The Empire has a firmly established rule on the galaxy when the Star Wars saga begins, and various subsequent movies, shows, and other tie-ins have explained just how it gained and maintained this control. Thanks to Star Wars: The Bad Batch, it’s been revealed that the newly risen Empire began rolling out its various methods of control and oppression almost immediately once The Clone Wars ended. Chancellor Palpatine had achieved his goal in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, and with the Jedi Order having been destroyed there was no one to oppose him as he transformed the already failing Republic into his glorious new Empire.
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The Empire began its new regime right away, introducing new mandatory identification methods, compiling data on all of its citizens throughout the galaxy, growing its forces by recruiting from its own worlds as opposed to cloning. It also began monitoring and overtaking all major forms of communication and news, as well as eventually building the ultimate tool for oppression, fear, and control: The Death Star.
The Empire’s reach and power was vast and fairly unstoppable for nearly two decades before the events of the first Star Wars film, and even then it maintained its control for as long as it could in the five years until the New Republic’s victory at the Battle of Jakku. Here’s all the ways the Empire was able to control the galaxy so well before the Rebellion finally gain enough strength to fight back and win.
Bad Batch Introduces Chain Codes And An Imperial Registry
In The Bad Batch, it was revealed that the Empire began enforcing mandatory chain codes for travel right away, which were detailed identification markers the Empire would compile in order to build a massive registry on the galactic populace. This allowed them to monitor any potential threats and dissent they’d be able to effectively snuff out. However, Clone Force 99 managed to steal and forge false codes for their contact Cut Lawquane and his family, meaning there had to have been ways for other ingenious resistors and criminals to circumvent these new regulations. That being said, this method seems to have largely been effective, and the Emperor soon had a massive amount of data stored in a super-computer underneath Coruscant, as revealed in Alexander Freed’s novel Victory’s Price. With all of this data, Palpatine was able to seek out any degree of dissent, while also knowing who within the Empire was the most loyal.
Recruitment Of Stormtroopers Replacing Clone Forces
The Bad Batch also speaks to the eventual transition from clone forces to the recruitment of galactic citizens to serve in the Empire as stormtroopers, TIE pilots, officers, and more agents of the Empire. According to Tarkin in the series’ premiere episode, enlistment and training is less costly than continuing the cloning contract the Republic had with Kamino, though there does seem to be a more significant reason. Logically, there’s something darker and more powerful in recruiting the galaxy’s own citizens into the Imperial machine to help oppress their own worlds and people, rather than just having the military being cloned as is had been under the Republic era. There’s a phycological form of control and oppression that’s present beyond the immense military might the Empire had at its disposal.
The Emperor’s Massive Propaganda Machine
Likewise, episodes of Star Wars Rebels revealed that the Empire effectively took over and/or shut down all major forms of communication and news, including the primary source known as the Holonet. Additionally, massive propaganda campaigns and techniques were used, such as inspiring messages to encourage enlistments, as well as mandatory holidays such as Empire Day. The Empire made great efforts to make itself appear to be a bringer or order, peace, and security. As such, it made it that much harder for the Rebel Alliance to grow and gather support, as they were seen as disruptors and insurgents who would only bring suffering. Furthermore, the Empire had no qualms using excessive force and fear while blaming insurrectionists like the Rebels for their actions, vilifying them even further in the eyes of many worlds throughout the galaxy.
The Empire Still Had The Appearance Of A “Senate”
Despite the Republic being dissolved and transformed into the new Empire, the Senate still remained, if only to placate worlds into thinking they still had a voice. Legislature and votes were passed, though they were almost never enacted. More and more power went to individual planets’ military governors put in place by the Emperor, with the Imperial Senators getting less and less. The Emperor’s true purpose in keeping the institution going was simply another means for control, though it was one he had always planned to eliminate once Project Stardust (the first Death Star) was built.
That being said, the Imperial Senate did have its purposes for the Rebellion, as members such as Bail Organa and his adoptive daughter Princess Leia were secretly key leaders of the Alliance, using what information and authority they still had as Imperial senators to secretly aid the Rebels. However, the Emperor used the capture of Princess Leia and the theft of the Death Star plans as an excuse to disband the Imperial Senate completely, giving complete power to the Empire’s planetary governors.
Fear And The Power Of The Death Star
Of course, the Empire’s ultimate tool was its super-weapons, with the the most effective being the first Death Star. Upon its construction, the Emperor believed that his reign and control was absolute. What planet would dare oppose him when a push of a button could destroy their entire world? Being a massive moon-sized battle station with firepower the likes of which the galaxy had never seen before, it seemed as though the Empire’s hold was well and truly solidified, especially when combined with all the other listed methods the Empire had in effect to keep the galaxy in line.
However, the Empire’s grip and control was too strong, and it inevitably led to the Rebellion being formed and fighting back for freedom, winning a victory with the destruction of the Death Star. Furthermore, the Galactic Civil War that followed would free the galaxy from the Empire’s years of oppression. Nevertheless, the level of vast control the Empire had was as impressive as it was dark, and it’s going to be interesting to see how upcoming Star Wars shows, movies, and more continue to expand and provide further details into its regime.
More: What If Star Wars Was Told From The Empire’s Perspective
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