But there's no reason to assume that the entire galaxy would be sent into a 'dark ages' simply because the old republic fell.
One thing I noticed when re-watching Episode 4 lately. Ob-Wan says the time of the Old Republic was a "more elegant age" and that the Empire is during "the dark times"
Now I scoff at overanalyzing a few lines and making out like there's larger significance. But Lucas did want to establish that the Empire was basically the Roman era or the Nazis. The badguys in the old west movies. They take away everything good. It created a historic depression much like the Dark Ages.
But R2D2 having rocket boosters was for "wow" effect to make the audience cheer. But it was completely stupid. Lucas has lost his touch and should just make normal movies.
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