Galactic Empire

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The symbol of the Galactic Empire.

The Galactic Empire is a government that features in Star Wars.



The Galactic Empire was an interstellar government that ruled the galaxy and traced its origins to the Clone Wars. During that time, its predecessor that was the Old Republic was involved in a conflict with the Confederacy of Independent Systems who sought to secede from it. This resulted in the deployment of their Battle Droid armies with the Republic forming their Grand Army of the Republic consisting of Clone Troopers. Unknown to anyone, the entire war was engineered by Senator Palpatine who was secretly a Sith Lord named Darth Sidious. He had intentionally engineered the conflict to bring about the downfall of the Jedi Order. At the conclusion, as Chancellor he initiated Order 66 that turned the clone forces against the Jedi and arranged events to make it appear that the Jedi Knights had attempted to assassinate him as Chancellor of the Republic. To bring about order, he took control of the Republic and installed himself as Emperor leading to a change from a democracy to a dictatorship with the First Galactic Empire forming as a result. In this time, the Jedi Purge was conducted as they were hunted down with the Emperor utilising his right-hand who was Darth Vader for this duty with him destroying the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. With the Separatist threat dealt with, the Empire placed an iron-handed rule over the galaxy with its order brutally enforced over its citizens through its massive military.

The Rebel Alliance, with such heroes as Princess Leia Organa, Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, and Lando Calrissian on their side, battled the Empire, sparking the Galactic Civil War with the Battle of Yavin. More and more star systems were liberated over the years, until, finally, the Empire was shattered at the Battle of Endor, where Palpatine and his lieutenant, Darth Vader, both died.

During the collapse of the Empire, the Rebel Alliance came to form the New Republic. In the aftermath, the remnants of the Imperial forces regrouped in the Unknown Regions where they established the First Order.


In appearance, the Galactic Empire was an interplanetary government that ruled the galaxy where it maintained its dominance through fear, intimidation, and tyranny whilst claiming to be promoting order as well as peace.

Leadership of the government lay in the complete authority of the Galactic Emperor. The Emperor was protected by the crimson-robed Imperial Royal Guard that wore distinct armor with them armed with force pikes and blasters.

Governors of entire regions of space had the title of Grand Moff.

Though a dictatorship, a body present consisting of representatives of member worlds did exist with this being the Imperial Senate that was a holdover from the time of the Old Republic. However, unlike its earlier counterpart, the Senate had no power as this was entirely invested in the hands of the Emperor. It was later disbanded on the authority of the Emperor by the time of the Battle of Yavin.

Command over large fleets were given to skilled officers that held the rank of Grand Admiral.

The Empire established the Imperial Security Bureau for the duty of maintaining security, silencing sedition and apprehending traitors. Imperial Intelligence was another division within the Empire that was responsible for espionage and information gathering activities. In the development of weapons, the Empire maintained the Advanced Weapons Research Division that contained numerous scientists in charge for the latest advancements and arsenals.

During conflicts, the Empire made use of Imperial Mobile Surgical Units (IMSU) that were prefabricated medcenters that had been used during the Clone Wars. These collapsible shelters served as an office for doctors as well as an operating room for Imperial medics alongside droids. Imperial medics tended to the soldiers on the battlefield and also on the front lines where they were involved in everything from triage to preventative medicine. The latest Imperial technology was used by them including pain-relieving gas as well as anti-septic field generators along with droid support. Under the Empire, the ancient medical oaths were applied only to their own species and thus their medics were allowed to be armed in combat situations.

It was known that the Empire always pulled back their forces before engaging in a major operation.

A special division within the Empire was that of the Inquisitors. These consisted of black armored Force-sensitive agents who were tasked with eliminating any remaining Jedi. As such, they were armed with special red lightsabers and piloted special models of TIE Fighters.

Among its elite soldiers were the feared Death Troopers that were part of Imperial Intelligence. These operatives were encased in specialized Stormtrooper armor notable by its dark ominous gleam. Imperial Death Troopers could be deployed as bodyguards and enforcers were key personnel in the Empire.


