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19 BBY (16:5:23)
- "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 for at least 25,034 years, ended following a period of intense political turmoil and the subsequent devastation of the Clone Wars. After the death of Count Dooku above Coruscant, the death of General Grievous on Utapau and finally the massacre of the leaders of the Confederacy of Independent Systems on Mustafar, Chancellor Palpatine (by then ruling with near-absolute power), began a purge of the Jedi Order, and then proclaimed himself Emperor of the galaxy and reorganized the Galactic Republic into "the first Galactic Empire" on the galactic capital, Coruscant.
- "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
The Empire can be said to have begun with the scheming aspiration of the Sith Lord Darth Sidious, whose alter ego was Senator Palpatine of Naboo. A great manipulator of events, he furtively instigated the Naboo crisis, using the Trade Federation as a pawn, which led to Queen Amidala calling for a "Vote of No Confidence" in Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum, effectively replacing him. When his first apprentice, Darth Maul, was defeated by Obi-Wan Kenobi, Sidious took on the former Jedi Count Dooku as his new apprentice. Dooku then helped found the Confederacy of Independent Systems, which in turn ignited the Clone Wars.
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, while the Senate willingly furnished more and more emergency powers to him. 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 the Sith Lord's life be spared, that he might stand trial. Deeply troubled, Skywalker nonetheless helped Palpatine kill Windu, prompting him to be held under Palpatine's sway as his new apprentice and enforcer, Darth Vader. Palpatine then proceeded to carry out the Great Jedi Purge, which eliminated almost all of the Jedi, while simultaneously wiping out the remnants of the Confederacy at Mustafar, thus bringing an end to the Clone Wars. Secure in his power and position, Palpatine used the so-called Jedi rebellion to issue the Declaration of a New Order and declared himself Emperor of the galaxy in 19 BBY, replacing the Galactic Republic with the Galactic Empire. Likewise, Palpatine vowed that the newly-formed Empire would reign with ten thousand years of peace.
Many people under 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 help found the Alliance to Restore the Republic.
- "I have brought peace, freedom, justice, and security to my new Empire!"
- ―Darth Vader
With the rise of the Empire, all the institutions of the old Republic found themselves either dismantled or modified 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 (though the clone troopers, which made up the majority of the GAR, were primarily reorganized into the Stormtrooper Corps) and the Republic Navy became the Imperial Navy. The four decrepit intelligence agencies of the Republic were merged into Imperial Intelligence, with former Senate Bureau of Intelligence (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 Galactic Republic.
Palpatine consolidated his power by launching Purges against his opponents, most notably the Old Republic officers, whom he hadn't been able to seduce to his side. Any officers who held anti-Imperial sentiments were arrested and executed by Admiral Mulleen, under Palpatine's orders. Palpatine's first purge of the Imperial Navy occurred within just two weeks into the Empire's rule.
During the first few years of the Empire, the galaxy saw the single largest military buildup in history. A permanent class of Moffs and regional governors was established to more efficiently govern individual sectors and regions of the Empire. Popular support for the policies of Palpatine's administration was high. In addition, the Empire also pursued a reconquest of the Middle and Outer Rims of the Galaxy, which included getting rid of any and all remaining Separatist influence. By the time of the Battle of Kelrodo-Ai during the Western Reaches Operation in 17 BBY, the Empire restored order and rule of law in eight sectors, and liberated 95 worlds.
Nonetheless, many members of the Imperial military were unhappy about Palpatine's plans for imperialization: One Imperial officer, in particular, the headmaster of the Imperial Academy Gentis, who lost all but one of his sons to Palpatine's warmongering ways during the imperialization effort, formed a military coup against Palpatine and poisoned him with Aorth-6 as a means to bring peace to the Empire, something he realized that Palpatine would never pursue. The coup, while initially successful, ultimately failed.
The Dark TimesEdit
- "We must move quickly. The Jedi are relentless. If they are not all destroyed, it will be civil war without end."
