- 600px-Imperial Emblem svg.png|thumb|400px|right]]�
- "We are an Empire ruled by the majority! An Empire ruled by a new Constitution! An Empire of laws, not of politicians! An Empire devoted to the preservation of a just society. Of a safe and secure society! We are an Empire that will stand for ten thousand years!"
The Galactic Empire, also known as the New Order, the Old Empire, the First Galactic Empire, Palpatine's New Order, the Imperium or simply the Empire, was the galactic government established by Supreme Chancellor Palpatine to replace the Galactic Republic in 19 BBY and bring Sith rule to the galaxy.
The Republic, which had lasted intermittently for 25,034 years, ended following a period of intense political turmoil and the devastation of the Clone Wars. After General Grievous was defeated at the Battle of Utapau, and shortly after the leaders of the Confederacy of Independent Systems were killed on Mustafar by Darth Vader, Palpatine began a purge of the Jedi Order, declared himself Emperor of the galaxy and reorganized the Galactic Republic into "the first Galactic Empire". �
- "We stand on the threshold of a new beginning. In order to ensure our security and continuing stability, the Republic will be reorganized into the first Galactic Empire, for a safe and secure society, which I assure you will last for ten thousand years. An Empire that will continue to be ruled by this august body and a sovereign ruler chosen for life."
- ―Emperor Palpatine, in his Imperial Inaugural Address[src]
The Empire can be said to have begun with the scheming aspiration of Senator Palpatine of Naboo, whose alter ego was the Sith Lord Darth Sidious. Using the Trade Federation as a pawn to blockade Naboo, he used manipulation of the crisis, as well as of Queen Amidala, to instigate a Vote of No Confidence in Supreme Chancellor Valorum, and ultimately to become Chancellor himself. When his apprentice, Darth Maul, was killed by Obi-Wan Kenobi on Naboo, Sidious took on the former Jedi Count Dooku as his new apprentice. Count Dooku then joined with the Trade Federation under Viceroy Nute Gunray and others to form the Confederacy of Independent Systems. This group, known as the Separatists, ignited a war with the Galactic Republic known as the Clone Wars. It was named after the clone troopers used by the Republic. � Emperor Palpatine announces the New Order.Palpatine was an efficient and effective leader who quickly brought to an end the corruption in the Senate; his power was greatly increased as a result of the Clone Wars as the Senate willingly furnished more and more emergency powers to Palpatine. Eventually, the Senate lost most of its power and became little more than a formality that Palpatine had to go through to pass his laws. Yet the Senate did have a symbolic power at least; Chancellor Palpatine still hid behind the pomp and circumstance of appealing to the Senate, but his power existed in his control over thousands of Senators that he had brought into his own web of corruption. However, Anakin Skywalker discovered that Palpatine was a Sith Lord and, after having informed Jedi Master Mace Windu of his discovery, a Jedi task force, led by Windu himself, attempted to arrest him. After a brief duel, Palpatine appeared to be defeated. Skywalker arrived and demanded Windu not kill the Sith Lord. Deeply troubled, Skywalker nonetheless helped Palpatine kill Windu, and thus became the Emperor's new apprentice, Darth Vader. Palpatine then proceeded to carry out the Great Jedi Purge, which eliminated thousands of Jedi, and had Darth Vader eliminate Viceroy Nute Gunray and the other Separatist leaders on the fiery world of Mustafar, thus bringing an end to the Clone Wars. Secure in his power and position, Palpatine used the false Jedi rebellion to issue the Declaration of a New Order and declared himself Emperor in 19 BBY.
Many people of the new Empire enthusiastically supported the vision outlined in the Declaration of a New Order, largely due to the violence that had plagued the galaxy for so long. Many Senators wholeheartedly supported the new government while a number of more cautious senators chose to watch and wait to see how the new government would handle the affairs of state. It promised to trade frailty for strength, chaos for order, and uncertainty for decisiveness. In retrospect, the foundation of the Empire had already been set down during Palpatine's chancellorship and all potential threats eliminated; therefore, the transition from Republic to Empire was relatively smooth.
It is important to note that not all of the Senators liked what they saw. In fact, the Petition of 2000 sought to bring the worries of these Senators to Palpatine. This petition was led by Bail Organa, Mon Mothma, and Padmé Amidala. Palpatine's dismissal of their concerns was one factor that led Organa and Mothma to found the Alliance to Restore the Republic.
- Main article: Imperialization
- "I have brought peace, freedom, justice, and security to my new Empire!"
