6 Times Star Wars Retconned Its Own Timeline

The Star Wars timeline has been in a constant state of flux since George Lucas launched the franchise in 1977. There's a sense in which change is baked into Star Wars, in large part because George Lucas successfully transformed his idea for a solo movie into a massive transmedia franchise. Comics and novels were even being published before The Empire Strikes Back hit theaters. Unsurprisingly, though, this has resulted in a significant amount of changes and retcons along the way.
Sometimes these changes only affect a single character. On other occasions, though, their impact is far greater, transforming the entire Star Wars timeline. On occasion, the changes have been driven by out-of-universe events, such as Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm in 2012, which led to a complete overhaul of the timeline. Here are some of the major changes over the decades.
How Old Is The Republic In Star Wars? "For over a thousand generations the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic," Obi-Wan Kenobi famously told Luke Skywalker in the first Star Wars movie (later titled A New Hope). It seemed to present the history of the Republic as a vast, sprawling one - and then, surprisingly, it was apparently contradicted by George Lucas himself in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones. In one key scene, Palpatine declared he would not allow the Republic to split in two, and referred to it having stood for a thousand years. Star Wars has explained this apparent contradiction, suggesting the final defeat of the Sith a thousand years before the prequel trilogy marked a moment of reformation for the Old Republic. It's an uncomfortable solution, but it works.


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