The Tribunal was a Venator-class Star Destroyer in service to the Galactic Republic during the end of the Clone Wars. After former Sith apprentice Maul was captured by former Jedi Padawan Ahsoka Tano during the Siege of Mandalore, he was transported aboard the Tribunal, with Tano and Clone Commander Rex intending to deliver him to the Jedi High Council on Coruscant. However, their journey was interrupted by Darth Sidious' issuance of Order 66, which forced all clone troopers to turn on and kill their Jedi commanders. In the onboard fighting that ensued, Tano chose to release Maul from his prison as a distraction for the attacking clones, allowing her to ambush Rex and remove his control chip, freeing him from the Sith's mind control.
The Star Destroyer eventually crashed on a moon after Maul destroyed its hyperdrive, with him, Tano and Rex the only ones able to get off the starship beforehand. Everyone still onboard died in the ensuing crash, with Tano and Rex returning to the crash site to bury the dead. The wreckage was eventually discovered by the Galactic Empire some years later, and Darth Vader found Tano's abandoned lightsaber there.
As a Venator-class Star Destroyer, the Tribunal was wedge-shaped with two bridges and a central hangar with ventral access doors. The Star Destroyer was also equipped with a hyperdrive and escape pods, and was armed with DBY-827 heavy turbolaser turrets and medium dual turbolaser cannons. Both sides of the Tribunal's hull were emblazoned with the emblem of the Open Circle Fleet. It also carried a large complement of starfighters, bombers and gunships, as well as at least one shuttle.
In 19 BBY, the Tribunal, part of the Republic Navy, was present above Mandalore after Galactic Republic forces sent to aid the Mandalore resistance in the Siege of Mandalore had won and captured the renegade Sith Lord Maul. After the siege, former Jedi Padawan Ahsoka Tano and Clone Commander Rex set out for Coruscant aboard the vessel to deliver Maul to the Jedi High Council.
However, not long after the Tribunal departed the Mandalore system and jumped into hyperspace, Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Sidious, publicly Republic Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, enacted his long-brewing plot to destroy the Jedi Order by issuing Order 66, a secret directive that compelled all clone troopers of the Grand Army of the Republic to turn against and execute their Jedi Generals through control chips secretly implanted in their brains. Onboard one of the Star Destroyer's bridges, Tano, left alone as Rex had been called away for a briefing moments prior, sensed her former master Anakin Skywalker's fall to the dark side of the Force, which he had been manipulated into by Palpatine, but only knew that something terrible had happened involving him.
Tano burst into the briefing room to tell Rex about her Force vision just after he had received Sidious' transmission to carry out Order 66, and soon found herself in a fight for her life. Rex managed to resist Order 66 long enough for Tano to realize something was wrong and for him to tell her to "find Fives" before she found herself defending against fire from him and other clones, including Lieutenant and ARC trooper Jesse. After Tano had escaped the bridge through the ceiling, Rex, under the control of Order 66, had his men fan out across the ship and form search parties looking for Tano, as well as ordering two Coruscant Guard shock troopers to execute their prisoner in the detention level.
Tano arrived at Maul's cell just after the shock troopers did, saving him from execution and releasing him from the Mandalorian vault he had been held in solely because she needed him to serve as a diversion for the clones. When he learned that Maul had apparently escaped, Rex ordered the Star Destroyer's escape pods destroyed and the hangar placed under maximum security. Subsequently, Tano recruited the aid of astromech droids R7-A7, CH-33P, and RG-G1 to look up the late ARC trooper Fives and figure out what Rex had been trying to tell her about. When R7 pulled up the files, Tano found out about Fives' discovery of the so-called "inhibitor" chips the Kaminoans had implanted in the clones, and his suspicions, reported by Rex in a confidential grievance report, that they might have a hidden purpose.
With Maul providing the chaos Tano had requested by using the Force to slaughter his way through the clones attempting to stop him on his way to the hangar, Tano and the droids ambushed and captured Rex, taking him to a medical bay to surgically remove the control chip from his brain, restoring his free will and bringing him back to his senses. Since Rex had gone missing and none of the other clones were sure if he was assisting Tano or not, command of the clone forces onboard defaulted to Jesse. As Tano, Rex and the droids made their way to the hangar, Maul went to the hyperdrive room and ripped the engine cores out, disabling the hyperdrive. Smoking and sparking copiously, the Tribunal fell out of hyperspace into a collision course with a nearby moon as it slowly began to tear itself apart.
When Tano, Rex and the droids reached the hangar control room, they found out what had happened to the ship, and also found that Jesse and a large number of clone troopers were lying in wait for them when they attempted to steal a Nu-class attack/transport shuttle. Tano came up with a plan to distract the clones by having Rex pretend to have captured her while the droids worked to activate the lifts to the repair bay, sending most of Jesse's troops to the lower level and making it easier to fight their way out without hurting any of the clones. However, Maul took the opportunity to steal the shuttle and escape in it, with Tano forced to let him go to defend Rex against more clones that had arrived to reinforce Jesse.
