An empire was a system of government which controlled multiple culturally distinct population groups, often consisting of different planets and/or species. Empires were usually led by an emperor, who may have been elected or hereditary. Usually, they were much larger than a kingdom.
In some cases, the term "empire" also referred to a massive nongovernmental organizational body, usually one that is illicit in its actions. This is most commonly associated with criminal empires, such as the one belonging to the infamous Hutt gangster Jabba Desilijic Tiure.
There have been numerous empires in galactic history:
- The Sith Empire that predated Palpatine's Galactic Empire.
- The Zygerrian Slave Empire was a slave empire that was set up over a thousand years before the Clone Wars
- The Galactic Empire was reorganized from the Galactic Republic at the end of the Clone Wars
- The Infinite Empire, created by the Rakata sometime before 30,000 BBY. Ended in 25,200 BBY.
- Various Sith-led empires predating Palpatine's Galactic Empire:
- Adas's Sith Empire, established after the Rakata were driven off Korriban, formed in 28,000 BBY and fell in 27,000 BBY.
- The Old Sith Empire, led by several Sith, including Marka Ragnos and Naga Sadow, formed in 6900 BBY and fell in 5000 BBY.
- Exar Kun's Sith Empire, in conjunction with the Brotherhood of the Sith, formed in 3997 BBY and fell in 3996 BBY.
- Darth Revan's Sith Empire, led by first Revan in 3959 BBY and then Malak in 3957 BBY before it fell in 3956 BBY.
- The resurgent Sith Empire ruled by Vitiate, which existed throughout the Great Galactic War and the Cold War. Formed in 4980 BBY, and eventually fell in 3641 BBY (when Malgus formed the New Empire) or 3636 BBY, when the Eternal Empire wiped it out.
- The New Empire, created by Darth Malgus in response to the political troubles of the Sith Empire, formed in 3641 BBY and fell in the same year.
- The Eternal Empire, led by Vitiate after he became disillusioned with the Sith Empire, was later reorganized in 3630 BBY into the Eternal Alliance alongside the Alliance against Zakuul.
- The rule of the New Sith, sometimes called the New Sith Empire. Founded in 2000 BBY and eventually fragmented around 1100 BBY.
- The Hutt Empire, from c. 25,200 BBY-25,000 BBY.
- Xim's empire, which lasted from 25,130 BBY to 25,100 BBY.
- The Azure Imperium, a pre-Republic empire centered on Axum.
- The Tapani Empire, extending from 7,328 BBY to 1,582 BBY.
- Jabba Desilijic Tiure's criminal empire
- Gardulla the Elder's criminal empire
- The Galactic Empire, led by Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader as the replacement for the Galactic Republic 19 BBY-19 ABY, spawning many remnants and successors following the Emperor's first death:
- Empire Reborn, between 4 ABY and 14 ABY.
- X1's faction, a group formed in 4 ABY and dissolved sometime later.
- Eriadu Authority, a splinter faction of the Galactic Empire formed in 4 ABY and dissolved in 12 ABY.
- Imperial Core, a splinter faction formed in 4 ABY.
- Zsinj's Empire formed in 4 ABY and fell in 8 ABY.
- Trioculus' Empire, within 5 ABY.
- Thrawn's confederation, also known as the Thrawn Empire, formed in 8 ABY and fell in 9 ABY.
- Dark Empire, between 10 ABY and 11 ABY.
- Crimson Empire, within 11 ABY.
- Pentastar Alignment, a splinter faction formed in 4 ABY and dissolved in 12 ABY.
- The Imperial Remnant formed in 12 ABY and reorganized into the Fel Empire. some time after 44 ABY.
- The Restored Empire, a renegade faction of the Imperial Remnant aiming for full reestablishment of the first Galactic Empire, formed in 12 ABY and dissolved in 13 ABY.
- The Second Imperium, formed in 19 ABY and run by an ersatz Palpatine, Brakiss, and four Royal Guards. It was ultimately destroyed by the New Republic in 23 ABY.
- The Ssi-ruuvi Imperium, the empire of the Ssi-ruuk, until 28 ABY.
- The Yuuzhan Vong empire, the government of the Yuuzhan Vong that was run by the Supreme Overlord and the Intendant caste 27 ABY–29 ABY.
- The Esselian Empire of the Darpa sector.
- The Hiromi Empire.
- The Vagaari Empire.
- The Corellian Empire
- The Atrisian Empire
Prior to the formation of the Galactic Republic, several star systems/star sectors had been empires, also known as moffs, with the political title of Moff (and to an extent, Grand Moff) originating from the warlords who ran these empires peaceably joining the Galactic Republic.
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- Star Wars: Empire, a series of comics about the Galactic Empire
- Galactic Empire (The Star Wars), the version of the Galactic Empire in the comic serial The Star Wars
- Empire, a shortened name for The Empire Strikes Back
- Empire on Wikipedia