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15 Major Star Wars Events That Happen In The 19 Years Between Prequels & Original Trilogy – TheFantasyTimes

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By Jitin Gambhir

15 Major Star Wars Events That Happen In The 19 Years Between Prequels & Original Trilogy



The era of Star Wars that falls between the prequel and original trilogies is known as the Dark Times for a reason. It is marked by Order 66 and the Jedi Purge, which culminated in the rise of the Empire from the ashes of the corrupted Republic. This period of galactic oppression lasted for almost two decades before the original trilogy and the destruction of the Death Star in A New Hope. During the Dark Times, the Empire was largely unopposed beyond individual, smaller cells of resistance. Emperor Palpatine and his apprentice Darth Vader cemented their power over the galaxy as the Dark Lords of the Sith. However, glimmers of hope such as the formation of the Rebel Alliance are also present.

Below are the major events that took place between the prequel and original Star Wars trilogies:

15. The Empire Destroys Kamino

After the Republic’s fall and the end of the Clone Wars, the cloning facilities on Kamino were destroyed by the Empire. This ensured that the Empire would have sole control of cloning production in the galaxy in perpetuity, preventing anyone else from building a new army of clones against Emperor Palpatine. With Kamino no more, Imperial-approved clone engineering was conducted in black site facilities such as the Empire’s Mount Tantiss.

14. The Senate Approves Palpatine’s Stormtrooper Program

As select members of the new Imperial Senate began calling for protections for the Republic Army’s clones who now served the Empire, Emperor Palpatine instead proposed a new era “heralded by the Imperial Stormtrooper.” This meant that soldiers would be recruited across the galaxy from then on, rather than continuing clone production. As such, this led to the existing clone troopers gradually fading from the known galaxy, forgotten and left behind despite their years of service to the Republic during the Clone Wars.

13. Grand Admiral Thrawn Joins Imperial Navy

Becoming aware of the new regime in power and seeking an alliance for his people, the blue-skinned Chiss known as Thrawn came before Palpatine, hailing from the Unknown Regions and the government known as the Chiss Ascendancy. Seeing Thrawn’s value as a brilliant tactician and his knowledge of the Unknown Regions, Palpatine granted Thrawn a position in the Imperial Navy. Thrawn quickly rose through the ranks, eventually gaining the unique title of Grand Admiral and command of the Seventh Fleet.

12. Darth Vader Builds His Fortress On Mustafar

Following an initial crusade to eliminate any surviving Jedi with his Imperial Inquisitors, Darth Vader was gifted a world of his own by Palpatine. Choosing Mustafar, Vader had a fortress built near the banks where he dueled Obi-Wan Kenobi as seen in Revenge of the Sith. Built with a specific design to amplify his power in the dark side, Darth Vader’s castle was built above a locus of dark energy which he attempted to use to bring back his late wife Padmé. The imposing fortress would go on to be seen in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Obi-Wan Kenobi.

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11. Cal Kestis Becomes A Jedi Knight And Fights The Empire

Cal Kestis was a Padawan who survived Order 66 and the Jedi Purge. Finding friends and allies while being hunted by Inquisitors, Kestis eventually became a Jedi Knight seeking to resist the Empire as best he could. Currently, this includes reaching a world hidden from the eyes of the Empire which could in turn make it a sanctuary for any Force-sensitive beings seeking refuge.

10. Han Solo Meets Chewbacca & Becomes Owner Of The Millennium Falcon

Young Han Solo meets Chewbacca while they were prisoners (after Han was accused of desertion). Working together to free themselves, the duo sticks together and joins the crew of Tobias Beckett on a job for Crimson Dawn. Reuniting with Han’s first love Qi’ra and meeting young Lando Calrissian, Han and Chewbacca’s first adventure together ends with Han winning the Millennium Falcon from Lando. Han becomes the ship’s new captain with Chewie as his co-pilot, kickstarting their journey to becoming key heroes of the Rebellion during the original trilogy.

9. Darth Maul Revealed As Crimson Dawn’s True Leader

Qi’ra becomes the new figurehead of Crimson Dawn after killing Dryden Vos. This granted her an audience with Crimson Dawn’s true leader and founder Darth Maul, the former Sith and apprentice of Emperor Palpatine. Having survived his fall in The Phantom Menace to become a public threat during the Clone Wars, Maul chose to become more anonymous with the rise of the Empire. As such, he created his very own crime syndicate in the galactic underworld which Qi’ra eventually took over following Maul’s actual death.

