Legend of the Galactic Heroes Volume 3 : Endurance – A Democracy in Name only

(If you are interested in Legend of the Galactic Heroes, you may want to catch up to some of my previous volume talks and reviews. My Legend of the Galactic Heroes volume 1 review is here and my Volume 2 analysis can be found here.)

This isn’t the last Legend of the Galactic Heroes novel talk that you will get out of me, but I am going to take a short break from it. It isn’t because the novels are bad, but because I am getting nervous about whether or not I am hitting my reading limit. I am still struggling with getting back into reading, and these novels are beginning to get either a little redundant or tiring for me, so I need to read something that is completely different. Legend of the Galactic Heroes and it’s world probably need a break from me as well, because I’ve been analyzing some of what the novels are saying from my understanding of what Legend of the Galactic Heroes is trying to say. Very specific kind of analyzes that are probably completely wrong from who knows how many perspectives, but I feel like it’s interesting to look at all of this. All of this will be back eventually.

A Quick Synopsis

Before I even talk about this volume on a little bit of analytical level, I need to quickly summarize everything that happened so we are all on the same page. On the Free Planets side, Yang Wenli was called to an illegal court proceedings by his government for some reason. The government feeling very threatened by Yang Wenli’s fame, so they feel like making themselves feel better by yelling at him and putting him in a box for a while. That means he’s away from his Iserlohn fortress. You know, because nothing ever bad happens on the front lines of battle. (Spoilers, they do.)

While Duke Reinhard is working hard on his political reforms, he gives his generals a project to make another Imperial fortress mobile with a plan to assault Iserlohn. Fortress v Fortress combat. So that happens, and Yang must rush back to save the Free Planets Alliance. While that is happening, the third country by the name of Phezzan corridor is planning evil schemes against the Empire and the F.P.A. with using pawns from the aristocratic fall out of the Empire’s Civil War. It’s heavy duty stuff, but with more character and world building.

This volume was a little different from the other two, because it only took half of a year instead of a year. This does mean that more characters were introduced or explored more, but it also means that the pace of the whole thing was very meandering and a little slow. Especially since it’s hard to remember all of the names that Legend of the Galactic Heroes throws at us or whether if they will become important or not. It can be pretty tedious from time to time, but this a space epic. A lot like giant fantasy novels that last a thousand or more pages, it’s part of the danger of the genre. I am glad that each novel is around 250 pages, but I do love this kind of stuff.

(And that’s all you get. If you care about spoilers and are interested in Legend of the Galactic Heroes in some capacity, please don’t read further.)

The Free Planets Alliance

The Free Planets Alliance

Not a lot of things happened in the Free Planets Alliance in this volume, but what is there is some incredibly interesting things to think about. The difference between Yang’s command at Iserlohn fortress and the rest of the Free Planets Alliance is huge. For one thing, Yang isn’t just commanding a military fortress who knows how far it is in the Alliance’s frontier. Five million people including civilians live there so it’s like he’s the president of an entire nation. I don’t think Yang realized it at the moment, but just by himself and commanding with such a freeing style, he’s created his own Yang Yutopia that doesn’t hamper any of free will of the people there. Yang is the very will of democracy itself. It’s pretty amazing what people achieve in ignorance.

Then we look at the Free Planets Alliance where it is only free and democratic in name only. I mean, Yang Wenli, the savior of the Free Planets Alliance who is the reason why it is still existing right now, was trapped in a politically controlled box in the Capital because the politicians that want to keep fighting behind the lines want to keep fighting. All the media and industry is under the control of their thumb. I mean, they literally ordered Yang to show up to an illegal court of inquiry so they can question, confuse, and break him. What kind of country treats their heroes like this? I know that I’ve always hated the Free Planets Alliance, but they have fallen down a hole they can’t recover from. There is no saving it anymore, even if Yang wants to stay attached to something that is sinking. Curse these conflicted feelings that this show has given me. Like, thank the empire for invading Iserlohn with another fortress to get Yang out of this terrible situation.

The Empire

The duality of Reinhard’s and Yang’s lives are brought up here as well. The difference is that Reinhard doesn’t have a microcosm of his kind of Yutopia, he’s building his own out of the complete body of the older empire. Instead of being pushed around by a government that he still finds some allegiance too, he is the government now and making some great reforms for the normal civilians of the Galactic Empire. He doesn’t take the lead in the volume because he’s given some project to other commanders to do and allows other admirals like Reunthal and Mittermeyer to get some characterization, but Reinhard is always large and in charge. Don’t forget that. This could have been Yang if Yang didn’t hold his beliefs like he did. Or Yang didn’t want to conquer a large area of space because he didn’t want to miss his daily naps. Either way…

So let’s talk about some more of the effects of Reinhards reforms. You know, because a lot of nobles and former commanders of the Empire’s military fled to the third space country, Phezzan, to escape Reinhard’s rule. Most of them want to just find a place to live, but some more powerful and professional people are now being thrown into Phezzan’s schemes of conquering the known galaxy. More on that in a later post, because Phezzan is still the third party that is trying very hard to be more. All of their schemes have either worked in a way they didn’t expect or put into question because of people they can’t control. It’s hard to be the smartest person in the room when all your plans rely on the backs of other people failing.

And lastly, let’s talk about the fortress that is sent toward the Iserlohn corridor. You know, the fortress that Reinhard defeated in the last volume. I guess the Empire’s economy has been doing incredibly well considering they have the science and engineering team to strap twelve star engines (and twelve normal engines) onto a giant piece of space rock and send it flying towards Iserlohn. If only Reinhard got a good leader to command this position, because Admiral Kempff wasn’t up to task of destroying Iserlohn with this fortress. Instead, the conflict became a huge stalemate with horrific consequences for all.

Conclusions

With this volume, we see start to see the results of cross roads that happened from the two civil wars that happened in volume two. The empire is now thriving and has resources to spare in major resources to major war projects that are mere side projects. I mean, did Iserlohn have to be won over? Not really, but it would have been nice for the empire to do that I suppose. Meanwhile, the Free Planets Alliance is looking inwardly at itself and slowly tearing itself apart through it’s cowardice and fear of people that achieve something. I think we all know what is going to happen next, but it’s up to Phezzan’s schemes in some ways for that to happen. They are the minor bit of push that gets this conflict to continue.


Thank you for reading, everyone! If you want to support me in anyway, there are a couple ways to do that down below. Please don’t feel pressured to do so, this isn’t what I am trying to do. 

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