The Star Wars movies often hint at major happenings that occurred a long time ago in that galaxy far, far away. In fact, there are a lot of important events that play out before and between the Star Wars films that fill in the gaps of the narrative.
For example, one of the major complaints about the prequels was that Anakin’s fall progressed far too quickly and wasn’t developed properly. This is remedied in the animated series The Clone Wars, where we learn that Anakin had his own Padawan, one he cared for deeply and who was unfairly cast out by the Jedi.
At a cursory glance, Anakin’s story might seem like a unique one, but if you dip into the Star Wars Expanded Universe you’ll learn that Anakin was not the first Jedi to fall. The history of the Jedi is riddled with Force-users who have been tempted to the Dark Side.
Whether your interests lie with the Jedi, the rise of the Rebellion, or the cruel acts of the Sith Empire, the games, shows, and books within the Star Wars shared universe depict some of the most important and interesting Star Wars events before A New Hope.
Before the Republic was created, there were no Jedi or Sith – there was the Je’daii. See, some Force sensitive people found their way to Tython, a planet that was rich with the Force (oh, also, planets can be rich with the Force).
The Je’daii believed the Force to be comprised of three parts: the light, the dark, and balance. These Force users constructed nine different temples on Tython, each one overseen by a Je’daii Temple Master. In order to become a Je’daii, aspiring Force users had to visit each temple to hone their skills.
Over time, the peace between the Je’daii was broken due to an ideological clash between those who favored the light side of the Force and those who favored the dark. This clash started a lengthy ten year battle that left the planet Tython destroyed beyond recognition and completely uninhabitable.
As lightsabers weren’t invented yet, the opposing sides of the Je’daii fought using their force powers and metal swords that were Force-enhanced with a blue or red glow. The Je’daii who sought to serve the light side of the Force won the war and went on to form the Jedi Order, vowing to protect and serve those in need.
There were many major conflicts between Force users after the Jedi Order was established. One of the biggest was the Hundred-Year Darkness, which began when a group of Dark Jedi amassed huge armies to destroy the Jedi Order and the Galactic Empire.
Another major conflict was the Old Sith Wars, a series of wars which included the Mandalorian Wars and the Jedi Civil War. Many of these conflicts were set into motion by fallen Jedi, like the Jedi Knights Revan and Malak.
Darth Bane shaped the Sith Order into what we see in The Phantom Menace and beyond. Originally, the Sith Order was similar to the Jedi Order, with many Sith Masters training apprentices.
Granted, the training and trials were a lot more sinister and perilous than what a Jedi Padawan would have to face, but the principle was the same. Bane, believing the Sith Order to be cowardly and weak, killed all of his fellow Sith and established a new Order – one that only allowed for “One Master and one apprentice; one to embody the power, the other to crave it."
This was colloquially referred to as the Rule of Two.