- "I hate to tell you this, but they don't care. This ship is going down, and those soldiers, my brothers, are willing to die, and take you and me along with them."
- ―Rex, to Ahsoka Tano
The Tribunal was a Venator-class Star Destroyer which served in the Galactic Republic Navy's Open Circle Fleet near the end of the Clone Wars. In 19 BBY, the Tribunal was used to transport the former Sith apprentice Maul to the Republic's capital planet, Coruscant, after he was captured by former Jedi Padawan Ahsoka Tano during the Republic's siege of the planet Mandalore. However, while en route to Coruscant, the Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Sidious issued Order 66 to all of the clone troopers of the Grand Army of the Republic, which caused the destruction of the Jedi Order as the clones were forced to turn on their Jedi Generals through implanted inhibitor chips which controlled their actions.
During the onboard fighting that ensued, Tano chose to release Maul and use him as a distraction, while she ambushed Clone Commander Rex to remove his chip. Soon after, the Tribunal crashed on the surface of a moon after Maul destroyed its hyperdrive, with Tano and Rex just barely escaping the doomed starship. After its crash and the deaths of all onboard personnel, the two used the crash site as a burial ground for the dead troopers aboard. The Tribunal was eventually discovered by Galactic Empire forces and the Sith Lord Darth Vader some years after the end of the war.
As a Venator-class Star Destroyer of the Galactic Republic, the Tribunal was propelled by eight ion drive thrusters, as well as a powerful hyperdrive which allowed the starship to enter hyperspace and could make jumps between the Outer Rim and Core Worlds. The Star Destroyer was also equipped with retrorockets utilized when the craft entered the atmosphere of celestial bodies, and a complement of escape pods.
The Tribunal was also in possession of two hyperwave comm scanners located at the top of its two command bridges which were capable of receiving long-range transmissions. The ship's computers could access Republic files of various confidentiality levels, which could be opened through astromech droid ports. The Tribunal was also armed with a variety of weaponry, which included eight port and starboard DBY-827 heavy turbolaser turrets and two port and starboard medium dual turbolaser cannons. The Venator's hull was emblazoned with the symbol of the Open Circle Fleet, as well as three red stripes commonly featured on Republic Venators painted on the port and starboard wings.
- "The escape pods have been destroyed. Taking a shuttle is our best bet."
- ―Ahsoka Tano, on escaping the Tribunal
Within its main hangar bay, the Tribunal carried a complement of different vehicles, including starfighters and shuttles. The complement included a number of Low Altitude Assault Transport/infantry gunships, BTL-B Y-wing starfighter/bombers, and a single Rho-class transport shuttle. The Tribunal's complement also included several Alpha-3 Nimbus-class V-wing starfighters, Clone Z-95 Headhunters, space gunships, and at least one Nu-class attack/transport shuttle.
In addition to its vehicle complement, the Tribunal ferried several different astromech droid models, some of which included R4 astromech droids and R5 series astromech droids of the R-series, and at least one C1-series astromech droid. The Star Destroyer also carried numerous clone troopers during its service to the Republic, including the troopers of the 501st Legion's 332nd Division, as well as a number of clone shock troopers from the Republic's Coruscant Guard, which were stationed aboard the warship while it acted as a prisoner transport for the former Sith Lord Maul.
- "Control failed to report in. We think they'll make their move to escape via the main hangar. Send all remaining squads to my position."
As a warship of the Venator-class, the Tribunal retained two command bridges towards its aft. As was common with Venators, the Tribunal's command bridge provided a panoramic view of the surrounding space from a series of viewports, while it also had two pits for its crew, who operated the ship's lateral control systems, such as its retrorockets. Further back was a briefing room, which possessed a single holotable situated in the center of the room, which was situated between two blast doors.
The Tribunal also maintained its own detention level for prisoners or targets of high value brought aboard the vessel, which contained multiple cells. These cells were protected by a small ray shield controlled by a panel next to the cell's entryway, and the flooring and ceiling contained bright orange lighting. The Venator's lengthy hallways and corridors were divided up by blast doors controlled by wall-mounted panels and droid ports. There was also at least one astromech droid storage room which contained wall-mounted racks for the droids and an astromech-accessible computer console.
