The Clone Wars
32.0 BBY - Darth Sidious arranges a clone army to be commissioned on Kamino
24.0 BBY - Count Dooku leads a schism in the Galactic Republic, forming the Confederacy of Independent Systems
24.0 BBY - The Military Creation Act is proposed. Senator Amidala leds opposition to it.
22.0 BBY - Battle of Geonosis (Attack of the Clones)
21.9 BBY - Hunt for the Decimator (Galactic Battlegrounds: Clone Campaigns)
21.9 BBY - Dark Reaper Project (Battle of Raxus Prime, Battle of Rhen Var, Battle of Thule) (The Clone Wars)
21.8 BBY - Battle of Kamino (Republic #50: The Defence of Kamino)
21.8 BBY - Defence of Naboo (Republic #51: The New Face of War)
21.7 BBY - Battle of Muunilist (Clone Wars micro-series)
21.7 BBY - Battle of Mon Calamari (Clone Wars micro-series)
21.7 BBY - Battle of Dantooine (Clone Wars micro-series)
21.7 BBY - Attack on Ilum (Clone Wars micro-series)
21.7 BBY - Battle of Hypori (Clone Wars micro-series)
21.5 BBY - Haruun Kal Crisis (Shatterpoint)
21.2 BBY - Rise of the Cortosis Battle Droids (The New Droid Army)
21.0 BBY - The Spaarti Incident (Hero of Cartao)
21.0 BBY - The Bio-Droid Threat (The Cestus Deception)
20.8 BBY - Battle of Jabiim (Republic #54-59: Battle of Jabiim)
19.5 BBY - The Praesitlyn Conflict (Jedi Trial)
19.0 BBY - Battle of Coruscant (Revenge of the Sith)
19.0 BBY - Battle of Kashyyyk (Revenge of the Sith)
19.0 BBY - End of the Clone Wars; the Galactic Empire comes to power and begins to exterminate the Jedi. (Revenge of the Sith)
THE GALACTIC EMPIRE
The Republic ended following a period of intense political turmoil and one war that only led to another. At the height of the chaos the Republic's scheming head of government, Chancellor Palpatine, proclaimed himself Emperor.
Origins of the Empire
There is no distinct dividing line marking the end of the Republic and the beginning of the Galactic Empire. However, we do know the seeds of the Empire were planted during the Clone Wars when Supreme Chancellor Palpatine ordered an army of Clonetroopers (predecessors to the Stormtroopers) to fight the increasing threat of the Separatists. There was also a period of overlap starting from the election of Senator Palpatine of Naboo to the office of Supreme Chancellor, until the Declaration of a New Order – the formal establishment of the Empire.
Palpatine was an efficient and effective leader who quickly brought an end to corruption in the Senate, through greatly increasing the power of the Supreme Chancellor. Eventually, the Senate lost most of its power and became little more than an advisory council to the Supreme Chancellor. Secure in his power and position, Palpatine issued the Declaration of a New Order and declared himself Emperor nineteen years before the Battle of Yavin.
The people of the new Empire enthusiastically supported the vision outlined in the Declaration of a New Order. Many senators wholeheartedly supported the new government while a number of more cautious senators chose to watch and wait to see how the new government would handle the affairs of state. It promised to trade frailty for strength, chaos for order, and uncertainty for decisiveness. In retrospect, the foundation of the Empire had already been set down during Palpatine’s chancellorship and therefore the transition from Republic to Empire was relatively smooth.
The beginning of the Galactic Civil War ushered in the reign of terror. The Empire initiated the Great Jedi Purge, all but exterminating the Jedi Order.
During the first few years of the Empire, Coruscant was renamed Imperial Center, the galaxy saw the single largest military buildup in history, and a council of Moffs was established to more efficiently govern individual sectors and regions of the Empire. Popular support for the policies of Palpatine’s administration was high.
Organisation of Power
The Empire was ruled with absolute power by Emperor Palpatine, with Sate Pestage as Grand Vizier (the Head of Government, who was actually running the Empire day to day by the Battle of Endor), and Darth Vader as Supreme Commander of the Imperial Navy and Military Executor. The Galactic Senate still existed years after the Empire's establishment, but it had little power and was eventually dissolved by Palpatine. The real power below the Emperor was in the hands of the Grand Moffs, like Tarkin and the regional governors who were eventually granted direct control of their regions.
The Galactic Empire was actually more decentralized than its immediate predecessor, the Galactic Republic. Much more power was sent into the hands of the Moffs and Grand Moffs who controlled regional issues. This is in contrast to the structure of the Old Republic, which apparently had no intermediary between low-level planetary affairs and that of the Galactic Senate itself.
This power was backed up by the use of state terrorism which threatened horrific retaliation to any defiance to the government. The instrument of that terror was the Imperial military, which included the Imperial Stormtroopers and a large fleet of intimidating war vehicles like the Star Destroyers of the Imperial Navy and the All Terrain Armoured Transports (AT-ATs or Walkers) which were intended in part to spread fear as well as destroy the enemy. This policy reached its zenith with the constuction of the world-destroying Death Star.
