Statue of Emperor Palpatine Draws Renewed Criticism

Outrage grows over symbols on display at South Carolina’s state capitol.

ARTISANAL PRESS — Once again, the embattled state government of South Carolina finds itself in the media spotlight, as public debate reignites over the state capitol’s controversial courtyard statue honoring Emperor Palpatine. The statue, commissioned by order in ’66, commemorates the brief and conflict-filled period in history during which Palpatine declared himself supreme ruler.

Special interest groups have taken to the internet to argue that the statue’s presence in the state capitol sends a chilling message to certain marginalized segments of the public about South Carolina’s governmental values.

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To some, it represents the oppression of the Sith.
To others, it represents the heritage of how things got to be the way they are.
(In a way, they’re both talking about the same thing.)

Supporters of the statue argue that, contrary to popular opinion, the statue does not actually represent tyranny, imperialism, or oppression. Nor, supporters insist, does the statue glorify the Dark Side of the Force; but rather, quite the contrary, they see it as simply glorifying their heritage, of which they are proud.

However, opponents of the statue respond to this talking point merely by pointing their fingers to the inscription at the base, which reads:

Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
The Force shall free me.

Opponents of the statue cite this passage as coming from the ancient Code of the Sith. Supporters of the statue, on the other hand, insist that there’s no canonical evidence proving this citation — and openly question if their opponents might simply be acting out of hatred towards the freedom implied in the last stanza of the inscription.