For those that are interested in becoming a little more acquainted, here is a summary of the basic Eras of Star Wars:
The Old Republic:
25,000-1000 years BBY
This is the time of the Old Republic and the Jedi Order before the coming of the Galactic Empire. The tales of this Era tell the stories of the ancient battles between the Jedi and the Sith: the Great Hyperspace War, the Great Sith War, the Jedi Civil War, and the Battle of Rusaan. This is also the time of the infamous Mandalorian War. These are the tales of Ancient Sith Lords like Naga Sadow and Freedon Nadd, as well as fallen Jedi like Exar Kun, Uliq Qel-Droma and Revan. This era also has it's fair share of heroes, from Nomi Sunrider to Zayne Carrick.
These ancient stories are later returned to, full circle, as Luke Skywalker slowly rebuilds the Jedi Order and seeks out more and more information about his predecessors.
The Rise of the Empire
1,000-0 years BBY
This is perhaps the longest Era, material-wise, along the timeline. This period stretches from the founding of the New Sith Order by Darth Bane, all the way through the early adventures of Obi-Wan Kenobi as a padawan. This period also includes the Prequel Trilogy (Ep. I-III) and the Clone Wars (now a TV show), after which Anakin Skywalker becomes Darth Vader, the Jedi are slaughtered, and the Empire is born. But just as darkness falls, a new hope arises.This is the time of the birth of the Alliance to Restore the Republic, better known as the Rebel Alliance. This Era ends with the destruction of the first Death Star.
The Era of Rebellion
0-4 years ABY
Need I say more? This is the time of the Rebellion and the Classic trilogy (Ep. IV-VI). These are the most classic tales of Star Wars heroes and villains during and between the original films. This also includes epic Star Wars side-adventures such as Shadows of the Empire and Dark Forces, which tell the early tales of Dash Rendar and Kyle Katarn. This Era chronicles rise of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, and Chewbacca as great heroes of the Rebellion, as well as the fall of the evil Empire.
The New Republic
5-25 years ABY
Having defeated the Galactic Empire, the leaders of the Rebel Alliance found the New Republic. But the troubles aren't over, especially with the Imperial Remnant, led by ruthless leaders such as Grand Admiral Thrawn, Ysanne Isard and a reborn Emperor Palpatine, trying to regain strength. During this time, Jacen, Jaina and Anakin Solo, the children of Han and Leia, are born. Together, these young force-sensitives become some of the first members of Luke Skywalker's new Jedi Academy on Yavin. One of the greatest Star Wars trilogies of all time, the Thrawn Trilogy, takes place in this Era.
The New Jedi Order
25-30 years ABY
Luke Skywalker's New Jedi Order is growing rapidly. However, the invasion of a malevolent species from the Unknown Regions, the Yuuzhan Vong, as well as internal pressures, prove a daunting challenge for the fledgling New Republic. While the Yuuzhan Vong are defeated, the galaxy is changed forever.
Legacy of the Force
37-140 years ABY
Following the Yuuzhan Vong Crisis, the Imperial Remanant and the New Republic form, for the first time, a galaxy-wide unified government: the Galactic Alliance. The New Jedi Order is appointed the guardians of this body. However, this is also the time of the fall of Jacen Solo to the dark side, consumed by Darth Caedus, and his ascendence to rule. In order to combat this evil, Luke Skywalker and his Jedi Order abandon the Galactic Republic and wage war against Caedus, who is finally felled by his own sister, Jaina Solo. Alternately, this Era includes the adventures of Cade Skywalker, 100 years after these events.
Fate of the Jedi
42 years ABY
This is the newest Era of the expanded universe. Having defeated Darth Caedus, new tensions rise between the Jedi Order and the Galactic Alliance, led by Chief of State Natasi Daala. With a warrant out for his arrest, Luke Skywalker retreats into exile....