Tano subsequently dropped herself and Rex into the repair bay by cutting a hole in the floor after the destruction of R7-A7 by blaster fire, with the other two droids raising the lifts up to clear out Jesse and most of the other clones before they were located and destroyed. Fighting the few clones that remained in the repair bay, Tano and Rex finally located a working BTL-B Y-wing starfighter/bomber to escape in. However, after throwing Rex over to the starfighter, Tano found herself defending against the clones again as they had managed to gain control of the lifts. At this point, the Tribunal had fully entered the atmosphere and its condition deteriorated even further. A bridge officer ordered the retrorockets fired in an attempt to correct and stabilise their descent, but lateral control was lost just as the bridge exploded, killing all the officers. With the doomed Star Destroyer now completely out of control, Tano and Rex escaped in the Y-wing at the last second, although she found herself falling through the air after the fighter was knocked free of the Star Destroyer as she attempted to leap for it, necessitating a run over falling debris before she was able to pull herself into the gunner's seat, watching as the disintegrating Tribunal descended beneath the clouds.
All remaining personnel aboard the cruiser perished in the crash. Tano and Rex landed at the crash site and salvaged whatever they could from the wreckage, including the remains of R7-A7, who was subsequently repaired. They also buried the bodies of all of the clones they could find, including Jesse. Despairing over what had happened, Tano abandoned her lightsabers at the crash site to fake her death.
After parting ways with Tano, Rex, who began working against the new Galactic Empire, tracked down Clone Force 99, another unit of rogue clones. When he learned that they had not had their inhibitor chips removed, Rex was inspired by how he had had his chip taken out aboard the Tribunal to use the medical bay of a wrecked Venator for the surgeries, having the squad meet him on the junkyard planet Bracca.
Some years later, during the Imperial Era, the crash site was discovered by the Empire, largely buried in snow due to the passing of time. Darth Vader, visiting the wreck, recovered the abandoned lightsaber of his former apprentice and took it with him when he left.
Commanders and crew
The Tribunal, when it departed Mandalore, was under the command of Rex, although he was not a naval officer and as such all duties of piloting and navigating the ship fell to the clone naval officers stationed aboard. Ahsoka Tano, despite no longer holding any official rank in the Republic Military save as an advisor to the 332nd Division, was still treated as holding her former rank of Jedi Commander by the clones and was thus considered unofficially in command of the ship as well prior to the execution of Order 66.
After Rex had had his inhibitor chip removed and was thus no longer compelled to try and carry out Sidious' orders, Jesse fell into command of the mind-controlled clones, initially because they did not know what exactly had happened to Rex as he had apparently gone missing, and later because Rex was, by the statutes of Order 66, explicitly committing treason by refusing to carry out the order.
Astromech droids R7-A7, CH-33P, and RG-G1 were all stationed aboard the vessel as well, and they assisted Tano and later Rex when they had to run from the clones attempting to carry out Order 66.
Behind the scenes
The Tribunal first appeared in "Shattered," the penultimate episode of the seventh season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which aired on May 1, 2020. The ship's name was first given in the reference book Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Character Encyclopedia - Join the Battle!
Concept art featuring the Venator was displayed in the StarWars.com episode guides for "Shattered" and the finale "Victory and Death," which aired on May 4. Art for "Shattered" included interiors of the Star Destroyer, while the concept art produced for "Victory and Death" featured artwork of the damaged vessel crashing onto the moon, drawn by Molly Denmark.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Shattered" (First appearance)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Victory and Death"
- Star Wars: The Bad Batch – "Battle Scars" (Indirect mention only)
- The Star Wars Book (Indirect mention only)
- "Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Final Countdown"—Star Wars Insider 200
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Character Encyclopedia - Join the Battle! (First identified as Tribunal)
- (Picture only)
- (Picture only)
Notes and references
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Shattered"
- "Shattered" depicts the Tribunal with what Star Wars Complete Vehicles, New Edition identifies as DBY-827 heavy turbolaser turrets, of which Venator-class Star Destroyers possess eight (four port, four starboard), and medium dual turbolaser cannons, of which Venator-class Star Destroyers possess two (one port, one starboard).
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Victory and Death"
- The events of "Victory and Death," including the destruction of the Tribunal on a rocky moon, take place during the beginning of the Great Jedi Purge, which is dated to 19 BBY by Star Wars: Galactic Atlas.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Character Encyclopedia - Join the Battle!
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
- Star Wars: The Bad Batch – "Decommissioned"
- Star Wars: The Bad Batch – "Battle Scars"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Old Friends Not Forgotten"