- "The galaxy's criminal networks wavered endlessly during the Great War, debating whether to back the Republic or the Empire. Although the Hutt Cartels resented the Sith Emperor for not including them in his pre-war conspiracy, Imperial Intelligence somehow blocked the Republic's efforts to win the Hutts' support."
- ―Jedi Master Gnost-Dural
After the Sith Empire's return to the known galaxy during the Great Galactic War, Imperial representatives from the Ministry of Intelligence brokered a treaty with the powerful Hutt Cartel. The agreement stipulated that, as the Empire grew in power and territory over the course of the Great Galactic War and the subsequent Cold War, the Hutts would be allowed to maintain their sovereignty and neutrality, provided neither they nor any inferior clans or subsidiaries worked to further the interests of the Galactic Republic—the Empire's primary nemesis in the wars.
The treaty benefited both parties until around 3643 BBY, when three Hutt families violated its terms and worked alongside Republic researchers on the planet Quesh to manufacture adrenal stimulants. The Empire discovered the operation and forced the Cartel to label the three families as traitors and join the Sith in an assault on Quesh.
- "It wasn't long before the Empire heard about this vast source of chemical wealth - and the treaty-breaking Hutts. The Cartel was forced to declare the Republic-aligned Hutts traitors, and assist the Empire as it launched a full-scale attack on Quesh, seeking to destroy Republic efforts and claim the resource for its own."
- ―A HoloNet dossier on Quesh
The treaty between the Sith Empire and the Hutt Cartel created an officially-recognized status of neutrality between the Imperial government and the Cartel during the Great Galactic War and the following Cold War. The document stipulated that the Hutts' criminal enterprises would be allowed to remain autonomous, given that the individual clans and subsidiaries also remained neutral. In the event that the treaty was violated and Hutt agents cooperated with the interests of the Empire's adversary, the Galactic Republic, the Sith were authorized to exert control over the Cartel and force the organization's leaders to name the specific violators as traitors.
In 3681 BBY, the Great Galactic War was initiated and exploded across the Outer Rim Territories following the Sith Empire's return to known space. For years prior, the Sith had been conspiring against their age-old enemies in the Galactic Republic and Jedi Order by acquiring power and territory in the galaxy's Unknown Regions and growing their mighty war machine. Simultaneously, Imperial agents worked to corrupt planetary governments in the Tingel Arm, buy the allegiance of localized crime bosses and warlords, and insert covert operatives into the Republic bureaucracy and Jedi ranks. When the war erupted and the Sith made their presence in the galaxy known, both they and the Republic sought to curry the favor of underworld criminal organizations, particularly the Hutt Cartel.
Despite the Cartel's consistent disregard for Republic law, the Hutts chose not to support the Empire, as they were upset that the Sith Emperor had decided not to include them in his pre-war plans. Although the situation could have provided the Republic with an opportunity to form an alliance with the Cartel, agents of the Empire's Ministry of Intelligence managed to prevent such a scenario from happening by setting up a system of mutual neutrality between the Imperial government and the Hutts. The resulting treaty between the two parties allowed for the Cartel to remain neutral through the end of the Great Galactic War in 3653 BBY and beyond, into the Cold War.
Around 3643 BBY, three Hutt families violated the terms of the treaty and agreed to assist Republic scientists on the planet Quesh in their attempts to synthesize adrenal stimulants for the Republic Military. Upon learning of the violation, the Sith Empire forced the Cartel to brand the three families as traitors and join in an attack on Quesh to root out the Republic agents and seize the world's rich chemical resources. Kel Dor Jedi historian Gnost-Dural later included a mention of the Ministry of Intelligence's accord with the Hutts in his efforts to chronicle the Great Galactic War.
- "Ultimately though, Republic engineers were unable to master the techniques to synthesize the adrenals. They were forced to seek help from some unlikely allies– the Hutts. Three families from the Hutt Cartel were quietly convinced to step around their neutrality treaty with the Empire in return for a cut of adrenal profits that not even a Hutt could refuse. The Cartel, so long as they received their share, looked the other way."
- ―A HoloNet dossier on Quesh
The Hutt–Imperial treaty was widely obeyed by both parties through the Great Galactic War. Even in light of the Hutts' resentment of the Sith Emperor, they made no significant move to assist the enemy's forces, despite the overtures of Republic agents. The promise of sovereignty kept the Cartel's constituent clans in line until the Cold War, when Republic researchers were able to sway three Kajidics to violate the terms in return for a cut of the profits from adrenal stimulants produced on Quesh, a world within Hutt Space.
The rest of the Cartel knew of the betrayal, but the profit-minded Hutts agreed not to enforce the treaty so long as the violating Kajidics and the Republic ensured payment of a steady tribute of credits to the larger organization. When the Empire learned of the activities on Quesh, the Cartel reluctantly declared the Republic-allied Hutts traitors and unhappily entered into a military alliance with the Sith.
Behind the scenes
The Hutt–Imperial treaty was created as part of the setting for the upcoming LucasArts video game Star Wars: The Old Republic. The accord was first alluded to in the fourth entry of the Galactic Timeline, titled The Empire Changes Strategy. The Timeline is a series of in-universe video entries voiced by actor Lance Henriksen, available on The Old Republic's official website. The treaty was explicitly mentioned for the first time on the Quesh information page, found on The Holonet, an online database for information on The Old Republic's setting, also available on the official site.
- (First mentioned) (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Rise of the Hutt Cartel (Mentioned only)
Notes and references
- According to Timeline 6: Onslaught of the Sith Empire, the Great Galactic War begins twenty-eight years before the Treaty of Coruscant. The Treaty was proposed and ratified in 3653 BBY, as seen in the novel The Old Republic: Deceived.
- The Essential Atlas
- The battle for Quesh is a setting seen in the video game Star Wars: The Old Republic. This forum post from The Old Republic's lead writer, Daniel Erickson, indicates that the game takes place ten years after the signing of the Treaty of Coruscant, placing the conflict over Quesh around 3643 BBY.