The Star Wars galaxy is well lived in. It’s used, and used means history. By in universe terms, the Republic existed for about 25,000 years (including the Ruusan Reformations.) This is based on Obi-Wan saying “For over a thousand generations the Jedi were guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic.” A generation is an average of 30 years.
So the Republic alone has a lot of history. Some of it at peace, some of it at war with the Sith Empire.
The Star Wars Galaxy’s History can be divided in this fashion:
Ancient Pre Republic
Old Republic/Sith Pre-Ruusan
Old Republic/Sith Post-Ruusan
New Republic/Imperial Remnant
Galactic Alliance/Sith Empire/Imperial Empire
The books and comics go by the dating system using the Battle of Yavin as the reference date for it’s history. The Prequel movies take place in Old Republic’s Post – Ruusan era. This is why some say the Republic is only a thousand years old: it was reorganized, as was the Jedi’s role, after the Sith were defeated at Ruusan. They end with the formation of the Empire. The Original Trilogy takes place in the Empire/Rebellion era. (Whereas a thousand generations isn’t 1000 years, A generation is how long the average person takes to be born and grow up and possibly have children of their own.
Big Dates. Most in universe history dates are reckoned by the Battle of Yavin. This is just a sample.
For instance, The old Republic Era
5000-40000 year BBY
3976 BBY was the Mandalorean War (seen in KOTOR comics and mentioned in KOTOR games).
3,653 BBY is the Treaty of Coruscant, the gameplay starts about 10 years later. (IN game The Treaty of Coruscant is considered year 0 for those living it)
just over 1000 years BBY – Sith War of Darth Bane – The Ruusan Reformations
The post Ruusan era runs until around 20 years before BBY. (This is approximate because Luke and Leia’s age is said to be 18 in some sources and more like 22 in others as of ANH.)
So about 23 BBY to 20 BBY The Clone Wars runs. Then Order 66 breaks out and the Republic is declared an Empire.
Then you have the Battle of Yavin
Year 0 is the destruction of the Death Star.
4 ABY (after the battle of yavin) the Emperor is killed, Vader dies as Anakin Skywalker, the second death star is destroyed.
8 ABY Han and Leia marry.
9 ABY Jacen and Jaina Solo are born. Thrawn attacks
10 ABY Anakin Solo is born. Clone Emperor attacks.
11 ABY the Jedi Academy is established.
19 ABY Treaty signed between New Republic and Empire, Luke and Mara plan marriage
25 ABY Yuuzhan Vong war, NJO era
130 ABY Second Imperial Civil War, Legacy comics era
Suggested Timeline reading:
- The Essential Guide to Alien Creatures (1rst edition- 2001) – There is a timeline in the front.
- The Essential Chronology (2000) – this only includes the Phantom Menace, & lacks later published content. It does include a simple timeline in the back the later version drops.
- The New Essential Chronology (2005)
- Jedi VS Sith The Essential Guide to the Force – this has a timeline of the major events involving Jedi and Sith at the front.
The Timeline for the Dark Horse Comics Events (archive version available only)