8. Obi-Wan Kenobi Save Princess Leia And Faces Darth Vader

Kidnapped to draw Obi-Wan Kenobi out of hiding from his exile on Tatooine, young Princess Leia was saved by the Jedi in a plot orchestrated by the Inquisitor known as Reva. The rescue mission also saw Obi-Wan learning that Anakin Skywalker was still alive as Palpatine’s apprentice. Meeting face-to-face prior to their final duel in A New Hope, Kenobi and Vader dueled twice in the Obi-Wan Kenobi series. However, Vader was ultimately defeated by his old master, Kenobi successfully returned Leia to Senator Bail Organa, and Kenobi himself was able to reconcile with his past guilt, allowing him to commune with his own master Qui-Gon Jinn as a Force ghost.

7. Cassian Andor Joins Luthen Rael

As the initial seeds of Rebellion begin to grow throughout the galaxy during the Dark Times, Star Wars’ recent Andor series debuted Luthen Rael as a critical figure responsible for setting events in motion. Making hard choices others would find reprehensible, Luthen’s actions ensured that the Rebellion would eventually form, and his work will undoubtedly continue with the upcoming Andor season 2. Joining him is the titular Cassian Andor himself, whose own trials at the hands of the Empire have motivated him to join Rael’s cause by the first season’s end, a decision that will eventually bring him to his role in Rogue One.

6. Ezra Bridger Joins The Spectres

A young Force-sensitive named Ezra Bridger joins the Spectres, a Rebel cell run by pilot Hera Syndulla and the Jedi survivor Kanan Jarrus. Thanks to Kanan, Ezra learns to become a Jedi while the Spectres continues resisting the Empire, finding ways to hinder the Imperials’ efforts in their fight for galactic freedom. Eventually coming together with other cells to form Phoenix Squadron, the Spectres became a critical component of the Rebel Alliance ahead of A New Hope.

5. Ahsoka Duels Darth Vader

Jedi outcast Ahsoka Tano discovers the truth about Darth Vader.

The period of Star Wars between the prequel and original trilogies is called the Dark Times for a reason. Culminating with Order 66 and the Jedi Purge, Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith ends with the rise of the Empire from the ashes of the corrupted Republic. What follows is a period of galactic oppression lasting for almost two decades before the start of the original trilogy and the destruction of the Death Star in A New Hope.


Taking place at a time when the Empire was largely unopposed beyond individual, smaller cells of resistance, the 19 years known as the Dark Times saw Emperor Palpatine and his apprentice Darth Vader cementing their power over the galaxy as the Dark Lords of the Sith. However, glimmers of hope such as the formation of the Rebel Alliance are present as well. Here’s every major event that took place between the prequel and original Star Wars trilogies.

Related: Every Major Star Wars Event Between Empire Strikes Back & Return Of The Jedi

15 The Empire Destroys Kamino

Emperor Palpatine and Kamino from Star Wars: The Bad Batch
  • Seen In:
    Star Wars: The Bad Batch season 1

In the immediate wake of the Republic’s fall and the end of the Clone Wars, the cloning facilities on Kamino were destroyed by the Empire. This decision was made so that the Empire would have sole control of cloning production in the galaxy in perpetuity, ensuring that no one else could build a new army of clones against Emperor Palpatine. With Kamino no more, Imperial-approved clone engineering was conducted in black site facilities such as the Empire’s Mount Tantiss.

14 The Senate Approves Palpatine’s Stormtrooper Program

Star Wars' Emperor Palpatine with Stormtroopers and Clone Troopers
  • Seen In:
    Star Wars: The Bad Batch season 2

As select members of the new Imperial Senate began calling for protections for the Republic Army’s clones who now served the Empire, Emperor Palpatine instead proposed a new era “heralded by the Imperial Stormtrooper.” This meant that soldiers would be recruited across the galaxy from then on, rather than continuing clone production. As such, this led to the existing clone troopers gradually fading from the known galaxy, forgotten and left behind despite their years of service to the Republic during the Clone Wars.

13 Grand Admiral Thrawn Joins Imperial Navy

Star Wars Collage Image With Palpatine and Thrawn
  • Seen In:
    Star Wars: Thrawn by Timothy Zahn

Becoming aware of the new regime in power and seeking an alliance for his people, the blue-skinned Chiss known as Thrawn came before Palpatine, hailing from the Unknown Regions and the government known as the Chiss Ascendancy. Seeing Thrawn’s value as a brilliant tactician and his knowledge of the Unknown Regions, Palpatine granted Thrawn a position in the Imperial Navy. Thrawn quickly rose through the ranks, eventually gaining the unique title of Grand Admiral and command of the Seventh Fleet.

