- "For over a thousand generations, the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic. Before the dark times. Before the Empire."
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi
The Imperial Era, also known as the Old Empire era, the Age of the Empire, or the Dark Times, was a period of time that began with the Proclamation of the New Order—the event that marked the reorganization of the democratic Galactic Republic into the fascist Galactic Empire—at the end of the Clone Wars in 19 BBY. Within a generation, however, it ended with the Empire's dissolution through the signing of the Galactic Concordance in 5 ABY, approximately one year after the death of Galactic Emperor Sheev Palpatine at the Battle of Endor.
The era was characterized by the implementation of the Emperor's political program, referred to as the New Order. Although the Emperor did bring peace to the galaxy as he had promised, that result was achieved through brutal repression. As a result, the Age of the Empire also saw the birth of the Alliance to Restore the Republic, whose members sought to overthrow the Emperor and restore democracy to the galaxy. The combination of the Emperor's death and the Empire's final defeat at the Battle of Jakku ultimately marked the end of both the Galactic Civil War and the Imperial era, resulting in the dawn of a new age under the New Republic.