The Galactic Empire, often simply referred to as the Empire, is the central antagonistic faction of the Star Wars franchise.
It serves as the main antagonistic faction of the original trilogy, as the final antagonistic faction of the prequel trilogy, and as a posthumous antagonistic faction in the sequel trilogy. It is a powerful and authoritarian intergalactic empire that rules the Star Wars galaxy.
It was originally the Galactic Republic before it was rebuilt into an autocratic dictatorship by Emperor Palpatine who was secretly the Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic and Darth Vader. They ruled most of the galaxy until they were defeated and overthrown by the Rebel Alliance, which was reorganized into the New Republic after the Battle of Endor, one of the Empire's greatest defeats and, subsequently, the beginning of the Empire's collapse.