- "Before the outbreak of war, the twilight of the Republic was an era of distractions, with citizens from all walks of life following escapist pursuits. Historians rebuke the people of this last age for being taken in by such circuses when their attentions should have been focused on the malfeasances and corruption in the Senate and other governing institutions."
The Republic Era, also known as the era of the Republic, the Age of Republic or the Great Peace, was a period in galactic history marked by the rise and fall of the Galactic Republic. Following the fall of the Old Republic, the Republic Era commenced with the establishment of the modern Galactic Republic. Aided by the Knights of the Jedi Order, the Galactic Senate of the Republic governed the galaxy in a time of peace that lasted for roughly a millennium.
According to Janyor, the Republic gradually declined under a stagnant bureaucracy and political corruption, and its final years were remembered as the Twilight of the Republic or the Twilight of the Old Republic. The Invasion of Naboo, followed by the Separatist Crisis and the Clone Wars, marked the Republic's transition from a democracy to a military dictatorship under Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine. This thirteen-year period from 32 BBY to 19 BBY became known as the fall of the Republic. In the aftermath of the implementation of Order 66, which saw the collapse of the Confederacy of Independent Systems and the Jedi's annihilation, Palpatine—the Sith Lord Darth Sidious—proclaimed himself Galactic Emperor, transforming the Republic into the First Galactic Empire. The Republic Era concluded with the dawn of the Imperial Era.
Historians regarded the Republic Era as the "last era of peace." After it ended, the Empire ruled the galaxy under the New Order's fascist ideology, leading to the Galactic Civil War with the Alliance to Restore the Republic, which became known as the Age of Rebellion. The New Republic sought to restore peace and democracy to the galaxy; however, the New Republic Era's last years were marked by a Cold War with the First Order, a successor state of the Old Empire, and ended with the New Republic's destruction. As a result, open war broke out between the First Order and the Resistance, until a pan-galactic uprising against the First Order took place.
- "There hasn't been a full-scale war since the formation of the Republic."
- ―Sio Bibble
Roughly a thousand years before the Invasion of Naboo, the Jedi and the Sith were at war with each other. The Sith were eventually defeated when their greed for power caused them to turn on each other, which allowed the Jedi to defeat the weakened Sith, leaving them all but destroyed. However, one Sith Lord emerged as the sole survivor: Darth Bane. Realizing that the Sith's greed led to their demise, Bane decided that the Sith needed to operate in secret to get revenge, favoring guile and conspiracy rather than brute force. With that, he formed the Rule of Two, which mandated that only two Sith Lords could exist at any given time: a master to represent the power of the dark side of the Force, and an apprentice to train under the master and one day fulfill their role. Darth Bane took on an apprentice of his own, Darth Zannah, who was rumored to have killed Bane on Ambria in a lightsaber duel; nonetheless, Bane's apprentice continued his tradition and moved forward with the Grand Plan.
The Great Peace
- "The Galactic Republic was the Republic of legend, greater than distance or time."
During this time, the Galactic Republic was reformed, and the Jedi Order enjoyed political ascension, rebuilding the Jedi Temple on the capital world of Coruscant to train Jedi younglings in the way of the Force. The High Republic Era was a particular part of the Republic's reign where the government was at the height of its power.
The Republic Era, also known as the "era of the Republic," the "Age of Republic," or the "Great Peace," was characterized by the lack of galaxy-spanning wars, although some smaller sector and system conflicts, such as the Stark Hyperspace War or the Mandalorian Civil War, consumed the time and energy of the Republic and the Jedi. Nevertheless, it was remembered by Janyor and other New Republic period historians as the last era of peace in galactic history.
Fall of the Republic
- "There is no civility, only politics. The Republic is not what it once was. The Senate is full of greedy, squabbling delegates. There is no interest in the common good."
- ―Sheev Palpatine
The "Twilight of the Republic," also known as the "Twilight of the Old Republic," referred to the Republic Era in its final years. Long after Bane's rule was introduced, the Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Plagueis took on an apprentice, Darth Sidious, the Sith persona of Senator Sheev Palpatine of Naboo. Sidious eventually killed his master in his sleep when he had no use for him anymore.
The "fall of the Republic" began with Sidious instigating several conflicts in the galaxy in order to gain power, beginning with the Invasion of Naboo by the Trade Federation. He used this incident to cause then Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum to be voted out of office, manipulating Queen Amidala into calling for the vote over her anger at the Galactic Senate's inaction over the invasion; Valorum was replaced by Senator Palpatine himself. Further governmental inaction and corruption ultimately led to the Separatist Crisis, in which thousands of worlds seceded from the Republic and formed a separate government, the Confederacy of Independent Systems. Tensions fostered between the two factions through the machinations of Sidious and his Sith apprentice, Darth Tyranus, who led the Separatists through his public identity as Count Dooku, ultimately led to the outbreak of the pan-galactic Clone Wars in 22 BBY.
The First Battle of Geonosis marked the end of the Great Peace and the beginning of the Clone Wars; having mobilized a clone army to serve as its new military, the Republic went to war against the Separatists, led by the former Jedi-turned-Sith Lord Count Dooku. The Sith had not completely died out at the end of their war with the Jedi, and had been plotting for centuries to overthrow the Jedi and the Republic.
The Clone Wars raged for three years, during which the Republic became an increasingly militarized state in the name of order and security against the Separatist threat. Chancellor Palpatine, whose term was already extended due to the Separatist Crisis, remained in office for the duration of the conflict, all the while centralizing political and military authority in the Office of the Chancellor through the various wartime emergency powers granted to him by the Galactic Senate. After he and Dooku manipulated Rush Clovis and orchestrated the Separatist takeover of Scipio, another power given to Chancellor Palpatine was control of the InterGalactic Banking Clan.
In the waning days of the Clone Wars in 19 BBY, the Separatists suffered a series of major defeats, including the deaths of Dooku and General Grievous at the hands of Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker and Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, respectively. Meanwhile, the Jedi High Council, who became increasingly wary of Palpatine due to his unprecedented wartime powers, discovered his identity as the enigmatic Sith Lord Darth Sidious. The Jedi's attempt to apprehend him ultimately failed and fostered Skywalker's fall to the dark side and rechristening as Sidious' new apprentice, Darth Vader. Vader was subsequently sent to lead the Siege of the Jedi Temple. Simultaneously, Palpatine instituted Order 66 to the Republic Army, beginning the initial part of the systematic destruction of the Jedi Order, as clone troopers executed their Jedi Generals across the galaxy.
With the Jedi Order decimated, Palpatine gave the proclamation of the New Order to an emergency session of the Galactic Senate, where he declared the Jedi enemies of the state, while transforming the Galactic Republic into the Galactic Empire, with himself as Galactic Emperor. At the same time, Vader destroyed the Separatist Council and deactivated the Droid Army, effectively ending the Clone Wars and cementing the return of the galaxy to the rule of the Sith.
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