- "This lightsaber was stolen from your Jedi Temple by my ancestors during the fall of the Old Republic. Since then many Jedi have died upon its blade. Prepare yourself to join them!"
- ―Pre Vizsla to Obi-Wan Kenobi
The Fall of the Old Republic was an extensive period in the history of the Old Republic encompassing various conflicts and events that contributed to its overall decline and subsequent crumbling during the Dark Age, which resulted in its reorganization following the New Sith Wars and the Ruusan campaign.
For twenty thousand years, the Galactic Republic stood as the most powerful and influential body of power in the galaxy. Even as the Sith grew from the conflict known as the Hundred-Year Darkness, the Galactic Republic and its Jedi allies continued to defend the peace.
Almost two millennia later, the Sith Empire emerged from the Outer Rim, seeking to conquer the Republic. This led to a brief but bloody struggle between both sides called the Great Hyperspace War. Led by the Dark Lord of the Sith Naga Sadow, the Sith Empire laid waste worlds within Republic space. The conflict culminated in a massive engagement over the Core world Coruscant, the capital planet of the Republic. The Sith were ultimately defeated, and what remained of their Empire was driven back into the Outer Rim, where it would die. The Jedi hunted down the remaining Sith, and those who yet lived joined the dark lord Vitiate on his exodus.
Believing the Sith to have been defeated, the Republic tried to ensure that the galaxy would remain in a state of peace and prosperity. While it did for a time, it once more had to deal with a new generation of Sith, led by the former Jedi Knight Exar Kun. Kun declared war on the Republic, resulting in one of the bloodiest conflicts since the Great Hyperspace War one thousand years earlier. Kun's Empire was ultimately destroyed, and he was forced into exile on Yavin 4. This conflict weakened the Republic, leaving it vulnerable to other warmongering factions like the Mandalorian Crusaders.
Onslaught of MandaloreEdit
Following the Mandalorian Crusades and the death of Mandalore the Indomitable, the Mandalorian peoples were left disjointed. This gave the Republic some time to recover and reconsolidate their militaries. Unknown to both its government and the Jedi, the Mandalorians were, in fact, recovering under a new leader, a Taung who proclaimed himself Mandalore the Ultimate. Beginning in 3976 BBY, a series of early raids on the Republic were carried out by the Neo-Crusaders, and, finally, twelve years later, the Mandalorian Wars began.
The Mandalorians achieved an early series of victories against the Galactic Republic, sacking entire worlds located in the Outer Rim and displacing many of their peoples, effectively turning them into refugees. One of these worlds was Cathar, which was nearly obliterated by the neo-crusaders, resulting in many of the natives being wiped out. The Mandalorians later attacked the planet Taris, which became a major flash point of the war.
During the conflict, the Jedi, now headquartered at their new temple on Coruscant, declared neutrality in the conflict. This angered many of the younger Jedi who sought to defend the Republic. Led by a charismatic Jedi Knight named Revan, a rogue faction broke off from the Order to assist the Republic. This proved to be a turning point in the war, and with the Jedi's intervention, the Mandalorians were pushed back into their own space.
As the war came to a close, the Mandalorians were lured to the ancient world of Malachor V, where Revan and his top general, Meetra Surik, planned to activate a superweapon known as the Mass Shadow Generator, which functioned as a massive gravity. As the fleets of both factions fought above the world, Surik ordered the doomsday weapon to activate, and it created a gravity vortex that pulled most Republic and Mandalorian ships out of the sky. The gravity well and impacts of countless warships left the surface of the planet desolate, killing all ground forces. In the midst of the fray, Revan boarded Mandalore the Ultimate's flagship and met him in open combat. In the end, Revan emerged victorious, demoralizing the Mandalorians. After losing most of their fleet, the Mandalorians retreated, granting the Republic a pyrrhic victory.
The Mandalorian clans finally scattered, but, because Revan hid Mandalore's Mask, no one arose to claim the title. Despite the fact that the Republic won, they lost nearly their entire military at Malachor V. Additionally, many worlds were devastated with entire populations displaced, looking to the Republic to mount restoration efforts. The Republic never truly recovered from the horror that was the Mandalorian Wars, and over the next few millennia, the Republic entered a period of steady decline.