So when someone asked what The Original Trilogy would sound like if it had been written for an Imperial textbook, I don’t think anyone was expecting an answer as detailed as Reddit User bhamv provided. You can read it below:
An exploration of the events from Imperial Year 19 (IY19) to Imperial Year 23 (IY23) must first start from several decades earlier. A galactic civil war, commonly known as the Clone Wars in colloquial parlance, had ravaged the galaxy for four years. The Republic’s ineffective bureaucracy had failed to quell the insurgents. In the end, in a stroke of luck, Chancellor Palpatine was able to send his apprentice and most trusted lieutenant, Anakin Skywalker, to assassinate the leaders of the terrorist rebellion, on the planet of Mustafar. However, Skywalker perished in the process, falling to his friend and former master, Obi-Wan Kenobi, who had been secretly aiding the insurgents.
The end of the civil war, however, led to a surge of popularity for the Chancellor, and he reluctantly accepted the rank of Emperor of the new Galactic Empire. This marked the first year of the Imperial calendar, and is known as IY1.
The Emperor was a highly competent leader and a wise negotiator, but was nonetheless hindered in several respects. To start with, the insurgency did not die with their leaders on Mustafar. A shadowy group of imperial senators took advantage of the power vacuum, and assumed leadership of the terrorist rebellion. Furthermore, there was widespread political resistance to the rule of the Empire, due to several individual star systems unwisely rejecting the fact that they would benefit from Imperial rule, both economically and militarily.
To resolve these niggling issues, the Emperor adopted a two-pronged strategy. Firstly, he dissolved the Imperial Senate, which meant that the inefficiency of bureaucracy could be replaced by a more streamlined decisioning process, thus greatly accelerating the pace of governance and legislation. Secondly, the Emperor ordered the construction of a space station known as the Peace Moon.
The Peace Moon was a marvel of engineering, as well as proof of what could be accomplished with unity and collaboration. It was the size of a small moon, several hundred kilometers in diameter, and held a small peacekeeping force of infantry and fighter craft. It also housed hundreds of thousands of support and technical personnel. These crew members were classified as non-combatants, which shall become significant.
The Peace Moon was meant to be a symbol of the Empire’s technical advancement, as well as the advantages of hegemony. While it could theoretically be used in an offensive manner, its commanding officer, Grand Moff Tarkin, gave repeated statements that he had no intention of using it in such a way. However, the fact that the Peace Moon could be used for attack gave the rebels an opening. In IY19, a prototypical false flag operation, the terrorist rebellion timed their attack for when the Peace Moon was touring near the planet of Alderaan. Using means that have yet to be fully understood, the terrorists detonated the entire planet, and blamed it on the Peace Moon.
It is generally believed that Senator Bail Organa, a known member of the rebellion, was the mastermind behind the attack on Alderaan. The destruction of Alderaan resulted in the loss of over 2 billion lives, the blood of whom can all be found on the hands of Organa and the remainder of the rebellion.
This success galvanized the terrorists, and they soon launched an attack on the Peace Moon itself. A small strike force of rebels infiltrated the Peace Moon on a disguised Corellian freighter (taking advantage of the Imperial policy to never fire on civilian ships), and abducted Princess Leia Organa, a survivor from the destruction of Alderaan, who had been rescued by the passing Peace Moon. The rebels also used advanced cyber-terrorism equipment to hack into the Peace Moon’s computers, and stole the schematics of the Peace Moon itself.
However, the terrorists did not accomplish this without losses. Obi-Wan Kenobi, the man who had killed Anakin Skywalker, was arrested by Darth Vader, the Emperor’s new right-hand man, during a sabotage attempt. Rather than give up peacefully, Kenobi killed himself with his lightsaber, once again manifesting the Jedi qualities of cowardice and stupidity.
It is unknown what tortures the rebels subjected Princess Leia to after they escaped from the Peace Moon, but in the end she became a willing collaborator, in a textbook case of Stockholm Syndrome (named after Jathon Stockholm, the famed Falleen researcher). However, before she did, in her final act of loyalty to the Empire, Princess Leia transmitted the location of the terrorists’ base to the Imperial forces, revealing that they were located on the moon of Yavin 4.
