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This article is about the title. You may be looking for Emperor Palpatine.

Emperor Palpatine, the Emperor of the first Galactic Empire.

"By bringing the entire galaxy under one law, one language, and the enlightened guidance of one individual, the corruption that plagued the Republic in its later years will never take root."

Galactic Emperor was the title of the head of state of the Galactic Empire and, later, the new Galactic Empire.

Powers and functions

"As the Emperor wills it, so shall it be."
Darth Vader[src]

The Galactic Emperor's power and authority were mainly derived from those of the Supreme Chancellor and the additional rights bestowed upon that office by the Galactic Senate during the Separatist crisis and Clone Wars. The Emperor was the head of the Imperial Inner Circle, and at least technically was advised by the Senate.

The Emperor was the head of state and commander-in-chief of the Empire, and had absolute authority over the military and bureaucracy. The Emperor had sole power to appoint and dismiss the regional governors. The Emperor proposed the budget, called the Imperial Senate into session, and dismissed it from meeting. The Emperor could both introduce and veto Senate legislation.

The Emperor's power and authority in the new Galactic Empire seems to be rooted in the fact that the Imperial Remnant was ruled by the Supreme Commander of the Imperial Fleet from 12 ABY to the formation of this new Empire.


Palpatine was the first and only official Emperor of the first Galactic Empire—most of the Imperial leaders who followed were not recognized by all Imperials or never made use of the title of Emperor.

Emperor Palpatine's official heir would normally be Darth Vader as his Sith apprentice; however, there were indications that he never intended this to happen—he wanted Vader's son, Luke Skywalker, to take his father's place at Palpatine's side by killing Vader. However, Palpatine had prepared clone bodies of himself to take his place after his deaths, so there was never an official method for choosing a new Emperor.

In the Declaration of a New Order, Palpatine's speech had indicated that the Imperial Senate would elect the Galactic Emperor, but no one in the Imperial High Command had any desire to restore a body that would probably dissolve the Empire, so many Imperial commanders became rogue warlords after the Battle of Endor.

Under the Imperial Remnant, the role of Imperial Head of State was assumed by Supreme Commander of the Imperial Fleet.

It was unclear what led to the appointment of Fel I as Emperor, but the title clearly became hereditary; i.e., not dependent upon election or appointment.

List of Galactic Emperors and other interim rulers

Behind the scenes

  • There is some confusion as to whether Ysanne Isard actually claimed the title Empress or not. While Evil Never Dies: The Sith Dynasties referred to her as Empress, other works such as Wedge's Gamble contradict this, and it is possible that this reference was figurative.



Evil Never Dies: The Sith Dynasties

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See also

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