- "The Jedi Council Chamber! If Master Kenobi finds me up here, he'll kill me. Or worse—lecture me!"
- ―Anakin Skywalker
The High Council Chamber, also known as the Jedi Council Chamber, was a circular room at the summit of the High Council Tower of the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. It hosted meetings of the Jedi High Council during the rule of the Galactic Republic. While the Tower and chamber were destroyed during the Galactic Civil War, the Reconstruction Authority rebuilt the Temple in 35 ABY, seeing the Tower and chamber rebuilt as they had been in the days of the Old Republic.
Chambers for the High Council had existed on Coruscant since before 4000 BBY. While the Jedi Temple that the Four Masters had erected was being expanded, the Council met at the top of a lone tower, which stood in the center of a broad plaza as of 3963 BBY. It was at this time that the august body reassigned a group of Jedi seers to separate stations after they were unable to capture Padawan Zayne Carrick, the supposed criminal behind the Padawan Massacre. Only a few years later the same group of Masters would try and exile a female knight who had participated in the Mandalorian Wars under the banner of the Revanchists. Following the trial, the Jedi Civil War broke out, causing problems for the Council. While the Jedi and the Galactic Republic succeeded in defeating the leaders of the Sith Empire, fragments of Sith continued to harass the Order. In 3954 BBY the Sith Triumvirate began a Jedi Purge. Abandoning the Council Spire on Coruscant, the remaining Jedi Masters were mostly hunted down and killed.
After the end of the Purge and the rebuilding of the Order by the once exiled Jedi, the Council Spire and chamber were added onto the steadily expanding Jedi Temple. While the Council made use of this location for several centuries, it was ultimately destroyed by the resurgent Sith Empire when a group of Sith Lords ransacked Coruscant. Unlike the last rebuilding, the Order would not have the funds to complete a massive reconstruction for several millennia. After over a thousand years of fundraising and rebuilding, the Galactic Senate was finally able to raise enough tax money to finish the Council Spires by 1000 BBY.
Rise of the Empire
The High Council would hold meetings within this newly built chamber for the next thousand years. Hundreds of masters would sit on the esteemed Council over the centuries, including Yoda, Jocasta Nu, Mace Windu, and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Over the years, the Council held their meetings not only in this chamber but throughout the Temple including the Room of a Thousand Fountains and private quarters.
In 44 BBY, after a series of robberies and attacks at the Temple, Master Qui-Gon Jinn confronted the Dark Jedi Xanatos in the Council Chamber. As the Temple furnace was rigged to explode, the Dark Jedi attacked Jinn in hopes that the Jedi would not figure out his plot before it was too late. Leaping through the chamber's high windows, Xanatos dueled with Jinn out on the meditation balcony. Realizing Xanatos' plot, Jinn fled down the stairs of the Tower and saved the Temple, though Xanatos was able to escape.
During the Clone Wars, the Council Chamber would host war meetings and discussions tended to get more heated rather than productive. During the hunt for General Grievous, leader of the Separatist Droid Army, the Council convened to try and exile the young Togruta Padawan Codi Ty after he defied the Council's wishes by attempting to assassinate the dreaded cyborg.
At the conclusion of the war Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Sidious, known as Supreme Chancellor Palpatine to all but his closest advisors, ordered the destruction of the Jedi Order through a military operation known as Knightfall. Darth Vader led the 501st Legion into the Temple and began to systematically slaughter its occupants. Having secured the Jedi beacon, Vader made his way to the top of the High Council Spire. Within the Council Chamber, a group of younglings had taken refuge from the onslaught in the levels below. Begging the former Jedi for assistance, the younglings gathered around the Sith Lord before he cut them down in cold blood. The room would be cleared of the bodies by the surviving clone troopers and burned on the steps of the public entrance to the Temple.
Following the abandonment of the Temple the chamber saw no use as the Jedi Council was dissolved. A few months after the rise of the Galactic Empire, Vader was forced to return to the High Council Chamber, alongside Lieutenant Laurita Tohm, to access records of an event regarding the disappearance of several rogue padawans that Skywalker had arrested, and learned of the location of the Ghost Prison. Shortly after learning this and their keeping it a secret from both him and Palpatine, Vader, furious at the council's decision to hide it from him, largely wrecked the Council Chamber with the Force. At some point later, ex-Jedi Padawan Ferus Olin entered that Spire's atrium through a rooftop breakfast room and entered into a lightsaber duel with Darth Vader who was awaiting Olin. Climbing the ancient stairs that led to the summit of the Tower, Olin and the Sith entered the once prestigious room to continue the duel, using the chairs and floor tiles as projectiles. After striking a blow on Vader's chest plate, Olin dove through a hole in the floor, dropping several stories to the map room. Vader soon followed, leaving the chamber to lie in silence for several years.
In 2 BBY, during the Sith assassin Starkiller's third mission to the Temple, the assassin entered the ruined chamber after cutting his way through countless Shadow Troopers that guarded the chamber's turbolift. The malfunctioning Jedi Trials program activated as Starkiller entered the room, using the Council Chamber's holoprojectors to create a simulacrum of dead Jedi Kento Marek. Further reeking havoc in the room, Starkiller defeated the simulacrum and left the chamber in increased distress.
