- "Senators are notoriously unreliable, too, and yet they form the bedrock of our democratic system."
- ―Mon Mothma
Senators, also referred to as Galactic Senators, were individuals who represented the many planets of the galaxy in the Senate of the Galactic Republic. Some senators were genuine in their desire to make improvements, while others were entirely corrupt and sought only personal gain. Senators were often served by various aides, whose careers were closely tied to the senator they served, unless they were able to replace them. Many senators supported and cheered Sheev Palpatine's proclamation that turned the Republic into the Galactic Empire at the end of the Clone Wars. The senators then became members of the Imperial Senate.
Fourteen years into the Imperial Senate's existence, the power of the senators had grown weaker as the Emperor's planetary governors and Moffs exercised more responsibility over their planets and systems. A few years later, the Imperial Senate was disbanded by the Emperor.
Shortly after the Battle of Endor, the Rebel Alliance achieved their goal and restored the Republic in the form of the New Republic. As one of its first acts in the long process of bringing back democracy to the galaxy, the Republic restored the Galactic Senate.
A senator's formalwear reflected the culture of their homeworld but could also command respect when they negotiated deals. Many senators proudly wore the traditional attire of their people, although some used their status and the significant budget of their office to purchase lavish clothing. They instead wore the finest imported fabrics in elaborate creations designed by the most famous fashion designers on Coruscant. Prudent senatorial aides followed the lead of their senator in the attire they chose for official duties, although others focused instead on creating an intimidating presence.
- "There is no civility, only politics. The Republic is not what it once was. The Senate is full of greedy, squabbling delegates. There is no interest in the common good."
- ―Sheev Palpatine
During the last decades of the Galactic Republic, senators represented the Republic's various member worlds, sectors and commerce guilds including the Trade Federation at the Galactic Senate on Coruscant. During the Invasion of Naboo, Sheev Palpatine served as Naboo's senator in the Galactic Senate while Lott Dod represented the Federation. Their functions including representing their homeworlds, adjudicating on galactic disputes, and debating and voting on legislation and motions. By the time of the Separatist Crisis, the Senate had at least two thousand senators. Several Loyalist senators, including the Naboo senator Padmé Amidala, the Alderaanian senator Bail Organa, and the Ryloth senator Orn Free Taa formed the Loyalist Committee to advise Supreme Chancellor Palpatine. During the time of the Galactic Republic, the position had no term limit.
After the creation of the Confederacy of Independent Systems, many important senators—such as Toonbuck Toora and Rogwa Wodrata—elected to support the Republic's new rival. By the Clone Wars between the Republic and Confederacy, the Confederacy had established a rival Separatist Senate on the planet Raxus Secundus. Some prominent Separatist senators included the Onderonian Mina Bonteri and her son Lux Bonteri, Prime Minister Bec Lawise, and Voe Atell. Towards the end of the conflict, several concerned Republic senators including Amidala, Organa, and Mon Mothma formed the Delegation of 2,000 to criticize Palpatine's conduct of the war and to petition him to return his emergency powers to the Galactic Senate.
- "I am a member of the Imperial Senate on a diplomatic mission to Alderaan—"
"You are a part of the Rebel Alliance and a traitor. Take her away!"
- ―Leia Organa and Darth Vader
Following the Proclamation of the New Order, the Galactic Senate was revamped as the Imperial Senate of the Galactic Empire. While many senators welcomed the establishment of the Empire as an end to the carnage and destruction of the Clone Wars, others like Amidala and Organa were unhappy with the New Order. After Palpatine crowned himself as Emperor, the Imperial Senate's powers were progressively curtailed. By the fourteenth year of the Age of the Empire, Imperial senators wielded less power than planetary governors.
The Emperor preserved the Senate in order to convince its member worlds that they still had a part to play in the new government. In secret, the Emperor planned to abolish the Senate once the Death Star had been completed so that he could rule the Empire through terror. Some senators like the Thrad senator Nadea Tural continued attending Senate sessions since she believed that the Empire passed legislation which had been voted into law. However, the Emperor often did not implement legislation introduced by the Senate. Some other notable senators included Bail Organa's adopted daughter Leia Organa, and the "Senator-in-exile" Gall Trayvis.
Following the theft of the Death Star plans, Darth Vader arrested Princess Leia for aiding the Rebel Alliance. Emperor Palpatine promptly dissolved the Imperial Senate. In addition, Tural and several other dissident senators were imprisoned at the Arrth-Eno Prison Complex on Coruscant. The Alliance attempted to rescue the imprisoned senators but the Emperor hatched a successful plot to kill the senators and the Rebel spies. Official Imperial propaganda claimed that the rebels had bombed the prison in order to deny these senators a trial.
- "War is terrible. And an army isn't enough to fix problems. We need a solution for what happens after they do their job, and that's why the Senate is beginning again…"
- ―Olia Choko
Following the Battle of Endor, the New Republic, the successor government established by the Alliance to Restore the Republic, re-established the Galactic Senate on Chandrila. Their duties included representing their homeworlds, debating and voting on legislation and motions, and investigating intrasystem disputes and criminal factions that threatened the New Republic. New Republic senatorial protocol also differentiated senators into two main categories: senior senator and junior senator.
About twenty four years after the events on Endor, two major senatorial factions had emerged in the Galactic Senate: the Centrists, who desired a stronger galactic government and military; and the Populists, who wanted to preserve considerable autonomy for member worlds. The rivalry and philosophical differences between the two factions created deadlock in the Senate, which led to much inaction on the part of the New Republic. In response to this deadlock, the Centrists proposed the creation of a new office called First Senator, which would wield considerable power over the economy and military. Some prominent New Republic senators included Leia Organa, the Gatalenta senator Tai-Lin Garr, the Arkanis senator Lady Carise Sindian, and the Riosan senator Ransolm Casterfo. Prior to the destruction of the Hosnian system, several New Republic senators including Lady Carise and Erudo Ro-Kiintor were secretly colluding with the First Order, a remnant of the Old Empire.
In 29 ABY, Centrist systems seceded from the New Republic, publicly forming the political core of the First Order. The New Republic, along with its Senate, fell in 34 ABY when the First Order fired Starkiller Base; the superweapon wiped out the Hosnian system, leaving any surviving senators to dissolve the remnants of the New Republic Defense Fleet to protect their homeworlds. One surviving senator was Hamato Xiono, who was offworld with his family when Hosnian Prime was destroyed.
Galactic Republic, later Imperial Senators
- "This is a democracy, and unlike the Republic, corporations do not rule us."
- ―Kerch Kushi
|Senator||Planet or sector represented||Term||Notes||Species and gender|
|Atell, Voe||Corporate Alliance||c.21 BBY||Female|
|Bluss, By||c.22 BBY||Leyakian Male|
|Bonteri, Mina||Onderon||c.22 BBY-21 BBY||Onderonian Female|
|Bonteri, Lux||c.20 BBY||Defected from the Separatists||Onderonian Male|
|Fonti, Amita||Gossam Female|
|Lawise, Bec||c.21 BBY-19 BBY.||Separatist Congress Leader/Speaker; assassinated by Dooku.||Siniteen male|
|Rimbaud, Punn||Rimbaud's species female|
|Singh, Avi||Raxus Secundus||Human male|
New Republic Senators
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