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Star Wars Eras Timelines, Explained

September 24, 2023

If people can count on three truisms in life, they’re death, taxes, and Lucasfilm expanding the overall universe of StarWars on a regular basis. Forever building upon the narrative continuity of Star Wars, George Lucas and Disney have introduced a variety of expansions to the hit sci-fi series over the years, from the addition of Ahsoka Tano into the saga’s narrative to “midquels” such as The Mandalorian and Rebels.

More recently, Lucasfilm has once again tweaked the Star Wars eras as fans know it, introducing a total of nine new classifications for their revamped chronological timeline. Expanding the Star Wars universe to the early days of the Jedi and Sith, this detailed timeline provides viewers a deeper understanding of the linear events that make up Star Wars, from the foundation of the Old Republic to the height of the Galactic Civil War.

But what exactly does this eras list include, and how do certain events fit into the timeline provided by Lucasfilm and company? For a more detailed look into Disney’s latest conception, here’s everything you need to know about the Star Wars eras timelines.

Dawn of the Jedi

Image Credit: Dark Horse Comics. As Star Wars.com proclaims on its website, every story has a beginning, and with Star Wars, said beginning comes during the series’ fabled Dawn of the Jedi. In 25,025 BBY (25 millennia before the events of A New Hope ), the Jedi Order is founded by the remnants of the Dai Bendu, a religious order that worships the fabled Force. In that same year, the Prime Jedi – the first individual to wield the Force – constructs the original Jedi Temple on the oceanic planet Ahch-To.

Harnessing the power of the kyber crystal (the basis of their ancient weapon, the lightsaber), the Jedi spread throughout the galaxy for the next several thousand years, founding other temples on new planets and gathering new followers to their burgeoning religion.

The Old Republic

Image Credit: Electronic Arts. A few short years after the formation of the Jedi Order in roughly 25,000 BBY, the Galactic Republic is formed, bringing together a cadre of loosely connected planetary systems. Commonly known as the first Galactic Republic, historians within the Star Wars universe take to calling this period the “Old Republic” era. A short time after its formation, the Jedi Order joined the Republic as its sworn guardians, defending the regime’s principles of liberty and peace for the next several millennia.

As the Old Republic begins to grow, a rift between separate sects of the Jedi culminates in a cataclysmic schism, with one group – worshipers of the Dark Side of the Force – breaking away from the Order. This schism ushers in a lengthy crisis known as the Hundred-Year Darkness, concluding with the official formation of the Sith at some point between 7,000 and 5,000 BBY.

After centuries of on-again, off-again conflict with various outside political and religious regimes – including the rapidly growing Sith Empire – the Old Republic’s influence within the galaxy dissolves over time. Though their victory comes at a cost, the Jedi are able to defeat the Sith, wiping out almost all of their former brethren save for a select few (including Darth Bane, who establishes the Rule of Two to ensure the Sith’s continued survival).

From the remnants of the Old Republic, the modern Galactic Republic begins anew in 1,032 BBY, overcoming thousands of years of political strife, constant warfare, and a recurring struggle against the influential Zygerrian Slave Empire.

The High Republic

Image Credit: Disney Lucasfilm Press. From 500 to 100 BBY, the Republic’s powers reach their zenith, culminating in a golden age for the political establishment. As the Republic continues to spread across the Outer Rim, the Jedi Order becomes more and more active within the Republic, seeing itself more as an inner branch of the Republic than as a separate entity.

During this period, intergalactic exploration of new planets reaches its height, with more and more systems joining the Republic. Commerce also continues to boom as finances within the Republic start to flourish. Save for a brief conflict with an anarchist group known as the Nihil in 232 BBY, the galaxy also sees several centuries of prolonged peace.

Stories set within the High Republic Era: The High Republic (comic) and Young Jedi Adventures (TV series)

Fall of the Jedi

Image Credit: Random House Worlds. As the Republic focuses its efforts on further expansion, corruption and bureaucracy begin to take effect, limiting the Republic’s reach and triggering a gradual stagnation for the once great democracy. Exploiting the Republic’s political vulnerability, the Sith Lord, Darth Plagueis, maneuvers his apprentice, Sheev Palpatine, into joining the Galactic Senate by 52 BBY. Influencing the Republic from within, Palpatine orchestrates a war (later dubbed the Clone Wars) between the Republic and a Separatist regime from 22 to 19 BBY.

Weakening the Jedi’s forces through the conflict and positioning himself as chancellor of the Republic, Palpatine uses his newfound emergency powers to betray the Jedi. Through Order 66, Palpatine has his Clone Army execute thousands of Jedi across the galaxy, all but destroying the Jedi Order. As part of his plans for total galactic conquest, Palpatine also manipulates the Jedi’s prophesied chosen one, Anakin Skywalker, into aiding his overthrow of the government, establishing the tyrannical Galactic Empire by 19 BBY.

