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This essay is from Giulia Belletti
Published on October 15, 2002

The Empire As A Powe

Government Structure

Though we have even less precise sources concerning the relations between the different powers, some facts are clear. The Emperor held some kind of executive power (maybe coming directly from the previous position occupied by Palpatine himself- Supreme Chancellor); the army was under him, so were the regional governors.

There wasn?t probably an independent judicial power, as Procurator of Justice Hethrir had been appointed by the hard-to-position figure of Darth Vader; also, there?s mention of Grand Inquisitors and of the site of an Imperial Justice Court.

We don?t know very well the exact situation of the Senate, dissolved at the eve of the destruction of Alderaan and the consequent battle of Yavin- it probably was allowed some space into law-making process, tough the main decisions were very well kept into the Emperor?s power.

Such an extreme centralization produced many problems; its conservation implied the promotion to high ranks of ruthless men, often directly depending from Palpatine's own support, men who could keep each other occupied into a never-ending struggle for power, sometimes even at Palpatine?s expenses (see Tarkin?s Death Star plans, or Vader?s position), but sometimes they weren?t the most indicated men for the post, which wasn?t of any help into the creation of a rational, well-established rule before and after the battle of Endor, since it evolved in some kind of polycentrical, chaotic power structure.

It held consequences even for the Emperor?s own popularity. He was no military expert, and this can explain the Death Star fiasco, not justifying it, or his entire penchant for the expensive super-weapons development. In the end, the worst consequence of this organization was its being revolved around Palpatine?s person- without him, the chaos he was exploiting in this mad playing with fire couldn?t be keep under control- and the Empire died.


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