The Galactic Republic was the name of the interplanetary State used in the fictional Star Wars universe prior to the establishment of the Galactic Empire. The form of this government, ruled by the Senate, was introduced in the Prequel Trilogy. By the time of the original Star Wars trilogy, it is referred to as the Old Republic. It was a democratic, though eventually ineffectual, constitutional republic tied up in layers of bureaucracy.
The Republic, as it was commonly known, was a republican government that was able to sustain itself for over twenty-five thousand years.
Government and politics
The Galactic Senate was led by a democratically elected Supreme Chancellor that held the ability to call for special sessions of congress, but could just as easily be removed as voted into office through a Vote of No Confidence from the various senators that served under them. Supporting the Supreme Chancellor was the Vice Chair, who would help set the agenda for the senate and call for votes on varying pieces legislation. Senators would represent varying worlds or sectors across the galaxy, while Senior Representatives could voice the opinions of a minority population or political party of an already represented planet. Despite this position, the Representative could not actively vote on or introduce new legislation, but could perform these duties if the instated senator was on a leave of absence or otherwise unavailable. Members of varying corporations, guilds, federations, and businesses received representation in the Senate, with members of the Trade Federation and others exploiting this position for monetary gain, and causing dissatisfied systems to view the Senate as corrupt.
The Galactic Senate was consisted of hundreds of senators who represented the many worlds of the galaxy, and was led by a Supreme Chancellor that was elected by and from the representatives. Its primary concern was mediating disputes between varying worlds and dictating the laws and regulations necessary to maintain the Republic.
The military and naval forces of the Galactic Republic were founded during the formation of Republic, it's goal was to protect planets that were members of the Republic, from dangerous threats, occasionally members of the Jedi Order become part of the army, only if it is absolutely necessary for the Jedi to get involve into a war.
By the events of The Phantom Menace, the Republic had no military or naval forces, due to them believing that the Jedi had wiped out the entire Sith Order, as their only military forces were members of the Jedi Order. This made them vulnerable to an invasion, sometime after the Invasion of Naboo incident; unknown to the people the galaxy, Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas contacted the Kaminoans, known for their clone hatcheries, and secretly commissioned them to create a clone army. He did this without the approval of the Jedi High Council and the Galactic Senate.
The Grand Army of the Republic fought in the Clone Wars, a war that would last for the next three years. By the end of war, the Republic Army/Navy was dissolved along with most members of the army and navy after the rise of the Galactic Empire. Members of the clone army became part of the Imperial Army/Navy; by force or of their own free will.
Thousands of years ago the Galactic Republic was founded by several senators from various planets of the Core Worlds. These representatives wanted peace between their respective home planets. Military and naval forces were assembled during the formation of Republic with the goal of protecting the planets that constituted members of the Republic. Over time the Jedi Order, an organization of virtuous Force-users, who could tap into the power of the Light side of the Force, became the Republic's frontline peacekeepers, as well as the guardians/enforcers of peace and justice throughout the galaxy.
As the Republic became more powerful, it expanded through peaceful means rather than through the use of its military, however, corruption gradually seeped into the the Galactic Senate. "Supreme Chancellor" was the title given to the individual elected as leader of the Galactic Republic and head of the Galactic Senate with the understanding that if the Senate could not reach unanimous aggrement on a matter concerning the welfare of the Republic - then the decision would be entrusted to the knowledge and experience of the elected candidate. For considerable length of time peace reigned throughout the galaxy but this would end with an unnamed/unknown rogue Jedi, who embraced the Dark Side of the Force and founded the Sith Order, an organization of malevolent Force-users, who could tap into the power of the Dark side of the Force and whose goal was to conquer and rule the galaxy.
At some point in time - after the end of the Great Scourge of Malachor, it was believed that the Jedi Order had wiped out the entire Sith Order, an effort helped along considerably by the power-hungry Sith themselves as they fought amongst each other - but there was one surviving Sith; Darth Bane, who decreed there should be no more than two Sith at any one time to prevent infighting. Eventually, Bane was killed by the Jedi (when they learned of his survival and his new Sith philosophy; the Rule of Two), it is unknown if the Jedi had informed the Republic of the Dark Lord's death, however, unbeknownst to the people of the galaxy and the Jedi Order, Bane had secretly taken an apprentice and by letting himself be killed, had drawn the Jedi's attention away from the Sith, leading them to think that the Sith Order had been destroyed for good. The Jedi destroyed any Sith artifacts they found, but this was a mistake - as was their underestimation of the Dark side Force-users - for had the Jedi kept these artifacts - they may have been able to prepare for the Sith's eventual return.
