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"Imperius Unitada ober Totallex"
Atrisian Basic motto and name of a propaganda piece, literally translating to "Empire united over all"[5]

The Galactic Empire, also known as the First Galactic Empire and simply as the Empire and later as the Old Empire, was the dictatorship that replaced the Galactic Republic at the end of the Clone Wars. Though the Empire rose to power by promising to bring order to the galaxy, it oversaw a period of harsh military rule and aggressive expansion. The subsequent Imperial Era would last only two decades, for it was eventually overthrown by the Alliance to Restore the Republic in the Galactic Civil War, but not before the sovereign star systems of the galaxy had been largely conquered and oppressed by the Empire's forces.

The First Galactic Empire traced its origins to a Sith conspiracy to destroy the Jedi Order and regain control over the galaxy. The Empire was secretly controlled by the Sith, for the Galactic Emperor was, in fact, the Sith Lord Darth Sidious, whose reign was enforced by his apprentice, Darth Vader, who acted as Commander-in-Chief. Rising to power on a groundswell of populist support, and capitalizing on anti-Jedi and anti-droid sentiment and human-ethnocentrism manufactured by the destructive Clone Wars, Darth Sidious appointed himself Emperor at the end of the conflict by promising security and stability to the war-torn Republic. Gaining the overwhelming approval of the Galactic Senate, Darth Sidious staged a coup by the Jedi, and oversaw their subsequent purge from the galaxy, assisted by his right-hand, Darth Vader.

The Empire stood virtually unchallenged during its rise to power, with the backing of the Imperial Senate and the spreading of its massive technological military force across the galaxy and began a major expansion and encroaching into the unexplored regions. At first, the Galactic Empire was a constitutional monarchy in basic theory, however it gradually evolved into a stratocracy as the power of the Imperial Senate waned. However, numerous insurgent cells sprang up against the Empire and gradually united to initiate a growing rebellion, winning its first major victory over Mustafar in 4 BBY. These rebel groups eventually formed the Rebel Alliance in 2 BBY, and achieved its first major victory with the theft of the Death Star plans on Scarif, which, in turn, led to the destruction of the Death Star at the Battle of Yavin in 0 BBY. The following years saw initial Alliance successes until a major Imperial victory on Hoth in 3 ABY, but the Empire suffered a devastating defeat one year later at the Battle of Endor. During the battle, Darth Sidious was slain at the hands of his former disciple, the redeemed Anakin Skywalker, who himself died shortly thereafter, marking the end of Sith rule and the deterioration of the Empire and the resumption of the Galactic Republic, the New Republic.

With the deaths of the Emperor and his top lieutenant, factionalism overcame the Empire as it fractured into breakaway fiefdoms led by splinter Moffs, admirals, and generals, many of whom ignored Grand Vizier Mas Amedda's authority at the capital and became warlords as the Empire continued to fight the Republic. The Imperial Navy came to be publicly led by loyalist Grand Admiral Rae Sloane, though she was a figurehead for Fleet Admiral Gallius Rax. Ultimately, Rax seized control over the loyalist forces, removing Sloane from power and becoming Emperor-in-effect through his new position as Counselor to the Empire. Under Rax's command, the Empire made its final stand at the Battle of Jakku in 5 ABY, ultimately losing to the New Republic and capitulating to it with the signing of the Galactic Concordance. The New Republic then formally replaced the Galactic Empire as the galactic government.

In the years after, several Imperial holdouts continued to resist the New Republic, while the First Order derived legitimacy by claiming Imperial legacy, and that began a clandestine armament program. They were unaware, however, that they had been manipulated by a new hidden conspiracy, for secret cultists on the lost world of Exegol attended to the spirit of Darth Sidious, and constructed a fleet built to herald a new Sith Empire. The cult efforts ultimately failed, however, for they were opposed by the Resistance and Jedi Order, leading to an end of the First Order.


Early foundations[]

"I have good news for you, my Lord. The war has begun."
"Excellent. Everything is going as planned."
―Darth Tyranus and Darth Sidious — (audio) Listen (file info)[22]

The Imperial ideals of the Galactic Empire could be dated back to the Sith Empire of the Old Republic's time period.[23] Following the defeat of the Sith during their final war with the Jedi Order,[5] for at least a thousand years, the dominant governing body of the galaxy was the unicameral, parliamentary, and democratic Galactic Republic, which was governed by the Galactic Senate and led by an elected Supreme Chancellor.[22][24]


Sheev Palpatine was the public persona of Darth Sidious, who conspired to restore Sith rule across the galaxy.

In the last decades of its existence, the Republic Senate became embroiled in bureaucracy, rendering it woefully ineffectual as a governing body. Darth Sidious, the Dark Lord of the Sith known publicly as Senator Sheev Palpatine of Naboo, privately lamented the declining state of the Senate, noting that the Republic was "not what it once was."[24][25]

Thirteen years before the Republic's end as a democracy, Darth Sidious orchestrated the Invasion of Naboo by the Trade Federation in order to create a leadership crisis in the Senate. Sidious used the crisis to manipulate the then Queen of the Naboo, Padmé Amidala, into calling a Vote of No Confidence against sitting Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum. The vote passed, and in the subsequent election, Sidious—in his public persona of Senator Palpatine of Naboo—secured the position of Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic for himself through a strong sympathy vote.[24] Ultimately, he would be the last individual to hold this office.[3]

In the decade that followed, Sidious secretly manipulated galactic events to the extent that war became inevitable. Besides persuading a dead Jedi Master, Sifo-Dyas, to create a secret clone army, he also tasked his Sith apprentice, Darth Tyranus, with exacerbating political tensions in the Republic and engineering a Separatist Crisis. These actions would culminate in the outbreak of the Clone Wars held on Geonosis, the last conflict of the Republic, while Sidious himself "reluctantly" accepted emergency powers from the Senate.[22][3] The Clone Wars, Sidious planned, would further make people in the galaxy grow bitter with the Republic[26] while he centralized his power to sweep away the Republic and Jedi.[3]

Birth of the New Order[]

"In order to ensure the security and continuing stability, the Republic will be reorganized into the first Galactic Empire! For a safe and secure society."
―Darth Sidious — (audio) Listen (file info)[3]
Do Not Bind His Hands

Through the Clone Wars, Sidious strengthened his authority as Supreme Chancellor Palpatine of the Galactic Republic.

Since the onset of the Clone Wars[6] in 22 BBY,[27] the Republic endeavored to strengthen its security and stability through the creation of new organizations such as the Commission for the Protection of the Republic (COMPOR), which utilized propaganda to increase public morale, promote patriotism, and foster anti-Separatist sentiment within the general population.[6] As the Republic became increasingly centralized, however, Chancellor Palpatine's powers continued to grow through additional assets ceded to the Office of the Chancellor, including the galactic banking system that was placed under his direct oversight.[28] This gave Sidious the finance he needed to build his empire.[29]

The Chancellor remained a popular leader for the duration of the war, having managed to stay in office at the will of the Senate for longer than his term permitted. As he consolidated and centralized his own power, his influence expanded to an unprecedented level while the Republic shifted from a democratic government to an increasingly militarized and authoritarian regime on the grounds of security and stability. In addition to his authority as Commander-in-Chief of the Republic Military, the Chancellor exerted more control over the Senate, the courts,[3] and even the media, with HoloNet News becoming a state-run program in order to ensure that information would not be compromised by the Confederacy of Independent Systems.[30] Sidious' hold over the Republic further expanded with additional amendments to the Galactic Constitution[3] while public support for the Jedi weakened as the war carried on,[31] paving the way for his ultimate ascension as Emperor of the galaxy.[3]


The Jedi, having discovered Palpatine's secret identity, confronted the chancellor in his office on Coruscant.

As the war neared its end[3] in 19 BBY,[27] the Jedi Order had grown skeptical about the Chancellor after his accumulation of emergency power. They began to suspect that a plot to destroy the Jedi was close to fruition. The ruling council started discussing forcibly removing Palpatine from office and temporarily overseeing the Senate in order to maintain political stability during the transition period. However, the Jedi learned of Palpatine's true identity as Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Sidious. Following an attempt to arrest him, a brief but vicious fight ensued in which Sidious killed several Jedi and was himself injured and visibly disfigured. The intercession of Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker, who was a personal friend of Chancellor Palpatine and already disillusioned with both the Order and the war, ensured Sidious' victory. The prodigal Jedi was turned to the dark side of the Force, while Sidious had a pretext upon which to turn the Republic against the Jedi.[3]


The purging of the Jedi Order commenced with Order 66, which the clone troopers were programmed to obey.

Darth Sidious immediately purged the Jedi Order, issuing to the clone army Order 66: to exterminate all Jedi. With this command programmed into the clones since their births on Kamino,[32] the clone troopers immediately turned on their Jedi commanders and exterminated the vast majority of the Jedi Order in an instant. Meanwhile, Anakin Skywalker—rechristened as Sidious' new Sith apprentice Darth Vader—attacked the Jedi Temple and wiped out what remained of the Order.[33]

Despite their Order being wiped out, certain Jedi survived the initial purge. Many of them went into hiding after Grand Master Yoda and Master Obi-Wan Kenobi fought their way into the Temple and transmitted a holographic message warning the other Jedi about the Republic trap waiting for them there, right before the two Masters failed to destroy the Sith and headed into exile themselves.[3] Some of them, however, were initially hunted down and either killed, taken prisoner or turned to the dark side as part of an agency of dark side adepts known as the Inquisitorius.[34]


In the aftermath of the Clone Wars, the First Galactic Empire was born with Sidious' ascension as Emperor of the galaxy.

Shortly afterwards, Sidious turned his eyes to the Confederacy of Independent Systems and dispatched Darth Vader to wipe out Nute Gunray and the rest of the Separatist government leaders on Mustafar, following which Imperial financier Arsin Crassus plundered the Trade Federation's accounts to fund the new Imperial government.[3][10] Now able to demonstrate threats to the Republic from both within and without, a visibly injured and scarred Sidious addressed the Galactic Senate to announce the reforms which had been his plan since the beginning. To the thunderous applause of the Senators, Sidious—known publicly as Supreme Chancellor Palpatine—announced that in order to preserve security and continued stability, the Republic would be reorganized into[3] the First Galactic Empire[35] and proclaimed himself as Galactic Emperor.[3]


Re-ordering the Republic[]

"You hear so many rumors. People are here one day, gone the next. And no one has laid eyes on the Emperor in months. Amedda, Dangor, and the rest of the Ruling Council have taken to dispatching processions of Imperial skylimos to maintain an illusion that the Emperor still moves about in public. You know they commissioned an enormous statue of the Emperor for the Senate—I mean, Imperial Plaza? So far, the thing looks more terrifying than majestic."
"Isn't that the idea, Nils?"
Admiral Nils Tenant and Moff Wilhuff Tarkin discuss the Imperialization of Coruscant[6]

The Jedi became vilified as the Old Republic faded into history, supplanted by the New Order of Emperor Palpatine.

Existing government bodies were renamed to reflect the change in authority as civil and military superstructure of the Old Republic were overhauled immediately under the personal direction of the Emperor. With vast portions of the galaxy still unconquered, the Grand Army of the Republic became the Imperial Army,[36][6] while the Republic Navy became the Imperial Navy and the Galactic Senate was rechristened the Imperial Senate.[2] The renowned Senate Plaza, with its name reminding residents of the Old Republic, was promptly changed to the Imperial Plaza, while an enormous statue of the Emperor was erected there.[6] Ultimately, the mechanisms created for the Republic during the war were twisted to fit Sidious' use, with even the systems built with help from the Jedi benefiting the new Emperor.[37]

In addition, the former roundel of the Republic was replaced with the new Imperial crest, adorned on almost everything having to do with Sidious' Empire.[38] With every day that passed, Sidious' hold over the galaxy grew tighter.[37] For the next decade and a half, Imperial rule—bolstered by the military created to fight in the Clone Wars—dominated the galaxy and was largely unchallenged. The Empire soon began to upgrade its military hardware, replacing V-wing and ARC-170 fighters with newer TIE models five years after the Clone Wars, but Republic-era military equipment continued to be used for a while on distant outposts and locations such as Galidraan Station.[6] The Republic's Phase II clone trooper armor would begin a phase out and be replaced by superior stormtrooper armor, whose development had been headed by the Imperial Department of Military Research.[38]

Continuing clean-up[]

"They want the Empire to collapse the same way some hoped the Republic would, only this time our enemies aren't rebelling in protest of Senate representation, trade routes, or taxes. They're intent on sowing chaos, on bringing everything down. They have no agenda—political, religious, or any other—beyond a desire to end civilization as we know it."
Orson Callan Krennic[39]

Happy for the peace and the end to the fighting the rise of the Empire brought[40] after the Clone Wars had killed billions,[41] the new government was welcomed by people[40] all throughout a galaxy[41] that was tired of the bloodshed; on the planet Pantora, citizens cheered as clone stormtroopers marched past them near a Imperial Informational Station, where a message played announcing personal chain codes and new currency.[40]


The battle droids that fought for the Confederacy of Independent Systems were decommissioned and destroyed.

After the Separatist Droid Army was promptly shut down, its navy was dismantled at locations across the galaxy such as the Bilbringi shipyards. However, various droid models and Separatist technology escaped Imperial appropriation and worked their way onto the black market, with many modules taken from Separatist frigates and destroyers, including pieces from Admiral Trench's warship, the Invincible. Despite Separatist-era technology continuing to be used and appearing in locations such as the Corporate Sector, the Empire continued to root out remaining holdouts of the Confederacy four years after the Clone Wars, while criminal organizations composed of repurposed battle droids such as the Droid Gotra operated in Coruscant's underground.[6]

While the Empire at times came into conflict with parts of the criminal underworld,[42] the Empire allied itself with major galactic criminal factions, including Crimson Dawn[43] and the Hutt Clan. The Hutts enjoyed a special relationship with the Empire that remained in place for decades. Other criminal factions, like Papa Toren's group,[44] the Pyke Syndicate, the Droid Gotra, the Black Sun, the Zerek Besh, all desired to take the Hutt Clan's place as the Empire's formal partner in underworld affairs.[45]

Hunt for the Jedi[]

"The Inquisitorius. A project of mine, long planned. Slaves to the light side once, now awake. Hunters, one and all."
"What do they hunt?"
"Why, Jedi, of course."
―Darth Sidious and Darth Vader[46]
Vader Inquisitors Bel City

The remaining Jedi were hunted by the Sith Lord Darth Vader and his Inquisitors.

Any Jedi survivors of Sidious' purge were systematically hunted down and killed either by Darth Vader[2] or any of the Emperor's Inquisitors in the years that followed the rise of the New Order. When Zubain Ankonori and his nest of fellow Jedi were all found within the Jedi shrine on Anoat, they were forced to separate and flee, only to be tracked and killed by an Inquisitor one by one.[47]

In order to draw out any of these Jedi and the children capable of touching the Force, the Empire charged the Inquisitorius with not only tracking the Order 66 survivors down, but also preventing the Force-sensitive youth of the galaxy from becoming Jedi.[48][49] The Empire also offered rewards for those who turned over Jedi survivors to the imperial authorities.[50]

Minor resistance[]

"Why should we trust you?"
"Because I'm on your side. What the Empire is doing is wrong. You have to get out of here."
Gobi Glie and "Howzer"[51]

Imperial rule fostered resentment on occupied worlds, including the Twi'lek homeworld of Ryloth.

As pirates, smugglers, and ex-Separatists were routinely imprisoned and destroyed, the Empire faced little serious resistance to its rule. A rare exception revolved around the Outer Rim world of Ryloth, where Moff Delian Mors and Colonel Belkor Dray were fighting an insurgency known as the Free Ryloth Movement, led by former Twi'lek Resistance leader Cham Syndulla, who established hidden bases across Ryloth and executed raids against the Empire, including those on its lucrative spice and slave trade in the sector. Composed of freedom fighters who fought with the Galactic Republic and Jedi Master Mace Windu during the Clone Wars to free their homeworld from Separatist occupation by Emir Wat Tambor, the newly formed Free Ryloth movement would continue its struggle for independence against the Galactic Empire for decades.[6][52]

Seeking to make examples of worlds who continued to harbor secessionist tendencies, Moff Wilhuff Tarkin was assigned to make an example of Antar 4, a populous moon that had been a part of the Separatist Alliance and involved in a scheme involving Republic Intelligence to train locals into well-armed resistance groups. While COMPNOR initially stifled information regarding the killings, word soon leaked about the operation through inquisitive reporters such as Anora Fair and Hask Taff, while the event was soon penned as the Antar Atrocity, capturing the attention of many Coruscanti and other citizens from the Core Worlds.[6][52]

Age of the Empire[]

Continued expansion[]

"There used to be hundreds of settlements up here. Forty thousand Aldhanis all across the highlands. They were here for centuries, but it only took the Emprie a decade to clear them out."
"Killed them?"
"No. Drove them south. There's an Enterprize Zone in the Lowlands. Factories, new towns, Imperial housing. Aldhani has the unfortunate quality of being close to nothing and not far away from everything. It's the perfect hub for distribution. If one were trying to take over the galaxy."
―Vel Sartha and Cassian Andor[53]

The Imperial occupation of Aldhani began in 18 BBY and resulted in the planet becoming a waypoint for Imperial materiel.

At some point during its reign, the Empire undertook an expansion effort known simply as the Imperial expansion. It was during this time that they constructed a military installation on the volcanic world of Nevarro.[54] In 18 BBY,[55] the Empire arrived on the planet Aldhani due to its tactically useful place in space, liberating the Alkenzi Air Base and creating a dam over the sacred Nasma Klain river.[53] Beginning an occupation, the Empire displaced the local population[56] of Dhanis over the course of the next ten years. Forcing the Dhani to the southern Lowlands, the Empire established an Enterprise Zone of new Imperial housing and offered work in factories.[53]

Staffed by the Aldhani Garrison, the dam served as the planet's waypoint for weaponry and other supplies, including the quarterly payroll for the overall sector. The Dhani also revered the celestial event known as the "Eye of Aldhani." When the Eye "opened" every three years, the Dhani made their way to[57] the Nasma Brani temple[58] in the sacred Akti Amaugh valley, which the dam overlooked, through a ten day journey. As such, the Empire made a show of supporting their custom but worked to root it out to keep control over the valley.[57] In 15 BBY,[55] the Empire established and began promoting an Imperial-supported viewing event in the Enterprise Zone, intending to draw Dhani away from their sacred area. For those who still made the ten-day journey, the Empire,[57] by 5 BBY,[55] had also started offering transport to the valley from the Lowlands, being more than aware that the Dhani would refuse. With that, the Empire also established Comfort Units along the route, convincing many to abandon the long journey.[57]


Imperial forces arrive on the planet Ferrix as a show of force.

Also in 18 BBY,[59] Imperial forces arrived on[60] the planet[61] Ferrix[60] in the Free Trade sector[62] to bring it under the Empire's control. On Rix Road,[60] a regiment[63] of clone troopers under an Imperial officer marched pass the gathered masses of civilians as a show of Imperial authority, although local citizen Clem Andor assured his adoptive son Cassian Jeron Andor that the Empire would pull out soon enough. To Clem, resisting the Empire was not their fight. However, a small group of protesters emerged from the crowd and began to throw rocks at the soldiers in the name of the Republic and Ferrix[60] in what became known as the Rix Road protest.[64] Believing they would only make things worse for themselves, Clem quickly stepped in to stop the protest, only for the officer to call his troopers to a halt at that moment. Pointing their blasters at the protesters and Clem, who was assumed to be part of the demonstration, the protest was shut down.[60] Clem was publicly hung on Rix Road[65] for his supposed treason.[60]

Afterward, Cassian attacked four clone troopers stationed near the gallows in anger.[60] At some point, Andor spent time with anti-Imperial anarchist groups.[4] Ultimately, Cassian would be arrested on charges of attacking an Imperial soldier, insurrection, and destroying Imperial property.[66] After spending time in prison, the sixteen year old Andor was sent to[53] the planet Mimban, which had been an ally to the Republic during the Clone Wars but possessed vital resources,[67] as a cook for the Imperial Army. After six months on Mimban, Andor escaped by deserting the military. He later claimed he had seen active combat. Upon escaping, Andor realized the Empire had set him and his other conscripts against people who should have been their allies. Although Andor's resolve to fight the Empire was damaged,[53] the people of Mimban, the Mimbanese, resisted the Empire's encroachment on their world as the Imperial Era carried on.[43] Andor ultimately returned home to Ferrix, which largely remained out of direct Imperial control and instead was governed by the Preox-Morlana corporate polity on behalf of the central Imperial regime. Despite his hate for the Empire, Andor's spirit was crushed,[53] and he attempted to eke out a life for himself, his mother[62] Maarva, and their droid B2EMO.[66]

Building the ultimate weapon[]

"You look at the history of any sentient species and what do you find but tableaux of violence and slaughter. It's finger painted on the ceilings of caves and engraved into the walls of temples. Dig a hole deep enough on any world and you'll find the skulls and bones of adults and children fractured by crude weapons. All of us were fighting long before we were farming and raising livestock…Violence is hardwired into most of us and there's no eliminating the impulse—not with an army of stormtroopers or a fleet of Star Destroyers. That's why we've embarked on a path to a different solution. We have a chance to forge a peace that will endure longer than the Republic was in existence."
―Orson Callan Krennic[39]
Moff Tarkin

Though conceived as a Separatist project, the Death Star was built to serve as the Empire's ultimate weapon.

