The Old Republic was a galactic government that existed prior to the establishment of the Galactic Republic, thousands of years before the Clone Wars. With the support of the Jedi Order, the Republic engaged in multiple conflicts against various opponents, including the ancient Sith, the Mandalorians, and the Zygerrian Slave Empire.
In the aftermath of the last conflict between the Jedi and Sith, the Old Republic was succeeded by the Galactic Republic approximately one thousand years before the Invasion of Naboo in 32 BBY. The new government united much of the galaxy under the rule of democracy in a period of time known as the Great Peace until it was reorganized as the Galactic Empire at the end of the Clone Wars in 19 BBY.
Birth of freedomEdit
The Old Republic existed prior to the Galactic Republic, until approximately one thousand years before the Clone Wars. As it expanded throughout the galaxy, it became a more and more influential power. The Old Republic's capital was located on the urban world of Coruscant, and would remain there for thousands of years.
At least six-thousand years before the start of the Galactic Civil War, a rogue faction of Jedi broke away from the Order, believing that practicing the dark side of the Force would benefit in the furthering of Jedi power. This led to a division between the two groups, igniting an event known as the Hundred-Year Darkness, resulting in the formation of the Sith. At one point, they managed to construct a dark shrine on Coruscant. The rogue faction was ultimately defeated and they were exiled from the Old Republic into uncharted space.
The Jedi Order would eventually construct their very own temple over the shrine at some point in order to contain the shrine's dark energy. Once it had established itself on Coruscant, the Order came to closely associate itself with the Old Republic, serving as guardians of the peace for many generations. Little did the Jedi know, the Sith had regrouped on the planet Moraband.
A Clash of Destinies in the GalaxyEdit
As the Old Republic spread its influence across the stars, it came into contact with various other powers, one of them being the Empire of Zygerria. Due to the fact that, at some point in its past, the Republic declared slavery illegal and expected other civilizations of the galaxy to comply, it took an aggressive stance against the Zygerrians. The Zygerrian Empire, which was built upon slavery, refused to comply, forcing both the Republic and the Jedi to intervene. After joining together, the Republic and Jedi Order sent their armies against the empire after the Zygerrians refused. The Old Republic ultimately came out victorious, driving the practice of slave trading into the underworld, dismantling the empire, and confining what was left of its government to Zygerria, the civilization's homeworld.
Eventually, the Sith would return in full strength, invading the Republic. From there, the dark Order would do battle with the Jedi and the Old Republic. This would lead to a series of conflicts between both groups that would go on for thousands of years until the Old Republic's ultimate collapse. During one of the wars, the Jedi faced the Sith Empire on Malachor, which proved to be one of the most devastating battles in the history of the Order.
At some point, the Old Republic came into contact with the Mandalorian people. The warrior civilization began a series of unprovoked military campaigns against the Old Republic. Later on, after all-out war erupted, the Jedi stepped in to defend the Galactic peace. In the meantime, Republic and Jedi forces continued to wage war against the expanding Sith Empire. During these wars, both sides would construct massive superweapons powered by large kyber crystals capable of mass destruction.
Fall of the Old RepublicEdit
- "This lightsaber was stolen from your Jedi Temple by my ancestors during the fall of the Old Republic."
- ―Pre Vizsla, to Obi-Wan Kenobi, regarding the darksaber
With the civilization of the Sith and the warrior culture of Mandalore, with their beliefs of continual warfare without regard to the Jedi mandate of protecting the weak, the Jedi Order continued to mobilize its forces in an effort to stop enemy incursion into Republic space.
As the Old Republic slowly began to fall, the power of the Sith Empire increased. The Sith soon achieved near-dominance across the Galaxy. Also during this time, an ancestor of Pre of House Vizsla, leader of the Mandalorian group Death Watch during the Clone Wars, managed to steal the Darksaber from the Jedi Temple.
At some point the galaxy entered a state known as the Dark Age. During this time, the Jedi-Sith War broke out. Early on in this conflict, the Republic capital world of Coruscant was taken over by the Sith during the Battle of Coruscant. Later on in the war, the Sith were driven off the planet by the Jedi during the Liberation of Coruscant.
The fires of hopeEdit
The Old Republic managed to regain some of its strength after its forces had reclaimed the capital, capable of going on the offensive. The Jedi were strong enough to finally end its ancient war against the Mandalorian clans. A battle between both groups on the planet Mandalore left the planet ravaged and lifeless. It was during this time too when the Sith were finally defeated. The armies of the Old Republic were able to defeat the remaining Sith by taking advantage of the infighting within the Order, which proved to be the Sith's undoing. The Sith abandoned their traditional homeworld of Moraband after it was scarred by many wars. Very few Sith remained by that point, and they ultimately destroyed themselves, the only survivor being Darth Bane, who went on to establish the Rule of Two.
As the Old Republic fell apart as a result of its continuous wars, the Jedi Order finally believed itself victorious from its conflict with the Sith, who they believed to have been destroyed completely. Finally, with peace restored to the galaxy, the shattered Old Republic reorganized itself into the Galactic Republic, which would usher in over one-thousand years of stability in an epoch known as the Great Peace.
In the thousand years after the fall of the Old Republic, the Jedi Order that served it would continue its legacy and endure during the Jedi Purge, while a New Republic would be formed in reverence to the Galactic Republic of old. Nevertheless, the Zygerrians would continue to hold a grudge against both the Galactic Republic and the Jedi for the destruction of their slave empire. The story of Old Republic Regent Hylemane Lightbringer and his supposed immortality would be remembered in history texts along with Old Republic music such as the Sestina of Imperator Vex, which would continue to be sung even in the months following the Battle of Endor. After the fall of the Galactic Republic and the rise of the Galactic Empire, the term "Old Republic" was used to refer to the Galactic Republic.
With the Old Republic's Jedi allies having a Temple on Coruscant—birthplace to the human species—eventual galactic expansion would occur along pioneering hyperspace routes while the Republic would send survey teams to set up navigational beacons in outlying territories such as the Tertiary Usaita system, with colonists from the Core Worlds venturing outwards towards the Outer Rim in search of opportunity and a better life.
Behind the scenesEdit
The term "Old Republic" was first used in the 1977 film Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, in reference to what is now known as the Galactic Republic. The separate entity known as the Old Republic was first mentioned in canon in "The Mandalore Plot," the twelfth episode of the second season of the animated television series Star Wars: The Clone Wars. In Star Wars Legends, the government referenced was still the Galactic Republic, which existed in various incarnations for thousands of years, whereas Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones stated that the Galactic Republic had stood for 1,000 years (a discrepancy then handled with an event known as the Ruusan Reformation).
The symbol of the Old Republic was used in "A Test of Strength," the seventh episode of the fifth season of The Clone Wars. The Crucible, the ancient Jedi ship used within the episode, was based on Corellian cruisers seen in the Legends video game Star Wars: The Old Republic. According to StarWars.com, the ancient Jedi logo seen in the cruiser is the symbol of the Old Republic, which was also used in the Old Republic video game.
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