In terms of droids, the empire was noted to had produced a range of probe designs. Among the droid models they used included:

  • Interrogation Droid :
  • E-XD Infiltrator Droid : a humanoid droid that was seemingly a meek protocol droid but when activated it transformed into a dangerous assassin. They were deployed to sweep worlds for rebel bases where its standard state could see it being allowed entry into an enemy facility. Once there, it transformed into the towering and quick moving fighters in order to eliminate all targets at the site. To prevent capture, an inner proton warhead was installed that was an anti-capture failsafe that detonated to stop the droid falling into enemy hands.
  • KX-series security droid :
  • Imperial Sentry Droid :
  • Imperial Probe Droid :
  • Viper Probe Droid : the 11-3k Viper Probe Droids were produced by Aratech with them being made for investigation, exploration and reconnaissance. A rotating collar assembly had a fitted blaster cannon that provided the droid a 360-degree firing range.

They made use of a variety of Walker designs that included:

  • AT-DP Walker : the All Terrain Defence Pod were the fastest of the Imperial vehicles with them being designed for patrols and scouting missions.
  • AT-ST Walker : the All-Terrain Scout Transport were two-manned vehicles that were lightly armed with chin-mounted laser cannons and side-mounted weapon pods. These scout walkers were used in reconnaissance roles and operated as a patrol vehicle where they flanked the larger AT-ATs whilst clearing away enemy infantry.
  • AT-AT Walker :
  • AT-ACT Walker : a larger version of the standard AT-AT, these version had a dedicated cargo bed and was used for transportation of heavy building materials or combat munitions. They were deployed on major Imperial construction projects such as shipyards and research installations.

Other vehicles included:

  • AT-Hauler : a specialised cargo vehicle that deployed walkers on the battlefield with them being able to carry enormous loads due to their powerful engines and their heavy-duty cargo lifter arms that were augmented by tensile fields. A pilot handled flight operations with a co-pilot being in charge of any cargo.
  • Patrol Transports : these small craft were less heavily-armed than the military-grade Republic attack ships but were suited to navigate skylines and operate as police gunships. They were armed with a pair of ball-mounted laser turrets that flanked the cockpits and a fixed laser cannon that extended from the tear. Four arm-mounted solar panels helped in powering these repulsorcraft. A control cabin contained two stacked seats with a pilot in an elevated position and slightly behind the gunner. A troop bay had side doors that folded upward for entry whilst a rear ramp was used for rapid deployment of police forces. They had previously been used by the Galactic Republic in the Clone Wars with the Empire making use of them as patrol transports that combated rebel threats on various worlds.
  • Zeta-class Imperial Shuttle :

A vital resource to the Empire was the hypermatter fuel called Coaxium that was rare yet essential for faster-than-light travel. Hyperdrive reaction chambers of starships were coated in a thin layer of the material that was energised to allow the passage into hyperspace. Unrefined Coaxium was dangerous to transport as it was highly volatile with it exploding if handled improperly.

For large scale projects, the Empire made use of Imperial Construction Modules that space bases used for building initiatives where they housed all materials, plans and data related to the development.

Within their fleets, they utilised:

  • TIE Fighter :
  • TIE Interceptor :
  • TIE Bomber :
  • TIE Brute : the TIE/rb heavy starfighter boasted heavier armor and firepower compared to the standard TIE's where they were fitted with a pivoting twin laser cannons arrayed on an outrigger whilst an MGX-300 integrated droid intelligence assisted the pilot with operations.
  • TIE Defender :
  • TIE Reaper :
  • Raider II-class corvette : these agile ships had a sizable crew that manned its turbolasers and hyperdrives with it being a dangerous enemy to Starfighters.
  • Gozanti-Class Cruiser : the Imperial included heavier shields, faster engines and enhanced weapons with them being used for transporting walkers to a planetary surface or deploying several TIE Fighters.
  • IGV-55 Surveillance Vessel : an Imperial listener ship that was used as a tool for surveillance, intelligence and recon that was largely used by Imperial Intelligence. They were used to monitor communications and scan data for signs of rebellion or sedition.
  • Arquitens-class light cruiser : these Imperial Light Cruisers
  • Imperial Interdictor : these massive ships were initially experimental vessels that were equipped with gravity well generators which could be used to pull ships out of hyperspace.
  • Imperial-Class Star Destroyer :
  • Executor-Class Super Star Destroyer :

Certain important worlds of the Empire could be equipped with planetary deflector shields that prevented easy entry with this only capable of being achieved by passing the heavily secure Shield Gates. When facing a threat, the shields could be closed at the shield gate to prevent enemy from reaching the surface of the planet.

