Taxes and the Star Wars Universe

May 4, 2017

Taxes are everywhere, and that includes the Star Wars universe. In Episode I: The Phantom Menacethe opening crawl brings up taxes almost immediately:

Turmoil has engulfed the Galactic Republic. The taxation of trade routes to outlying star systems is in dispute.

Hoping to resolve the matter with a blockade of deadly battleships, the greedy Trade Federation has stopped all shipping to the small planet of Naboo.

While the congress of the Republic endlessly debates this alarming chain of events, the Supreme Chancellor has secretly dispatched two Jedi Knights, the guardians of peace and justice in the galaxy, to settle the conflict…

As best I understand it, the Galactic Senate has imposed taxes on interplanetary trading activity over the objections of the Trade Federation, and the Trade Federation responds with a complete blockade of one planet—Naboo—until the taxes are repealed. Secretly, of course, Naboo will be invaded and the real reason the planet was selected was to propel the career of a certain senator…

Incidentally, the sale of the Star Wars franchise to Disney allegedly had a tax-related timing decision.

Happy May 4th (May the Fourth)!

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