The term evil empire
was applied to the Soviet Union
by U.S. President Ronald Reagan
during the latter stages of the Cold War
Reagan first used the term in his speech to the House of Commons on June 8, 1982.
Some writers consider the term a reference to the Star Wars series of movies, which pitted the Rebel Alliance against the Empire of the evil Darth Vader.
Some radicals have turned this term against the United States, for example Rage Against the Machine who released an album with this name (see Evil_Empire_(album)).
Within hacker culture, the term is sometimes used referring to the software company Microsoft.
See: nuclear deterrent, Gorbachev
For the album by Rage Against the Machine, see Evil Empire (album).