We were careless during the Clone Wars. We rushed into conflict the second the Sith plot demanded it. Now that the Confederacy is gone, This Dominion of ours shall withstand the Empire and its Sith Masters.
—Bin Solray, Chairman of Defense
The Dominion of Free Systems is a successor state to the Confederacy of Independent Systems founded after the end of the Clone Wars.
The Dominion of Free Systems was founded 19 BBY, following the end of the destructive Clone Wars and the assassination of the greater part of the leading body of its predecessor, The Confederacy of Independent Systems. After retreating to the Galactic South the founders of the dominion resettled upon the world known as Dendrith, claiming it as the Throne World of the newly formed Dominion. Ironically, despite their staunch opposition to Emperor Palpatine (More specifically his Sith Identity as Darth Sidious) the Dominion still operated as a tool of sorts to the Sith Lord; The Dominion provided him with an excuse to continue his Military Expansionist Policies without too heavy an outcry from the Imperial Senate.
End of the Clone Wars and exodus to Dendrith
Follow three destructive years of Galactic warfare, and the deaths of Count Dooku and General Grievous at the hands of Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi respectively, many observers of the Clone Wars, particularly those in the Jedi Order and Separatist Council, knew the war was for all functional purposes over and that the Republic would emerge the victor, despite the numerical advantage of the Droid Army. However, Palpatine revealed his true intentions following the fall of Anakin to the Dark Side with issuing of Order 66 and the reformation of the Galactic Republic into the Galactic Empire. Sensing that Sidious intended to betray the Separatists, a faction split off from the CIS and fled to the Galactic South, taking sizable fleet and army with them, in order to escape Sidious's betrayal. This decision saved them when Anakin, now known as Darth Vader, slew the remaining Separatist leaders at Mustafar.
Knowing that the Clone Army would soon pursue them the second Palpatine learned of their survival, these survivors sacrificed half of their fighting strength to halt the pursuing Clones until Palpatine himself ordered the navy to allow them to leave. The remaining survivors and their forces made landfall on the world of Dendrith and officially declared themselves the Dominion of Free Systems and calling for any remaining supporters of the Confederacy to join them. Few came, many too afraid of the Clone Army to make the journey, but of those that did none were more important than Jedi Knight Mar Re'Vulya and those few survivors of Order 66 she had gathered. Realizing they now shared a common enemy, Mar and the Dominion leaders agreed to work together leading to the founding of the Free Knights.
The Imperial Era
Fall of the Empire
Main Article: Second Battle of Utapau
Following the Battle of Endor, The Dominion and the newly formed New Republic began to work even closer together with the intent on defeating the Empire and its remaining military. It was decided that the most efficient method of dealing with the Empire, ironically taking a page from the late Emperor Palpatine, would be to face the bulk of the remaining Imperial forces in a decisive battle. While the New Republic fought over Jakku, the Dominion instead attacked Utapau, which had served as a refueling point for the Empire in the Outer Rim.
The Battle proved costly for both sides, but ultimately the Dominion proved the victor, applying immense pressure to the remaining Imperial Fleets in the Outer Rim, forcing their eventual surrender in the Galactic Concordance.
Cold War and the Rise of the First Order
Following the Galactic Concordance, The New Republic hastily passed the Military Disarmament Act, hoping to prevent a repeat of history, and appealed to the Dominion to do the same. Though the Dominion had representatives within the Republic, its central leadership remained in Dominion Space, thus limiting the Republic’s ability to actually enforce this act upon the Dominion. Though the Dominion did somewhat acquiesce by decommissioning some older Battle Ships and Droid units, simultaneously lowering their production from Total War levels as well, attempts to convince the Dominion to fully integrate with the New Republic met with stubborn refusal; The Dominion also did not want a repeat of history.
As time passed, a successor to the Late Galactic Empire, and the remnant that had remained, began to emerge in the sinister First Order, which had been formed by Imperial Remnants retreating into the Unknown Regions. The Dominion’s Leaders and Senator Leia Organa had often disagreed on policy, but now they agreed on one thing; The First Order was a clear threat to the peace they had established. After Leia retired from the political life following the revelation of her heritage, The Dominion was one of several backers of the now General’s private military force, The Resistance.
While this “cold war” continued, the few direct skirmishes between the Dominion and the First Order confirmed Leia’s fears that the First Order was more than the currently Demilitarized Republic, and her own Resistance, would be able to handle, despite (perhaps because) most of these skirmishes showed parity between the two powers and often went inconclusive. These results were, however, evidence enough for the Dominion to ramp up its productions, hastening the full implementation of the new AD-Series Battle Droids.
The First Order Ascendant
In the year 34 ABY, Leia’s worst fears were realized as the cold war got “Hot”, with the destruction of the Hosnian system, alongside the Galactic Senate and the bulk of the New Republic’s fleet via the Hyperspace Laser Weapon known as Starkiller Base. In response, with the assistance of the Fist Order defector FN-2187, better known as Finn, the Resistance successfully launched an assault on the weapon, destroying it. This victory proved to be short-lived, with the Resistance being forced to flee its base in the face of an overwhelming First Order counter-attack.