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 a group of Order 66 Jedi survivors along with Roan Shryne attempted to re-establish 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, with Starstone barely escaping with her life. 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 Jedi 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, though Vader's suit was slightly 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.
Resistance to Imperial ruleEdit
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, along with others, were on the brink of starting a great rebellion against the Empire. To lure the dissidents out of hiding, the Emperor and Darth Vader had Galen Marek, Vader's secret Sith apprentice, rally the Rebels. Brought together by him, they 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. They were arrested on the spot, but Marek turned to the light side of the Force and freed them, sacrificing his own life. The Alliance commemorated Marek's death and used his family crest as the new organization's symbol.
However, the threat of rebellion allowed Palpatine to endorse the Tarkin Doctrine of rule by fear of force rather than force itself. If anything, Palpatine welcomed the formation of the fledgling Rebel Alliance as a legitimate excuse to remove the last vestiges of the Republic and tighten his grip on the galaxy. 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. At this point Palpatine and the rest of the Empire realized that the Rebellion was a major threat to them and one that should be taken seriously, for the destruction of the Death Star was a massive blow to the Empire.
After the superweapon's destruction, the Rebels had finally found their footing. They began consistent strikes on Imperial-held territories, inciting continuing resentment against the Empire and taking them under the Rebels' banner. The Alliance had also cultivated renowned leaders and heroes as distinctive as Han Solo, Lando Calrissian and the Jedi-to-be Luke Skywalker. Although the Empire gained the upper hand in most campaigns against the Alliance (such as the Battle of Hoth and the construction of the second Death Star), they could not prevent the unstoppable juggernaut that the Rebels unleashed upon them and felt their grip in the galaxy slowly weakening. Thus, in the climax of the Galactic Civil War that was the Battle of Endor, where Anakin Skywalker would also aid the Rebels in fulfilling an ancient Jedi prophecy the Empire was finally obliterated from the galaxy. Or so the Rebels thought.
Fracturing and warlord eraEdit
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 as early as 0 ABY with the rebel's propaganda of the then recent Destruction of Alderaan. 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 Blitzer Harrsk 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 Sander 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 nonhumans 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.
The Empire continued to lose ground until the return of Grand Admiral Thrawn, a military genius, the only nonhuman 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 a sudden end when Thrawn was assassinated by his own bodyguard. Captain Pellaeon, Thrawn's second-in-command, knew that he could not continue Thrawn's inspired campaign and ordered a retreat.
The New Republic immediately took advantage of the Imperial power vacuum and moved to cut off future Imperial threats 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 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 Imperial 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 New 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 Second 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 New Republic leadership relocated 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 committing 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.
Return of PalpatineEdit
When it seemed the Empire would never return, that hopes were lost, and that the New 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 New 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 New 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 New 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 dreadnought Eclipse.
While Palpatine was presumably dead, the Shadow Hand Strategy was taken over by the Emperor's most powerful darksider, Military Executor Sedriss QL. Sedriss suffered heavy casualties in attempting to occupy the factory world of Balmorra and perished in the Battle of Ossus. However, the Emperor returned once again to spearhead his galactic conquest and commissioned his newest superweapon, the Galaxy Gun. The superweapon destroyed Da Soocha V, the Space City, Krinemonen and Hirsi, 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 assassinate 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, destroying the planet and killing its inhabitants.
In these cataclysmic events, the Empire lost the Galactic Emperor, two superweapons, the Imperial Fleet orbiting Byss, and most of Palpatine's loyal advisors, officers, soldiers and Dark Side Adepts. The last major action of a Sith-led Empire, Operation Shadow Hand resulted in the final destruction of Palpatine's Empire, as the Destruction of Byss effectively terminated all political and military structures that upheld the Imperial state. Without the leadership and guidance of the late Emperor Palpatine, the Galactic Empire had practically ceased to exist. In the midst of chaos, rival warlords fled to their pocket empires, disorganized Imperial forces abandoned the Core Worlds, and the New Republic retook Coruscant. As a result, the resurrected Empire fell to its knees and self-destructed.
