- "The question was whether the line of ascent to Viceroy should go to Bail Organa's father or one of the other family lines."
- ―Winter, on the Alderaan Ascendancy Contention
The Alderaan Ascendancy Contention (also known as the Alderaanian Ascendancy Contention) was a political conflict taking place in 32 BBY between the noble families of the Core world Alderaan, the houses of Antilles and Organa in particular, over which of them was entitled to the position of Viceroy. After three deadlocked votes, the High Council of Alderaan requested the help of the Galactic Republic in mediating the ascendancy. In response, the Galactic Senate sent a team of Jedi led by Jedi Watchman Jorus C'baoth to settle the conflict. The delegation eventually resolved the dispute in favor of the Organas, allowing a member of the family to succeed to Viceroy. In addition, a marriage joining the rivaling Antilles and Organa families was arranged.
In 32 BBY, a political conflict on the Core world of Alderaan arose. Known as the Alderaan Ascendancy Contention, or the Alderaanian Ascendancy Contention, it centered around the question of who was to become the next Viceroy of the planet. A planetary leader, the Viceroy was traditionally a member of one of the Alderaanian noble houses, and he or she needed the support of the High Council, the legislative body in control of the government. While the appointment of a new Viceroy was normally a smooth process, this time the noble families—among them the houses of Antilles and Organa—came into disagreement over the appropriate lineage of ascendancy to the position. The situation eventually escalated to the point that assistance from the Galactic Republic became necessary.
Mediating the ascendancy
- "After the third voting deadlock they appealed to the Senate to mediate the issue. C'baoth was one of the delegation they sent, which took less than a month to decide that the Organas had the proper claim."
When the third vote on the matter did not yield a winner, the distressed High Council decided to request the help of the Galactic Senate in mediating the ascendancy. In response, a delegation of Jedi led by Jedi Watchman Jorus C'baoth was sent to resolve the case.
The crisis strained the relations of the houses of Antilles and Organa in particular. When the tensions between them erupted at one point, the intervention of Tash Scrambas, captain of the Alderaanian frigate Qel-Droma, proved instrumental. He refused to choose a side and cooperated with C'baoth in solving the conflict. In less than a month, the delegation came to the conclusion that the Organa bloodline had the rightful claim to the Viceroyship, allowing a member of the family to succeed to the position. In addition, C'baoth proposed a marriage that would join the rivaling Antilles and Organa families. With both parties agreeing to the union, the Alderaan Ascendancy Contention was brought to an end.
- "You know anything about that?"
"No more than any other Alderaanian."
- ―Luke Skywalker and Winter, discussing the Alderaan Ascendancy Contention
A focal event in the planet's history, the ascendancy contention was documented in the Alderaanian archives, with a group hologram of the Republic mediation team. C'baoth's role in arbitrating the ascendancy was also given a mention in the records of the Senate Library on the Republic capital world of Coruscant. Owing to the ascendancy contention's historical significance, all Alderaanians were familiar with the event at least to a certain degree, and it continued to be remembered among them even after Alderaan was destroyed by the Galactic Empire in 0 BBY. While conducting research on Jorus C'baoth nine years later, Jedi Master Luke Skywalker came across the reference to the ascendancy contention in the Senate records and had Winter, the aide of Senator Leia Organa Solo and a native of Alderaan, summarize the main points of the event to him.
Behind the scenes
- "ASSISTED IN RESOLVING ALDERAAN ASCENDANCY CONTENTION 11\70 PE."
- ―Galactic Senate records on Jorus C'baoth as shown in Dark Force Rising, displaying the original date of the Alderaan Ascendancy Contention
The exact timing of the Alderaan Ascendancy Contention remained uncertain for a long time. Timothy Zahn, author of the 1992 novel Dark Force Rising in which the contention was first mentioned, originally placed the event in "70 pre-Empire date," which would work out to 89 BBY. In 2002, however, the Star Wars Roleplaying Game Revised Core Rulebook retconned much of Jorus C'baoth's backstory, stating him to have been 38 years old at the time of the Battle of Naboo, which took place in 32 BBY. This gave him a birth year of 70 BBY—as opposed to 112 pre-Empire (131 BBY) mentioned in Dark Force Rising—meaning the other events of C'baoth's life as presented in the novel, including the ascendancy contention, were pushed later as well.