The Peace Moon was immediately deployed to Yavin 4, with strict orders to arrest the leaders of the rebellion and retrieve the Princess. However, spurred by the success of their tactics in abducting the Princess, the terrorists realized that they could reproduce the process. As the Peace Moon approached the planet of Yavin, the terrorist rebellion deployed small one-manned spacecraft in a series of suicide attacks. The Empire’s brave defenders, including turret gunners and TIE fighter squadrons (led by Darth Vader himself), managed to intercept and destroy most of the kamikaze pilots (named after Mithk’amikazee’rul, the Chiss general). However, one pilot managed to get through and crash his X-Wing into an exhaust port on he surface of the Peace Moon. The resulting chain reaction led to an overload in the Peace Moon’s power core, detonating the entire space station.
The significance of this terrorist act must be taken into context. The Peace Moon, like Alderaan, was not an aggressive entity, which made it a prime target for the terrorists. Unlike their false flag operation on Alderaan, however, this time the terrorists attacked the Peace Moon directly. This was prime evidence that the terrorists cared nothing about civilian casualties (such as the two billion on Alderaan, and the hundreds of thousands on the Peace Moon), and would resort to any tactic available to kill Imperial citizens. The death of the widely-loved Grand Moff Tarkin aboard the Peace Moon was mourned throughout the galaxy.
The attack on the Peace Moon represented a turning point in the rebellion. The terrorists were given legitimacy, and many star systems joined their insurgency. Despite losing many of their leaders and pilots to Imperial defenders, the rebels’ fluid command structure meant that they could adapt and adjust to their losses. However, the Empire would deal the rebellion a crushing blow three years later (IY21), in the Battle of Hoth.
Before we explore the Battle of Hoth, and the subsequent events, some further background context is needed.
The Emperor’s most trusted lieutenant and advisor, Darth Vader, was seen as an imposing and frightening figure to those who did not know him. This was because Vader, a veteran of the Clone Wars, had been injured in battle, and required a full-body suit to sustain him. The suit was generally considered intimidating, and coupled with the vast political power wielded by Vader, it generally became common wisdom that Vader was not a man to be crossed. Some Imperial officers even joked that Vader was a man who could strangle you with his gaze.
However, to those who knew him, Darth Vader was a warm and friendly man. His cold exterior was due to his need to maintain a level of professionalism in his work, which necessitated a certain degree of detachment. As a result, he rarely fraternized with his crews, which led to professionalism being confused with intimidation.
Darth Vader had a son called Luke Vader. In order to spare Luke the horrors of war, which he had known so well, Darth Vader had decided to entrust Luke to his aunt and uncle on the desert planet of Tatooine. He believed that by keeping Luke on a relatively remote planet, Luke would be able to grow up and live a normal, peaceful life. Admittedly, Vader was frequently absent from Luke’s childhood, but this was understandable due to Vader’s wide-ranging duties throughout the galaxy.
It is perhaps due to resentment towards his absent father that Luke joined the terrorist rebellion. Some time during his late teens, Luke murdered his aunt and uncle and burned their moisture farm to the ground. He then joined the insurgents, in order to sabotage his father’s work.
Now, after the destruction of the Peace Moon, the rebellion abandoned their base on Yavin 4, and established a new headquarters in an unknown location. In order to root out the terrorists, the Empire deployed a fleet of probe droids. The droids traveled from planet to planet, scanning them for signs of terrorist activity. This would prove to be an efficient an ultimately successful strategy, as the insurgents were found on the ice planet of Hoth.
More surprisingly to Darth Vader, however, was the presence of Luke on the planet. He had been unaware of Luke’s participation in terrorist activity, and at this point he believed Luke was a prisoner of the insurgents. He immediately deployed a fleet to Hoth. The fleet was given strict orders not to engage the rebels in combat unless fired upon first, as Vader wanted to mercifully take the rebels alive, and also did not want to risk injury to his son. This meant that orbital bombardment was never considered.
Upon arrival at Hoth, Vader attempted to contact the rebellion leadership, extending an olive branch in the hope that they could negotiate. He was rebuffed. Undeterred, Vader landed a small peaceful delegation on the planet. The delegation rode All-Terrain Amicable Transports (AT-AT for short), which were tall walkers that would be immediately obvious were not meant for combat.
The terrorists, however, responded belligerently. Deploying snowspeeders to meet the AT-AT convoy, the terrorists first tried firing on the walkers, but were fortunately unable to pierce the thick armor. They then changed tactics, and wrapped cables around the legs of the transports, tripping them and causing them to collapse. This lead to many deaths among the peaceful delegates.