The Tribunal also contained an onboard medical bay that had several examination rooms spread throughout its entirety. Within each examination room was an FX-7 medical assistant droid which was capable of being directed by an astromech droid, as well as a surgical pod installed near the back of each room and several medical screens that projected images of whomever was being scanned by the medical assistant droid. The walls and door of the medical bay were marked with the red sigil used by the Republic Medic Corps.
The Tribunal's starship complement and cargo were carried in its extensive main hangar. Accessible through large dorsal doors and a ventral access point, the hangar contained multiple smaller bays, including bay 12, as well as a maintenance bay directly underneath the main hangar where damaged starfighters were stored. The maintenance bay could be accessed from a series of ascending and descending platforms which could be controlled from consoles located in the smaller bays, which were also operational by astromechs. The controls for the main hangar doors and the large blast doors to the smaller bays were operated from a control room located at the stern end of the hangar, from which one could also access technical readouts of the entire ship, including the hyperdrive.
The Tribunal's expansive hyperdrive room was accessible through blast doors. Inside, multiple walkways on at least two levels connected to its multiple entrances wrapped around the hyperdrive generators and converged on a central control console. Destroying the consoles would cause red lighting to activate within the room.
- "Alright. We know Ahsoka Tano is onboard this ship. She's been marked for termination by Order 66. Under this directive, any and all Jedi leadership must be executed for treason against the Republic. Any soldier that does not comply with the order will also be executed. Is that understood?"
"There are only so many places to hide on this ship. Form up search parties, and move section by section. Let's get moving!"
- ―Rex to his men after the issuing of Order 66
In 19 BBY, the Tribunal, part of the Republic Navy, was present above the planet 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, landing onboard the Tribunal on a Rho-class shuttle. Maul, secured in a Mandalorian vault, was placed in the detention level by the Coruscant Guard while Tano and Rex went to the command bridge.
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 on and execute their Jedi Generals through inhibitor 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 ARC trooper Lieutenant 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 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 research 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.
- "We need to get out of here."
- ―Ahsoka Tano, upon discovering the Tribunal is on a collision course
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 inhibitor 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. R7 located a Nu-class shuttle in bay 12, but when he opened the bay doors, Jesse and a large number of clone troopers lying in wait revealed themselves, emerging from the other bays. 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 killing 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 R7-A7 was taken out 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 found 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 another wave of clones as they had managed to gain control of the lifts. Around that time, the Tribunal fully entered the moon's 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 the fighter was knocked free of the Star Destroyer just as Tano leapt 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.
- "Last time I was onboard one of these, it didn't end so well."
- ―Rex, traversing the wreckage of another Venator
All remaining personnel onboard were killed in the crash, which carved a gouge into the moon's surface. 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, a unit of rogue clones who had been immune to their inhibitor chips. When he learned that they had not had their chips removed, Rex was inspired by how he had had his chip taken out aboard the Tribunal to perform the surgeries in a Venator's medical bay, and had the squad meet him on the junkyard planet Bracca to use a wrecked Venator for that purpose.
Some years later, during the early Imperial Era, the crash site was discovered by the Empire, largely buried in snow due to the passing of time. The wreck was explored and examined by a number of stormtroopers, snowtroopers and Viper probe droids, but was also visited by Darth Vader, who recovered the abandoned lightsaber of his former apprentice and took it with him when he left.
Commanders and crew
- Clone officer: "Commander Rex, the latest briefing has come in."
- Rex: "Want to have a look? It might have an update on General Kenobi's efforts."
- Tano: "You go. I'm sure it's more good news."
- ―A clone naval officer, Commander Rex, and Ahsoka Tano discuss news of the latest war briefing[src]
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 identifies as ion drive thrusters, of which Venator-class Star Destroyers possess eight.
- "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"
- "Shattered" depicts the Tribunal with what Star Wars Complete Vehicles, New Edition identifies as hyperwave comm scanners, of which Venator-class Star Destroyers possess two.
- 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!
- Ultimate Star Wars places Mandalore in the Outer Rim and Coruscant in the Core Worlds. "Shattered" establishes that the Tribunal, seen departing the Mandalore system, was en route to Coruscant prior to the issuing of Order 66.
- Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
- Star Wars: The Bad Batch – "Decommissioned"
- Star Wars: The Bad Batch – "Battle Scars"
- (Slide 3)
- (Slide 20)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Old Friends Not Forgotten"