Darth Moneybags

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Say you’re a dictator scheming away to rule a multitude of star systems. Got it?

You build a huge… oh …Death Star to strike fear into the souls of all you subjugate  across the galaxy. These things aren’t cheap. Even if you are using slave labour, there is considerable cost involved with building a space station the size of a small moon. Not to mention continuing to run the day to day galaxy stuff.

Then a backwater kid comes along and blows it up with a decomissioned star fighter in one go.

You’re on the phone to the insurance company, I’m sure.

Okay so you get settlement somehow and you’re right back at it, building another one (slightly bigger!!) and meanwhile your #2 right hand man (ha!) is begging for his own massive battle cruiser.  He wants to call it “Pademe” or some such nonsense and you remind him that you are signing the cheques and it will be called something more menacing, like “The Executor”. Cha-ching, more cash out the door.

Meanwhile I’m pretty sure that the Banks and the Trade Federation are at your door demanding money for interest on the loans you’ve taken out for your new Death Star. They’re probably sweating buckets that your first loan is kind of *poof* up in space dust and here you are asking for more and if the Banks don’t cough it up, Force chokes all around the boardroom.

And hey guess what? You’ve been such a dick creating fear across the galaxy that there are *more* rebels and they have a lot more ships and look! Here they come to blow up your new Death Star that isn’t even finished (or paid off yet).

Boom. Gone.

Also, you’re dead.

So my question is: If the Imperial forces are weakened by all this mayhem, how can they afford upgrades to their armour?

I ask because this pic of the new look of a Stormtrooper has been leaked (allegedly) from the set of Star Wars VII. Have a boo:

Pretty snazzy, eh? While I am wicked excited about the look (it looks like Syd Mead stopped by the SWVII art department and scribbled stuff on the walls), the first thing that popped into my head was “How could the Empire afford upgrades?”

The original Star Wars art design was about “used space” (Lucas’ words to Ralph McQuarrie when he asked him to visualize his story) and I am a big fan of JJ Abrams. His teased shots of practical effects over the last couple months have made me really excited to see this movie. But I have a shiver of fear in this shot.

My thinking (as a rabid fanboy) is that the Imperial forces are now considered “the Rebels” and that the rebels have become the ruling class with all the fancy ships and nice clothes. Role reversal. So the “used” look would be transferred to the Imperial forces…right?

I have to calm down.

I hope the story backs up the justification of the upgrade and not “Make it cool!” for Hollywood sake.

As I type that last line I had another shiver…

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