- "Here we stand, at the extremity of our exertion, having cast behind us the idols of our fathers, to once again carry to our foe the penalties due their sacrileges. Come perdition or hard vacuum, the Republic expects that every citizen will do his duty."
- ―Supreme Chancellor Contispex, Fourth Inaugural Oration
Contispex I was a male Human Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic during what was known as the Pius Dea Crusades. A member of the Coruscant Merchants' Guild, he became involved with Pius Dea, an anti-alien religious cult and conspiracy. Pius Dea eventually impeached Chancellor Pers'lya of the Republic in 11,987 BBY, and Contispex was subsequently elected into office, as a Pius Dea figurehead. After becoming the Supreme Chancellor, Contispex began the Pius Dea Crusades, approving violent, bloody crusades against other species and factions. Hutt Space was his first target, during what became known as the First Pius Dea Crusade, though myriad other beings were preyed upon during the Pius Dea campaigns.
Contispex eventually stepped down after a 40 year reign and was succeeded as Supreme Chancellor by his son, Contispex II. His descendants and followers would remain in power for almost one thousand years, continuing with the Crusades and opening a rift between the Core Worlds and the targeted species of the Outer Rim Territories, until Pius Dea rule ended after the Jedi Order overthrew Chancellor Contispex XIX in 10,966 BBY.
Rise to power
- "Approximately 12,000 BBY a theocratic conspiracy, centuries in the offing, impeached Chancellor Pers'lya and placed its own man, Contispex, in the seat."
- ―Gabrel Treon, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Praji: A Cartel of Genes
Contispex was a male Human politician and Senator who was born on the planet Coruscant and lived during the first ten thousand years of the Galactic Republic. A prominent member of the Coruscant Merchants' Guild, he became allied with Pius Dea, a conspiratorial, theocratic sect that held many species and religions to be suspect, founded several hundred years prior. In 11,987 BBY, Pius Dea impeached the Republic's Bothan Supreme Chancellor, Pers'lya, and Contispex was elected as the new Chancellor, with a mandate to clean up corruption in the Galactic Senate, the Republic's governing body. In truth, Contispex was a Pius Dea puppet and figurehead, and his rise to power was also aided by the Malkite Poisoners, one of the galaxy's most notorious secret societies. The exact role the Poisoners played in proceedings was not widely known, with later historians unaware of the details. With Contispex, and by extension, Pius Dea, taking power, the Pius Dea Crusades began.
Pius Dea wished to exploit the interspecies tensions and Humanocentric sentiment that had existed since the founding of the Republic over thirteen thousand years prior to ostracize alien species and factions, labeled "unbelievers." To that end, under Contispex's guidance, the cult began to preach that fallen communities could be cleansed and redeemed only if their unredeemable elements were purged. Supreme Chancellor Contispex made a number of inaugural orations after taking power; in his fourth, he spoke of the Republic's breaking away with tradition, and vowed to punish the Republic's "foes" for their supposed sacrilege, adding that the Republic expected every one of its citizens to perform his duty. Contispex also restructured the Republic government, concentrating economic and military power in the hands of loyal members of the Pius Dea faith, and ousting those officials that refused to convert to the cult's ways.
Contispex launched a number of holy wars, known as the Pius Dea Crusades, on various non-Human species in the Republic's periphery. His first targets were the Hutts, who were very unpopular among the Republic's citizens, and after exploiting tensions within the Hutt Empire that had emerged in the wake of the Hutt Cataclysms, Contispex authorized a full-scale invasion of Hutt Space by the Pius Dea Republic in 11,965 BBY—the First Pius Dea Crusade. Contispex soon moved on to other unbelievers, which posed a much less evident threat to the Republic. The crusades, embarked upon in Contispex's name, were very violent, and marked a devastating period of galactic history. Contispex eventually stepped down in 11,947 BBY after a forty year reign, and he was replaced as Supreme Chancellor by his son, Contispex II.
- "These gave as good as they got, and 'cold' and 'hot' wars alternated for a thousand years—while the Republic flagellated itself with inquisitions—until Pius Dea rule met its end in that famous encounter which hardly needs retelling here."
- ―Gabrel Treon, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Praji: A Cartel of Genes
Contispex became known to history as "Contispex I," and his family continued to hold the Chancellorship for nearly one thousand years, with each of his descendants succeeded by another. During the latter centuries of the Pius Dea period, all Supreme Chancellors assumed the name Contispex upon entering office, even those who were not of Contispex I's bloodline. Pius Dea rule and practice did not end with Contispex I, and until 11,000 BBY, the Republic was engaged in crusades against different factions, who fought back, leaving the galaxy in a permanent state of "hot" and "cold" war. Eventually, the last Pius Dea chancellor, Contispex XIX, was overthrown by the Jedi Order during the Battle of Uquine in 10,966 BBY and Pius Dea rule was ended, the conspiracy having controlled the galaxy for almost a millennium. The fallout from the crusades sanctioned by Contispex I and his descendants deepened tensions between the Core Worlds and the Outer Rim Territories, establishing a regional rivalry which was exploited during the Republic's last days, with the formation of the Confederacy of Independent Systems.
Contispex's reign was documented in a number of historical works, written millennia after his time. New Republic and Galactic Alliance historian Voren Na'al briefly mentioned it in a concise history of the galaxy, and Doctor Gabrel Treon did the same in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Praji: A Cartel of Genes, published in the Byblos Journal of Historical Science.
Personality and traits
Contispex was the Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic, one of the most powerful men in the galaxy, but he did not get there on his own merit. Instead, he was placed in power by Pius Dea, after Chancellor Pers'lya was impeached, and his rise was also aided by another secretive organization, the Malkite Poisoners. Contispex was devoted to Pius Dea, and he supported the Humanocentric beliefs of the faith, believing some alien species, factions, and religions to be "unbelievers," and persecuting them. Many bloody crusades were embarked upon in his name, and their effects were long-lasting.
Contispex was not one to put much faith in tradition, and he felt that it showed great progress that the Republic had cast behind the idols of its forefathers by embracing Pius Dea rule. He also expected the citizens of the Republic to take their duty to the Republic seriously, even if it meant eternal damnation. In addition, he opposed corruption and immorality, and he refused to tolerate those who failed to meet the high standards that he set. Contispex was a gifted orator, and during the period of his inauguration, the Supreme Chancellor made a number of speeches.
Behind the scenes
Contispex was created by Daniel Wallace for The New Essential Chronology in 2005. Wallace later referenced the character in his The New Essential Guide to Droids in 2006, before he received an entry in 2008's The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, by Wallace, Stephen J. Sansweet, Pablo Hidalgo, and Bob Vitas. In February 2009, Nathan O'Keefe referenced the character in his Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Praji, an article published on StarWars.com Hyperspace. Contispex was also mentioned in Wallace and Jason Fry's The Essential Atlas in August of that year. Further details about Contispex were later revealed in The Essential Guide to Warfare in 2012, by Fry and Paul R. Urquhart.
- Star Wars: The Old Republic (Codex entry)
- The New Essential Chronology (First mentioned)
- The New Essential Guide to Droids
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Atlas
- The Essential Guide to Warfare (First identified as Contispex I)