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- "...a great Republic governed the galaxy for thousands of years. It was a time when peace, justice, and freedom flourished throughout the star systems."
- —Ussej Padric Bac[src]
The Galactic Republic was the dominant galactic government in the galaxy from 25,000 BBY to the establishment of the Galactic Empire in 19 BBY; the government was also referred to as the Old Republic after the rise of the Empire, and as the First Republic upon the establishment of the New Republic in 4 ABY.
The Republic, proceeded by the Coalition of Planets, was founded after the signing of the Galactic Constitution in 25,000 BBY, at the end of the Unification War. The Republic was part of a number of conflicts during its governance, including the Tionese War of 24,000 BBY, the Alsakan Crisis of 13,000 BBY, and the Hutt War of 12,979 BBY; later conflicts were often fought against the Sith, such as during the Jedi Civil War, the Great Territorial War, and the New Sith Wars. The latter of the conflicts led to the Ruusan Reformations of 1,000 BBY, reforming a number of governmental elements. The Republic existed in relative peace for nearly a millennium, until the Invasion of Utapau and the subsequent Clone Wars beginning in 22 BBY.
Three branches made up the government: the executive branch, the legislative branch, and the judicial branch. The Supreme Chancellor was the executive head of government and commander in chief of the Republic's armed forces; the Chancellor also presided over the Galactic Senate, the legislative branch, as President of the Senate. The judiciary was watched over by the Republic's Supreme Court.
- 1 History
- 1.1 Foundation
- 1.2 Galactic expansion
- 1.3 Alsakan and Hutt conflicts
- 1.4 Great Wars
- 1.5 New Sith Wars
- 1.6 Reformations
- 1.7 Decline and collapse
- 1.8 Legacy
- 2 Government and politics
- 3 Society and culture
- 4 Economy
- 5 Military
- 6 Astrography
- 7 Behind the scenes
- 8 Appearances
- 9 Sources
- 10 Notes and references
The Galactic Republic was formed circa 25,000 BBY from the Coalition of Planets, in the aftermath of the Unification War. Original member planets included Alderaan, Alsakan, Chandrilla, Coruscant—which was chosen as the capital of the Republic—Corellia, Duro, and Kuat. Following the last battle of the war, the Galactic Constitution was drafted. Jonathan Bac, an Admiral in the Organian Empire and one of the signers of the Constitution, was elected the Republic's first Supreme Chancellor.
Around the time of the founding, the Republic discovered hyperdrive, allowing Coruscant to become the seat of government. Republic explorers mapped the Perlemian Trade Route, linking Coruscant to Ossus. Despite the wide promotion of hyperspace exploration, however, the government advocated for a slow expansion into the galaxy. Even with the government's initial protests, a number of planets did eventually join the Republic, many of them seeking protection from the Hutt Empire; the Hutts did not show signs of wanting to expand towards Republic territory, but many planets still feared the possibility.
In the millennia that followed, the Republic continued to expand into the galaxy. The Corellian Run was explored, linking Coruscant to Corellia. Exploration also led to the settling of the Colonies.
The Republic encountered the Honorable Union of Desevro & Tion during its explorations, and the two went to war with one another—this conflict was the first war the Republic fought. The conflict took place throughout the Perlemian Trade Route, and both Coruscant and Desevro—the capital of the Honorable Union—suffered extensive damage. The Republic won the war after covertly sending agents into the Hutt Empire to stir tension between the Hutts and the Tionese, causing the Honorable Union to shift focus towards the Hutt Empire. In the century that followed the war's end, most of the Tion Cluster, save for Desevro, joined the Republic.
Four centuries later, the Great Manifest Period began, offering the Republic a continued period of peace. Its territory continued to expand, entering into the Inner Rim and Expansion Region. Most of the galaxy was still unknown, however, save for outposts such as Ord Mantell and Malastare.
Circa 17,000 BBY, the Republic entered into the first of multiple conflicts with the Alsakan Union. The Alsakans, wanting their world to be the seat of power and to terraform the city-wide Coruscant, attempted to capture Coruscant. The Republic was able to prevent an Alsakan takeover of the planet.
Centuries later, circa 15,500 BBY, the Republic made first contact with the Star Dragons. The first encounter, however, proved disastrous; Coruscant was bombarded by the Star Dragons, leading to the Duinuogwuin Conflict. The conflict was resolved by Supreme Chancellor Fillorean and Star Dragon philosopher Borz'Math'oh. When the conflict was over, Fillorean and Borz'Math'oh founded the University of Coruscant to signal peace and enlightenment between the two peoples.
