New Republic? Old Republic? What’s the difference? That’s a question you might be asking yourself if you’re getting into Star Wars or your only exposure to the franchise has been the Skywalker Saga. But it’s not as confusing as you might think, so to clarify things, here’s the difference between the New Republic and the Old Republic in Star Wars explained.
Explaining the Old and New Republic in Star Wars
What’s the difference between the Old Republic and the New Republic? Several thousand years! Okay, that sounds like the punchline to a bad joke, but that is one of the fundamental differences between the two eras.
When it comes to timelines, the Star Wars franchise uses BBY, “before the Battle of Yavin,” and ABY, “after the Battle of Yavin.” The Battle of Yavin is an event that occurs at the end of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. So, in explaining the differences I’ll be using BBY and ABY.
The Old Republic was the ruling galactic alliance. It was founded around 25,000 years BBY, though to its citizens it was just the Republic. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic takes place nearly 4,000 years BBY.
So when did the Old Republic end? Before Disney bought Lucasfilm, it was generally considered to have lasted up until the end of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, 19 BBY.
However, according to the post-Disney book, Star Wars Propaganda: A History of Persuasive Art in the Galaxy, the Old Republic ended around 1000 BBY, replaced by the Galactic Republic. Old or Galactic, the Republic ended at the end of Revenge of the Sith, transformed into the Galactic Empire.
The New Republic, or the New Galactic Republic, was formed after the Battle of Endor at the end of Return of the Jedi, which was Episode VI. Remnants of the Empire were still around, but the New Republic took its place as the ruling galactic body.
It existed up until the events of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. Starkiller Base then destroyed the New Republic capital along with four of its neighboring planets, and with no one left to rule, the New Republic was effectively eliminated.
So to recap, the Old Republic existed until it was converted into the Galactic Empire. Then when the Empire was defeated, the New Republic rose. And that’s the difference between the New Republic and Old Republic in Star Wars explained.