One piece of equipment used by the Empire was the Imperial XX-23 S-Tread Tracer developed by Sienar Fleet Systems that allowed them to track a vessel through hyperspace to a destination. It was deployed from a missile shell housing that was fired at a target and embedded itself onto the hull and transmitted its coordinates back to the user.

An weapon development program maintained by the Empire was the Tarkin Initiative.

The Galactic Empire was known to engage in research to create dangerous superweapons for its arsenal with this being epitomised by the Death Star battle stations.


  • Palpatine :
  • Darth Vader :
  • Grand Moff Tarkin :
  • Thrawn :
  • Orson Krennic : male human director of Advanced Weapons Research for the Imperial military.
  • Grand Inquisitor :
  • Wullf Yularen :
  • Arihnda Pryce :
  • Alexsandr Kallus : a human male member of the Imperial Security Bureau.
  • Kassius Konstantine :
  • Vult Skerris :
  • Rukh :


  • The Galactic Empire was created by George Lucas where the first appeared in the Original Trilogy as antagonists starting in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977).

Alternate Versions

  • In the Star Wars: Legends continuity, the Empire was replaced by the New Republic, though some pockets remained under Empire control for years to come and battled the burgeoning new government.

In other media

Video games

  • In Star Wars: TIE Fighter, the Galactic Empire featured in the setting of the video game. Among the highest ranks in the navy was the Grand Admiral with the Emperor having an inner circle of 12 such individuals. During the campaign, players took the role of an unnamed pilot in the Imperial fleet with the accompanying novella along with strategy guide referring to the character as Maarek Stele.
  • In Star Wars: Dark Forces, the Galactic Empire featured in the setting of the action video game. General Rom Mohc of the Imperial military was in charge of the Dark Trooper Project that created powerful battle droids for use by the Empire against the Rebel Alliance.
  • In Star Wars: Force Commander, the Galactic Empire featured in the setting of the strategy-based video game. The campaign mode saw players take the role of Imperial officer Brenn Tantor who was in the Imperial military.
  • In Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II, the Galactic Empire appeared in the setting of the action video game. During the story mode, it was shown that Dark Jedi Jerec sought to rebuild the Empire under his control.
  • In Star Wars Galaxies, the Galactic Empire appeared in the setting of the MMORPG video game.
  • In Star Wars: Battlefront, the Empire appeared in the setting of the video game.
  • In Star Wars: Battlefront II, the Empire appeared in the setting of the video game. In the campaign mode, the player took the role of the 501st Legion of the clone army of the Galactic Republic and continued service from being Clone Troopers to being Stormtroopers of the Galactic Empire.
  • In Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, the Empire featured heavily in the setting of the video game. It was shown that they had conquered the Wookiee homeworld of Kashyyyk which was where Darth Vader found a young boy able to use the Force and adopted the child as his secret apprentice named Starkiller.
  • In Star Wars: Battlefront, the Empire appeared in the setting of the video game where they could be played during the multiplayer modes.
  • In Star Wars: Battlefront II, the Empire appeared as a playable faction in the setting of the video game. An elite unit of Imperial Special Forces known as Inferno Squad were shown to be used by the Empire.
  • In Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, the Empire appeared in the setting of the video game. It was revealed that the Inquisitors were based at the Fortress Inquisitorius on the planet Nur.


  • Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope: (1977)
  • Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back:
  • Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi:
  • Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith:
  • Star Wars: Rebels:
  • Rogue One:
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story: (2018)


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