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"Need I remind you that it is I who leads our people in the Senate!"
―Orn Free Taa, to political rival Cham Syndulla — (audio) Listen (file info)[src]

Orn Free Taa was a male Rutian Twi'lek who represented his homeworld of Ryloth in the Galactic Senate during the waning years of the Galactic Republic. Because he was content with amassing riches for himself on Coruscant, Taa was very unpopular on Ryloth. During the Separatist Crisis, Taa joined the Loyalist Committee, which supported the Republic's leader, Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine, against the growing threat of Count Dooku's Confederacy of Independent Systems. Despite his professed loyalty, Taa was corrupt and self-indulgent, which made him a perfect incarnation of everything the Confederacy considered rotten about the Republic. When the Galactic Empire was formed Taa retained his position in the Senate and, more importantly to him, his wealth.[1]

Biography[edit | edit source]

Naboo Crisis[edit | edit source]

At some point, Taa joined the Galactic Senate and represented his homeworld of Ryloth. Taa was among the senators who supported Queen Padmé Amidala's Vote of No Confidence to replace Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum with a stronger chancellor during Naboo occupation by the Trade Federation.[4]

The Separatist Crisis[edit | edit source]

Taa alongside Bail Organa in the Senate

Ten years later, Taa was present in Chancellor Palpatine's office suite when Amidala arrived to the Senate following the assassination attempt on her. He was later present in the Senate when Representative Jar Jar Binks pushed for Palpatine to have full emergency powers to handle the growing crisis.[2] Taa represented Ryloth in the Galactic Senate; he was a trusted advisor to Palpatine, but a perfect symbol of corruption in government, extravagant with his spending and living in utter luxury.[1]

Clone Wars[edit | edit source]

When the Separatist Alliance invaded Ryloth, Taa contacted King Katuunko of Toydaria in efforts to receive aid to help the people on his planet.[5] When the Republic fleet broke through the Separatist blockade, Taa arrived on Ryloth, where he came into conflict with his rival Cham Syndulla over what to do with the occupation. However, Jedi General Mace Windu convinced the two that they both wanted to see a free Ryloth and had to cooperate to help their people. When the Separatist troops were defeated and Wat Tambor was arrested at Lessu, Taa waved to the crowds at the Republic's victory parade and made peace with Syndulla.[6]

When Duchess Satine Kryze of Mandalore traveled from Sundari to Coruscant in order to represent her planet in the Senate, she invited several senators and allies to accompany her on the aircraft. The senators included Kin Robb and Tal Merrik. Taa was present in the luxury suite where Duchess Satine rejected any statements made by Taa as he tried to persuade her towards joining the Republic. Taa then calmed Obi-Wan Kenobi and Satine while they argued over the war and reasons to fight. He dined alongside the other members of the party, where he urged that they not talk about politics and simply enjoy their meal of nuna legs. During the attack from SD-K4 assassin droids, Taa was very frightened and cowered away from the table with his aides. The senator then calmed down and sat back down at the table where he happily ate his favorite meal, however he was horrified when Kenobi rendered with the final metallic probe. When more Separatists forces attacked, he ran from the dining suite and ended up surviving the events.[7]

When Cad Bane and several other bounty hunters took over the Republic Senate building, Taa rushed into Palpatine's office to inform him of the situation. When Bane contacted Palpatine and told him of his deal, the bargain being that the Republic release Ziro and in return the trapped Senators would be released as well. Palpatine decided to comply with Bane and sent Taa down to the prison with the pardon disc, he was not happy with the thought of being at the prison which Ziro even commented upon. Taa was, however, very happy when the Chancellor was freed and Bane's cohorts were surrounded by Commander Fox's Coruscant Guard.[8]

