- "As Bel Iblis said, no Articles of Secession were tendered. As the official record stands, the Corellian delegation enacted an obscure proviso called Contemplanys Hermi, an olys Corellisi phrase meaning 'meditative solitude.'"
- ―"Corellia Closes Borders," HoloNet News
Contemplanys Hermi was a clause in the Constitution of the Galactic Republic. The clause was a proviso added in the early days of the Republic and applied only to the Corellian sector, which was home to one of the Republic's Core Founders, Corellia. Contemplanys Hermi allowed for Corellia to close its borders and recall its delegation from the Galactic Senate, thereby surrendering its veto power while retaining their standing as a Republic member world. The enactment of the proviso carried several limitations on non-Corellians within the sector, and also prevented the Republic from calling on the people of Corellia and the Corellian Security Force to contribute to an interplanetary defense force. It was included in the Constitution in acknowledgment of Corellia's contributions toward founding the galactic government.
The proviso was so rarely invoked that it was considered obscure. One recorded instance was Corellia's ill-fated attempt at secession around 470 BBY. In a much later incident, Corellian Senator Garm Bel Iblis claimed Contemplanys Hermi during the Separatist Crisis so as to remove himself and his sector from the debate surrounding the Military Creation Act, which Bel Iblis believed would threaten Corellian sovereignty. Senator Bel Iblis was highly criticized for the move, but he maintained his stance against the Republic military throughout the Clone Wars and continued to neglect attending regular sessions of the Galactic Senate until compelled to do so during the Imperial Period.
- "CorSec's men and women will not be drafted into Republic service, to die on a distant world outside of Corellia's borders. Nor will armed forces from other worlds be billeted in our homes. […] I will do whatever possible to preserve the integrity of Corellia for Corellians."
- ―Corellian Diktat Shyla Merricope
Contemplanys Hermi was a proviso included in the Galactic Constitution, the document that established the laws and principles by which the Galactic Republic's government would operate. The term Contemplanys Hermi was a phrase in Olys Corellisi that, when translated to Basic, meant "meditative solitude." The proviso was aptly named, as its invocation allowed for the Corellian sector to close its borders and adopt a stance of neutrality while maintaining its standing as a member of the Republic—it was noted that Contemplanys Hermi was not an act of secession, but rather a declaration of suspended diplomatic relations. It could be invoked by the Corellian delegation in the Republic's Galactic Senate, which would result in the delegation's withdrawal from Senate proceedings. As such, Corellia surrendered its veto power for the duration of Contemplanys Hermi. This clause applied only to the Corellian sector and could be used by no other delegation.
While the clause was in effect, the Corellian sector was inaccessible to all except for native and naturalized citizens of the region. For those to whom Corellia was not home, special permission was needed from the Corellian Security Force for travel into and out of the sector. Trade and commerce vessels were required to unload their cargoes on Outlier systems, where they would then be retrieved by transports of the Corellian Merchants' Guild and brought to the inner worlds. In addition, all off-duty and reserve members of the Corellian Security Force were activated during Contemplanys Hermi. This also barred the Republic from absorbing members of the CSF into an interplanetary defense force for the preservation of the galactic government and prohibited the government from stationing soldiers from such a defense force on Corellian worlds. Despite the restrictions on non-native and non-naturalized citizens, non-Corellian businesses that were located within the sector were allowed to continue operating under the stipulation that they abide by the standing travel and shipping restrictions. To be in full compliance, these businesses usually had to purchase membership in the Corellian Merchants' Guild.
- "The Corellian sector, one of the founding fathers of the Republic, is not seceding. However, Corellia will not participate in what it deems a profound error that threatens its sovereignty."
- ―Senator Garm Bel Iblis of Corellia
During the formation of the Galactic Republic, the planet Corellia and its respective sector played a pivotal role in founding a unified interstellar government. In recognition of both that fact, as well as Corellia's unique and distinct cultural circumstances, the framers of the Republic's Constitution included the Contemplanys Hermi proviso in the document, thereby allowing Corellia to separate itself from the affairs of the greater Republic for an extended period of time.
The clause rarely came into use and eventually fell into obscurity, but was brought to the forefront of galactic events when, in 470 BBY, Corellia made a bid to become an independent governmental body. The attempt ultimately failed, and Contemplanys Hermi was largely forgotten. It would not be mentioned again until the Separatist Crisis in the latter days of the Republic Classic era, during which a number of star systems and sectors declared their intention to secede from what they considered to be the "corrupt" Republic and form a new government based on open market capitalism and limited interference from the interstellar state. During this period, the Galactic Senate of the Republic began debating the Military Creation Act, an initiative to create an Army of the Republic to defend the government should the growing independence movement ever turn violent.