Meanwhile, with the fall of the Republic, many systems were forced to look to themselves for protection, made easier as the Republic had placed emphasis on strengthening planetary defense forces over a centralized military. Some gave in willingly to the First Order, while a select few near Dominion Space turned to the only force they thought had the power to openly face the First Order; the Dominion of Free Systems. At least three systems happily became part of the Dominion, but the Noregan system was the first major system to refuse Dominion assistance and protection. Relations between the Noregan System and the Dominion continued to deteriorate, almost to the point of open military occupation, until an assassination attempt on El Vesray, the Dominion’s current Supreme Representative, at the hands of the Sith Assassin, Golmar Getz, was thwarted by Cor Syman, a member of the Order of Twilight. Immediately afterwards Kir Syman, aided by his brother, uncovered connections between the First Order and Darth Petruv’s New Sith Order and thus revealed the assassination had been an attempt at provoking a military occupation. The Dominion would later receive a plea for assistance from the Noregan System after the First Order launched a surprise invasion of the System, intent on using it as a launching point for future invasions into Dominion Space.
The Battle for the Noregan system centred primarily around the world of Noregan II. The battle in space proceeded in a drawn out fashion, the Dominion fleet probing The First Order fleet primarily to find the full extent of their new Star Destroyer’s capabilities while also maintain a numerical advantage. The fight on the ground, for a time, achieved a similar parity; The Elite Stormtroopers employed by the First Order could readily face off against twice to three times their number of AD-Series Battle Droids, but would often find themselves facing a numerical disparity of four to five times instead. In terms of weapons, the F-11d Blaster and the AE-10 Blaster Rifle were more or less equal in performance.
After a lengthy struggle, with much of the Dominion’s leadership wary about over committing their resources to a single system in the wake of the Resistance’s retreat from their base, it was the First Order who withdrew from the system, largely due to internal struggles within the First Order’s leadership. Victorious, the Dominion was able to integrate the Noregan system into itself. However, this trial had revealed to the Dominion a fraction of the danger the First Order posed as well as the continued existence of the Sith in the galaxy.
Similar to its predecessor state, the Dominion of Free Systems had a single head of state, dubbed the Supreme Representative, with the Dominion Council sitting below him. Beneath the Supreme Representative, but seperate from the Council, was the Supreme Commander of the Dominions Military branch. In an effort to prevent a Coup, leading to a military dictatorship, the Supreme Commander would be afforded no power outside of military affairs. Seperate from the council, and below the Supreme Representative, were the Free Knights, who would assume control of the Dominion as a temporary measure in the event the Supreme Representative were killed or otherwise incapacitated until either a new Representative were elected by the Council or the present Representative recovered.
The Dominion Military faced a lot of reforms from its predecessor following the defeat that was the Clone Wars. Despite the decision to continue to field Droid armies, many of the tenants that much of the surviving military command believed doomed the CIS to defeat (Such as the emphasis on Quantity-over-Quality and lack of proper maintenance on the B1 Battle Droids) were quickly abandoned in future developments. However, in the years immediately following the Clone Wars and the initial rise of the Empire, many of the remaining B1 and B2 Battle Droid lines were committed to defensive operations as the Dominion consolidated its power. While the B2 line presented great promise if further developed upon, ultimately Dominion personnel commissioned further development of the BX-Series Commando Droids as possible replacements for the B1 lines.
By the year 9 BBY, this research yielded the D1-Series of Battle Droids, which had drawn equally from the Commando Droids and (Ironically enough) the Clone Army of the old republic. During this ten year period, the Dominion had been forced to rely on older lines, though with more care taken with their maintenance in order to ensure better efficiency on a Per-Unit level.
Primarily the Dominion's Military purchased its Droid and Armaments from BakBlas Combative Industries, a secret joint subsidiary of BlasTech Industries and Baktoid Combat Automata. As stated above, The D1-Series Battle Droids succeeded the old, and inefficient, B-1 and B-2 lines. While the DE-7 Blaster Rifle succeeded the E-5 Blaster Rifle for standardized Military use (Particularly in the Droid hands), a number of the iconic E-11 Blasters also found there way into the hands of living beings. The Navy of the Dominion also saw heavy overhauls compared to is predecessor, with the focus shifting from Fleet Size to Fleet Efficiency as with its army. The Successor to the Subjugator-class Cruisers, the Avenger-class Heavy Cruisers became the mainstay ship of the Dominion Navy, acting as its answer to the Star Destroyers of the Empire. The Munificent-class Cruisers also found their successors in the Absolution-class Cruisers.
All-in-all, the Dominion's Military was mighty in its own right, capable of holding the Empires attention and forcing Palpatine to keep his fleets constantly battle ready in the Southernmost Reaches of the Empire, while still ultimately being unable to defeat the Empire on its own. However, following the death of Palpatine, the Dominion quickly surpassed much of the Imperial Remnant in power, becoming a loose ally with the newly formed New Republic.
Thirty Years after the Battle of Endor, the Dominion and the sinister First Order would quickly become enemies, quietly at first during the Cold War before becoming openly hostile following the destruction of the Hosnian System. The Dominion Military, by this time, had undergone a second wave of reforms, the DE-7 Blaster Rifle being succeeded by the AE-10 Blaster Rifle, while the venerable D-1 Battle Droids were retired from main combative duty in favor of the superior AD-Series Battle Droids, though a number D-1 Battle Droids remained active as part of security and planetary defense forces. The result was a rough parity between the two forces during the earliest stages of the Dominion-First Order War as demonstrated during the Battle of Noregan II, with the First Order fielding more elite forces, but the Dominion fielding both numerically superior, and easier to replace, forces.
Main Article: Free Knights
The Free Knights acted in a fashion similar to the Jedi Order had to the Clone Army during the Clone Wars, acting as officers and elite soldiers. Of note, Free Knight Avengers often take part in operations outside or on the borders Dominion Space while Free Knight Defenders are employed in defensive operations and to settle internal affairs and disputes.