Sometime after the Invasion of Naboo, the Trade Federation's control on the Outer Rim Territories was broken, and many planets began to leave the Republic becoming part of the Confederacy of Independent Systems, after Sheev Palpatine had succeeded in becoming the new Supreme Chancellor, he created the public persona of an amiable politician who bore the interests of the galaxy close to his heart (in order to hide his true dark intentions; as Palpatine was, in truth, the Sith Master; Darth Sidious and had a plan to gain full control over the Galactic Republic and transform it into his Sith Empire) Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas, came up with an idea for the creation of a new Republic clone army, only to be rejected by the Jedi High Council who believed his ideas were too extreme, unfazed by the Jedi High Council rejecting his ideas, Sifo-Dyas contacted the Kaminoans, known for their clone hatcheries, and secretly commissioned them to create the clone army, pretending to have come on behalf of the Galactic Senate, he did this without the approval of the Jedi High Council and the Galactic Senate. Unknown to Sifo-Dyas, Palpatine had earlier contacted Prime Minister Lama Su (presumably before the Jedi Master arrived on Kamino to contacted the Kaminoans create a clone army for the Republic) and convinced him to implant a control chip into the clones rains during their growth cycle, the Kaminoans were unknowingly being used as pawns by the Dark Lord of the Sith, as they believe the chips were to be used to safeguard against Jedi who could potentially go rogue, (become Dark Jedi) believing, that these orders came from Sifo-Dyas himself, however, in truth, the control chips were to be used to turn the clone troopers against their Jedi comrades and kill them, if the control chips were ever discovered, the Kaminoans were to lie (presumably under the orders from Palpatine or Dooku) by claiming that the chips were used to prevent the clones from being aggressive, like their genetic template Jango Fett, the very person they were cloned from, sometime after the creation of the clone army had begun, Palpatine had Sifo-Dyas eliminated, presumably because he considered the Jedi Master a potential threat to his goals.
During the ten years between the events of The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, ex-Jedi Master Dooku who had left the Jedi Order, following the death of his former apprentice Qui-Gon Jinn; secretly became the apprentice of Palpatine (Darth Sidious) and then became known as "Darth Tyranus", eventually obtaining the rank of Sith Lord, (prior to him leaving the Jedi Order, Dooku had secretly erasing the existence of the planet Kamino from the Jedi Archives from Coruscant Jedi Temple, presumably under the orders of his Sith Master) many believing he merely wished to form an offshoot of the Jedi Order, including the Jedi High Council itself, however, in truth, Dooku was secretly manipulating galactic events to ferment political turmoil on a variety of planets, including Kashyyyk, Sullust, Onderon, Sluis Van and Eriadu; in order to eventually start a war with the Republic.
After an assassination attempt was made against senator Padmé Amidala's life, the new senator and former queen of Naboo, by an unknown bounty hunter (Jango Fett), Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi was ordered by the Jedi High Council to find out who the identity of the bounty hunter and who he was and who he was working for, which he eventually did, simultaneously discovering the secret clone army on Kamino. Furthermore, on the planet Geonosis, he infiltrated and overheard Dooku addressing the Separatist Council and mentioning the attempts on Padmé's life, that were at the request of Nute Gunray. Realizing the importance of his discoveries, Obi-Wan sent a message to his apprentice Anakin Skywalker who was on Tatooine, but his signal could not reach Coruscant on its own; as his long-range transmitter was damaged and before he could end his message, Obi-Wan was captured by the Separatists and imprisoned.
Realizing war was now imminent, the Senate gave Supreme Chancellor Palpatine emergency powers to pass the Military Creation Act; so to raise the newly formed Grand Army of the Republic and Republic Navy to rescue Obi-Wan, Anakin and Padmé, along with a team of two hundred Jedi led by Jedi Master/then-Master of the Order Mace Windu. The Battle of Geonosis would serve as the first battle of the Clone Wars, a war that would last three long years, as well as the Republic's first victory. Shortly after the Clone Wars had begun, Mace stepped down from his position as "Master of the Order", and appointed Yoda as "Grand Master".
The Republic and Separatist armies were seemingly evenly matched in gaining victory and defeat over each other, however, in truth, the Republic army were truly superior, as the clone troopers were superior to battle droids; in terms of unarmed/armed combat, marksmanship, intelligence and tactical abilities, as the clones were rarely caught off guard or outmaneuvered by battle droids, at some point during the Clone Wars, Palpatine had somehow discovered that Anakin Skywalker and Padmé Amidala were secretly married, as the Dark Lord of the Sith would eventually use Anakin's love his wife and his fear of losing her to death, to turn him to the Dark side. Throughout the war, numerous diplomatic envoys engaged in several attempts to sway local planets to join the Galactic Republic or the Confederacy of Independent Systems alike.
