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: I can no longer hold back. I must nitpick Star Wars: Episode II. The scope of my nitpicking will be limited to one point: "Resolved: that the members of the Senate in Star Wars: Episode II are really, really stupid."

Observe this subplot among Episode II's subplots: the Republic, which has never had an army, nonetheless needs some way to coerce a separatist faction into not being so durn separatist anymore. Milquetoast condemnations have failed. Sanctions have failed. Even Sense-of-the-Senate resolutions have failed! Sen. Palpatine (I-Naboo), chairman of the Senate, is granted by his fellow senators emergency powers which give him authority to raise a clone army of about a million. This presumably will be sufficient to teach Greedo Reb a lesson.

The argument against passing this resolution is the familiar creeping-fascism argument: the 'emergency' will become permanent, Palpatine will seize absolute power, the Republic will descend into Empire, and the clone army will be used as ineffective cannon fodder throughout the next four movies. This is, as we all know, exactly what happens. But what did you expect? It's a brainwashed clone army! You're going to breed people specifically for warfare and somehow demobilize them after the war? Perhaps I'm just old-fashioned, but to me "brainwashed clone army" has always meant "permanent standing army".

The obvious alternative: there are ten thousand planets (my completely random guess) in the Republic. You could call up a hundred reservists from each planet and have a million-organism army, each member of which has a moisture farm to go back to after the war's over. Each planet would have to be politically capable of handling up to 100 body bags, and the logistics would be more difficult (each species would have to provide its own ships and equipment, and differing battle doctrines might hinder cross-species operations), but look on the bright side: you wouldn't all be crushed under the jackbooted heel of the Dark Lord Of The Sith! Isn't that worth considering?

Also, an idle thought that occured to me. Wouldn't it be incredibly cool if, in Episode III, it turned out that Senator Palpatine wasn't Darth Sidious? I don't know how this could possibly happen, but I could probably think something up if George Lucas put me on the payroll. I'm not doin' your thinking for free, George.

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