How the Empire Maintains Its Reign of Terror

Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers for Episode 4 of Andor.

Not unlike most totalitarian governments is the Empire of war of stars The universe promised in its rise to power to bring peace and order to the galaxy. As a fascist dictatorship, however, it presided over a period of reckless expansion and cruel military directives, maintaining its reign of terror mainly by instilling fear in the people.

The Empire committed a series of atrocities that eventually drove its citizens to form a full-fledged rebel alliance, from slavery (which the Republic outlawed) to drug trafficking (the “spice” mined in cauldrons was actually a highly addictive drug ). Making genocide part of Imperial military doctrine. In case you didn’t know, Imperial military doctrine referred to as Base Delta Zero is the practice of destroying a planet and exterminating its entire population through orbital bombardment.


These are just a few examples of how, since succeeding the Galactic Republic, the Empire has overseen a period of savage and barbaric rule, time and time again wiping out entire populations when they could not be forced into humble submission.

Cruelty isn’t the only thing the Empire is known for, however. As a power that has ruled the galaxy for so long, the Empire is far from orthodox in its methods of maintaining control of the galaxy, especially when it has given its citizens so many reasons to form a unified insurgency that gives them could possibly put an end to rule.

See also: “Andor”: Mon Mothma and the Power of Iron Women in the Star Wars Universe

The Birth of the Rebel Alliance

One of the special things Andor is that it allows fans to see the revolutionary rebellion in its infancy. While the Alliance to Restore the Republic – the movement’s official name – began long before it became a force of any concern, even before the Galactic Empire left the Galactic Republic in tatters, it was formally launched when Senator Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly) fled Coruscant and found himself in Ghost, the Specters flagship. There, she delivered a speech that was broadcast across the galaxy over the HoloNet, announcing the birth of the Rebel Alliance, officially known as the Alliance to Restore the Republic. As captivating as the speech may have been, the Alliance soon fell, as is only natural, to general discord and distrust, which of course were encouraged by the Empire. Committing genocide was not an option in the case of the Rebellion, as the Rebels were not confined to a single planet. The only option was to encourage the rebels to fight among themselves – a classic strategy known for bringing down the strongest moves in a jiffy.

Were the freedom fighters ever truly united?

Rarely, if ever. Star Wars had officially portrayed the Rebel Alliance as a group of zealous freedom fighters in league forever, no matter how dire the circumstances. But the new addition to the franchise shows just how divided the movement really was. Thanks to the seeds of suspicion and concern sown by the Empire, rebellion when Cassian (Diego Luna) finds out in Andorcould never exist as a united front, at least not until Luke Skywalker steps in to end Sith tyranny.

How did the Empire prevent a united uprising?

Given that an uprising is inevitable when a totalitarian government takes over and wreaks havoc across the galaxy (quite literally in the case of Star Wars), the Empire cared little for the rebellion brewing in the hearts of its citizens unaware. Barely able to kill every being in the galaxy, the Empire employed the incredibly effective and essentially timeless policy of divide and rule to ensure a united, and therefore unstoppable, uprising. By leaving spies in every corner of the galaxy, it fostered dissent and discord among the rebels, so much so that a movement to restore peace broke up into multiple factions. From the Mon Mothma loyalists to the Atrivis resistance group to the Partisans and Separatists, the movement became so fragmented that it could hardly be considered an alliance.

The Battle of Mimban: An Example of the Empire’s Divide and Domination Policies

In Episode 4, when Rael (Stellan Skarsgard), which Cassian insensitively rejects, he allows viewers a glimpse into his tragic past and reveals his attitude towards the strength of the Empire – that it is simply unbeatable and that any attempts to subdue the Imperial forces would be utterly futile. He then makes a cursory reference to his time spent on Mimban. Despite being just a cook, after enlisting as an ambitious teenager, Cassian was forced to take part in a battle unbeknownst to all involved, the Empire encouraged the cause of a rift between the rebels. At this point, the rebels had not even formed a formal organization. The fact that the Empire could go so far as to instigate a fight and cause full-fledged carnage to prevent the rise of a unified force shows how resourceful it was, since the rebels didn’t even work at it as a formal movement to the point. After witnessing a futile battle that only served the Empire’s purpose, Cassian seems to have a resigned attitude toward his oppressors for good reason, though Rael successfully appeals to his deep-seated hatred of the Empire to recruit him for the work .

The Battle of Mimban was dealt with first Solo: A Star Wars Storywhich revolved around Han (Alden Ehrenreich), who enrolled as an imperial soldier. Like Cassian, Han soon realized the fight was a form of disguise and joined Tobias Beckett (Woody Harrelson) after escaping Imperial captivity with Chewbacca.

Will the Republic Restoration Alliance ever recover from the discord created by the Empire?

The factions created within the Rebel Alliance would hardly, if ever, disband. However, the rebellion would end thanks to Mon Mothma, Bail Organa (jimmy smiths) and Ahsoka (Rosario Dawson) that unite the factional alliance despite their key differences. The new addition to the Star Wars universe seems to delve deep into the early stages of the Alliance, perhaps letting fans see for the first time just how hard the Empire made it for the Rebels to survive as a movement. How the Empire Maintains Its Reign of Terror

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