Star Wars: Bounty Hunters
Basic Star Wars Recap
I recognize that not everyone is well versed in Star Wars lore. So, consider this a quick primer on the major events of the galaxy leading up to the start of the game. This is long, and may contain spoilers if that concerns you, but will make you essentially an expert on everything that is likely to matter. Realistically, if you've seen and remember all of the movies, you won't need this information.
For thousands of years, the galaxy was governed by the Republic (known now as the Old Republic). The Republic had a senate made up of representatives from all of its member systems who worked to maintain law and order throughout the galaxy. Nearly every known sentient species in the galaxy was represented in the Senate. The Senate was led by chancellor, elected by the Senate from among all the senators. The Jedi Order, a group of spiritual, mystical warriors served as defenders of the Republic. The Jedi were self-governed by the Jedi Council, a group made up of the wisest members of the Jedi ranks, not by the senate directly. The Jedi were powered by a mystical energy called The Force, which gave them various amazing powers. Both the Senate and the Jedi Order made their home on the Core World of Coruscant, the ancestral home of humanity, a planet covered by a single massive cityscape.
27 years before game start, an organization called the Confederacy of Independent Systems (sometimes written as CIS), also known as the Separatists, was formed by the various Commerce Guilds, led primarily by the Trade Federation. The Separatists believed that the Republic was inhibiting their economic power unfairly, and started getting various systems to join them in an effort to leave the Republic, and create an independent government. It wasn't long until war broke out between the Separatists and the Republic, a conflict which would eventually be known as the Clone Wars. The Separatists fielded a massive droid army, which proved much greater than the militaries of the Republic-allied systems, even when bolstered by the Jedi. Over the course of the conflict, a senator from the Naboo system, Sheev Palpatine, was elected Chancellor. As the conflict dragged on, Palpatine was granted emergency powers, allowing him to make decisions to defeat the Separatists without Senate oversight, and was named Supreme Chancellor. One such decision included bolstering the Republic militaries with a clone army that had secretly been commissioned by the Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas. With the clones added to the military, the Republic was able to defeat the Separatists, and the commerce guilds were brought under Republic control. Coinciding with the defeat of the Separatists, the Jedi learned that Chancellor Palpatine was really Darth Sidious, a Sith Lord. The Sith were the ancient enemies of the Jedi, and were believed extinct. The Jedi Master Mace Windu, and three other Jedi Masters, went to make sure that Chancellor Palpatine returned his executive powers to the Senate following the defeat of the Separatists. Palpatine, aided by the corrupted Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker, killed the Jedi, and used their attack on him, which he framed as an assassination attempt, to issue Order 66. Order 66 was a piece of preprogramming which forced the clone army to turn on their Jedi generals, nearly wiping out all Jedi. He also used the threat of the Jedi and the events of the Clone Wars to convince the Senate to allow him to transition the Republic into the Galactic Empire, with Palpatine named Emperor. In secret, Palpatine inducted Anakin Skywalker as a Sith Lord, naming him Darth Vader. Shortly thereafter, the clones were decommissioned and a conscription service, the Storm Troopers, began. (The preceding entry essentially recaps Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Episode II: Attack of the Clones, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, and the Clone Wars cartoon series)