Resistance to Imperial Rule
Three of the most influential senators, Bail Organa of Alderaan, Garm Bel Iblis of Corellia, and Mon Mothma of Chandrila. met in secret and signed the Corellian Treaty, forming the Alliance to Restore the Republic, more commonly referred to as the Rebel Alliance. However, the threat of Rebellion allowed Palpatine to endorse the Tarkin Doctrine of rule by fear of force rather than force itself. Shortly before the Battle of Yavin, Palpatine declared a state of emergency and disbanded the Imperial Senate. Thus the institution that represented the values and ideals of the Republic was swept away.
In addition a key instrument was intended to be the Death Star, a moon sized space station with sufficient firepower to destroy a planet with a single shot, shown in the first Star Wars movie, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Where as many planets could afford planetary deflector shields capable of warding off virtually any conventional attack, none could defend against the Death Star's prime weapon. "Fear will keep the local systems in line. Fear of this battle station", said Grand Moff Tarkin.
In the Expanded Universe, the Empire also emphasized human and, to a lesser extent, humanoid supremacy, with other alien species like Wookiees subject to slavery. Antislavery laws were repealed and legislation legalizing the persecution of nonhumans was passed. Peaceful demonstrations were dispersed using brute force, often killing and maiming thousands, as during the Ghorman Massacre. The planets of the Empire were no longer given a say in the government, but were now kept in line by the sector squadrons of the Imperial Navy, each containing twenty-four Imperial-class Star Destroyers. Disillusioned senators who had tried unsuccessfully to use legal means, and the time-honored system of checks and balances, now sought to end Palpatine’s rule through rebellion.
This explains why almost everyone on the side of the Empire in Episodes IV, V, and VI is human. The Imperial officers usually have a British accent, reminiscent of British imperialism. It is believed by some that Palpatine's association with non-humans like Darth Maul in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace contradicts the idea that there is any humanoid bias on the part of Palpatine. However, since Palpatine was a Sith Lord, it is logical to assume that he would take advantage of talent wherever he could find it, as was the case with Darth Maul and Grand Admiral Thrawn. It so follows that while the Empire was unquestionably speciesist, there is little to suggest that the Emperor himself was. In fact, some facts of the Expanded Universe imply that the privy councilors and advisors that filled Palpatine's court and ran the Empire on a day-to-day basis were the speciesists, and applied "High Human Culture" on their own accord.
THE GREAT JEDI PURGE
The Great Jedi Purge was a conflict in the fictional Star Wars universe, and was the beginning of the Galactic Civil War.
The Purge began shortly after Palpatine was declared Emperor and Anakin Skywalker turned to the Dark Side of The Force to become Lord Darth Vader.
As the first act under the newly formed Galactic Empire, the Emperor and Vader ordered the total extermination of all living Jedi throughout the galaxy as a sign that the universe was now under Imperial rule.
Almost none of the Jedi Knights survived this conflict. Among the few survivors were the corrupted Anakin (now Vader), Obi-Wan Kenobi, and the last surviving Jedi Master, Yoda. Kenobi escaped to Tatooine while Yoda escaped to the planet Dagobah under secrecy. The Expanded Universe series of books indicates that other Jedi also survived the purge.
THE REBEL ALLIANCE
It is not yet known exactly when the Alliance formed, but we do know it was at some point during the onset of the Galactic Civil War when Supreme Chancellor Palpatine transformed the Galactic Republic into the Empire with himself as Emperor. According to the role-playing game, resistance was relatively quiet until a military ship commanded by Tarkin was blocked by protesters who stood on the ship's landing pad and refused to move. With implied permission from the Emperor, Tarkin landed the ship anyway, right on the protestors, injuring and killing many.
Senators Mon Mothma and Bail Organa finally realized the Empire had absolutely no regard to the rights, or even the lives of its citizens and normal political channels were useless to address the problem. With their help, an underground organization was formed to plan the removal of the Emperor, but the growing ruthlessness of the state forced them into initial secrecy.
When they were ready to fight, it became clear that the cause needed legitimacy with something public. Mon Mothma supplied an open Declaration of Rebellion in which the grievances of the Alliance were stated and concluded with an open threat to depose the Emperor. With that act, the Empire went to work to crush the insurrection, while various allies secretly made their contributions to the Alliance.
The most notable equipment contributions include the defection of the Incom Corporation staff and all relevant material involved in the development of an advanced spacefighter, the X-Wing. Later the fish-like species called the Mon Calamari joined the rebellion and used their renowned skill in ship construction to supply badly needed capital ships that could take on the Imperial Navy.
According to the RPG, part of the Alliance's strategy was the doctrine of space denial. That is, the alliance would attack Imperial shipping in hit and run raids both to disrupt Imperial supplies and operations and to confiscate desperately needed materials. In that regard, their fighters had hyperdrive capability along prearranged routes which would allow this kind of harassment and escape before the Empire could react.
Through their intelligence network, the Alliance learned of the construction of the Death Star, an enormous terror weapon intend to secure the Empire's power. An operation headed by Princess Leia was successful in retrieving the schematics of the station, but Darth Vader discovered the act and captured Leia. However, in the events described in the film, Star Wars: A New Hope, Luke Skywalker and friends managed to free the Princess and deliver the plans to the Alliance. This not only allowed the Alliance to destroy the station in The Battle of Yavin, but also in Luke, they gained their only loyal member with training in the use of The Force and the skills of the purged Jedi Knights.