They had built the only galactic community ever known, a community that had always served it's citizenry well and faithfully.New worlds came to share in it's beneficial guidance as the centuries passed.First hundreds, then thousands, then millions of worlds banded together under it's banner.
For more than a thousand generations, the worlds of civilized space co-existed within the Old Republic, a free and equitable governmental fabric which bound its worlds and it's citizens into a beneficial whole.The common rule by the Senate served the people wisely and well.Planets, which found themselves in jeopardy due to natural disaster or rebellious uprising, could turn to their neighbors for help.All races, all sentinent species, all peoples were equal under the law and lived their lives with rights that guaranteed both opportunity and freedom.
The guardians of this Republic were the Jedi Knights,a bold and fearless Order that, numbering in the hundreds of thousands, served to defend and protect the people of the Republic.Thier wisdom.bravery and strength had become legend.The mere mention of their intervention was often sufficient to quiet planetary lawlessness, wherever it occurred.Drawing their common strength from the Force, the Jedi maintained peace throughout the galaxy for generation upon generation, and passed their ways along to those who had proven themselves both capable and worthy of Knighthood.
By banding together, the Old Republic had made itself impervious to any outside attack.No other galactic powers had dared move against them, for to do so meant certain failure.The people of the Old Republic slept securely in their beds, safe within their political walls.
Attack did come, however.But,as with many democratic societies, it came not by outstanding force but from within.
Decay finally set in as more and more worlds joined the Old Republic.Local officials became susceptible to influence and bribary, bowing most often to the wishes of those involved in the dealings of interstellar commerce.The Senate, weakened by so many centuries of peace and complacency,became dangerously careless.Political overthrow was unthinkable but inevitable.
An ambitious and unscrupulous senator named Palpitine rose quickly and geometrically to power, aided by those in the lower regions of the Senate who began to crave more power and authority for themselves.Promising to clean up the galaxy and return the Republic to the excitement of it's more vital and ambitious days, Palpitine was elected President of the Republic, and surrounded himself with these greedy and power hungry officials, who had swept him into power.
What they did not know was that Palpitine drew his power and charisma from the dark side of the Force.He had far greater ambitions than the mere office of President would allow him, and those who had ridden his coattails onto the upper places of political power were soon to find themselves left behind, imprisoned, or crushed beneath the heavy hand of Palpitine as he ruthlessly sought his ultimate goal.
Under Palpitine's orders, the new Empire began a military buildup unlike any in recorded history.Immense vessels with incredible fire power sprang from the drawing board and into existence seemingly overnight.The resulting technological boom brought about the creation of a whole new science of war.
The core systems were the first to fall.Their planetary governments were forcibly disbanded as martial law swept from world to world.
Secure in his position,surrounded by a military core that feared him, Palpitine declared himself Emperor.For the first time in uncounted centuries, the worlds of the Old Republic found themselves ruled by one man.All personal rights became subject to the whims of the Emperor.and early uprising's against Palpitine were wiped out almost before they began.In the end there was only the Emperor and through him the galaxy was ruled by the dark side of the Force.
The Jedi were systematically hunted down and summarily executed.The Jedi found themselves being abandoned, betrayed and even murdered by those whom they had protected for so long.
But the Force of course was quite real and the black tentacles was hardened Palpitine and his new pupil, Darth Vader, into evil incarnate.They shrared it's horrible energies, and used them to fill the minds of their subserviant military minions with fear.
Master and disciple,they ultimately devised a program that should have spelled final doom for the Old Republic.The puppet Senate that had been kept in place was permanently disbanded, and direct rule was given to those regional governers appointed by Palpitine.The creation of a terrible weapon, one capable of destroying an entire planet with a single blast, kept the terrified leaders of each world in line under pain of annihilation.This Death Star was Palpitines last word, the final assurance of his stranglehold over the billions that he ruled.
For all his power, however, Palpitine had underestimated the spirit of independence still alive within the galaxy.Amid the darkness of the oppression that held the former worlds of the Republic in it's terrible grip, there flickered a tiny ember of resistance.Fanned by the dream of regained freedom, and by the reemergence of the virtuous side of the Force, the spark became a flame.Despite overwhelming odds, against a seemingly invincible Imperial military force, the flame burst into a fire that quickly became brighter, hotter and purer.
The Rebel Alliance was born.The Jedi breathed again.The day's of Palpitine's Empire were numbered.