The Republic had enjoyed three hundred years of peace, knowing nothing of the Sith Empire's continued existence on Dromund Kaas. When strange battle cruisers were reported in the Tingel Arm, the Republic sent a diplomatic vessel that was annihilated after sending a frantic transmission. As the Republic and Jedi began to investigate these mysterious newcomers, a massive Imperial battle fleet descended on Korriban, triumphantly reclaiming the Sith holy world for the Empire. Imperial fleets converged on targets in the Outer Rim, devastating key military outposts. Planetary governments corrupted by secret Imperial agents suddenly revealed their allegiance to the Sith.
No one knew how powerful this reborn Sith Empire was, how large it had grown during the past millennium or where its capital was located. The Republic was thrown into chaos. Disagreements in the Senate and the defection of key systems delayed its military response, while the Imperial forces coolly carried out the Emperor's plans. Despite several important victories‒most notably at Bothawui‒the Republic was forced onto a defensive footing. The first stage of the Emperor's plan was a success.