Following Palpatine's final death, Carnor Jax seized the Imperial throne. However, the Imperial fleet was left rudderless without orders from their Emperor. They retreated from the Core Worlds, and the Empire quickly crumbled. Many fleet commanders refused to follow the Jax and his Interim Ruling Council, and they broke away to form various warlord holdings. Jax's Crimson Empire thus held a small territory, limited to a narrow band of space that stretched from the Outer Rim to the Colonies. It was the only territory still answerable to centralized Imperial control.
When Jax was killed by his fellow former Guardsman Kir Kanos, the aristocrat Burr Nolyds took control of the Ruling Council. He was soon killed by Nom Anor, an ally of Councilor Xandel Carivus who was aiding Carivus's plans to become the new head of the council. Anor was secretly an advance agent of the extra-galactic Yuuzhan Vong species, and, unknown to even Carivus, he was targeting the council in order to hasten the Empire's collapse in advance of a massive Yuuzhan Vong invasion of the galaxy. Carivus was elected the new head of the council, but he soon disbanded the council and declared himself the new Emperor. When the New Republic attacked his powerbase on Ord Cantrell and he was killed by Kanos, utter collapse of Imperial authority followed, and the Empire ceased to exist.
- "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
In the Deep Core, the warlords divided into several pocket empires, waging aggressive warfare against their rivals and building heavily fortified planets known as the "fortress worlds". The warlords were known for spending entire fortunes to build war matériel and adopting pompous titles like "Omnipotent Battle Leader". The two most powerful factions in the fragmented Empire were the Zero Command, led by "Supreme Warlord" Blitzer Harrsk, and the Greater Maldrood, led by "High Admiral" Treuten Teradoc. Harrsk controlled the largest territory, while Teradoc had the largest military. Harrsk's attempt to take control of the Atravis sector in the Outer Rim Territories was opposed by Teradoc, and the mutual hatred between the Zero Command and the Greater Maldrood developed into full-scale warfare. Another notable Imperial warlord was "Superior General" Sander Delvardus who constructed the Executor-class Star Dreadnought Night Hammer as his personal command ship.
While the warlords struggled in the Deep Core, Ambassador Furgan of Carida caused Admiral Ackbar's temporal retirement and poisoned Chief of State Mon Mothma to cripple the New Republic, which was recovering from Operation Shadow Hand. However, Carida and its prestigious Caridan Military Academy were destroyed by the Sun Crusher superweapon, piloted by rogue Jedi Kyp Durron, and Furgan himself perished during the Battle of Anoth, in which he attempted to kidnap Anakin Solo and brainwash the baby into a Force-sensitive Emperor. Meanwhile, the fleet under Admiral Natasi Daala's command was discovered in the Maw Cluster. Daala launched her guerilla campaign to overthrow the New Republic, attacking Dantooine and Mon Calamari. She also attempted to crash an Imperial Star Destroyer on Coruscant, but the plan was foiled by Durron and the Sun Crusher. Eventually, the Maw Installation, the Death Star prototype and the Sun Crusher were destroyed in the Battle of the Maw, and Daala was believed to be dead.
Following the Battle of the Maw Installation, Daala fled to the Deep Core and made contact with Supreme Warlord Harrsk. She allied with Grand Admiral Thrawn's second-in-command Captain Pellaeon, who now served High Admiral Teradoc, and together they gathered Harrsk, Teradoc, Delvardus, Yzu and the nine other warlords to an Imperial communications relay station on Tsoss Beacon. Daala's scheme to end the Imperial Civil War failed as the warlords refused to collaborate and organize a joint military campaign against the New Republic. Daala and Pellaeon assassinated the thirteen most powerful warlords with nerve gas, bringing their military forces together under the banner of the Empire.
