We know Star Wars is mostly Good v. Evil morality tale, but the politics of that struggle have been fleshed out a lot more with these two new movies. Feel free to apply real world analysis to the fall of the Republic and the rise of the Empire. Analogies are welcome, but please no simple "U.S. = Empire, Bush = Palpatine" theories. Those belong in the Senate. To focus the thread, let's start at the beginning. And then when we get to the end, stop. Where does this Palpatine figure come from and what could possibly drive his bid for power?