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"For over a thousand generations, the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic. Before the dark times. Before the Empire."
―Obi-Wan Kenobi[2]

The Imperial Era—also known as the Age of the Empire or post-Republic era, and sometimes regarded as the Dark Times or the reign of the Empire—was the time period that covered the reign of the Galactic Empire, lasting from Galactic Emperor Sheev Palpatine's proclamation of the New Order in 19 BBY until the signing of the Galactic Concordance in 5 ABY. The Imperial Era followed the Republic Era which lasted for a millennium, and preceded the short-lived New Republic Era. Its final years overlapped with the Galactic Civil War, a period known as the Galactic Civil War era, the Rebellion era, or the era of Rebellion. Age of Rebellion referred to the time period from 0 ABY to 4 ABY. After the battle of Endor since the death of Sheev Palpatine and his reign of terror came to an end, the one-year period from 4 ABY to 5 ABY became known as the fall of the Empire. Following the rise of the New Republic, the Imperial Era was referred to as the Old Empire era.

The rise of the Empire marked the Sith's return to power. Emperor Palpatine was the public identity of the Sith Lord Darth Sidious whose plan involved the extermination of the Jedi Order. The Great Jedi Purge continued throughout the Emperor's reign, leaving Luke Skywalker as the sole surviving Jedi Knight by the time of the Battle of Endor in 4 ABY. Sidious' reign ended with his first death at the hands of Skywalker's father, the Sith apprentice Darth Vader who sacrificed himself while protecting his son. The Alliance to Restore the Republic rebranded itself as the New Republic, and achieved a decisive victory over the Empire at the Battle of Jakku in 5 ABY.

Despite its defeat, the Empire's reign inspired a generation that was disillusioned by the state of the galaxy under the New Republic, from the Centrists who advocated for strong leadership to the militaristic First Order. The warlord Kylo Ren viewed the Imperial Era as a period of order and stability that the First Order sought to restore. To others such as Senator Leia Organa, the Empire's history was marked by tyranny, oppression, and genocide.



"For a thousand years we have kept to the shadows, not afraid of the Jedi—but ourselves. The dark side is powerful. It is too powerful. The weak will meekly stand in regimented order. The Sith… One master. One apprentice. No more. For generations. Generations building to me."
―Darth Sidious, to Darth Vader[18]
Galactic Senate

The Republic Era was an age of peace that lasted roughly a thousand years.

The modern Galactic Republic was formed in the aftermath of the last conflict between the Jedi Order and the Sith, ending an age of strife in galactic history. What followed was a period of peace and relative stability known as the Republic Era, in which the Republic governed the galaxy for a millennium[19] under the leadership of the Galactic Senate and the protection of the Jedi Knights.[20] Unknown to the Jedi, the Sith were reformed under Darth Bane's Rule of Two, ensuring their order's survival in the form of a Sith Master and a Sith apprentice.[21] A new lineage of Sith Lords originated from Bane,[22] resulting in generations of Sith that culminated in Darth Sidious, the Dark Lord of the Sith who ultimately achieved his order's plan of revenge against the Jedi.[18]

While the Sith plotted their eventual return to power,[18] the Republic reached the pinnacle of its power and prosperity while expanding into the Outer Rim Territories, resulting in a golden age known as the High Republic Era[23] which also saw the Jedi Order's influence spread to the farthest edges of known space.[24] This period gave way to an age of rampant political corruption and bureaucratic stagnation in the Republic Senate[25] by the time of the Invasion of Naboo[26] in 32 BBY.[1]

V-wing SWDConv

The Republic Era's final years were marked by the Clone Wars.

By infiltrating Republic politics as Senator Sheev Palpatine of Naboo, Sidious secured his election to the office of Supreme Chancellor.[26] As planned, the Palpatine chancellery grew increasingly powerful due to the Separatist Crisis and the subsequent galactic conflict known as the Clone Wars, both of which Sidious masterminded in order to gain more power for himself. The Clone Wars was the first full-scale war since the formation of the Republic roughly a thousand years before the First Battle of Geonosis. The Senate's Jedi peacekeepers lacked the manpower to defend the Republic on a galactic scale,[27] and as such became leaders in the Grand Army of the Republic.[3]

Rise of the Empire[]

"In order to ensure the security and continuing stability, the Republic will be reorganized into the first Galactic Empire! For a safe and secure society!"
―Sheev Palpatine, to the Galactic Senate — (audio) Listen (file info)[3]

The Imperial Era began when Darth Sidious proclaimed himself Emperor of the Galactic Empire in 19 BBY.

