I haven’t seen The Force Awakens yet. I’ll get there soon. In the meantime, I decided to rewatch the first six. I will defend III as a respectable movie other than some terrible writing for Anakin and Padme. I won’t defend I and II at all except for one area of the plot that does always interest me: the rise of the Empire.
Prior to the events that open the first movie, the Galactic Republic had been in relative peace for a long time. Of course there’s still violence on the individual level up to the planetary level, but there’s no large-scale warfare like that which characterizes the six movies.
The Republic didn’t even have an army. They had the Jedi, who are probably best compared to the best-case scenario of police. They do not use force unless absolutely necessary. They don’t enforce laws which aren’t hurting anybody, but they do step in – including with some calculated violence if necessary – to help alleviate conflicts. I’m definitely not pretending they were pacifists, but they would probably mostly align with the goals of Just War theory.