- "But the battle station was destroyed, Dad! The battle is over!"
"Jak—the battle isn't over. The battle is just starting."
- ―Jak and his father Rorak, two citizens at the riot
In the aftermath of the Battle of Endor, citizens on the Imperial capital world of Imperial Center carried out a riot in Monument Plaza to celebrate the fall of the Emperor, Darth Sidious, who perished during the battle. The citizens gathered in the plaza and toppled a statue of the Emperor before Imperial forces descended in the area to break up the riot and restore order.
- "We struck a major blow against the Empire, and now will be the time to seize on the opening we have created. The Empire's weapon may be destroyed, but the Empire itself lives on. Its oppressive hand closes around the throats of good, free-thinking people across the galaxy, from the Coruscant Core to the farthest systems in the Outer Rim. We must remember that our fight continues. Our rebellion is over. But the war… the war is just beginning."
- ―Admiral Gial Ackbar, after the Rebel Alliance's victory in the Battle of Endor
During the Galactic Civil War, the Alliance to Restore the Republic launched an all-out assault on the second Death Star. The Battle of Endor became a decisive moment in their fight to topple the Galactic Empire. The Emperor himself, Darth Sidious, was aboard the Death Star and hoped to bait the Rebel Alliance into a trap. The plan failed, however, and the Emperor was killed by Darth Vader, his apprentice, who had been redeemed from the dark side of the Force by his son, Luke Skywalker. Shortly after the Emperor perished, the Alliance Fleet destroyed the Death Star. The two victories left the Empire in chaos, while the Rebel Alliance celebrated their victory on Endor.
As the Rebel Alliance celebrated on Endor, so too did worlds across the galaxy, from the Core Worlds to the farthest reaches of the Outer Rim Territories. One such world was Imperial Center, a Core world and the capital of the Galactic Empire. Coruscanti citizens erupted into celebration in Monument Plaza, where some citizens toppled a statue of Emperor Palpatine. They wrapped chains and ropes around the neck of the statue and began pulling it down, assisted by speeders whose acceleration helped tear the statue from its base. The statue fell to the ground, breaking it into pieces; the head of the statue broke off and fell into a nearby fountain.
As the statue was destroyed, Coruscant Security Forces arrived in the plaza to restore order and immediately opened fire, killing numerous civilians. Despite their actions, the citizens fought back, throwing chunks of the Sidious statue at Imperial police speeders and even jumping onto the speeders themselves to fight the officers directly. The police continued firing, however, intent on restoring order to the group of citizens that had turned into a mob.
Despite the citizens fighting back during the riot, Imperial Center (known as Coruscant during the Old Republic) remained under Imperial control. Some resistance fighters did emerge in the days following the Battle of Endor and the riot, however, intent on reclaiming the planet from the Empire. The planet devolved into a civil war as pro-Imperial Coruscanti and Imperial forces led by Grand Vizier Mas Amedda and the Imperial Security Bureau battled pro-rebel Coruscanti and resistance forces.
Behind the scenes
The riot in Monument Plaza was first depicted in the 1997 Special Edition re-release of Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, showing the citizens of Coruscant toppling the statue of the Emperor and celebrating in the streets. The scene was slightly revised for the 2004 DVD release of the film, which inserted the Galactic Senate Building and the Jedi Temple – later revealed to have been converted into the Imperial Palace – into the background of the scene. The events were expanded upon by Chuck Wendig in his 2015 novel Aftermath, revealing that the celebration became a full-blown riot upon the arrival of Imperial forces.
- Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi (First appearance) (Introduced in Special Edition)
- Star Wars: Return of the Jedi junior novelization (Indirect mention only)
- Aftermath audiobook
Notes and references
- Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
- The events of the riot in Monument Plaza on Coruscant are depicted as taking place at the same time as the Rebellion's celebration on Endor in Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi. Shattered Empire 1 establishes the Pathfinders' assault on an Imperial outpost as taking place the day after the celebration. As such, we can deduce that it takes place after the riot.
- Aftermath: Life Debt
- This event takes place during Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi. Star Wars: Galactic Atlas places the events of Return of the Jedi in 4 ABY.
- Shattered Empire 1
- The Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition
- Star Wars Trilogy DVD re-release