Ah, but Starr has only been running around on the ground since he left to 'retrieve' RH Irvine, and Luthen captured him.
Granted I never said (and don't know) how long he was on that SSD. But it couldn't have been too
Also, do note that the Empire's current holdings either A) joined voluntarily or B) chose to stay after Cracken's original conquests, choosing the Empire's order and stability over the continuing chaos of the New Republic. It's not like they're desparate to get away.
Deac, about that blaster. (As I did think it out fully, since it's Aren's personal weapon.
First of all, it's not an anti-cyborg blaster specifically; it just works on them as well. The idea behind it is that it can kill through any impact armor, by ignoring the armor and destroying organic/sensitive material.
Also, it's got a fairly short range before its 'charge' wears off, and the bullets move fairly slowly [for bullets], so no sniping with it.