Star Wars: Rebirth takes place in an alternate timeline incorporating some elements of the EU as we pick and choose. The current year is 21 ABY, and there will not be incorporation of Yuuzhan Vong in the future due to player distaste.
Rebirth diverges from the main canon significantly in two major ways. First, the Jedi Academy and Jedi Order have grown much, much faster than in the EU canon. Secondly, the Sith have recently re-emerged and staged a coup of the Imperial Remnant.
The Sith Empire is now lead by Lady Ta'ana, with Admiral Daala retaining control of the Imperial Military under her command.
These events have happened within the last half year of IC time, and the reprecussions are still shaking out - particularly in terms of new power structures. Power struggles between Sith and Imperial forces are common as well; Ta'ana declared that simply having use of the Force was no longer suffecient to have authority in any military situation, something which angered many power-hungry acolytes who she felt had become complacent.
Besides this recent shift in galactic power, there have been other major events in the past that new players should be aware of.
Darth Phyxious was a Sith Lord in the earliest days of the Great Hyperspace War, who met his end at the hands of the Jedi, but not before creating the Force Gates, a series of gateways leading into Chaos built in powerful Force nexuses.
In 12 ABY, Phyxious had gathered enough power in the afterlife to emerge, split into body and soul forms initially. He struck at the Jedi and Sith orders repeatedly, but managed to go underground before his capture.
In 16 ABY these forms merged fully, and he began to draw upon the power of the Force Gates.
Tracked down by both Jedi and Sith, Phyxious was confronted on Dathomir. The dark side energies drawn through the gate began to corrupt and kill the planet and strengthen him. However, lead by Jedi Knight Gerdun'shten Safa'k'ari'Avaran'kt, simply known to most as Safa, several Jedi and Dathomiri witches engaged in a ritual to stall the flow of energy while others battled Phyxious. The dark lord was forced back through the gate, and unable to sustain it from within Chaos, the ritual overwhelmed and collapsed it, as well as the others located around the galaxy.
In 13 ABY, a tremendous famine struck the galaxy. Damaging fungi, viruses, and destructive species struck many of the galaxy's most significant farm worlds. Though no single cause was ever found, the effects were wide reaching and particularly destructive on populous worlds such as Coruscant, which struggled with riots, raids on military bases, grocery stores, medical clinics, shelters, and any other location rumored to have food. The famine passed by the end of 15 ABY, but many still fear the potential for recurrence.
In 14 ABY, a new plague was unleashed on the galaxy. The source remains unknown, but the infection spread rapidly from Imperial space. The infection was marked by a distinct pattern of symptoms, beginning with auditory hallucinations of mice or other pests, eventually becoming hallucinations of people speaking. Fever and visual hallucination followed, ultimately resulting a violent outburst where victims of the disease were killed in self-defense or succumbed to fever shortly after.
Reptillain species were first affected, followed by avian, aquatic, and mammalian species. Plant species and those without distinct central nervous systems or brains were unaffected.
After a half-year period, it was discovered the cause was microscopic parasites living within brain tissue. Two cures were found. First was a cure discovered and spread in Imperial Space, which immediately killed the parasites, but the immediate toxic buildup in the brain caused by their deaths resulted in nearly 33% fatality among patients. A second cure was distributed from Coruscant which took a week to fully cure by rendering the short-lived parasites infertile. Unable to reproduce, the infection ended quickly but without a dangerous burst of toxin.
Neo-Confederacy of Independent Systems
In 15 ABY, Ord Mantell was home to a short period of droid and clone rebellion. A former stormtrooper named Beni Voss and an apparently sentient HK-100 assassin unit took over a small portion of the world and declared indendence from the planetary government. Other droids quickly began to join the pair, with no apparent cause, as did a small but growing amount of clones.
