In Disney canon, it has been retconned that the original Old Republic precedes the Galactic Republic, spanning over the time before the apparent destruction of the Sith, the dawning of the Rule of Two, and the establishment of the Galactic Republic as we know it. However, in A New Hope the Galactic Republic has been referred to as the Old Republic at least once.

I know a lot of retconning has happened since the original release of the original trilogy, but what is the in-universe explanation for such a change in terminology? When did this change occur in-universe?

Edit: It seems clarification is needed. My specific question is: In-universe, when did the denizens of the galaxy stop using the term "Galactic Republic", changing over to using "Old Republic" to refer to the same thing?

In the (prequel) Republic era, the Galactic & Old Republic are known to be separate entities. But during the Imperial era, the Old Republic has been redefined to refer to any Republic before the Empire, apparently. So when did this change come into force in-universe?

  • 2
    it's possible that, after all the recent retconning, Kenobi's statement no longer refers to the "Old Republic", but merely the "old [Galactic] Republic".
    – KutuluMike
    Commented Nov 30, 2015 at 23:44
  • 1
    case in point: when the senate is dissolved, Tarkin says "The last remnants of the Old Republic have been swept away." referring to the republic that the empire replaced.
    – phantom42
    Commented Nov 30, 2015 at 23:58
  • Do you want to reword this question or wrap it up?
    – user40790
    Commented Jan 19, 2016 at 0:25

1 Answer 1


I haven't seen "Old Republic" used in Disney canon, beyond the quote you mentioned (which, you have to note, was likely referring to the Republic that was turned into the Empire), but I think it's worth mentioning that The Ruusan Reformation was the event in the EU devised to mesh the statements of the OT with the PT movies, wherein Palpatine says the Republic has been around for 1000 years (fitting the timeline you stated). In the EU, there was no Old Republic vs the Galactic Republic; they were one in the same and the Old Republic was an era name.

Truth be told, I have found no Disney Canon mentions of the Old Republic as a separate entity at all since the canon restructuring. This is likely due to the decision to leave all canon ambiguous until clarified with new products.

  • The Old-formerly-Galactic-Republic has been mentioned in old material retained under the Disney canon - see comment by phantom42 under the original post. It has also been mentioned in new productions by Disney - episode 2 of Star Wars Rebels season 2 is titled Relics of the Old Republic. My question is, when did the Republic of the Clone Wars stop being referred to as "Galactic Republic", replaced instead by "Old Republic"? Commented Dec 1, 2015 at 1:18
  • @thegreatjedi - I think the most logical explanation would be that while the (original, i.e., pre-Imperial) Republic existed, it was known as "The Republic" or "the Galactic Republic"; once the Empire took its place, the Republic that used to exist was referred to as "the old Republic", as in "the Republic that used to be a thing, but isn't any more". Then the Empire fell and the New Republic was established, and it still made sense to differentiate between the "New (i.e., current) Republic" and the "old (i.e., previous) Republic".
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented Dec 31, 2015 at 2:26
  • It's a bit like the way everyone has always considered their own time period to be the modern age, but after some time passes, the previous period is no longer modern, and after enough time has passed, what used to be the modern age will be called antiquity. I don't think anyone in Julius Cæsar's time would have said "I live in Ancient Rome". Likewise, I don't think anyone would say "I live in the old republic". If it is still around, it isn't thought of as old, it is thought of as modern and current.
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented Dec 31, 2015 at 2:33
  • So is the term used in the original trilogy (under the current canon) "Old Republic" or "old Republic"? Commented Dec 31, 2015 at 2:35
  • @thegreatjedi - So the only thing that makes sense is to assume that people only began to call it the old republic after it had ceased to exist. I don't know offhand which country has been around with an unbroken string of independent governments, but whatever country it is, the people who live there wouldn't say "I'm from old ______". But if that country was conquered by someone else, they might say "life in old (pre-conquest) ______ was much better".
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented Dec 31, 2015 at 2:39

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