The Imperial Reunification gave birth to the United Warlord Fleets. Under Daala's leadership, the fleets rebuilt the weakened Imperial Military by manufacturing countless walkers, starfighters and Star Destroyers, and even women and non-humans were allowed to work for the military. After Colonel Ivan Cronus, former second-in-command to Superior General Delvardus, joined the fleets, Daala seized the Night Hammer and renamed it the Knight Hammer. While Cronus committed lightning raids to Khomm, Porus Vida and the Chardaan Shipyards, Daala and Pellaeon attacked Luke Skywalker's Jedi Praxeum on Yavin 4, knowing that the New Jedi Order was the most dangerous menace against the Empire. However, the Battle of Yavin 4 was a military disaster for the fleets, as Pellaeon's fleet was pushed by Jedi Knight Dorsk 81 to the edge of the Yavin system, Cronus perished with his command ship, and the Knight Hammer fell into Yavin Prime. After the battle, Daala turned command over to Vice Admiral Pellaeon. Pellaeon, now Supreme Commander of the Imperial Navy, relocated the Imperial Remnant to the Outer Rim and annexed the Pentastar Alignment. The fortress world of Bastion, formerly known as Sartinaynian, became the capital of the new Imperial Remnant, and the Council of Moffs was established to succeed the Diet of Imperial Planetary Governors.
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 Republic, the Remnant settled into a period of stability, thus ending the Galactic Empire's regime over the galaxy, after thirty eight years of Humanocentric dictatorship, opposed to Palpatine’s promising ten thousand year rule.
The Imperial Remnant's shift toward democracy did not last indefinitely. At some point after 44 ABY, the Remnant ceased to exist after its reorganization into a new Empire, ruled by a hereditary monarchy. Jagged Fel, the former Head of State who had attempted to reform the Remnant into a republican style of government in the first place, was crowned as the first emperor since Palpatine.
Government and politicsEdit
The Empire was ruled with absolute power by Emperor Palpatine, with Sate Pestage as Grand Vizier, and Darth Vader as Supreme Commander of all Imperial Forces. 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.
Rulers of the EmpireEdit
After being named Galactic Emperor in 19 BBY, Palpatine turned the sclerotic remains of the Galactic 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. In fact, he apparently intended from the start to live and reign forever, even developing his own Sith doctrine to replace Bane's Rule of Two. However, his final death permanently put an end to his plans.
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.
- Palpatine: 19 BBY–4 ABY
- Sate Pestage: 4 ABY–5 ABY
- Paltr Carvin, as head of the Imperial Ruling Council: 5 ABY
- Ysanne Isard: 5 ABY–7.5 ABY
- Trioculus (self-proclaimed Emperor, in opposition to Ysanne Isard) (5 ABY)
- Impostor Kadann (self-proclaimed Emperor, in opposition to Ysanne Isard) (5 ABY)
- A coalition of Moffs and Imperial Advisors: 7.5 ABY–
- Ars Dangor at the head of a resurrected Ruling Council:–9 ABY
- Grand Admiral Thrawn: 9 ABY. Additionally, the Ciutric Hegemony and the Pentastar Alignment, fearing coups, pledged their holdings to the Empire and to Thrawn, who was now in charge of a temporary military confederation.
- A group of Moffs and Fleet Commanders: 9 ABY–10 ABY
- Imperial Mutiny: 10 ABY
- A resurrected Palpatine, as leader of the Dark Empire: 10 ABY–11 ABY
- Carnor Jax, as leader of the Crimson Empire: 11 ABY
- Burr Nolyds, as head of the Interim Ruling Council: 11 ABY
- Xandel Carivus, as head of the Council, then as a self-styled Emperor: 11 ABY
- Utter collapse of Imperial authority followed, and the Empire ceased to exist.