12 Darth Vader Builds His Fortress On Mustafar

Darth Vader's Castle On Mustafar Explained- Origin & Star Wars History Featured
  • Seen In:
    Star Wars: Darth Vader (2017) #19-25
    by Charles Soule and Giuseppe Camuncoli

Following an initial crusade to eliminate any surviving Jedi with his Imperial Inquisitors, Darth Vader was gifted a world of his own by Palpatine. Choosing Mustafar, Vader had a fortress built near the banks where he dueled Obi-Wan Kenobi as seen in Revenge of the Sith. Built with a specific design to amplify his power in the dark side, Darth Vader’s castle was built above a locus of dark energy which he attempted to use to bring back his late wife Padmé (though he of course failed). The imposing fortress would go on to be seen in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Obi-Wan Kenobi.

11 Cal Kestis Becomes A Jedi Knight And Fights The Empire

Cal Kestis from Star Wars Jedi Survivor, against a red sky with his trusty droid companion.
  • Seen In:
    Jedi: Fallen Order and Jedi: Survivor

As seen in Respawn’s Jedi: Fallen Order game and its sequel Eat: SurvivorCal Kestis was a Padawan who survived Order 66 and the Jedi Purge. Finding friends and allies while being hunted by Inquisitors, Kestis eventually became a Jedi Knight seeking to resist the Empire as best he could. Currently, this includes reaching a world hidden from the eyes of the Empire which could in turn make it a sanctuary for any Force-sensitive beings seeking refuge. That said, there’s still a third game on the horizon that will likely reveal Kestis’ fate during this particular Star Wars era.

Related: What Is Order 66? How The Jedi Purge Changed Star Wars Forever

10 Han Solo Meets Chewbacca & Becomes Owner Of The Millennium Falcon

Han Solo and Chewbacca pilot the millennium falcon in Star Wars
  • Seen In:
    Solo: A Star Wars Story

Following a very brief tenure in the Imperial Naval Academy which turned into a demotion to the Imperial Army, young Han Solo meets Chewbacca while they were prisoners (after Han was accused of desertion). Working together to free themselves, the duo sticks together and joins the crew of Tobias Beckett on a job for Crimson Dawn. Reuniting with Han’s first love Qi’ra and meeting young Lando Calrissian, Han and Chewbacca’s first adventure together ends with Han winning the Millennium Falcon from Lando. Han becomes the ship’s new captain with Chewie as his co-pilot, kickstarting their journey to becoming key heroes of the Rebellion during the original trilogy.

9 Darth Maul Revealed As Crimson Dawn’s True Leader

Star Wars Qi'ra and Darth Maul
  • Seen In:
    Solo: A Star Wars Story

Unfortunately, The end of Solo did see Qi’ra leaving Han, choosing instead to follow her destiny as the new figurehead of Crimson Dawn after killing Dryden Vos. This granted her an audience with Crimson Dawn’s true leader and founder Darth Maul, the former Sith and apprentice of Emperor Palpatine. Having survived his fall in The Phantom Menace to become a public threat during the Clone Wars, Maul chose to become more anonymous with the rise of the Empire. As such, he created his very own crime syndicate in the galactic underworld which Qi’ra eventually took over following Maul’s actual death.

8 Obi-Wan Kenobi Save Princess Leia And Faces Darth Vader

Obi Wan Kenobi Duel with Darth Vader on Mazupo

Kidnapped to draw Obi-Wan Kenobi out of hiding from his exile on Tatooine, young Princess Leia was saved by the Jedi in a plot orchestrated by the Inquisitor known as Reva. The rescue mission also saw Obi-Wan learning that Anakin Skywalker was still alive as Palpatine’s apprentice. Meeting face-to-face prior to their final duel in A New HopeKenobi and Vader dueled twice in the Obi-Wan Kenobi series. However, Vader was ultimately defeated by his old master, Kenobi successfully returned Leia to Senator Bail Organa, and Kenobi himself was able to reconcile with his past guilt, allowing him to commune with his own master Qui-Gon Jinn as a Force ghost.

7 Cassian Andor Joins Luthen Rael

Mon Mothma, Cassian Andor, and Luthen Rhael in Andor
  • Seen In:
    Star Wars: Andor

As the initial seeds of Rebellion begin to grow throughout the galaxy during the Dark Times, Star Wars’ recent Andor series debuted Luthen Rael as a critical figure responsible for setting events in motion. Making hard choices others would find reprehensible, Luthen’s actions ensured that the Rebellion would eventually form, and his work will undoubtedly continue with the upcoming Andor season 2. Joining him is the titular Cassian Andor himself, whose own trials at the hands of the Empire have motivated him to join Rael’s cause by the first season’s end, a decision that will eventually bring him to his role in Rogue One.

