- "Under Republic Law 44-12, Rylothian slave collars and the chips used to make them are illegal in Republic space—even for Senators."
- ―Coruscant Security Force Captain Denal-zon
Republic Law 44-12 was a law passed by the Senate of the Galactic Republic which outlawed the use of Rylothian slave collars in Republic space. It was in effect as early as the Cold War between the Republic and the Sith Empire, though laws against slavery were a part of the Republic ever since its formation after the fall of the Rakata Infinite Empire. Slave collars, and the chips that were used to make them, ensured the continued existence of slavery as they provided a means to control the individuals. Republic Law 44-12 sought to provide specific measures to prevent the use of the collars and chips.
However, due to the continued threat of war between the Republic and the Sith Empire, the Republic did not allocate the resources to investigate incidents where Law 44-12 was broken. Instead, enforcement was left to local law enforcement agencies. When individuals with political clout were involved, investigation frequently stalled or the decision to press charges was given to the investigating police officer's superiors. In this way, Law 44-12 was undermined in Republic space. One specific incident involved Senator Doli-bur Barc who imported chips for the slave collars to the planet Coruscant. The chips, however, were stolen by the Migrant Merchants' Guild crime syndicate and the investigation of the theft was given to Coruscant Security Force Captain Denal-zon. At that time, a street war broke out between the CSF and the Guild preventing Denal-zon from investigating the theft. As the chips were illegal to begin with, Denal-zon felt little sympathy for the senator and refused to invest manpower and resources into the investigation.
- "The chips are from the planet Ryloth. They're designed to operate remote control slave collars."
- ―Captain Denal-zon
The Galactic Republic had been born from a background of slavery. Before the Republic's existence, the Rakata Infinite Empire controlled a majority of the known galaxy. After the Infinite Empire's fall, planets in the Core Worlds came together under the shared heritage of enslavement. Vowing that none of their people would ever bear the harshness of slavery, the Galactic Republic was founded with the signing of the Galactic Constitution which specifically prohibited slavery. As time went on and the Republic held to its ideals of freedom and justice, laws were passed for specific issues related to slavery. One of these laws was 44-12, which targeted the use of Rylothian slave collars.
- "The Republic has bigger problems than illegal chips."
"True, but the law is the law, and the Senator is not above that."
- ―A Republic individual talking with Captain Denal-zon
Republic Law 44-12 was passed by the Republic's Galactic Senate and was in effect as early as the time of the Cold War between the Republic and the Sith Empire. The law stated that slave collars from Ryloth and the chips used to make them were illegal in Republic space. Enforcement of the law was usually left to planetary law enforcement agencies as the Republic government had greater concerns and little manpower to investigate. Individuals who held a high government office or possessed substantial political clout could stall local police officers who did not have the political power to bring charges.
One such incident involved Senator Doli-bur Barc on the planet Coruscant. In 3643 BBY, Senator Barc imported several chips for the slave collars. Publicly, the senator stated that the collars would help the Republic Military defeat the Sith Empire though he never offered any details. However, the shipment coming into Coruscant was hijacked and the chips stolen by members of the Migrant Merchants' Guild criminal gang. Senator Barc requested the Coruscant Security Force (CSF) investigate the incident, which resulted in the case being given to Captain Denal-zon. At that time, the CSF became embroiled in a street war as they attempted to push the Merchant's Guild out of Coruscant's Old Galactic Market sector. With this, Denal-zon was unable to retrieve the collars and the investigation subsequently stalled. However, since slave collars and the chips that powered them were illegal in the Republic, Denal-zon felt little sympathy for the Senator's plight and refused to put any significant effort into recovering them.
After Denal-zon's police investigation stalled, Heerimus, Senator Barc's representative, asked a Republic individual to try to solve the case and relocate the chips. The individual spoke with Denal-zon and was informed of the details of the case. The individual then managed to fight their way into the Old Galactic Market area controlled by the Guild. There, the individual recovered the chips and later turned them over to Denal-zon to be destroyed. The individual asked if Denal-zon would arrest the senator for the crimes but Denal-zon stated that would be decision left to his superiors. Personally though, Denal-zon believed the senator should be arrested.
- "Do you intend to prosecute Senator Barc for this?"
"Not up to me. My superiors will decide how to proceed with the case."
- ―A Republic individual talking with Captain Denal-zon
In preventing slavery in the galaxy, Republic Law 44-12 did very little. Slave collars continued to be readily available throughout the known galaxy. The Sith Empire openly allowed slavery to exist and utilized it as the building blocks of its society. It also traded continually with the Hutt Cartel to find the best stock of slaves. Slave collars were used throughout this process, especially those from Ryloth. Their use was seen by some as a modern technology and signs of an advanced civilization.
Additionally, with war a constant threat, the Republic did not assign the resources needed to actively investigate incidents of Law 44-12 being broken and as such the law was at times useless even in Republic space. Compounding this fact was that often those with political power were the ones involved in the selling and buying and were able to avoid or at least stall prosecution.
Behind the scenes
Republic Law 44-12 is first mentioned by Coruscant Security Force Captain Denal-Zon in the Republic sided mission "The Senator's Stolen Goods" in Star Wars: The Old Republic, a massively multiplayer online roleplaying game (MMORPG) by BioWare released on December 20, 2011. After discovering the chips, the player can choose to alternatively turn them over to Senator Barc instead of Captain Denal-zon. By giving them to Barc, the player receives dark side points. As a Republic and light side mission, this article assumes them to be the canon choice.
- Star Wars: The Old Republic (First mentioned)
Notes and references
- Star Wars: The Old Republic—Mission: "The Senator's Stolen Goods" on Coruscant
- Star Wars: The Old Republic Encyclopedia
- Star Wars: The Old Republic about ten to twelve years after the signing of the Treaty of Coruscant, which is dated to 3653 BBY by Star Wars: The Old Republic Encyclopedia. The Old Republic—The Lost Suns 2 takes place ten years after the treaty, one week after the mission to Nar Shaddaa, and around the time of the SpecForce Incident. Since the mission and the incident are respectively part of Act I of the Jedi Knight and Republic Trooper's storylines, and the Trooper's Act I occurs concurrent to Act I of the Smuggler storyline, the general events of the Prologue and Act I for all classes can be assumed to occur in 3643 BBY. places