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Emblem and Flag of the Galactic Republic
|Type||Federal parliamentary republic|
|Founded||1032 BBY (current constitution)|
25,000 BBY (Old Republic)
|Fate||Reorganized 19 BBY, into the Galactic Empire|
Restored 5 ABY, as the New Republic
|Location||Star Wars galaxy|
|Leader||Galactic Senate (legislature)
Supreme Chancellor (executive)
|Enemies||Confederacy of Independent Systems (Separatists)|
|Currency||Republic Datary (Galactic Credit)|
The Galactic Republic, often referred to as simply the Republic, is a fictional interplanetary state depicted in the fictional Star Wars universe, where it existed prior to the establishment of the Galactic Empire. The Republic is most prominently portrayed in the prequel trilogy of films in the Star Wars franchise and is the prequel trilogy's main protagonist faction. In the original trilogy, set later in time, it is referred to as the Old Republic.
The Republic is portrayed as a democratic constitutional republic that has sustained itself peacefully for over twenty-five thousand years, but is tied up in layers of bureaucracy. It is mainly overseen by the Senate, a body in the Legislative Branch of the Republic government.
According to the large body of films and other fiction that belong to the Star Wars franchise, the Republic is formed 25,000 years before the events of Star Wars when the first "Galactic Constitution" is signed on Coruscant, after the Corellian Hyperdrive connects many worlds in the Core. The Republic is made up of several hundred thousands of worlds, and each planet or system has representation in the Republic Senate, which comprises most of the Republic Legislative Branch and the government itself. It starts off merely as an economic and protective alliance, mainly among the Core worlds. It eventually expands to the Colonies and other outlying worlds and regions, becoming a superpower rather than an alliance, and it becomes the central government for the galaxy.
As the Republic expands, it comes into contact with the slave empire of Zygerria. Because slavery is disallowed in the Republic, it dislikes the Empire, as slavery is central to the Empire's political and economic system; accordingly, the Empire refuses to become part of the Republic. The Republic and Jedi declare war on the Empire and win. The Empire is reduced to a small no-harm alliance on Zygerria.
The Sith (which formed in the Republic's early years) returns to original strength and invade Malachor. The first Sith War begins, which leads to the demise of the first Republic. The power of the new Sith Empire increases as the Republic's decreases. The Republic and Jedi forces fail to keep the Empire's Forces out of Republic Space. Soon, the Sith become a second superpower. Around this time, an ancestor of Pre Vizsla steals the darksaber from the Jedi Temple. Around 1000 years prior to Star Wars, the Dark Age begins and the Republic finally collapses. Right before the collapse, though, the Liberation of Coruscant occurs, and the Empire collapses. Soon the Republic reforms and demilitarizes at the Ruusan Reformation, shortly after the Seventh Battle of Ruusan.
The Republic puts a strong magnetic field on its neighbouring worlds rather than conquering them by force. This means the Republic expands slowly. The Republic finally takes control of the Mid Rim. Power blocs form out of the Republic, but the Jedi keep order. The Republic becomes peaceful but corrupt, and a Core-Rim distrust forms. When Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum comes to power, a standoff between the Trade Federation and the Republic leads to the Invasion of Naboo.
The Republic begins as a mutual protection and economic alliance among a number of planets in the Core. Each member world or system chooses a Senator to represent them in the Galactic Senate, the main body of the legislative branch of the government. Senators are ambassadors of their homeworlds or systems. Member worlds and systems maintain their governments and societies as long as it does not defy any central and core Republican laws. There are a wide variety of different local governments along the political spectrum: from monarchies to republics to hive-like communes.
When the Republic's power and influence expand, many new areas of the galaxy are incorporated into the Republic. The Core and Colonies are the base of the Galactic Republic. A reorganization of senatorial representation occurs 1,000 years prior to Star Wars during the Ruusan Reformation. The most common organization for these new territories is to group regions into Sectors of about 50 inhabited worlds. Each sector is represented by a Senatorial Delegation. When the number of sectors becomes too large, sectors are organized into roughly a thousand regions, each represented by one delegation to the Senate.
The Senate serves as the unicameral main body of the legislative branch, but has immense power over the entire Galactic Republic. The capital of the Republic, which contains the most political power and wealth, is Coruscant.