In total secrecy, the Empire took over construction of a massive battle station with enough firepower to destroy an entire planet, later known simply as the Death Star, that had formerly been a Separatist project engineered by Geonosian archduke Poggle the Lesser's hive colony for Count Dooku, who was entrusted with the project's plans for safekeeping throughout the Clone Wars, with supplies coming from various planets and locations such as Sentinel Base and Geonosis.[22][2] During the Clone War, the Republic had begun work on the battle station.[39]

In these early days of the Empire, Palpatine still depended on the supposed power of the Imperial Senate[68] and the legitimacy granted by public opinion[69] to maintain his rule. While Palpatine truthfully planned to do away with the Senate and intended to create a galaxy where the only voice that mattered was his own,[68] he first needed to further expand his control over the galaxy by removing the Senate's remaining authority with new laws until an eventually totally powerless Senate[61] could be disbanded altogether. The Death Star would then be deployed to keep the galaxy in line through fear.[2]

Spread of the Empire[]

"For the first time in one thousand generations our sector governors will not be working solely to enrich Coruscant and the Core Worlds, but to advance the quality of life in the star systems that make up each sector-keeping the spaceways safe, maintaining open and accessible communications, assuring that tax revenues are properly levied and allocated to improving the infrastructure. The Senate will likewise be made up of beings devoted not to their own enrichment, but to the enrichment of the worlds they represent."
―An excerpt from the Tarkin Doctrine[6]
Empire Day parade

"Glory of the Empire" was played during the yearly Empire Day celebrations across Imperial space.

As the Galactic Empire grew, Sidious moved closer to his ultimate plan of ruling the entire galaxy and unlocking the secrets of the Sith Masters who had come before him. With the near extermination of the Jedi Order and the Empire swelling in size and strength, the Emperor ultimately planned to possess the powers of the dark side to reshape reality itself into something of his own creation, and an omnipotent Empire would allow all the galaxy's inhabitants to be held in his dark embrace.[6]

As most planets were ecologically devastated, rampant industrialization and mass-production eroded local culture and ecological health. People saw their children drafted into Imperial service, while corrupt governors[70][71] and magistrates often exploited local populations on worlds such as Jelucan,[70] Devaron[71] and Tangenine.[35] At some point, the Empire conquered[67] and occupied[72] the planet Yar Togna,[67] leading to much of its population fleeing[4] as refugees[72] in a mass exodus.[67] At some point, the Mid Rim uprisings were launched by monarchies that refused to obey Palpatine's will. The revolts ended up as a series of chaotic conflicts that ended in Imperial victory: through the actions of Imperial Starfighter Pilots, the monarchies were forced to submit to the Emperor.[23]

Andressa Divo SaV

Imperial agents and soldiers were tasked with enforcing the Emperor's reign throughout the galaxy.

Only a year after its founding, the Empire had already begun to enforce itself in the Outer Rim. Worlds that did not fall to the Empire's quick expansion, which installed an oppressive Imperial presence instead of simple bases, became homes to crime lords. In its effort to establish itself in the Outer Rim, in addition to using fear, the Empire withheld food to make populations endure hunger.[37] While the Empire turned a blind eye to various abuses, it still maintained a policy of zero corruption and maintained its high standards of conduct, resulting in numerous Imperial Security Bureau (ISB) officials actively hunting down corrupt and negligent officials, even resulting in investigations by Lord Vader himself. Despite this, many citizens were content with the geopolitical situation in the galaxy, believing that strict measures were necessary to maintain order and stability after the destructive Clone Wars. Many also believed that the Empire, while not the best, was better than anarchy and chaos.[70][35][6]


Ahsoka Tano inspired the people of Raada to fight for freedom from the Empire.

Despite its seemingly endless expansion, such as on Raada, where Imperial forces arrived to harvest food, which destroyed the quality of the moon's soil and led to a growing oppression. This angered the people of Raada to the point where they staged an uprising after weeks of planning, with the help of ex-Padawan Ahsoka Tano and the forces of Imperial Senator Bail Organa in secret.[37] A major turning point against the Empire's advance into the Outer Rim occurred in 11 BBY, with Imperial forces commanded by Captain Rae Sloane engaging in a small skirmish in the vital Inner Rim system of Gorse.[73]

This event saw the meeting of later rebel Hera Syndulla and Jedi survivor Kanan Jarrus, who were confronting efficiency expert Count Denetrius Vidian and his aggressive methods of extracting thorilide—a vital component in the construction of turbolaser batteries and thus essential for the expansion of the Imperial fleet. The Gorse Conflict ultimately ended with the transferring of local thorilide mining operations to Imperial-aligned Baron Lero Danthe, while Syndulla and Jarrus departed on the heavily modified VCX-100 light freighter Ghost, and would become essential to the eventual formation of the Rebel Alliance.[73]

Meanwhile, more and more worlds within the Empire began to realize its true intentions: After various massacres on Kashyyyk and increasingly brutal tactics, such as the Empire committing genocide on the Lasat homeworld of Lasan, a growing number of citizens of the galaxy began to rebel against Imperial dominion. At least nine years after the proclamation of the New Order, the Corellian Resistance fought the Empire from its headquarters on the planet Corellia.[74] The Empire would also end the independence of many galactic, sector and planetary governments in its early conquests.[47][75][76][77]

Theft of the Carrion Spike[]


The Carrion Spike was the personal stealth corvette of Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin.

In 14 BBY,[78] various survivors of the Antar Atrocity and other malcontents joined together under the leadership of the former Captain Berch Teller, who organized them into a rebel cell intent on stalling the development of the Emperor's newest weapon under construction at Geonosis. After stealing the Carrion Spike, an advanced starship based on a prototype stealth corvette used during the Battle of Christophsis during the Clone Wars, the rebels wreaked havoc across numerous star systems including Lucazec, Galidraan III and Nouane, all while transmitting holovids of their attacks on Imperial HoloNet frequencies, increasing anti-Imperial propaganda across thousands of Mid and Outer Rim star systems before the Empire was able to shut down the communications grid.[6]

After lengthy fleet redeployments and the discovery of a mole within the Imperial ranks, Tarkin, aboard the Imperial-class Star Destroyer Executrix, disabled the rebel warship and captured the dissidents after a brief battle and timely arrival of Star Destroyers Compliant and Enforcer. To reward Tarkin's skill, the Emperor promoted him to the newly created rank of Grand Moff and gave him command of the Executrix as well as oversight of the Outer Rim Territories, all while the recent attacks on Imperial facilities were made to look like an elaborate plot to root out rebel cells. The Empire had effectively dealt with a potentially disastrous situation, rooted out a traitor and kept details regarding the development of its superweapon at Geonosis a mere rumor.[6][79]

The Emperor's long-term plan was to allow what he called the "skeleton of the Republic" to remain in place until the Death Star was completed; this included maintaining the Senate to make the systems believe that they still had a part to play in the government. However, upon the superweapon's completion, the Emperor planned to dissolve the Senate and grant its legislative and administrative powers to the military-industrial complex. The Death Star would also provide order to the galaxy, as part of Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin's doctrine of terror, by making its inhabitants too afraid to defy an Imperial command and stand against the Empire.[6]

Outer Rim expansion[]

"Good news has come to the citizens of Lothal. The Outer Rim planet has been granted the coveted opportunity to participate in the new Imperial Registration Program."
Alton Kastle, on the HoloNet News[80]
Sullust Imperial Factory

Sullust was an example of the Empire's industrial development.

Around fourteen years into Sidious' rule as Emperor, the Empire had begun its expansion into the Outer Rim. Worlds like Jelucan saw occupation and development, leading to rampant pollution and industrialization to support the Imperial war machine.[70] One such world that was developed was Lothal, which joined the Imperial Registration Program seeking protection and economic opportunities whereby local citizens would find work in the local Sienar Fleet Systems facilities.[80] Ostensibly this was to grow the local economy, but was in fact secretly part of a much larger five-year plan involving numerous Outer Rim worlds that was overseen by the Imperial Outer Rim High Command, a subdivision of Imperial High Command which was in charge of the Outer Rim Territories.[12]

But the Empire did not fully control the Outer Rim and often utilized its worlds instead as testing grounds for new biological weapons and as a source of cheap labor.[10] Lothal's industrial importance soon came to the fore for the Empire as the Emperor planned to further expand Imperial dominion over the Outer Rim Territories and beyond. In order to maximize the worth of newly occupied systems, worlds such as Lothal soon bore witness to Imperial authorities relocating farmers away from their farmlands to mine for Imperial purposes, leading to the development of re-settlement camps such as Tangletown[36] and Lothal re-settlement camp 43, known by the residents as "Tarkintown" after the Governor of the Outer Rim.[81] The Empire also limited the HoloNet across the Outer Rim, leading many dissatisfied systems to view the embargo as a part of the conquest of the Outer Systems.[6]

Galactic Civil War[]

Lothal rebellion[]

"We are getting reports of unrest all over Lothal. There are whispers from Mustafar. Some people see the Empire as weak. Vulnerable."
"Not to worry, Agent Kallus. The Emperor has sent an alternative solution."
―Alexsandr Kallus and Wilhuff Tarkin[82]

This aggressive dislocation of persons and high tax rate eventually led to the development of a small and localized, albeit serious upheaval[83] in 5 BBY[84] against Imperial authority on Lothal. Although the other separate insurgencies across the Imperial territories was of little consequence, the Emperor did foresee a new threat rising against the Empire—the children of the Force. But the Empire overall did not fear that the various rebel cells could unite and form a more potent menace against the Empire and its interests in the Outer Rim. Imperial Military command maintained a list of known Rebel sympathizers on several Outer Rim worlds, including Lothal, but most of them were not arrested due to their having powerful allies in the Senate, a known hotbed of corruption and decadence.[83]

Welcome to Mustafar Immortal 1

Mustafar was a volcanic world and Sith sanctuary, where fugitive Jedi were taken to for interrogation, torment, and death.

Among these cells on Lothal were the Spectres, who manned the Ghost.[81] When rumor of the discovery of Jarrus' Jedi identity and his duty on leading the Spectres began to emerge, the Empire sent the Grand Inquisitor to track him down.[85][86] The Jedi survivor was to be taken to Darth Vader's fortress on Mustafar,[87] yet in 4 BBY,[27] in a daring battle over Mustafar that marked the first major rebel victory in the Galactic Civil War, the Ghost crew rescued Jarrus and joined with a growing rebellion.[82][88]

The rebels, commanded by Ahsoka Tano, were part of a larger rebel movement across the entire galaxy which included several cells, led by Tano and Imperial Senator Bail Organa, and purposely kept in darkness about the existence of one another to prevent information leaks and Imperial crackdowns. Following rumors of an Imperial defeat over Mustafar, spontaneous riots and unrest on several Imperial worlds occurred. The size of the rebellion had also caused concern in the higher ranks of the Empire. With the Grand Inquisitor's death, the Emperor sent his loyal enforcer, Darth Vader, to quash the threat to the Empire's reign.[82]

Polluted Lothal

The Empire stripped Lothal of its natural resources, causing extreme pollution and scattered fires across the planet.

Following the events on Mustafar, Lord Vader imposed a complete lockdown and blockade of the planet as a disillusioned Minister Tua contacted the Spectres to defect to the rebellion, with ISB agent Alexsandr Kallus using this to lure the rebels back to Lothal and to capture them, but Tua was killed during the escape attempt. This prompted Kallus to frame the rebels for her murder and send Imperial forces to search for them. The rebels evaded arrest by hiding in the Imperial Complex only to be met by Darth Vader and a duel; however, the rebels escaped in a stolen shuttle. Vader ordered Kallus to raze Lothal re-settlement camp 43, known as Tarkintown, to punish the locals for accepting help from the rebels.[83]

After breaking the Imperial blockade, Vader attacked the Phoenix Cell fleet that had been sent from the Organa-Tano alliance of rebel cells, who had come to the aid of the Spectres and inflicted high casualties on it, forcing both rebel cells to retreat into hyperspace. With this, the Empire's operations had been a success and while remaining a threat to the Empire even after pushing the rebels off-world, order had nevertheless been restored on the vital world of Lothal and caused a major setback to the rebellion.[83]

Further rebel activity[]

"Send a probe to investigate. All leads must be pursued."
―Alexsandr Kallus[89]

In the aftermath of the victory on Lothal, Admiral Konstantine and the Imperial Navy continued to securing the Outer Rim and also hunting for these rebels. He was accompanied by Agent Kallus, who also had experience dealing with these rebels during the revolt on Lothal who had traveled to the desert planet of Seelos to make contact with several retired clone troopers: Rex, Wolffe, and Gregor and hoped to win them over to their cause but Wolffe who distrusted the rebels sent a coded transmission that was picked up by the Relentless.[89]

Relics of the Old Republic thumb

A trio of retired clone troopers joined the early Rebellion against the Galactic Empire.

Agent Kallus led a ground assault with three AT-AT walkers. Konstantine remained aboard the Relentless to render air support to Kallus' forces. However, the clones and rebels joined forces and put up a fierce fight and immobilized Kallus AT-AT walkers. The admiral, however, had been unable to render air support because Lord Vader had ordered him to rendezvous with his shuttle in space,[89] but instead of meeting Vader, Konstantine received another Inquisitor known as the Fifth Brother. When Konstantine raised his concerns that the diversion might have compromised Agent Kallus' mission, the Inquisitor merely replied that his struggles were of no concern to him and pledged to stop the rebels himself.[90]

The rebels later helped deliver relief supplies to the famine-stricken planet Ibaar, which was being blockaded by an Imperial fleet. The Empire had doubled the Ibaarians' work quotas and reduced their rations, creating a famine. The first attempt failed and ended with the destruction of the CR90 corvette transporting the supplies. Still, the rebel network persisted, and the rebels broke through the blockade with the help of a Blade Wing prototype starfighter, which destroyed one of the Arquitens-class command cruisers.[91] This enabled the rebels to deliver supplies to the Ibaarian resistance, which subsequently distributed the supplies.[91] While searching for a missing patrol in the Del Zennis system, Commander Sato, Ezra, and several other rebels were captured by an Imperial Interdictor, a prototype warship equipped with gravity well projectors capable of dragging ships out of hyperspace. In response, Kanan, along with Rex and Chopper, staged a rescue mission which ended with the destruction of the Interdictor, dealing a serious blow to Imperial forces.[92]

Yogar Lyste and Princess Leia

Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan feigned loyalty to the Empire while secretly supporting the Rebellion.

Lacking a permanent base, one rebel group—the Phoenix Squadron—hid in several spaceports scattered across the planet Garel, but the Empire learned of the rebel presence there and sent a fleet to crush them with most retreating.[93] Following the losses on Garel, Imperial Senator Organa sent his adopted daughter Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan to deliver three Sphyrna-class Hammerhead corvettes to the Rebellion. Since the Alderaanians could not be seen directly supporting the Phoenix rebels, Bail arranged for Leia to deliver the vessels to Lothal, where in secret the rebels would "steal" the ships. However, the local Imperial commander Yogar Lyste had fitted the Hammerhead corvettes with gravity locks, but this failed when the rebels stole the vessel during a skirmish with Imperial forces.[94]

Rau captured

The Rebels captured Fenn Rau, a Mandalorian Protector who served the Empire.

With the Empire hunting down the rebels throughout the Outer Rim Territories, the rebels decided to create a new route through the Lothal sector. Sabine identified the Concord Dawn system as a viable route that the rebels could use. The system was home to the Mandalorian Protectors, a Mandalorian faction that was led by Fenn Rau, a veteran of the Clone Wars. Commander Sato sent Phoenix Leader Hera and Sabine on a mission to negotiate safe passage through the Concord Dawn system with Rau. However, Rau had already aligned the Protectors with the Empire and attacked Hera's mission, seriously wounding Hera and killing at least one Phoenix Squadron pilot. In retaliation, Sabine and Kanan infiltrated the Protectors' camp on the third moon of Concord Dawn and destroyed their Fang-class fighters. The rebels also captured Rau, who agreed to give the rebels safe passage through the Concord Dawn system in return for keeping his capture a secret from the Empire.[95]

Showdown on Malachor[]

"The power within will soon serve the Emperor."
―Darth Vader[96]
The light and the dark

Imperial Inquisitors fighting the Jedi and Maul.

Eventually, an Inquisitor called the Eighth Brother was sent to seek a shadow on Malachor, within the depths of the Sith Temple on the planet's surface. At the same time Kanan, Ezra and Ahsoka from the rebellion arrived and immediately recognized him as the former Sith Lord Maul, to who also the Inquisitors confirmed was alive and after the death of the three Inquisitors, Maul turned on his Jedi allies and blinded Kanan. The rebels' problems were further complicated by the arrival of Darth Vader, who had come to take the secrets of the temple for himself. The Jedi removed the holocron from the temple's obelisk, which triggered an implosion that damaged much of the temple. While the two Jedi escaped on the Phantom with Chopper, Ahsoka stayed behind to hold back Vader. The Imperial mission to Malachor was a partial failure, as both the Jedi and Maul escaped, but Jarrus was blinded in a duel against Maul while Ezra began exploring the dark side, and the rebellion Jedi leadership was broken.[96]

But the rebel cells continued working on growing and expanding as the Spectres conducted a raid on Naraka prison and set out to Reklam Station, where the Empire was dismantling thousands of Republic-era Y-wing starfighters. Imperial security forces failed to prevent both the destruction of the station and the theft of five Y-wings, which were transferred to General Jan Dodonna's unit. Meanwhile, all the increased rebel activity led Governor Arihnda Pryce of the Lothal sector to request the aid of the Seventh Fleet to deal with the Phoenix Group, which was granted by Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin and led by Grand Admiral Thrawn, who was promoted for wiping out the rebel presence in the Batonn sector. While Agent Kallus was concerned about the high civilian casualties, Pryce justified Thrawn's actions on the grounds that there were no more rebels there and was given control over the efforts to destroy the growing rebellion before it could become a true threat to the Galactic Empire's reign over the Outer Rim by setting out a strategy.[97]

Wider engagements with the rebels[]

"I will start my operations here, and pull the rebels apart piece by piece. They will be the architects of their own destruction."

Thrawn was a leading officer during the growing rebellion.