Although the Jedi Generals, Jedi Commanders and those who served under them were regarded as war heroes, much of the public opinion toward the Jedi had grown negative as many came to believe that the Jedi had abandoned their role as peacekeepers and massive protests were staged outside of the Coruscant Jedi Temple. As a result, politicians like Wilhuff Tarkin, felt that their Jedi Code kept them from doing what was necessary to win the war. Jedi Knight-turn-Dark Jedi Barriss Offee also believed the Jedi were losing touch with their commitment of maintaining peace throughout the galaxy, and staged a bombing in the Coruscant Jedi Temple in protest, all while briefly framing her friend, Padawan Ahsoka Tano for committing the act before being exposed as the true culprit by Ahsoka's mentor, Anakin, as Barriss hypocritically believing that the Jedi had become an army fighting for the Dark side - while she became corrupted herself.
Over the course of the war, Palpatine became progressively more powerful. After Dooku and general Grievous were both killed in the Battle of Coruscant and the Battle of Utapau, by Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker and Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi respectively, the Jedi High Council began to suspect that the Supreme Chancellor was not who he appeared to be, and ultimately learned from Anakin (who discovered the Chancellor's secret identity) that Palpatine was Darth Sidious, the Dark Lord of the Sith and the mastermind responsible for orchestrating the war. A team of four Jedi Masters (Agen Kolar, Saesee Tiin and Kit Fisto) led by Mace Windu confronted the Chancellor in his main office, after Mace had apparently just barely managed to defeat the Dark Lord of the Sith in his confrontation (however, in truth, the Sith Master threw the fight in order to further corrupt Anakin into killing Mace) deciding that he was too dangerous to be kept alive, even after the latter had surrendered, Mace prepared to execute the Dark Lord. Anakin, enraged and seeing this act as the arrogance and corruption of the Jedi Order, stopped Mace by cutting off the hand wielding his lightsaber, allowing the Dark Lord to eliminate the arrogant Jedi Master for his "treasonous" attack on him. Mace's extremism enabled Palpatine to convert Anakin to the way of the Sith, turning him into the ruthless Sith Lord Darth Vader and gave him the pretext he needed to initiated Order 66, ordering the clone troopers to turn against their Jedi comrades and kill them, wiping out most of the Jedi in an instant - a vile act that would come to be known as the Jedi Purge.
Palpatine then ordered Vader to wipe out the Separatist Council on Mustafar. After Vader reported to his new mentor that his mission was a success - the Dark Lord ordered Vader to send a distress signal to deactivate the remnants of the Separatist Droid Army - thus ending the Clone Wars. Palpatine then called for a special session of congress, stating that the Galactic Republic will be reorganized into the first Galactic Empire, (claiming that it was for safety and to secure society) and declared himself Emperor, a decision that all members of the Galactic Senate (except for Padmé Amidala, Bail Organa, Mon Mothma and most other senators) agreed with him. Palpatine also framed the Jedi as traitors who were attempting to take over the Republic, and as instigators of the Clone Wars, turning the public opinion against the Jedi. With the destruction of most the Old Jedi Order, and the Grand Army of the Republic becoming Palpatine's enforcers to exert his tyrannical rule - the era of the Galactic Republic had ended and the age of the Galactic Empire had begun.
Notable Galactic Republic
When Palpatine gained full control over the Galactic Senate, he dissolved the Galactic Republic and reorganized it into the Galactic Empire, becoming it's emperor, as it became nothing more than a tyrannical government, it had been referred to as the Old Republic by the people of the galaxy, another reason why the Old Republic was destroyed by Palpatine; was due to the actions of the brave, yet arrogant Jedi Master Mace Windu, as he took his extreme nature too far on more than one occasion; as Mace's extremism enabled Palpatine to convert Anakin Skywalker to the way of the Sith and gave him the pretext he needed to activate clone protocal 66 and then declare himself emperor.
Approximately twenty-three years after the fall of the Old Republic, in the Battle of Endor, Palpatine was killed by the redeemed Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader; ending his reign of terror once and for all, in the midst of the chaos caused by Palpatine's death, the Empire had suffered a crippling defeat, as the Rebel Alliance restored the Republic, as well as reorganizing itself into a new government, however, because it was founded on the principles of the Old Republic; it became known as the New Republic.
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