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In the Star Wars universe, the Empire under Palpatine is a despotic dictatorship that rules through military might.

Grand Moff Tarkin indicates as much when he explains that the Emperor has disbanded the Senate and is in full control:

Governor Tarkin: The Imperial Senate will no longer be of any concern to us. I have just received word that the Emperor has dissolved the council permanently. The last remnants of the Old Republic have been swept away forever.

General Tagge: But that's impossible! How will the Emperor maintain control without the bureaucracy?

Governor Tarkin: The regional governors now have direct control over their territories. Fear will keep the local systems in line. Fear of this battle station.

However, a couple very evil characters talk about order and peace when making pitches to get people to join the empire's cause:

Erso: I won't do it, Krennic.

Krennic: We were on the verge of greatness. We were [gestures with pinched fingers] this close to providing peace and security for the galaxy.

Erso: You're confusing peace...with terror.

Krennic: Well, you have to start somewhere.

Though Krennic doesn't deny the despotic tactics of the Empire, he at least claims that they are in service of the ultimate goals of peace and security.

Likewise, Vader makes a similar case to Luke:

Vader: There is no escape! Don't make me destroy you. Luke, you do not yet realize your importance. You've only begun to discover your power! Join me, and I will complete your training! With our combined strength, we can end this destructive conflict, and bring order to the galaxy.

Vader claims that the ultimate goal of the empire is to end conflict and ensure peace in the galaxy, not mindlessly destroy planets.

My question is, in the canon media we have of Star Wars, are there any planets, system, or regional governors who thought Palpatine was doing a good job of following through on the promises of peace and security? Some, perhaps, that had experience intense conflict, and were relieved when the Empire finally calmed things down? Or maybe even that the Empire was a force for good in the galaxy, overall?

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Grand Moff Tarkin provided an answer/justification for the empire's military domination in his memoirs.

By partitioning the galaxy into regions, we actually achieve a unity previously absent; where once our loyalties and allegiances were divided, they now serve one being, with one goal: a cohesive galaxy in which everyone prospers. 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.

This comes from the canon novel, Tarkin.

From this we can surmise that regional governors who disliked the Core Worlds taking precedence over the Outer Rim Worlds might believe the new empire would benefit everyone. There would be fewer divisions, less internal strife that plagued the Old Republic, and a more cohesive empire.

With a strong central military, there would be less warfare, and hence a peace dividend. All the resources that once supported endless conflict would now go to improving the quality of life for every sector.

One could say that Palpatine's gamble to unite the galaxy under his rule is identical to Queen Cersei's gamble in season 7 of Game of Thrones. As her twin brother, Jaime Lannister, told Olenna Tyrell, you might not approve of her methods, but once there is peace and prosperity for everyone, the people will forget the way she built that peace.

  • Though Palpatine himself had no intentions of actually making the Empire peaceful. He was only concerned with personal power. – JAB Aug 2 '17 at 19:07
  • We would expect the high echelons of the Empire military to at least make the case for the benefits of Empire, if not believe in it, but are there any of those who the Empire ruled (planets, systems, or regional governors) who thought that the Empire was a force for good, overall? – user151841 Aug 2 '17 at 20:35
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    @JAB Palpatine only cared about him having absolute power, but I'd bet many under him thought he was doing it for the greater good. Which is the point of the question. :-) – RichS Aug 2 '17 at 21:42
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It is highly likely that a number of people believed the Emperor was good for them. If you look through history there are always examples of people wanting someone in power may others wont. Saddam Hussein would not have remained in power as long as he did without having enough support among the civilian government and regional powers, as well as some of the people.

In real terms the Emperor was only in power a short time, yes he built power over the 19 years between episodes 3 and 4 but it is only at the start of New Hope that the senate is dissolved and so his impact on vast areas of the galaxy would have been minor and in fact for many of the population on most worlds the doings of the Empire would have been a minor concern compared to the day to day need to survive. Take Tatooine as an example.

Before the Emperor there where slaves, People where attacked by the Tusken Raiders, and the general population struggled to survive day to day.

After the Emperor rose to power the situation for the general population was the same.

The emperor no doubt issued favours to various planets and other planets suffered which hadn't previously, but given the size of the galaxy and the relative short time period he had to rule it completely as he wished I would hazard a guess that 99.1% of the galaxy's population saw no real change in there day to day lives under the emperor.

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  We could take two points in time and extrapolate

First point - creation of Empire (Empire Day). Obviously, Palpatine had huge support in Senate, which accepted declaration of Empire with acclamation. Any opposition was muted, and there were no attempts to challenge this. Although large number of Senators were corrupt, this was too big to be explained with corruption only. After all, Republic was there for ages, so it is pretty certain that it would not be toppled so easily without popular support on substantial number of systems.

Second point - destruction of Alderaan. After destruction of Alderaan all pretenses were lost. Empire would rule by fear, Senate was gone, many Imperials would defect to Rebels or simply go AWOL . Of course, Alderaan was just a culmination, there were rumors of massacres and recklessness before that. Support for Empire was steadily dropping.

Why did it happen ? Palpatine didn't care much for Empire. It was just a means to an end for him. He surrounded himself with sociopaths like Tarkin and Krennic. They were "kindred spirits" in a sort. Second tier Imperials were either slothful degenerates like Delian Mors or ambitious unscrupulous individuals like Belkor Dray (Lords of the Sith novel ). It was inevitable that such destructive personalities could not keep Empire together for a long time. After all, it is a nature of Dark Side to destroy, not to create and preserve .

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