- ―Darth Vader[src]
With the rise of the Empire, all the institutions of the old Republic found themselves either dismantled or changed beyond recognition. There was a riot of renaming all things "Imperial" to glorify the new Emperor: overnight, the Coruscant Sector was renamed the Imperial Sector, Coruscant itself was renamed Imperial Center, and Galactic City was renamed Imperial City. The Galactic Senate became the Imperial Senate. The Grand Army of the Republic became the Imperial Army, and the Republic Navy became the Imperial Navy. The four decrepit intelligence agencies of the Republic were merged into Imperial Intelligence, with former SBI director Armand Isard at its head. The Palace of the Republic was rebuilt and expanded, becoming the Imperial Palace, eclipsing all other buildings on Imperial Center. The former Commission for the Protection of the Republic (COMPOR) was renamed the Commission for the Preservation of the New Order (COMPNOR). Within days, there were few names left to remind the people that there had ever been a Republic. � Emperor Palpatine, ruler of the galaxy.During the first few years of the Empire, the galaxy saw the single largest military buildup in history. A council of Moffs was established to more efficiently govern individual sectors and regions of the Empire. Popular support for the policies of Palpatine's administration was high.
- "We must move quickly. The Jedi are relentless. If they are not all destroyed, it will be civil war without end."
As this process unfolded, Palpatine consolidated by power launching Purges against his opponents, most notably the old republic officers, who he hadn't been able to seduce to his side. Palpatine's first purge of the Imperial Navy occurred within just two weeks into the Empire's rule.
The Emperor saw the respected Caamasi as a threat to his New Order, so he ordered the devastation of their home planet Caamas. A group of Bothan infiltrators were responsible for sabotaging Caamas's shield generators, leaving the planet vulnerable to Imperial orbital bombardment. The once beautiful world was devastated during this attack, turned into a poisoned wasteland. The peaceful Caamasi were dispersed throughout the galaxy. In 18 BBY, the Emperor constructed the huge, asteroid-shaped superweapon Eye of Palpatine in order to use it to destroy a Jedi enclave on Belsavis. However, the deadly superweapon was sabotaged by two Jedi Knights and the Jedi on Belsavis managed to escape.
Around the same time, a group of beings were protesting the tyranny of the Galactic Empire on the planet Ghorman in the Sern Sector. Wilhuff Tarkin's flagship was blocked by peaceful protesters who stood on the ship's landing pad and refused to move. With implied permission from Palpatine, Tarkin landed the ship anyway, right on the protesters, injuring and killing many. This came to be known as the Ghorman Massacre. The Alliance to Restore the Republic was founded in its wake.
Many Jedi also rebelled against Palpatine's regime. Olee Starstone and group of Order 66 Jedi survivors along with Roan Shryne attempted to restart the Jedi Council but were unsuccessful. The group fled to Kashyyyk to find out if any Jedi survived there, but the Empire launched a massive takeover of the planet. Darth Vader killed Roan Shryne and some of the Jedi. A Wookiee among them, named Chewbacca, fled the city to find his family. Meanwhile, Ferus Olin along with his friends including Jedi Master Solace caused much havoc on Imperial-controlled planets including a rebellion on the planet of Bellassa, the two break-ins of the destroyed Jedi Temple on Coruscant, and the destruction of an Imperial Garrison and Weapon Munitions Center on Naboo. Also on Kessel, a group of Jedi including Master Tsui Choi and Jedi Knight Bultar Swan planned to draw Darth Vader into a trap and kill him. Due to exceptionally bad planning and tactics, every one of them was killed. However, Vader's suit was damaged.
In 1 BBY, the Emperor and Vader were the targets of an attempted coup by a group of treacherous Imperial officers led by Grand Moff Trachta. Trachta saw the Sith as foolish and archaic, and believed that the Empire should not be ruled by a two-man cult. They planned to use a batch of altered stormtroopers loyal only to them to destroy the two Sith Lords. However, their plot failed in part because of internal fighting between the co-conspirators.
� Denn Wessex, Wilhuff Tarkin, and Marcellin Wessel, some of the first Moffs.:"Listen, I can't get involved. I've got work to do. It's not that I like the Empire; I hate it! But there's nothing I can do about it right now. It's such a long way from here."
After the true nature of the Empire became clear, three of the most influential senators, Bail Organa of Alderaan, Garm Bel Iblis of Corellia, and Mon Mothma of Chandrila, met in secret and signed the Corellian Treaty. This officially formed the Alliance to Restore the Republic, more commonly referred to as the Rebel Alliance. However, the threat of rebellion allowed Palpatine to endorse the Tarkin Doctrine of rule by fear of force rather than force itself. Shortly before the Battle of Yavin, Palpatine declared a state of emergency and disbanded the Imperial Senate. Thus the last institution that represented the values and ideals of the Republic was swept away.
