Exploration, Galactic: The development of hyper-drive capable ships has had no direct impact on the Hyper-cannon network as yet. Even as CEC and Kuat shipyards began turning out such ships, the process of slowly expansion using hyper-cannon has still continued. All five of the great trade routes were well established long before the Hyper-drive ships made a serious impact.
Fully 400 planets and over a hundred races have been discovered, and commerce has bound us together. The companies and Corporations have carried the brunt of the cost of such ventures. Frankly no government could afford the expense except in the long term and most planets that have Corporations have given them wide latitude in dealings with the systems they have discovered.
They faced terrible dangers out there. Hostile alien species, deadly animals, planets where nothing lived. They also faced the rare race which had achieved local space travel and had a bent for piracy.
In reaction, the Coruscanti Trade Authority was the first to authorize defensive armament of ships registered on Coruscant. This was followed by a dozen other planetary governments deciding to follow suit.
However this posed a problem for the planets that either did not have their own ships, or feared invasion. How could they know that the ship that arrived as actually a merchant with a slight amount of Paranoia and not an invader?
Five years ago, the major planets of the trade routes met on Corellia, and that year, the Galactic Trade Authority was created. A combining of the older planetary bodies, it sent listings of corporations and companies that had armed vessels, the numbers, types, and armaments. It reached the point that the largest armed navy in known space belonged to the Tokara Company of Coruscant. The first actual hyper-drive ’war’ occurred when ships from two rival companies met in the Naboo system. The armed merchant vessel Frisia of the Twi-Leki Sulorio Corporation laid claim to the planet at the same time that the Hutt Trade Alliance vessel Chaamagki did.
The battle lasted seconds. According to the flight recorders, Frisia opened fire with concussion missiles, Chaamagki returned fire. Neither ship survived. Over 400 beings were killed. The trade vessel Coruscanti Sheen of the Tokara Company discovered the wreckage a week later when they arrived to claim the planet. The ongoing trade war between the two corporations has driven both into bankruptcy.
Such things were not merely left to lie. Struggling to make the most profit is understandable, but fighting over it was considered a bit much. Those planets with defensive navies began to build up their forces and extended patrols into nearby systems. Then the planets agreed on simple rules of engagement. They would patrol systems they considered of vital interest, and warship captains were ordered to refrain from conflict unless attacked, or going to the assistance of ships that had been.
The first Frigates, two hundred meter long engines of destruction were designed. Unlike the earlier vessels, these were built from the keel out with hyper-drive capability.
What the hyper-drive ships did affect however, was the speed with which troubles could begin. When a military force had to push it’s way through junctions, and hyper-cannon could be readily destroyed, even the attempts of those such as Sogor of Lortu were doomed to failure in time. With ships that no longer needed cannon, an invasion force could leap straight to the throat of a rival planet. It had been hoped that such would never occur. That the sheer distance would deter hostile entities but this has not occurred.
Last year a brief war between the Corellia and Coruscant in the Sullust system ended. It was believed that the Catharia Corporation of Corellia had attempted a Corporate takeover of the planet. The Tokara company of Coruscant had been trading with the native Sullust and resisted. The unarmed ship Tokara Star was destroyed by the Catharia corporation fleet though they later denied it. Both Corella and Coruscant sent warships in, and fighting broke out when the Tokara Company freighter Tokara Venture reported that they were under attack by Corellian fighters. Both fleets raced to the scene.
No one is sure who fired the first shot. The Corellian escort Shantil reported missiles coming from the region of the Coruscanti fleet at the same time that the Coruscanti escort Surprise did. The fleets opened fire for ten fateful minutes before order could be restored. Five escort and frigate class ships, two Coruscanti, three Corellian were destroyed. However the war ended when Admiral Bono Antilles of Coruscant met with Admiral Freido Dodonna of Corella face to face. The navies retreated away from each other, and the Sullust system was declared a protectorate with both navies patrolling separate sections of the system. This status would last until the Sullust develop or purchase enough ships to protect themselves. Tokara Company has offered to supply snub fighters to the Sullust, and with the permission of their government, offered escort class warships as well. Catharia Corporation has protested, claiming the entire incident had been caused by an attack by Tokara, but since the only ship lost belonged to Tokara, and was not on the armed vessel list, they have been ignored...
From: Encyclopedia Galactica: Fifth edition