Star WarsMore than 40 years after we first encountered a galaxy far, far away, it remains one of the most popular and beloved franchises in the world. What began as a trilogy of films has grown into a multimedia colossus, now controlled by Disney, thanks to the purchase of Lucasfilm in 2012. That colossus extends far beyond the events featured in the original trilogy and includes hundreds, so not thousands of years.
Disney and Lucasfilm recently gave an update to the official Star Wars timeline that coincides with the release of the first wave of The High Republic titles. This massive publishing initiative explores a whole new era, some 200 years before the events of The Phantom Menace when the Jedi were still the defining force of law and order in the galaxy. It’s a huge undertaking that Lucasfilm takes quite seriously. It will see a number of novels, comics and even TV shows such as The Acolyte appear in the coming years.
With The High Republic comes new names for each of the official eras in the Star Wars timeline. We are here to break down each of these eras, explain when they take place and what media is included in them. To do that, it helps to understand how timeline is broken out often, using BBY and ABY. This means before the battle of Yavin A new hope (BBY), and after the Battle of Yavin (ABY). So essentially this places events in years in relation to the events in the first movie. With that out of the way, let’s dive in.
The High Republic
For now, this is the furthest point back in the official Star Wars timeline. Lucasfilm’s latest major project takes place about 200 years before the events of the prequels. That puts it at about 230 BBY, give or take. This is the point when the Jedi were at the height of their power as the last word in law and order in the galaxy. In front of The High Republic publishing event, which will span multiple titles and multiple media over the course of several years, was little researched in this era. Aside from the books and comics on the way, the Disney + series The Acolyte, being developed by Leslye Headland, will take place at the end of the era of The High Republic. Our knowledge of this era will grow in the years to come as more content comes in.
The first set of titles includes Light of the Jedi by author Charles Soule, kicking off the event. There is also a Marvel Comics series, as well as one from IDW. Other novels coming in the pipeline include A test of courage, The Great Jedi Rescue and Into the dark. The event is divided into three phases; Phase I: Light of the Jedi, Phase II: Quest of the Jedi and Phase III: Trials of the Jedi. Lucasfilm lays a lot of eggs in this basket, so expect to hear a lot about The High Republic in the coming years.
Fall of the Jedi
Fall of the Jedi is the era previously known as the prequels. This is the time when Palpatine began to rise to power and the Jedi were about to fall apart. It features George Lucas’s second trilogy Star Wars movies, The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, which describes Anakin Skywallker’s journey from a young boy on Tatooine to Darth Vader.
Aside from the prequel trilogy, this era contains the entirety of The Clone Wars animated series. For context, The Phantom Menace takes place around 32 BBY. So this is a long way from the era of the High Republic, which means that there is at least a hundred-year gap between the High Republic and the fall of the Jedi. For those who want to dive deeper, this era also includes novels such as Dark Disciple and comics such as the Darth Maul series and Obi-Wan and Anakin. While this era was once cast in a negative light, the initial reception of the prequel trilogy has made it a fertile breeding ground for Star Wars tell a story.
Government of the Empire
For a while, Reign of the Empire has been a bit short, according to Disney and Lucasfilm’s official description. This takes place roughly from 19 until the formation of the uprising a few years earlier A new hope. So this is a little less than two decades when the empire was at the very height of its power. While the Jedi were peacekeepers in the galaxy for a thousand generations, the empire had held the galaxy firmly in its grip for less than twenty years.
As for the content on the screen, this only includes Solo: A Star Wars Story and the animated series The bad party, which takes place in the aftermath of The Clone Wars. However, several key novels take place in this era, such as Catalyst, which is kind of a prelude to Rogue One, Lords of the Sith, Tarkin and Thrown. Several comics also fall into this timeline, such as Kanan, Han Solo – Imperial Cadet and Lando: Double or nothing. It’s also worth noting that the video game Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order also takes place during this period. So this is when Cal Kestis’s journey largely happened.
Age of Rebellion
This is where we get into what could be called ‘classic’ Star Wars territory. The era of rebellion begins around 5 BBY. It’s when the rebellion arose and the empire started to challenge in the galaxy. For years, Palpatine’s rule went unchecked. But it was only a matter of time before the oppressed people in the galaxy decided to work together and take a stand. This was the fight that was central to George Lucas’ original Star Wars story that would define the franchise and make it what it is today. Even though, chronologically, it’s kind of in the middle of the official timeline, in many ways this is where it all started.
The era includes the animated series Rebels, which is largely centered on the formation of the Rebel Alliance. It also includes the original trilogy of A new hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, like Rogue One. There are also quite a few novels taking place during this time, such as Thrawn: Alliances and Thrawn: Betrayal, like Heir to the Jedi, the Front books, Inferno Squad and Twilight Company, and A new day, which ties in with RebelsThis is also a rich era for comics, like many of the major ones Star Wars title takes place in this period. Plus, the acclaimed Darth Vader series by Kieron Gillen, who introduced us Doctor Aphra, is happening in this age.
The new republic
This may be the “wild west” era of the Star Wars timeline now. It takes place between the end of the original trilogy and the Disney sequel trilogy, which spans approximately 30 years, from 4 ABY to 34 ABY, and has hardly been investigated. The Mandalorian, which takes place approximately 10 ABY, is set in this era. The show, which introduced us to Baby Yoda, has become a huge hit and has shown us that this is a period of lawlessness and uncertainty in the galaxy. Just because the Death Star has been blown up (again) doesn’t mean the realm just quietly disappeared. It left a power vacuum and a struggle ensued in an attempt to fill it.
What we know for sure is that this era will be much explored in the years to come. Disney and Lucasfilm have a handful of live-action shows scheduled to take place during The New Republic. Some of which we know are included Ahsoka, Rangers of the New Republic and at least some of it The Book of Boba Fett, in addition to The Mandalorian Season 3. All of these would contribute to a mysterious series of events that will also take place in this era. The New Republic remains an era that can be filled in much, and it is a time that offers rich stories.
Rise of the First Order
Here we come to the last official era on the Disney timeline, the Rise of the First Order. This is where the sequel trilogy takes place. This is where Kylo Ren and Snoke begin to take up the mantle once held by the Empire. This is where the New Republic is being crushed and new heroes like Rey and Finn must face the forces of evil alongside the Resistance. This era begins around 34 ABY.
Rise of the First Order contains the sequel trilogy, The Force Awakens, The last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker. It also includes the relatively short-lived animated series, Star Wars: Resistance. Several novels have been released taking place in this timeline, including Canto Bight, Resistance reborn and Black striker. There are also several comics out at the moment, including the Poe Dameron series, Galaxy’s Edge and Captain Phasma.
Bonus Round: The Old Republic
While it’s not officially part of the current Disney / Lucasfilm timeline, it feels like an inevitability that The Old Republic will be recognized at one point or another. Especially since Star Wars The Old Republic, an online multiplayer role-playing game, has been operating since 2011. This is an era that garnered much fame among fans thanks to the Knights of the Old Republic video game, which was originally launched in 2003. This era takes place thousands of years of BBY, almost 4,000 years before all events on the current timeline.
This is a time when the Sith and Jedi were at war with each other in an old (relatively speaking) version of a galaxy far, far away. Beloved characters such as Darth Malak and Revan existed at this time. While there is no official canon footage taking place during The Old Republic, this era is so far removed from anything Lucasfilm explored in the movies that much of what was loved about the Legends stories could easily be incorporated into the new canon. There have been rampant rumors of projects taking place in The Old Republic, but none of them have come to light yet. Although it may only be a matter of time.
Subjects: Star Wars