A key instrument in the enforcement of the Doctrine was intended to be the Death Star I, a moon sized space station with sufficient firepower to easily destroy a planet with a single discharge of its powerful superlaser. Whereas many planets could afford planetary deflector shields capable of warding off virtually any conventional attack, none could defend against the power of that weapon. The weapon was destroyed in the Battle of Yavin, which marked the first major space-based victory for the Rebel Alliance.
The Rebel Alliance was a guerilla army dedicated to the defeat of the Empire and the restoration of the Galactic Republic. This goal was nominally achieved with the deaths of Palpatine and Darth Vader, along with the destruction of the second Death Star at the Battle of Endor.
- Main article: Imperial Civil War
The Empire was too large, however, to be destroyed in one blow; for the next decade or so, the Rebels (soon renamed the Alliance of Free Planets and then the New Republic) fought to free the galaxy from former Imperials styling themselves as independent warlords as well as Imperial loyalists, such as Thrawn and Ysanne Isard.
Even prior to the fall of Emperor Palpatine in 4 ABY, the signs of fragmentation began to slowly reveal themselves. The first incursion was that of Moff Kalast, followed by the more serious situation involving the free-selling arms dealer Admiral Harkov, and finally culminating in the major Imperial infighting with Grand Admiral Demetrius Zaarin. The situation became serious when Zaarin attempted a coup d'état on Emperor Palpatine, managing to miraculously capture the Sith Lord by abducting him from his flagship, in a plot later thwarted by Admiral Thrawn.
Immediately following the Imperial defeat at the Battle of Endor, Grand Vizier Sate Pestage seized control of the Empire. However, he lacked the charisma, Force powers, and terrifying presence that both Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader used to keep the Empire together. Admiral Harssk was the first Imperial to declare himself a warlord and set up his own mini-Empire, but he would not be the last. Others included Admiral Treuten Teradoc, Admiral Zsinj, and General Delvardus, to name a few.
Sate Pestage only managed to hold the throne for a scant six months before he was deposed by the Imperial Ruling Council composed of three Tribunes. The Ruling Council was acting on the manipulations of Imperial Intelligence Director Ysanne Isard though, and the Ruling Council's leadership of the Empire ended under brutal conditions executed by Isard.
Ysanne Isard managed to hold the Empire together and stem off aggressive warlords, as well as Trioculus and the false Kadann, who also claimed the throne, for nearly two years before losing control of Imperial Center. When Ysanne Isard started to lose her grasp over the Empire, she had her scientists develop a biological virus targeting only aliens that she later let loose in Coruscant. So when Coruscant fell under the Rebel's attack, led by Rogue Squadron, they inherited Isard's disease that caused havoc for the starting government. With the loss of Coruscant, the Empire dissolved further and, soon, Warlord Zsinj was seen as the single largest Imperial threat in the galaxy. Isard managed to evade death and escaped to her own little kingdom.
The remnants of the Empire found themselves for the first time on the same side of the table as the New Republic. Both governments viewed Warlord Zsinj as their biggest threat. Zsinj came under the pressure of both governments, but it wasn't until Admiral Teren Rogriss teamed up with General Solo that they managed to bring Zsinj down.
The temporary alliance was over and new fighting erupted between the Empire and the New Republic over the scraps of Zsinj's domain. However, the New Republic dealt blow after blow to the Empire, winning most of the engagements and further humiliating the Empire by pushing them off of the monstrous ship producing world of Kuat.
� Grand Admiral Thrawn.The Empire continued to remain beaten back until the return of Grand Admiral Thrawn, a military genius and the only non-human to climb the ranks of the Imperial Navy and the last remaining Grand Admiral. Grand Admiral Thrawn's campaign recaptured nearly half of the galaxy in the name of the Empire; however, it came to an end when Thrawn was assassinated by his own bodyguard. Captain Pellaeon, Thrawn's second-in-command, knew his limitations and ordered a retreat.
The New Republic immediately took advantage of the Imperial power vacuum and moved to cut off future Imperial threats from allies in the form of the remaining warlords. Using the pretext of pursuing Imperials who had committed various crimes the New Republic began their push against Prince-Admiral Delak Krennel. Despite Krennel's new ally in a clone of Ysanne Isard and the real Isard's machinations to steal back her Super Star Destroyer the New Republic emerged victorious and began pressing their advantage even more; leaving the Core worlds with minimal protection.