Alsakan and Hutt conflicts
Great Alsakan War
- Main article: Alsakan Crisis
Conflicts between the Republic and the Alsakan Union continued after the first attempted takeover of Coruscant. In 13,000 BBY, after amassing a force large enough to challenge the Republic, the Alsakan Union launched an attack on Coruscant. They blockaded the hyperspace lanes, preventing any additional Republic forces from entering the area, and were able to successfully capture the planet. The Republic’s political leadership, including Supreme Chancellor Relana Isolde Tanoor, were able to evacuate, transferring the Republic’s seat of power to Ord Mirit.
Desiring a peaceful solution to the conflict, Jedi Grand Master Banik Kelrada held a meeting with Chancellor Tanoor and convinced her to hold off a counterattack until he had an opportunity to meet with the Alsakan Vicar Lharra. Kelrada met with the Vicar on Ossus shortly thereafter and convinced her to end the conflict, but the Vicar was murdered by her own aides, who wished to see the war continue. The Jedi Enclave, the headquarters of the Jedi Order, was subsequently damaged by the aides who chose to suicide bomb the complex to cover up their actions.
Because of the assassination, as well as the subsequent Jedi convocation and schism within the Order that led to Kelrada’s disappearance the splintering of the Jedi Order, the war continued for around a year. The Republic and Alsakans fought in a number of other engagements, including battles at Ruan, Bessimir, and Metallos. The Alsakans lost control of Coruscant shortly thereafter and, while the Union was believed to be responsible for a high-fatality bombing against the Republic, the Alsakans were unable to recover from their losses. A cease fire was put into place, but it failed and the war continued. Chancellor Tanoor was also assassinated during this time.
In 12,999 BBY, the Republic and Alsakans engaged in the Battle of Alsakan. The Republic fleet defeated a weakened Alsakan fleet, with only a handful of Alsakan ships surviving. With the battle lost, members of the Alsakan military chose to collapse the gravitational integrity of Xenvaer, the orbiting city where all Alsakans lived—Alsakan religion forbid anyone but the highest of priests from being on the surface—in the hopes of destroying the Republic fleet with it. Most of the Republic's forces survived, but a number of Republic vessels and millions of fleeting Alsakans were destroyed when the city crashed into the planet's surface, devastating the world.
Aftermath and expansion
The destruction and cataclysm on Alsakan was a bittersweet victory for the Republic. The war ended and the surviving Alsakan leaders signed an unconditional surrender. The Republic was jubilant over the peace they had hoped for, and many people believed war would never come to the Republic again. Alsakan refugees, many of whom had come to disavow their former Union's military and the religious beliefs that led to their people's self-inflicted genocide, began assimilating into the Republic. Other Alsakans, however, grouped into new sects, such as the Alsakan Restoration Movement.
With the war over, Chancellor Thierry Darkrose, who had been elected after Chancellor Tanoor's assassination, served out a four year term, but opted not to seek re-election. Alcor Bac, the Senator of Alderaan and descendant of Jonathan Bac, was elected and served two four year terms. Bac launched initiatives to further colonize and explore the galaxy, using hyperspace routes that had been mapped but unexplored to move into the Mid Rim of the galaxy. The project was carried out by the military. Many worlds became member planets, though others chose to become allies but not members. Both were embraced quickly, as the Republic began to fear that the Alsakan Restoration Movement would attempt to attack Coruscant or other Republic worlds.
As the Republic's exploration moved deeper into the Mid Rim and towards the border of the Outer Rim Territories, the Hutt Empire became concerned that the Republic was going to attempt to annex its territory. The Hutts called on the Republic to leave the border worlds, but the Republic refused as it had no intention of moving into the Outer Rim. The Hutts labeled the refusal and expansionist policies acts of aggression, prompting the Republic to send diplomats to Nal Hutta, the Hutt homeward, in an attempt to resolve the situation. The star charts provided by the Hutts for the trip to Nal Hutta ended up opening further travel to the Outer Rim, though the Republic was careful not to escalate the tense situation. The meeting proved to be successful, and each side feared it would result in war; the Hutts believed the Republic would encroach on their territory, while the Republic worried that the Hutts would attempt to expand their empire into the Mid Rim for power and further wealth.
Chancellor Bac's eight years in office ended with low approval ratings due to the declining Hutt situation. Under his successor, Etesutr Hapor, however, the situation declined further, as Hapor decided to continue Bac's policies of colonizing the Mid Rim with outposts and settlements. The angry Hutts claimed this was further proof of attempted annexation. Hapor resigned one year into his second term over the crisis, and he was replaced by Homor Anthony Salandra.