En route to provide supplies to Teralov, a squadron of A-wings and a transport were attacked by an Imperial Arquitens-class command cruiser that dispatched three TIE interceptors led by Captain Vult Skerris, which quickly wiped out the rebel convoy. Reeling from this loss, the Phoenix rebels dispatched the former Imperial cadet Sabine Wren to infiltrate the Skystrike Academy to extract the disillusioned cadets Wedge Antilles, Hobbie, and Rake Gahree, in which the rebel and defectors would be able to escape from the Empire's grip.[98] Later, the rebels, along with the Free Ryloth movement led by Cham Syndulla, went on a mission to Ryloth, where they learned that Thrawn—who had studied the tactics used by the rebellion and now had direct command of Imperial forces—had made military advances led by Captain Slavin in the Tann Province.[99]

The Spectres undertook a supply run to the Agamar to obtain proton bombs from a Separatist transport ship. However, they were captured by a Separatist holdout led by the super tactical droid General Kalani. The droid general wished to end the Clone Wars on his own terms, and challenged the rebels to a battle that would decide the victors, but Imperial forces suddenly arrived and attacked the Separatist ship. The rebels and Separatists came to the conclusion that the Empire was the real victor of the Clone Wars, and decided to unite in order to escape the Empire.[76] While the Imperial Viceroy, Gar Saxon, discovered that the rebels were using the Concord Dawn system to avoid Imperial sector patrols. Saxon destroyed the Protectors' encampment on the third moon of Concord Dawn in an attempt to lure Fenn Rau back.[76]

The Empire had planned to impose martial law on the planet Mykapo which rebels made efforts to evacuate rebel sympathizers. Upon arriving, the flotilla encountered a light freighter, which was engaged in a dogfight with an Imperial advance patrol calling themselves the Iron Squadron. Thrawn, who was aware of this Rebel presence in the system, dispatched a light cruiser to assess the situation, placed under the command of Admiral Kassius Konstantine in order to test the officer's questionable capabilities. The admiral crippled the Iron Squadron's freighter, prompting the crew with the exception of Mattin to escape aboard the Phantom II with the Spectres. The rebels returned with reinforcements from Phoenix Squadron to rescue Mattin. During the skirmish, Konstantine's cruiser was badly damaged, and most of his forces were destroyed. The rebels fled into lightspeed just as the Chimaera arrived in the system.[100]

Soon after, the rebels returned to Lothal and began an infiltration of the Imperial Armory Complex to obtain the blueprints for a prototype TIE fighter. However, their mission coincided with a visit by Grand Admiral Thrawn on behalf of Imperial High Command, who was investigating the high rate of sabotage within the factory. The rebels, however, escaped the factory with sensitive Imperial information with the help of the now disillusioned Agent Kallus, who had become an informant for the rebellion. As a result of this rebel attack, Thrawn realized that the Empire had a traitor among their ranks.[101] Following this, there was an increase of the Imperial Navy presence such as capital ships in and around Lothal as part of Imperial orbital defenses.[102] Beyond the Lothal system, rebellious activities increased, such as on Geonosis, where Captain Brunson responded to a triggered proximity sensor and discovered the Spectres vessel Ghost on the planet who had saved both Saw Gerrera after his Partisans scout team was killed. Hoping to earn herself and her crew promotions, she attempted to destroy the rebels using TIE bombers and rocket troopers, and finally by trapping the rebels in an underground cavern in attempt to bury them alive. When she used her cruiser to block their escape, this backfired, as the Ghost fired two proton torpedoes, resulting in the destruction of her ship with the rebels who recovered images of the poison canisters that were used for the sterilization of Geonosis in order to show the Imperial Senate and rally more systems to their cause.[103]

Thrawn later dispatched several E-XD-series infiltrator droids to search the Outer Rim for rebel bases. However, Kallus used the rebel identity Fulcrum to warn the base's Chief of Security Garazeb Orrelios about the threat. As a result, he and his fellow rebels Chopper and AP-5 stopped the infiltrator droid EXD-9 from infiltrating the rebel base on Atollon. They turned E-XD9 into an improvised bomb that destroyed a Star Destroyer. Despite their efforts, Thrawn narrowed the search for the rebel base to 94 systems.[104] The Empire lost a local ally in the form of Viceroy Gar Saxon, the Emperor's Hand and puppet ruler of Mandalore. Gar Saxon was defeated during a duel with the rebel Sabine Wren on the planet of Krownest. Saxon's death triggered a power vacuum among the Mandalorians. Sabine then joined forces with her mother, Ursa Wren, and the former Protectors' leader Fenn Rau to reunify the Mandalorians.[105]

Continuing his investigation into the rebel mole, Grand Admiral Thrawn began screening the Imperial sector command staff within the Lothal sector with the help of Imperial Security Bureau Colonel Wullf Yularen, a veteran of the Clone Wars. Thrawn summoned several Imperial officials including Agent Kallus, Lieutenant Yogar Lyste, Captain Brunson, and Commander Brom Titus for questioning aboard his flagship, Chimaera. After learning that Thrawn was intercepting Kallus' transmissions, the Spectres and Rex mounted a mission to rescue Kallus. During the course of the mission, Kallus joined forces with the rebels to delete the planet Atollon, which hosted Chopper Base, from Thrawn's database. However, Kallus elected not to escape with the rebels and instead framed his colleague Lyste as Fulcrum. Thrawn learned of Kallus' deception but kept this information secret since he hoped to manipulate Kallus into uncovering the Phoenix rebel base.[106]

A united foe[]

Battle of Atollon

The Imperial Navy led efforts to counter the Rebel Alliance.

With full-scale rebellion on the horizon, Imperial Senator Mon Mothma would openly betray the Empire by seeking to unite the various rebellions cells into one organization. She began by firstly publicly condemning the reign of Emperor Palpatine after the Ghorman Massacre which led to Commander Vult Skerris leading the effort for her capture in the Archeon Nebula. However, the mission ended in failure, and she was able to escape. This led to her broadcasting a speech to rebels across the galaxy over Dantooine, which led to the formation of various rebel cells into the alliance to restore the Galactic Republic and, along with her resignation from the Imperial Senate, the beginning of a true united rebellion.[107]

Soon after its founding, the Rebel Alliance pressed on with the planned operation on Lothal by stealing clearance codes from the Imperial Security Bureau station on Killun 71 to allow their forces to mount a successful attack on the Empire.[108] However, the planned rebel attack on Lothal did not go forward thanks to Thrawn, who had discovered the location of Chopper Base, the headquarters of the Phoenix Group. Thrawn's fleet blockaded Atollon and inflicted heavy casualties on rebel forces. Thrawn launched a ground assault after an orbital bombardment. Meanwhile, Ezra, who had escaped the fighting, enlisted the help of Clan Wren.[109]

In response, Governor Pryce dispatched Jumptroopers, but these reinforcements failed to stop the Mandalorians from destroying the last Interdictor cruiser. Despite Thrawn storming Chopper Base, the rebels and Imperials were attacked by an angry Bendu, an enigmatic being that was living on Atollon, who used his Force powers to devastate the rebel base before being subdued by Thrawn. The surviving rebel and Mandalorian forces fled the battle as the Empire wiped out the Phoenix Squadron; however, the Empire was still unaware of the true scale of the Rebel Alliance.[109]

Meanwhile, civil war raged on Imperial-occupied Mandalore, with the Rebel Alliance setting out to rescue Sabine's father and Imperial prisoner Alrich Wren from Governor Tiber Saxon. Clan Wren rescued Alrich with the help of the rebels. In response, Saxon unleashed the Arc Pulse Generator known as the Duchess against the Clan Wren forces, killing many. Sabine led the Mandalorians and rebels on a mission to infiltrate Saxon's Star Destroyer, which was above Sundari and were ambushed by Imperial forces, which resulted in the Mandalorians and rebels' success in destroying the weapon and Saxon's flagship.[75]

The rebels continued their campaign and mounted successful raids on both Jalindi and the Faos Station. The Empire failed to stop both the Partisan and Spectre efforts, resulting in the loss of Commander Brom Titus and Captain Slavin.[110] On Lothal, the Imperial Security Bureau conducted a successful raid against a suspected rebel cell allied with the Spectres.[111] However, the efforts of the Lothal rebels and their allies brought about the Liberation of Lothal, with Thrawn going missing when Bridger forced himself and the Grand Admiral into hyperspace aboard the Chimaera.[112] At some point, a prisoner uprising was launched within the Cherridan Imperial labor camp, but it was put down in a brutal fashion. A failure for the Empire, however, came when an assault on the Winter's Edge stormtrooper garrison ended in success for the enemy.[113]

Destruction of Jedha City[]

"There is no Death Star. We're informing the Senate that Jedha was destroyed in a mining disaster."
―Darth Vader[114]

The Death Star firing on Jedha City.

A local insurgency was carried out by Gerrera's Partisans on the desert moon of Jedha,[115] an Imperial protectorate,[116] in the ancient streets of Jedha City as part of their larger campaign against the Galactic Empire. Unknown to many of them, Director Orson Krennic and Grand Moff Tarkin had decided to test the capability of the Empire's new superweapon-equipped battle station, the Death Star, by firing its superlaser at the city using a single-reactor ignition.[115] At least 3% of Jedha's Imperial forces were presumed destroyed in the blast as well, having been unable to evacuate. The Imperial casualties included such forces as JN-093's squad, who had been assigned to check possible rebel hiding spots outside the city, leaving them unable to get to the extraction point in time.[117] The Empire subsequently fabricated a cover story for the Imperial Senate that Jedha was destroyed in a mere mining disaster.[115]

Battle of Scarif[]

Tarkin Scarif

Romodi and Tarkin discussing the Battle of Scarif.

A group of rebels under the callsign Rogue One had captured the blueprints for the Death Star, which had just been completed after nearly two decades of work on Scarif. They infiltrated the planetary shield in a stolen Zeta-class Heavy Cargo Shuttle and waged a guerrilla assault on the base's outskirts, drawing away Imperial forces, while the rebels could access the Citadel Tower.[115]

However, they received support from the Alliance Fleet under Admiral Raddus, whose forces engaged the Imperial Star Destroyers above Scarif and aimed to destroy the Shield Gate. Rogue One transmitted the stolen plans to the fleet above, but by the order of Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin, they along with Director Orson Krennic were eradicated by a low-powered blast from the arrived Death Star that destroyed the Citadel and surrounding area. By then, the Sith Lord Darth Vader's forces had destroyed the rebel ships that did not manage to retreat, but he failed to get the plans back as they were transported to Imperial Senator and Princess Leia Organa on the Tantive IV.[115]

Secret mission to Tatooine[]

"Don't act so surprised, your highness. You weren't on any mercy mission this time. Several transmissions were beamed to this ship by Rebel spies. I want to know what happened to the plans they sent you."
"I don't know what you're talking about. I am a member of the Imperial Senate on a diplomatic mission to Alderaan."
"You are a part of the Rebel Alliance and a traitor. Take her away!"
―Darth Vader and Leia Organa[2]

The Death Star closes in on Alderaan.

Imperial forces commanded by Darth Vader captured one of the leaders of the Alliance and the one who possessed the plans, Princess of Alderaan Leia Organa—who, unknown to Vader, was his own daughter.[3][118] While nearly all of the old institutions of the Republic had been swept away in the intervening decades, this provided Sidious the opportunity to finally wipe away the last vestiges of the old democracy, and dissolve the Imperial Senate permanently. This brought governance of the various systems of the Empire directly under the purview of the Regional Governors and the Imperial Military.[2]

Organa's presence, and her refusal to give up the location of the Alliance's base, precipitated Grand Moff Tarkin's decision to test-fire the newly completed Death Star's primary weapon on her homeworld, Alderaan. In an instant, the Imperial Military's superweapon utterly destroyed the populous, influential world. In so doing, Tarkin hoped not only to force Organa to submit but also to strike fear into any others who sought to rebel against Imperial rule.[2] Soon after the destruction of Alderaan, dubbed "the Disaster" by Alderaanian refugees, vigils for the dead were held on Coruscant's Level 3204, with many on the level having formerly lived on Alderaan. However, as soon as the circumstances behind the event became clear, the once-peaceful vigils turned into violent riots, with many calling for justice and revolution against the Empire. Imperial stormtroopers and Coruscant underworld police were soon called in to restore the peace, and began arresting and eventually relocating those who questioned Imperial rule.[119]

Rescue of Princess Organa[]

"We've captured a freighter entering remains of the Alderaan system. Its markings matches those ships that blasted its way out of Mos Eisley."
"They must be trying to return the stolen plans to the Princess. She may yet be of some use to us."
―Wilhuff Tarkin, Imperial Docking Bay Control, and Darth Vader[2]

The destruction of the Death Star rendered nearly two decades of work and resources wasted, leaving the Empire on the brink of disaster.

Eventually, Organa was rescued from the Death Star by the unlikely alliance of smuggler Han Solo, her unknowing twin brother Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, who sacrificed himself in his duel with Darth Vader. The group escaped the Imperial fortress and fled to the Alliance base on Yavin 4, pursued by the Death Star. At Yavin 4, the Empire and the Rebels engaged in a major battle, with the fate of the rebellion hanging in the balance. Despite destroying a great many of the Alliance's starfighters, the battle ultimately ended up a major defeat for the Imperial forces, when Skywalker fired the shot which destroyed the Death Star. This marked the Rebellion's first major victory against the Empire.[2]

Now viewing the growing Alliance as a credible threat, Sidious issued a communiqué the morning after the Death Star's destruction ordering all ongoing ISB operations be superseded for the immediate detention of known and suspected rebel sympathizers. Admiral Kendal Ozzel ordered the fleet into battle readiness.[120] To keep the Rebellion off balance, the Empire engaged in rushed and scrambled offenses across the galaxy and raided spice worlds such as Kerev Doi in an attempt to cut off possible sources of income for the Alliance.[70] With major military redeployments occurring around the clock, the Imperial Military began to mobilize for a full-scale galactic war, while the Rebellion began to push into the populous Imperial Mid Rim in a failed operation that only months later would become known as the Mid Rim Retreat, its ultimate demise owing in large part to the Empire's numerical superiority.[35]

Aftermath of Yavin[]

"We kept the skeleton of the Republic for nearly twenty years while the Death Star was constructed. Twenty years, my apprentice. All that planning is now a layer of dust orbiting around Yavin… Now, we no longer have the Senate to hold order. We do not have the Death Star to force it. Our greatest weapon is gone. Our production is in ashes. We are besieged. In all these years, we have never skirted closer to disaster."
―Darth Sidious[79]

Following losses at Phindar and Portocari two weeks following the Battle of Yavin, members of the Nashtah Squadron learned at the Zero Angle bar on the Bright Jewel Oversector Flight Base on Axxila III that the military would undergo a mass reorganization, rescinding the classification between Imperial Navy and Imperial Army pilots.[121] Unbeknownst to the Empire following the destruction of the first Death Star, the Rebel Alliance had evacuated their base on Yavin 4 and was orbiting the remote world of Orto Plutonia in the Pantora system, located in the Sujimis sector, with the nearest Imperial presence being Moff Abran Balfour, who patrolled the world of Llanic situated at the intersection of the Llanic Spice Route and Triellus Trade Route.

A brief skirmish erupted when Luke Skywalker, in the luxury yacht the Desert Jewel, attacked two TIE fighters assaulting a Kupohan ship. Unknown to Skywalker at the time, the ship was in reality carrying a Kupohan spy with vital intelligence regarding Drusil Bephorin, a Givin woman with a reputation for being able to slice into security systems at an astonishing rate and interpret encoded messages at breathtaking speed.[122] Desperately searching for the Alliance Fleet, the Empire sought to convince Drusil to use her cryptographic skills to aid them and kept her in a sort of luxurious imprisonment on Denon in an effort to sway her favor. Secretly, Drusil offered to join the Alliance as long as the rebels could extract her family to the ocean world of Omereth, a task given to Major Bren Derlin. After a side mission to the Deep Core, Luke Skywalker, R2-D2 and Nakari Kelen extracted Drusil after an elaborate chase across the galaxy, hampering the Empire's plans for a retaliatory strike against the Rebellion.[122]

Vader concludes negotiations with Jabba

Vader concludes negotiations with Jabba.

In addition to rebel agents wreaking havoc internally, the Empire suffered desultory raids by rebel forces emboldened by their successful strike against the Death Star, with the rebels that destroyed it—Red Squadron—continuing to harass the Empire, especially during a mission above Giju where a transport carrying underground rebel leaders was evacuated from the planet. The Empire also continued to suffer setbacks from the Rebellion's golden boy, Luke Skywalker, including the trespass by the Jedi Purge survivor into the Temple of Eedit—an abandoned Jedi temple under guard of the Empire—on Devaron.[71]

Despite the temporary turmoil instilled by the Rebels' bold strikes, the Alliance attempted even bigger operations to capitalize on its former success. Most notable was an attempt to assault, infiltrate and destroy Weapons Factory Alpha located in the Corellian Industrial Cluster on Cymoon 1, reputedly home to the largest weapons factory in the galaxy. In the meantime, the Empire opened negotiations with the Hutt Clan, led by Jabba the Hutt, to secure raw materials for Imperial Military production and secure their support for their expansion in the Outer Rim. The Rebels ultimately destroyed the factory, crippling Imperial production and causing another major setback.[123][124][125]

Vader's punishment[]

"Tarkin had vision. You have graphs."
"I have graphs and the command."
―Darth Vader and Cassio Tagge[126]

For Vader's failure to stop the destruction of both the Death Star and the Cymoon 1 factory, Darth Sidious relieved him of much of his authority and assigned him to serve in the military instead of commanding it. As much of the Empire's military command had been lost with the Death Star, the Emperor appointed General Cassio Tagge, the Chief of the Imperial Army, to the rank of Grand General and assigned him command of Imperial Military matters due to his foresight to fear the Alliance Fleet and doubt the invincibility of the Death Star. The Emperor pressed the military to focus on conquering the Outer Rim and destroying the Rebellion—with the Death Star gone and the Senate disbanded, the Empire lacked efficient means to keep dissenting systems in line.[79]

Additionally, Imperial statisticians noted predictable increases in piracy following the Death Star's destruction. As a result, the military was to preserve order by any means necessary until the second Death Star was completed.[79] Under Tagge's command, the conquest of the Outer Rim progressed, with Tagge launching a significant crackdown on criminal elements that had gone unchecked in the past. The only criminal powers allowed to survive were the Hutts, per Vader's agreement with Jabba. The destruction of competitors also allowed the Hutts to capitalize on "new markets" supplied by the Empire.[127] After Doctor Cylo's attempted hijacking of the in-construction Executor-class Star Dreadnought Executor was put down by Vader, Palpatine demoted Tagge and rewarded Vader with command, which Vader quickly took advantage of by killing Tagge.[128]

Search for Luke Skywalker[]

Blockade of Tureen VII battle

The rebels had began to make a push to defeat the Empire.

While the Rebellion made a drive to defeat the Empire, Vader meanwhile searched for Luke Skywalker.[129] The Empire attempted to pin down rebel activity, but were unable to stop them from seizing control of the Harbinger from the grip of the Imperial Navy.[130] However, the Empire started a counterattack and prevented rebel guerrilla and military desultory raids that had occurred in the aftermath of Yavin.[131][132][133] Further Imperial success came on the mineral planet Crait, where the Empire confronted the Alliance after an attack on the Alliance Fleet as they searched out a possible new rebel base.[134]

The Rebellion embarked on a massive military campaign to liberate hundreds of worlds under Imperial control by pushing into the heavily populated Mid Rim. With thousands of starships, hundreds of battle groups and dozens of worlds involved in the operation, it was initially met with stunning success as Imperial forces, unprepared for such a large-scale operation and shattered from the recent shake-ups in the Imperial hierarchy, fell back from world to world, allowing the Rebellion to press further into Imperial space. Taking the factory-deserts of Phorsa Gedd and the Ducal Palace of Bamayar, the Rebellion's advance gradually slowed as Imperial resistance stiffened. Eighteen months into the operation, fearing to overextend the fleet and occupied with the consolidation of worlds now under Rebel control, High Command ordered the defense of occupied territories, and shortly thereafter the slow withdrawal of Alliance military resources back towards the Outer Rim.[35]

Project Swarm[]

Chasing leads[]
"Listen, they got through debriefing that spy. I—I thought you'd like to know. He says someone sabotaged the Empire's computers. Made a real mess of their search for us. They're keeping it quiet, but— he says he heard it from a comms jockey on the Executor. They put out an arrest warrant for the culprit. Human woman. Archaeotech expertise. Traveling with two dangerous droids. It's set them back a couple weeks, he says. Long enough to get the shield up, huh? Maybe even get those evac plans up to speed. I always knew she was good‐on the inside."
"[To Vulaada Klam and Korin Aphra] Should we tell him she also saved the Emperor's life?"
―Luke Skywalker and Magna Tolvan[135]

While the loss of both Tarkin and the Death Star itself were significant, Imperial resolve toward putting down the rebellion only increased. For the next three and a half years, Imperial forces under the direct command of Darth Vader relentlessly pursued the Alliance. While the hunt was personal for Vader, having learned that the young rebel Skywalker was actually his son, the Imperial Military nevertheless scoured the galaxy with Imperial probe droids[33] under the name Project Swarm. The operation also made use of a team of archaeological consultants due to the Rebel Alliance's prior uses of ancient structures as bases, with Vader's old contact Doctor Chelli Aphra assigned as part of the group;[136] while her role in preventing the plot to assassinate Emperor Palpatine afforded her a degree of protection from Vader,[137] she believed the Sith Lord was keeping her close and waiting[136] for any good excuse[137] to silence his old loose end.[136] Imperial forces also picked up Aphra and Vader's old assassin droids during a sweep of the Ring of Kafrene, installing restraining bolts on both and assigning them as interrogation specialists on the Executor.[137]

Ud plotting

Doctor Chelli Lona Aphra (left) questioned the usefulness of the archaeological side of Project Swarm, whereas Professor Rupo Ud (center) argued in its favor, secretly seeing it as a way to further general archaeological knowledge.

