==Introduction== Chronological references in the Star Wars canon are a bit few and far between. Some references are only to character ages, which of course need not align with standard years on the calendar. In our own time, for instance, a man with a mid-year birthday in 1970 can be of a certain age across half of two different years. With that, a reference to an event occurring when he was 30 might've happened in late 2000 or early 2001. If we pick 2000 and are given other relative figures like an event occurring ten years later, we might be talking about 2010, 2011, or even 2009 if they were just rounding. And the errors can get worse from there. As of 2014, we've had only a single reference to what seems to be a year. In TCW's "Sphere of Influence", Senator Lott Dod of the Trade Federation asks "How many times must I remind you of the Commerce Treaty of 1647?" This is, he seems to suggest, the basis for the Trade Federation's claims of neutrality during the Clone Wars, and sounds very much like a treaty of a certain year. While it is tempting to take this figure and assume that 1647 is perhaps the year of AotC and the start of Clone Wars hostilities, this is frustratingly uncertain. And, indeed, we can't even be certain it is a year . . . the Treaty of Ghent, for instance, did not occur in the year Ghent, nor is there a year Versailles, though of course there's no adjective (such as "Commerce") in advance of such treaty names. Suffice it to say, there's not quite enough to go on there. Nonetheless, we can have a go at trying to make sense of things based on what we have. ==Character Ages== In the ''Revenge of the Sith'' novelization, for example, we are told on p. 39 that "[...] Obi-Wan is sixteen standard years Anakin's elder [...]". There are also repeated references to the fact that it has been 13 years since Qui-Gon's death. Anakin was explicitly nine years old in ''The Phantom Menace'', so he should've been somewhere in his 22nd year in RotS, perhaps even "barely" 23. We also know from the ''Attack of the Clones'' novelization and the novelization of the film ''Star Wars: The Clone Wars'' that Anakin is twenty in both of those works, just turning twenty in the opening pages of the AotC novel. That's 20.0 or thereabouts, meaning that TPM . . . in which he was somewhere between 9.0 and 9.9 years old . . . must have happened 10.1 to 10.9 years prior, if we're constraining ourselves to a single decimal point. And indeed, the AotC novelization speaks of Anakin's departure from Shmi and Palpatine's interest in Anakin as being ten years in length. And, since we see the birth of Luke and Leia in RotS, we can establish more facts. In the TESB novel, Luke is said to be "barely" 23, with the events of ANH occurring three years prior. Luke was thus barely 20 or so in ANH, and therefore ANH is 20 years after RoTS. And so the "old wizard" Ben Kenobi is thus only about 58 in ANH, having been about 25 in TPM, about 36 in AotC, and about 38 in RotS. (Alec Guinness was about 63 upon the release, and would've been 62 during most of the filming of the original Star Wars.) Similarly, Qui-Gon was "nearing 60" according to the TPM novel. We can also discern from this that the Clone Wars only lasted about three years, and perhaps not quite three. So, thus armed, we can construct a Star Wars chronology based on the canon. ==Dating Schemes== ===BBY/ABY=== Most fan chronologies use the BBY/ABY dating scheme, wherein all dates referenced are given in years before or after the Battle of Yavin as seen in ''A New Hope''. In the case of Nathan Butler's Star Wars Timeline Gold, some important stuff thus occurs in 19 BSW4 (Before Star Wars Episode IV). While this has certain advantages, it also has disadvantages. The worst disadvantage is that one is stuck dealing with the BC/AD style problem, but magnified a dozen times over because so much of the really interesting stuff happens a few years before or after ''A New Hope''. Personally, I loathe the idea of dealing with that. ===The Republic Era and Alternatives=== I have previously used a "Republic Era" scheme, based on moving backward a semi-arbitrary 1000 years from the fall of the Republic in ''Revenge of the Sith'' based on references like Palpatine referring to the Republic standing for 1000 years in ''Attack of the Clones'', or this reference from the RotS novelization, p. 212: :"Since the fall of Darth Bane more than a millennium ago, there have been hundreds of thousands of Jedi [...] : and in all these thousand years, there have been only two Sith at any time. [...] This lets us peg the fall of the Republic as being in 1000 RE. The true value could be more like 1003 RE if we moved backward from AotC, but either way we're in the ballpark. This allowed for a reasonably short four-digit year and kept us from having BC/AD issues, or so it seemed. As of early 2014, however -- in the real world's calendar, mind you -- Disney has announced that all future works in most any media will fall under the realm of canon. And given the rich history of Star Wars in the old times that the EU had created, it seems inevitable that someone will try to recreate it in the future works. Assuming they keep to the timeline, then, the fall of Darth Bane might occur in 4 BRE or somesuch. It thus seems prudent, if we wish to avoid BC/AD issues, to kick our start point back a bit further. However, the next good start point is the start of the Jedi Order, creating a "Jedi Era", or JE. But, while having the fall of the Republic occur in exactly 1000 RE seems a bit ad hoc, having it occur in exactly 25000 JE seems worse still. The issue is one of normal precision in such things . . . I can refer to the Norman invasion of 1066 as a millenium ago easily enough, but talking about events in 1200 that way seems to be overstating the matter a bit. However, if the Jedi Order were 25,400 years old, or even 24,300, referring to 25 millenia and 25,000 years and such doesn't seem too bad. In that case, hundreds of years constitutes a rounding error, whereas when you're only dealing with a thousand years such rounding seems rather excessive. We could merely add another thousand years, but I personally would find it quite confusing to discuss events in 2014 RE (during the dark times of the Empire) while writing in 2014 AD (dark times for the Republic). The only other alternative is to arbitrarily add another, say, two thousand years, placing the fall of the Republic in 3000 RE. But, that sort of maneuver is too arbitrary for my tastes. Of course, such maneuvers would have the advantage of allowing us to include the Commerce Treaty of 1647, but since we don't actually have a '''real''' date it seems like pretending we know it was 350 years ago or 1350 years ago is just making things up. As such, I'd rather pick a date that leaves the treaty out altogether. Thus, use of the Republic Era standard seems the best option, barring the appearance of some canon year scheme. ===Republic Era Dates=== Thus, by our Republic Era standard: Code: Yoda ~120 RE 900 years old in ANH Dooku ~917 RE Based on age from AotC Qui-Gon ~928 RE Nearing 60 in TPM Palpatine c. 939 RE Based on actor's age in RotS Obi-Wan ~962 RE He is 16 years older than Anakin. Anakin ~977 RE Anakin was nine during TPM but turned 20 circa AotC Ahsoka 983 RE "I'm fourteen" in early TCW Han c. 985 RE Based on actor's age in ANH TPM 987 RE Based on thirteen years prior to RotS Boba 987 RE Based on his age and the cloning. AotC ~997 RE Ten years after TPM per AotC novel notes, Anakin turns 20. TCW 997 - 1000 RE TCW fits between the two RotS 1000 RE Baseline Rebels 1015 RE According to rumors in early 2014 A New Hope 1020 RE Based on Luke's age in TESB minus stated three years TESB 1023 RE Based on Luke's birth and age RotJ ~1024 RE Uncertain due to unclear duration of TESB Episode VII ~1054 RE According to rumors in early 2014, based on TESB date. May also be ~1059. For those used to the BBY/ABY scheme, conversion is simple enough . . . just subtract 1019. That puts ANH as year 1 and RoTS as year -19 (or 19 BBY). However, it doesn't work for the year 1019 RE, one year before ANH. Them's the breaks. What do you think?