Seeing no other choice, Vader ordered his peacekeeping forces to engage the terrorists. Soon, the rebels were driven back. It was then that Vader saw his son on the front lines of the battle, in a snowspeeder. Heartbroken, Vader had no choice but to accept that Luke was aiding the rebels willingly.
The rebels’ retreat soon turned into a rout. They abandoned the base and the leadership scattered throughout the galaxy. It was estimated that this battle set back the rebellion by two years.
Unwilling to give up on his son, and unable to find him in such a large galaxy, Vader turned to independent contractors. He hired a group of contractors to search for Luke, as well as the other members of the terrorist leadership. One contractor, a Mandalorian known as Boba Fett (his contracting company was a family firm, passed down from his father Jango Fett), was widely known as an innovator. Fett knew that if Luke wanted to stay hidden, he would be able to remain hidden for as long as he wanted to be. Since Luke was a survivalist, it would be almost impossible track him down. Therefore, he proposed an alternative strategy to Vader: Track down other members of the terrorist leadership first, and use them as leverage to negotiate Luke’s surrender.
Vader was uncomfortable with the idea of using people as bait, but while he was bound by Imperial regulations regarding humane treatment of enemies and prisoners, the contractors were not. Fett was therefore able to use unspecified strategies to track down three other high-ranking members of the rebellion to the planet of Bespin.
In an interesting aside, the three terrorists Fett tracked down were Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Princess Leia herself. Solo and Chewbacca had participated in the first raid on the Peace Moon, three years earlier, which had led to the abduction of Princess Leia. Their ship was the same Corellian freighter used in that attack. No doubt Vader appreciated the irony, as must we all.
On Bespin, Vader allowed Fett to conduct enhanced interrogation techniques on Solo, in an attempt to get him to divulge Luke’s location. Solo, however, did not break. Realizing that such dangerous rebel leaders could not be allowed to go free, yet still desiring to pursue as humane a solution as possible, Vader decided to sentence the terrorists to a ten year sentence encased in carbonite. This was known to be a non-lethal method of incarceration, though not widely practiced, due to the price of carbonite.
Close to the end of the trial and sentencing, however, Luke arrived, having stormed the gates of Bespin and killed many on his way in. At this point, only Solo had undergone the carbonite treatment, and Leia and Chewbacca were still able to move freely. Not wanting to risk any more of his crew, Vader engaged Luke himself, defending Fett and many civilians from Luke’s crazed rampage. Witnesses report that Vader could be heard pleading with Luke throughout their engagement, begging him to turn away from his dark path and return to the light. Luke blindly refused, and continued to attack his father.
Their duel ended with Vader victorious, as Luke was unable to break through his father’s superior techniques. Unable to accept his defeat, and in an ironic mirror of Obi-Wan Kenobi’s actions several years earlier, Luke chose to take his own life, throwing himself down an air shaft.
Despite this, however, Luke would later prove to have survived. In addition, Luke’s entrance had its desired effect. Chewbacca and Princess Leia were able to escape custody, abducting the administrator of Bespin, Lando Calrissian, in the process. Fett was able to leave with the carbonite slab containing Solo, and was asked to deliver him back to Imperial custody.
However, in the overall context of the rebellion, these events must be seen as a series of successes for the Empire. The terrorists were forced to abandon their Hoth base, they lost a commander in Han Solo, and temporarily had no access to Luke Vader. The terrorists were scattered and almost leaderless, which led to an extended period of relative peace for the Empire.
The terrorist rebels were known to have maintained extensive connections with the criminal underworld. One such ally was a Hutt crime lord known as Jabba, based on Tatooine. Some historical sources indicate that Jabba was a lover or former lover of Princess Leia.
Upon learning that Solo was in the custody of Fett, Leia contacted Jabba and asked for his help. When Fett passed by Tatooine, Jabba was able to ambush and intercept him, and retrieved Solo from his custody. Fett was then brutally executed by Jabba, who fed the contractor to a desert creature known as a Sarlacc. Leia and Chewbacca arrived soon afterwards, and were able to reclaim Solo from Jabba.
Note: There is some disagreement among historians regarding the level of cooperation between Leia and Jabba. Some have gone so far as to claim that they were in fact enemies, and that Jabba had coerced or forced Leia to cooperate with him. They point to Jabba’s conveniently-timed death, soon after Leia’s visit, as evidence. However, there is photographic proof of Leia and Jabba engaged in intimate relations during this visit, with Leia dressed in an extremely revealing outfit, which would indicate that Leia was not an unwilling participant. If they were not collaborators before, then at the very least, Leia had seduced Jabba into cooperating during this visit. In effect, she traded her body for Jabba’s allegiance.