Under the command of Major Yaltza, who was ultimately executed by Vader for a lack of results, and then General Maximilian Veers,[136] Project Swarm saw thousands of probe droids search the galaxy[33] while the archaeologists did their work; whereas Aphra questioned the usefulness of their department, Professor Rupo Ud pushed the theory the rebels would be using another historical site. In secret, Ud did not care about the Empire or rebels at all and simply saw Project Swarm as a way to allocate major resources towards an archaeological survey. After her pleas to Vader fell on deaf ears, Aphra decided to devote herself to finding the rebel base, thereby securing Palpatine's favor and keeping herself out of Vader's grasp forever. After a probe droid was shot down over Ash Moon 1, Veers led a team to the surface to discover only a group of Central Isopter pilgrims, who he ordered be used as target practice, while Ud led the study of the Isopter temple. Intending to take control of the archaeological team, Aphra tricked Ud into falling into a trap and left her ward Vulaada Klam behind,[136] intending to keep the young girl out of her dangerous life.[137]

The only update of interest to Veers came when a masked individual—who carried rebel rations and claimed to know Jedi mind tricks—was taken captive and brought to the Executor, where he was unmasked and revealed to be the now-Supervisor Aphra's father, Korin.[136] At the urging of his daughter and due to his bias against the Rebel Alliance due to its habit of ruining ancient sites, Korin revealed he had encountered a rebel cell on Asteroid Helix 13-v, where the two Aphras set to work—with Korin coming to see some benefits to the Empire's existence if it was directed towards archaeology—and Vader investigated a presence in the Force, leading him to an altar people had prayed to over the years. The altar made Vader experience visions of his past, but he destroyed it and soon departed, ignoring Korin's pleas to spare the historical site after he ordered bombers annihilate the temple. Although Vader's order to withdraw pulled the Empire off the asteroid before a full sweep could be conducted, with Vader claiming he did so because the rebels had already left, the Aphras had found evidence the rebels had departed for a cold location.[137]

En route to the Executor, the Lambda-class T-4a shuttle carrying both Aphras and BT-1 was attacked by[137] the rebel starship Unnamed under Aphra's former lover Magna Tolvan, herself a former Imperial[138] who predicted how the stormtroopers aboard would react and incapacitated all Imperials aboard.[137] As the Imperials and Korin were taken captive, Aphra avoided the rebels and extracted the location of their new base—Echo Base on the planet Hoth—from Tolvan's electro-tattoos after sleeping with her. She also contacted BT-1 and, after giving the droid permission to kill anyone but her father, ensured her unconscious father was safely deposited back on their Lambda, which she launched with coordinates for Ash Moon I so he could meet up with Klam. Tolvan and the Unnamed followed close behind,[138] ensuring that Aphra's loved ones could meet each other and become a group of their own.[139] Uniting with Tolvan, Korin—who abandoned his[135] anti-rebel ideals[137]—and Klam joined the rebellion and lived in Echo Base.[135]

Tython Aphra40

Death Squadron over the planet Tython during the hunt for Echo Base

Rather than fulfill her previous idea of giving Echo Base's location to the Empire,[136] Aphra led Vader and a group of Imperial forces under Colonel Bryce to the planet Tython, where she freed 0-0-0 and BT-1 from their restraining bolts. With both droids cutting through many of Bryce's troops, Aphra led Vader to the Martyrium of Frozen Tears, where he was overpowered by his past regrets and severely damaged by a barrage from BT-1. Still keeping her distance and knowing she would be unable to kill the Dark Lord, Aphra instead hacked into Vader's suit from a distance and contacted the Executor, where she reached[139] a comms jockey[135] she tricked into altering and outright deleting much of the data collected by Project Swarm: while she knew Vader would soon find the rebel base, she fled Tython with the hope she had delayed his efforts for long enough that the rebels could set up defenses and[139] escape plans, thereby keeping her loved ones safe. The Empire put out a warrant for Aphra,[135] who escaped Tython by stealing a TIE/rp Reaper attack landers[139] and dropped 0-0-0 and BT-1 off on the planet Birukay, where they could stay off the Empire's radar, although both grew bored from a lack of people to kill.[140]

Aphra's actions heavily set back the Empire's hunt for the rebellion by,[135] according to Aphra's[139] and the Empire's own estimates, several weeks[135] as it would need to untangle the mess of false positives, deleted information, and altered records she left behind.[139] The Empire tried to bury news of Aphra's interference, but the comms jockey would end up telling an Imperial officer named Thassilio Smeuse, who was, in secret, a deep-cover agent for the Rebel Alliance. One day, Smeuse and the stormtroopers under his command captured a U-wing and a group of seemingly low-ranking rebels, who were actually baiting the Imperials into an ambush; after Smeuse completed the code-phrase one rebel remarked, Tolvan and Strike Team Misericorde ambushed the Imperials and extracted Smeuse. Escaping from three TIE fighters aboard the U-wing, Tolvan and company returned to Echo Base, where Smeuse was debriefed and revealed what Aphra had done.[135]

Battle of Hoth[]
"Yes, Lord Vader. I've reached the main power generator. The shield will be down in moments. You may start your landing."
―Maximilian Veers, to Darth Vader[33]

The Empire launches an attack on the Rebellion on Hoth.

Eventually, the Empire's search came to fruition when one of its probe droids located the Alliance's new base on the ice planet Hoth. The massive Imperial fleet, led by the command ship Executor, arrived in the system and deployed ground forces at the Moorsh Moraine, a glacial feature on the planet in preparation for a major assault on the Alliance forces at Echo Base. Overwhelmed, the rebels were forced to flee, and the Empire claimed a decisive victory.[33]

The Imperial pursuit of the rebels, however, did not stop at Hoth. The Imperial fleet continued to chase down the fleeing rebels, pursuing Leia Organa and Han Solo into the Hoth asteroid belt. Though Solo's ship, the Millennium Falcon, eluded Imperial pursuit, Vader engaged the services of bounty hunters to track down the fleeing Alliance leadership.[33]

Trap on Cloud City[]

"If you only knew the power of the dark side. Obi-Wan never told you what happened to your father."
"He told me enough! He told me you killed him!"
"No. I am your father."
―Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker[33]

One of these bounty hunters, Boba Fett, tracked Organa and Solo to Cloud City on Bespin, enabling Imperial forces to capture them and lay a trap for Luke Skywalker. The trap was eventually sprung, and Skywalker learned of his true relation to Vader, but the Imperial forces escorting Organa and her allies found themselves betrayed and overwhelmed by Cloud City's local authorities. The rebel leaders escaped Imperial custody again, but not without cost. Skywalker was maimed in a duel with Vader, while Solo was frozen in carbonite and handed over to the bounty hunter. Battered and bruised, the Alliance was once again in flight from pursuing Imperial forces.[33] The Empire took full control of Cloud City[141] and Bespin as a whole,[142] securing a major source of tibanna gas in the process[141] and further shaking the galaxy's balance of power in its favor.[142]

Around the same time as the takeover of Cloud City, the Empire focused on the ice moon Madurs to secure access to its carnium supply. Initially assuming and told the Empire was interested in the moon's art, much to his confusion, Prime Minister Dreand Yens was told by Imperial ambassador and Senior Commander Alecia Beck to prepare for an art expo as a distraction: as the Empire laid the groundwork for its mining operation, Yens and his people were building up a small city of ice guesthouses at Beck's urging. All the while, an Imperial space station in orbit scouted out where on Madurs would be the best spot to mine, Finally, the Empire made its intentions clear in the next phase of negotiations and offered far less than what the carnium was worth. After Yens's rejection, the space station landed on the moon—destroying what became known as the "old city" in the process—to begin extracting the resource by force. An underground resistance network struck against the operation but failed to stop the mining, which began to pollute and threaten the very structure of the moon the further it went on. Despite his hate of the Empire's operations, Yens remained as Prime Minister but was effectively a puppet of Beck. With the way it protruded up from the frozen ground, the station became known as the black tower.[141]

Following the disastrous Battle of Hoth, the Alliance Fleet was scattered across the galaxy, and the absence of clear orders and the condition of Alliance High Command put the movement into its most critical stage in the war effort. With Imperial forces required to maintain the Mid Rim border and combat active war zones, vast numbers of Imperial forces from the Core Worlds were deployed to finally quash the Rebellion in the Outer Rim. This redeployment, however, left the Core's defenses enervated if only by a slight margin. Knowing the Empire's reliance on the Imperial shipyards at Kuat and their vital importance in planetary containment and fast infantry deployment, the Rebel Sixty-First Mobile Infantry launched Operation Ringbreaker, an initiative designed to destroy the Empire's orbital facilities at Kuat. Ultimately, the plan faltered and ended on Sullust owing to logistical concerns.[35]

Preparation for the end[]

"Through sheer stupid luck, the rebels managed to destroy the first Death Star. By rebuilding the Death Star, and using it as many times as necessary to restore order, we prove that their luck only goes so far. We prove that we are the only galactic authority and always will be."
Nash Windrider[70]

In the wake of the Rebellion's catastrophic loss at Hoth, the Rebel Fleet split into small fragments across the galaxy in an attempt to avoid another propaganda victory for the Empire, further extending the Imperial fleet in an effort to engage them. Despite its previous advantages following the Battle of Yavin, the Rebellion was sitting on a knife's edge after learning of Darth Sidious constructing another battle station. Following the loss of the first Death Star, the Emperor made clear his determination to create another planet-shattering space station, this time more powerful than the first.[143] The Schism Imperial erupted in the wake of the scourge of the droids.[144]

Utilizing S-thread boosters to carve a secret hyperspace lane through the Outer Rim, the Emperor planned to destroy the rebels in a doomed engagement over the forest moon of Endor, construction site of the Death Star II, which, unbeknownst to the rebels, had a fully operational superlaser. Following the presumed destruction of a sizable portion of the Alliance's military capabilities, the Emperor planned to deploy some of the largest invasion fleets seen in centuries to blockade the known rebel strongholds of Mon Cala and Chandrila until the Death Star could destroy them, eliminating any hope of a successful galactic resistance and thus permanently ending the Alliance to Restore the Republic through terror and intimidation.[143]

Leaking secrets[]

With the Alliance Fleet assembling over Sullust, the Emperor decided to proactively approach the Rebel problem. Rather than guard the station's secrets, as with the first Death Star, Sidious leaked just enough information to bait the Alliance into striking at the station before it was completed—including the fact that he would be overseeing the final stages of the station's construction personally.[118] After the Bothan Spynet transmitted intelligence regarding the Empire's new and improved Death Star to Alliance High Command, an emergency summit was held on the remote trade world of Zastiga, far from the Galactic Core.[143]

There, Rebellion leaders and generals were informed of the construction of the second Death Star located over Endor which, they knew, had to be destroyed before it became operational. Needing to buy time for the scattered fleet to assemble over Sullust, Princess Leia Organa devised a strategy—Operation Yellow Moon—to divert Imperial attention to her instead of the upcoming mission to Endor.[143] Ultimately, with the success of Yellow Moon, the Rebel Alliance gained valuable time for its now-consolidated fleet to finally be able to strike at an incomplete Death Star.[143]

Unknown to the Rebels, large portions of the Imperial Starfleet had already massed in the Hudalla system, while Imperial engineers had ensured that the new Death Star's main weapon was fully operational. Eventually, Imperial Military command had discreetly moved the gathered warships to a staging point on the far side of Endor's moon, where the Death Star was orbiting. Simultaneously, a legion of Imperial troops was deployed on the surface to stop any attempt at sabotaging the station's ground-based SLD-26 planetary shield generator, which neutralized any attempt at directly assaulting the station.[118]

Battle of Endor[]


The Alliance strike team is captured by the Emperor's troops.

Imperial intelligence reports indicated that Sidious' trap was indeed well underway when it was discovered that the Rebel fleet was massing at Sullust, as a staging ground for their strike at Endor. Per the Emperor's design and command, Imperial Military authorities were ordered to ignore the buildup so that the Rebels would commit their entire force to a doomed attack. When the Alliance fleet arrived en masse, the Emperor's trap was sprung. The Rebel ground forces had taken the bait and been captured, allowing the Death Star's shield to remain active, while the Imperial fleet moved into position to trap the Rebels. With the Alliance Fleet trapped between the bulk of the Imperial fleet and a shielded, fully operational Death Star, victory for the Empire seemed assured.[118]

On the surface of Endor, the tables were turned on the Imperial forces when they were unexpectedly attacked by the planet's indigenous Ewok population, who had allied themselves with the Rebels, giving the Alliance ground forces a free hand to destroy the Death Star's shield generator. With the shield down, Alliance starfighters were able to launch an assault on the Imperial station's reactor core.[118]


The Rebel fleet and the Imperial fleet engage each other.

Meanwhile, aboard the station, a blow of an entirely different kind was struck against the Empire. The Emperor tried to replace Vader with a captive Luke Skywalker, the latter now being a Jedi, but Luke convinced Darth Vader to turn on his master. Vader—once again Anakin Skywalker—seized the Imperial head of state and hurled him down a shaft to his assumed death. Soon after, the Rebel starfighters destroyed the Death Star's reactor core. The station was destroyed—like its predecessor, lost with all hands. Due to the injuries he sustained in the process of overthrowing the Emperor, the redeemed Anakin died shortly after, but not before making peace with Luke.[118] With the apparent loss of both the Emperor and his right-hand man, Vader, the destruction of the Death Star, and significant losses inflicted on the Imperial fleet, the Imperial remnants withdrew to the Annaj system.[145] The Empire had suffered a decisive defeat.[118]

Fragmentation of the Order[]

Shattered Empire[]

"In one battle, we lost our Emperor and gained a hundred warring factions."
―Rella Sol[23]
Endor base assault begins

The Rebel assault against the Imperial outpost on Endor, the day after the Death Star II's destruction.

With the destruction of the Death Star and death of the Order's totalitarian ruler, many worlds across the galaxy began to celebrate the Empire's defeat over Endor with the incorrect notion that the war was over[146] and rise up against the regime.[118] Despite being at the heart of the Empire, the Imperial Center would also see tumultuous festivities by its populace, eventually leading to a riot breaking out in Monument Plaza, which further coalesced into a full-scale civil war.[147] A rally was held on Naboo[118] while parades[148] and other celebrations were held on Tatooine, which saw its Imperial occupiers withdraw.[149] The recent death of Jabba the Hutt,[10] combined with the Imperial withdraw, did create a power vacuum on Tatooine that groups like the Mining Collective could take advantage of, however.[149]

Meanwhile, the Empire rushed to reassert its power. One particular tactic the Empire would focus on was trying to keep control over resources. To that end, the Empire continued its secret mining project on Madurs. The Rebel Alliance also suspected Imperial holdouts would dig into the Outer Rim, thereby drawing out the war. Beyond fearing covert attacks on Alliance-allied star systems, with the number of pro-Alliance worlds growing in the wake of Palpatine's death, and the battles that were to be waged in the Outer Rim, the Alliance feared the Empire would act in the shadows to destabilize the bedrock upon which the New Republic would be formed: assassinations, starvation, and control over resources like fuel and Tibanna gas were all tactics the Alliance suspected would be used by the Empire in the coming weeks.[141]


The Galactic Empire that once stood united under Palpatine fractured and divided without a clear leader as various candidates squabbled and fought for the throne.

Owing to the lack of a clear system of succession following the Emperor's death, chaos gripped the galaxy as former Imperial expansionism stalled. Members of the Imperial Council and various other military warlords attempted to grab what territories they could, while tailored propaganda messages often contradicted one another. Some refused to legitimize the New Republic, and thus banned referring to it by name. Others portrayed it as a monstrous terrorist organization, swallowing up Imperial worlds for plunder and conquest, while still others refused to even acknowledge the Emperor's death for months.[5][147] The Empire was ripped apart from within as several of its commanders fought one another for power, leadership, and control, rendering the regime a collection of squabbling factions: with the Empire weak, it was no match against the united forces of the New Republic. The chaos that ensued in the Empire made people wonder if the decisions made by the Emperor over the years were the best for the Galactic Empire. Imperial pilot Rella Sol, for example, the child of former Imperial Senators, believed that if the Imperial Senate had not been dissolved, order would have been maintained after Endor.[23]

An Imperial loyalist,[141] Governor Adelhard, who was in charge of the Anoat sector, attempted to downplay the Empire's defeat over Endor and cover up the Emperor's death[150] in the days after the Battle of Endor.[141] Shutting down all travel and communications into and out of the Anoat sector, Adelhard established the Iron Blockade and formed his own remnant faction. Citizens who dared to fight back and speak of so-called rumors of the Empire's defeat were hunted and eliminated by Commander Bragh and his Purge Troopers.[150] By keeping control over the Anoat sector, the Empire also kept control over a massive supplier of the galaxy's Tibanna gas, thereby keeping a great deal of control over fuel.[141] While some such as Grand Moff Lozen Tolruck of Imperial territory G5-623 on Kashyyyk suggested that the Emperor had escaped the Death Star II through miraculous means, others claimed the even wilder notion that the Emperor was still leading the Empire from beyond the grave.[147] While Solo thought such a lie was easy to disprove, such a tactic was possible because Palpatine had always ruled from the shadows, away from the public eye.[141]

During Solo and Organa's honeymoon, they discovered the Empire's carnium mining operation on Madurs and fought against it with the help of the local resistance. The battle ended with the destruction of the "black tower" and the capture of Beck, who fled with other high-ranking officers on Madurs as the resistance launched its final attack. The out-of-character move from Beck led Organa to suspect the New Republic had a new enemy at play, either a figure using the rumors of Palpatine's survival to their advantage or an heir to the Empire with Palpatine's level of power. Fortunately for Madurs, the New Republic embarked on an effort to restore the world after the damage caused by the Empire's mining.[141]

Operation: Cinder[]

"Operation: Cinder is to begin at once. Resistance. Rebellion. Defiance. These are concepts that cannot be allowed to persist. You are but one of many tools by which these ideas shall be burned away."
―Darth Sidious' posthumous orders[151]
Battle of Cawa City

The Alliance assaults Imperial positions on Sterdic IV.

With the Empire fragmented, the Rebel Alliance embarked on numerous campaigns such as the Beltire Liberation and the Battle of Cawa City[152] to capitalize on its stunning success over Endor, resulting in numerous Imperial defeats. Twenty days after Endor, the posthumous contingency plan of the late Emperor known as Operation: Cinder was delivered to numerous Imperial captains by messenger droids[153] as the first act in Palpatine's Contingency.[154] The operation consisted of coordinated attacks on strategic worlds affiliated with the Rebellion, which the Emperor considered a final act of revenge against his enemies,[155] and worlds that had been loyal to him,[151] as revenge for the Empire's failure to protect him.[154] In addition to his homeworld of Naboo, Burnin Konn, Candovant, Abednedo, and Commenor were all targeted for destruction through the use of climate disruption arrays. Utilizing N-1 starfighters dating thirty-six years earlier to the Battle of Naboo, the Alliance destroyed the satellites with the aid of an MC80 Star Cruiser and the Alliance Fleet.[153] Despite the Order's defeat over Naboo, the Empire still attempted the operation on numerous worlds in the three months following the Battle of Endor.[156]

After the Battle of Endor, illicit holovids of the Emperor's defeat over Endor and rebel propaganda detailing the liberation of worlds such as Naboo disseminated throughout the galaxy, with many risking arrest and execution for spreading what the Empire deemed lies. However, the increasing view that the Empire was weakened, reinforced by the insistence of authorities claiming otherwise, prompted thousands of planets to join the Alliance, while Imperial Military defections steadily increased. In order to counter the reports of the Emperor's demise, a proxy actor was installed in his place, but some citizens noticed slight differences in the facsimile. Eventually, the truth of the Emperor's demise became known to the general citizenry. Declarations of a new Emperor were announced almost every day, but none were able to consolidate any substantial power. Former aide to Darth Sidious since the Clone Wars, Grand Vizier Mas Amedda attempted to keep the Empire together while splinter fleets and other Imperial officials fought each other to support the various claimants to the throne.[70]

Birth of the New Republic[]

"This is Grand Admiral Rae Sloane, commander of the Imperial Navy and de facto leader of the Galactic Empire. The Empire remains vigilant in combating the anarchist criminal government calling itself the New Republic. The dream of a safe, sane, and unified galaxy did not die with the glorious Emperor Palpatine. The Galactic Empire continues to march forward, tirelessly diligent in its quest to return order and stability where none before existed. Meanwhile, the New Republic continues its own mission to destroy what we have built together. Crime has returned to the galaxy tenfold as the underworld dynasties have regained dominance over worlds once kept free of their toxic influences by the Empire. Supply lines have been cut, and many worlds are now starving without adequate food. The corrosive influence of the New Republic has caused a seemingly insurmountable loss of jobs, income, and even lives. But fear not. The Empire remains, as sure as a mountain, as certain as the stars across all the systems. We will defeat the insurgency. We will make this false government pay for its crimes against you. Even now we are building new ships, new bases, and founding new technologies to keep you safe. The Empire is coming. We will deliver you from harm. And we will strike back against our enemies. Remain calm. remain loyal. With true hearts, victory for us—and for the whole galaxy—will soon be at hand."
―Rae Sloane[147]
A New Dawn-SWP

The continuing fall of the Empire allowed the Rebel Alliance to reorganize into a true government, the New Republic.

