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- "We are an Empire ruled by the majority! An Empire ruled by a new Constitution! An Empire of laws, not of politicians! An Empire devoted to the preservation of just society. Of a safe and secure society! We are an Empire that will stand for ten thousand years!"
- — Palpatine
The Galactic Empire, also known as the New Order, or simply The Empire, was the galactic government established by Supreme Chancellor Palpatine to replace the Galactic Republic in 19 BBY at the close of the Clone Wars.
The Empire was a totalitarian and oppressive regime that controlled most of the known galaxy either through direct rule, or puppet and client states such as the Corporate Sector Authority.
In it's initial years the Empire was immensely popular with the galactic population, mostly due to the violence that had plagued the galaxy for so long. During the Imperial Era many citizens became divided on the Empire's nature, especially after particularly controversial actions such as the Ghorman Massacre and the dissolution of the Imperial Senate.
The origins of the Galactic Empire can be traced back to the Sith Lord Darth Plagueis. A wise and logical Muun, Plagueis determined that the best way for the Sith to topple the Jedi would be to enter the hierarchy of the Galactic Republic and erode the galactic government from within. Plagueis believed that the Jedi, as the protectors of the Republic, would be easier to dispose of through politics and treachery rather than the direct confrontation previously unsuccessful Sith organizations had preferred.
To this end, Plagueis took Darth Sidious as his apprentice. Sidious was commonly known as Palpatine, an unassuming and pleasant young politician from the pastoral planet of Naboo. Plagueis groomed his apprentice specifically for his grand scheme of politics. However, Plagueis was not to see his plan brought to fruition, as Sidious murdered his master shortly after his entry into local Naboo politics.
Rise of the Empire
Palpatine quietly rose through the ranks of the Naboo, and later Republic bureaucracy. Quiet and unassuming, it came as a surprise to many when Palpatine was elected as Supreme Chancellor of the Republic in 32 BBY after the Vote of No Confidence in Chancellor Valorum during the Naboo Crisis.
The entire crisis had been engineered by Palpatine himself. As his alter-ego Darth Sidious, Palpatine had used the Trade Federation as a pawn in the blockade and invasion of Naboo. The resulting crisis created an atmosphere in which Palpatine could call on a strong sympathy vote in his election to Supreme Chancellor.
Once firmly in office, Palpatine set to work on the next part of his master plan; displacing the Jedi as the protectors of the Republic. Palpatine was able to call on a strong and vocal faction in the Galactic Senate that believed the Republic should reinstate it's military. Members of the powerful Tarkin and Sienar families in particular gravitated towards the Chancellor's office on this note.
It was not until the Separatist Crisis was brought to a head that the Senate would authorize the reinstatement of the military. In doing so, the Senate also invested the Chancellor with emergency powers that enabled him to rule through the power of decree, circumventing the Galactic Constitution.