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Organization of the Empire

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The Structure of the Empire

The Emperor maintains power through a bewildering array of crossed authorities.  By using this convoluted structure, Palpatine insures that only he can speak with complete authority, while all of the advisors, military officials and bureaucrats below him must carefully guard their words and justify their actions.

The Emperor's advisors and COMPNOR effectively control the massive Imperial bureaucracy - and the advisors are allowed to play their competing interests off each other, often resulting in the bureaucracy's various agencies working at cross-purposes.

The Imperial bureaucracy runs each Imperial agency, which has the authority over a specific subject matter throughout the galaxy.  The Moffs have authority over their sectors, and are responsible for administering the sector-wide bureaucracy, which must answer both to the local Moff and Imperial bureaucracy.  The Moffs are known to frequently remold the local bureaucracies, including the sector-wide government, planetary governments (through governors) and even more localized governments, making them more "agreeable" to the Moff's personal objectives while still adhering to Imperial standards.

Moffs also have authority over the military sector group in their sector, yet realize that advisors, Imperial military high command, and, of course, the Emperor, can seize control of sector group fleets at any time.

The local system governors have only the authority to run their own systems, and are required to appeal to their sector Moff for military assistance.

Imperial intelligence reports directly to the Emperor, as well as the sector Moffs.

In effect, almost every individual within the Empire has multiple agencies or individuals to answer to, keeping every petty and ambitious bureaucrat and soldier off-balance.  The Emperor knows that no Empire seized through deceit can be managed by trust in his "supporters" - he insures his continued position by making sure that no one below him truly knows their position within the Imperial bureaucracy.

Advisors-  The emperor acknowledges that he alone cannot run the galaxy. He needs advisors.  Secure in the knowledge that an Empire founded through treachery cannot be run through trust, he has surrounded himself with advisors who owe all of their political gains to the Emperor.  He has made sure that each advisor has more enemies than allies among the other advisors.  Fear and greed serve to bind each advisor to the Emperor.  Palpatine finds this arrangement more satisfying than mere loyalty, an emotion on which he will depend only in the case of lower subordinates.

While there are hundreds of advisors, the Emperor rarely travels or consults with more than a few dozen at a time.  He sends the others on missions to gather information or spread disinformation through appropriate channels.  These missions serve a dual purpose; they provide the Emperor with useful information.  They also keep the advisors isolated from each other, a condition which assures their continued dependence on the Emperor.

Advisors perform many administrative functions for the Emperor.  They usually appoint the planetary governors, as well as some of the Moffs, and oversee the political machinery of the Empire.  To ensure that no advisor builds too large an enclave of political power, the Emperor has devised a system of adversarial administration for advisors.

An advisor is granted oversight of the administration of systems which are strongholds for one of his rivals.  This makes possible deals between advisors more difficult by ensuring that no powerful rivals have oversight of each other's systems.  Advisors with weaker political bases are granted a greater degree of oversight than are strong advisors.  This system of checks and balances virtually guarantees the Emperor's hold on political power within the Empire, but the administration of of the myriad worlds is not as efficient as it was during the better days of the Old Republic.  this inefficiency is of no concern to the Emperor.

Advisors have taken to dressing in costumes, drawn from the histories of their home systems, drawn from the greatest empires of their pasts.  Unlike the Emperor, many of the advisors wear lavish costumes as conspicuous badges of their status.  Palpatine subtly encourages this form of rivalry, giving his advisors a sense of individuality and power which make them aware of their differences from the other advisors.

These displays are muted when in the presence of the Emperor.
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Moffs and Grand Moffs-  

The Moffs

A Moff is the being in charge of an entire sector.  The planetary governors of a sector are under a Moff's control, and a Moff reports to an advisor, with duplicate reports being sent directly to the Emperor.  A Moff has command over a military Sector Group, and is responsible for the security of the entire sector.

Being responsible for hundreds of systems, Moffs take a personal interest in only a handful of worlds.  For the rest, they first rely upon communications with their subordinate governors, and then upon reports from intelligence units within their Sector Group.

