Star Wars: How the Imperial Senate Worked (Until It Didn’t)

In Star Wars Universe, The Imperial Senate A storied company that was dissolved for the first time mentioned on screen.

“The Imperial Senate no longer concerns us. I just received that message Emperor He permanently dissolved the council.” Grand Moff Tarkin He tells his crew on board Death Star. “The last remains of Old Republic have been swept away.”

General Casio Tag The Emperor responds incredulously as to how he will maintain control of the galaxy without the bureaucracy of the Senate, but Tarkin has a simple answer. “fear.”

It has been a long time since the original was released Star Wars movie, A new hopeOur imaginations are the only thing we have to rely on to learn about the Imperial Senate and how it worked, but thanks to the movies, comics, books, and TV shows that followed. Andor, We have a clear view of how this works and why Emperor Palpatine would keep it as long as he did.

Galactic Senate

Queen Amidala addresses the Galactic Senate

To understand the Imperial Senate, one must go back to its earlier incarnation Galactic Senate It was first seen The Phantom Menace. This body represented the people Galactic Republic. Each system or planet sends representatives and senators Coruscant Represent them on a wide range of issues. Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker And Senator Padme Amitala Once during a conversation he went back and forth about the nature of the Senate Naboo.

“We need a system,” Anakin told Padme, “where politicians sit down and discuss issues, agree on the best interests of all people, and then do it.”

“That’s what we do,” Padme informs him. “The problem is, people don’t always agree.”

The Galactic Senate worked in this fashion for a very long time, but when corporate entities like Trade association With official representatives allowed to use their influence in the Senate, this meant that profit and power were often more important than interstellar life. Along with that corruption, A Principal Who is like Palpatine, step Obi-Wan KenobiHe’s keen to follow each senator’s passions and prejudices in an attempt to deal with it all, and you get a purposeful deadlock in getting anything done effectively.

However, over the millennia, the Senate has functioned efficiently – albeit with the occasional hiccup here or there – generally by making life better for the average citizen of the Galactic Republic, or at least mostly trying to do so. It was only when money, corruption, and an overburdened bureaucracy took over that the Company crumbled, allowing Palpatine to take power.

From Republic to Empire

Palpatine declares himself emperor

There have been times in history when a free people have decided to choose one over the other, looking at the safety of security and the soundness of democracy. The choice is so easy for many people at this time, but they always regret it because the boots of fascism are fast on the neck of their freedom. This is what Palpatine arranged. He created the crisis The Clone Wars While he was the President of the Republic, he was to remain in power long after his tenure.

“People demanded he stay,” Anakin reminds Obi-Wan.

But that too was orchestrated and manipulated by Palpatine for the glory of his own power. SidThe grand scheme of

By creating a story about the attempted assassination of the Jedi and eliminating them at the same time, he is able to end the Clone Wars at the same time as he also destroys the rest of the leadership. Separatists. Palpatine created a situation where the Galactic Senate was willing to give him all the power he asked for. They allow him to reform the republic first Star Empire And let him serve as emperor.

The illusion of control

Mon Mothma addresses the Senate in ‘Andor’

Palpatine knew that instead of fully consolidating power, he wanted to give the illusion of control to all the organizations that favored him. There is no way to rule without their cooperation. Palpatine made it so much easier to keep control of the universe by giving them the false belief that he still allowed them to control their own destiny. They can pass any law they want and it can live or die in the Senate, which, in theory, continues in the same manner as it did during the Republic. But since Palpatine is completely in control of the bureaucracy, only the law Palpatine wants to pass will make it law. For the most part, the Senate did his bidding.

In Andor, We see General Injunction Refusal Order (or PORD) was quickly passed to increase the punishment of anyone whose crimes affected the empire. This was done in direct response to theft Althani That Luton Rail Organized and Cassian Andor participated in For those in our world, this feels like a direct reference to America’s Patriot Act after the 9/11 attacks in New York.

To the senator Mon Mothma, the Emperor’s overreach is something that needs to be checked, and at this point, he still believes that the Senate is the one place that can do that and has that power. But when we see her delivering speeches in the Senate chamber, no one is around, no one notices the stirring power of her words, and some even mock her outright.

by time Andor, with War of Ya With five years to go, the Senate creates an illusion of control for those trying to work within the system. But Palpatine didn’t need to maintain this illusion for long. After the Death Star was finished, he quickly moved to replace this petty bureaucracy with pure fear. Realizing that he could maintain an iron grip on the galaxy through his campaign of terror, he dissolved the Senate, which continued even after the Death Star was destroyed.

After all, he can always create Another one

The Post-Empire Senate

Mon Mothma holds a rebel meeting weeks before establishing the New Republic

Palpatine’s reign would not last forever, and after his death and the fall of the empire, Rebels Taking control, they set a New Republic This in turn established a New Senate. Originally, this Senate was located on Mon Mothma’s home planet ChandrilaBefore traveling around the galaxy, the capital of the Republic made sure it was more even in its representation across the galaxy.

Mon Mothma became the first president of the new republic and held the position for some time. One of the cornerstones of her enduring legacy is motivation Military Disarmament Act, ensuring that a future Chancellor could not have an army or navy at its disposal as Palpatine did. The new republic flourished for many years, but unfortunately it did not last. The capital of the new republic was moved to the planet Hosnian primeIt was completely destroyed First order When they fired their ultimate super weapon Starkiller siteMany took over much of the leadership of the galaxy, including the Senate.

With the destruction and death of the Hosnian Prime General Leia OrganaA very important leader ResistanceOnly time will tell what form of galactic government will rise from the ashes following the end of the conflict with the First Order, and what role, if any, the Senate will play in it.

New chapters Andor Launches Wednesdays on Disney+. See more about Imperial Senate at Wookieepedia.


Brian Young

Brian Young is an award-winning author, filmmaker, journalist and comics writer. He is the co-author of the new Robotech roleplaying game and a writer for outlets ranging from StarWars.Com and The Huffington Post to Syfy and /Film. His latest novel is BattleTech: Honor’s Gauntlet.

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