If you have watched the prequel trilogy of Star Wars, surely you are of the belief that the Separatists are the villains that fought against the Jedi. However, the Separatists’ beliefs that lead to the Clone Wars were not only justified, but the Separatists were the good guys in Star Wars. Let me explain…
Warning: Major spoilers ahead…obviously.
Star Wars Class System
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… a governing body known as the Galactic Republic was comprised of Senators that would represent planets in order to govern the galaxy. This Star Wars galaxy is made up of regions known as the Core, Inner Rim, Expansion Region, Mid Rim, Hutt Space, and the Outer Rim – for all intents and purposes however we’ll just focus on the Core, Mid Rim, and Outer Rim.
Wealth in this galaxy was generally centralized, with the wealthiest planets closest to the center and the poorest in the Outer Rim. The Galactic Republic was stationed on the planet Coruscant, the Galactic City of the Core Worlds. This cosmopolitan city was widely known for its wealth, political and military power, as well as the home-world of humanity.
While the Inner Core planets, comprised of mostly human races, were vastly represented in the Galactic Republic due to their wealth, the Mid Rim and Outer Rim planets, mostly comprised of non-human species, were often viewed as inferior and exploited of resources by not only the Inner Core elites but the monopolized corporations as well, which also unjustly held representation in the Galactic Senate.
Due to this unjust use of power, these marginalized planets sought freedom from this corrupt form of Government and instead wished to govern themselves. Through peaceful means of diplomacy, Senators of these regions attempted to pass legislation that would ensure their people’s protection from exploitation. Unfortunately, their efforts to create progress in a diplomatic way were rejected by the corrupt state of the Republic.
Confederacy of Independent Systems
Around this time, the small Mid Rim planet of Naboo was being occupied and forced into an exploitative agreement by one of these monopolized corporations. Due to this corporation’s representation on the Galactic Senate and their rebuttals that Naboo’s claims were fabricated, the Galactic Republic refused aid. With no other solution, Naboo managed to prevent the occupancy by victoriously defending themselves in a seemingly unwindable battle.
Through their failed diplomatic attempts for protection, and Naboo’s recent military victory, a number of Mid and Outer Rim planets began to fight for their freedom with localized rebellions of nationalized militias against the exploitation of these monopolized corporations and over-powered core planets.
Localized rebellions began to band together under a common purpose of independence, which inevitably led to the creation of the Confederacy of Independent Systems. Ironically, the same corporations that the rebellion began by fighting against actually saw this as an opportunity to gain early access into a newly formed government. With the aid of the newly selected leader of the separatist movement, Count Dooku, leaders of the corporations gained seats to the newly formed Separatist Council.
Although the decision to select Count Dooku as the leader of the newly formed Separatists Council seems shocking now – knowing the atrocities he would go on to commit – it is important to understand who he was before that. Count Dooku was once considered to be one of the greatest Jedi Masters and was even called a role model by Jedi Master Mace Windu. Dooku even turned down a seat at the Jedi Council, citing his responsibility to help those in need throughout the Galaxy, rather than from a chair.
He chose to leave the Jedi Order when he discovered the political corruption that was occurring within the Order as well as the negligent death of his Padawan, Qui-Got Jinn. Not only was he notoriously powerful in the ways of the Force, but he was also friends with plenty of powerful people throughout the galaxy. Most importantly, Dooku was from an Outer Rim planet and a sympathizer of the Separatists’ cause. At the time, the inclusion of Count Dooku seemed like a huge victory for the Separatists.
Justification for Clone Wars
Count Dooku’s plan for Separatist success was through military might, which would force their legitimacy as a new governing body in the eyes of the Galactic Republic. From the financial backing of the newly involved corporations and the resources of the Mid and Outer Rim planets, the Confederacy of Independent Systems was able to create the largest droid army ever assembled in galactic history, known as the Separatist Droid Army.
Unbeknownst to the Separatists however, many of their allied corporations – include The Trade Federation, Techno Union, Corporate Alliance, and the InterGalactic Banking Clan – still maintained neutrality. They managed to remain represented in the Galactic Senate as their interests in the Separatists’ efforts were merely focus on profits and not the actual goal of independence.
Like the corporations, the Separatists were also being taken advantage of by the Sith through a plot to create an intergalactic war. Through the plot of Senator Palpatine – or Darth Sidious – Count Dooku would stage the Republic as aggressors, eliciting a Jedi strike force to Geonosis, where their droid army was being assembled, in an attempt to capture the members of the Separatist Council.
To the Separatists, this action looked like the Republic attempting to commit espionage in an attack on a planet that had commit no crimes. These actions then validated the execution orders of the two Jedi when they refused to atone for their crimes as well as refused to recognize the Confederacy of Independent Systems.
Alternatively, the Republic viewed the order to send Jedi as prevention against a potential military strike from the Separatists. To prevent the Jedi execution, the Republic responded by sending an army. This further validated the Separatists’ views of the Republic as the aggressors. Unfortunately, both parties now viewed intergalactic war as a justifiable response.
During much of the Clone Wars, the Separatists Senators were unaware of almost any actions taken by their droid army, as they were only given authority over their own localized militias. This lead to a vast majority of the Separatists being completely unaware of the war atrocities their droid army was actually committing. Instead, they continued to view the Republic as the aggressors while they simply wanted peace. Due to Dooku’s successful war propaganda, the Separatist Parliament was so unaware of his actions that they even gave Count Dooku a humanitarian award.
Furthermore, the Separatists viewed their war actions as much more humane by using an army of droids. They also viewed their actions as a moral responsibility, as they saw the Republic’s Army of Clones as a form of slavery. Even the Jedi were being manipulated through propaganda from the Republic. In fact, the few Jedi that learned of the Separatists’ reasonings for war ended up becoming neutral.
The Separatist idea was started as a grassroots movement by marginalized races that sought independence from an authoritative government exploiting them of their resources. They never had plans to rule the galaxy, or even destroy the Republic. They simply wanted independence and prosperity for their homes.
It was only through propaganda from malicious and selfish agencies, such as the monopolies and Sith, that lead to the war. When you understand their reasoning, the creation of the Separatist movement was justified in their belief to end the corruption and exploitation of the Galactic Republic. Therefore, the Separatists were the good guys in Star Wars.