Charles Boyd, the Lead Creative Director for Star Wars: The Old Republic has released a great 7-minute video summary of the “Story so far” in the game along with a narrated video summary!
More than three thousand years before the rise of Darth Vader, the galaxy far, far away was divided by a massive war between the Galactic Republic and a vast and powerful Sith Empire. Raging on for decades, this Great Galactic War only came to a halt when the Sith Lord Darth Malgus led a surprise attack on the Republic’s capital world, Coruscant. His devastating attack forced the Republic to sign the Treaty of Coruscant, bringing about a period of uneasy peace between these rival factions – and that’s where the storylines of Star Wars: The Old Republic begin.
In the following years, tensions between the Republic and Empire only grew. Despite the Treaty of Coruscant, both factions took every opportunity to undermine the other. The Empire annexed many defenseless worlds and encouraged others to openly reject their affiliation with the Republic, while the Republic resisted their ancient enemies’ aggressions as best they could. Jedi and Sith, spies and soldiers, even hired guns–all played their parts in the escalating conflict.
After twelve years of tenuous peace, all-out war resumed between the Republic and the Empire. When the Sith Emperor Vitiate was seemingly destroyed by a Jedi, many hoped it would bring a swift end to the hostilities, for good. Instead, various splinter factions, hoping to fill the vacuum of power, multiplied the number of battlefronts.
Darth Malgus–long dissatisfied with the political maneuvering and backstabbing of Imperial leadership–led one of these fractured groups in a revolt, hoping to seize control of the Sith Empire. Malgus and his followers were challenged by the Republic and the Empire both, and he was presumed dead when his stolen space station was destroyed. But the damage he inflicted left the Republic at a considerable advantage, signaling a shift in the renewed war.
Rise of the Hutt Cartel
Shortly after the fall of Malgus, the new leader of the Hutt Cartel, Toborro, conquered the neutral planet Makeb as the first step in a bid to expand the power of the Hutts across the galaxy. Makeb was home to a resource known as isotope-5, a tremendously powerful energy source Toborro planned to use to overthrow the Republic and Empire both, establishing the Hutts as the galaxy’s largest superpower.
But Toborro’s conquest of Makeb came with a price. His ruthless isotope-5 mining operations destabilized the planet and set it on a path to total destruction. The Republic raced to evacuate Makeb’s citizens, while the Empire sent their own forces to salvage as much isotope-5 as they could in the chaos.
Eventually, the other Hutt Cartel leaders turned against Toborro and offered to assist the Republic with eliminating him. As Toborro’s invasion came to an end, the Republic gained a powerful ally in the Hutt Cartel, but the Empire’s newly acquired supply of isotope-5 made up for the shortcomings they had recently suffered.
Shadow of Revan
The chaos of Makeb had barely subsided before a new threat emerged. Despite fighting on opposite sides, a Sith Lord named Lana Beniko and a Republic spy named Theron Shan both began to suspect that their superiors were working together for an unknown third party. By pooling their resources–and recruiting the help of some powerful new friends–Lana and Theron uncovered a conspiracy that was bigger than they could have imagined: the Republic and the Empire had both been infiltrated by a veritable army of cultists led by the infamous Jedi-turned-Sith known as Revan.
Knowing that the Sith Emperor Vitiate was not truly dead, Revan and his followers attempted to force Vitiate back into a physical form they could destroy by fomenting catastrophic battles between the Republic and the Empire. However, once their plan was exposed by Theron and Lana, a coalition of forces from both factions defeated the cultists’ plot. But the victory was short-lived: Vitiate’s incorporeal form spoke once more after years of silence, empowered by the very attempt to destroy him. The Emperor had returned.
Fallen Empire/Eternal Throne
Republic and Imperial forces joined together once again after the newly-freed Sith Emperor consumed all life on the planet Ziost, killing almost the entirety of the planet’s population. A task force led by Darth Marr–a key player during the Revanite crisis–tracked the Emperor to an uncharted area beyond the known regions of the galaxy, known as Wild Space.
Marr’s forces had barely begun to explore the region before they were attacked. The assailants, led by Prince Arcann of the Eternal Empire, captured Marr and one of his allies and brought them before his father, Emperor Valkorion. Marr immediately recognized Valkorion as the same Emperor who had once ruled the Sith Empire and who had destroyed Ziost. Marr was killed in the ensuing confrontation. While Valkorion attempted to recruit Marr’s ally to his cause, he was struck down and seemingly killed. Arcann, blamed the ally–whom he called “Outlander”–for the attack, and claimed the throne of the Eternal Empire for himself.
For five years, the Eternal Empire ruled the galaxy with an iron fist. The weakened Republic and Sith Empire were powerless against Emperor Arcann’s forces and quickly submitted to invasion. Hope was lost, until the “Outlander” escaped Arcann’s prison and took command of the Alliance, an organization built from Republic and Imperial forces determined to shatter the Eternal Empire’s grip on the galaxy. All the while, the disembodied Emperor now known as Valkorion lived on, speaking within the Alliance Commander’s mind, attempting to guide their actions and tempt them with promises of his power and wisdom.
The Alliance’s rebellion was long and difficult. When Arcann was eventually deposed, his sister Vaylin–who many considered to be the even more tyrannical –took the Eternal Throne for herself. Vaylin’s rule, marked by bloodshed and chaos, ended when she attacked the Alliance base on Odessen. After a long battle that cost many lives, the Alliance Commander defeated Vaylin, traveled to the Eternal Empire’s homeworld of Zakuul, and seized control of the Eternal Throne and what remained of the vast, automated fleets it commanded. It was at this pivotal moment that the disembodied Valkorion struck, attempting to seize the Commander’s body for himself; but the Commander’s will was stronger than he’d imagined, and the once-Emperor of the Sith was seemingly destroyed at last.
The Alliance’s impressive influence over the galaxy was short-lived. Without a common foe to unite them, tensions between the Republic and the Empire quickly escalated. Meanwhile, a shadowy group known as the Order of Zildrog managed to secretly infiltrate all of the Alliance’s systems and communications, ultimately destroying the bulk of the Alliance fleet before they were stopped. With a return to war becoming inevitable, the Commander was forced to choose a side for the battles to come.
The first shot of this renewed conflict was fired on the planet Ossus, where Imperial forces were deployed to destroy a hidden colony of Jedi in a preemptive strike. The mission was ultimately led by Darth Malgus, who had narrowly survived his brush with death, and now seemed fully–if suspiciously–loyal to the Empire’s new ruler.
Is the man who once challenged the Republic and his fellow Sith alike truly returning to the fold as a loyal warrior for the Empire? Or does Malgus still have his own dark agenda?