In 10 ABY, the surviving members of the Imperial Ruling Council, under Ars Dangor's leadership, gathered several belligerent warlords to organize a military campaign into the Galactic Core. The warlords were emboldened by the late Grand Admiral Thrawn's triumphs and accomplishments against the New Republic, which was still recovering from the devastating Thrawn campaign. The Republic was powerless to repel the military might of the once-more-unified Empire, and the Empire swiftly conquered much of the economically, politically and strategically vital Core Worlds within weeks. Chandrila, Esseles, Ralltiir, as well as the Metellos and Kaikielius systems, were seized by the Empire, while Caprioril was besieged by the Imperial Navy and the Borderland Regions were devastated. The offensive culminated in the decisive Fourth Battle of Coruscant, in which the New Republic abandoned the planet and the Empire retook the galactic capital. Having assumed total control over the Core Worlds, the Empire had been restored to its former glory, while the Republic leadership located its headquarters to the Outer Rim Territories. After Coruscant had been retaken, the Imperial Ruling Council invited important political and military leaders to the Senate Building to elect the next Galactic Emperor and re-establish the disbanded Imperial Senate. However, the Moffs, Grand Moffs, Army, Navy, COMPNOR, Intelligence, Security Bureau and Inquisitorius, as well as various governors, noblemen and bureaucrats, craved absolute power over the Imperial state. The Empire plunged into anarchy and chaos: the Imperial Intelligence and Security Bureau orchestrated the assassinations of their political enemies, while COMPNOR purists attempted to take control of the regime in order to prevent any changes to the New Order.
Soon, an armed conflict broke out amongst the various political and military factions, each trying to dominate the Empire. The disarrayed Imperial Military was responsible for commiting atrocities, massacring civilians and destroying entire worlds. Above Coruscant, the orbit became littered with space debris and the Star Destroyers conducted orbital bombardments, transforming the surface of the planet into a decaying urban wasteland. On the surface, stormtroopers, walkers and tanks fought on the streets of the planet-wide ecumenopolis. Much of the galactic capital was laid to waste, and millions of native Coruscanti perished during the Imperial infighting. The New Republic took advantage of the chaos, performing raids on Imperial territories through the use of captured Imperial vessels. The civil war ended only several months following the retaking of Coruscant.
� Palpatine's return.When it seemed the Empire would never return, that hopes were lost, and that the Republic was finally close to victory, an enigmatic figure took the title of Emperor. However, this person was no new Emperor, for Emperor Palpatine had returned. Returning in fresh clone bodies imbued with the dead despot's spirit, he proceeded to rebuild his fallen Empire and six years later had finally regained the strength to again challenge the New Republic. While most of the rank and file troops returned to loyal service, few of the warlords did, while most fled for their lives. Palpatine regrouped the fragmented Empire's many warlords and loyal forces into a single unified force, headquartered at the secret throne world of Byss in the Deep Core. Determined to crush the weakened Republic and once again subjugate the galaxy under his dark rule, the Galactic Emperor initiated a military campaign known as Operation Shadow Hand. Eventually, Palpatine intended to transform the Empire into a magocracy in which he ruled the galaxy forever with his loyal Dark Side Adepts. The Emperor turned Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker to the dark side of the Force to serve as the new Supreme Commander of the Imperial Forces, but Skywalker defected back to the Republic and the astromech droid R2-D2 programmed the Emperor's awe-inspiring superweapons, the World Devastators, to destroy each other during the First Battle of Mon Calamari. In the Battle of Pinnacle Base, Palpatine summoned a Force storm to obliterate a Republic fleet orbiting Da Soocha V. However, Skywalker and his sister Leia Organa Solo used the Force, causing the storm to annihilate Palpatine and his flagship, the Eclipse-class Super Star Destroyer Eclipse.
