Galactic Civil War
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|First Galactic Civil War|
|Part of Star Wars|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Bail Organa †
Breha Organa †
Obi-Wan Kenobi †
Darth Vader †
Grand Moff Tarkin †
Grand Admiral Thrawn †
|Unknown||Unknown; two Death Stars built|
|Casualties and losses|
|Unknown; Alderaan destoryed||Unknown; millions dead on both Death Stars|
The Galactic Civil War (by 43 ABY know as the First Galactic Civil War) is a fictional interstellar war from the Star Wars galaxy. It serves as the setting for the original trilogy of films entitled A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi, as well as many novels, comics, and video games in the Star Wars expanded universe.
Within the Star Wars narrative, the war was fought between the Galactic Empire and the Alliance to Restore the Republic. The foundations of the conflict are depicted during the events of the Clone Wars, a conflict depicted in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, Star Wars: Clone Wars, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and Revenge of the Sith.
In A New Hope, the rebels captured the plans for the Death Star. Darth Vader boarded the ship and captured Princess Leia. C-3PO and R2-D2 escaped with the plans and a message to Obi-Wan Kenobi, appealing to him in the name of his service in the Clone Wars. They land on Tatooine, where Luke Skywalker purchases them and discovers the message. R2 goes to search for Kenobi, and Luke follows him, only to be attacked by Tusken Raiders. Kenobi rescues him and he and Luke decide to oppose the Empire after Luke's family was killed. They teamed up with 3PO, R2, Chewbacca, and Han Solo to rescue Leia, and infiltrate the Death Star. They rescue Leia, but Kenobi was killed by Vader in a lightsaber duel. They escape to the rebels, where they assault the Death Star, which destroyed Alderaan. With help from Solo and Kenobi's spirit, Luke destroys the Death Star.
In The Empire Strikes Back, the rebels had been driven from their base on Yavin IV, and they had taken refuge on Hoth. Darth Vader dispatched probe droids across the galaxy. A probe droid landed on Hoth, and captured footage of the base, before Han Solo and Chewbacca destroyed it. The Imperial Fleet attacked the base using walkers, and drove the rebels out of the base. Vader swore to the Emperor to capture Luke Skywalker, who was doing Jedi training on Dagobah with Yoda. Vader pursued Han Solo across the galaxy, captured him and his friends, and then froze him in carbonite. But, Lando Calrissian helped Solo's friends escape, as Luke came to confront Vader. He lost the resulting lightsaber duel, but escaped to Lando and Leia.
In Return of the Jedi, the Imperial and Alliance fleets clashed as the second Death Star finished construction. Solo, who had been rescued from Jabba the Hutt and Boba Fett, and Leia fought Imperials on the forest moon of Endor below the Death Star, with the help of native Ewoks. Meanwhile, Luke surrendered himself to Vader and the Emperor, Darth Sidious. The rebels on Endor blew up a shield generator, allowing the Alliance fleet to assault the Death Star. Meanwhile, Luke re-armed himself with his lightsaber and faced Vader in a duel, and won. Then, he declared himself a Jedi, discarding his lightsaber. The Emperor then started to kill him using Force Lightning, but Vader, who couldn't just stand there and watch his son die, turned back to the light side, and finished off Sidious, once again becoming Anakin Skywalker. Then, he died, and Luke escaped, just as Lando and Wedge Antilles blew up the Death Star, winning a critical victory for the Alliance.
Material associated with The Force Awakens film reveals additional details of the war and its aftermath taking place between the sixth and seventh episodes. The Empire continued to fight the Rebellion/New Republic forces for some time before suffering a final crippling defeat at the Battle of Jakku. A peace treaty was then worked out between the two powers that called for Disarmament of the Empire's remnants and its confinement within a designated region of space. However, under the leadership of Snoke, the Empire was reborn as the First Order and soon departed beyond charted space in order to continue its buildup.
The Galactic Civil War continued after the Battle of Endor for many years in the Expanded Universe. With the destruction of the Galactic Empire's central leadership, the institution fell into warlordism, becoming disorganized and weak. Even so, the Empire remained a formidable threat to the New Republic, as it controlled much of the galaxy and still had access to a powerful military. In an effort to fully restore the galaxy to a peaceful state, the New Republic began a campaign of recapturing vital Imperial worlds, including Coruscant, the former capital of the Old Republic and the Galactic Empire alike. The Empire rose again several times under powerful leaders, such as Grand Admiral Thrawn and a series of clones of Palpatine, but it was always thwarted when those leaders were killed.
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