Star Wars isn't all about The Mandalorian and its sibling shows right now. We've really enjoyed learning about the grisly origins of the Rebel Alliance with Andor, and 2023 is bringing us the first-ever live-action project set in the High Republic era – so far limited to books and comics – in the form of The Acolyte. With Ahsoka now around the corner, more Disney Plus series in the way, and a new set of Star Wars movies in development, Lucasfilm has unveiled an updated canon timeline of the Star Wars universe that makes everything easier to follow and offers some insight into the future of the franchise.
Looking at the timeline, we've got both new additions as well as more precise "pieces" of major eras we've already explored based on galaxy-reshaping events such as Order 66 or the creation of the New Republic. So far, every movie or T.V. series has explored a rather "limited" portion of the entire Star Wars timeline developed over the decades (and across two different canons) through comic books, novels, and video games.
With the Skywalker Saga now finished and the "Mando era" shows building up towards a big theatrical conclusion, Lucasfilm is looking to go farther into both the past and the future. Needless to say, this is all part of the post-Disney canon that started off with the six original movies and The Clone Wars (3D), but some bits and pieces of Legends are getting picked up and adapted from time to time, so expect surprises. Also be aware that the Star Wars timeline traditionally follows BBY (Before the Battle of Yavin) and ABY (After the Battle of Yavin) as the extradiegetic dating system, as it simply makes sense to consider the events of A New Hope as "year zero" for clarity purposes.
If you need refreshers on key Star Wars characters making the jump from cartoons to live-action, check out our handy pieces on Ahsoka Tano, Grand Admiral Thrawn, and Bo-Katan Kryze. After the Ahsoka series, we're looking forward to Skeleton Crew as well. As for ranked lists, we've got it all with our Star Wars movies and Star Wars T.V. shows ranked lists, plus the top 10 best Star Wars video games of all time.
Spoiler warning: If you haven't caught up on the Star Wars universe, we suggest you stick to the new Star Wars timeline quick list below.
New Star Wars timeline
- Dawn of the Jedi (roughly 25,000 BBY)
- The Old Republic (25,000 – 1,000 BBY)
- The High Republic (500 BBY – 100 BBY)
- Fall of the Jedi (100 BBY – 19 BBY)
- Reign of the Empire (19 BBY – 5 BBY)
- Age of Rebellion (5 BBY – 4 ABY)
- The New Republic (5 ABY – 34 ABY)
- Rise of the First Order (34 ABY – 35 ABY)
- New Jedi Order (50 ABY – unknown)
Dawn of the Jedi (roughly 25,000 BBY)
The current canon's Dawn of the Jedi era will probably have very little to do with this comic run, though we all know Lucasfilm likes to pluck Legends ideas and characters quite often. James Mangold – who has just co-written and directed Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny for the studio – is set to direct a movie which explores "how the Force came to be known, understood, wielded, and harnessed." Though he's barely started writing a first treatment of the story, his pitch is based on Biblical epics like 1956's The Ten Commandments.
The Dawn of the Jedi era, set around 25,000 years before the events of the Skywalker Saga, is named after the 2012-2014 Dark Horse comic series written by John Ostrander and drawn by Jan Duursema. That Legends storyline told the story of the Je'daii Order, the group of Force-sensitives on the planet Tython that preceded the Jedi Order before the formation of the Republic (it was set almost 26,000 years BBY instead).
The Old Republic (25,000 – 1,000 BBY)
In the Legends canon, the Old Republic was formed "shortly" after the Dawn of the Jedi and spanned thousands of years, becoming the lengthiest period of Star Wars history by far. Numerous galactic conflicts, such as two Sith Wars, the Mandalorian Wars, and the Jedi Civil War, happened throughout this massive era.
As it stands, the only canonical references to the Old Republic are small and don't paint a full picture. Lucasfilm will surely explore this fan-favorite period in the current canon sooner rather than later, but it remains to be seen how that will happen. If recent projects are any indication, we might be seeing some renowned Legends characters re-adapted to fit new stories. There's also the question of whether the long-anticipated Knights of the Old Republic remake will be retold to be part of the current canon, too. As for the still ongoing EA-run MMORPG The Old Republic (which was born before Disney arrived), everything that happens there is part of the Legends continuity.
The High Republic (500 BBY – 100 BBY)
Right now, there's a gap of 500 years between the Old Republic and the High Republic eras, though we're fully expecting Lucasfilm to bump to end of the Old Republic closer to the High Republic. The latter was first introduced in 2021 with the acclaimed novel The High Republic: Light of the Jedi by Charles Soule. It was, however, mentioned in two written works before.
The High Republic multimedia initiative, mostly developed through books and comics so far, created and expanded on this period that bridges the tumultuous times of the Old Republic and the events that happen right before The Phantom Menace. This 400-year phase was when the Galactic Republic was at its height and the Jedi Order had a golden age before its downfall. While it's largely considered an era of peace, insidious forces worked to rip apart the Republic and the Jedi in the absence of the Sith.
The High Republic era made its T.V. debut earlier this year with the children's cartoon Young Jedi Adventures. Phase 3 of the main publishing initiative also starts in 2023, but perhaps the most exciting project coming our way is The Acolyte, a live-action original series for Disney Plus being described as "a mystery thriller that will take viewers into a galaxy of shadowy secrets and emerging dark-side powers in the final days of the High Republic era." Then there's Quantic Dream's mysterious Star Wars Eclipse video game, but there are rumors of a troubled development, so we're refusing to hold our breath for now.