When Palpatine was presumably dead, the Shadow Hand Strategy was taken over by the Emperor's most powerful darksider, Military Executor Sedriss QL. While Sedriss suffered heavily casualties in attempting to occupy the factory world of Balmorra and perished in the Battle of Ossus, the Emperor returned once again to spearhead his galactic conquest. Palpatine commissioned his newest superweapon, the Galaxy Gun, destroying Pinnacle Moon and forcing numerous Inner Rim and Mid Rim worlds into accepting Imperial rule. The Empire had succeeded in conquering most of the galaxy and becoming the leading galactic superpower, while the New Republic was on the brink of downfall. However, a group of Imperial politicians and officers, led by Carnor Jax and Sarcev Quest, sabotaged the Emperor's clone bodies in order to kill Palpatine and take control of the Imperial state. In the skirmish on Onderon, Emperor Palpatine's final clone body was killed and mortally wounded Jedi Knight Empatojayos Brand took the Galactic Emperor's spirit to the Netherworld of the Force. Following the Emperor's final demise, the Star Dreadnought Eclipse II was programmed to collide with the Galaxy Gun, destroying both superweapons. The Galaxy Gun accidentally launched a particle disintegrator warhead on Byss, wiping out the planet and its inhabitants. In these cataclysmic events, the Empire lost the Galactic Emperor, two superweapons, and most of Palpatine's loyal advisors, officers, soldiers and Dark Side Adepts. Without the leadership and guidance of the late Emperor Palpatine, the Imperial state had practically ceased to exist: rival warlords fled to their pocket empires, disorganized Imperial forces abandoned the Core Worlds, and the New Republic retook Coruscant.
- Main article: Imperial Remnant
- "The whole galaxy's the front line now. We're not waging a full-scale war here, we're hitting the Republic anywhere we can."
- ―An Imperial officer at the Cairn Installation[src]
� Gilad Pellaeon, the Old Man of the Empire.Following the disastrous collapse of the campaign spearheaded by Palpatine, the Empire once again fell into chaos and disarray. High-ranking officials and military commanders gathered their own forces and retreated to the Deep Core, establishing their own dominions of power and fighting amongst themselves for control of what remained. These warlords were self-absorbed beyond anything seen in the post-Endor years, with each commander wasting precious resources in order to advance their individual positions. The Imperial Ruling Council tried to provide some kind of leadership to what remained of the Empire, but the council was overthrown by Xandel Carivus, who declared himself Emperor.
The reign of Carivus lasted mere hours, as Baron D'Asta, Kir Kanos, and the New Republic Star Dreadnought Lusankya arrived at Ord Cantrell. Kanos executed Carivus, and in the aftermath, the D'Astas withdrew from the Empire, while New Republic troops seized most or all of the imprisoned Councilors.
Although Imperial officers and administrators were still the only effective source of authority in large areas of both the Deep Core and the Outer Rim, there was no unifying authority, and the resurgent New Republic was consequently able to claim that the Empire had effectively ceased to exist as a state.
But its death would not last. Soon afterward, Admiral Daala gathered thirteen of the militarily most powerful warlords together and executed them, bringing their military forces together under the banner of the Empire. This new Empire, often referred to as the Imperial Remnant, soon faced its first defeat, and Daala turned its reins over to Gilad Pellaeon.
Several more defeats occurred over the ensuing years, forcing the Imperial Remnant into eight backwater sectors in the Outer Rim Territories. Seeing that defeat was imminent, Pellaeon finally admitted the need to sue for peace. After a peace accord was signed with the New Republic, the Remnant settled into a period of stability, thus ending the Galactic Empire’s regime over the galaxy, after 38 years of Humanocentric dictatorship, opposed to Palpatine’s promising ten thousand year rule.
This was not punctuated until the Yuuzhan Vong War, where the Imperial Remnant allied with the New Republic and its successor-state, the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances in the fight against the Yuuzhan Vong.
� Emperor Roan Fel.Between 43 ABY and 130 ABY, the Imperial Remnant began gaining more control over the galaxy. During this time, the Galactic Alliance started the Ossus Project, a terraforming experiment using Yuuzhan Vong technology. While the initial effects were great, the plan soon became sabotaged, causing painful growths on the planets' inhabitants' skins.
Furious at this, the growing Imperial Remnant invoked the Treaty of Anaxes and went to war with the Alliance. Eventually, the Remnant seized control of Coruscant and the rest of the galaxy and proclaimed itself once again the Galactic Empire. During this time, it was led by Emperors of the Fel dynasty. Eventually, Darth Krayt, leader of the One Sith, gained control of the Empire.
- "Yeah, he says the Empire is the worst thing that ever happened to the galaxy. Dismantling every vestige of democracy, seizing assets, killing whole populations. He thinks I'm joining the bad guys."
- ―Biggs Darklighter to Luke Skywalker, speaking of Huff Darklighter[src]
The Empire was ruled with absolute power by Emperor Palpatine, with Sate Pestage as Grand Vizier, and Darth Vader as Supreme Commander of the Imperial Navy and Military Executor. Imperial rule was authoritarian. There was little to no freedom of speech and dissidents were punished harshly.
