Description: The Rakata were roughly humanoid in bodyplan with amphibian-like features. They developed an advanced technology tens of thousands of years before the formation of the Galactic Republic. They used this advantage to conquer and enslave other species, forming an "Infinite Empire" of five hundred subject planets. At its height, the population of this empire was ten billion Rakata and one trillion slaves. It has been speculated that the Rakata may have created Centerpoint Station in the Corellia system, and been responsible for bringing the inhabited planets of that system there. However, there is no clear-cut evidence in the matter.
Some technological feats of the Infinite Empire include the Star Forge. It is also believed that the Rakata used a "Mysterious Box" to hold their prisoners in a bodyless state as seen on the video game, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.
The Rakata were described as a cruel and savage species. Rakata were known to defile the bodies of slain enemies by eating them, and they also practiced slavery. An endless stream of supplies was needed to continue the expansion of their empire. To this end, they created the Star Forge. The Star Forge met the Rakata's need for starships and war droids -- but at a terrible price.
The Star Forge was powered by the The Dark Side of the Force. Rakata scientists and engineers were unconcerned that the Star Forge would have access to a near-limitless supply of energy. They believed that they could control it.
As a semi-living entity, the Star Forge gorged itself on this Dark Side power, and it used this insidious ability to manipulate the Force to cause the Rakata to fall out amongst themselves in a devastating civil war. The hate and anger created in this war fed the Star Forge.
Matters became even worse when a deadly plague that killed only Rakata broke out. (It is theorized that the plague was the creation of a slave species.)
The Infinite Empire collapsed under the weight of the civil war and the plague. The Rakata retreated to their home system and fell into total barbarism. The "Infinite Empire" was no more than 24,000 galactic standard years prior to the foundation of the Republic (approximately 25,000 years prior to the Battle of Yavin).
The Rakata still exist on their homeplanet. Thanks to Revan, some of them regained their Force sensitivity, allowing them to rejoin the galactic community. However, almost no one they came across believed their stories about the Infinite Empire or their invention of the Hyperdrive. Most people consider them jokers or charlatans.