It is not unusual for a Moff to also serve as a governor or a particularly favored world within his sector.

Grand Moffs

There are planets in every sector in the Empire which cause more than their share of problems for the Emperor.  Controlling these worlds is difficult, and the Moffs have found that the troubles are infectious, spreading from system to system from the source.  The situation is made more difficult by the fact that the infection of freedom has no respect for some sector boundaries; coordinating efforts between sectors is often impossible to accomplish in time to stop the spread of unrest.  The Moffs have the resources to handle crises on a dozen or more worlds, but if the trouble cannot be contained to those planets, the Empire's grasp on an entire sector may be weakened.

Taking the advice of one of his Moffs, Tarkin, the Emperor formed priority sectors.  A priority sector is a sector consisting of systems on which signs of unrest have recently been detected, or systems which are in regular contact with systems in which unrest is chronic.  A priority sector often crosses the boundaries of standard sectors, containing the worlds from a dozen or more sectors.  The title of Grand Moff is also granted to the being in charge of a priority sector.

The theory behind priority sectors, codified in the Tarkin Doctrine, is the Grand Moffs will be able to react quickly to problems when they are small, eliminating them before they have a chance to grow and spread.  Grand Moffs are therefore given complete freedom to act as they see fit, without giving advance warning to the Moffs or planetary governors of their actions.

The number of Grand Moffs is growing, and the resources given to each Grand Moff is also increasing.  The Emperor personally appoints each Grand Moff, and they report directly to him.  Each Grand Moff commands at least two Sector Groups, or the equivalent in other military resources.  Some Grand Moffs are given even greater military strength if their priority sector is of crucial importance to the Empire.

Priority sectors are the first to receive experimental equipment, and theirs are the first to have losses replaced.  Priority sectors are sometimes given special missions in which the Emperor has a personal interest.  The Death Star Project is an example of a priority sector into which the Empire poured resources enough to have formed perhaps a score of Sector Groups.

The Moffs and planetary governors have politely complained about the favoritism shown Grand Moffs, arguing that the Grand Moffs are often completely unfamiliar with the systems in their jurisdiction and take actions which only work in the short run.  The governors and the Moffs claim that they are then stuck with the problems caused by the Grand Moffs, yet get fewer resources than they ought to have to implement a solution.  The Moffs point specifically to the situation at Yavin as the prime example of a Grand Moff's failure.  The Emperor, however, will hear none of it.
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Planetary GovernorsPlanetary governors are Imperial agents who represent the Empire's authority on a single world.  Usually that representation extends to the entire system, giving him jurisdiction of all the planets orbiting a single star.  A governor has command of all Imperial troops garrisoned on his planets.

This command extends only nominally to the political and intelligence arms of the military, which operates as if a governor's orders were well-intentioned suggestions.  The Imperial Navy is supposed to consult with a governor whenever they are on maneuvers or engaging hostiles in his system, and to carefully consider the advice the governor can provide.  The Navy routinely ignores this and most other forms of protocol when dealing with planetary governors, unless the governor is well supported by a Moff.  The Navy considers governors to be too concerned with the welfare of their planet to be of much use in a crisis.

Governors are appointed by the Emperor's advisors, although a few are just holo-approvals of candidates the Emperor has chosen.  Governors are rarely native to the planet or system which they govern.  Rash appointments without regard for local sentiment can generate resentment.  Instead, an outsider is appointed to govern the world, thus bypassing local sentiment completely.

Governors are expected to let a planetary government run its own affairs unless the local course of actions puts the planet in conflict with Imperial goals.  The governor is then expected to step in and maneuver the policy back toward a direction more acceptable to the Empire.

Imperial policy exists in two different forms for a governor.  There are the generally stated policy goals which are distributed by the Diplomatic Service, and there are direct orders received from the Moff.  In case of a conflict, the Moff's orders are to be followed, as a Moff presumably has superior knowledge of the specific Imperial policy currently being employed in a particular sector.
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