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This article is about a document marking a formal declaration of open resistance against the Galactic Empire. You may be looking for Declaration of the Rebel Alliance, an event that united various rebel groups against the Galactic Empire.
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The Declaration of Rebellion

"We believe that the Galactic Empire has willfully and malignantly usurped the rights of the free beings of the Galaxy and therefore, it is our unalienable right to abolish it from the Galaxy."
―An excerpt from the Declaration of Rebellion[1]

The Declaration of Rebellion was a document addressed to the Galactic Emperor, Sheev Palpatine, that marked the formal declaration of open resistance against the Galactic Empire. Its text was written by Senator-in-Exile Mon Mothma, the chancellor of the Alliance to Restore the Republic, and was designed to push back against the Imperial notion that the Rebel Alliance was a group of terrorists. The Declaration came to be known as one of the foundational documents of the New Republic, which arose to replace the fallen Empire after the signing of the Galactic Concordance, which brought the end of the Galactic Civil War.


The Declaration of Rebellion was delivered by Senator-in-Exile Mon Mothma, leader of the Rebel Alliance.

In the years after the formation of the Galactic Empire in 19 BBY, various rebel cells began a campaign of armed resistance against the Galactic Emperor, Darth Sidious, and his Imperial regime. Many of these cells eventually came together under the leadership of such individuals as Senator Mon Mothma of Chandrila, Viceroy Bail Organa of Alderaan, and Captain Hera Syndulla of Ryloth. Together, these cells formed the Alliance to Restore the Republic. The Empire painted the Rebel Alliance as bloodthirsty anarchists, so the Alliance sought to push back on that notion and make clear that their goal was to restore the Galactic Republic that Sidious, known publicly as Emperor Palpatine, had supplanted at the end of the Clone Wars.[1]

To counter the Imperial propaganda, Senator-in-Exile Mon Mothma crafted the Declaration of Rebellion. The document was a condemnation of Emperor Palpatine and detailed what the Alliance saw as his crimes against the galaxy. The Alliance purposefully crafted the document in language based around the law to both legitimize the rebel cause and to emphasize that the Empire was an illegal regime. The document stressed that the Rebellion sought to build a better galaxy, not destroy it as the Empire claimed, and that the Rebellion's true name was the Alliance to Restore the Republic.[1]

Mothma delivered the Declaration of Rebellion from an undisclosed location using the HoloNet and other channels. The message spread throughout the galaxy, with various posters and other artwork being created with Mothma's words. In some cases, this artwork was crafted by the Rebel Alliance itself to spread its own message, but mostly was the work of revolutionaries who sought a unifying message and banner to fight under. In the years that followed, the Galactic Civil War led to the defeat of the Empire. The Declaration came to be seen as one of the foundational documents of the New Republic, which came to power towards the end of the war and replaced the Imperial regime.[1]

Full text[]

Source: Star Wars Propaganda: A History of Persuasive Art in the GalaxyAttribution: Formal Declaration of Rebellion from the Alliance to Restore the Republic

We, the beings of the Rebel Alliance, do this day send forth this Declaration to His Majesty, the Emperor, and to all sentient beings in the Galaxy, to make clear to all the Purposes and Goals of this Rebellion.

We firmly acknowledge the importance and necessity of the institution of Galactic Government. We accept that all must subjugate themselves to that Government, giving up certain rights and freedoms, in return for peace, prosperity and happiness for all.
We believe that the Galactic Government derives its power and right to rule from the consent of the governed. We believe that, should the rights of free beings be willfully and malignantly usurped, it is the unalienable right of said beings to alter or abolish said Government.

We believe that the Galactic Empire has willfully and malignantly usurped the rights of the free beings of the Galaxy and therefore, it is our unalienable right to abolish it from the Galaxy.

We do not take this course lightly. Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes, but when a Government displays a history of usurpation, abuse and moral atrocity, displaying a clear design to subjugate totally and absolutely beings born free under the auspices of nature, it is our right—our duty—to depose of that Government.

The history of the present Galactic Empire is of repeated injuries upon its members, with the direct objective of establishing you, Emperor Palpatine, as absolute tyrant over the Galaxy:

You have disbanded the Senate, the voice of the people;
You have instituted a policy of blatant speciesism and genocide against the nonhuman peoples of the Galaxy;
You have overthrown the chosen leaders of planets, replacing them with Moffs and Governors of your choice;
You have raised taxes without the consent of those taxed;
You have murdered and imprisoned millions without benefit of trial;
You have unlawfully taken land and property;
You have expanded the military far beyond what is necessary and prudent, for the sole purpose of oppressing your subjects.

We, the Rebel Alliance, do therefore in the name—and by the authority—of the free beings of the Galaxy, solemnly publish and declare our intentions:

To fight and oppose you and your forces, by any and all means at our disposal;
To refuse any Imperial law contrary to the rights of free beings;
To bring about your destruction and the destruction of the Galactic Empire;
To make forever free all beings in the galaxy.

To these ends, we pledge our property, our honor, and our lives.

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Behind the scenes[]

The text of the Declaration of Rebellion first appeared in the The Rebel Alliance Sourcebook, a 1990 reference book written by Paul Murphy.[2] The text was brought into the official Star Wars canon in the 2016 reference book Star Wars Propaganda: A History of Persuasive Art in the Galaxy, by Lucasfilm Story Group creative executive Pablo Hidalgo.[1] The declaration shares some overall similarities in structure, tone and choice of words with the United States Declaration of Independence of 1776, which inspired several similar documents in real life.


Notes and references[]