For the most part, Palpatine's reign was secure, though there were others who attempted to seize the throne:
- "The Empire is the only chance the galaxy has to regain order. The Death Stars were the ultimate expression of that order. No longer would the Empire's citizens be forced to live in fear of cowardly terrorists striking from their hidden lairs. No longer would lawlessness and chaos touch the lives of law-abiding innocents. Palpatine took a stand: Disrupt order and the Empire would restore it…by any means necessary."
- ―Imperial High Inquisitor Antinnis Tremayne.
While Palpatine was Emperor, the executive branch consisted of the Imperial Ruling Council, 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 Advisors was in the hands of the Grand Moffs, Moffs, and other 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 warships to maintain order.
The instrument of enforcing the Doctrine was the Imperial Military, which included the stormtroopers and large fleets of intimidating capital ships 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.
Other governmental ministries and agencies were placed under direct control of the Grand Vizier and Imperial Advisors (Imperial Ruling Council), while under constant surveillance from both COMPNOR and the ISB.
After the formation of the Galactic Empire, the Galactic Senate was reorganized into the Imperial Senate. But unlike its predecessor, which had held both legislative and executive power, the Imperial Senate held only legislative power (and even much of that authority was radically marginalized) by orders of the Senate Constitution. The Senate could still enact laws as well as advise the Emperor; it also had nominal oversight of the Imperial bureaucracy, and could work on the Imperial budget. However, the Emperor could issue Imperial decrees, without debates or Senatorial overrides, and could both call and dismiss the Senate at will. The Senate was practically powerless and eventually was dissolved by Emperor Palpatine to remove the last constitutional limit to his power. After its suspension, the vacancy left behind was filled by COMPNOR's Select Committee.
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.
Other Imperial organizationsEdit
To strengthen his hold on power, Palpatine created various organizations that were loyal to him. Foremost, among those organizations were COMPNOR, Imperial Security Bureau, Imperial Intelligence, the Inquisitorius, 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, who, ironically, after the death of Palpatine, would go on to fall in love with and marry Luke Skywalker and would become a member of the Jedi High Council.
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.
- "The Emperor seldom had only one of anything produced."
- ―Qwi Xux
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 some 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 Empire did nationalize some corporate entities, though such actions were mainly reserved for those companies that were part of or supported the Confederacy of Independent Systems, and later those who favored and aided the Rebellion. The Empire did assume direct control over some of the spoils of war from the Separatists, but most of the assets were given over to loyalist companies such as Kuat Drive Yards, Sienar Systems, TaggeCo., and Merr-Sonn. Unless acting in opposition to its interests, the Empire largely left loyal companies alone and even expanded the Corporate Sector to encompass 30,000 star systems. In return for the support given to the Corporate Sector Authority, the Empire would collect a yearly stipend of 3% of the total gross product, 9% of all material, and 20% of all strategic rare elements coming out of the Corporate Sector.
However, Imperial control of the economy appeared to be dramatically expanding by the Rebellion era. By the time of 0BBY, the Empire was taking over all commerce in the central systems of the galaxy, and Biggs Darklighter considered that the Empire would soon seize control of land and work in the outer regions, notably Tatooine reducing people to "tenants slaving for the...Empire".
The Empire also dedicated its vast economic resources and quintillions of credits to expand the Imperial Military and to fund new scientific developments in a wide variety of fields. This military buildup would eventually result in the Imperial Navy fielding millions of starships, the Imperial Army being comprised of tens of trillions of soldiers, and the creation of a vast force of stormtroopers.
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.
Society and cultureEdit
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 Galactic Empire utilized slavery for several weapon projects, including the creation of the Death Star superweapons. In addition, any enemies of the Empire that had been defeated, particularly the females and younglings, were often sent to Orvax IV to be processed into the slave market, especially if they served no purpose to the Empire otherwise.
Arts and mediaEdit
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, as well as the Ministry 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 competitive game invented by SAGRecreation (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. Another sporting event that took place yearly throughout the Empire was the Imperial Games.
