- Building an organization around people, rather than institutions. Yes, this is the traditional American problem, but to be fair to Palpatine, he was quite willing to replace his #2 when a suitable candidate came along.
- Depriving people of the chance to have a stake in the organization. So, Palpatine did not listen to feedback much, but sharing secret plans is the best way for them not to be secret. The ambush in Return might have worked had the fleet followed conventional strategy rather than listen to a rogue gambler.
- Having no tolerance for failure. Hmm, somebody seems to mind accountability. Given the past ten years where accountability was lacking, perhaps going too far the other way might not be a bad correction.
- Focusing all of the organization's efforts into a single goal and failing to consider the alternatives. What? It is good to be distracted from the primary threat to one's existence?
- Failing to learn from mistakes. But the Emperor did learn, using the temptation to attack the Death Star as a lure in Return.
UPDATE: As a commenter pointed out, there are good economic arguments for the Death Star.
On the other hand, this page does a nice job of addressing the questions raised by Phantom Menace, such as:
So … wait … you mean midi-chlorians provide a shorthand way of avoiding telling an actual interesting story in which we get to see Anakin first use, then begin to master his extraordinary powers against all the odds?and
That’s it! Added bonus: it completely destroys the notion that the Force is an aspect of individual spirituality, which can be strengthened by one’s faith. Because strength in the Force is no longer about whether you believe enough to make something happen, it’s just whether you have enough midi-chlorians to do it. If you think about it, it negates Luke and Yoda’s entire training session on Dagobah! HOORAY FOR SCIENCE! WHOOO!
After making peace with the Gungans, it was nice of Padmé to come up with a cunning plan whereby she uses them as cannon fodder in a diversion, wasn’t it?
She’s so nice. And pretty. Okay, mostly just pretty. The whole “using another race in a human wave attack against a vastly numerically and technologically superior army” isn’t the most considerate plan of all time.