13

How far back does recorded history go in the Star Wars galaxy? Here, recorded history would mean what is still remembered/known during the years of the Star Wars movies. If an event was recorded 50 million years ago, but all writings were lost, that would not mean much to people today.

What I want to know is if the peoples of the galaxy have a sense of a deep and ancient history going back hundreds of thousands or even millions of years.

I am looking for answers from canon sources.

  • What do you mean by recorded history? Do you mean history that is still remembered circa 0 BBY? Or remembered by the Republic? Or simply written down at some point regardless of whether the records survived? – amflare Jul 25 '17 at 0:30
  • @amflare Thanks for the questions. I updated my request to clarify. :-) – RichS Jul 25 '17 at 0:37
12

Thousands of years

Due to the De-canonization in 2014, a lot of the details of the Star Wars universe have been "lost". As such, we no longer have specific dates for things anymore. However, several statements littered across the movies and shows incline me to believe that at the fall of the Galactic Republic, recorded history spanned back at least 20,000 - 25,000 years.

The Galactic Republic was founded circa 1000 BBY

"I will not like this Republic, that has stood for over a thousand years, be split in two." - Palpatine
Episode 2: Attack of the Clones

There was a Republic before the Galactic Republic

"This lightsaber was stolen from Your Jedi temple by my Ancestors during the fall of the Old Republic." - Pre Vizsla
Star Wars: The Clone Wars - The Mandalore Plot

This Old Republic stood for roughly 20,000-25,000 years

"For over a thousand generations the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic." - Obi Wan "Ben" Kenobi
Episode 4: A New Hope

Even if Kenobi was referring to both Republics combined, 1000 generations is a very long time. We know the Library in the Jedi Temple on Coruscant was exhaustive, so I don't doubt that Kenobi knew this figure for a fact. And if the Jedi kept good enough records to have a count of the generations that passed through, we can safely say that "recorded history" and remembered history spanned roughly 25,000 years.

In addition to the above, we hear of a few events happening "thousands of years ago" with no clear indication of when exactly that was. For example on Malachor:

Ahsoka: This was a battlefield.
Ezra: What happened here?
Ahsoka: It looks like at one time, thousands of years ago, Jedi knights attacked the temple.
Star Wars Rebels: Twilight of the Apprentice: Part I

So to answer your question, recorded history spanned thousands of years. As Disney-canon gets more fleshed out, I would not be surprised if we got a more specific date at some point, but for now, we can be sure that the Republic remembered its original founding, and history was recorded from that point forward.

Bear in mind that I answered from the point of view of the Galactic Republic. I would not be surprised if, under the Galactic Empire, historical records were destroyed beyond recovery.

  • 1
    Only a few tens of thousands of years at most? If the galaxy is 12 billion years old, and habitable planets have been around for 9 billion years, there was certainly plenty of time for many galactic civilizations to form. I'd think that some existing planets could trace their history back maybe a few million years. I'm just surprised that either the historical records from before the present civilization were all lost or that none go that far back. – RichS Jul 25 '17 at 18:27
  • 2
    @RichS - Well, in legends, Coruscant (for example) could trace it history back millions of years, the issue is, this sort of information is not canon anymore. – amflare Jul 25 '17 at 18:44
  • @RichS well, in our world, anatomically and intellectually modern humans have supposedly existed for at least 100,000 years, yet our recorded history only goes back to around 3000 BC or so. – Robert Columbia Dec 22 '17 at 19:43

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.