The standoff lasted for three months while the pair seemingly peacefully seized more and more territory, taking over the spacer, entertainment, and industrial districts near the Ord Mantell starport. After three months, Mantellian Security along with the Jedi Order discovered the true leader of the rebellion, a venerable survivor of clone wars, a Nemoidian general kept alive through extensive cybernetics.
As he attempted to make his escape from one of Ord Mantell's moons, his ship was shot down by ion weaponry, which also damaged his cybernetic life support systems. With his death, new droids stopped joining the NCIS, and the apparent leaders came to learn they were being used. The standoff ended peacefully, with the clone and droid eventually released on probation after their surrender and the re-annexation of the captured territory
Though no traces of the NCIS remain, there are still groups of droids' rights activists who rally to the cause based on the sentience of the HK-100 unit.
The Sith Bomber
During the same time period, a Sith Lord launched a campaign of terror against Ord Mantell, Coruscant, and Bastion. Darth Marshon planted bombs around the worlds, attacking spectator events, businesses, and even cantinas as an act revenge for the death of his apprentice on Arkania. The opening salvo was launched with a series of bombs detonated at a charity boxing event held at Ord Mantell's Lady Fate Casino, killing several Jedi, Sith, Republic Senators, and Imperial Moffs.
The bombing campaign lasted several months after the end of the NCIS standoff, with the bomber eventually tracked down by Jedi and Ord Mantell Secutiy Forces. The bomber was killed in a battle by the HK-100 unit that lead the rebellion, which lead to the commutation of the sentence of the assassin droid and its clone friend.
The Droid Mistress
In 16 ABY, a Sith ghost was released from the Dark Temple on Yavin IV. She remained nameless, simply calling herself the Droid Mistress. The Droid Mistress had the ability to control individual droids through posession, as well as other electronics, and could control large amounts via her ancient tools. In her attempts to resurrect herself she attacked Yavin IV, Coruscant, and Naboo, where she sent waves of B1 Battle Droids to attack and distract the local security forces from her true intentions.
Though she came close, she made the mistake of attempting to posess a sentient human replica droid who was able to resist her attempts. The HRD made its way to Yavin IV with her inside, and the Droid Mistress was trapped in a lifedrinker crystal, which was then purified in a shamanic ritual.
In 17 ABY, two waves of mutated creatures attacked the galaxy. The first wave was a series of small, isolated incidents, infectious sentients covered in boils and sores with swollen muscle tissue that attacked on space stations. Eventually the first wave was tracked to the alchemical machinations of a Hutt, who was slain on Omze's Incredible Traveling Starport after fleeing Ord Mantell.
The second wave hit a month later, with similar but larger and more violent creatures attacking in greater numbers on Coruscant. The mutants were carriers of force-infused parasites spread by skin contact or exposure to the fluids within the boils, making them extremely dangerous to fight up close.
The source was tracked to a sith who had taken up residence in the old Jedi Temple on Coruscant, using the ancient facilities to breed parasites in vats to dip sentients into, which she could then control. The NRSF sent a two member mission in to destroy the parasites and their production. Outside the temple, a Jedi Padawan happened upon the Sith responsible for the parasites, and sprung into action to apprehend her.
After her capture, it was revealed that she gave instructions to the Hutt who initially created the mutants, using him as a dupe to test the methods out. Currently she's held captive on Yavin IV, awaiting trial by the Republic.
Current Bboard theme posts
Chaos in Imperial Space!
GNN's breaking news logo, a yellow combination of the Republic and Imperial symbols spinning overtop of a blue, starry background flashes across the holoscreen.
"Breaking News!" the chiron on the bottom reads as rough holofootage - a static image of two groups, an Imperial Captain on a Star Destroyer backed by Stormtroopers confronted by a man in a black robe with his own contingent. Two press conferences play silently in the bottom corners - one a New Republic senator, the other a Grand Moff.
This is Kyra Hillis reporting", the authoritative woman's voice says overtop the video, "We have reports of...what may be an attempted coup within Imperial space. The footage is disturbing, and was just leaked to us by an anonymous source. Sensitive and younger viewers should turn away.