The terrorists were, at this point in IY23, largely a spent force. They had no real military strength to speak of, and could only attack with suicide attacks and other relatively small-scale tactics. However, the Emperor nonetheless did not want to risk having such a security risk run wild. He therefore came upon a plan, known as Operation Misdirection (based on the Bothan words misdi, which means “give”, and rection, which means “the terrorists some fake intelligence.”) The terrorists were leaked information that the Empire was building a new Peace Moon above the forest moon of Endor. The rebel leadership would inevitably come to investigate, at which point they could be apprehended.
In an astounding coincidence, however, there was actually a new Peace Moon under construction over the forest moon of Endor. The Emperor and Darth Vader had no idea it was being built, the memos somehow having been lost somewhere along the way. The Emperor and Vader would never have allowed a new Peace Moon to be built if they had known, as the destruction of the first Peace Moon had cost hundreds of thousands of lives. The Imperial leadership had no desire to see such death and destruction again. Therefore, it is obvious they had no idea the second Peace Moon was under construction.
The terrorists took the bait, but were more cunning than anticipated. The terrorist response was a three-pronged attack. A small strike force, led by Solo, Chewbacca, and Princess Leia, would land on the moon of Endor and disable the shield generator protecting the Peace Moon. This would necessitate blowing up the generator station and killing the personnel within.
Secondly, the remainder of the rebel fleet would attack the Peace Moon directly, in a repeat of the suicide tactics that had worked so well the first time around. Unfortunately, the terrorists did not realize that the Imperial engineers had analyzed the first Peace Moon’s destruction, and had made modifications that would render such attacks completely impotent. The terrorists, of course, saw nothing wrong with forcing their people into senseless sacrifices, so they attacked nonetheless.
The third prong of the attack was a last-minute improvisation from the terrorists. Coincidentally, the terrorist attack had coincided with a visit to the Peace Moon by the Emperor and Darth Vader. They had come to review the accounting (the construction was a considerable drain on the Empire’s finances), and probably to decommission the new Peace Moon altogether. Upon learning that the Emperor and his father were on the Peace Moon, Luke Vader volunteered to infiltrate the battle station and assassinate them.
The entire rebel strategy was predicated on luck and coincidences. And, astoundingly, they got them.
Firstly, the terrorists were successful in destroying the shield generator on Endor. They were aided by a large horde of the indigenous species, who were able to use their familiarity with the terrain, as well as brutal tactics, to slaughter the technical crew at the shield generator. It is not known how the terrorists managed to convince the indigenous species to cooperate with them, but given Princess Leia’s history of fornication with alien species, perhaps the answer is not difficult to guess.
The destruction of the shield generator allowed the ships of the rebel fleet to attack the defenseless Peace Moon. While the Emperor and Darth Vader were busy coordinating the defense, Luke Vader arrived at the Emperor’s office and launched his assassination attempt. He was successful. Catching Vader and the Emperor by surprise, Luke killed Vader first by stabbing him from behind; he had learned from his experience on Bespin that he could not win against Vader in a fair fight, so a cowardly surprise attack was the only viable tactic. Luke then cut down the unarmed Emperor in cold blood.
From the Emperor’s office, Luke was able to trigger a self-destruct sequence, which led to the complete destruction of the Peace Moon, with him on it. Once again, hundreds of thousands of innocent lives were lost in a suicide attack.
The terrorist victory, however, was a pyrrhic one. The debris from the destruction of the Peace Moon rained down on Endor, causing widespread devastation. All of the rebel leaders, including Solo, Leia, and Chewbacca, were killed, and the indigenous species that aided them were driven to extinction. In addition, the vast majority of the rebel fleet were caught in the blast radius of the Peace Moon’s detonation, and were wiped out. The loss of all of the terrorist leaders, as well as most of their fleet, effectively brought the terrorist insurgency to an end.
While the Emperor and Darth Vader had bravely perished on the Peace Moon, this did not signal an end to the Empire’s prosperity. The Emperor had left detailed succession procedures in the event of his death, and the Empire continued to thrive, unabated. In fact, the Empire was even better off, now that there were no rebels to deal with.