The Imperial Period took place from the Declaration of a New Order in 19 BBY—the transition of the democratic Galactic Republic into autocratic Imperial rule—until the death of Emperor Palpatine at the Battle of Endor in 4 ABY. The era was characterized by the beginning and later rule of the Galactic Empire, giving the period its name. It was also known by such nicknames as the Imperial era, the Dark Times, or the Birth of the Rebellion.
- "Poor boy. The Sith always betray one another. But I’m sure you’ll learn that soon enough."
- ―Shaak Ti to Starkiller, and her last words
The Imperial era consisted of isolated conflicts and events that occurred on certain rebellious planets which attempted to fight against the new Empire's reign. It also included the last weeks of the Clone Wars, the Reconquest of the Rim, and the early years of the Galactic Civil War, usually considered the age before the Battle of Endor occurred.
The Imperial Period brought about the pre-eminence of Vader's Fist, the 501st Legion of Imperial stormtroopers, who were responsible for suppressing many of the planetary revolts against the Imperial regime. This age was when—as one 501st trooper put it—the galaxy could protect and maintain an Empire, rather than build one. The Empire gained near-total control over the known galaxy, with the exception of a select few planets, in revolts that needed to be subjugated.
This age also showcased the fearsome Darth Vader as the epitome of the Empire's dark rule. Many citizens of the Empire were encouraged to believe that an era of peace and prosperity had finally been achieved, and news of rebellions, great and small, was generally squelched, before it could encourage further conflict.