Eventually, the Galactic Empire had to contend with the New Republic, a rival galactic government formed in the wake of the Rebel Alliance's victory at Endor. Suffering a string of defeats against the Republic including the loss of Sevarcos and Malastare, along with a failed attempt to restart the former Separatist droid foundries on Geonosis, the Empire gradually began to crumble. Self-appointed Grand Moff Valco Pandion and other military leaders began to jockey for power, while corrupt sector governors accepted payments for the Republic's allocation of Imperial ships or sued for peace at the earliest convenience.[10] The captains of two of the Empire's thirteen Executor-class Star Dreadnoughts even surrendered to the New Republic.[147]

With most of the Empire's veteran troops killed on the second Death Star or Vader's command ship Executor, military paucity and tactical clumsiness soon hampered the Empire's efforts at a concerted strike against the Republic. The Imperial Military suffered numerous losses of warships and troops, and expended more ordnance than it could produce fighting Republic forces. This ultimately led to a supply deficit forcing Imperial-class Star Destroyers to make do with an inadequate supply of TIE/LN starfighters and resulted in both the Imperial Navy and Imperial Army utilizing undertrained personnel pulled early from the numerous Imperial academies. Consequently, many planets were either captured by or seceded to the New Republic. The Empire retreated to fallback positions on worlds such as Naalol, forestalling its slow push toward the Core Worlds. Despite these efforts, the Republic had already established its capital on Chandrila, a planet located within the Core.[10]

Conference on Akiva[]

"…This meeting is to decide the fate of the Empire with the input of several advisers, not just one. If I wanted to take the Ravager and seize control, I could make that attempt and I might even manage it. But I'd rather not make the same mistakes as in the past."
―Rae Sloane, to Valco Pandion[10]

Despite the lack of a clear chain of command, old loyalists and a common fear of the rising Rebellion kept a vague semblance of unity between the surviving Imperial forces. Existing on a knife's edge, many officers wondered when someone of prominence would break away from commonality and begin to overtly act against the greater body, ushering in chaos and anarchy. To avoid this, the surviving Imperial leaders and their military forces converged on the Outer Rim planet of Akiva in an attempt to evade New Republic detection and stabilize the remaining factions of the Empire in the months following Endor, with various portions of the Outer Rim still occupied by Imperial forces. During the Akiva summit, various Imperial delegates discussed the future of the Empire in the aptly named Imperial Future Council.[10]

Amid the conference, the various Imperial leaders were divided over how the Empire should deal with their newfound situation, and whether or not it would be wise to continue the war or enter into a state of cold war. Additionally, the continued funding of the Imperial Military was hotly disputed, with some arguing that plundering the InterGalactic Banking Clan and other monetary bodies would plunge the galaxy into an economic depression. The notion of abandoning the Empire's dark-side devotion was even discussed, while Imperial Advisor Yupe Tashu—a longtime admirer of Darth Sidious and dark-side cultist—suggested sending the Imperial remnants to the outskirts of the galaxy to search for the source of the dark side. With the more pressing objective to organize and thus strike out against the New Republic before it could grow any stronger, the delegates soon began discussing who should lead the Empire as the new Galactic Emperor.[10]

Rebellion on Akiva[]

"This is how it must be. The Empire became this…ugly, inelegant machine. Crude and inefficient. We needed to be broken into pieces. We needed to get rid of those who want to see that old machine churning ineluctably forward. It's time for something better. Something new. An Empire worthy of the galaxy it will rule."
―Gallius Rax[10]

Before any real progress could be made, Akiva was ultimately liberated after a New Republic fleet arrived, forcing the Imperials to scatter once more and resulting in Akiva being the first Outer Rim planet to formally join the New Republic. In reality, Imperial Fleet Admiral Gallius Rax, a warlord who controlled one of the larger fragments of the fallen Empire.[10]

The man who became Gallius Rax was an orphan boy called "Galli" who had stowed aboard Palpatine's luxury yacht Imperialis roughly three decades before the end of the Galactic Civil War.[147] Seeing potential in the boy, Palpatine tasked him with guarding an excavation site in the Valley of the Eremite which became the Jakku Observatory. After ten years of service, Palpatine inducted Rax into the Empire,[154] using his power and influence to aid Rax's career advancement in the Imperial Navy.[147] By 5 ABY,[157] Rax had attained the rank of Fleet Admiral.[147]

With the loss of Akiva and the Galactic Empire's territorial possessions rapidly shrinking, Rax became an official advisor to Grand Admiral Rae Sloane. While Sloane was the public leader of the Empire in the Vulpinus Nebula, its true ruler was Rax who controlled the fleet through Sloane. Additionally, Rax secretly commanded the Imperial remnants in the Almagest, the Recluse's Nebula, the Queluhan Nebula, the Ro-Loo Triangle, and the Inamorata.[147] As part of the Contingency, Rax eliminated his Imperial rivals by leaking intelligence to the New Republic while posing as "the Operator." With Sloane's help, Rax had engineered the downfall of the Imperial Future Council's emergency summit on Akiva.[10]

Roughly two months after Akiva fell to the New Republic, numerous systems left the Empire or waged their own resistance movements, declared their independence, and established their own fiefdoms or joined the New Republic.[147] In that time, Sullust had also been liberated from Imperial control. In that same time period,[14] Imperial forces launched three invasions of the planet Naboo, which holdout forces hoped to claim due to its significance as Palpatine's homeworld. However, all three attacks were repelled by the New Republic, which even received help from Imperial defectors.[70] Meanwhile, criminal syndicates flourished in the current atmosphere of conflict, especially the reptilian pirate Eleodie Maracavanya, who had captured the Super Star Destroyer Annihilator and used it to forge zher own criminal empire. Several Moffs and governors rebelled against the Empire as more people grew uncertain about what the Empire stood for. Agencies, personnel, and whole planetary systems started to drift apart, each adopting different tactics and methods for combating the New Republic, and each other.[147]

Desperate times[]

"Youyou're serious. You want me to surrenderthe entire Galactic Empire?"
"That's right."
"I don't…"
"You don't have the power, do you?"
"So, get it back. And then bring a treaty to our door."
―Mas Amedda and Leia Organa[147]

Grand Vizier Mas Amedda was acting as Emperor after Palpatine's death but in reality was nothing more than a proxy Emperor who held little real influence beyond the throneworld of Coruscant with his reign being met with whole sectors of Coruscant started to revolt and was entrenched in government districts. Rax refused to allow Sloane to send reinforcements to Amedda as the throneworld had no place in his vision of a renewed Empire. Later he met with Chancellor Mon Mothma and Senator Leia Organa, who refused his surrender during a meeting on Velusia and demanded he instead find a way to gain full control of the Galactic Empire and ordering him to work towards signing a treaty of surrender to clear his name.[147]

Upon his return to Coruscant, Amedda considered suicide by jumping off of one of the Imperial Palace's balconies. However, he changed his mind after meeting Sloane. After Sloane inquired about the identity of Fleet Admiral Gallius Rax, Amedda decided to strike an alliance with her. In return for assisting her investigation into Rax's background, Amedda agreed to align with Sloane. Sloane believed in the New Order that developed after the Clone Wars as opposed to Rax, who wished for a renewed Empire ruled by the dark side as it was under Darth Sidious. Following their agreement, Amedda revealed the droids that contained the information she sought were aboard the wreckage of the Imperialis on the junk moon Quantxi.[147]

As the war grew more desperate, TIE fighter pilots even began suicide attacks on entrenched Republic positions, and various commanders executed wholesale massacres of native populations. The HoloNet, now free of Imperial censorship, brought such atrocities to the public spotlight. Other Imperial officials went AWOL and holed up in distant, hyper-secure outposts to avoid the New Republic Tribunal and its sentencing of Imperial war criminals. Additionally, the Emperor's Super Star Destroyer, the Eclipse, had disappeared from the galaxy.[147]

Empire's End[]

Rax's game[]

"…I'm forming a Shadow Council to govern the Empire from behind the scenes. Only the finest of our kind: the first and highest order of Imperial minds…"
―Gallius Rax[147]

Despite the post-Endor Rebel Alliance's fears that the Empire would dig into the Outer Rim,[141] the Empire was largely defeated in the region by the time Rax called for a meeting of select Imperials in the Vulpinus Nebula. The Exterior under Grand Moff Randd remained the only Outer Rim sector that could truly be described as under the Empire's control. However, while the Empire appeared to be receding as the New Republic grew in size, Rax consolidated more and more systems to his cause[147]—a faction of Imperials identified as the loyalists[158]—after staging the Imperial Future Council to eliminate his rivals. A protégé of the late Emperor, Rax saw the Empire of old as weak, corrupt, and overripe. To him, by allowing the New Republic to gain ground, he not only eliminated potential competition but consolidated the leftover pieces of the Order.[147]

With the shipyards of Kuat, Xa Fel, Anadeen, and Turco Prime already lost or contested, Rax planned to use the Empire's last foothold in the Outer Rim as a "strangling cord" to tie around the New Republic. While the old Empire relied on third-party corporations to produce its military hardware, Rax had nationalized all aspects of the production chain to be solely Imperial. To conclude his plan, Rax founded the Shadow Council in the Vulpinus Nebula after rescuing the final member of the council, Brendol Hux, from Arkanis. This "Shadow Council" was to serve as a secret advisory board composed of the "best and brightest," with the ultimate motive of secretly guiding the Empire into a new golden age.[147]

Crisis on Chandrila[]

"Rax is the way forward. The Empire must be willing to change. We must be willing to do anything to show the galaxy what it is to defy us."
―Adea Rite[147]

Roughly three months after the Battle of Akiva, Rax sent Rae Sloane on a mission to the New Republic's capital with the overtures of signing a peace treaty who reassured her that her mission to Chandrila would cement her role as Emperor. The signing coincided with the New Republic's celebration of Liberation Day, a holiday celebrating the release of captives from the Imperial prison Ashmead's Lock on Kashyyyk, with many of the captives having been held in suspended animation since the days of the early Rebellion. In reality, the survivors were a part of an elaborate assassination scheme by Rax, executed by his lackey, Windom Traducier—an undercover Imperial operative posing as a Senate Guard—by utilizing inhibitor chips that had been installed within the survivors' brains. As the New Republic officials shepherded the liberated prisoners and their families onto a stage, Rax ordered Grand Moff Randd to prepare the Imperial fleets to travel to a series of coordinates, which turned out to be the planet Jakku. Rax also convened a meeting of the Shadow Council.[147]

The survivors attacked and fired on the crowd after the chips' activation by Traducier, with the survivors targeting Chancellor Mon Mothma and various members of the Republic military during a dedication speech to their rescue. Watching the carnage from the balcony, Sloane realized that this terror attack was the "attack" Rax had foreshadowed to her. Already disagreeing on Rax's methods for administering the Empire, Rae announced her intention to confront Rax aboard the Ravager to her aide, Adea Rite, a secret supporter of Rax. As a result, Rite attempted to assassinate Sloane, but she escaped off-world. Traducier freed Tashu from the Republic and told him that he still served the late Emperor Sheev Palpatine even after Rax had given himself the title of Emperor. The attacks demoralized the New Republic but failed to turn the tide of the war against the Empire, which lost Kashyyyk following an uprising led by Han Solo and Chewbacca.[147]

The Contingency[]

"If the vast and powerful forces I had gathered could not perform their sworn duty and protect their own Emperor, they did not deserve to lay claim to this galaxy in my absence. For their failures, I would see them burn. And the galaxy along with them."
―Darth Sidious[155]

Claiming that Sloane had been captured during the attack on Chandrila, Gallius Rax seized power as the self-styled Counselor to the Empire. When Borrum asked why they were traveling to the barren world of Jakku, Rax responded that he wanted to "test" the mettle of his new armada above the planet.[147] In secret, Rax planned to eliminate the other Council members with the exception of Brendol Hux as part of the Emperor's posthumous Contingency.[154] Unbeknownst to the Empire, its destruction had been planned by the Emperor who did not believe that the Empire should continue after his demise. He also deemed the Empire's downfall as a necessary outcome for the creation of a new order that would rise in its place.[155] Determined to see his plans realized, Sidious entrusted Rax with the task of executing the Contingency and ensuring its success.[154]

Meanwhile, Sloane joined forces with the former rebel Brentin Lore Wexley to hunt down and kill Rax. While Sloane had received information from the bounty hunter Mercurial Swift that he had discovered that Rax had come from Jakku, the two traveled to the desert planet. After landing, Brentin and Rae visited a bar owned by Corwin Ballast in an attempt to find information about Rax. Ballast yielded no information, but the pair soon got their answer when they witnessed Rax's Super Star Destroyer Ravager exiting hyperspace with his massive Imperial armada. The Emperor had returned home.[147]

Build-up to Jakku[]

Assorted formations and forces arrive[]
"Soon, the remnants of my armada were united in one last battle above the planet Jakku, unaware that they were being sacrificed as penance for their negligence. With the Empire erased from existence, something new could rise in its place. And from beyond the grave, I would control its every move…"
―Darth Sidious[155]
Battle of Jakku

The Imperial-class Star Destroyer Inflictor crashes onto the surface of Jakku.

With the support of the Shadow Council, which included Grand Moff Randd, General Hodnar Borrum, the propagandist Ferric Obdur, and the former Commandant Brendol Hux, Counselor Gallius Rax led the Imperial[154] loyalist[158] forces to his homeworld of Jakku. These forces consisted of a fleet of Imperial Star Destroyers as well as Rax's flagship, the Ravager, purportedly the last remaining Super Star Destroyer in the Imperial Navy.[154] Admiral Garrick Versio also joined the Imperial loyalists on Jakku, adding his Star Destroyer, the Eviscerator, to Rax's fleet.[151] The fleet also possessed Interdictor vessels, Immobilizer 418 cruisers,[159] Lambda-class shuttles,[151] TIE line starfighters,[70] TIE bombers[154] and interceptors,[151] TIE strikers,[154] Twenty-gun raiders,[70] and a TIE Defender.[160] Other loyalist units included the 204th Imperial Fighter Wing, which was not actually based on Jakku to instead carry out a second Operation Cinder against rogue Imperials,[158] the Hellhound attack force,[159] and Omega Flight Group.[161] Though united in a final stand against the New Republic, the remnants of the Imperial forces were unaware that they were to be sacrificed as "penance for their negligence," as the Emperor believed that they had failed in their duty to protect him.[155]

The infantry comprised standard stormtroopers along with the requisite specialist troops such as Demolition Troopers, Heavy Weapons Stormtroopers,[151] Imperial officers,[154] jumptroopers, riot control stormtroopers, scout troopers,[151] Imperial shock troopers,[161] sandtroopers,[154] and at least one member of the Emperor's Royal Guard.[162] These ground forces were supported by several types of military vehicles including All Terrain Armored Transports,[159] All Terrain Scout Transports,[154] and a K79-S80 Imperial Troop Transport.[163] Imperial forces, including the stormtrooper TK-603, stationed at the Rothana Imperial Shipyards abandoned the station to head to Jakku, leaving with every operational ship in the base. Any ship not ready for battle, including Tarkin's old flagship the Carrion Spike, was left behind under the guard of the auto-security and droids.[164]

Rax established the main Imperial base beyond the Goazon Badlands and the Sinking Fields; the base housed a stormtrooper garrison and a large number of walkers.[154] Other known Imperial facilities included an Imperial research base,[151] the Jakku Observatory, and a remote Kesium gas rig. Unknown to the Shadow Council, the Jakku Observatory was central to the late Emperor Palpatine's Contingency plan to destroy the Empire in the event of his death. The Observatory contained computer-generated maps of the Unknown Regions and was built on top of a borehole that led to the planet's core. Rax planned to detonate the core in order to destroy Jakku along with much of the Empire and the New Republic Defense Fleet. Then he intended to lead a select group of Imperials whom he deemed worthy of joining him in the Unknown Regions to rebuild the Empire. Rax's forces included a contingent of child soldiers who were recruited from local orphans.[154]

Mental toll of Jakku[]

In public, Counselor Rax claimed that he had brought the Empire to Jakku in order to toughen and harden them for their final showdown against the New Republic. Rax instituted a brutal training regime which encouraged savagery and violence among the Empire's soldiers and officers. In training sessions, officers egged their men to maul each other. Dissenters like RK-242 who questioned what the Empire was doing on Jakku were brutalized by their comrades for questioning Rax's agenda. The stormtroopers stationed on Jakku degenerated into armed thugs who developed an unkempt appearance due to the harsh, arid climate.[154]

Rebellion Arrives at Jakku

The Galactic Empire made its final stand against the New Republic on Jakku, the homeworld of Gallius Rax.

For months, the Empire's loyalist forces waited for the New Republic to launch its attack. The prolonged state of alert began to take a toll on the Imperial forces based on Jakku. While General Borrum expressed concerned that the long wait was beginning to affect the sanity of his men, Grand Moff Randd supported Counselor Rax's harsh regime as a purification process. During that time, Rax also struck a deal with the Hutt crime lady Niima, who was the leader of a cult. In return for supplying weapons, Niima guarded the path to the Valley of the Eremite and kidnapped local orphans. These orphans were trained by Commandant Hux into Rax's personal guard of child soldiers, which he hoped would become the template of his new Empire in the Unknown Regions. Prior to the New Republic's arrival at Jakku, Rax gave command of the children to Armitage Hux, the Commandant's illegitimate son.[154]

Imperial civil war[]

"We haven't received word on the status of Fedovoi End, but we can only assume Shadow Wing has come and gone. At last count, Fedovoi End housed half a million troops and their families. It was primarily a military outpost, it's true—but we haven't seen slaughter of this sort since Operation Cinder."
"The Empire is eating its own."
"Yes. The loyalists have gone to war with the breakaway factions—civilians caught in the cross fire be damned."
―Hera Syndulla and New Republic pilot Chass na Chadic[158]

Meanwhile, New Republic forces launched mopping-up operations against Imperial holdouts on Kashyyyk and Cloud City.[154] The mass withdrawal of loyalist fleets to Jakku also ceded a great deal of territory to the New Republic, which continued to do battle with the opportunists and warlords who stayed behind. As noted by Admiral Ackbar, while the campaign to root out such holdouts would take time, they were isolated without the core strength of the Empire's loyalists. Few of those holdouts posed any kind of major threat to the New Republic, which also moved to crush whatever transport and fleet-building abilities those holdouts had left. Elsewhere in the galaxy, amid the conflict with the New Republic, loyalist Imperial forces turned their guns against the rogue factions in a second Operation: Cinder, effectively creating a whole new war of its own in the opinion of General Syndulla. The loyalist 204th Imperial Fighter Wing carried out punishments operations, such as the attack on Kortatka and Attack on Dybbron III, during the campaign.[158]

Following the attack on the Diamond Tor, the loyalist 204th Imperial Fighter Wing was deployed against the Yomo Council of the planet Fedovoi End, where half a million rogue troops and their families resided. The "treasonous actions"—as they were called by the loyalist Colonel Soran Keize, at least—of the Yomo Council included refusing to obey Sloane when she ordered they direct assets into the D'Aelgoth sector, not recognizing Amedda's regency over Coruscant, and an alliance with the Shiortuun Syndicate. In response to such actions and after Keize granted those disloyal to the Yomo Council a chance to escape, the 204th Imperial Fighter Wing was dispatched to Fedovoi End, where TIE fighters bombarded the planetary ice caps until released gases poisoned the entire world, wiping out numerous civilians and soldiers alike. Imperials who took Keize's offer—such as Major Njock, who claimed to have always opposed the Yomo Council's treason—would join the 204th or be dispatched to Jakku.[158]

The New Republic discovers Jakku[]

Norra Wexley and her team discovered the Imperial presence on Jakku[154] after the New Republic's countless probe droids had failed to.[158] Her son Temmin Wexley and the former Imperial loyalty officer Sinjir Rath Velus reported Norra's findings to the New Republic government on Chandrila. In response, Admiral Ackbar dispatched the scouting ship Oculus and several probe droids into the Jakku system to corroborate Temmin and Sinjir's information. The scouting party found that much of the Imperial fleet had indeed retreated to Jakku and were consolidating in a defensive arrangement. Despite some political obstruction in the Galactic Senate, Chancellor Mon Mothma passed a resolution dispatching the New Republic Starfleet to Jakku.[154]

Rax captured his rival Sloane and the former rebel operative Brentin Lore Wexley, who had teamed up with Sloane to stop Rax. After capturing them, Rax gave a test demonstration of his child soldiers. As a symbolic act of his plan to tear down the Empire and start a new regime, Rax ordered his child soldiers to execute a contingent of stormtroopers. Following the demonstration, Rax imprisoned Sloane and Brentin. With the New Republic fleet entering the Jakku, Rax delivered a rousing speech claiming that the coming battle would be the Empire's final stand against the New Republic.[154]

Battle of Jakku[]

"This is our zero hour, and I call you now to do your duty by the light of the glorious Galactic Empire. The battle to come is not a fight for Jakku or even a fight for the Empire. It is a fight for all the galaxy."
―Gallius Rax[154]
Battle of Jakku OFL

The fighting between Imperial and Republic forces took place on Jakku's surface as well as in space.