While the majority of the Senate sided with Palpatine, there were those who were unhappy with the way the Republic faded into the Empire. A group of Senators, most notably Mon Mothma of the Chandrila System, and Bail Organa of the Alderaan system, began instigating rebellion across the Empire. As the Empire's cruelty and oppression grew and became more obvious, many other Senators and systems began rebelling and the Rebel Alliance was formed. Through guerilla tactics, and with the help of what few Jedi remained, notably Ahsoka Tano (Anakin Skywalker's former apprentice, called a Padawan), Kanan Jarrus, and Ezra Bridger (Kanan's Padawan), the Rebel Alliance grew in power. The Alliance stole or excavated ships, recovered decommissioned clones and battle droids from the Clone Wars, and drew more and more supporters through propaganda and by issuing aid to the systems most oppressed by the Empire. In order to quell the rise of the Rebellion, the Empire began tightening its grip on the Galaxy. They took on a policy against non-humans, oppressing them far more heavily than their human counterparts, and refusing all but the most well-vetted and skilled of non-humans the ability to promote to high ranks within the Empire. Grand Admiral Thrawn, a Chiss, is a notable exception to the Empire's pro-human agenda. Five years before game start, the Rebellion learned of the Empire's newest weapon, the Death Star, a massive space station with a weapon capable of annihilating a planet. The Death Star could spell the end of the Rebellion, so the Rebels decided to make destroying it a top priority. Rogue One, a team led by Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor, led an attack on Scarif, the planet that housed the Empire's data storage facilities. They successfully acquired the plans of the Death Star, known to have a pre-built flaw which would be the secret to the station's destruction, and beamed them to Senator Leia Organa of Alderaan, but the Rebel fleet suffered heavy losses. Upon confirming a Senator assisted in the theft of the Death Star Plans, Palpatine disbanded the Senate entirely. The Empire also learned of the Alliance's base of operations, Yavin IV, a moon of the planet Yavin. The Death Star was moved into position to destroy Yavin, and the Rebellion had no choice, destroy the Death Star or die. So, the Rebel fleet, led by Luke Skywalker, a fledgling Jedi and pilot from Tatooine, and Han Solo and Chewbacca, pilots of the Millenium Falcon, attacked the Death Star, and using the plans, destroyed it. (The preceding entry summarizes the Rebels cartoon series, Rogue One, and Episode IV: A New Hope)
But, the Empire was far from defeated. Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine consolidated their power base, and counterattacked the Rebels at their new base on Hoth. From here, Luke Skywalker and his droid companion R2-D2 followed a vision Luke received from the Force to track down a Jedi Master on the planet Dagobah. Han Solo, Leia Organa, Chewbacca, and C3-PO attempted to hide out on a mining facility on Bespin, Cloud City, owned by Han's old friend Lando Calrissian. Luke met with the Jedi Master Yoda, who had been hiding out since the Clone Wars, who began training Luke in the ways of the Force. Meanwhile, Han and crew were being betrayed by Lando, who had already been strong-armed by Darth Vader into turning over his friends to the bounty hunter Boba Fett. Luke received another vision from the Force, alerting him that his friends were in trouble. He ended his training with Yoda prematurely and rushed to Cloud City to rescue them. Luke encountered and fought Darth Vader, but Vader proved far too powerful. Vader also revealed that he was Anakin Skywalker, Luke's father. Meanwhile, Leia, Chewbacca, and C3-PO, with some help from Lando, were able to board the Millenium Falcon and escape Cloud City. Han had already be taken by Boba Fett. Luke reached out through the Force and communicated with Leia, who was able to rescue him. Boba Fett took Han to Jabba the Hutt, a crimelord whom Han owed a lot of credits. Luke, Lando, Leia, Chewbacca, R2-D2, and C3-PO mounted a rescue and saved Han from Jabba, killing Jabba and destroying one of his bases in the process. Around this time the Alliance learned that the Empire was constructing a Second Death Star in the Endor system. They also learned that the Second Death Star was not operational at this time, and that its construction was being overseen by Emperor Palpatine directly. The Rebel fleet mounted an attack on the Death Star, with Lando piloting the Millenium Falcon finally destroying it. In the ensuing battle, Luke and Leia learned that they were actually twins, Leia professed her love for Han, and Vader and the Emperor were killed. The Empire was in shambles. At this time, the Rebel Alliance, and the previously ousted Senators, joined together to form the New Republic. But, the New Republic is young and weak, its grip on the galaxy is tenuous. One year later, the game begins. (The preceding entry recaps Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, and Episode IV: Return of the Jedi)