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"The Imperial Senate will no longer be of any concern to us. I've just received word that the Emperor has dissolved the council permanently. The last remnants of the Old Republic have been swept away."
Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin to the Joint Chiefs[src]

The dissolution of the Imperial Senate was the suspension of the legislative body of the Galactic Empire, enacted by the decree of Galactic Emperor Sheev Palpatine nineteen years after the Empire's founding.


"In order to ensure our security and continued stability, the Republic will be reorganized into the First Galactic Empire, for a safe and secure society!"
Darth Sidious, in his public guise as Emperor Palpatine[src]

At the end of the Clone Wars, Palpatine transformed the Republic Senate into a purely ceremonial assembly.

As the Clone Wars came to an end, Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine of the Galactic Republic ordered a special session of Congress and proclaimed himself Galactic Emperor, turning the old Republic into a New Order in his image. The motion was eagerly supported by a supermajority of the Galactic Senate, aided by Palpatine's important popularity following his role in the Clone Wars. In the wake of the regime change, the Galactic Senate became the Imperial Senate which over time started growing weaker as the planetary governors assumed more responsibility over their territories. In addition, the minority of Senators who had opposed Palpatine's declaration of the New Order, such as Alderaan Senator Bail Organa and Chandrila Senator Mon Mothma, grew more and more vocal, becoming a major concern for the Emperor.[3]

However, the Emperor preserved the Senate in order to make the Empire's member worlds believe that they still had a part to play in the government. Secretly, the Emperor planned to disband the Senate since the formation of the Empire in the proclamation of the New Order, but needed its body to preserve order until the planet-killing Death Star battle station was completed.[4][5] Weapons developer Orson Callan Krennic predicted the Senate would be of little concern after the dish was installed on the Death Star.[6]


"The Emperor has disbanded the Senate. You are no longer a senator. What defense will you use now, I wonder?"
―Darth Vader, to Leia Organa[src]

Tarkin announces the disbanding of the Senate to the Joint Chiefs.

After the Imperial senator Leia Organa, Princess of Alderaan, was found out to work with the enemy Rebel Alliance and arrested above Tatooine, the Emperor finally issued the dissolution order. While being detained aboard the Star Destroyer Devastator, Organa invoked her status as an Imperial senator in hopes she would be released. However, the Emperor's enforcer Darth Vader informed her that the Senate was being disbanded as they spoke.[7] Aboard the Death Star, the Joint Chiefs of the Imperial Military were informed of the situation by Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin.[1]


"Senat—Princess, rather. There is no more Senate, is there? Only the Alliance. Mon Mothma is especially at sea. She no longer has an official title, only a role."
―Alliance General Jan Dodonna, to Princess Leia Organa[src]
Rebel senators

A number of rebel senators were arrested and sentenced to death.

With the last remnant of the Galactic Republic out of the way, the Imperial governors now had full control over their territories.[1] Along with the Senate, many local governing institutions were dissolved as well, leaving many qualified people unemployed.[8] Meanwhile, the Imperial Security Bureau began the process of arresting many members of the Senate, including some who had served in the past, and taking them to the Arrth-Eno Prison Complex on Coruscant. The former delegates were to remain imprisoned there until the Bureau could assess the level of participation each had had with the Rebels. The Imperial authorities, however, wanted to reach out to possible sympathizers, hoping to convince them to join the "right" side.[9] The Rebel agent Eneb Ray and other allied spies did attempt to rescue a group of senators scheduled to be executed, but fell into a trap set by the Empire. Ultimately, the mission resulted in the death of all the senators and the Rebel spies, except for Ray.[10] Some of the most prominent Rebel senators, however, managed to stay away from the Empire's grasp. Leia Organa was rescued from the Death Star's detention, and the battle station ended up being destroyed by the Rebels.[1] Mon Mothma of Chandrila, a long-time insurgent and one of the Rebel Alliance's secret founders, also managed to escape the purge that followed the Senate's dissolution.[11] Although the assembly had long been an empty husk, Mothma felt particularly disoriented because she no longer had an official title.[12] Similarly, Leia Organa had always hoped the Senate would be there at the end to help rebuild the galaxy once the Emperor was gone.[7]

The authorized holonews outlets obediently repeated the official narrative: Rebel traitors had infiltrated the Senate, which led to a terrorist strike on a major Imperial military installation on Scarif. Therefore, to bring a swift end to that threat and expose the insurgents among the Imperial bureaucracy, Palpatine needed to supercede and suspend the Senate for the duration of the emergency.[13]



Notes and referencesEdit

Galactic Civil War
(0 BBY5 ABY)
Galactic timeline

Previous: Early rebellion against the Galactic Empire · Jedi Purge · Jedha insurgency

Concurrent: Campaigns of Saw Gerrera's Partisans · Ryloth insurgency

Next: Cold war

Battles of the Galactic Civil War
0 BBY Scarif · Tatooine (I) · Death Star · Yavin
0 ABY Taanab · Yavin 4 · Alderaan survivors · Cyrkon · Llanic
Rodia · Fex · Denon · Pasher · Omereth · Giju · Devaron · Cymoon 1 · Tatooine (II) · Monsua Nebula · Nar Shaddaa · Vrogas Vas · Coruscant (I) · Sunspot Prison · Ghost Moon · Harbinger · Tureen VII · Skorii-Lei (II) · Ocean planet · Horox III · Jedha
1 ABY Mid Rim Retreat (Haidoral Prime · Coyerti · Chonsetta system
Redhurne system)
3 ABY Rebel flotillla · Hoth (I) · Cloud City (I) · Cloud City (II)
Operation Ringbreaker (Mardona III · Obumubo · Najan-Rovi · Nakadia · Naator · Xagobah · Kuliquo belt) · Inyusu Tor
4 ABY Operation Yellow Moon (Basteel · Sesid · Jeresh · Shieldmaiden)
Invincible Faith · Tatooine (III) · Hudalla · Endor (I)
Coruscant civil war (Monument Plaza) · Endor (II)
Cawa City · Operation: Cinder (Fondor · Vardos · Naboo (I)) · Tayron
Iron Blockade (Bespin· Anoat (I) · The Crypt · Mataou · Hoth (II) · Anoat (II)) · Malastare · Akiva (I) · Naalol · Geonosis · Uyter · Sevarcos · Akiva (II)
5 ABY Vetine · Takodana · Hyborean Moon · Vorlag · Wild Space
Nag Ubdur (Govneh Ridge · Binjai-Tin) · Arkanis · Kuat · Kashyyyk
Chandrila · Chinook Station · Sullust · Naboo (II) · Jakku
Other Blacktar Cyst · Chargona · Crucival · Imdaar · Kuat shipyards
Related topics and articles
Galactic Empire · Hutt Clan · Jedi · Rebel Alliance · Sith
New Republic · Death Star · Death Star II
Imperial Senate · The Disaster · Royal Award Ceremony · Funeral of Anakin Skywalker
Liberation Day · Contingency · Imperial-Republic peace talks · Galactic Concordance

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