During the bill that promoted further funding for the war speaker for the opposing campaign Senator Bail Organa was injured, meaning he was unable to attend and speak and causing a large delay for the speech. During the delay Senator Mee Deechi pushed for the voting to start without Organa's words. Taa agreed with this notion and vocally expressed his opinion, when Padmé Amidala stepped forward to the speech, Taa looked very surprised at a partisan volunteering to make the speech. However, when Amidala gave her moving speech, Taa was visibly impressed and applauded her loudly.[9]

When Palpatine was rescued from General Grievous at the Battle of Coruscant, Taa was among the Senators who greeted him on the landing platform. Pleased that Palpatine had been rescued, he stood in the second row but was nonetheless quick to walk back inside.[10]

Age of the Empire[edit | edit source]

When Palpatine declared the first ever Galactic Empire, Taa was present in the Senate.[10] Taa also continued to loyally serve under the Emperor's dictatorship thus keeping his wealth and heavy self indulgence. Taa was however little more than a puppet delegate, serving under Moff Delian Mors and willingly taking part in the exploitation of his home world. However Taa was still happy as he retained his wealth and luxurious habits due to being a supporter of the Empire. After previously allying himself with his rival Cham Syndulla during the Clone Wars, he now found himself at war with him. As head of the Free Ryloth movement, Syndulla carried out a series of attacks against the Imperial occupation forces on Ryloth, which gained the attention of the Emperor and his apprentice Darth Vader.[3]

After the attacks by the Free Ryloth movement began to slow the spice production on Ryloth, Taa was summoned for an audience with the Emperor. Now openly afraid of Palpatine and his apprentice, Taa feared the worst as he optimistically tried to reassure the Emperor that the Twi'lek security forces and Moff Mors would have the situation under control. Palpatine dismissed Taa's assertion and informed him that he had come to a decision. Taa was relieved to hear that the Emperor's decision was to accompany him and Vader on an official visit to Ryloth to investigate the matter personally. The senator expressed his reluctance to return to Ryloth, but Palpatine assured him his presence would reassure the people they were truly part of the Empire.[3]

Vader surmised that Taa was loyal to the Empire, though he would put his own interests first, Ryloth's interests second, and the Empire's third. Taa, his senatorial staff, and the two Sith Lords traveled on the Imperial Star Destroyer Perilous to Ryloth. However, one of Taa's senatorial staff leaked information about the trip to the Free Ryloth movement. Upon entering the Ryloth system, the Perilous was attacked by space mines, Vulture droids, and Free Ryloth rebels disguised as maintenance crew.[3]

During the attack, Taa was Force choked by an enraged Vader, who released him at the Emperor's urging. Vader informed Taa that there was a spy among his staff. Taa apologised to Vader and the Emperor and vowed to find the traitor. The Emperor was convinced of Taa's loyalty but warned the Senator that it did not mitigate his fault; emphasizing that Taa was ignorant that he had a traitor among his staff. The Emperor then ordered his royal guards to restrict the senatorial staff to their quarters and to deny them access to communications equipment and computer terminals. The Emperor then warned Taa that harsher measures would be required in the future to quell unrest on Ryloth. Taa acceded to the Emperor's demands. When the Perilous fell apart, Taa and his staff escaped the Star Destroyer with Vader likening him to a "rat finding his way off a sinking ship."[3]

Personality and traits[edit | edit source]

Orn Free Taa was a Republic Senator[6] and later an Imperial Senator who represented his homeworld of Ryloth.[3] Outwardly jovial, if a bit bumbling, the large shadow Taa carried was nonetheless cast over nearly all aspects of Coruscanti politics. In spite of his gregarious nature, Taa was a staunch militarist and was ever alert for opportunities to put credits in his pocket. Even though his corruption was obvious, no one was able to find enough evidence of criminal behavior to oust the Twi'lek Senator.[11] He was known for his greed, cowardice, and putting himself first, the people of Ryloth second, and the Empire third.[3]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Non-canon appearances[edit | edit source]

Sources[edit | edit source]

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Notes and references[edit | edit source]

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