Someone remind me to do one of my walls of text on why the Empire is NOT the same thing as the Sith. And why Republic is not the same as Jedi, of course. But it’s come to my attention more people merge the Sith and Empire together than Jedi and Republic, maybe because the Jedi “serve” (I call bullshit on that, too) the Republic.
Okay, no, I got myself riled up just by saying that so I’m gonna do it here. RIGHT NOW. YEAH. I’m not angry about it, I just like talking about it. I get excited. And obviously I really love the Sith and Jedi conflict, but I don’t think that’s the only thing Star Wars is about. Else it’d have been named Force Wars.
WALL OF TEXT INCOMING. It’s a history lesson and lots of me RAMBLING ABOUT SHIT NO ONE CARES ABOUT. The first part is mostly history, but I’ve marked where my explanation begins. And obviously, I’m aware the history can be interpreted in a lot of different ways… I just happen to believe mine is one of the more critical and less idealizing of Sith/Jedi of opinions. :P
The tl;dr is: The military and intelligence branches of the Empire, and its citizenry, are fighting for territory, resources, and governmental dominance. The Sith overlords are fighting JEDI because of philosophical reasons and have NO interest in their subordinates so long as they get to crush their enemies or make them suffer and can establish their superiority over a fellow Sith. They are two separate goals and two separate organizations; one just happens to borrow from the other to make power plays within their own organization.