The reign of the Galactic Empire was known as the Imperial Era.[28] The era began with the proclamation of the New Order in 19 BBY,[1] and was characterized by the implementation of Galactic Emperor Sheev Palpatine's political program, referred to as the New Order.[29] Although the Emperor did bring peace to the galaxy as he had promised, that result was achieved through brutal repression.[15] Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi remembered the Jedi Order as guardians of peace and justice in the Galactic Republic; compared to the millennium of the Republic Era, the Imperial Era was a "dark time" from Kenobi's perspective.[2]

During the early days of the Imperial Era, the Emperor's priorities included the shutdown of the cloning facilities on Kamino,[30] the occupation of Raxus and other worlds controlled by the former Confederacy of Independent Systems,[31] and the fulfillment of the Great Jedi Purge through Order 66. The Grand Army of the Republic was reorganized into the Imperial Army,[30] and clone troopers continued to serve in its ranks. However, continued support for the clone trooper program was deemed too high despite the Kaminoans' defense of their enterprise,[32] and the Empire therefore turned to a new stormtrooper program which aimed to replace clones with enlisted soldiers.[33]


The Imperial Military swept throughout the galaxy, while its ranks were slowly but surely replaced by natural born recruits.

The Clone Wars ended with the demise of General Grievous[30] as well as the deactivation of the Separatist Droid Army subsequent to the slaughter of the Executive Separatist Council by the Sith Lord Darth Vader on Mustafar.[3] The Confederacy of Independent Systems consequently collapsed in a vacuum of leadership,[30] allowing the Empire to seize control of their worlds and resources.[31] While decommissioned battle droids were destroyed,[34] Separatist citizens found their worlds subjugated by the Imperial Military. One such planet was the Separatist capital of Raxus Secundus, where the Empire sought to pacify the civilian population through the use of propaganda and the presence of a large contingent of clone troopers supplemented by All Terrain Tactical Enforcers.[31]

The systematic termination of the Jedi succeeded in reducing the Order's ranks to a small group of survivors who fled into hiding. The remaining Jedi were hunted by their brethren who turned to the dark side of the Force, such as Darth Vader and the Imperial Inquisitors. In addition to the fallen Jedi Knights-turned-Jedi hunters,[35] the final generation of clones grown from the Jango Fett genotype were activated and programmed to fulfill the mandate of the Great Jedi Purge.[36]

War and downfall[]

"We kept the skeleton of the Republic for nearly twenty years while the Death Star was constructed. Twenty years, my apprentice. All that planning is now a layer of dust orbiting around Yavin… Now, we no longer have the Senate to hold order. We do not have the Death Star to force it. Our greatest weapon is gone. Our production is in ashes. We are besieged. In all these years, we have never skirted closer to disaster."
―Darth Sidious, to Darth Vader[37]

The Empire's final years were marked by the Galactic Civil War from approximately 4 BBY[38] until the signing of the Galactic Concordance[17] in 5 ABY.[1] This period within the Imperial Era was known as the "Galactic Civil War era," the "Rebellion era,"[39] or the "era of Rebellion."[40]

Poe Dameron 21 Star Wars 40th

The Galactic Civil War saw the downfall of the Imperial Era as it faced a growing tide of revolution

The Alliance to Restore the Republic was officially formed when Senator Mon Mothma issued the Declaration of Rebellion after the Ghorman Massacre in 2 BBY.[41] As a result, the Age of the Empire[42] was also an Age of Rebellion[43] in which Mon Mothma's rebel cell, the Phoenix Cell, the Spectres, the Massassi Group,[10] and other Rebel cells united in common cause to overthrow the Empire and restore the galaxy to democratic rule.[44]

Emperor Palpatine disbanded the Imperial Senate[2] in 0 BBY,[45] no longer seeing a necessity in preserving[37] the "last remnant of the Old Republic"[2] after the DS-1 Death Star Mobile Battle Station became fully operational.[37] In the same year, the Death Star was destroyed by the Rebel pilot Luke Skywalker during the Battle of Yavin, killing a large number of soldiers, Imperial officers, and Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin.[2] The battle station's destruction was seen as a significant loss by the Emperor, who had neither a ceremonial Senate to keep the star systems in line nor a superweapon to enforce his rule.[37]

