Now that the Skywalker Saga is done, some fans may wonder just how many years did the entire main Star Wars saga actually cover? Well, thanks to the Rise of Skywalker Visual Dictionary, we have an answer. From the moment Anakin Skywalker is discovered on Tatooine in The Phantom Menace till the final defeat of Emperor Palpatine, the entire saga covers 67 years. So in real world terms, think World War I to about the end of the Cold War in the ’80s.
One big difference that the new visual dictionary provides may shock many longtime fans – the changing of the historical demarcation point. Up until now, in almost all official materials, the “BC/AD” of the Star Wars galaxy was always marked as “BBY – Before the Battle of Yavin,” and “ABY – After the Battle of Yavin.” As A New Hope was the first Star Wars film, and the destruction of Alderaan and the Rebel’s destruction of the Death Star would have been a huge event in the galaxy, using that as the “ground zero” of history made sense. However, in the Rise of Skywalker Visual Dictionary we are introduced to a new one – “BSI” and “ASI,” which stand for “Before Starkiller Incident” and “After Starkiller Incident.” This makes the events of The Force Awakens the axis of history now.
Yes, this is probably going to make many longtime Star Wars fans unhappy (not that it takes much.) But hear me out — I think it makes sense. True, the wiping out of Alderaan and the destruction of the Empire’s most dangerous weapon would have been huge deals in galactic history. But Starkiller Base destroying the Hosnian system is an even bigger deal. First off, it took out the seat of government of the New Republic, effectively ending their existence as a functioning body. Not only that, but it didn’t just destroy the one planet. but the whole New Republic starfleet and several other worlds in that system. This presumably killed billions. As far as we know, it’s the single worst tragedy in the history of the galaxy.
No. The Visual Guides tend to use a dating system that’s specific to the era of the guide.
— Matt Martin (@missingwords) December 20, 2019
But for all of you old schoolers who are more attached to the BBY and ABY designations, worry not. Lucasfilm’s Matt Martin recently took to Twitter to explain to a fan that the new historical demarcation points are project specific. So for a something that mainly covers the sequel trilogy, they will use the new ones like BSI and ASI. For a project that is mainly the original trilogy or prequel timelines, they’ll still use the old BBY and ABY designations.
What will be interesting to see is if future Star Wars projects use either of these historical demarcation points. Especially since they are rumored to be set way in the past, some as far back as thousands of years. Maybe they should just change what BBY and BBY means to something more important: “Before Baby Yoda” and “After Baby Yoda.” Because what’s more important to galactic history than the arrival of that lil’ guy?