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The Pirate War was a bloody power struggle among various space pirate groups (colloquially called "pirate guilds"), mercenary bands, privateers, and street gangs for dominance within the complex network of galaxy-wide organized crime. Largely fought from November 3284 to June 3285, the conflict saw an upheaval in the galactic criminal underworld regarding control and regulation of their activities. Hostilities continued through the late summer of 3285, but sporadically and unsanctioned by the major factions.

The war is commonly agreed by criminal history scholars to have begun with the Battle of the Seraphim Grand above the planet Keystone in late-November 3284. What began as a scuffle in a casino exploded into a full-blown space battle that saw thousands of civilians killed, perpetrated by the Yellow Jackets.

In the following months, the struggle between the opposing space pirate alliances escalated as each struck at the other side's vital resources: spice mines, drug labs, computer servers; counter-strikes hit members' homes and families, and cascaded from there to street battles between armed gangs and finally to pitched battles between pirate fleets. However, much of the struggle was a stalemate; the Yellow Jackets and their allies held the advantage in orbit and around space stations, but the Fenian Daggers and their allies held a distinct advantage on the ground and in urban areas. Each side was able to largely maintain some economic infrastructure and carry on the fight for a few months, until late January 3285. The Yellow Jackets orchestrated the bombing of a large underground city during the Battle of the Underdark which killed over four hundred thousand innocent civilians. The group was declared a domestic terrorist organization and were subject to attacks and pursuit by the Space Forces. They were increasingly whittled down until their last stand during the Battle of Kolossen. Despite their overwhelming numbers and their destruction of an orbital space habitat, the Yellow Jackets were annihilated in the battle and their leader was executed. Allied forces mopped up the remainder of the Yellow Jackets and their cohorts in a military operation lasting through the summer of 3285.

In the aftermath, many of the allied criminal and corsair groups organised themselves into a guild, the Honourable Galactic Corsair Company. Several criminal groups were granted amnesty for participating as privateers against the Yellow Jackets, and became charter members of the HGCC. John McGrady, head of the Fenian Daggers, turned himself in to authorities and stood trial in 3286 for piracy and racketeering. He was acquitted, and soon afterwards was elected chairman of the Fenian Daggers Mercenary Company.

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