Stories set within the Fall of the Jedi Era: The Phantom Menace (movie), Tales of the Jedi (TV series), Attack of the Clones (movie), The Clone Wars (TV series), and Revenge of the Sith (movie)

Reign of the Empire

Image Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. For the next 20 years, Palpatine rules over the galaxy with an iron fist, subjugating citizens to the domineering will of the Empire. Controlling the populace through fear and intimidation, Palpatine has Anakin (now known as Darth Vader) hunt down the remaining Jedi who have gone into hiding, establishing the secretive Inquisitorius Program in the process.

As the Republic completes its transition into the Empire, Palpatine also focuses his efforts on constructing the Death Star – the ultimate tool to ensure Imperial authority throughout the galaxy. As more and more systems fall to the Empire, several anti-authoritarian splinter groups begin to resist the Empire’s growing might, leading to the formation of the Alliance to Restore the Republic (also known as the Rebellion or the Rebel Alliance).

Though a minor organization of interconnected resistance groups at first, the Rebellion is able to pool their efforts to steal the Imperial Death Star plans at the Battle of Scarif in 1 BBY – the first major battle of the Galactic Civil War.

Stories set within the Reign of the Empire Era: The Bad Batch (TV series), Jedi: Fallen Order (video game), Solo (movie), Obi-Wan Kenobi (TV series), Jedi: Survivor (video game), Andor (TV series), Rebels (TV series), and Rogue One (movie)

Age of Rebellion

Image Credit Lucasfilm. From 0 to 4 ABY, the Rebellion engages in a fierce conflict against the Empire, encouraging planetary systems to stand up against the autocratic rule of Palpatine. As a result, the Galactic Civil War engulfs the galaxy, plunging numerous systems into utter chaos.

By 4 ABY, Darth Vader has managed to convince his master Palpatine into turning valuable Alliance member Luke Skywalker to the Dark Side, recruiting him to their cause. Coinciding with Vader and Luke’s battle of wills is the Rebel assault on the second Death Star, leading to a climactic encounter between the Empire and Rebellion on the forest moon of Endor. Here, Luke manages to convince his father to return to the Light Side, with the redeemed Anakin killing Palpatine. Shortly afterwards, the Rebellion is able to destroy the second Death Star, dealing a significant blow to the Empire, and allowing the war to turn in the Rebellion’s favor.

Stories set within the Age of Rebellion Era: A New Hope (movie), The Empire Strikes Back (movie), Return of the Jedi (movie), Battlefront II (video game), and Squadrons (video game)

The New Republic

Image Credit: Lucasfilm Ltd. As the Galactic Civil War begins to wind down, the Rebel Alliance seizes control over the former Empire, reverting back to a democratic government. Though victorious in the war, this New Republic faces intimidating challenges as they work to rebuild stability in the galaxy, eliminating numerous Imperial programs and re-establishing old practices associated with the Republic from 5 to 34 ABY.

As the New Republic establishes itself on Coruscant, the remaining Imperial loyalists take flight throughout the galaxy, struggling to retain their unity as an organized fighting force. Some of these Imperial personnel establish themselves as military governors in isolated regions of space. Others attempt to locate the missing Grand Admiral Thrawn in the hopes of continuing the Galactic Civil War. Of these groups, a more shadowy collective of Imperial officers reform themselves into an underground group loyal to the principles of the Empire, laying the groundwork for the First Order.

Stories set within the New Republic Era: The Mandalorian (TV series), The Book of Boba Fett (TV series), and Ahsoka (TV series)

Rise of the First Order

Image Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. By 33 ABY, the New Republic has regained the same influence it had held prior to its fall in 19 BBY. In the decades since it took power, however, the First Order has also managed to form its own viable paramilitary force, establishing enough resources to construct Starkiller Base. Under the leadership of the mysterious Supreme Leader Snoke, the First Order are able to demolish the New Republic, plunging the galaxy into disarray.

Before they could seize control of the universe and re-establish the Empire, freedom fighters loyal to the New Republic – known as the Resistance – lead a full-scale war against the First Order in a war from 34 to 35 ABY. Among the casualties of this conflict are Supreme Leader Snoke, Han Solo, Leia Organa, Luke Skywalker, and Ben Solo (better known under his villainous alter ego, Kylo Ren).

In the final battle in the First Order-Resistance War, the Resistance prevent the return of a weakened Palpatine, who somehow survived his death at the Battle of Endor three decades prior. Joining together, the Jedi Knight Rey and a redeemed Ben destroy the deposed Emperor, returning the galaxy to a state of peace.

Stories set within the Rise of the First Order Era: Resistance (TV series), The Force Awakens (movie), The Last Jedi (movie), and The Rise of Skywalker (movie)

New Jedi Order

Image Credit: Lucasfilm Ltd./Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. After an unsuccessful attempt to relaunch the Jedi Order in the immediate years after the Galactic Civil War, Rey Skywalker assumes the responsibility left behind by her deceased master, Luke Skywalker. As harmony once again reigns throughout the universe, Rey works to rebuild the Jedi Order from a new generation of Force-sensitive users. (In recent news, Lucasfilm revealed their plans to detail Rey’s attempts to reconstruct the Jedi in an upcoming Star Wars film.)

Richard Chachowski | Wealth of Geeks undefined

 

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