From the time of the announcement of the Military Creation Act's vote date, the people of Corellia were critical of the legislation, particularly those in the planet's capital city of Coronet. In the Galactic Congress, Corellian Senator Garm Bel Iblis was among the most outspoken opponents of the act, believing that it was not only the wrong course for the Republic, but for his constituents as well. After a week of closed-door meetings between the Senator and Corellian Diktat Shyla Merricope, Bel Iblis returned to the Senate on 3:14 in 22 BBY and invoked Contemplanys Hermi, thereby pulling his delegation out of the debate over the Military Creation Act and insulating his sector from its outcome.
During his address to the Senate on the matter, Bel Iblis reassured his colleagues that no Articles of Secession were tendered by the Corellian government and that the invocation was not a step towards joining the Separatist movement. On Corellia, Diktat Merricope told Corellia Sector Newsfeed that the move was intended to protect the people of Corellia and to preserve the sector for its natives. In response to the news, Supreme Chancellor Palpatine issued an offer of parley to Confederate leader Count Dooku, which ultimately fell on deaf ears. Corellia remained a neutral sector for the remainder of the Separatist Crisis and continued its isolationist stance into the resultant Clone Wars. Shortly after the end of the conflict and the establishment of the Galactic Empire with Chancellor Palpatine's Declaration of a New Order, Corellia's "meditative solitude" was brought to an end when Senator Bel Iblis was called upon to attend meetings of the Imperial Senate.
Future intergalactic governments would prove to be less tolerant of Corellian isolationism than the Republic had been, signaling an end to the special recognition granted to the sector that had been embodied in Contemplanys Hermi. The seclusion of the Corellian sector in the post-Palpatine era was actively opposed by New Republic Chief of State Leia Organa Solo, and the isolation movement of 40 ABY was illegal under the provisions of the Galactic Alliance Common Charter. The latter instance ultimately led to the Second Galactic Civil War in an effort to end Corellia's isolationist tendencies.
- "This is an outrageous display of self-serving hypocrisy. Two years ago, Bel Iblis stood before the Senate, arguing about the legality of secession, and now he goes and pulls a stunt like this? It's a grievous blow to unity. My worlds, in the distant Outer Rim have stood by Coruscant through the most tumultuous of heat storms. That one so integral to the Core should lack a spine is shameful."
- ―Senator Orn Free Taa of Ryloth
Upon Senator Bel Iblis's declaration of Contemplanys Hermi in 22 BBY, he was met with harsh criticism from his colleagues in the Senate. He and his delegation departed the Senate Convocation Chamber amid cries of protest and had to be escorted from the Senate Dome by Corellian Security Personnel and Senate Guards as they pushed through journalists and outraged representatives. The upheaval was yet another blow to the already crumbling Galactic Republic.
Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, to whom Bel Iblis was commonly a political opponent, was attending a financial conference on Aargau during the session, but did release a statement regarding the Corellian delegation's move. In the statement, he expressed his disappointment that a sector so close to the heart of the Republic lacked faith that the democratic vote on the Military Creation Act would yield a positive outcome for the greater galaxy. Twi'lek Senator Orn Free Taa of Ryloth was less measured in his response to HoloNet News reporters, branding the invocation as hypocrisy and citing Bel Iblis's statements two years prior regarding the legality of secession. The Twi'lek went on to laud his sector's loyalty to the Republic through many tumultuous periods and decried Corellia's lack of similar fidelity as "shameful."
Human Senator Ister Paddie of Sermeria echoed Free Taa's sentiment, condemning Contemplanys Hermi as a selfish act, given that Corellia was one of the wealthiest sectors in the Republic and totally self-sufficient. Paddie stressed that his constituent sector of Locris was far less affluent, but still remained committed to supporting the Republic in its hour of crisis.
Behind the scenes
Contemplanys Hermi was first introduced in HoloNet News Vol. 531 47, one of a number of updates to the HoloNet News website. HoloNet News was a regular online feature preceding the release of Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones. The article regarding Contemplanys Hermi, "Corellia Closes Borders," was part of a larger narrative that took place throughout HoloNet News regarding the debate over the Military Creation Act.
- (First appearance)
- The New Essential Chronology (Indirect mention only)
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
- Suns of Fortune