The Clone Wars were a devastating conflict that ravaged the galaxy and ultimately led to the downfall of the Galactic Republic. The war began in 22 BBY when the Separatist movement, led by the charismatic Count Dooku, declared its intentions to secede from the Republic.
The Republic, led by Chancellor Palpatine, responded by creating a massive army of clones, bred specifically for combat. The clone troopers quickly became the backbone of the Republic's war effort, fighting on countless battlefields throughout the galaxy.
The war lasted for three long years, during which time the Jedi Order, which had been serving as generals in the Republic's army, found itself stretched thin and overcommitted. In 19 BBY, the tide of the war turned when Palpatine revealed himself to be the Sith Lord Darth Sidious and executed Order 66, a plan to eliminate the Jedi Order and seize control of the galaxy.
With the Jedi all but extinct and the Republic transformed into the tyrannical Galactic Empire, the Clone Wars came to a sudden and brutal end. The galaxy was plunged into darkness, and the effects of the war were felt for years to come.