The Battle of Jakku commenced a year and four days after the Battle of Endor. With the Empire controlling most of the galaxy's major shipyards, the Republic sought to expand their fleet by capturing Imperial vessels, along with destroying a secret Imperial weapons facility on the planet.[161][11] The battle took place in space and the barren deserts of Jakku as New Republic forces sought to destroy the Imperial presence on the planet.[154]

The Imperial fleet was commanded by Grand Moff Randd while the Imperial ground forces were commanded by General Borrum. Randd's strategists devised a battle plan which involved the Star Destroyers forming a defensive cordon around the Ravager. During the battle, the Star Destroyers would periodically open formation to allow the Ravager to bombard the New Republic fleet with turbolasers and missiles. This blunted the New Republic assault until Commodore Kyrsta Agate attacked the Ravager with her Mark One Starhawk Battleship Concord. Despite her ship being crippled, she used the Concord's powerful tractor beam projector to drag the Ravager down into Jakku's atmosphere. This turned the tide of the battle in the New Republic's favor. With the Imperial command ship destroyed, New Republic forces were able to outflank the Imperial forces on all fronts. With the battle turning against the Empire, the surviving Imperial forces began pulling ships onto the planet's surface utilizing their tractor beams, killing most of the occupants in an instant.[154]

Final showdown[]

"Go to it [the Eclipse]. Leave this place. Find a new demesne. Start the game over. Undeserving. I am undeserving. Just a skittermouse, not a vworkka. Outcast, always the outcast. Shah-tezh. Cora Vessora. Undeserved…"
―Gallius Rax's last words, spoken to Rae Sloane[154]

Rax traveled to the Jakku Observatory along with Commandant Hux, Armitage Hux, the Imperial Adviser Yupe Tashu, and the child soldiers. While the Huxes and the soldiers waited aboard a replica of the Emperor's yacht Imperialis, Rax and Tashu entered the Observatory to activate the mining bore that would destabilize the planet's core. Rax planned to detonate Jakku's core, destroying the Imperial forces and the New Republic fleet. He then intended to escape to the Unknown Regions, taking the Huxes and the child soldiers with him to build a new Empire. As part of the ceremony, Rax threw the unwitting Tashu, who was carrying several Sith artifacts, to his death down the borehole, initiating the self-destruct mechanism.[154]

Rax's plan was ultimately foiled by Sloane, Brentin, and Norra. Following a fight, Sloane killed Rax, then sealed the borehole shaft, stopping the planet's core from destabilizing further. This effectively sabotaged Palpatine's Contingency plan to destroy the remnants of his Empire. Heeding Rax's last words, Sloane assumed responsibility for carrying out the final stage of the Contingency. She accompanied the Huxes and the child soldiers into the Unknown Regions. After several months of travel, they rendezvoused with the Super Star Destroyer Eclipse, which had been sent in advance after the Observatory's computers had plotted a safe route through the Unknown Regions.[154]

The surface of Jakku would remain littered with wreckage from the battle for decades to come.[11] The wrecked Imperial ships and vehicles on Jakku were plundered by local scavengers for spare parts and equipment.[154] Decades later, contradicting stories continued to fly around Jakku's settlements about what exactly took place in the battle. A mysterious faction known as the dead-enders hung around Carbon Ridge, rumored to be protecting a secret Imperial research base.[165]

The Empire's end[]

Galactic Concordance[]

"In the month since the Battle of Jakku, the Empire has attempted no further large-scale offensives. Sources report all Imperial vessels within the Core and Inner Rim staying within the boundaries defined by the treaty. A few prominent members of the Provisional Senate have speculated that the New Republic's war with the remnants of the Empire has finally come to an end and that a final surrender may be imminent. However, in her address today, the chancellor warned that all planets should remain on high alert, and that the New Republic Starfleet should be kept on a war footing for the foreseeable future."
―A news holo a month following the Battle of Jakku[70]
Terex Corlac and another stormtrooper at the battle of Jakku

The Empire lost the Battle of Jakku and was forced to surrender to the New Republic.

The Empire disintegrated with the death of Rax, the disappearance of Sloane, and the failure of the Imperial counteroffensive which ended with the loyalists' catastrophic defeat in the Battle of Jakku.[154] The Empire forever changed as it was pushed back to a handful of sectors on the fringe of the Outer Rim, containing only a small fraction of the galaxy's population and industrial base. These sectors were a heavily fortified final redoubt, and the New Republic deemed that they posed too minor a threat to justify the high cost in life that liberating them would require.[11]

The New Republic forced Grand Vizier Amedda to capitulate the Empire and settle for the Galactic Concordance on Chandrila, a humiliating armistice agreement which imposed strict disarmament plans and punishing reparations on the Empire. Treaty stipulations included outlawing the recruitment and mobilization of the Stormtrooper Corps, paying heavy war reparations, adhering to strict disarmament treaties,[11] abandoning the numerous Imperial Academies scattered across the Empire, banning torture, and ceding its capital of Coruscant to the Republic.[154]

Chancellor Mothma issued another declaration designating all surviving officers war criminals, though she granted conditional pardons to all civilian functionaries including Amedda, provided they complied with the Concordance.[154] While regulating what remained of the Empire's once-mighty military-industrial complex, thus limiting its ability to wage war, the treaty did permit elements of the Imperial Navy to remain in pre-determined boundaries in the Core Worlds, Colonies, and the Inner Rim as the formal successor to the Empire.[17] At the command of the Republic, they were recalled to the Core; however, some did not obey.[154]

Surrender or splinter[]

"The Empire fell. With it fell order. With it fell law."

The Republic announced the signing of the Concordance to the remaining Imperial sectors,[162] such as in the Velcar sector, where Governor Ecressys had already fled into the Western Reaches.[5] A provisional government on Coruscant was permitted;[154] this ultimately led to the Republic annexing the former Imperial capital,[162] while Amedda was also allowed to resume his rule on Coruscant. However, Republic officials oversaw his administration to ensure that the Vizier remained little more than a powerless figurehead.[154]

Despite the Concordance, Imperial splinter factions existed and did not grasp the new political landscape such as Imperial ground forces on Jakku, who held out for several months until the remaining soldiers were either killed or captured by the New Republic. The New Republic also had to contend with the scattered Imperial remnants who did not recognize the Empire's surrender across the galaxy.[154]


Fleeing the New Republic[]

"Is the world more peaceful since the revolution?"
―"The Client"[167]
The Client and stormtroopers

Mercenary stormtroopers remained active under surviving Imperial warlords in the years after the Galactic Civil War.

As factionalism fell over the fallen Empire,[70] its legacy endured in mercenaries and warlords[168] who were able to establish footholds on distant worlds, clinging to what little power they had left[169] in the Outer Rim Territories where the New Republic would not interfere.[170] Yet their survival did not alter the reality of the era they lived in; for individuals, the Empire was gone.[168]

Many former members of the political, military, and scientific Imperial establishment escaped into the Unknown Regions following the signing of the Galactic Concordance. The Attendants, a retinue of mute alien navigators commanded by Snoke, assisted these former Imperial officers, nobles, technologists[16] and warlords[11] in crossing the ancient hyperspace trails.[171] The New Republic meanwhile maintained an egalitarian policy of peaceful coexistence with many former territories of the Empire, led by ex-Imperial governors, some of which sought to join the Republic.[162]

A generation after the Empire[]

"It is the task of the First Order to remove the disorder from our own existence, so that civilization may be returned to the stability that promotes progress. A stability that existed under the Empire, was reduced to anarchy by the Rebellion, was inherited in turn by the so-called Republic, and will be restored by us. Future historians will look upon this as the time when a strong hand brought the rule of law back to civilization."
Kylo Ren[172]
Legitimate Power

The First Order rose to power as the successor of the Galactic Empire.

While the Empire, the heroes of the Rebellion, and the tragedy of Alderaan would be remembered by the generation conceived after the destruction of the second Death Star, these "victory kids" would learn of the battles of the past in textbooks, with the struggles of the Galactic Civil War soon becoming nothing more than a distant memory.[162] Many of the Old Empire's orbital shipyards were destroyed,[173] and the New Republic passed the Military Disarmament Act, among others, in an effort to avoid repeating the mistakes of the Galactic Republic, and rotated its capital among member worlds rather than using the former Imperial Center.[11] Imperial collectors of stormtrooper helmets, banners, flags and other regalia of the Imperial armed forces often gave themselves outlandish titles—such as the Avenger of Jakku, Emperor's Wrath, and Interceptor Fire—in a quasi-homage to the late Empire. Others admired the fallen regime for its efficiency, vision, and massive military machine.[162]

With the Empire's collapse, many of the Emperor's servants fled into the Unknown Regions with some of the regime's greatest secrets. There, for nearly three decades after Endor, the former Empire would recoalesce itself as the mysterious First Order.[11] By 21 ABY,[174] the tattered remnants of the Empire had fled into the farthest reaches of galactic space,[175] but an obscure command structure had started to emerge within the Unknown Regions. Although the Imperial holdouts based in the Unknown Regions were still scattered during that time, one Imperial remnant that followed the growing chain of command remained active in the main space of the galaxy and established an alliance with the Corporate Sector Authority.[176] In time, the remnant situated in the Unknown Regions transformed[177] from once scattered holdouts[176] into the First Order,[17] specifically forming into what would be the First Order military.[177]

Situated in the galaxy's vast frontier, the growing First Order rapidly expanded and colonized newly discovered star systems, while new bases, shipyards, and weapons labs began churning out a technologically advanced military in a bid to conquer the galaxy. Armitage Hux became a general in the First Order, and inherited his father's ambition to train a new army of stormtroopers that was superior to the Imperial generation. Inspired by the memory of the Galactic Empire and composed of various military leaders of the former regime, the First Order fought for control of the galaxy against the Resistance, a private military force led by General Leia Organa and funded by like-minded senators in the New Republic who believed the Order posed a greater threat than many believed.[11]



"Efficiency is predictability. The Empire is nothing if not efficient."
―Everi Chalis[35]
Emperor Palpatine
Grand Moffs
Imperial Security Bureau
Planetary Governors
(Both politicians and
Imperial Military commanders)
(Commission for the Preservation of the New Order)

The Galactic Empire was ruled by Darth Sidious, who declared himself Emperor after the Clone Wars.

The First Galactic Empire was a fascist[1] dictatorship led by a Galactic Emperor[179] and enforced by a vast Imperial Military.[6] The Emperor acted as the sovereign ruler and ultimate authority in all political and military matters of state.[180] Aiding the Emperor was a Grand Vizier, who was the head of the Imperial Ruling Council. The Ruling Council consisted of advisors who wielded considerable powers over all aspects of the Empire's political and military apparatus.[6] While supposedly bound by the Imperial Charter, Imperial rulers were largely above the law.[5]

The legislature consisted of the former Republic Galactic Senate, renamed the Imperial Senate. As an autocracy, the democratic and forward-thinking policies of the former Republic became obsolete within the new corridors of power. The Imperial Senate lost the prestige it once held as the forum for galactic debate[181] as Palpatine took away whatever authority it had in his march towards total control over the galaxy.[61] The Senate became a rubber-stamp needed for passing legislation, which could be overruled by the Emperor for any reason,[182] before it was dissolved entirely by the Emperor[2] in 0 BBY,[9] effectively wiping away the last remnants of the Old Republic. Legislative authority over the various star systems and sectors passed directly to regional governors[2]—effectively transforming the Empire into a stratocracy.[5]


Through the Empire, the Sith secretly controlled the galaxy for a generation.

Amongst high-ranking military personnel, a mere reference to Emperor Palpatine was enough to instill fear,[118] similar to the reputation of his lieutenant, Darth Vader,[183] who was frequently styled as a "Lord"[184] and treated with a similar fearful deference.[183] Many considered Vader to be Palpatine's right-hand man—a living weapon—and viewed him as the natural successor to the Emperor's legacy.[10] In reality, the Emperor planned to live forever by uncovering the secrets to immortality via dark-side research into Sith alchemy,[6] as epitomized by Project Blackwing.[185] Indeed, the Empire lacked a clear chain of succession following both Palpatine and Vader's deaths.[70] Also in a high position was Wilhuff Tarkin, a ruthless officer whom Palpatine had groomed for a leadership role for years. Palpatine, Vader, and Tarkin formed the dark triumvirate in control of the Empire.[6] Following the loss of leadership at the Battle of Endor, with Tarkin having died years prior at Yavin, Imperial head of government, Grand Vizier Mas Amedda attempted to keep the Empire together, while new pretenders to the Imperial throne announced their ascension to power on a near daily basis.[70]

Owing to a lack of communication, Imperial messages surrounding Palpatine's death were contradictory. Some such as Grand Moff Lozen Tolruck of Imperial territory G5-623 suggested that the Emperor had escaped the Death Star II through miraculous means. Others claimed the even wilder notion that the Emperor was still leading the Empire from beyond the grave.[147] Some simply refused to acknowledge the Emperor's death for months.[5][147] In order to counter the reports of the Emperor's demise, a proxy actor was installed in his place. Eventually, the truth of the Emperor's fate became known to the general citizenry. Declarations of a new Emperor were announced almost every day, but none were able to consolidate any substantial power. Splinter fleets and other Imperial officials fought each other to support the various claimants to the throne;[70] the Empire was thus shattered into numerous warring factions, instead of standing as a single united bloc.[23]

In the months following the Battle of Endor, Grand Admiral Rae Sloane became publicly recognized as the de facto head of the Galactic Empire and Imperial Navy. In reality, power was held by Fleet Admiral Gallius Rax and his Shadow Council.[147] On Coruscant, Amedda, the de jure ruler of the Empire and proxy Emperor, was held under house arrest by Gallius Rax. Mon Mothma refused to accept his surrender unless he could find a way to surrender the entire Empire.[147] During the covert Imperial-backed Liberation Day terror attack on Chandrila, Sloane's aide Adea Rite executed a failed assassination attempt on the Grand Admiral per secret orders of Rax after Sloane refused to join his forces. Rax publicly claimed shock at the assumed death of Sloane. Instead of taking the mantle of Emperor, Rax chose the title Counselor to the Empire, vowing to act as an interstitial leader until the Grand Admiral's return. He was ultimately killed during the Battle of Jakku when his remnant forces battled the New Republic.[154]


The Imperial Ruling Council consisted of advisors who governed the Empire on behalf of their ruler.

While Emperor Palpatine held sole and supreme power within the Empire, he typically eschewed the day-to-day affairs of his government to others. In doing so, he was free to conduct extensive research into the dark side of the Force[6] and enjoy his rule over the galaxy without needing to worry about boring bureaucracy.[186] As such, the mundane decision-making of the Empire's executive branch was conducted by the Imperial Ruling Council. The council was led by Grand Vizier Mas Amedda and the Emperor's closest advisors: Sate Pestage, Janus Greejatus, Ars Dangor, Kren Blista-Vanee and Prelate Verge. These individuals constituted the uppermost tier of the Imperial hegemony and wielded considerable powers over officers within the military.[6] Greejatus and Sim Aloo, another advisor involved in day-to-day governing, were also busy in hunting down Sith artifacts for Sidious.[186] Moffs, generals and admirals all were answerable to the Imperial cadre, but even the councilors were not always privy to the doings of Imperial Intelligence. After the Emperor largely retired from public life, Vizier Amedda and the rest of the Ruling Council took to dispatching processions of Imperial skylimos to maintain an illusion that the Emperor still moved about in public.[6]

As the Emperor's apprentice and second in command, Lord Vader acted as the informal Commander-in-Chief of the Imperial Military.[7] The Emperor's Fist,[187] as he was referred to by many, was also apparently granted nearly carte blanche to execute subordinates who displeased him.[6] Despite his authority, Vader had little involvement with the executive function of the Imperial government and was instead charged with overseeing martial aspects.[33]Like his master, the Dark Lord considered the Empire to be a mere tool for them to use in their quest for greater power in, and understanding of, the dark side.[6]

With the Ruling Council's inability to run the Empire following the deaths of Emperor Palpatine and Lord Vader[147] in 4 ABY,[27] Fleet Admiral Gallius Rax proposed a new executive branch called the Shadow Council that would be a more covert and militaristic body than the Ruling Council it sought to replace. The Shadow Council would consist of various advisors, admirals and generals with Grand Admiral Rae Sloane as the group's de facto leader until her supposed "disappearance."[147][188]

Imperial Senate-Andor

The Imperial Senate served as the Empire nominal legislative organ until it was disbanded by the Emperor.

Seeing whatever power it had left stripped away by acts like the Public Order Resentencing Directive,[61] the Imperial Senate was reduced to the lower tier of government and gradually lost the prestige it once held as the forum for galactic debate, as increasing numbers of senators became entangled in Emperor Sheev Palpatine's web of corruption, which began earlier during the Clone Wars.[181] With the once-powerful Senate firmly in Palpatine's hands, passing legislation became a mere formality for the New Order, while Senators and galactic citizens were made to believe that they had a voice in galactic politics. In reality, Palpatine held unlimited executive power and was the only one who could formally pass legislation. While most feared to speak out against the Emperor, a few, such as Bail and Leia Organa of Alderaan, actively questioned the accountability of the Empire and its actions, much to the ire of Imperial authorities. Suspicions eventually arose that Leia Organa was using her diplomatic immunity to help the Rebel Alliance. The Empire also lied to the Senate about the destruction of Jedha City, claiming that it was a mining accident.[115] The Emperor used Leia's capture aboard the Tantive IV, which was known to be carrying technical readouts for the Death Star, as an excuse for disbanding the Imperial Senate shortly before the Battle of Yavin. With the dissolution of the Senate, the last remnants of the Old Republic had been swept away, and the legislative authority over the various systems and sectors passed directly to the regional governors—effectively transitioning governance into military jurisdiction, who answered directly to the Emperor.[2]


Wilhuff Tarkin was a Grand Moff.