The central footage begins moving, and the man in black ignites a lightsaber, prompting the captain to draw a blade as the stormtroopers begin firing on each other. The captain and man engage in a melee, demonstrating a surprisingly resistant blade in the captains hand, but as the melee comes to a stalemate the man in black lets a bolt of lightning from his hands, causing the captain to collapse and twitch on the ground.
The footage changes, turning to footage of Bastion. A series of explosions rocks a military base, and the officers quarters implode, dust spraying outward as the building falls into itself.
The footage changes to the Gorgon, the flagship of Admiral Daalas fleet, with a yellow hovering question mark in front of it. We have varying reports from all parties involved, and varying official statements from the Imperial and Republic governments. The Imperial government insists this is an isolated set of terrorist attacks, and the Republic denies all involvement. Hutt space is quiet as well with no response from the Consortium. At this hour, we can only report that all sources agree, Admiral Daalas fleet has gone dark, and all attempts to contact her have failed. Once again, there may be an attempted coup in Imperial space. Well bring you more as the story develops, but for now we return you to Free Trade Telos.
The Sith Empire
GNN's breaking news logo, a yellow combination of the Republic and Imperial symbols spinning overtop of a blue, starry background flashes across the holoscreen. "Breaking News!" the chiron on the bottom reads once again as the red-haired Zabrak anchor appears on screen. Her hair is a mess, her makeup smeared, and the news team is running frantically around the office behind her as they gather information. "This is Kyra Hillis reporting for the nineteenth hour with breaking news. We've received holos from the Imperial Remnant, confirming the status, including a statement from Admiral Daala and we don't have the name yet of the other woman, we'll have that after the footage."
The holoscreens cut to footage from the Sith Temple on Korriban, as someone sits waiting on the throne.
This is her moment, and she knows it. A young woman, human with dark hair, tanned skin, and deep brown eyes is facing the holo. She's dressed in black - a black skirt, slit up one side and showing delicate high-heeled sandals. Her skirt is seperated from an equally black blouse by a red sash, which drapes around her waist. Long, draping sleeves are cut open to show her arms - and cinched around her wrists. Her neck is adorned by a simple necklace of gold and rubies, and a matching hair stick pins up her hair. Her expression is serious - but almost hopeful as she smiles at the camera. "Too long as the Galaxy been divided under disparate rule," she intones solemnly. "Too long has it been plagued by war, and strife. Peace and prosperity will only be found under strong and unified rule. I have returned, at last, to fill the vaccum left by my father's demise. Witness the return of the Sith Empire. All who wish to join with us, to help us spread our message throughout the galaxy will be welcomed."
She is seated on a throne as she speaks - the banner of her new Sith Empire hanging behind her. Flanking her are Sith in robes, and Imperial Guards alike. Standing in front of her, and to her right hand, is a petite teenage girl with blue skin, pink hair, and brightly golden gaze.
The feed cuts to Admiral Daala, standing in front of the viewport to her ship. "This is Admiral Daala, high commander of the Imperial Navy. Today, we return to greatness. After a prolonged period of stagnation brought about by weak military commanders and diplomats demanding a softer approach, we have returned to greatness. As you are aware, there were attacks on Imperial military forces. These were not terrrorists, these were not isolated incidents. These were my orders." Daala's eyes are steely as she speaks, narrowing with the last words. "This era of playing nice with rebels is ended. When I came into this position it was by eliminating the council which stood in its own way, and today the same has happened. Those who stood in the way yesterday were eliminated, and the same will happen to anyone under my command who refuses to heed the new command structure."
The Admiral smiles, eyes still narrow, nearly burning with fury. "This is not an idle threat, as proven yesterday. As for the rebels...surrender now and receive fair treatment as a defeated army. Continue as you are and you will be treated as any terrorists, be you citizen, sergeant, or senator."
