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Does The Trade Federation Break The Timeline?

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The Trade Federation plays a prominent role in the Star Wars prequel movies, but is it possible that it is in Eclipse during the High Republic era?

The first video game announced to take place in the High Republic era is Star Wars Eclipse, which appears to feature the Trade Federation. Not only does its reveal trailer feature ships seen in the prequel movies, but also prominently displays a Neimoidian, an alien race most closely associated with the trade conglomerate. The Trade Federation played a major role in the prequel trilogy, but will its presence in Star Wars Eclipse break the timeline?

From the very outset of the prequel movies – the beginning of The Phantom Menace – the Trade Federation is a key player in not only Star Wars‘ plot, but also the in-universe politics. The Trade Federation instigates the blockade and subsequent invasion of Naboo, attempts to have Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi killed while they are acting as the Galactic Senate’s emissaries, and eventually becomes a major financier and droid supplier to the Confederacy of Independent Systems during the Clone Wars. The Trade Federation would later meet its end at the hands of the newly anointed Darth Vader, who slaughtered the collective leaders of the CIS, which was soon followed by the nationalization of the Trade Federation under the recently established Galactic Empire.

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Despite featuring prequel-era ships, Star Wars Eclipse takes place before the prequels, during the height of the Galactic Republic in what Disney and Lucasfilm have dubbed the High Republic era. The Star Wars calendar confusingly uses the Battle of Yavin – the climactic space battle of A New Hope in which the first Death Star is destroyed – to signify its zero year. At the beginning of the Skywalker Saga, the Trade Federation’s blockade of Naboo takes place in 32 BBY (before the Battle of Yavin). The High Republic era ended roughly 50 years prior in 82 BBY, and lasted for just over two centuries, giving plenty of wiggle room for Star Wars Eclipse to use the Trade Federation.


Star Wars Eclipse Probably Won’t Contradict The Timeline


Star Wars Eclipse - Why There Are Prequel Ships In The High Republic

From around 300 to 82 BBY, the Galactic Republic was at its height, and was heavily focused on expansion into the Outer Rim territories. An apparent lack of Sith in the galaxy during the time lead to an equally prosperous Jedi Order, which was in part led by High Republic era Yoda, who features in Eclipse. According to Legends canon – the official Star Wars events that were de-canonized by the Disney acquisition – the Trade Federation was extant during this entire time period, being founded in 350 BBY. This date is seemingly corroborated in the new canon by the 52nd issue of Star Wars: Build the Millennium Falcon, a magazine which included a “Guide to the Galaxy” section on “The History of Neimoidia.”


It seems unlikely that Star Wars Eclipse‘s apparent inclusion of the Trade Federation will break the timeline for a couple of reasons. For starters, the Legends establishment of the Trade Federation in 350 BBY seems to have been adopted officially in the new canon, even though the origins of the conglomerate haven’t been thoroughly explored. Secondly, the Trade Federation is already an immensely powerful organization by the time of Episode I, and that alone makes it believable that it was at least in its infancy at some point during the High Republic era. The High Republic is still in its burgeoning moments, so it probably won’t be difficult for Star Wars Eclipse and the High Republic comics and novels that have already come out to coexist.


Related: Star Wars Eclipse Could Introduce A New Dark Side Faction

There are still very few details on the game itself, aside from the fact that it will be in the High Republic. The reveal trailer is incredibly ominous, pointing to some new evil faction, potentially Dark Side-aligned, but offers no major hints as to what the game will be about specifically. In fact, with developer Quantic Dream’s portfolio, Eclipse may be a major contribution to the continued establishment of the High Republic era. The developer typically makes narrative-heavy games, which play out like interactive stories. The prominence of both a Neimoidian and the Trade Federation’s signature donut-shaped ships suggests the conglomerate will play a not insignificant role in the game. Eclipse could depict the Trade Federation’s rise, which would be a major contribution to the Star Wars canon – one which ties directly into the nine mainline films.


How The Trade Federation May Play Into Star Wars Eclipse


The Trade Federation might play a large part in Star Wars: Eclipse

The High Republic era spans over two centuries, so there is plenty of room for Eclipse to explore. If the Trade Federation is not shown near its inception, and Eclipse takes place closer to the end of the High Republic era, then it will still likely be a growing participant in galactic politics. The Federation was founded as a means for interstellar shipping companies in the Outer Rim to combine forces in the fight against increasing piracy.

The Republic may have been actively encouraging the colonization of the Outer Rim territories, but didn’t yet have any means to police the region. Part of this colonization effort was to declare a series of Free Trade Zones, in order to bolster commerce in the fledgling colonies. If Star Wars Eclipse‘s branching story thoroughly confronts the politics of the time, the Trade Federation’s involvement will likely be concerned with the conglomerate’s exploitation of these Free Trade Zones, which allowed it to flourish in the absence of taxation.


Related: Star Wars Eclipse Could Feature Darth Plagueis

It’s also possible that Eclipse could partly show the Trade Federation mustering its droid army. The circular Federation ships in the trailer are best known for being the droid control ships in the prequel films (the one used in the blockade of Naboo was famously blown up by a young Anakin Skywalker), but were originally used as freighters, though some were likely converted to their militaristic purpose during the High Republic era. With the presence of Lucasfilm Story Group too, it’s unlikely Quantic Dream will proceed without any oversight.


The framework of the narrative has probably already been approved alongside the Trade Federation’s involvement, though Eclipse is allegedly already facing development issues, and the final product is still years away. Though it takes place years before the prequel trilogy, there’s a very small chance Star Wars Eclipse breaks the timeline, since the origins of the Trade Federation aren’t exactly concrete, and there’s plenty of room to work inside the current canon.

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