- "We agree that the time for diplomacy and politics has passed. It is now time for action... Therefore let this be an official declaration of rebellion! Today, we all vow to change the galaxy, and one day the galaxy will indeed be free!"
- ―Bail Organa
The Galactic Civil War (10 BBY-20 ABY), was a major galactic conflict fought between the oppressive Galactic Empire and the Alliance to Restore the Republic, a rebel faction dedicated to the revival of the Galactic Republic.
Origins of the conflict could be traced to the Galactic Senate during the final days of the Old Republic, sometime after the end of the Clone War, where dissenting and prominent Senators, such as Bail Organa, opposed the powers and authority that the newly elected President of the Republic Cosimo Palpatine I began to accumulate under the guise of patriotism and security. After the Senate passed the Emergency Powers Act of 31 BBY, Palpatine soon transformed the Republic into an Empire, becoming its first Emperor for life.
Despite several skirmishes in the years after the formation of the Galactic Empire, including a series conflicts on Senator Organa's homeworld of Alderaan, the war did not begin in its real sense, that of an Alliance against the Empire with its goals and ideals laid out for the galaxy, until nearly two decades after the rise of the Empire, when various Rebel leaders signed the Corellian Treaty and issued the Declaration of Rebellion. Likewise, several Imperial citizens, despite the Empire's atrocities, ended up siding with the Empire out of loyalty. Initially, the Empire, especially Cosimo Palpatine II, the second Emperor who had since inherited his father's throne, did not consider the Alliance a threat, but rather as a political tool to further consolidate power that would lead to a massive, unprecedented military build-up and eventually the Dissolution of the Imperial Senate. It would not be until the fateful Battle of Yavin, when rebel Luke Skywalker destroyed the first Death Star, that the threat posed by the Alliance became real to the Empire and more serious measures were drafted to restore Imperial control over the galaxy.
The decisive moment came at the Battle of the Imperial system, when the Alliance, against overwhelming odds, defeated the Imperial Military and destroyed the second and third Death Stars, killing some of the best minds in the Imperial High Command. From there, the Empire's control began to gradually decay and fragment, while the Alliance evolved and grew into the New Republic. Peace between the two warring factions was realized in 20 ABY with the signing of the Bastion Accords, ending over three decades of constant struggle. The Empire continued to exist as autonomous entity in the years succeeding war's end, and would eventually enter into an alliance with its former enemy during the Yuuzhan Vong War.