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. This sentiment also led to an attempted coup on Palpatine and Vader, with the official reason being their Force-sensitive nature. Besides Palpatine and Vader, there were some Imperial officers, such as Colonel Dyer who were at the very least Force-attuned, and even some, such as Grand Admiral Nial Declann, were secretly trained in harnessing the Force for a specific purpose for Palpatine.
- "When have I ever shown myself to be intolerant of species indifferences? Yes, our army is human, I am human, and most of my advisers and military officers are human. But that is merely the result of circumstance."
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. One of the members of the Imperial Inner Circle known as Janus Greejatus established the Imperial Department of Redesign to suppress and exterminate Non-huMan species. On Imperial Center, all Non-huMans were forced to move into an "ethnic neighborhood" designated as the Alien Protection Zone, keeping them under poor living conditions. 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.
The Imperial propaganda machine issued fabricated Humanocentric documents to highlight and exaggerate Human involvement in galactic history and culture, ignoring countless accomplishments and contributions of numerous Non-huMan species in the founding of galactic civilization and the Republic. Under the New Order, pro-Human propagandists argued that the most advanced and wealthiest member planets of the Galactic Republic in the Core Worlds and other regions of the galaxy were universally ruled and inhabited by Humans. Notably, the pro-Imperial sentientologist Obo Rin was sponsored by Darth Vader and Lieutenant Pandur to write the Catalog of Intelligent Life in the Galaxy, a falsified piece of work stating that the Mon Calamari and Columi, longstanding members of the Old Republic, had recently been discovered by the Empire. On the other hand, the Iyra Professor Tem Eliss was forced to go into hiding from COMPNOR agents for his pro-alien book The University of Sanbra Guide to Intelligent Life. The Empire's Humanocentric policies spurred anti-Human bigotry and led into the foundation of the anti-Imperial Alien Combine on Imperial Center in 3 ABY, although the organization was ultimately wiped out by the Imperial security forces. Ironically, the successor organization of the Combine, the terrorist group Diversity Alliance, attempted to commit anti-Human xenocide in the years following the Bastion Accords by using a Human-killing pathogen developed by the Empire.
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 Major General Corvae to establish the Firebird Society to prove that females were effective and capable soldiers for the Imperial Military.
Under the New Order, the droids often met harsh treatment, because they were not considered to be full citizens by the Imperial law. Many Imperial institutions preferred the Wookiees and other enslaved sapient beings for complicated and challenging construction projects such as the first Death Star, even though the droids were economically cheaper laborers and provided more effective and sophisticated performance capacity than organic slaves. Curiously, an IG-series assassin droid called 4-8C ascended to the rank of Grand Moff and was involved with the activities of the Imperial Department of Redesign. The cyborgs were shunned and detested by the Imperial citizens, and even Grand Admiral Osvald Teshik was ostracized for his extensive cybernetic prosthetics. The most notable exception in the prevalent anti-cyborg sentiment was the second most powerful man of the Empire, Supreme Commander Darth Vader, whose cybernetic life support system sustained his grievous injuries and struck terror in the hearts of the enemies of the Empire.
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, with Sidious' own Sith Master, Darth Plagueis, being a Muun, and his first Sith apprentice, Darth Maul, being a Dathomirian Zabrak. In fact, it is believed that the privy councilors and advisors 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. In addition, Palpatine denied the accusations of his being intolerant of species indifferences, citing that the Empire's Human population being the majority as simply being the result of circumstance. Numerous high-ranking Imperial bureaucrats 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.
- "Halt! Identify yourselves, in the name of the Empire."
- ―Scout trooper to Luke Skywalker
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 Imperial Security Bureau 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, later recruited Humans joined their ranks. 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 some one and a half million member and conquered worlds, as well as sixty-nine million colonies, protectorates and puppet states spread throughout the entire galaxy, stretching from the borders of the Deep Core to at least Wild Space. Emperor Palpatine sent Grand Admiral Thrawn on a mission to bring the rule of the Empire to the Unknown Regions. The Grand Admiral set up a command post at a fortress on Nirauan and from there brought the rule of the Empire to the uncharted regions of the galaxy, creating the Empire of the Hand.
