their minds that they must abandon Religion to pursue it further. This is gradually changing as the Conflict Thesis has been rejected by Academia, but its still popular in society at large and some militant Atheist groups promote the Idea. I suspect that it will fade completely over Time though.

    As for Sci-Fi, if more people wrote pro-monarchy Sci-Fi, and if the books were good and caught an audience, then over Time the old Tropes would also die off. They only exist because of cultural conditioning anyway, and can be dislodged if society in general ceases to associate Science Fiction with Liberalism and Atheism.

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  10. Unknown, actually I always wondered about the hatred of aliens in Star Wars. There really is no hint of it in the original Trilogy or the Prequels, and it seems to me to be the product of the EU.

    Though I should like to note in Star Wars's defence that, even if it is run by an Emperor, it is not totally Anti-Monarchy and one can actually draw Anti-Republican points from it, even if this is not what Lucas expected. If he reads my post expect a new Special Edition release but...


    ...

    1: It seems that they do have Royal Houses. While Amedallah is an Elected queen who serves a fixed term, somethign improbable given that she was suppose to be 14 at the Time and supposedly came from a middl class family yet had a body double raised with her since birth, the Planet Alderan (Princess Lea is Princess of this Planet, till its blown up anyway) has a standard Hereditary succession. It seems that not all Hereditary nobles were really that bad.


    2: Actually, despite the endless Praise of the Old Republic in the Original Trilogy, when we actually see it it was rife with Corruption with bickering politicians interested only n how they can profit politically or financially from whatever was happening. They were also totally ineffectual against the invasion of Naboo and pretty well allowed it to be dominated by the Trade Federation. How in the Bloody Hell is that suppose to be better than the Empire? Sure the Empire was a Dictatorship, but unless you were a Rebel attacking them they didn't seem to be all that oppressive.

    At least in the films.

    I also can't imagine a n Imperial Planet being invaded and this just being sort of allowed to happen.



    3: Technically, even though the Emperor was called "Emperor", he was an elected official, not a Hereditary Monarch. It also seems that the Empire did not run specifically on Hereditary succession, and either Vader would take over when the Emperor died or one of his Generals, or maybe they'd hold a conclave, or perhaps even a new Election. They never established how the Emperor would eventually be replaced.

    As it stands, the only actual Ruler of the Galactic Empire was an elected official who was given the post of Emperor by the Galactic Senate. That hardly speaks of a Traditional Monarchy.

    And lets face it, if Queen Amedallah represents Democracy because she's an elected Queen, then an Elected Emperor is just as much a Symbol for Democracy.

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  11. A monarchist who has never read what is probably the most profoundly pro-monarchy novel of the last hundred years, The Return of the King? Look, the films are absolute trash and not worth your time. But the Lord of the Rings is too rich a source of inspiration for you to lump it in with the fantasy "genre," which is all just weak dime store imitation of LOTR.

    Even the Chronicles of Narnia is drivel by comparison. Anyway, you ought to give it serious consideration. Tolkien was a devout believer in monarchy, in the vertical aspect of society, and the joy that comes to us through royal glory. The ultimate triumph at the culmination of the great quest is the coronation of the king by the prophet figure, Gandalf, and the restoration of the line of kings.

    Again, you simply must put this on your bucket list, MM.

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