This essay is from Giulia Belletti
Published on October 15, 2002
The Empire As A Powe
Fleet and army were strong supporters of Palpatine's power- a key to the beginning and the building of the Empire, growing in importance with the developing of the Rebellion, ultimately the last real remain of the imperial structure at the signing of peace treaties with the Republic.
It was a matter of economical interests too- war industries were a rather prosperous sector of imperial economy, for obvious reasons, and their magnates backed a government that held power through military means, even if it could signify a more stringent monitor of their activities.
This sector stimulated advanced technology research too, even in the much complicate case of super weapons of doubtful utility; its size could probably show us a good demography- not everybody in the troops was a clone, and officers weren?t for sure, and we don?t have any rebel claim regarding a shortage of men in work age in various regions (it?s true that droids, women and aliens could have annulled the gap, but the question could have had a more social than economical relevance). It was a chance for social advancement of young men of little resources- the cases of Admiral Piett and former Lt. Han Solo and as well as Luke Skywalker?s project of a military career prove it.
The other side of this phenomenon is, again, the size of the army itself: true, mild war alert could help economy, but not an oversized war machine, sucking all resources from state thus indirectly raising tax rates. Power for officers often means less power for civilian, at least into the distribution of resources, in budget.
Refuse of women and aliens, something well into the regime?s ideals, could have deprived of fresh energies the army itself, and of course it didn?t help social cohesion. We know of few women in military offices, and the only female high rank was there for reasons not well known (according to our sources, probably her affaire with a Grand Moff, hence thanks to a civilian officer?s action).