The Council of Moffs
The Council of Moffs is an advisory and administrative body that executes the will of the Emperor within Imperial Space. Each member of the council administers a sector of the Empire, though the volume of space any one of them might control varies widely, or a key ministry of the government. Legally speaking, the Council of Moffs is empowered only to serve an executive function – they have no authority to shape Imperial policy through the making of law, and are only permitted to control specific regulations at the pleasure of the Emperor. In practice, their degree of real power is somewhat more fluid – the Council can make recommendations to the Emperor, and it is rare that such advice is completely ignored if it is given by a majority of the members. However, it is highly unusual for there to be such a degree of unanimity in the Council. A primary function of the Emperor, in practice, is to balance the rivalries and competing interests of his Moffs.
The modern council can find its origins most directly in the immediate aftermath of the death of Emperor Palpatine, and the first fracturing of the Galactic Empire. In 5 ABY, a group of Grand Moffs – oversector governors who had reported directly to the Emperor – banded together to form the Central Committee of Grand Moffs in an effort to oppose Ysanne Isard’s attempt to claim the imperial throne. When their leadership was assassinated in 12 ABY, however, the Committee merged with the Imperial Ruling Council, which was chiefly composed of the surviving members of Emperor Palpatine’s inner circle of personal advisors, many of whom had worked for him as far back as his time as the Senator of Naboo in the old Republic Senate. This new body, now taking the name it retains today, served as the political leadership of the surviving Imperial Remnant for the next several decades, though its specific membership and degree of authority vacillated dramatically during that time. Ultimately, they declared Jagged Fel the new Emperor, and were reorganized into their present form under his leadership.