Seriously. What makes life under Emperor Palpatine so unbearable, and what would make life under the New Republic so much better, for the ordinary citizens of the galaxy? The movies offer surprisingly little information as to what's actually wrong with Imperial rule.
Now, I'm not talking about blowing up planets or Anakin murdering Jedi children. I'm talking about the daily lives of ordinary citizens. People who don't have any connection to the Sith or the Jedi or the battle for the Senate or any of that stuff.
Sure, behind closed doors, Emperor Palpatine is secretly a Sith Lord who can shoot light bolts from his hands. That definitely seems evil, but, according to the movies, nobody but a few Jedi even knows about it. He doesn't walk down the street electrocuting random peasants.
For the most part, his brutality seems to be limited to confrontations with the Rebel Alliance. And yeah, Darth Vader is one of the most intimidating villains of all time, and he's obviously a menace to Rebellion soldiers and the Jedi, but imagine you're just some ordinary moisture farmer going about his business on Tatooine. Unless your name is Owen Lars, Darth Vader almost certainly doesn't care about you. He's mainly interested in finding Luke Skywalker. So the question is, what would it mean to live in a Galaxy "ruled" by the Empire, and why is it the ultimate depiction of Tyranny in popular culture?