A BB-9E bobble head sits on top of a wall.

What the Emperor Did Was Stupid

By Tiger Shi
Web Content Contributor

Most of us grew up on some sort of science fiction franchise, the most notable ones being Star Trek and Star Wars. I, for one, very much enjoyed Star Wars growing up. It all started from Lego Star Wars video games and watching Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005) with my childhood friend. One of the most notorious villains of the space-opera would be Emperor Palpatine (played by Ian McDiarmid). 

I witnessed Palpatine’s evil doings from his rise to power in the prequel trilogy (1999-2005) to his appearance in the newest movie The Rise of Skywalker. However, there is one incredibly stupid plan of his that was seen in the 2017 video game Star Wars: Battlefront II which doubts his reputation as Emperor, plot-wise. That plan is known as Operation: Cinder, a contingency plan that devastates Palpatine’s own empire. 

The fifth mission of Star Wars Battlefront II where Operation: Cinder was seen.
The Empire carried out Operation: Cinder as seen in-game. Photo by Tiger Shi.

Given the fact that some Star Wars fans don’t play the game; therefore, they don’t know the story, I wouldn’t mind spoiling it. Basically; after Palpatine’s supposed death in Return of the Jedi (1983), Operation: Cinder was issued as a means to “show” the galaxy who is in control as a legitimate government. The Empire wants the public to know it wasn’t the Rebel Alliance whom would form the New Republic, but them. The way this operation was conducted was literally destroying Imperial worlds by satellite beams. 

Some may argue this was a tactic used by Palpatine to leave the Rebel Alliance or New Republic with nothing to use for their benefit. While this could be true, it’s still a dumb way to demonstrate muscle and might of the Imperial military because they are literally just terrorizing its own citizens — worlds loyal to the Empire. Planets, from Palpatine’s home world of Naboo to the main character Iden Versio’s home world of Vardos, were being destroyed until atmospheric ashes filled the air. 

A bobble head of a Stormtrooper leans against the bench.
The Stormtrooper is standard infantry of the Galactic Empire and First Order. Photo by Tiger Shi.

As unnecessary as it was, Operation: Cinder was more of a test to prove the Empire was good at wasting taxpayers’ credits (Star Wars currency) on military. What started out as funding the war effort against a galactic-wide rebellion eventually turned into funding a free pass to self-destruction. This was all for the story aspect; now comes the storywriters’ perspective. Some of us may be thinking: why would DICE (developers of the game) or Disney make this a canonical thing? 

I believe this may be because both parties want money. They literally profit from spitting out stories to add to the Star Wars timeline. From DICE to Kathleen Kennedy, the canon storyline in Star Wars is now an asset to profit from used by the creators of anything Star Wars. I love Star Wars: Battlefront II and all; however, I think the storywriters needed a little more work to improve so Palpatine wouldn’t appear as an evil fool. 

Featured image by Tiger Shi.

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