In 12,979 BBY, after the Hutts incorrectly came to the conclusion that a Republic invasion was imminent—the Republic was content with the sphere of influence it had created in the Mid Rim—Salandra proposed a meeting on Iridonia, a neutral Mid Rim world, between himself and Gorrbag, the Hutt Chairman, to discuss the issues each side had; when the Hutt Grand Council agreed to the meeting, the Republic called the agreement to have a meeting itself a diplomatic victory for the Chancellor.
- Main article: Hutt War
During the meeting, which began with both leaders trying to keep their animosity toward one another restrained, the Republic and Hutt fleets in orbit were fired upon at the same time; both sides blamed the other for firing the first shot. A battle between them broke out, and the talks on the surface ended almost immediately as the two leaders were escorted out of the negotiations. Both Chancellor Salandra and Chairman Gorrbag escaped the planet and into hyperspace. The battle continued for a short time after until the Republic ordered a retreat. The battle became a first of the Hutt War, and the Hutts began moving into the Mid Rim with the intent of asserting their economic dominance throughout the galaxy.
Old Sith Wars
Great Territorial War
Great Sovereign Crusades
Great Galactic War
New Sith Wars
Decline and collapse
Government and politics
- Main article: Supreme Chancellor
The executive branch was the Supreme Chancellor, who served as the head of government and—until the Ruusan Reformations—commander in chief of the Republic’s armed forces. The Chancellor was also part of the legislative branch, presiding as the President of the Senate. Chancellors could serve two four year terms, per the Constitution, after being elected by the members of the Senate. Supreme Chancellors worked from offices in the Senate Rotunda and the Senate Office Building, both in Galactic City. The Chancellor was typically addressed as "Your Excellency."
Although the office of Supreme Chancellor became less powerful after the Ruusan Reformations, Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum selected Jard Dooku and Obi-Wan Kenobi to serve as a Jedi ambassadors on a secret mission to Utapau in 22 BBY, part of the diplomatic efforts to end the Trade Federation’s blockade of the planet. Other decisions, however, such as the direct use of force against enemy combatants, required Senate approval in order to proceed.
After the fall of the Republic, the position of Supreme Chancellor was replaced by that of Galactic Emperor. The New Republic’s head of government was the President of the New Republic.
- Main article: Galactic Senate
The Galactic Senate was made up of one Galactic Senator from each Republic world or sector, and they served as the ambassadors from their constituencies to the Senate. Member worlds retain their government and society in accordance with their own local beliefs, customs, and traditions, while sending a representative to the Senate. Depending on the laws and customs of the member state, Galactic Senators could either be elected to the post or appointed by their local governments.
The Senate was headquartered in Galactic City on Coruscant, the Republic’s capital. The Galactic Senate Building held multiple floating platforms, each one representing a member state. Along with Galactic Senators, who each received one vote, the leaders of individual states had the power to vote in the Senate and introduce legislation when available to do so. All proceedings were carried under parliamentary procedure, such as votes of no confidence in elected officials.
While also serving as the executive head of government, the Supreme Chancellor was elected from within the Senate and served as the President of the Senate. The Senators within the Senate also were members of individual committees, such as the Armed Services Committee. Each of these committees were based around specific fields in the administration of the government, and were also responsible for creating legislation before a bill was reviewed by the full Senate. Committees also presented reports about situations under their jurisdiction; in 22 BBY, the Armed Services Committee presented a report detailing an investigation that revealed the Republic's clone army was being built on Kamino.
The government was not fully centralized; while the Senate passed legislation that all member states were required by law to follow, most legislation dealing with citizens’ everyday lives was created and signed at the planetary, sectoral, or regional level. This left the Senate to resolve disputes between members, provide for common interplanetary defense—member worlds still often retained their own security forces and armed services—and regulate intergalactic trade.
- Main article: Supreme Court
The judiciary was led by the Supreme Court, the highest court of law in the Republic. The Supreme Court, headquartered in the Galactic Courts of Justice Building on Coruscant, consisted of twelve judges. The Chief Justice, one of the twelve, was the head of both the court and the entire judicial branch. The Supreme Chancellor nominated candidates for the court who were then approved or denied by the Senate.
The Supreme Court was described as the “court of last resort;” it was the last and highest court of appeals, and it determined constitutional legality. The Supreme Court, however, would also preside over cases involving high ranking politicians and other individuals of note in the Republic. Some cases, such as treason by Galactic Senators or impeachment trials, were handled by the Senate, as the Senate considered them internal affairs that should have been handled from within.
