Held together by the monarchy, the galactic empire has prospered and grown to encompass much of the existing known galaxy. The peace was enforced by the empire's vast armada of war ships. No one would dare to stand against the monarchy, or they would be crushed. However, the monarchy tended to be fair and used force rarely. This led to most of the systems complying with the demands of the empire and a tenuous peace resulted.
That changed 30 years ago with the death of the previous monarch. Rather than accept the eldest child as the rightful heir, the children quarrelled with each other. The argument became a war that continues to this day. The resources of all the systems have been drained to such a point that only the numerous capitol systems have any real power. The people have grown impatient, hungry and rebellious.