Conflicted Imperial tendencies

I’ve been dwelling about this since a random thought in the shower this morning. It may lose me a few online friends, but it’s worth sharing anyway. If (if only!) I lived-in the Star Wars universe, I think I’d most probably like to work for the Empire.

There. I’ve said it.

Now let me explain my point of view. Let’s put to one side all of that nonsense about the “dark side of the force”. Mystical religious flim-flam. As we all know, the true power of the Empire was in sheer force of numbers. Not a couple of freaky looking guys in bizarre outfits, moving things by force of will.

Let’s take a moment to reflect about what was so great about the Empire.

The clothes

For a start, those guys knew how to dress. What a collection of uniforms. From TIE Fighter Pilot helmets, through to Stormtrooper uniforms, all the way to Imperial Guardsmen. An outfit for every occasion, always kept in top notch condition.

Simple, striking and quite literally, uniform. You knew when you were in the presence of the Empire and it wasn’t because of a 7 foot tall giant asthmatic in a black cape. I know if I joined the Empire, I’d get at least one if not two, high quality tailored outfits for work.

Compare that to the raggle-taggle rebels, who always looked scruffy and slightly disheveled. A complete lack of consistency in how they dressed, it was hard to tell who did what. Most of them looked like they’d inherited their uniforms (just think of that – the smell!).

It’s basic, guys – dress for the job you want.

I mean, if you wanted to get a seat in a crowded cantina in Mos Eisley, would you have more success convincing rebel scum to move out of your way if you were dressed as an X-Wing pilot or a Stormtrooper?

Exactly. Case closed.

The equipment

Millennium Falcon aside, the Empire had the best ships and equipment in the universe. There is no doubting this. They had TIE fighters, AT-ATs, Star Destroyers, Snow Speeders…. the list goes on.

The rebels? Yep, the Millennium Falcon (which remains excellent) and several hundred X-Wings that looked like they were made by a hobbyist in his garage. And as for the Y-Wings? Who in the Rebel Alliance procurement department is responsible for that cock-up?

“Hey Bob, it’s Dave here from Dave’s Stellar Shipyard. Remember the X-Wings?”

“Of course I do, still loving’ them!”

“Well, have I got a bargain for you…”

Looking at the Imperial Fleet, you just knew that it was a well-maintained and orderly outfit. Lots of spare parts, lots of inventories kept up to date. The Rebel Alliance? Kept together with duct-tape and a prayer.

I think I would have enjoyed life on a Star Destroyer. Looked like a nice, smooth ride. And it definitely looked like there was room for some serious amenities.

Can you imagine the the size of the employee gym on a Star Destroyer?!

The Talent

Now I don’t have evidence to back this up, but I’d have to wonder at the quality of the Rebel Alliance’s HR department. Looks like some examples of nepotism (they have a princess calling the shots, just because of who her dad was?!) and they also hired a known criminal in the form of Han Solo. A murdering smuggler.

It seemed like anyone could just rock up and join the Rebel Alliance. I saw no evidence of any proper assessment processes or vetting. Hence, Solo and god know how may other undesirables.

Talk about walking into a law suit. That’s an employment lawyer’s dream right there.

The leadership structure was also a little unclear. It seemed that people had far too much discretion to make their own decisions and strike out on their own. Rule-breaking galore, no effective role-modelling from the management and I’m not sure I saw anyone getting effective feedback on their performance. Lots of inconsistencies there and no strong leadership from the top.

Now the Empire, they knew all about strong leadership. The organisation chart on board the Death Star was pretty clear about who was in charge of who. And as for performance management, you got fast and accurate feedback.

Sometimes it resulted in your choking to death in front of your colleagues, but quite frankly you should know better than to piss off Darth Vader like that. I’m sure it was all detailed in the employee handbook and covered off during orientation.

In summary

In summary, then, I think I’d opt for the Empire. Looked like a great place to make a good professional network, opportunities to work abroad (i.e. other side of the galaxy), great opportunities for advancement (when your boss choked to death in the office) and some pretty sweet work-wear.

You can keep your romantic notions of rebellion and fighting “the man”. You never heard Han Solo mention his employer’s pension contributions or annual leave allowance, did you?

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