If you want to know about the High Republic era in Star Wars, you’ve come to the right place. The Skywalker Saga is just the tip of the galactic iceberg, so let’s dive into a time long before the stories we all know and love.
If you thought the Star Wars timeline was vast, then introducing yourself to the High Republic era and all the events that came before the Star Wars movies can be quite a daunting experience. There’s a few familiar Star Wars characters knocking around during this time, and plenty you may not know yet ahead of The Acolyte release date. There’s lightsabers and Jedi, though, so at least it’s not totally alien.
With our handy explainer of the High Republic era, you’ll be a Star Wars historian in no time. So let’s see what that time was all about, how it ended, and what kind of Star Wars villains were lurking in the galaxy during the period.
What is the High Republic era?
The High Republic era took place around 200 years before the events of the Skywalker Saga, and was a time of peace for the galaxy.
Long before Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Darth Vader came along and the battle between the Galactic Empire and the Rebellion kicked off, the galaxy was calm, and innovations were being made to bring civilizations closer together.
What was the High Republic era like?
The High Republic era was generally a peaceful and fruitful time to exist in the galaxy, with Hyperspace technology being introduced allowing more extensive travel between systems.
The Republic thrived under the leadership of Chancellor Lina Soh, who created a space station called Beacon Starlight. The purpose of this was to help integrate planets in the Outer Rim territories into the system and allow those on Coruscant to provide better to support to the rest of the galaxy.
To assist the Chancellor in maintaining this era of peace, the Jedi Council dispatched various Jedi Knight throughout the galaxy to outposts along the Outer Rim.
As we know, the Star Wars timeline doesn’t stay peaceful for too long, though, and eventually chaos and carnage disrupted the era. The Hyperspace lanes are hit by what is described as the Great Hyperspace Disaster, when a transport vessel veers out of control and the debris decimates the Hetzal system, killing many people.
There also emerged a new threat called The Nihil, a group of space pirates who were similar to Star Wars bounty hunters but far more merciless. They would ravage ships and civilizations, leaving destruction and death in their wake. The Nihil were led by Marchion Ro, a bandit who held a strong contempt for the Republic and the Jedi.
How did the High Republic era end?
The High Republic era ended in roughly 82 BBY when, after many battles, the Nihil were able to establish a stronghold in the Outer Rim territories and segregate the galaxy once again.
The Nihil caused great damage to Chancellor Lina Soh’s plans for a better galaxy, and even destroyed the Starlight Beacon which was supposed to connect the Outer Rim to the core of the system.
Multiple conflicts between the Jedi and the Nihil would take place on different planets, most notably on Corellia and before that, Elphrona, with many casualties for the Jedi.
Marchion Ro ultimately took control of the Outer Rim territories and the Jedi refused to engage in further battle, instead urging all the Jedi Knights outposted in the Otuer Rim to return to safety. Sadly, Chancellor Soh sent the Republic Defense Coalition Outreach Fleet to take on the Nihil, but they failed and the Nihil assumed absolute control of the Outer Rim.
What’s the difference between the High Republic and the Old Republic?
The Old Republic occurred thousands of years before the Skywalker Saga, while the High Republic was a couple of hundred years before that era we see in the movies.
As for what the two periods were like, the Old Republic was a far more lawless and dangerous time, while the High Republic era was a time of peace, generally speaking.
The Sith and the Jedi in the High Republic era
The Jedi reigned supreme during the High Republic Era and helped to maintain peace throughout the galaxy while the Sith were thought to be extinct.
During this time, there were three Jedi Grand Masters: Yoda, who we all know and love, Pra-Tre Veter, and Lahru. Alongside them on the Jedi council were Jora Malli and Stellan Gios. Meanwhile, the most active and prominent Jedi throughout the galaxy was arguably Avar Kriss, who was heralded as the Hero of Hetzal after her efforts during the Great Hyperspace Disaster.
As for the Sith, it was assumed they had fallen at the end of the Old Republic. That wasn’t true, though, they were simply operating in secret, plotting the demise of the Jedi. There’s plenty of references to this within the pages of various Star Wars novels, and it is during this time that the foundations of Emperor Palpatine‘s plans were laid.
That’s all there is to know about the High Republic era, so you should feel comfortably equipped for The Acolyte Star Wars series now. Until that show arrives, why not learn about other TV series on the way like Andor season 2, or dive into our guide on the Star Wars cast. Alternatively, explore new movies coming your way this year, but just don’t expect to find any Star Wars aliens on the big screen any time soon.