The Galactic Empire was actually more decentralized than the Galactic Republic. Systems were grouped in sectors and sectors in turn into oversectors. These were controlled by the Moffs and Grand Moffs, who exercised power in the disparate regions of the galaxy. This was in contrast to the structure of the Galactic Republic, which placed senators in control of their respective sectors. The planets of the Empire were no longer given a say in the government, but were now kept in line through fear of force.
After being named Galactic Emperor in 19 BBY, Palpatine turned the sclerotic remains of the Old Republic into an empire and thus introduced authoritarian rule over the entire galaxy. Whereas before leaders had served for fixed terms until being succeeded by duly elected successors, now the thorny issue of Imperial succession complicated matters.
For his part, Palpatine showed little real interest in the matter of who would succeed him – after Darth Vader lost most of his Force potential at Mustafar, Palpatine looked for ways to reign forever. However, his final death permanently put an end to his reign.
Palpatine was the sole legitimate and unquestioned Emperor to sit on the throne of his Empire, though Sate Pestage held the title in the interim during Palpatine's convalescence on Byss.
- Paltr Carvin (5 ABY)
- Ysanne Isard (5–8 ABY) (believed to be dead after 7 ABY)
- Trioculus (self-proclaimed Emperor, in opposition to Ysanne Isard) (5 ABY)
- Impostor Kadann (self-proclaimed Emperor, in opposition to Ysanne Isard) (5 ABY)
- Shadowspawn (self-proclaimed Emperor, in opposition to Ysanne Isard) (5.5 ABY)
- Ars Dangor (In opposition to Ysanne Isard) (7 ABY–8 ABY)
- Thrawn (8–9.5 ABY)
- Ysanne Isard (9.5 ABY) 
- Ars Dangor (9.5 ABY–10 ABY)
After Palpatine's final death on Onderon, remaining Imperials squabbled over the leadership of what remained.
For the most part, Palpatine's reign was secure, though there were others who attempted to seize the throne:
� Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader, along with several of the Emperor's Royal Guards standing at attention aboard the second Death Star.While Palpatine was Emperor, the executive branch consisted of the Imperial Inner Circle, a group of Imperial advisors, who ran both the day-to-day activities and the will of Palpatine for the Empire. The real power below the Emperor and his Advisers was in the hands of the Grand Moffs, like Wilhuff Tarkin, and the regional governors who were eventually granted direct control of their regions.
This exercise of power was backed up by the use of state terrorism in the form of the Tarkin Doctrine, named for Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin. The Doctrine threatened force rather than the use of force to control dissent; the Ghorman Massacre was an example. The justification for the Tarkin Doctrine was the excessive cost and impracticality of the use of pure terror in the form of billions upon billions of troops and spaceships to maintain order. The instrument of enforcing the Doctrine was the Imperial Military, which included the stormtroopers and a large fleet of intimidating warships like the Star Destroyers of the Imperial Navy and the All Terrain Armored Transports of the Imperial Army, all of which were intended in part to spread fear as well as destroy the enemy. This policy reached its zenith with the construction of the world-destroying Death Star.
After the formation of Galactic Empire, the Galactic Senate was reorganized into the Imperial Senate. But unlike the Galactic Senate, which had held both legislative and executive power, the Imperial Senate held only legislative power (and even with much of that held by the Galactic Senate now in the hands of the Emperor) by orders of the Senate Constitution. The Senate could advise the Emperor and work on the Imperial budget. However, the Emperor could both introduce and veto Senate legislation, and both called and dismissed the Senate to meeting. So the Senate was practically powerless and was dissolved by Emperor Palpatine to remove the last constitutional limit to his power.
Due to the centralization of government power into the executive branch under the Galactic Empire, it seems likely that the Supreme Court and other Regional Courts were disbanded at some point, presumably before the Senate's dissolution in 0 BBY. Instead, the Imperial criminal justice system was headed by a Procurator of Justice. The Procurator of Justice was charged with prosecuting political prisoners and administering sentences on entire worlds.
To strengthen his hold on power, Palpatine created various organizations that were loyal to him. Foremost among this organizations were COMPNOR, Imperial Security Bureau, and the Dark Side Adepts. Palpatine also had the Emperor's Hands, special assassins that did his bidding. One notable Emperor's Hand was Mara Jade.
Palpatine allowed these organizations and their leaders to build up power bases of their own. Palpatine encouraged this system, often giving overlapping responsibilities. This made administration of the Empire less efficient, but benefited Palpatine by ensuring that he continued to be the source of all political power in the Empire.
- Main article: Galactic economy
- "The Emperor seldom had only one of anything produced."