At the same time as the Rebellion's war against the Empire, the Crimson Dawn syndicate re-emerged under Lady Qi'ra,[46] who launched a secret war[47] to free the galaxy from the control of the Sith.[46] She focused her efforts on an ancient artifact known as the Fermata Cage, which she falsely claimed contained an ancient Sith Lord to draw both Vader and Sidious in and allow her to lock both away.[48] Unwilling to risk that Sith Lord's possible existence[49] and eager to test themselves against such a foe,[50] Sidious and Vader personally led the Imperial Military to stamp out Crimson Dawn in the battle at the Amaxine Station. Through the intervention of the Knights of Ren,[51] the Cage was destroyed, sending out a Force Wave[52] that disrupted the connection between Force-sensitives and the Force for a time.[53] Additionally, a droid revolutionary from the High Republic Era named Ajax Sigma[54] re-emerged while a droid corruption known as the Scourge spread across the galaxy.[55]


The Emperor's death was celebrated on worlds throughout the galaxy, including the Imperial capital of Coruscant.

The DS-2 Death Star II Mobile Battle Station, meanwhile, was built to replace the first Death Star. Alerted to its existence by two Crimson Dawn agents, Bevelyn and Jon Melton,[56] the Alliance Fleet attacked and destroyed the battle station during the Battle of Endor[14] in 4 ABY.[1] The battle also caused the Imperial Navy to lose several Star Destroyers, including the Executor-class Star Dreadnought Executor, and the Emperor was killed by his Sith apprentice Vader,[14] whose sacrifice fulfilled the Jedi prophecy of the Chosen One.[57] From Bespin and Tatooine, to Naboo and Coruscant, people across the galaxy openly celebrated the Alliance's victory and the Emperor's demise. The city-world of Coruscant was the site of a riot in Monument Plaza where civilians toppled a statue of the late Emperor.[14]

The combination of the Emperor's death and the Empire's final defeat at the Battle of Jakku ultimately marked the end of both the Galactic Civil War and the Imperial Era,[16] resulting in the dawn of the New Republic Era.[17] The Galactic Senate was restored as the New Republic Senate;[58] the Imperial capital of Coruscant was ceded to the New Republic and placed under the administration of a provisional government;[59] and the Empire was reduced to a rump state.[60]


"It is the task of the First Order to remove the disorder from our own existence, so that civilization may be returned to the stability that promotes progress. A stability that existed under the Empire, was reduced to anarchy by the Rebellion, was inherited in turn by the so-called Republic, and will be restored by us. Future historians will look upon this as the time when a strong hand brought the rule of law back to civilization."
―Kylo Ren[61]
Hux and Starkiller Base

Influenced by the Imperial Era, the First Order sought to rule the galaxy as the Empire's successor.

Although the Empire fell, an Imperial remnant sought to overthrow the New Republic and reorganized into the First Order,[17] a military-controlled state similar to the Empire.[62] It eventually destroyed the New Republic and started a war with the Resistance, an opposing military force created by Leia Organa.[63]

The "Old Empire era"[17] created a legacy that left the galaxy politically divided, with Populists rejecting the degree of authority and control that characterized the Old Empire, while the Centrists supported some aspects of the Imperial system which they viewed as necessary to maintaining peace and order. Organa rejected any argument in defense of the Empire that annihilated her homeworld of Alderaan.[4] However, her son Kylo Ren, a former Jedi who became a First Order warlord, regarded the Imperial Era as an age of stability and the Empire a force for progress.[61] His rival, General Armitage Hux was also a strong supporter of the First Order's cause, having developed an admiration for the power of the Empire since childhood.[64]


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Non-canon appearances[]


Non-canon sources[]

Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
  4. 4.0 4.1 Bloodline
  5. Lords of the Sith
  6. Rebels-mini-logo Star Wars Rebels — "Fire Across the Galaxy"
  7. Rebels-mini-logo Star Wars Rebels — "Legacy of Mandalore"
  8. Darth Vader (2015) 16
  9. TBBtemplate Star Wars: The Bad Batch — "Return to Kamino"
  10. 10.0 10.1 Rebels-mini-logo Star Wars Rebels — "Secret Cargo"
  11. Rebels-mini-logo Star Wars Rebels — "Zero Hour"
  12. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  13. Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
  15. 15.0 15.1 Star Wars: On the Front Lines
  16. 16.0 16.1 Lost Stars
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Darth Vader (2015) 20
  19. Star Wars Propaganda: A History of Persuasive Art in the Galaxy
  20. StarWars-DatabankII Galactic Republic in the Databank (backup link)
  21. Ultimate Star Wars
  22. Star Wars: The Last Jedi: The Visual Dictionary
  23. The High Republic: Light of the Jedi
  24. The Rise of Kylo Ren 2
  25. StarWars-DatabankII Galactic Senate in the Databank (backup link)
  26. 26.0 26.1 Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace
  27. Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
  28. Star Wars: The Visual Encyclopedia
  29. Servants of the Empire: Edge of the Galaxy
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 30.3 TBBtemplate Star Wars: The Bad Batch — "Aftermath"
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 TBBtemplate Star Wars: The Bad Batch — "Common Ground"
  32. TBBtemplate Star Wars: The Bad Batch — "Replacements"
  33. StarWars-DatabankII Elite Squad in the Databank (backup link)
  34. TBBtemplate Star Wars: The Bad Batch — "Decommissioned"
  35. The Star Wars Book
  36. Darth Vader (2017) 16
  37. 37.0 37.1 37.2 37.3 Darth Vader (2015) 1
  38. The StarWars-DatabankII Mustafar History Gallery in the Databank (backup link) states that the action at Mustafar, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates to 4 BBY, was one of the earliest rebel victories in the Galactic Civil War. Therefore, the Galactic Civil War must have begun by 4 BBY.
  39. Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Incredible Cross-Sections
  40. Knights of Fate
  41. Star Wars: Geektionary: The Galaxy from A - Z states that the Ghorman Massacre occurred two years prior to the Battle of Yavin, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates to 0 BBY. Therefore, the Ghorman Massacre took place in 2 BBY.
  42. A New Dawn
  43. Star Wars: Age of Rebellion (comic series)
  44. StarWars-DatabankII Rebel Alliance in the Databank (backup link)
  45. The Dissolution of the Imperial Senate takes place during Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. Star Wars: Galactic Atlas places the events of A New Hope in 0 BBY and 0 ABY.
  46. 46.0 46.1 Crimson Reign 1
  47. Hidden Empire 2
  48. Doctor Aphra (2020) 29
  49. Hidden Empire 1
  50. Hidden Empire 4
  51. Hidden Empire 5
  52. Bounty Hunters 32
  53. Star Wars (2020) 34
  54. Revelations (2022) 1
  55. StarWars SWCE 2023: Marvel Reveals Star Wars: Dark Droids Horror Event and More on StarWars.com (backup link)
  56. Star Wars (2020) 28
  57. Return of the Jedi: Beware the Power of the Dark Side!
  58. StarWars-DatabankII The New Republic in the Databank (backup link)
  59. Aftermath: Empire's End
  60. StarWars-DatabankII The First Order in the Databank (backup link)
  61. 61.0 61.1 Star Wars: The Force Awakens novelization
  62. Poe Dameron 2
  63. Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens
  64. StarWars-DatabankII General Hux in the Databank (backup link)
Years in the BBY/ABY dating system
Pre-Republic period 100,000 BBY · 57,000 BBY · 29,996 BBY · 27,000 BBY · 26,000 BBY
Dawn of the Jedi era 25,025 BBY · 25,020 BBY
Old Republic-era/Expansionist Period 25,000 BBY · 22,000 BBY · 20,019 BBY · 20,000 BBY
15,000 BBY · 12,000 BBY · 9991 BBY
Fall of the Old Republic
(Middle Era of the Old Republic)
7977 BBY · 6000 BBY · 5500 BBY · 5100 BBY
5019 BBY · 5000 BBY · 4300 BBY · 4000 BBY
3966 BBY · 3705 BBY · 3700 BBY · 3450 BBY
3277 BBY · 2500 BBY · 2320 BBY · 2200 BBY
2000 BBY · 1300 BBY · 1100 BBY · 1050 BBY
1032 BBY
Republic Era 1032 BBY · 1014 BBY · 1000 BBY · 982 BBY
973 BBY · 972 BBY · 965 BBY · 900 BBY
896 BBY · 867 BBY · 832 BBY · 800 BBY
797 BBY · 679 BBY · 620 BBY · 600 BBY · 582 BBY
532 BBY · 522 BBY · 511 BBY · 509 BBY · 500 BBY

