As George Lucas said in Time Magazine:
"All democracies turn into dictatorships—but not by coup. The people give their democracy to a dictator, whether it's Julius Caesar or Napoleon or Adolf Hitler. Ultimately, the general population goes along with the idea ... What kinds of things push people and institutions into this direction?
...That's the issue that I've been exploring: How did the Republic turn into the Empire? That's paralleled with: How did Anakin turn into Darth Vader? How does a good person go bad, and how does a democracy become a dictatorship? It isn't that the Empire conquered the Republic, it's that the Empire is the Republic."
"Lucas' comments clarify the connection between the Anakin trilogy and the Luke trilogy: that the Empire was created out of the corruption of the Republic, and that somebody had to fight it."
"One day Princess Leia and her friends woke up and said, 'This isn't the Republic anymore, it's the Empire. We are the bad guys. Well, we don't agree with this. This democracy is a sham, it's all wrong.'"
The none-too-subtle staged terrorist attack against Senator Padme Amidala's ship to usher in an era of "security" and ultimately the take-over by the Dark Side did not go unnoticed. I didn't miss the similarities to the problem-reaction-solution system that has been utilized by world leaders as far back as the history books go. The parents who paid $8 admission charge each for their kids to see Episode 2 seemed to have missed the point. But the children got it.