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- "Millennia before the Republic's founding, the galaxy was ruled by a Force-wielding warlike species known as the Rakata. Their cruel Infinite Empire wielded highly advanced technology to conquer and enslave hundreds of planets across the galaxy. Among these conquests were the Core Worlds, a group of human-dominated planets such as Coruscant and Corellia that would one day form the Republic. But first, these worlds would suffer for centuries under the Rakata's oppressive rule."
- ―Excerpt from Star Wars: The Old Republic Encyclopedia
The Infinite Empire, often known as the Rakata Infinite Empire, was the first and largest government to exist prior to the rise of the Galactic Republic. Controlled by the Rakata, a technologically advanced humanoid species, the Empire enslaved many alien species including the Selkath of Manaan and the Sand People of Tatooine. The Rakata were one of the first species to create hyperspace technology; the Rakata were both great inventors and savage warriors. The Infinite Empire's greatest invention was the Star Forge, a space station with unlimited resources.
The Rakata's homeworld, Lehon, was visited by a galaxy-hopping species known as the Kwa years before recorded galactic history. Through the Kwa, the Rataka learned the use of the Force and different uses of technology. But after a time, the Kwa became disgusted at the Rakata's cannibalistic ways, and soon, all Rakata began using the dark side to control hundreds of worlds rich in the Force. Through this conquest, the Infinite Empire was born.
The Rakata, through the aid of the Kwa, developed technology that allows them to enslave populations of billions of people and convert their fear and hated into energy to fuel their warships. But the Kwa finally decided that they had had enough, and battled the Rakata to a standstill over control of Lehon. Unfortunately, they were beaten back, and the Empire was allowed to flourish across the entire galaxy.
The Empire soon saw cracks in its government through several internal power struggles, which created tension and fueled frustration among the Rakata. But the death blow came from a galaxy-wide plague that stripped the Rakata of their strength and killed billions. The survivors found that their connection to the Force had been severed, and their enslaved worlds united and overthrew their oppressors almost overnight. The remnants of the Empire abandoned their former worlds and scattered across the galaxy.