Until very recently, the Empire controlled 2/3rds of the known Galaxy. The Imperial war machine was a massive enterprise, creating everything from armies of stormtroopers to hundreds of Star Destroyers to the Death Star itself, a project so massive it bankrupted three systems to be funded.
Despite the recent death of Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine--effectively ending the lineage of Sith Lords--the Empire is still a vast and powerful entity with significant military and political might. The Core Systems, notably around Coruscant, remain firmly in Imperial control. However, due to political infighting, Imperial Moffs and Admirals are bickering for control of planets and systems, with some grabbing and holding more territory than others. This had led to a fractured, tenuous alliance within the Imperial machine.
The Republic is far more effectively united against a common foe than the Empire is, but it suffered catastrophic losses during the Battle of Endor. They are relatively underequipped and lacking in material, ships, and weapons, though their troops tend to be better trained and organized.With a temporary base on Dantooine, the newly reformed Galactic Senate has already become mired in arguments and bureaucracy, slowing down the process of restoring government to the galaxy while Senators argue and deal over which planets should receive aid first. Planets are slowly breaking away from Imperial rule as the Moffs consolidate their power, but the process is a gradual one and the alliances tenuous, at best.
Ambitious leaders from a variety of smaller factions have splintered off as independent planets and systems. The Hutt cartels control a wide section of space around Nar Shaddaa and Nal Hutta, places rich in resources and popular for wildly independent individuals to venture. The Hapes Consortium has remained isolated from the war due to a convenient confluence of economic power and easily blockaded hyperspace lanes, while the Caspian Democratic Union voted to abstain from assisting either side. Some planets, such as Corellia, remained neutral in the war politically, but individuals from that planet served with distinction in both Imperial and Republic forces.
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