High Republic Era
500 BBY · 437 BBY · 431 BBY · 430 BBY · 429 BBY
428 BBY · 422 BBY · 412 BBY · 407 BBY · 402 BBY
400 BBY · 399 BBY · 397 BBY · 396 BBY · 394 BBY
392 BBY · 389 BBY · 387 BBY · 385 BBY · 383 BBY
382 BBY · 381 BBY · 380 BBY · 379 BBY · 350 BBY
339 BBY · 332 BBY · 319 BBY · 318 BBY · 300 BBY
285 BBY · 279 BBY · 272 BBY · 270 BBY · 265 BBY
262 BBY · 257 BBY · 255 BBY · 253 BBY · 252 BBY
251 BBY · 250 BBY · 249 BBY · 248 BBY · 247 BBY
246 BBY · 245 BBY · 244 BBY · 243 BBY
242 BBY · 241 BBY · 240 BBY · 238 BBY
237 BBY · 236 BBY · 235 BBY · 234 BBY
233 BBY · 232 BBY · 231 BBY · 230 BBY
229 BBY · 228 BBY · 217 BBY · 205 BBY
201 BBY · 200 BBY · 161 BBY · 156 BBY
150 BBY · 148 BBY · 146 BBY · 142 BBY
138 BBY · 134 BBY · 133 BBY · 132 BBY · 131 BBY
118 BBY · 104 BBY · 102 BBY · 101 BBY · 100 BBY

Fall of the Republic
100 BBY · 99 BBY · 93 BBY · 92 BBY · 90 BBY · 88 BBY
87 BBY · 86 BBY · 85 BBY · 84 BBY · 82 BBY
81 BBY · 80 BBY · 76 BBY · 72 BBY · 69 BBY
68 BBY · 66 BBY · 65 BBY · 64 BBY · 62 BBY
60 BBY · 59 BBY · 58 BBY · 57 BBY · 56 BBY
55 BBY · 54 BBY · 53 BBY · 52 BBY · 51 BBY
50 BBY · 49 BBY · 48 BBY · 47 BBY · 46 BBY
45 BBY · 44 BBY · 43 BBY · 42 BBY · 41 BBY
40 BBY · 39 BBY · 38 BBY · 37 BBY · 36 BBY
35 BBY · 34 BBY · 33 BBY · 32 BBY · 31 BBY
30 BBY · 29 BBY · 28 BBY · 27 BBY · 26 BBY
25 BBY · 24 BBY · 23 BBY · 22 BBY · 21 BBY
20 BBY · 19 BBY
Imperial Era 19 BBY · 18 BBY · 17 BBY · 16 BBY · 15 BBY · 14 BBY
13 BBY · 12 BBY · 11 BBY · 10 BBY · 9 BBY · 8 BBY · 7 BBY
6 BBY · 5 BBY · 4 BBY · 3 BBY · 2 BBY · 1 BBY

Age of Rebellion
0 BBY/0 ABY · 1 ABY · 2 ABY · 3 ABY · 4 ABY

Fall of the Empire
4 ABY · 5 ABY
New Republic Era 5 ABY · 6 ABY · 7 ABY · 8 ABY · 9 ABY
10 ABY · 11 ABY · 12 ABY · 13 ABY · 14 ABY
15 ABY · 16 ABY · 17 ABY · 18 ABY · 19 ABY
20 ABY · 21 ABY · 22 ABY · 23 ABY · 24 ABY
25 ABY · 26 ABY · 27 ABY · 28 ABY
Rise of the First Order
29 ABY · 30 ABY · 31 ABY · 32 ABY · 33 ABY · 34 ABY · 35 ABY
New Jedi Order Era 50 ABY
See also: Timeline of galactic history
Imperial Era (19 BBY5 ABY)
Galactic timeline

Previous: Republic Era (1032 BBY19 BBY)

Next: New Republic Era (5-34 ABY)

Years of the Imperial Era
19 BBY · 18 BBY · 17 BBY · 16 BBY · 15 BBY · 14 BBY · 13 BBY
12 BBY · 11 BBY · 10 BBY · 9 BBY · 8 BBY · 7 BBY · 6 BBY · 5 BBY
4 BBY · 3 BBY · 2 BBY · 1 BBY · 0 BBY/0 ABY · 1 ABY · 2 ABY · 3 ABY
4 ABY · 5 ABY