Wow, today’s episode was something completely fresh and fascinating! An in-depth documentary about the history and progression of the Empire and Alliance? Sign me in!
We’ve already explored the history slightly, but never in such a vastly different way. Portraying it in a History Channel-type TV segment is genius, and it further establishes the concreteness of the world. It’s obvious that such an event would have countless documentaries made about it (just like another conflict which I’ll touch upon in a bit), and it serves to show just how full this fictional universe is and how it’s brimming with real-world similarities that extent past the surface level. Attention to detail, man.
Rudolf is the key to this whole story, and reminds me almost completely of another man in history, who also started as a soldier, rose up in the political ranks, and eventually became so powerful and influential that he reached deity status: Adolf Hitler.
The most interesting thing about Hitler is hearing not about how many people he killed (even though this cannot be denied, of course), but about what he did to better the lives of his country’s citizens, and with Rudolf, there’s very much the same level of transient morality that goes to both extremes at the same time.
Hitler was a deeply troubled and hateful being, but his reason for doing so was a love for Germany and his perception of evolutionary superiority. Because of this, he turned Germany from the most economically pathetic, socially broken, and universally despised country on Earth into one of the most powerful nations on the planet, all within a time frame of 10 years. He was elected Chancellor in 1936 and by 1942, Germany was waist deep in a continent-spanning war that it was winning without much effort. The German people were given brand new roads, vehicles, technological and entertainment inventions, cultural expanse and much, much more. How could they not fight to protect this seemingly perfect society?
Now, let’s take a look at Rudolf. During his reign, he managed to push humanity into a new space age, practically destroying any problem that the species had to deal with. The Galactic Empire was formed because the people living under Rudolf’s rule were so in love with him that they put him on a pedestal made for gods. His speeches were charismatic, filled with an unquantifiable power that struck deep in the hearts of those hearing it. Who’s another person that was treated in much the same way? Hitler, of course.
Rudolf, like most people, also had some personal views on superiority that might’ve gone to an extreme level because of his god-like state, and decided to enact the “Inferior Genes Exclusion Law”, which shares most (if not all) specifications with Hitler’s eradication of Jews and other “inferior humans”. And, much like in World War II, the actual percentage of casualties was a microscopic amount in relation to the population of the planet.
The similarities between Rudolf and Hitler are too strong to ignore (especially after even the narrator mentioned that the nobles Rudolf chose were all white and with Germanic names, which makes it all much too obvious.
It’s true that Rudolf was a very controversial figure in the world of LoGH, but there’s no doubt that excluding all the atrocious actions he committed, he also pushed the boundaries of humankind, taking the fight to the stars and making the world what it ended up being.
And I’d say Reinhard’s story is looking a little too much like Rudolf’s story for this not to be important in the final test.