The 2006 novel Outbound Flight, also by Zahn, was set five years after the Battle of Naboo and featured the death of C'baoth, thus establishing 27 BBY as the latest possible date for the Alderaan Ascendancy Contention. The ambiguity surrounding the date was finally resolved with the release of James Luceno's Darth Plagueis in 2012, almost two decades after Dark Force Rising was first published. While the novel does not mention the ascendancy contention directly, a part of the narrative taking place in 32 BBY describes how Jorus C'baoth "had been enlisted to arbitrate a dispute among some of Alderaan's royal houses." As it is unlikely that there would have been two separate disputes between Alderaanian nobles which C'baoth settled, it can be concluded that this was a reference to the Alderaan Ascendancy Contention.
While all sources on the ascendancy contention mention the Organa family, it remains unclear whether there was more than one other family claiming the title of Viceroy. The wording in both Dark Force Rising and Dark Force Rising Sourcebook, the earliest accounts of the event, is ambiguous, and subsequent sources have not clarified the issue. The first source to name a family other than the Organas was the Databank entry for Pello Scrambas published in 2007. Written by Aidan Hennessy (as "Darth NTM") and submitted through StarWars.com's Hyperspace feature, "What's The Story?," the entry elaborates on some of the contention's details, such as establishing the House of Antilles as a rival of the Organas and stating that the dispute ended when the two families joined in marriage; this was later alluded to in the "House of Antilles" entry in the 2008 reference book The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia. This would imply that at least the final choice was made between the Antilles and Organa families. Since the mention of the House of Antilles does not exclude the possibility of other rivaling families, however, this article is written with the assumption that there could have been more than the two named families involved.
According to Aidan Hennessy, his Pello Scrambas entry was supposed to indicate that the marriage joining the houses of Antilles and Organa was between Breha Antilles and Bail Organa. This piece of information, however, was not included in the final Databank entry, possibly because of matters concerning the timeline as Hennessy himself suspected. So far, no official source has addressed the issue of between whom the marriage was contracted.
- Darth Plagueis (Indirect mention only)
- Darth Plagueis audiobook (Indirect mention only)
- SkyeWalkers: A Clone Wars Story (Mentioned only)
- Agent of the Empire – Hard Targets 1 (Mentioned only)
- Dark Force Rising (First mentioned)
- Dark Force Rising audiobook (Mentioned only)
- Dark Force Rising Sourcebook
- The Essential Guide to Characters (Joruus C'baoth entry)
- The Thrawn Trilogy Sourcebook
- Star Wars Encyclopedia (Under C'baoth, Jorus) (Indirect mention only)
- A Guide to the Star Wars Universe, Third Edition, Revised and Expanded (Under C'baoth, Jorus) (Indirect mention only)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 18 (ALD3-4, Alderaan)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 67 (ORG1, Bail Organa) (Indirect mention only)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 86 (CBA1, Joruus C'Baoth) (Indirect mention only)
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. I, II ("C'baoth, Jorus and Joruus," "House of Antilles")
- Star Wars: The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 29
- (Indirect mention only)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File Part 31 (ORG1, Bail Prestor Organa)
Notes and references
- Darth Plagueis
- Dark Force Rising
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 18 (ALD3-4, Alderaan)
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. I, p. 140 ("Core Founders")
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. II, p. 63 ("House of Antilles")
- Coruscant and the Core Worlds
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 18 first established all members of the mediation team as Jedi. Dark Force Rising, which contains the sole fleshed-out in-universe account of the Alderaan Ascendancy Contention, does not specify whether the other members were Jedi or not; in it, the only Jedi mentioned (and the only named member of the mediation team) is Jorus C'baoth.
- Star Wars Encyclopedia
- A Guide to the Star Wars Universe, Third Edition, Revised and Expanded
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 86 (CBA1, Joruus C'Baoth)
- The New Essential Chronology
- According to The Essential Reader's Companion, the events of Dark Force Rising take place in 9 ABY.
- The Galactic Empire's formation has been dated in numerous sources (e.g. The New Essential Chronology and The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. I, p. xiv (A Timeline of Galactic Events)) to 19 BBY; subtracting 70 years from this date gives us the year of 89 BBY for the original date of the Alderaan Ascendancy Contention.
- Star Wars Roleplaying Game Revised Core Rulebook'
- Outbound Flight
- The wording of Dark Force Rising can be seen in the article's opening quote; in Dark Force Rising Sourcebook, the following is stated: "[...] Alderaan's ruling council had deadlocked three times trying to decide which family line should receive the Viceroy title [...]."