Inside the Senate Building, there is an area in which the Senate debates, casts votes, and makes or passes bills. It contains 1,024 floating platforms, each of which contain a senator and his or her aides. Each platform in the senate represents a "sector" of the galaxy. A few platforms represent individual worlds of high importance, or worlds bringing special pleas to the Senate. Some represent special interest groups such as the Trade Federation, and other companies, corporations, and industries. Each senatorial delegation has one vote. In the spirit of C-SPAN2, Senate cam droids, also known as Senate hovercams, are floating cam droids used in the Galactic Senate to record the legislative sessions which were either kept secret, or released to the public.
The members of the Senate elect a Supreme Chancellor from among their ranks who serves as the Senate's presiding officer and as the Republic's de facto leader. The Chancellor is assisted by the Vice Chair, who is presumably elected in the same manner as the Chancellor; the same Vice Chair is present throughout the entire prequel trilogy. The Senate follows pseudo-parliamentary rules. Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum was forced out of office by the Senate in a motion of no confidence, introduced by Queen Padmé Amidala of Naboo, for example.
Senators receive one vote in all matters, procedural and substantive. The Chancellor is elected from within the Senate for a set term. The Senate gives the Chancellor emergency powers in times of crisis and removes him from office when necessary. The assembly is in turn divided into individual committees, each specializing in specific fields of government administration, and which were responsible for creating legislation to be reviewed by the full assembly. The Senate has some form of judicial power as well, although the Republic has a judicial branch, in which the Supreme Court was the main body.
The main functions of the Senate are to mediate disputes between members, provide for the common defense, create and pass laws into effect that would benefit most of the Republic, and regulate inter-system trade. The Jedi Order, although technically not officially part of the Republic, are considered the defenders of the general Republic. The Republic often orders the Jedi to specific areas that require assistance. In this way, they are eventually the unofficial police force of the Republic. They become representatives of the Senate as well, to some extent.
Despite the seemingly organized structure of the Republic, the waning years of the Republic are a time of corruption and great social injustice. The Senate becomes divided between those who genuinely wish to uphold the values and ideals of the Republic and those who wish to further their own goals. Following a series of weak and ineffectual Chancellors, there is a crisis involving the invasion of Naboo by the Trade Federation over a tariff passed by the Senate.
After Senator Palpatine of Naboo becomes Chancellor, he increases the power of the office, from acting as commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, or the Republic Military, to the institution of his personal bodyguard organization, the Red Guard. The Office of the Supreme Chancellor is given power equaling that of the Senate. The Galactic Senate also meets less often, as the Chancellor is voted more emergency powers to act on his own during the time of crisis.
Eventually, many Outer Rim planets and companies leave the Republic due to the amount of corruption and unfair treatment to Outer Rim worlds. Together, they form a rebellion known as the Confederacy of Independent Systems, almost exclusively referred to in the films as the Separatists. Some large industrial companies, including the Trade Federation, side with the Separatists, providing them with their military and its resources.
Politicians include Senators, the Supreme Chancellor, the Vice Chair of the Senate, the Administrative Aide, various Representatives from systems, and to an unofficial extent, the members of the Jedi Council. Jedi Council members hold special status as they appear to have the ability to watch Senate meetings and advise such Senators on various matters. The Jedi order protects these people.
The Jedi with the most authority served on the Jedi Council, among whom Yoda and Mace Windu act as de facto leaders at the height of the Republic. Although the Senate holds some degree of political authority over the Jedi, very little pressure was ever put on the Council before Palpatine took office and demands that Anakin Skywalker become a member of the Council, despite the misgivings of the Jedi. While the council allows Anakin to be on the council, they do not grant him the status of a Jedi master.
While the Republic had an Army and Navy for thousands of years, after the Rusaan Reformations, the Republic does not maintain a military except for a small force known as the Judicial Forces.
Several trade organizations represented in the Senate, such as the Trade Federation and Commerce Guild, keep armies of droids to protect their profits and occasionally take advantage of this, such as when the Trade Federation invade and occupy Naboo. Individual sectors also maintain their own security forces, such as Naboo Security Force or the CorSec from Corellia, and these are sometimes used to combat small threats. However, there is no centralized and official military of the Republic. The Trade Federation and other cartels within the Republic desire that the Republic government lack significant central military power.
