Everything Star Wars Has Revealed About The Galaxy’s Ancient History

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Summary

  • The ancient history of the Star Wars galaxy is shrouded in mystery, with evidence of historical records only going back so far due to the cycle of light and dark.
  • The Zeffo race may be the first great civilization in the Star Wars galaxy, with Force-sensitives who learned to travel across the galaxy by bonding with space whales, the purrgil.
  • The collapse of the Zeffo-Nightsister intergalactic civilization was possibly caused by the rise of the light side of the Force, and the development of life on various worlds in the galaxy followed.

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Star Wars is famously set a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away – but what has been revealed about this galaxy’s ancient history? When George Lucas introduced viewers to the Star Wars galaxy, he deliberately gave everything a time-worn and lived-in look. Ever since, audiences have been fascinated to learn the secrets of Star Wars’ past.

The history of the Star Wars galaxy is shrouded in mystery, and there’s evidence even in-universe historical records only go back so far. In part this is because of the cycle of light and dark seen in the galaxy, with proponents of the dark side striving to destroy all records of the light, and vice versa. But some of these secrets have finally been revealed in Ahsoka, with Ahsoka Tano traveling the pathway to Peridea and learning the truth. Here’s all that is known about the main Star Wars galaxy’s ancient history to date, in a rough order because the precise chronology is still uncertain..

10 The Zeffo May Be The First Great Civilization

Zeffo ancient from Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

The ancient history of the Star Wars galaxy was first teased in Jedi: Fallen Order, when Cal Kestis followed in the footsteps of Jedi Master Eno Cordova in investigating the secrets of a race called the Zeffo. Force-sensitives who evolved on a planet in the Outer Rim, the Zeffo came to refer to the Force as the “Life Wind,” the Zeffo learned to travel across the galaxy, presumably by bonding with Star Wars’ space whales, the purrgil. There is as yet no evidence the Zeffo ever learned to access hyperspace through artificial means, although this cannot be ruled out.

Related: How To Watch Star Wars Movies In Order

9 The Star Wars Galaxy Was Visited By The Nightsisters Of Peridea

Great Mothers Ahsoka

According to Ahsoka, the Nightsisters of the Peridean galaxy were the first to use purrgil to travel the intergalactic void. They established a main colony on the planet Dathomir, along with other worlds such as Seatos. The Nightsisters too were Force-sensitive, although their use of the Force is very different to that of natives of the Star Wars galaxy – explaining why Nightsister powers differ to Jedi and Sith.

Related: Nightsisters Of Dathomir Explained: Witchcraft, Magic Powers & Star Wars History

8 The Development Of Intergalactic Civilization

Ahsoka End Credits

Ahsoka shone a light on the galaxy’s forgotten history, but much remains obscure. Murals on Peridea honor the Zeffo Sage named Kujet, a powerful dark side being who lived long before the time of the Old Republic. The Zeffo and the Dathomiri appear to have joined forces, with Kujet serving as ruler of them both. Given both Kujet and the Nightsisters are associated with the dark side, it’s reasonable to assume this first intergalactic civilization was a dark side empire. Jedi legends hint other galaxies were caught up in it as well.

7 The Collapse Of The Zeffo-Nightsister Intergalactic Civilization

Peridea purrgil graveyard in Ahsoka

This intergalactic civilization flourished for a time, but eventually collapsed. Kujet died, and was buried on Dathomir, with the Zeffo presumably leaving the galaxy and the Nightsisters choosing not to travel via purrgil any longer. Comments from Baylan Skoll seem to suggest the collapse of the Zeffo-NIghtsister civilization was caused by the rise of the light side of the Force, emerging to serve as a counter to the dark.

6 Life Flourishes In The Galactic Core

The Stinger Mantis in orbit above Coruscant

This early intergalactic civilization became the stuff of legend, and there is no evidence any other Force cults travelled by purrgil. With the planets of the galaxy essentially cut off, life developed independently on several worlds. Humanity evolved in the Galactic Core, and the first levels of what would become the city-planet of Coruscant were established roughly 100,000 years ago. Out on the Outer Rim, Batuu was colonized too.

5 Dark Side Weapons Continued To Proliferate

Skara Nal in Star Wars The Bad Batch

Star Wars: The Bad Batch introduced a mysterious dark side superweapon, one stored in the legendary mountain of Skara Nal. Although this device bore superficial similarities to the Jedi and Sith – even powered by a crystal similar to kyber – it was far older than any known Force cult. It’s possible this superweapon is tied to the hypothesized Zeffo-Nightsister empire, one of the many things they left behind. That said, it may also be connected to another race officially mentioned in canon.

4 The Rakatan Invaders

The Rakata Infinite Empire in Star Wars The Old Republic.

In Star Wars Legends, an alien race known as the Rakata combined prototype hyperspace technology with enslaved Force-sensitives to establish a new galactic empire. The Rakata emerged not from the Outer Rim, but from the Deep Core planet of Byss, and spread out across the galaxy. They have been officially referenced twice in Star Wars canon, with Andor confirming they were repelled and defeated, while a Star Wars magazine hinted the Rakatan Empire came from Byss in canon as well.

Related: Star Wars’ Empire Recreated The Rakata, NOT The Sith

3 The Dai Bendu, Precursors Of The Jedi Order

Kanan Jarrus kneeling before the Bendu in Star Wars Rebels

Possibly linked to the Bendu, a mysterious creature introduced in Star Wars Rebels, the Force cult called the Dai Bendu have been canonized as the “precursors” of the Jedi Order. The Dai Bendu appear to have been associated with the Galactic Core, with Coruscant’s third day of the week officially called “Benduday” after them. There’s some evidence the Dai Bendu saw themselves as servants of balance, rather than the light side or the dark. The Dai Bendu are known to have retreated to the remote and inaccessible world of Kijimi a thousand years before the events of the Star Wars sequel trilogy, and appear to have then gone extinct.

2 The (Re)-Discovery Of Hyperspace In The Galactic Core

Purrgil's dwarfing Din Djarin's N-1 ship in hyperspace in The Mandalorian Season 3

Hyperspace was rediscovered some 25,000 years ago, with scientists on Coruscant apparently figuring out how to access hyperspace through their studies of the purrgil. The development of early hyperspace drives made it possible to travel between different star-systems, and it didn’t take long for the region around Coruscant – a sector of space with very stable hyperspace lanes – to race ahead in scientific, industrial, and political terms. The Galactic Core would become the birthplace of the Old Republic.

1 The Birth Of The Jedi Order

Luke Skywalker and the Prime Jedi mural in The Last Jedi.

The Jedi Order was founded 25,000 years ago. Little is known about its origin, although oddly it appears to be linked to the Outer Rim rather than to the Galactic Core, making the connection with the Dai Bendu rather strange (and perhaps hinting that Force cult, too, originated in another galaxy). Luke Skywalker discovered the first Jedi Temple on the remote planet Ahch-To, as seen in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. There, viewers spotted a stunning mural of the first Jedi – the Prime Jedi who founded the Order. Like the Dai Bendu, thi being appeared to be an agent of balance, because the mural showed the Prime Jedi as the light in the darkness and the darkness in the light.