They weren't always the nicest guys, but the Empire got sh*t done. Sometimes you've got to crack a few Alderaans to make a space omelet. The Empire turned a sand-hating drama queen into the galaxy's most notorious badass. And at the very least, we can all agree that the movies were way better when they were in charge. With that in mind, here's our tribute to the glorious Galactic Empire.
6. Technological Innovation
Well before Anakin picked up his first lightsaber, the galaxy was under the rule of the Old Republic. During its 25,000 year reign, there were startlingly few technological innovations. The Jedi still use the same sh*tty lightsabers, soldiers use the same sh*tty blasters, and ships travel using the same sh*tty hyperdrive systems.
Now compare that to the Empire. In less than 20 years, the Empire revolutionized space warfare with the creation of the Death Star, making all large warships functionally obsolete. They also invented the AT-AT, making all ground fortifications equally obsolete. They created the Executor, Sun Crusher, and cloaking technology. The Empire did more in a couple decades than the Republic did in several thousand.
5. Religious Freedom
During the reign of the Old Republic there was only 1 religion: the Force. Everywhere you went, you had to deal with self-important, self-righteous Jedi prattling about how the Force is everywhere and binds the galaxy together. And not only were they everywhere, they were indoctrinating children!
And then came the Clone Wars, the Empire, and the eradication of the Jedi. Suddenly, the galaxy got its first real taste of religious freedom. As Han Solo best said, "Kid, I've flown from one side of this galaxy to the other. I've seen a lot of strange stuff, but I've never seen anything to make me believe there's one all-powerful force controlling everything. There's no mystical energy field that controls my destiny." People all across the galaxy were finally free to believe that they controlled their own destiny.
4. Abstinence Only Education
Don't get me wrong, if I was a kid I'd probably want to become a Jedi too. Lifting objects with my mind and waving a sword of light sounds pretty awesome. But there's one tiny problem. JEDI ARE NOT ALLOWED TO HAVE SEX. Can you believe that? The Jedi Temple takes in children from all across the galaxy and then gives them an abstinence only education -- teaching them that if they have sex they will turn to the dark side. The Jedi aren't allowed to marry or have children, or love. That might be fine when you're a 12-year-old kid, but it probably gets depressing by the time you're a teenager, say nothing of a lonely 40-year-old.