The Temple would survive for much of the Galactic Civil War, the Council Chamber leering over the surface of Coruscant for years. The ancient edifice was even re-inhabited briefly, as members of the new Jedi Order searched the destroyed hall for any information on the teachings of the old Order. It wasn't until several years later that the five towers of the Temple collapsed, the Council chamber completely destroyed. The new Order would clear the rubble away and erect a small praxeum in their place on the roof of the Ziggurat; though this too would be lost during the Yuuzhan Vong War.
Following the retaking of Coruscant by the Galactic Alliance, Chief of State Cal Omas donated a new Temple to the Order in recognition of the Jedi's efforts during the war. Using blueprints salvaged from the old Archives the Reconstruction Authority erected the new Temple to near-exact specifications; though a new transparisteel pyramid concealed the restored Council towers.
Known also as the Masters' Chamber, the old room looked much as it had during the time of the Old Republic barring the addition of a small desk for the secretary of the Council. This desk would later be removed as the Council returned to the old style of simply recording the audio of the proceedings.
During the Second Galactic Civil War Knight Jacen Solo entered the empty Council Chamber and flow-walked back to the night that his grandfather, Anakin Skywalker, stood before the Council and was denied the rank of Master. This event helped convince Solo to become a Sith Lord after concluding that his ancestor's motivations differed from his. Two years later the chamber would host a gathering of the Council, as well as other Masters of the Order, in which Interim Grand Master Kenth Hamner announced his decision to subtly subvert the Alliance government and increase support for the Jedi through different media opportunities. During this meeting, several additional chairs were brought up to the chamber in order to accommodate all the Masters on Coruscant.
When the Order became locked in debate between the Alliance on who should take custody of the Jedi Knights who were beset with an enigmatic madness the Council Chamber were guarded by two apprentices, male Human and a female Mon Calamari, along with Knight Jaden Korr. These guards were thwarted by the manipulating mouth of Knight Leia Organa Solo, who forced Korr to allow her to speak to the Council.
Located at the peak of the southeast tower of the Temple, this circular chamber granted its occupants a rare glimpse of Coruscant. The Chamber itself existed in several incarnations over the years as the Temple grew, expanded, moved, and relocated. However, the room has always kept the basic circular shape accessed by a single turbolift, high arching windows, and a ring of twelve cushioned chairs for the members of the august body. Each of the stone seats were equipped with a holoprojector that could be used when a Council member was attending the meeting from a distant world.
One of the earliest versions of the Council Chamber, erected c.3976 BBY, was at the summit of a lone tower that stood at the center of a broad plaza. The simple chamber was equipped with a holoprojector capable of displaying images in the center of the room, as the Council did during the examination of the Padawan Massacre. This room would soon be abandoned in favor of another domed room located near another tower. Similar to the previous meeting room the chamber was made of dark stone with a large, polished rock at the center of the circle. It was here that the Council banished the Revanchist Meetra Surik, who had returned to Coruscant after the Mandalorian Wars. At the end of the trial, Surik drove her lightsaber into the center stone and left the Chamber indefinitely. Several years after this event the Chamber would be lost as the Sith Triumvirate began the First Jedi Purge.
The room would come into exist in its final, most recognizable form after the Temple expansion of 1000 BBY. Erected atop the Council Spire of the Temple, the chamber was ringed by a small corridor set between the inner and outer sets of transparisteel windows which granted a panoramic view of the cityscape. The hall was accessible only to the members of the High Council and led down into the secured treasury room. A dedicated turbolift ran up the side of the Tower to deposit Jedi summoned by the Council into a small larmalstone lobby which served as entry into the vaulted chamber. This turbolift was specially crafted with Force-inspired dynamics in order to accommodate Jedi of different species and size. The floor was decorated with a natural and circular motif symbolizing harmony and balance between the Jedi, the Council, and the Force. Incorporated into the five pillars spread around the room were the supports and wiring for the reception/transmission antennas that crowned the spire. These antennas were responsible for feeding data to Jedi Command.
When the Temple was rebuilt in 35 ABY, the room was restored to appear like it had for centuries during the Old Republic. However great, opulent drapes were hung over the windows and a desk was installed for use by the Secretary of the Council. However, both features were removed due to the pompousness of the drapes and the outmoding of the Secretary position.
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Notes and references
- Knights of the Old Republic 9
- Star Wars: Complete Locations
- Legacy of the Force: Bloodlines
- Timeline 1: Treaty of Coruscant
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
- Legacy 14
- Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
- Jedi Apprentice: The Captive Temple
- Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith novel)
- General Grievous 4
- Star Wars: Republic: Into the Unknown
- The Last of the Jedi: Reckoning
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
- Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron
- Star Wars: Union
- The New Jedi Order: Enemy Lines II: Rebel Stand
- Fate of the Jedi: Omen
- Fate of the Jedi: Outcast
- Fate of the Jedi: Abyss