The Galactic Standard Calendar was always in flux, and everyone hated it. I mean seriously, think about the issues inherent in a galaxy-wide calendar. Well, it's pretty problematic.
You'll find sources that will give you a whole bunch of garbage about the history of the calendar, but the bottom line is this: Everything was fine when the Old Republic was founded, and started counting at 0. This was more or less fine for about 25,000 "years" (more on this concept below). But all kinds of uprisings, wars, invasions, insurrections, purges, dynasties, and Jawa Football League strikes happened, and everyone and his mother wanted to restart at 0 to commemmorate the event. It was good business for companies that made calendars and textbooks. Sometimes different planetary systems kept their own calendars out of spite.
Fun with time!
Coruscant was the political center of the galaxy for 25,000 years, and as such, standard timekeeping was based on that planet's movements. Coincidentally, Coruscant's day/night/year cycle meshed well with human natural circadian rhythms, which are as old as the species. Although the origins of humanity have been lost to history, most scientists believe that the original home planet of humanity must have had similar cycles to Coruscant. That's why people settled there and it became popular - they didn't have to change their clocks much. (Many people insist Coruscant is the original home of humanity, but they're idiots.) Most scientists agree that the concept of days, hours, minutes and seconds predates the Old Republic by several millenia, and the first settlers on Coruscant adapted the planet's cycle to the old timekeeping system. You'd think that if they were going to go through the trouble of starting a brand new calendar to celebrate the establishment of a galactic government which was inclusive of a large number of sentient species, they would have come up with a new day/hour/minute system based on some sort of numerical logic, that could be easily standardized throughout the galaxy.
So we've got:
- 1 millenia = 10 centuries
- 1 century = 10 decades
- 1 decade = 10 years
Good so far? Yeah, well this is where it gets dicey:
- 1 year = 369 days = 10 months + 3 festival weeks + 4 festival days (huh?)
- 1 month = 7 weeks
- 1 week = 5 days
- 1 day = 24 hours
- 1 hour = 60 minutes
- 1 minute = 60 seconds
Makes sense right? Of course not. Certainly makes no sense to anyone living on Zaloriis, or Dathomir, or Boston either. And it especially doesn't make sense to non-humans. Except for dogs. For some reason, dogs seem fine with it.
As convenient as this might have been for the first settlers of Coruscant and for the founders of the human-centric Old Republic, most other planetary cycles differed to some degree from Coruscant. Every local planetary governement had their own time system. Complex computer programs would convert the local times to galactic standard times. Some planets, under pressure from the jerks on Coruscant, tried to abolish their local time system altogether. However, this usually led to a lot of confusion which included people driving on the wrong side of the road, withdrawals of large sums of money from banks, accidental nuclear warhead launches, premature ejaculations, and rampant nerf rapings. Most of these side effects made no sense, but they often caused the local governments to revert back to local timekeeping. This annoyed the jerks on Coruscant.
Don't even bother...
...about hyperspatial and lightspeed travel. This will ruin your day. Seriously.
Back to the main point: Years. Yay!Anyway, when the human founders began the Old Republic, this was indeed a gigantic shift in history, as a new species was about to dominate. One of the first things the humans did was to hand out hats and t-shirts for everyone to wear, which would signify the establishment of a new government. The Duro, who had helped the humans develop hyperdrive, were more or less cast aside by the racist humans. Duro, and other important species were given a modicum of representation, but their protests were drowned out by a major political action committee, "Humans Against Support of Beings that are Retarded, Okay?", or "H.A.S.B.R.O". In the end, while everyone agreed that there should be a new calendar to start at year 0, the humans prevailed in imposing their own arbitrary time systems. This angered non-humans, but they got over it.
So for over 25,000 years, the Galactic Standard Calendar was in effect. It withstood such things as the Hundred Year Darkness, the Cuddly Blanket Shortage, the Great Hyperspace War, the Annoying Mongoloid Disturbance, the Jedi Circle Jerk, the Great Sith War, the Battle of the Network Stars, the Mandalorian Wars, the Banthaskull Purge of Idiocy, the JFL Ballboy Strike, and on and on. Despite efforts to shift power, the calendar remained in effect, at least in the background. Despite temporary disruptions, the Old Republic Calendar would continue to hold sway throughout the galaxy, and would regain prominence once each event passed. However, Palpatine eventually created the Galactic Empire, and started his own calendar. Palpatine was pretty smart, and had purchased the rights to the url www.calendar.com and also scooped up loads of shares of McGraw Hill stock. The next day, he declared the year 25,053 to actually be 0. His next order was a stroke of genious. He mandated that every member of the senate wear a t-shirt that said "0 is the new 25,053!" People opposed this move, but Palpatine eventually wiped away the Galactic Senate, and then had every member of "Don't Overturn the Republic Calendar" (DORC) killed in a public execution. People were suddenly okay with the calendar, but it was a pain in the ass to learn all the new dates, and start going backwards. For instance, 25052 was now 1 BE (Before the Empire).
After 19 years, people started to get the hang of it, and accepted the new calendar. Then suddenly, a young mass murderer emerged from nowhere and helped destroy the Death Star and a full rebellion was on. In order to legitimize the Rebel Alliance, Mon Mothma declared the Battle of Yavin to be the new year 0. This was near political suicide. Despite the initial support for the ideals of the Rebellion, many sentients were loathe to change the calendar again. Palpatine, sensing weakness, campaigned heavily in favor of keeping the calendar where it was, and the Rebellion almost fizzled. Luckily, the Alliance held together long enough to destroy the second Death Star as well as Palpatine and his Sith Order at Endor. The Alliance seized control of the governement, and immediately declared it to be the year 0, which totally confused the hell out of everyone. Most people sympathetic to the Alliance had accepted Yavin as being the new year 0, and suddenly Mon Mothma was about to toss that out the window and start over again! A civil war nearly erupted over this, and Mothma decided to stick with the Battle of Yavin convention, even though the Empire was still around for 4 more years afterwards. Enough people had reluctantly bought into her ramblings at the time, and they'd be damned if they were going to change again.
Most people really just wanted to revert to the Old Republic Calendar, and say that the Battle of Endor was the year 25,057. But Mon Mothma was one stubborn bitch, so...
Famous Galactic Calendar Publishings:
- Bitches of Dathomir (18,056 was a particularly arousing year)
- Miss Jedi Temple
- Hot Hutts of Hotty Hotness!
- Sith Through The Years (This was an underground calendar, not published until Palpatine's reign)
- Mandos War Vets (Very moving)
- Jedi & Their Clone Commanders
- People Killed by Luke Skywalker
- Fabulous Bacon Brothers
- Biggest Asshole In The Galaxy
- Death Stars Of The Empire (which actually only had two months worth)
- The Many Faces of the GAR
- Wildlife Of Hoth