- ―Qwi Xux[src]
The Galactic Empire had a very complex and diverse economy. Following the Clone Wars, the Empire started a process of stabilization and expansion of the economy. While the Imperial Period saw dramatic increases in state control and centralization of economic procedures, it had little effect on the galactic economy, as witnessed in the virtual non-existence of inflation.
The Imperialization of the Trade Federation by the Galactic Empire created a void filled by smugglers to address strong demand for shipping created by the Imperial controls. Smugglers flourished in the Imperial era as independent operators or as part of larger organizations like those of Jorj Car'das, Quelev Tapper, Talon Karrde, or Booster Terrik.
After the fracturing of the Empire at the Battle of Endor, many different currencies came into existence, and exchange rates fluctuated wildly. At that time, the credit was backed by the immense wealth of the planet Muunilinst.
The culture of the Galactic Empire was ascetic and minimalist. These aesthetics were encouraged throughout the galaxy by the Coalition for Progress, an arm of COMPNOR.
The role of art and media in the Galactic Empire was primarily didactic; cultural expression served as an instrument for inculcating New Order ideology. During its short existence, the Empire was not particularly brutal in the suppression of artistic culture, as it was primarily interested in military and political dominance. However, pressures from the New Order left their mark on the art of the Imperial period. Several anti-Imperial artists were executed for sympathizing the Rebel Alliance, such as Borna, a young musician who composed dark and moody symphonies as a protest against the Empire.
The policy of distributing Imperial propaganda was maintained by the Imperial Ministry of Propaganda, the Imperial Propaganda Bureau and the Propaganda Dissemination Section. Imperial Holovision, the successor of HoloNet News and a leading galactic provider of news and entertainment, adopted a pro-Imperial stance and thus, was the Empire's most powerful propaganda tool. All Imperial media was verified, reviewed and censored by the Imperial Board of Culture.
Holodrama was another venue for politics. Many Imperial holofilms glorified the New Order and were blatantly propagandistic, such as Win or Die, depicting the heroism of a boy who ardently supported the New Order in spite of his parents' opposition, or Sacrifice at Endor, in which Emperor Palpatine was portrayed as a benevolent savior and the hero of the Battle of Endor.
One of the most notable pro-Imperial music bands was The Emperor's New Clothes, favored by the Imperial Board of Culture. The band was opposed by anti-Imperial Red Shift Limit, of which all albums were banned by Imperial authorities. The premier orchestra of the Empire was the Imperial Symphony Orchestra.
The official sport of the Empire was wegsphere, a competive game invented by SAGRec, that could be considered one of their greatest successes. While wegsphere was originally introduced as a sporting activity for COMPNOR members, it became surprisingly popular through the galaxy, spreading to thousands of worlds. The official Imperial shockball team was, presumably, the Royal Shockball Team.
Under the Galactic Empire, Anti-Jediism was a government policy, which meant that people were discouraged to believe in the Force. But it was not just the Jedi that suffered. All Force-sensitives were targeted. Despite the established anti-Jediism of the New Order, many in the Imperial government were aware that Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader were Force users, but only a few knew that they were Sith Lords.
The Empire's New Order emphasized Human and, to a lesser extent, humanoid supremacy, with other alien species were designated as "Non-huMans". The Empire practiced the policy of "Human High Culture", based on Humanocentric beliefs of Humans being inherently superior to other species. Many Non-huMan species like Wookiees, Mon Calamari, Talz, and Lurrians were subjected to slavery. The Rights of Sentience, one of the most well-known anti-speciest clauses of the Galactic Constitution, as well as other important anti-slavery laws that were ratified during the reign of the Galactic Republic, were removed from the Imperial Charter and legislation legalizing the persecution of alien species was passed. The Empire essentially legalized slavery in Imperial Decree A-SL-4557.607.232.
The Empire was known to commit atrocities and xenocidal campaigns against Non-huMan species, such as the Caamas Incident to wipe out the peaceful Caamasi, and commissioning Imperial extermination ships to eradicate entire species through the Outer Rim Territories. On Imperial Center, all Non-huMans were forced to move into an "ethnic neighborhood" known as the Alien Protection Zone. As a result, the vast majority of the government officials were composed of Humans, with only rare exceptions like Grand Admiral Thrawn climbing in the ranks of the military. However, the cases of Ampotem Za, Stafuv Rahz and Bentilais san Sk'ar indicate that the Empire tolerated Non-huMans if they were willing to pledge loyalty to the Emperor.