Territories from the Core Worlds to the Outer Rim Territories were overseen by regional sector governors, or Moffs, who as part of the Imperial Military wielded much of the power over each sector[97] and who enforced the Galactic Emperor's rule across each sector.[189] This stemmed from the Sector Governance Decree that Palpatine passed during the later stages of the Clone Wars, when he was Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic.[190] With only twenty Moffs at one time, they were answerable to the Ruling Council, and all positions were dominated by humans. But they themselves were outranked by the position of Grand Moff, established in 14 BBY and first granted to Moff Wilhuff Tarkin, who were governors of oversectors, areas of space that contained several planetary sectors and were used to keep the Moffs or sector governors in control.[6] After the Imperial Senate was disbanded, all legislative power went to regional governors just before the Battle of Yavin.[2]

After Emperor Sheev Palpatine's death during the Battle of Endor, Imperial territories fell into total unrest, with some military leaders such as Valco Pandion appointing themselves Grand Moffs, while corrupt sector governors began accepting payments for the New Republic's allocation of Imperial ships or suing for peace.[10] Other governors, such as Grand Moff Lozen Tolruck of Imperial territory G5-623 and Governor of the Anoat sector Ubrik Adelhard, broke off from the Empire, forming Imperial remnants.[147][47]

Administration and bureaucracy[]

"With the next quarter's detention estimates expected to increase across the Ryloth sector, any further erosion in local authority may require and increase in our blackline budget."
COMPNOR Recruitment-SW Propaganda

COMPNOR recruitment poster COMPNOR Recruitment by Dasita Lyros

While the Emperor maintained a galactic armada and commanded the undisputed military, scientific, and economic hegemony in the entire galaxy, the ever-present fear of surviving Jedi haunted Palpatine throughout his reign. In direct response to this feared threat, the Empire employed numerous dark side adepts, Force-sensitive individuals of the Inquisitorius trained to track down and eliminate any surviving Jedi. Due to the nature of their mission, Inquisitors could commandeer local Imperial forces and possessed authority over other officers in the Imperial Military.[38][191] The Inquisitorius was governed by Lord Vader,[34] the Emperor's handpicked second in command,[33] who oversaw the Empire's hunting of the Jedi Knights in the Great Jedi Purge.[2]

While dark-side leanings and occult goals may have fascinated the Empire's ruler, the banal commonalities of ruling a galaxy-wide Empire never failed to impress upon the Imperial leadership. With the rise of the New Order, many previous governmental agencies were renamed and repurposed, while many official buildings saw themselves remodeled to fit a darker and more angular aesthetic. One such agency was the Republic-era COMPOR, newly dubbed COMPNOR, the Commission for the Preservation of the New Order.[6] COMPOR and the ISB operated under the secretive Select Committee.[192]

COMPNOR served as the Empire's chief umbrella agency dedicated to ensuring order and stability for the countless worlds under the Emperor's rule while supporting the new regime through both propaganda and intelligence services. Organizations such as the Imperial Security Bureau, Imperial Intelligence, and Ubiqtorate worked under its oversight, with the ISB helping to stamp out potential dissident actions along with Imperial Intelligence's vast information and data gathering operations on the countless citizens in the galaxy.[81] Also working under the auspices of COMPNOR was the Ministry of Information, designated under the Coalition for Progress. The Ministry was primarily tasked with muzzling the HoloNet News Agency of anti-Imperial messaging and ensuring the necessary infrastructure for the vast communications systems within the Empire. It also worked to monitor the Imperial Press Corps at the grand COMPNOR arcology, located in the Federal District of Coruscant, Level 5127.[6][193]

The Empire also maintained the Imperial Information Office, which employed civilians to help the Empire and its massive data operations in the galaxy, allowing employees the option to cybernetically enhance their performance with AJ^6 cyborg constructs.[12] The Ministry of Agriculture and Imperial Agricultural Collective oversaw the horticultural aspect of Imperial dominion, with officials on many worlds across the galaxy, including Lothal.[194] The Economics Ministry, Education Ministry, Weather Ministry, Transportation Ministry and Imperial Survey Corps also employed numerous citizens across the Empire.[195][143]

In addition to ruling through fear, the Empire ensured the Outer Rim was faced with hunger while it was expanding into the region, using the tactic on such a large scale it made former Padawan Ahsoka Tano uncomfortable.[37] Following the Battle of Endor, COMPNOR was reorganized into the Office of Imperial Promotion, Galactic Truth, and Fact Correction.[147]


"Look on our new military not as trespassers or interlopers, but as gatekeepers, here to shore up the Emperor's vision of a pacified and prosperous galaxy."
―Wilhuff Tarkin[6]
Doctor Aphra 3 Star Wars 40th

Stormtroopers could be both the elite shock troops and main infantry of the Galactic Empire.

As the direct successor to the Republic Military, the Imperial Military comprised vast numbers of warships and countless soldiers. One of the most recognizable warships was the Imperial-class Star Destroyer, and the mere sight of one usually was enough to bring a troublesome system in line. Rule through fear of force rather than force itself was the driving philosophy throughout the Imperial Military, epitomized by the Tarkin Doctrine. Bolstered by the near limitless resources at the Empire's disposal and loyalist companies, such as Taim & Bak, Borstel, and Phylon Transport, corporations, such as Kuat Drive Yards and its subsidiary Kuat Systems Engineering produced many of the New Order's Star Destroyers, as well as the formidable All Terrain Armored Transport, which was frequently deployed at hot spots throughout the galaxy.[33][38] If it meant securing victory in a battle, the Empire was often fine with civilian casualties.[151]

The All Terrain Armored Transport walker became to be feared for its formidable chin-mounted heavy laser cannons, while lighter walkers such as the All Terrain Defense Pod featured a single laser cannon able to be rotated independent of the walkers front-facing direction, and were deployed primarily to protect Imperial Military interests on backwater worlds. BlasTech Industries was the primary weapons producer for the widely used E-11 medium blaster rifle.[38] The Aratech Repulsor Company manufactured the 614-AvA speeder bike, commonly referred to as the Imperial speeder bike, which would eventually be replaced by the 74-Z.[196] Sienar Fleet Systems produced many of the Empire's Imperial TIE fighters and variants, such as the TIE Advanced v1, which was originally unveiled on Empire Day and featured dual chin-mounted laser cannons and the ability to launch warheads such as the XX-23 S-thread tracker.[12] The TIE Advanced x1 naturally became the next evolution of the deadly v1, as well as the preferred craft of Lord Vader. In addition, the Empire inherited the military assets of the defunct Separatist movement—the most notable of which was the Death Star.[3]

Solo-db-han-beckett-mimban-gallery 1bb27b64

Imperial Army soldiers were the standard infantry of the galaxy-spanning empire.

At the very top of the Imperial Military stood Lord Vader, who informally filled the position of Commander-in-Chief.[197] Leading the armed forces under his supervision were highly trained admirals, generals and Moffs who were instructed at the numerous Imperial Academy complexes throughout the galaxy. Several veteran officers also formerly served in the Galactic Republic, with decorated members such as Wullf Yularen. During the sixth year of the Emperor's reign, twenty Moffs answered directly to the Imperial Ruling Council. The title of Grand Moff was specifically created for Wilhuff Tarkin, while other Moffs, such as Tiaan Jerjerrod and Therbon sought to increase their reputation with Palpatine.[6]

Some ambitious Imperial officers even supported insurgent activities with later plans to betray and destroy them in hopes of a promotion. It was not uncommon for high-ranking officials to maintain private investments, with Hiram Zataire owning large plantations and a vineyard on Naboo, and Cassio Tagge being a member of the House of Tagge, which held ownership of TaggeCo and its mining facility at Lucazec.[198][6] One high ranking[199] Imperial officer[200] would serve as the Minister of War.[199]

Executor and escorts

The Imperial Navy was tasked with maintaining order across the Empire.

The Imperial Army and Navy were responsible for carrying out the Empire's military operations across the galaxy. Ostensibly dedicated to maintaining law and order,[3] Imperial Military forces came to be feared and fled from.[2][33][118] Perhaps the most ubiquitously visible element were the Imperial stormtroopers. These faceless soldiers were the enforcers of Imperial order, often exercising a "shoot-first" policy.[2][33][118] Having sworn their unquestioning loyalty to the Emperor above all, stormtroopers carried out many of the regime's worst crimes.[201] Following the Battle of Endor, the Galactic Empire's martial forces began to suffer both resource and personnel shortages, ultimately forcing untrained and untested recruits to fill the front lines in the Imperial war effort, while the once-mighty Imperial Navy of thirteen Super Star Destroyers was reduced to one, the Ravager, which was ultimately destroyed during the Battle of Jakku.[10] After the end of the Galactic Civil War with the signing of the Galactic Concordance, the mobilization and training of stormtroopers was prohibited.[11]

Tarkin noted an "institutionalized suspicion" within the Imperial Military, which he believed was used as a tool by Emperor Palpatine to control the various members of the Empire and its numerous organizations. There also existed an intense fear of the Emperor and Lord Vader, mainly due to harsh punishments, such as death or torture, if a task was not completed in time or resulted in failure. Imperial patrol transports and stormtroopers were often utilized as the local police force for numerous worlds, while off-duty personnel could frequent local venues and neighborhoods after signing out of their local garrison. The euphemism "off-base, recreation," was used in the Imperial Military when referring to the visiting of various mistresses or cantinas by personnel, while out of consideration it was common for duty officers to ask no questions about such escapades.[52] Members within the Imperial Army believed that those stationed farthest from the Imperial Center were deemed less important to the New Order, causing many to resent deployments on remote worlds such as Belderone.[6]

Aphra examines sterilized Geonosis

The Empire sterilized the Geonosian population, bringing the species to the brink of extinction.

The Empire frequently ignored the Galactic Accord of Systems, effectively obliberating the rules it laid out[147] on how to wage war.[14] The Empire conducted numerous atrocities, often resulting in genocide owing to the Empire's humanocentric tendencies. On Geonosis, the Empire sterilized the planet's native Geonosian population with heavy bombing.[73][202] The Lasat homeworld of Lasan was ecologically destroyed by the later banned T-7 ion disruptor rifles,[203] and the entire species was almost wiped out. Furthermore, to make advances in bio-warfare, Vice Admiral Perwin Gedde tested ancient diseases on captive worlds, raining sickness from sub-orbital battleships.[147]

A vast distribution network existed within the Empire, with numerous warehouses on various worlds holding thousands of biological agents. Biological testing was conducted on planets such as Coyerti or against primitive indigenous populations and Wookiee slaves.[35] While most research and development went unhindered, a few initiatives went out of control. On Dandoran, the accidental release of a highly contagious virus under the code name Project Blackwing—a clandestine effort seeking to uncover the secrets to immortality—ultimately led to an outbreak across the planet.[204]


"There is no restraint or principle at the center of the New Order. And that is why people admire it. The Empire does all the things that people secretly believe should be done with power."
Canonhaus thoughts on the New Order and the Galactic Empire[205]

COMPNOR-approved propaganda poster by Resinu Santhe-Caltra

The New Order referred to the political religion and nationalist ideology of the Empire and the values of which it stood by. Numerous organizations were folded under COMPNOR, the Commission for the Preservation of the New Order. These included the Imperial Security Bureau, Coalition for Progress, Imperial Intelligence, and CompForce, along with science divisions and youth education initiatives.[8][80][35][122] Rothwell once remarked that the Empire, as an institution, was unable to be swayed from whatever narrative it convinced itself of, even if it was not true.[206]

The Galactic Empire wielded a vast and powerfully effective propaganda machine to shift the opinions and cultures of numerous worlds across the galaxy. Celebrating the end of the destructive Clone Wars and the creation of the New Order, the Emperor founded Empire Day as the national holiday of the Empire. The song "Glory of the Empire" served as the national anthem.[12] Due to physical alterations to Palpatine to make him look younger and more appealing in broadcasts, many citizens did not know of the Emperor's scarred appearance,[12] nor did they comprehend that the galaxy was under the command of a Sith Lord.[207]

Lead the Way poster

A propaganda poster featuring the Grand Inquisitor, leader of the Inquisitorius

To enhance its legitimacy in the eyes of the people, the Empire used the duel in Palpatine's office to officially support the idea of a "Jedi Rebellion" occurring, and that the Jedi Order had attempted to stage a coup intent on taking control of the Republic, thus necessitating Order 66. In the years after the proclamation of the New Order, all remaining recordings of the Jedi were removed, with many eventually believing and supporting the Emperor's version of events. However, individuals such as Zaluna Myder and even Luke Skywalker questioned the Empire's account of the events leading up to their destruction, while those who knew the Jedi in person could not bring themselves to believe in a Jedi-led coup.[73][122] Those who attempted to distribute independent publications could be punished with imprisonment without term.[70]

Nonetheless, with the end of the Clone Wars and the dismantling of the Separatist Droid Army, a renewed sense of peace and prosperity returned to the Core.[6] This peace was aided by the efforts of the Coalition for Progress division of COMPNOR, who took note when artistic media appeared to undermine the Empire, using its authority in one instance to dismantle a statue of Janyor of Bith on the Outer Rim world of Garel,[80] or by banning subversive operas such as the Song of Lojuun[35] and sending members of the band Hakko Drazlip and the Tootle Froots to work in the mines of Kessel after a song with political undertones mocked Lord Vader, with the song being declared contraband as a result.[122]

As a regime, the Empire emboldened those who wanted to be cruel[38][81][208][209] and excise power over others.[81][210] Many stormtroopers would take advantage of the Empire for their own personal gain, including using their station to take advantage of the helpless and those weaker than them.[38] The regime was also one of imperialism, with the aim to become a universal superpower.[211] The Sith drew power from the dark side[3] and fear in the population,[2] as the Sith believed that fear was an important tool.[24] Even though Palpatine himself did not display bigotry to aliens, many of his citizens were. Their prejudice for alien groups turned alien groups into scapegoats for past troubles.[199]


"[…] That is verbatim from the ISB mission statement, and wrong. Security is an illusion. You want security? Call the Navy. Launch a regiment of troopers. We are healthcare providers. We treat sickness. We identify symptoms. We locate germs whether they arise from within or have come from the outside. The longer we wait to identify a disorder, the harder it is to treat the disease."
Partagaz, to Dedra Meero[53]
UnderworldCop Empire

A Coruscant Security Force police officer during the Imperial Era

The Imperial Security Bureau (Shortened to ISB) oversaw internal state security and ensuring the loyalty of citizens to the Empire,[212] with the task of maintaining stability throughout Imperial territories.[191] Imperial Intelligence provided services on their own accord,[6] and dealt primary with military matters,[213] such as threat reports, analysis, managing assets who were gathered information, and providing briefings to the Joint Chiefs and the Emperor.[6] It fell under the leadership of Ubiqtorate,[8] which was the leadership of Imperial Intelligence.[8] Some of the local planetary security forces also had some responsibility in regards to law enforcement.[119][152]

Mining stations, deep-space outposts, or jails far from the cosmopolitan core often used Imperial Navy Troopers as security personnel, who, while still imposing, commanded less respect than their stormtrooper brethren.[35] Vast trading posts, such as the Ring of Kafrene in the Thand sector, used mainly stormtroopers to enforce law and order on its streets.[115]

Private contracts were occasionally given to the Bounty Hunters' Guild and freelance bounty hunters to track down elusive elements within the Empire,[79] although this practice was largely frowned upon.[147] In order to support law enforcement communications, the Empire maintained the Imperial Office of Criminal Investigations. The Office was responsible for the Imperial Enforcement DataCore, which could only be accessed by authorized Imperial personnel or licensed bounty hunters.[214][36]

In the justice system, a defense was only allowed in civil cases, not trials against the Empire.[70] The Ministry of Ingress on Coruscant was the organization responsible for processing immigrants arriving on capital.[215]

Outside relations[]

With other governments[]

"It all boils down to one simple question, King Lee-Char. A question that only you, as leader of this planet, have the power to answer. Does Mon Cala wish to remain a part of the great Galactic Empire?"
―Ambassador Telvar, during negotiations with King Lee-Char[68]

The Diplomatic Service of the Galactic Empire maintained outside relations with several independent affiliates and corporate entities. Diplomats moved throughout the galaxy for negotiations and talks.[8] However, the Empire was more than willing to assert its will[68] or take what it wanted by force if negotiations did not go its way.[141] One of its affiliates was the Preox-Morlana, a corporate authority that politically administered the Free Trade sector and was left operated independently by the Empire. However, high-ranking officials of the Preox-Morlana would attend meetings with the Empire, while Imperial censuses would cover Preox-Morlana worlds.[62] Imperial officials grew eager for a reason to directly take control of the sector.[53] In 5 BBY,[55] that excuse came with the Preox-Morlana's failure to capture Cassian Andor on Ferrix, which exploded into a public enough failure that the Empire could annex its territory.[53]

The Galactic Empire also had diplomatic relations with the Chiss Ascendancy in the Unknown Regions of sorts through their mutual servant, Grand Admiral Thrawn.[199] Unknown to the Chiss, however, the Emperor came to seek complete control over the Chiss Ascendancy.[216] The people of the ice moon Madurs were occupied by the Empire despite Prime Minister Dreand Yens thinking he could represent his people through diplomatic talks, during which he had declined the Empire's low offer for the moon's carnium supply. Only realizing how the Empire had set the stage for its operation, while he'd been distracted with lies about a new art expo and negotiations, after the fact, Yens later remarked that his people were wrapped up in chains while he was busy with "polite conversation."[141]

With the criminal underworld[]

"None of you think of yourselves as servants. You are proud. You have carved out dominions for yourselves in the dark, won battles of fire and blood. You have territory, wealth, followers dedicated to fulfilling your every whim! But this is my empire. Everything you have is due to my indulgence. You do serve."
―Emperor Sheev Palpatine, to the heads of galactic criminal families[45]

The Empire remained invested in and had a relationship with the criminal underworld. The criminal faction Crimson Dawn, while secretly under the control of Maul, maintained a working relationship with the Empire. According to Enfys Nest of the Cloud-Riders, the Dawn used its profits to terrorize countless systems alongside the Imperials. The Empire also was invested in the affairs of the Pyke Syndicate: when a slave revolt opened up on Kessel, an Imperial blockade was quickly dispatched to settle the uprising. Despite its investment in the criminal underworld,[43] the Empire would need to combat parts of it, which would distract from other campaigns like the war with the Rebel Alliance.[42]

Above all other syndicates, the Empire had a special relationship with the Hutt Clan, which was allowed to operate outside of Imperial law in return for certain valuable services. The relationship also saw the Empire protect the Hutt Clan's claim over Hutt Space.[44] While the Empire could be very demanding with the Hutts,[123] clan leader Jabba respected Emperor Palpatine and saw the importance of their work together.[217] Various other criminal groups desired the relationship with the Empire held by the Hutts, with a chance seeming to open up after the Hutt attack on the Executor manipulated into being by Crimson Dawn.[44] Months later, Palpatine personally put an end to the Syndicate War by contacting the heads of various warring families, reminding them that they were all servants to his will: while they each had their own dominions, the galaxy overall was his to control, thus placing each crime lord under his rule as well. While he did promise any faction that could find Dawn leader Q'ira would rise in his estimation, his talk made it clear that each crime lord needed to think of themself as a servant to his will.[45]



"—we mustn't forget that we have the credits. The credits to spend how we see fit."
―Arsin Crassus, financier, who thought that money was the solution to the Empire's problems[10]

The Galactic Empire adopted a planned economy, whereby production and distribution of goods were centralized and directed in the immediate aftermath of the Clone Wars.[6] This policy of nationalization was called imperialization.[4] Despite this, numerous third-party corporations were allowed to remain, with major loyalist companies Kuat Drive Yards and Sienar Fleet Systems producing the majority of the Empire's land and space-based craft. Companies aligned with the Confederacy of Independent Systems during the Clone Wars, such as the Techno Union and Trade Federation, were absorbed by the newly formed Empire, and all Federation accounts plundered by Imperial financier Arsin Crassus.[47][10] By 0 BBY, both Incom Corporation and the Corellian Engineering Corporation had been nationalized.[4]

In addition to the Imperial Mining Institute, the Empire held a close association with Mining Guild.[218][219] Towards the end of the Galactic Civil War, Fleet Admiral Gallius Rax began to nationalize all aspects of the Imperial production chain in the months following Endor, but the attempt proved unable to save the dying Empire. The continued funding of the Imperial Military was hotly disputed. While briefly considered, it was decided that plundering the InterGalactic Banking Clan and other monetary bodies would plunge the galaxy into an economic depression.[147]

In 19 BBY, the Republic credit was replaced by the Imperial credit, which became the standard currency in circulation throughout the Empire. With the advent of the New Order, credits from the time of the Galactic Republic became worthless as they were phased out.[220] Since the Imperial credit was a fiat currency, credits from the Empire gradually lost their value following the formation of the New Republic.[147]


"For the first time in one thousand generations our sector governors will not be working solely to enrich Coruscant and the Core Worlds, but to advance the quality of life in the star systems that make up each sector—keeping the spaceways safe, maintaining open and accessible communications, assuring that tax revenues are properly levied and allocated to improving the infrastructure."
―Wilhuff Tarkin, on the New Order[6]
Imperial cargo ship docked

An Imperial cargo ship docked at a space port

A vast transportation network to connect Palpatine's vast Empire served as the primary means of both civilian and military transport. Interstellar commerce and warfare primarily occurred along one of several major hyperspace lanes—considered trans-galactic highways—with their knowledge and existence dating back to well before the former Galactic Republic. With the major trade routes considered safe for hyperspace travel, their control was vital for maintaining an effective means of defense and galactic dominance. In smaller systems, hyperspace beacons could transmit their coordinates, allowing starships to make quick jumps to and from the system. As a result, destroying them could hinder enemy mobility and response times. Serving this vast system were spaceports, facilities where starships would dock and refuel, restock and rearm. Spaceships serving as fuel stations also existed in the vastness of the galaxy, along with major shipping ports such as Horizon Base.[191][6] Owing to the immense size of the Empire, a vast, complex logistical network was maintained by the Imperial hierarchy, and as a result was both immensely interconnected and extremely fragile. Locales such as Mardona III served as "warehouse worlds": planets turned storehouses for millions of metric tons of goods to fuel the Empire. Imperial cargo ships often transported these resources across the galaxy; slovenly and low-quality personnel, or fresh recruits just out of the Academy, often crewed these vessels, owing to their rather menial task.[221] The T-44 landspeeder saw use by members of the Imperial Military for transport.[6]

Communications and media[]

"Citizen reporting has been a key tool in maintaining peace and order across the Empire."
Alton Kastle[222]

COMPNOR-approved propaganda poster by Resinu Santhe-Caltra

Acquiring much of the galactic communications systems from the former Galactic Republic, the Empire nationalized the HoloNet News and its galaxy-spanning broadcasts and hyperspace-powered communication systems. The new Imperial Holovision was overseen by the Ministry of Information, who in tandem with the Imperial Press Corps, ensured reporting stayed in line with "acceptable" news coverage and government policy.[223][224][222] While the Imperial holoNet was the only state-sanctioned news agency, local news outlets that supported the Galactic Empire were allowed to remain.[225] Those that attempted to distribute independent publications could be imprisoned without term.[70] It was also law that the Imperial HoloNet be broadcast at all times in every drinking establishment.[12]

As expected, the galactic HoloNet remained one of the most-viewed news stations in the galaxy, forming public opinion and reporting on pro-Imperial issues and events. When military objectives trumped civilian information, the Empire shut down the local HoloNet in varying sectors, and prioritized HoloNet transmissions to the military, giving Palpatine and his armed forces near-instantaneous communication across the entire galaxy.[12][6] Following the Battle of Endor, the New Republic abolished the Empire's restrictions and censorship on HoloNet and encouraged the creation of several HoloNet channels including the Queen of the Core Network to win over the galactic public after it assumed control by 5 ABY.[10]

Science and technology[]

"The universe is old. We are running out of time. I desire progress..."
―Doctor Cylo-V[226]

The Death Star was one of the Empire's greatest engineering projects.

