BioWare has been touting their focus on story with Star Wars: The Old Republic, and many a jaded MMO fan have scoffed and or rolled their eyes each and every time. Ord Mantell's developer diary concerning the planet's creation gives a glimmer of hope that there truly is a blurry line between the forces of the Galactic Republic and Sith Empire.
Instead of making Ord Mantell an Empire controlled planet with Republic rebels attempting to overthrow it, the development team went the other direction, sort of. They made the choice of keeping the planet under Republic control, but making many of the leaders less-than-honorable types. The locale has also been malnourished by its caretakers, as the Republic is seemingly only concerned with Coruscant after the war.