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 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 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 Republic. After Thrawn's death, the Empire had little time to consolidate these holdings and the Empire lost many of them to a resurgent 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 Republic took back their holdings with surprising speed, and the remaining Imperial forces fled into the Deep Core. The 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 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.
Behind the scenesEdit
The Galactic Empire was already introduced in The Star Wars: Story Synopsis, finished by George Lucas in May 1973, simply as "an empire". In the revised The Star Wars: Rough Draft, the galaxy-wide totalitarian government was known as the "New Empire", ruled by the ruthless Emperor Cos Dashit with his power-hungry minions, Darth Vader and Crispin Hoedaack. In the later drafts, Governor Hoedaack became Grand Moff Tarkin and Cos Dashit was replaced by Emperor Palpatine. The rough draft was followed by The Star Wars: First Draft, where the Empire was called "New Galactic Kingdom". The empire was finally named "Galactic Empire" in Adventures of the Starkiller, Episode I: The Star Wars, which was followed by the first Star Wars film, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. In the present, the huge success of the Star Wars franchise has turned the Empire into the best-known example of a "galactic empire" theme in science fiction.
According to George Lucas, the empire from Star Wars was largely based on the Galactic Empire in Isaac Asimov's Foundation series, although Asimov's empire was depicted as a benign government. Also, Coruscant was based on the planet Trantor, the capital of Asimov's empire. The Galactic Empire has been also influenced by Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany; for example, the Imperial stormtroopers resemble the German stormtroopers, and red, black and white, the most recognized colors of the Empire, are also the colors of the Nazi Blutfahne. Palpatine's promise of an Empire that would last for ten thousand years, and the Empire falling far short of that goal, also echoes Adolf Hitler's promise of a "Thousand Year Reich". The Galactic Republic's transformation into the Empire is perhaps modeled after the transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire; the Roman Republic was transformed because of war, infighting, and two of its leaders, Julius and Augustus Caesar. Other reasons for the transition were based on the transformation of the First French Republic into the French Empire by Napoleon (after a coup), and the Weimar Republic into the Third Reich. Portions of the Empires' philosophy, such as the anti-Jedism policies/anti-Force belief policies, among other things, were also similar to Nazi Germany's Nuremberg Laws. Similar to the Soviet Union under Stalin (specifically the aftermath of Stalin's death), as soon as Palpatine met his first demise on the Battle of Endor, various insurgencies throughout the Empire were attempted before being put down by the Imperials. One insurgency in particular, the Coruscant Uprising, had notable similarities to the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 that commenced shortly after Stalin's death. On a related note, series creator George Lucas cited that Emperor Palpatine's arrival on the Death Star in Return of the Jedi was based on the military parades in "May Day" in what was at the time Soviet Russia. George Lucas had also implied in Empire of Dreams and in an interview with the Associated Press that the Galactic Empire was also based in part on the American forces during the Vietnam War, when citing that the Ewoks were based on the Viet Cong and also claiming he based the Empire's ruler, Palpatine, on then-president Richard Nixon.
It should be also noted that most of the Imperial characters in the original trilogy, such as Grand Moff Tarkin and Admiral Firmus Piett, are speaking English with a Received Pronunciation accent. However, there are several exceptions; for example, Admiral Conan Antonio Motti speaks English with a distinctive mid-Atlantic accent.
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Notes and referencesEdit
- Empire of the Hand
- Empire Reborn
- Galactic Emperor
- Imperial Academy
- Imperial Remnant
- Fel Empire
- Darth Krayt's Galactic Empire
- Pentastar Alignment
- Rank insignia plaque
- Second Imperium
- Galactic Empire on Wikipedia