Admiral Daala steps out of the frame, and behind her is Mantooine, with countless Star Destroyers firing upon positions on the world as Republic transports flee the scene. She's taking a scorched Earth approach, apparently, leveling entire cities as a warning.
"There you have it" says the voice of Kyra Hillis, sounding exhausted as she's been on the air since the news first broke. "The Imperial sources we have all confirm the tapes, they're now under the leadership of Empress Ta'ana, daughter of Lord Vitiate. The New Republic's senate confirms a state of war, and we're awaiting word from Luke Skywalker." The fear in the woman's voice is palpable, a rare break for the hardened journalist.
The Jedi and the war
"I don't know about you", a Weequay man says angrily on camera, facing Weelo Baruk, host of Galaxy Beat - the premiere 3 PM news and politics show - "but I don't care what the Jedi say. Look at them, they're nuts. They're all hallucinating in the tape, you can see it!"
Weelo, a gran with a map of the galaxy behind him, turns to the camera. "It's definitely strange behavior, but how can we tell? There were other witnesses saying they say a giant lizard, but the cameras don't have anything."
"More damn Jedi mind tricks! Do you really trust them?" the Weequay says, face turning red at the idea.
"Let's leave that up to the viewers. Before we continue the discussion, I'd like to show the tape" Weelo says, gesturing to the camera with a point of his finger as the footage starts rolling.
The Jedi have gathered in a large number on Coruscant in front of the old temple, more than an average day on Yavin by far. There's a podium near the doors, and the crowd is noisy.
The podium is well lit with many holocams facing it, but no reporters in the inner circle where the Jedi gather on the lawn.
Master Skywalker is in the front of the crowd, along with the Jedi Masters. There's a distinct tension in the air as everyone waits for things to begin, but before long, Skywalker, dressed in a black flightsuit, sans helmet, heads up onto the stage and begins speaking.
"All of the Jedi here have seen the news six hours ago. Though we've known the Sith were still active in the Galaxy, we never suspected these numbers or this power. Mostly they've been a rumor, shadows to jump at, but now...we see we were wrong."
Skywalker exhibits a soft sigh, his face weary and voice disappointed. "For that, the Jedi Order can only apologize. We failed to see the signs, and take responsbility for it, but that changes today. Though we're closer to an order of monks than warriors, the council has decided that, just as in the Old Republic, we must stand with the New Republic's military forces thanks to our special ability to deal with the threat facing the galaxy."
The jedi crowd itself is clearly shocked, based on the uproar, and Master Skywalker waits for the noise to die down a little.
"I know this comes as a shock to most of you, but the council has decided in a nearly unanimous vote that this is the path we should take. We don't seek war, but it comes to us. The Jedi must return to the battlefield."
The murmurs continue, and reporters start shouting questions. "Please...wait on your questions. The Republic has sheltered us since the fall of the Empire and we owe them. Now that the Empire is the Sith Empire especially, if we don't stand up, we will fall."
Master Skywalker continues as the murmurs begin to quiet again. "Not all of us are fighters. The Order will need all of you, as will the Republic. Healers, librarians, and warriors are just as needed for this. But, we know some of you will not wish to remain with the order. We understand if you make that decision, and won't hold it against any of you."
"The rest of us, however, must stand strong against the tide of darkness. We aren't here to attack, but to protect. We must stand together, vigilant against the dark side, but if we do we will overcome. Thank you, and may the Force be with you."
Master Skywalker steps away from the podium, not bothering to take questions or comments, even from Jedi. The crowd, as a whole, is still mixed on its feelings, with some applause, but just as much muttering and trepidation.
A few moments pass, and the Jedi engage in some unusual behavior, all turning and reacting to something the cameras don't see - some even drawing their lightsabers, before things settle back down and they mingle amongst themselves, with Master Skywalker and a small Rodian talking at the steps of temple's entrance.