One of the Empire's most ambitious scientific developments was the Death Star, a moon-sized, deep-space mobile battle station designed to fire a single planet-destroying superlaser powered by massive kyber crystals and built in orbit of Geonosis. Started by the Galactic Republic during the Clone Wars and continued under the leadership of Krennic, who oversaw the Imperial Military Department of Advanced Weapons Research, which was responsible for the completion of the long-delayed project, this was supported by a complex logistical network of bases.[4]

The Empire was also believed to have created many other superweapons, such as the Onager-class Star Destroyer, a type of capital ship that utilized a kyber-crystal superweapon; the Mass Shadow Generator, which was rumored to exist in realspace and hyperspace; the Torpedo Sphere, a siege platform and space station; or the rumored Asteroid Dreadnought, which was camouflaged as space rock; the Omega Frost, an interstellar freeze ray; and the Electro-Proton Bomb/Defoliator, which was based on the Republic's electro-proton bomb from the Clone Wars.[190] The Dark trooper program, deemed a failure, led to the Empire's disillusionment with battle droids.[8]

Operation: Cinder oversaw the use of climate disruption arrays, which were satellites modified to provoke storms once the beam reached through the planet.[151]

Experimental starships including the TIE/IN interceptor and TIE/D Defender pushed the Empire's technical capabilities, and introduced concepts and technology that would be reincorporated in future ship designs throughout the New Republic Era.[227]

A group of Sith scientists used alchemy and science to develop Project Blackwing, to achieve immortality, with the project being based out of a secret research facility on Dandoran. However, the project went awry when a virus known as "the Sickness" was accidentally created and killed its hosts, turning their bodies into intelligent cannibalistic zombies known as Undead Troopers.[228] Imperial scientists working on Project Celestial Power also tried to contain dark-matter quintessence.[190]

The Emperor himself had planned to further push the boundaries of what could be accomplished without the Force, creating cybernetically enhanced supersoldiers under the development of Doctor Cylo at his heavily guarded research base. Owing to Vader's failure to protect both the first Death Star and Weapons Factory Alpha, Palpatine planned to eventually form an army of cybernetic soldiers as his primary enforcers, reducing Vader's position as apprentice to a mere ceremonial role.[226]

The Imperial Mining Institute also existed under the New Order, while the Imperial Department of Military Research helped boost the combat forces of the Empire, developing the widely used stormtrooper armor and the IT-O Interrogation Unit, along with the 9D9-s54 Dianoga spy droid.[38][229] The Empire also initiated Project Harvester, a clandestine operation designed to root out children with Force sensitivity and detain them at an underground facility connected to the Arkanis Academy, located on the Outer Rim world of Arkanis.[230]

Society and culture[]


"Can you stop thinking of yourself as a native of your home planet and begin thinking of yourself as an Imperial first? An Imperial only? Can you accept that protecting and serving the world you came from is best accomplished by strengthening the Empire to which it belongs?"
―The introductory speech at the Royal Imperial Academy on Coruscant[70]

The transition from the Republic to the Empire was also marked by major changes in the new government's architectural aesthetic. While the democratic government favored sweeping lines in its architecture, Palpatine's authoritarian regime preferred bold and brutalist designs.[4] Palpatine himself enjoyed the look of such architecture due to the brutal nature it embodied.[231] This brutalist style first emerged before the foundation of the Empire during the Clone Wars, when the architect Orson Krennic transformed the municipal grounds on Coruscant into military command centers.[4] A prime example of Krennic's work was the Republic Center for Military Operations.[39]

Grav-ball was a popular sport within the Galactic Empire, with many worlds hosting teams that occasionally competed with one another.[194] Underground gladiatorial games existed within Imperial territories, the Outer Rim Carve-up and Stormblade Bloodfest being some of the organized occurrences of the sport within the early years of the Empire.[214]

Humanocentric single-species domination was not coincidental, but intended[147] under the High Human cultural model.[19] Imperial propaganda actively supported state-sponsored ethnocentric xenophobia and fear-mongering. To the Empire, "aliens" were by and large unwelcome within its order, with aliens being seen as "different" and "strange." As such, the Empire treated nonhuman segments of its populations as serfs, slaves, or obstacles needing to be tamed, removed, or ignored. The Empire supported the idea that aliens were untrustworthy—unlike humans—and behind their veneer of innocence lurked a vicious monster. The Imperial propaganda machine was so effective in its message that even near-human species exhibited an inherent distrust towards nonhuman populations.[147] Since the Empire looked down on aliens, it was rare for aliens to serve as Imperial officers.[38] Nevertheless, some nonhumans were known to occupy lofty roles within the Empire, such as the Chagrian Mas Amedda, who served as the Empire's Grand Vizier,[6] the Imperial Grand Admiral Thrawn,[97] and the Pau'an Grand Inquisitor, the leading figure in the Inquisitorius during the Age of the Empire.[49]

Still, Thrawn noticed that he faced adversity due to his non-human origins and the fact that he was not linked to a major political family.[232] One of the main origins of the anti-alien belief was that during the Clone Wars most of the separatist leaders were aliens from sectors far from the Core Worlds. That made the humans distrustful of the other species of the galaxy during the Imperial Era.[199] In addition to state-sponsored discrimination against a predominantly nonhuman galaxy, the Empire discouraged the learning of alien languages and cultures such as Ithorese in an effort to destroy foreign cultures, and sought to impose high "Imperial standards" for its citizens.[10] The destructive nature of the Clone Wars and use of droid armies by the Separatist Alliance fostered and expounded anti-droid bigotry so well into the galactic psyche that it would endure well into the Imperial Era.[5]

The Empire saw droids as servants and tools, to be discarded and thrown away when no longer useful.[147] The Galactic Empire was not only xenophobic towards the alien species of the galaxy, but some Imperial officers displayed similar sentiment towards human groups whom they deemed to be of lesser social standing. Some human Imperial officers, especially those from the Core Worlds, displayed disrespect towards humans who hailed from regions like Wild Space[199] and the Outer Rim, including Lothal.[233] The Empire also turned against the Mandalorians, who rejected Imperial leadership and thus were targeted for extermination.[234] The clones of the planet Kamino also began to be discriminated against by the Empire after they were seen as relics of the Old Republic that were no longer useful and could be discarded,[10] causing many ex-clone soldiers to become unemployed.[235]

The Imperial education system emphasized science through initiatives for the youth.[8][80][35][122] Many Imperials with a good education knew two or three of the more commonly spoken languages.[236]


"The Empire improves every system it touches. Judge by any metric. Safety, prosperity, trade, opportunity, peace. Compare Imperial rule to what is happening now."
―The Client[168]

As a pan-galactic Empire, the Empire was home to countless alien species across the galaxy. In terms of preference, the population of the Empire was dominated largely by humans, a species native to the Imperial capital world Coruscant.[47] Humans were the most common species in both the Imperial Military and the Empire's political circles, with the highest echelons of the New Order almost entirely consisting of the species.[237]

To increase the human population and military manpower, several Imperial breeding programs were enacted in the early days of the Empire. They encouraged people to start and grow families, and rewarded them for it. While the Empire supported traditional heterosexual relationships, it did not care about the individual sexual preferences of its citizens, provided that such individuals kept their affairs behind closed doors, and did not interfere with any of its family programs.[147]

As a human-dominated government, the Galactic Empire supported Galactic Basic Standard and its Aurebesh/High Galactic writing system. Learning of foreign languages and cultures for the general populace was disapproved of.[10]

Officially, all organized religion and belief in the supernatural was outlawed.[11] In reality, the vast size and scope of the Empire meant that thousands of religions were practiced across its vast territory. The Seswenna sector alone had over three hundred distinct religions with active practitioners, all officially recognized by the local Imperial administrator. Chief of the Imperial Navy Conan Antonio Motti himself claimed to be a "man of faith," and believed that Imperial unity could only be strengthened through cooperative and constructive dialogue among citizens following diverse spiritual traditions.[238] Underground religions surrounding the extinct Jedi such as the Church of the Force and the Guardians of the Whills continued to exist despite their perilous closeness to the Jedi of old.[11][4]


"We have a surplus of slave labor—but what to do with it? Could the Wookiees be farmed for their meat? Presently it's stringy and tough, but maybe if they could be fattened up, or modified in some way—crossbred with another species, perhaps, like the Talz."
―Commandant Theodane Sardo[147]

The Empire's rise saw the gradual repeal of Republic anti-slavery laws.[199] Species such as the Wookiees were declared non-sentient. Subsequently much of the Imperial war machine was built on the shoulders of the enslaved Wookiee population, who saw their homeworld of Kashyyyk ecologically devastated.[147]

Within the Empire, non-humans were routinely subjugated, with many sent to numerous slave-labor camps across the galaxy, one of the most infamous being the spice mines of Kessel, where Wookiee slaves, prized for their strength, were sent to mine the valuable spice located in the planet's interior. It was a literal death sentence for many, with an expected survival time of three months.[38] Humanoid species often survived longer, ranging from one to two years in the mines.[122]

Abusive and exploitative, the Empire forcibly relocated settlers and pressed them into Imperial factory work. Resisting could see one's family kidnapped and killed.[236] Unemployment in strategic resource systems was declared unlawful.[73] On Ryloth, isolated settlements often existed with little or no knowledge about the Empire at large, with those same camps oftentimes being disbanded and their inhabitants relocated to slave-labor camps when needed. Escaped slaves or displaced persons often made up these camps, similar to Tarkintown on Lothal.[52] Those that resisted Imperial rule could see their whole planet devastated and species reduced to near-extinction, such as the reptilian Bodach'i, who were forced to work in spice mines on planets such as Kerev Doi.[70]


Administrative divisions[]

"Was it not you who suggested the creation of oversectors and oversector governance as a means of enhancing our control?"
―Emperor Palpatine, to Wilhuff Tarkin[6]

While the Empire utilized the senators of the Imperial Senate to maintain control of their respective systems, control was gradually given over to Imperial sector and planetary governors, or Moffs. Grand Moffs were charged with overseeing control of oversectors, which comprised numerous sectors,[6] and the Imperial Navy was organized into sector fleets.[93] Rather than direct annexation, many of the Empire's territories were controlled through puppet states, alliances, and protectorates, most notably the Corporate Sector.[35][223]

The local governing bodies that were in the Imperial Senate, to which had autonomy were downgraded to a mostly ceremonial and powerless role,[239] as were the senators they sent, who all served under a Moff's oversight.[52]

On the border of the Mid Rim and Outer Rim Territories, an invisible boundary was considered the "front line" against the lawlessness of the Outer Rim.[35] The Imperial sphere of influence ended shortly before reaching Hutt Space, resulting in its reputation as a haven for smugglers, bounty hunters and other denizens of the galaxy.[120]

The Empire also maintained strategic resource systems, in which industrial surveillance, heightened security measures and higher work quotas were in effect, and were often placed under the supervision of influential barons, moguls and efficiency experts.[73]

Early holdings and expansionism[]

"You can stand to see the Imperial flag reign across the galaxy?"
―Saw Gerrera, to Jyn Erso[115]

As the successor state to the Galactic Republic, the Galactic Empire's authority spanned most of the known galaxy,[3] with the Core Worlds housing some of the richest and most affluent planets in the Empire, with gradual economic decline and lawlessness appearing the further one ventured from the Core. While the Emperor planned to claim the Outer Rim, the logistical complexities of such a feat soon became apparent. Many of the exoplanets were too rough, wild, or strange to ever be brought under Imperial yoke. Thus, many were relegated to hold meager garrisons or host temporary military excursions. As a result, exploitation, weapons testing and military installations dotted the Outer Systems, while Imperials often came for the drinking, smoking, gambling, or black-market goods.[10]

Located in the Galactic Empire was the extragalactic holding of Kamino,[240] which was in a star system that straggled south of the Rishi Maze satellite galaxy and beyond the larger galaxy.[22] Early into its reign, the Empire expanded into the Outer Rim, creating a presence that was far greater than what former Padawan Ahsoka Tano had expected; after fleeing from the suddenly occupied small moon of Raada, which the Imperials had taken over in order to exploit its farmland, she found that every star system she passed through had been taken over, with a controlling Imperial presence installed in each. As Tano observed, such Imperial holdings were not merely bases constructed to look over local governments, but oppressive extensions of the Empire, controlling the local resources and populations without any concern for their needs nor personal rights.[37] A devout Imperial, meanwhile, would allege the Empire improved every star system it entered with—as "the Client" put it—trade, safety, prosperity, and "peace."[241] However, large scale Imperial peace came at the cost of one's personal freedoms[242] and said "secruity" depended greatly on punishing whatever it was that the Empire deemed to be "wrong."[243]

Seeking the source of the dark side, the Empire established numerous labs and communications stations on distant moons and asteroids beyond known space, with Emperor Palpatine believing his power was drawn from beyond the galaxy.[10] The Imperial Survey Corps helped Palpatine chart the unexplored regions of the galaxy.[244] Palpatine maintained relations with the Chiss Ascendancy, a regional power located within the Unknown Regions through its ambassador, Mitth'raw'nuruodo, better known as Thrawn. Palpatine accepted Thrawn as his adviser on matters involving the Unknown Regions, and hoped they would both fight potential future threats from the Unknown Regions.[199]

Retreat and collapse[]

"The factories of Kuat have been bombed into submission, and the shipyards of Xa Fel, Anadeen, and Turco Prime are all either contested or already lost. But the Outer Rim will be our savior—and it will be the strangling cord we tie around the neck of the New Republic. We already have three worlds under our sway there: Zhadalene, Korrus, and Belladoon."
―Gallius Rax, to the Shadow Council[147]

Following the Battle of Endor, the Galactic Empire steadily began to shrink, losing numerous worlds to the recently formed New Republic, with Imperial assets and academies on worlds such as Uyter destroyed in bloody warfare.[10] With its losses and failures, the Empire retreated to numerous fallback positions on strategically unimportant worlds such as Naalol, often drawing the New Republic into long and indecisive conflicts, forestalling its slow push toward the Core Worlds. Despite these efforts, the Republic had already established its capital on Chandrila, a planet located within the Core.[10] The Empire made three successive sieges to retake the Mid Rim world of Naboo, birthplace of Palpatine and thus an influential rallying point for the Empire's shattered forces, but failed.[70]

A few months after Endor, the Imperial Future Council met on Akiva, a planet in a sector of the Outer Rim still under Imperial control.[10] Roughly two months after the Battle on Akiva, the Galactic Empire's territorial possessions were rapidly shrinking and described as a "patchwork quilt" by Grand Admiral Rae Sloane. Numerous systems left the Empire or waged their own resistance movements, declared their independence, and established their own fiefdoms or joined the New Republic. Criminal syndicates flourished in this atmosphere of conflict, especially the reptilian pirate Eleodie Maracavanya, who had captured the Super Star Destroyer Annihilator and used it to forge her own criminal empire. Various moffs and governors rebelled against the Empire, while more and more people asked what exactly the Empire was. Agencies, personnel, and whole planetary systems started to drift apart, each adopting differing tactics and methods for combating the New Republic, and each other.[147]

By this time, the Empire had already lost numerous systems to the New Republic's lighting-fast strikes, and factionalism had begun to scar any attempts to reclaim lost territories. The New Republic had already made headway into the Core Worlds. The last sector of the Outer Rim under Imperial control was a thin region of space known as the Exterior, along with the planets Zhadalene, Korrus, and Belladoon. With the shipyards of Kuat, Xa Fel, Anadeen, and Turco Prime having already been lost or contested, Rax planned to use the Empire's last foothold in the Outer Rim as a "strangling cord" to tie around the New Republic.[147] While the Chandrila terror attack demoralized the New Republic, it failed to turn the tide of the war against the Empire, which soon after lost Kashyyyk following an uprising led by Han Solo and Chewbacca.[147]

After their defeat at Jakku and the signing of the Galactic Concordance, some Imperial warships began jumping into the Unknown Regions to escape the prying eyes of the New Republic. This was made easier since parts of the Unknown Regions had previously been explored by military scout ships surveying star systems and blazing hyperspace routes known only to a select few.[11]

Behind the scenes[]

The Galactic Empire first appeared as the main antagonist of the first Star Wars movie, Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, in 1977, where it was named the "evil Galactic Empire" in the opening crawl.[2]

The Empire's origins and role in the Star Wars universe were subsequently expanded by various Expanded Universe literature and media over the next four decades. Following the Lucasfilm Story Group's decision in May 2014 to reboot the Star Wars universe.[245] Financial engineering professor Zachary Feinstein calculated that the hypothetical GDP of the Galactic Empire would be 4.6 sextillion per year.[246]

According to the author Jason Fry, the Galactic Empire in the newly established canonical universe was not openly xenophobic and misogynistic, unlike the Legends version. However, he acknowledged that some of the Empire's most devoted supporters were xenophobes, like his character Janus Fhurek, a minor antagonist in his 2014 junior novel Servants of the Empire: Edge of the Galaxy. In his view, the presence of prominent Imperial female characters in John Jackson Miller's novel A New Dawn and Star Wars Rebels precluded the idea of a misogynistic Empire.[247] Pro-human xenophobia within the Imperial Military and government bureaucracy has since been confirmed[199] in the reference guides Star Wars Rebels: The Visual Guide[38] and Star Wars Rebels: Visual Guide: Epic Battles,[237] and the novel Thrawn. Thrawn clarified that Imperials were not officially allowed to disrespect non-humans, with General Orders to Imperial cadets outlining that, but Imperials did so all the same.[199]