- "63 Senators Arrested in Collusion with Jedi Insurgency"
- ―HoloNet News headline
One day after the formation of the Galactic Empire, Imperial Intelligence arrested sixty-three Imperial senators on charges of conspiracy and treason. All those arrested were members of the Delegation of 2,000, a group of senators who made a failed bid to limit the growing executive powers of Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine during the Clone Wars. The arrests were reported on by the state-sanctioned HoloNet News, which declared the event a "dramatic victory over the Jedi rebellion."
- "In order to ensure the security and continuing stability, the Republic will be reorganized into the first Galactic Empire! For a safe and secure society."
- ―Emperor Palpatine
As the Clone Wars between the Galactic Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems entered its final stages in the year 19 BBY, Republic Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine—secretly the Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Sidious—continued to gain emergency powers from the Galactic Senate. In response, former senators of the Loyalist Committee, displeased with the Chancellor's increasing authority, formed the Delegation of 2,000 to counter Palpatine's growing political power. The delegation crafted the Petition of 2,000, a formal protest to Palpatine's political gains and an effort to return emergency powers back to the Senate at the end of the war.
Palpatine eventually sent his Sith apprentice, Darth Vader, to the planet Mustafar to destroy the Executive Separatist Council and shut down the Separatist Droid Army, effectively ending the Clone Wars. Meanwhile, before a gathering of the Senate, the Chancellor declared the Jedi, the guardians of the Republic, to be traitors and revealed the foiling of a supposed Jedi rebellion. With strong public support, Palpatine took the opportunity to proclaim that the Republic would be transformed into the first Galactic Empire, with himself ruling as Emperor—though certain senators, such as Bail Organa and Padmé Amidala, only looked on with dismay.
- "Imperial Intelligence scored a dramatic victory against the Jedi rebellion today, arresting sixty-three senators on charges of conspiracy and treason."
- ―HoloNet News report
One day after the formation of the Empire, Imperial Intelligence, the state's espionage and anti-sedition agency, cracked down on Palpatine's political opponents on Coruscant, conducting a mass arrest of sixty-three senators—all signatories of the Petition of 2,000—on charges of conspiracy and treason. Included in the arrests were a number of senators from prominent Core Worlds and many alien senators from the Outer Rim Territories.
Senators Mon Mothma and Bail Organa were detained during the incident but later released after professing their loyalty to the Empire. Those arrested were herded onto a Theta-class shuttle by Imperial clone troopers.
- "All those arrested had also been signatories to the Petition of the 2,000, a formal protest against Palpatine's new system of regional governorship that was signed by two thousand legislators and presented during the last full Senate session. Is your senator a traitor?"
- ―HoloNet News report
Following the arrests, HoloNet News, the official state-sanctioned news agency of the Empire, reported on the incident, labeling it a "dramatic victory over the Jedi rebellion." Before press time, a partial list of those taken into custody was released, revealing that Senators Shea Sadashassa of Herdessa, Ivor Drake of Kestos Minor, Fang Zar of Sern Prime, Streamdrinker of Tynna, and Tanner Cadaman of Feenix were among those arrested.
Sadashassa, Drake, and Cadaman were ultimately incarcerated at the Arrth-Eno Prison Complex on Coruscant. They were executed there shortly after the Battle of Yavin when a Rebel Alliance mission to assassinate Palpatine and rescue imprisoned senators sympathetic to the Rebellion went awry.
- "Bail and I were detained but released after we professed our loyalty. Why do I fight the Empire? One reason is my guilt."
- ―Mon Mothma, reflecting on the arrests in The Rebel Files
The Rebel Files, a non-electronic central data repository of sensitive rebel information, documented Mon Mothma's recollections of the arrests, as she recounted how she and Bail Organa avoided being arrested after professing their Imperial loyalty. Mothma noted that her guilt over having done so motivated her to continue secretly opposing the Emperor and building up the Rebel Alliance.
Behind the scenes
The senatorial arrests were first mentioned in the new Star Wars canon in the 2017 reference book Star Wars: The Rebel Files, written by Daniel Wallace. The event was originally created for the Star Wars Legends article "Republic HoloNet News Special Inaugural Edition 16:5:241," written by Wallace and Pablo Hidalgo for the eighty-fourth issue of the Star Wars Insider magazine on September 26, 2005.
- Star Wars: The Rebel Files (First mentioned)
Notes and references
- Star Wars: The Rebel Files
- Star Wars: The Rebel Files dates the senatorial arrests to one day after the formation of the Galactic Empire, which Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith indicates as being concurrent with the mission to Mustafar.
- As explained here, the second occupation of Geonosis lasts from 21 BBY to c. 9 BBY. As Star Wars: The Rebel Files establishes that the senatorial arrests were only one day into the Imperial Era, which begins in 19 BBY according to Star Wars: Galactic Atlas, the arrests must be concurrent to the second occupation.
- Star Wars: The Rebel Files dates the senatorial arrests to one day after the formation of the Galactic Empire, while establishes that the Skywalker twins were born approximately two days after the Empire's formation. Since Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith depicts the funeral of Padmé Amidala as taking place after the twins' births, it must therefore take place shortly after the senatorial arrests.
- Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates the formation of the Galactic Empire and the births of the Skywalker twins to 19 BBY, while establishes that the twins were born approximately two days after the Empire's formation. Star Wars: The Rebel Files establishes that the senatorial arrests took place one day after the Empire's formation, thereby placing that event in 19 BBY.
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
- Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
- Star Wars Annual (2015) 1
- "Republic HoloNet News Special Inaugural Edition 16:5:241" – Star Wars Insider 84