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The Galactic Empire is the government that rules the Star Wars galaxy in the Star Wars series. They are the main villains in the first three Star Wars movies. It is ruled by Emperor Palpatine and enforced by his apprentice, Darth Vader. The Empire rules the galaxy by creating fear and using violence. It is a totalitarian government, which means it controls every part of the people's lives. It uses its military to kill or silence anyone who does not agree with its rule.
The Empire was created because Emperor Palpatine overthrew the Galactic Republic by starting the Clone Wars. Before the war started, many planets and star systems left the Republic to create their own government and army, the Separatists. Many people in the Republic were scared of the Separatists, so they voted to give emergency powers to Supreme Chancellor Palpatine. This was because he was well-liked and they believed he was a strong leader. By the end of he war, Palpatine could create any law he wanted. The only ones who could stop him were the Jedi, a very old group of knights who swore to protect the Republic. They tried to arrest him, but they failed. Palpatine used this as an excuse to create a government with much more security. He made the Republic into the Empire, and made himself Emperor.
The Empire killed many people and aliens. Paying its large military made the galaxy poor. It took away almost all freedoms and rights people had under the Republic. It had a lot of corruption. Life was so terrible under the Empire that some of its governors and officials tried to talk to the Empire's leaders, but they were threatened.
Therefore, many people and aliens joined the Rebel Alliance to destroy the Empire and bring back the Republic.
After the deaths of both Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine and the Empire's loss on the Battle of Jakku, the Empire surrendered to the Rebel Alliance. The Rebels then created the New Republic. The Empire may have surrendered, but some of the Empire's leaders who were still alive created a new military based on the Empire, the First Order. They rebuilt by buying weapons and spaceships from greedy merchants in the Outer Rim and taking over planets with many resources they could use to buy more weapons. They also kidnapped many babies and forced them to become stormtroopers. They secretly built a superweapon called Starkiller Base. They used the weapon to blow up the capital of the New Republic, Hosnian Prime.
Now that the New Republic is gone, the First Order wants to create the Empire again.