The blog is back! With the Scottish referendum just a day away, here are the five most instructive independence movements from science fiction!
Voting is not at all heroic so it’s no wonder that most independence movements in science fiction resorted to war rather than referendums. Still, while congratulating the British that in this regard they seem to be more advanced than societies in our future, it’s fun to look at some of the most famous independence struggles in science fiction!
The most devastating: The Separatist Alliance (Star Wars)
The independence movement of the Separatists led by Count Dooku in the last days of the glorious Old Republic of Star Wars is directly responsible for the Clone Wars, a galactic civil war and the emergence of the evil Empire. While professing noble goals against a corrupt Republic, the Separatists were actually led by a Sith, manipulated by Palpatine. The result: the death of the Republic, the wiping out of the Jedi and the emergence of Palpatine as emperor. Not a pattern to repeat!
The most heroic: The Jaffa Rebellion (Stargate)
Is there anything more heroic than a slave race rising up against its oppressors and defeating them? This is exactly what the Jaffa did against the Goa’uld: after countless failed attempts, under the leadership of Bra’tac and SG-1’s very own Teal’c, and with some help from the Tau’ri (that’s humans in Stargate-speak) they managed to form their own nation. Of course, problems later arose, but that is a different story…
The most complex: Bajoran Independence Movement (Star Trek)
Complexity is not something Star Trek is generally famous for, but the question of Bajoran independence presented a host of difficult questions. Bajorans won their independence from the Cardassians – only to be presented with the problem of whether to join the Federation or remain independent. The arrival of the Dominion and their successes against the Federation further complicated the question. The message: if you are a smaller nation (planet) among more powerful neighbours, independence can be tricky…
The most noble (and successful): The independence of Babylon 5 (Babylon 5)
When Earth moved towards a dictatorship, the leadership of Babylon 5 decided to become independent – and restore democracy to Earth. Sheridan became one of few military leaders to actually stick to his promises and not take over power over the liberated Earth – which makes this one of the most inspirational independence movements!
The most Scottish: The Scottish “Ship” (Doctor Who)
In the episode “The Beast Below” of Doctor Who, Scottish independence is a given: as the people left Earth in spaceships, the Doctor presents Amy with the “United Kingdom of Britain and Northern Ireland”. Where is Scotland? Well, they wanted their own ship… Of course, this all takes place in the 29th century, so independence might just come a bit later.
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