Fall of the Jedi (100 BBY – 19 BBY)
The Acolyte will most likely lead directly into the start of the Fall of the Jedi era, which covers the decades prior to the destruction of the Jedi Order through Order 66 and the formation of the Galactic Empire. Several novels and comic book series, plus the 2022 animated anthology series Tales of the Jedi, have told us more about the last days of the Jedi and the Republic. However, the works that narrate the most crucial events of the era – the rise and fall of Anakin Skywalker as a Jedi as well as the fabricated Clone Wars conflict – are the prequel movies and the 3D Clone Wars series.
At this point, we wouldn't expect more movies nor live-action shows set during this era, but you never know with all the spin-off ideas floating around. Thankfully, we're getting at least one more season of Tales of the Jedi, plus there's always room for more comics, novels, and video games.
Reign of the Empire (19 BBY – 5 BBY)
This era starts right after Order 66 and is characterized by the darkness and injustice which covers almost the entire galaxy. The surviving Jedi are on the run or in hiding, and the Galactic Empire is quickly extending its reach, exploiting the weak and suppressing freedom everywhere they can. Only a handful of proto-rebels dare stand against the might of the Emperor's regime.
A lot of games, comic books, and novels take place during this period, as there's plenty of space to tell stories in which heroes have to dodge and fight against Imperial forces. In the current canon, the biggest works released so far are the Star Wars Jedi games, the Obi-Wan Kenobi series, the Han Solo spinoff movie, and The Bad Batch.
Age of Rebellion (5 BBY – 4 ABY)
Even though the Empire doesn't fall until nine years later, 5 BBY marks the start of the Age of Rebellion. During this year, Lothal orphan Ezra Bridger joins the Spectres proto-rebel cell (see Star Wars Rebels) and Cassian Andor is first introduced to Luthen Rael, among other things. This is the proper start of organized rebellion against the Empire's reign of terror.
Later comes the theft of the Death Star plans in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which makes Luke Skywalker blowing up the Empire's moon-sized battle station possible in A New Hope (the point in which the timeline moves from BBY to ABY). The rest of the original trilogy tells the main events that lead to the fall of the Empire. Unsurprisingly, this period of time is also full of supplementary material in novels, comic books, and video games – the next of the latter is Star Wars Outlaws.
The New Republic (5 ABY – 34 ABY)
The New Republic isn't formed right after the Battle of Endor, where the second Death Star was destroyed and the Emperor and Darth Vader died. The winning Rebellion, however, quickly regains control of most of the galaxy as the Empire crumbles and entire systems break free from its control. The New Republic is created and finally, during 5 ABY, the crucial Battle of Jakku happens and the Empire loses its standoff against the new government's military forces.
As we now know, this didn't put a definitive end to Imperial activity, with smaller, hidden remnants plotting together to overthrow the New Republic while waiting for Grand Admiral Thrawn to make his return. This "story arc" of sorts is now being developed across The Mandalorian and its companion shows, and will culminate in Dave Filoni's big Star Wars movie. Since we also know what comes after this era, we're fully expecting to learn more about the origins of the First Order there.
All that leads to The Force Awakens and the destruction of the Hosnian Prime system also falls under the New Republic period umbrella, and this includes comic book runs, novels, and video games such as Star Wars: Battlefront II. Since it's a 29-year period full of legacy characters and more recent fan-favorites, it has the potential to contain many more new stories in the coming years.
Rise of the First Order (34 ABY – 35 ABY)
The Rise of the First Order only lasts (roughly) one year, but it's a very eventful year for the galaxy as a whole. The New Republic is in disarray after the sudden destruction of the entire Hosnian Prime system, and the First Order emerges from uncharted sectors of space to take over the galaxy and reignite Palpatine's dream while trying to avoid the fallen Empire's mistakes. During this time, the Resistance is the only thing that stands between them and total victory. This entire story is told by the sequel trilogy of movies, the Star Wars Resistance cartoon, and a handful of comic books and novels.
Unbeknownst to pretty much everyone but Palpatine's closest, the Sith Eternal cult and the most extremist members of the former empire had developed a Contingency plan in Exegol, a desert planet located within the depths of the Unknown Regions. While Darth Sidious' spirit regained strength inside a damaged cloned body, Supreme Leader Snoke was created as a stand-in puppet leader for the First Order.
During the late stage of the Resistance-First Order conflict, the Sith Eternal revealed its mighty fleet of planet-killing star destroyers and merged with the First Order to create the Final Order. Rey Palpatine (later adopting the name Skywalker) and Ben Solo stood together against the reborn Emperor while the Battle of Exegol happened above them. It all ended with the demise of both Palpatine and his cult, which effectively marked the total felling of the Sith. The Final Order's fleet and the First Order's occupying forces were also destroyed across the galaxy by a major civil uprising and the Resistance's allies.
New Jedi Order (50 ABY – unknown)
15 years after the events of the Battle of Exegol, the galaxy is enjoying a new period of peace and stability. Meanwhile, Rey Skywalker is rebuilding the Jedi Order (hopefully learning from the past). This is the premise of the movie – directed by Ms. Marvel's Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy – that will start a new era of the Star Wars universe hopefully moving past the Sith and allowing the Jedi to finally regenerate.
Little else is known about where the future of the Star Wars galaxy might be heading in this era, but beyond the inherited characters from the sequel trilogy and some valuable teachings, there's a blank slate waiting for a new generation of Star Wars storytellers.