6 Ezra Bridger Joins The Spectres

Star Wars Rebels Ghost Crew Season 1
  • Seen In:
    Star Wars Rebels

In the years preceding A New Hopea young Force-sensitive named Ezra Bridger joins the Spectres, a Rebel cell run by pilot Hera Syndulla and the Jedi survivor Kanan Jarrus (formerly Caleb Dume). Thanks to Kanan, Ezra learns to become a Jedi while the Spectres continues resisting the Empire, finding ways to hinder the Imperials’ efforts in their fight for galactic freedom. Eventually coming together with other cells to form Phoenix Squadron, the Spectres became a critical component of the Rebel Alliance ahead of A New Hope.

Related: All 14 Lightsaber Types In Star Wars Canon Explained

5 Ahsoka Duels Darth Vader

Ahsoka Tano vs Darth Vader on Malachor in Star Wars Rebels.
  • Seen In:
    Star Wars Rebels season 2 “Twilight of the Apprentice” parts 1 & 2

Having joined the Spectres following her time as the Rebel informant codenamed Fulcrum, Jedi outcast Ahsoka Tano discovers the truth about Darth Vader on the Sith world of Malachor. Facing the Dark Lord who was once her master Anakin Skywalker, Ahsoka and Vader dueled atop a massive dark side superweapon. While the destruction of the weapon saw both Ahsoka and Vader surviving their encounter (as well as some time travel intervention by Ezra), their duel was an incredibly tragic reunion nonetheless and a major moment in the Star Wars timeline.

4 Obi-Wan Duels Darth Maul on Tatooine

Obi-Wan Kenobi and Maul facing off against one another in Rebels
  • Seen In:
    Star Wars Rebels season 3 “Twin Suns”

In his attempts to corrupt and turn Ezra into his own apprentice, Darth Maul discovered that Obi-Wan Kenobi was still alive by combining both a Jedi and Sith holocron (which granted him a vision). Finding his old nemesis on Tatooine, Maul was finally slain by Obi-Wan Kenobi. However, the Jedi Master still had immense pity for Maul as the former Sith lay dying in his arms, confirming that the “Chosen One would avenge them both.”

3 Bo-Katan Inherits The Darksaber on Mandalore

Bo-Katan wields the Darksaber in Star Wars Rebels.
  • Seen In:
    Star Wars Rebels season 4 “Heroes of Mandalore” parts 1 & 2

Helping the Mandalorian clans unite against the oppression of the Empire, the Spectres and their own Mandalorian crew member Sabine Wren bestowed Mandalore’s regent Bo-Katan Kryze with the legendary Darksaber. Sabine had recovered the blade from Maul and felt that Kryze was the most worthy leader to unite their people. However, many Mandalorians would come to believe that Bo-Katan cursed their world as she didn’t win the Darksaber in combat according to tradition, especially after the Empire’s brutal retaliation and near-genocide known as the Night of A Thousand Tears.

2 Thrawn And Ezra Disappear Into Unknown Regions

Ezra, Thrawn, and Purrgils in the Star Wars Rebels series finale.
  • Seen In:
    Star Wars Rebels season 4 “Family Reunion & Farewell”

Following the sacrifice of Kanan Jarrus and the Liberation of Lothal, Ezra used his Force connection with a pod of space whales known as purrgil to blindly jump himself and Grand Admiral Thrawn into the Unknown Regions. This explains both of their absences ahead of Star Wars’ original trilogy, though the upcoming Ahsoka series set during the New Republic Era will bring Thrawn back to the known galaxy. The same has been teased for Ezra Bridger in the new Star Wars show as well.

1 Battle of Scarif And The Stolen Death Star Plans

Darth Vader Rogue One Scarif
  • Seen In:
    Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Bringing an end to the Dark Times with the official start of the Galactic Civil War, Rogue One reveals the Battle of Scarif where a team of Rebels stole the Death Star plans. Giving their lives so the Rebellion would have a fighting chance, Jyn Erso, Cassian Andor, and the rest of their allies ensured that the plans were sent to the Rebellion ships in orbit, specifically Princess Leia’s Tantive IV who was then pursued by Darth Vader. As such, the events of Rogue One directly lead to the events of A New Hope and the start of Star Wars’ original trilogy.

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