A high degree of male chauvinism was also seen in the Empire's government and military. Combining the rampant misogyny with the alien persecution, the Empire was often referred to as having "Non-huMan policies". Notable exceptions to acknowledged male chauvinism included Director Ysanne Isard of the Imperial Intelligence, Major General Tessala Corvae of the Imperial Army and several navy officers like Admiral Natasi Daala, Admiral Betl Oxtroe, Captain Juno Eclipse, and Captain Plikk. The sexist policies that plagued the Empire encouraged General Major Corvae to establish the Firebird Society to prove that females were effective and capable soldiers for the Imperial Military.
While the Empire was unquestionably xenophobic, there is little to suggest that the Emperor himself was. The Sith Order was in no way xenophobic, with much of its foundations in the humanoid race of Sith, and many of the greatest Sith Lords were either alien or half-breed. In fact, it is believed that the privy councilors and advisers that filled Palpatine's court and ran the Empire on a day-to-day basis were the xenophobes, and applied Human High Culture on their own accord. Numerous high-ranking Imperial politicians and military personnel such as Lord Crueya Vandron, Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin, Grand Admiral Ishin-Il-Raz, Grand Admiral Danetta Pitta, and many others were known for their Humanocentric attitude. The most prominent Imperial xenophobe was Grand Vizier Sate Pestage who considered all Non-huMans to be nothing more than worthless "animal waste". It seems likely, given the presence of Prince Xizor of the Black Sun, Grand Admiral Thrawn, and other notable aliens in the Imperial court that Palpatine simply used xenophobia to cull loyalty from his fellow Humans, while using everyone regardless of species in general. Indeed, many of the Emperor's loyal Dark Side Adepts, like Hethrir, Ja'ce Yiaso and Gwellib Ap-Llewff, were not Human.
The Imperial Military was the military arm of the Galactic Empire. Consisting of predominantly the Imperial Army and the Imperial Navy, it was responsible for carrying out military operations throughout the galaxy, as well as maintaining order on Imperial member worlds, governorships, colonies, and protectorates. Since the Empire's New Order was based on fear of force, the Imperial Military formed a very important part of the Imperial government. Even so, the fleet would prove somewhat insubordinate, and a tension between the Coruscant government and the fleet admirals existed throughout this period, creating the need for the ISB to install political officers throughout the military as minders.
During the early years of the Empire, most stormtroopers were clones from the Clone Wars. However, by the mid to late parts of the Empire, most stormtroopers were recruited Humans. This was probably a cost-cutting and time-saving measure, as clones required time and money to grow. Those Humans recruited would be trained mainly at Carida and were subject to the most rigorous training that the Empire could offer. During the rule of Grand Admiral Thrawn, stormtroopers were again cloned and used as the bulk of the Imperial force.
The Galactic Empire's territory at its peak consisted of over one million member and conquered worlds and fifty million colonies, protectorates, governorships, and puppet states streching throughout the entire galaxy stretching from the borders of the Deep Core to Wild Space.
The original name of the Empire's capital world was Coruscant; however, it was renamed Imperial Center by the Empire. Few outside the Empire's government used this name, and upon the capture of the planet by the New Republic, the name "Coruscant" was readopted.
After the Battle of Endor, large sections of the galaxy threw off Imperial occupation and became New Republic members, and by 6.5 ABY the Empire ruled barely 50% of its former territory. Imperial warlords comprised most of the lost territory, with the New Republic still relatively in its infancy. By the fall of Coruscant, Warlord Zsinj alone had control of almost one third of the Empire's former territory.
By 9 ABY, the Empire had consolidated its hold of a quarter of the Galaxy, while the war effort progressed under Grand Admiral Thrawn. Under the Chiss Grand Admiral, the Empire's territory nearly doubled in less than a year, nearly seeing the death of the New Republic. After Thrawn's death, the Empire had little time to consolidate these holdings and the Empire lost many of them to a resurgent New Republic.
During Operation Shadow Hand, the Emperor would unite the warlords and the mainstream forces and consume well over half of the Galaxy. After the Emperor's death, the New Republic took back their holdings with surprising speed, and the remaining Imperial forces fled into the Deep Core. The New Republic remained weakened by the efforts of Thrawn and the reborn Emperor, and the warlords and Moffs consolidated fortress worlds across a third of the galaxy.
After the Reunification by Daala, and the establishment of the Imperial Remnant, the Imperial fleet took over the remnants of the Pentastar Alignment, a breakaway warlord fiefdom. They then pushed coreward against the New Republic. Later, Daala would lead a second offensive against the Core worlds themselves from the Deep Core. Eventually, the Empire under Admiral Gilad Pellaeon held a meager of only eight sectors by 19 ABY.