If the Star Wars movies took place a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, The Old Republic took place a longer time ago in the same galaxy. For most, that's where the knowledge ends. Many have played the wonderful Knights of The Old Republic, while others think The Old Republic is where Newt Gingrich is from. We ourselves were so confused by a few points, we decided it was time to do a little digging to find out exactly what was going on.
Above: Learn, you will; informed, you will be
After a thousand years the Sith have reclaimed their home planet Korriban. And not just reclaimed it, but did so by doing tons of cool backflips and stuff. But where the hell were they in the first place? (Exiled.) And who's that other Sith Lord with a respirator? (Darth Malgus.) What's wrong with their lungs, anyway? (The black lung.) We answer the important questions and give you a brief history (spanning 3,000 years) of the events that lead up to Star Wars: The Old Republic.
The Hundred-Year Darkness
(7003 Before the Battle of Yavin - 6900 BBY)
The Hundred Year-Darkness takes place over 3,000 years before The Old Republic takes place, so why do you need to know about it? Because it was due to this war that the Dark Jedi officially founded the Sith. After decades of fighting over the right to create mutant armies, The Dark Jedi lost, and were exiled. Eventually they landed upon Korriban.
(6900 BBY - 5000 BBY)
Above: The force is strong in this one
Everyone knows who the Sith are, but what you may not know is that they took the name from a species native to Korriban. The Sith were red-skinned, humanoid creatures that were remarkably Force-sensitive. Wookiepedia tells us that they are predisposed to left-handedness, a sensitivity to the dark side, and also mass-murder. When the Dark Jedis landed on Korriban, the Sith welcomed them as gods.
In TOR, the pureblood Siths are a playable race. They eventually went "extinct" from having way too much interspecies sex, and ultimately inbred with Human Dark Jedis until they no longer existed as a full-fledged species (though isolated colonies of Massassi and Kissai were around for over a thousand years).
Keeping up with the Korribans
(5000 BBY - 5000 BBY)
After a great time had passed, the Sith Empire (not to be confused with the Galactic Empire) and the Galactic Republic (not to be confused with the Banana Republic) forgot about one another. They individually thrived until a couple of smuggler-turds landed on Korriban, alerting the Sith to the Galactic Republic’s presence.
Above: No, that's not Egypt, it's Korriban
This quickly unleashed a series of events that led to the Great Hyperspace War (alternatively known as "The Quickest Ass-Kicking The Sith Ever Received"), in which the Sith invaded the Galactic Empire, then got smacked down in less than a year. To make matters worse, they then lost Korriban when Supreme Chancellor Pultimo ordered an invasion of Sith Space.
Those that survived were scattered and exiled to other planets.
The Great Sith Wars
(4000 BBY - 3998 BBY)
Unfortunately, The Galactic Republic has a nasty little habit of losing track of mortal enemies. After a thousand years of relative peace, The Galactic Republic had all but forgotten of the Sith. But something dark was brewing, and a series of fallen Jedis would eventually lead one of the most brutal wars the galaxy had ever seen, called The Great Sith Wars.
Above: Great Sith Wars are sort of awesome
The Great Sith Wars were monumental, reaching every corner of the galaxy. It took four devastating years to finally subdue the Sith, and the survivors (about 75% of the galaxy) were left with a war-torn galaxy. Civilizations needed to be rebuilt, and the Supreme Chancellor urged the Jedis to help rebuild instead of hunt down the remaining Sith, who were forced underground.
Great idea, idiot.
During this time, the Jedi Council was reformed, a hierarchy was instilled, and then came the Mandalorian wars.
Check out page two for much more nerdy musings...