The Clone Wars changes all this. The threat of the Confederacy of Independent Systems poses a huge threat to the Republic after some of the galaxy's large companies ally with it. A Military Creation Act is proposed, strongly opposed by many of the Republic's pacifist leaders, such as Padmé Amidala of Naboo, who fear the possibility of war. But most of the Senate supports a permanent, official, and central military. Supporters of the Act include Orn Free Taa of Ryloth and Ask Aak of Malastare.
However, a Clone Army had already been created in secret on the planet Kamino on the edge of the galaxy ten years earlier, commissioned by Master Sifo-Dyas in secret, a former Jedi perceiving chaos in the galaxy. When it becomes clear the Confederacy has no intention of negotiating, the Republic quickly accepts the Army made for them, and it is dubbed the Grand Army of the Republic.
Despite the high quality of their armaments and cloned troops, the Republic's war effort is initially hindered because most of the major industrial companies in the Galaxy have, under the aegis of the Techno Union, sided with the Confederacy. Eventually, though, the Republic becomes a humongous superpower not only economically but also militarily. The rapid militarization of the Republic during the Clone Wars, overseen by Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, has far reaching effects. The Confederacy wins most battles in the first year of the Clone Wars. During the second and middle year of the Clone Wars however, the Republic defends itself from Confederate attacks and retaliates with its own assaults, many of which are successful. During the third and final year of the Clone Wars, the Republic wins many offensive battles in the Mid Rim and pushes the Confederate forces back to the Outer Rim with its "Outer Rim Sieges" campaign.
During the Clone Wars, the Senate increasingly grants enormous amounts of power to Palpatine, who is the Commander-in-Chief. Such actions are justified in the name of security and are considered a perfectly reasonable way to increase the wartime government's efficiency. Eventually, Palpatine gains enough political power that he and his office are equal to the Senate.
Tension between Palpatine and the Jedi grow as the war progresses. Many members of the Jedi Council remain skeptical of Palpatine's growing power. In time, the Jedi believe that Palpatine will not surrender his emergency powers and his long overdue position by the end of the war. This suspicion is also shared by some senators, including Padmé Amidala of Naboo, Bail Organa of Alderaan, and Mon Mothma of Chandrila.
After the death of Separatist leaders Count Dooku, who was the Head of State, and General Grievous, who was the Commander of the Separatist Army, and the discovery that Palpatine is actually Darth Sidious, the Jedi activate their contingency plans. The Sith are the ancient enemy of the Jedi and were thought to have been destroyed many years ago. A small group of experienced Jedi led by Mace Windu fail to arrest Palpatine for treason when Anakin Skywalker pledges himself to the dark side. Shortly afterwards, Palpatine secretly orders the clones to exterminate the Jedi Order. Because of control chips implanted inside the clones' heads, the clones are forced to slaughter the Jedi leaders in what would later become known as the Jedi Purge. The Jedi remaining on Coruscant are eliminated by Darth Vader, formerly known as Anakin Skywalker, and his personal battalion.
As the Clone Wars enter its final year, Palpatine's once near-unanimous support begins to falter. As depicted in the Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith novelization and deleted scenes from the film itself, a bloc of senators began to emerge, even before the Clone Wars end, who oppose Palpatine's authoritarian rule and resent his treatment of the Jedi and other opponents. This bloc, originally led by influential politicians such as Bail Organa, Mon Mothma, and later by Bail's adopted daughter Princess Leia Organa, eventually become the political voice of the emerging Rebel Alliance.
At the conclusion of the Clone Wars, Palpatine addresses the Senate. He relates the story of an unsuccessful "assassination attempt" on his life by the Jedi. Claiming that it is a "rebellion" and that their next move would be to kill all the Senators, he declares the order to be enemies of the Republic. Palpatine announces that the Galactic Republic will be reorganized into the Galactic Empire, and he will be the emperor for life. Deluded by Palpatine's charisma and skill (and perhaps also by his considerable dark side power), the majority of the Senate cheer him on loudly in approval.
The official continuation of the Galactic Republic is the Galactic Empire, which is fueled by cruelty and fear.
After the end of the Galactic Empire, the New Republic was founded. It was enforced by the original Rebellion, eventually known as the New Republic Military. The New Republic is depicted in the new Star Wars series, The Mandalorian. The New Republic is eventually destroyed by the First Order, under Supreme Leader Snoke's direction.