Relationship with the Jedi Order
- "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, after the fall of the Old Republic and the Jedi Order[src]
Although the Order of the Jedi Bendu was believed to have existed when the Republic was founded, Jedi records indicated that the Jedi Order first became involved, albeit minimally, in Republic affairs roughly a century after the Galactic Constitution was signed. The Jedi agreed to be the defenders of the Republic, though they did not swear complete allegiance to it.
By the Alsakan Crisis of 13,000 BBY, the Jedi Tenets stated that, as the defenders of peace and justice in the galaxy, a Jedi was meant to be loyal to the main galactic government, though that did not necessarily mean the Galactic Republic if the Republic was replaced with another dominant government. The Jedi Tenets were reformed following the Alsakan Crisis. By the Hutt War, the Jedi had strengthened their relations with the Republic; the Republic capital of Coruscant became the new capital for the Jedi as well, and that continued on into the time of the Clone Wars. The Jedi and the Republic both strove to fight for the principles of peace and freedom, so the Jedi reformed their tenets to state that a Jedi was required to side with the Republic in galactic conflicts as the Order was meant to defend the people of the Republic.
Relations between the Republic and Jedi remained for thousands of years. In consultation with the Jedi High Council, and without Senate approval, Chancellor Finis Valorum sent Obi-Wan Kenobi and Jard Dooku as Jedi ambassadors to Utapau in an attempt to resolve the Trade Federation's blockade of the planet in 22 BBY. The Jedi remained the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic until it was replaced by the Galactic Empire and the Jedi Order fell.
Society and culture
The Galactic Republic had a diverse culture and society, made up of species, planets, customs, and traditions from across the galaxy. All member worlds were able to keep and maintain their own culture with its own beliefs, customs, and traditions. There were, however, beliefs that multiple member worlds shared, such as an open and free policy towards arts and an opulent aesthetic style.
Humans made up a large part of the Republic's government, as well as the local governments of the galaxy. Despite that, Humanocentrism was outlawed by the Rights of Sentience clause in the Galactic Constitution, though it still existed in the Republic. Human-led companies on the fringe worlds of the Republic would sometimes enslave nonhuman races—the majority of slaves in the galaxy were non-Human, and some planets would favor Humans and reserve the more luxurious sections of their worlds for Humans; reserving luxury for Humans forced non-humans to live in less-than-desirable conditions, such as ghettos.
The Galactic Constitution forbid individuals in the Republic from taking Republic citizens as slaves, though it was not until 23 BBY that the Galactic Senate forbid Republic companies from using slave workers while operating outside of Republic jurisdiction. The Trade Federation attempted to force the overturning of the law by invading Utapau, as the Federation had lost profits due to the loss of their slave workers in the Outer Rim.
The Republic had a degree of influence in its economy and, by default, the galactic economy. This was due to the regulatory power the government had over the economics of the Republic, as well as the production of Republic dataries—dataries were the currency of the Republic—and the authorization of relevant economic bodies.
The economy of the Republic was trade-based, particularly trading between member worlds. Interplanetary trade supported local governments. A number of planets utilized their own vessels to ship goods, but most worlds relied on shipping firms or independent contractors to send their goods across major hyperspace lanes.
Despite the local advantages in trading, the large amounts of government spending had to be funded by interplanetary exports, so there were significant trade taxes in order to pay for the costs of the central government. Additionally, any citizen with a job was required to pay income taxes, which were collected by the Republic Tax Collection Agency.
In the aftermath of the New Sith Wars and the passing of the Ruusan Reformations, the standing Republic military was disbanded. The Republic instead utilized local security forces, planetary defense forces, and the Republic's Judicial Forces to maintain security throughout Republic space.
Behind the scenes
- Alsakan Crisis
- Great Hutt Wars
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (First appearance)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Revan
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Deceived
- Star Wars: The Old Republic
- Darth Bane: Path of Destruction
- Darth Bane: Rule of Two
- Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil
- Star Wars: Episode I - The Chosen One (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Episode II - The Princess of Ondos
- Star Wars: Episode III - Destiny of the Jedi
Notes and references
- Government and Politics on TheStarWarsRP.Com
- Brandon Rhea's StarWars.com Blog
- Star Wars: Episode I - The Chosen One
- The Alternative Essential Guide to Characters
- History and Beliefs of the Jedi Order on TheStarWarsRP.Com
- The Eight Tenets on TheStarWarsRP.Com
- Republic Society and Culture on TheStar WarsRP.Com