- "The Old Republic was the Republic of legend, greater than distance or time. No need to note where it was or whence it came, only to know that it was the Republic."
- ―From an Old Republic Documentary
The Galactic Republic was the ruling government of the Galaxy for 25,034 years, until the establishment of the Galactic Empire in 31 BBY. Although it was commonly known as the Old Republic, this was not so until the establishment of the Empire; its name when it existed was the Galactic Republic, or simply The Republic. Rarely, it was referred to as the First Galactic Republic. At times, the term Old Order was used to describe it.
The Republic, led by a Supreme Chancellor, had a supposedly democratic government that was able to sustain itself for over twenty-five thousand years. For most of its duration as the dominant galactic power, the Republic did not style itself as a strong centralized government, but rather as a union or alliance of planets for the purposes of promoting trade, mediating disputes, and mutual protection. It was said that its complete history would "fill a thousand libraries".