The Duel in the Senate was a duel that took place between Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Sidious and Jedi Grand Master Yoda who engaged in a powerful lightsaber duel within the heart of the Imperial Galactic Senate Chamber. The duel resulted in a stalemate and Yoda as a result was forced to go in exile to Dagobah, while Sidious became Emperor of the galaxy.
- "Destroy the Sith, we must."
- ―Yoda to Obi-Wan Kenobi
The aftermath of the duel between Jedi Master Mace Windu and Supreme Chancellor Palpatine--who was also Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Sidious--left the Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker torn between his loyalty to the Jedi and his wish to save his wife, Padmé Amidala, from dying, as he had seen in his visions.
Palpatine, having played mentor to Skywalker for years, swayed him to his side by tempting him with the ability to save his wife, a power only possible through use of the dark side of the Force. Not seeing any other choice for his future, given his role in Windu's death, he knelt before the Dark Lord, who anointed him with the Sith name Darth Vader. Vader's new master sent him to the Jedi Temple with the 501st Legion and ordered him to kill all Jedi within, while enacting Order 66, a protocol programmed into the clones in case of the event of a Jedi betrayal, to deal with the Jedi currently fighting in the Clone Wars. The two combined actions nearly completely eradicated the Jedi Order.
Before leaving the Temple, Vader activated the beacon signaling the Jedi to return to Coruscant, in the hopes that it would attract and destroy the few survivors of Order 66. Jedi Masters Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi, however, had managed to survive the first strike of the Jedi Purge and regroup. Discovering the message and suspecting it was a trap, they made their way to the Jedi Temple with the hope of reconfiguring the transmission. Upon their arrival, they discovered a clone trooper garrison left to kill any Jedi that heeded the beacon. After eliminating them, they recoded the beacon to warn all remaining Jedi to go into hiding and stay away from the Temple. Looking at the Temple's security holofootage on their way out, they discovered that Skywalker, Kenobi's former Padawan, had led the assault. Knowing they had to destroy the Sith Lords for the sake of the galaxy, they decided to split up and take out the two Sith individually. Kenobi wanted to fight Sidious, unable to bear the thought of striking down his former pupil and friend. Yoda, however, pointed out that Sidious was too strong for Kenobi, and instead sent him to track down Vader. Yoda, meanwhile, infiltrated the Senate building, determined to kill the recently-anointed Galactic Emperor.
Inside Palpatine's in the Senate Building, the Grand Master came face to face with the Dark Lord of the Sith after Force pushing his guards against the wall, knocking them unconscious. Yoda then mentioned that Palpatine, or rather, Darth Sidious had recently gained a new apprentice, while mockingly addressing him as "Emperor." Realizing that a battle between two Force masters was imminent, Vice Chair Mas Amedda quickly left the office.
The duel began when Sidious blasted Yoda with Force lightning, sending him flying across the room and slamming into a wall. Yoda quickly recovered, and ignoring Sidious' taunts, retaliated with a powerful Force Push that sent the Dark Lord flying back into his chair. Yoda declared that Sidious' reign was over, and not a moment too soon. Sidious attempted to flee but Yoda blocked his way, igniting his lightsaber. Realizing he would have to fight the Jedi Master blade-to-blade, Sidious ignited his own lightsaber. He told Yoda that Darth Vader would become far more powerful than either of them, although Yoda stated that his faith in Vader, and in the dark side was misplaced. With nothing left to be said, the duel began.
Their battle raged through the office, with neither opponent able to gain an advantage. As the fight moved to the Chancellor's podium, the platform rose through the retractable ceiling into the Senate Chamber . As the duel continued, Sidious decided to change tactics and took the high ground by jumping to one of the Senate pods above him. He then began to use the Force to throw waves of these pods at Yoda, but the Jedi Grand Master used his own powers to dodge from one pod to another, avoiding Sidious's improvised projectiles. As Yoda leapt about, he attempted to re-engage Sidious in lightsaber combat, but the Dark Lord's attack was too intense for Yoda to close the distance.
Yoda focused himself on an oncoming pod and sent it hurtling back at Sidious. As the pod flew back at the Dark Lord, he too jumped from his perch to a lower pod, giving up the high ground. Yoda saw his chance to re-engage Sidious at close quarters and leaped at the Sith Lord, landing on the edge of Sidious's pod and igniting his lightsaber. However, Sidious unleashed a blast of Force lightning at Yoda before he could strike, knocking Yoda's lightsaber from his hand. Yoda was forced to absorb Sidious's lightning bare-handed. Sidious advanced on the diminutive Jedi Master, sending more and more lightning at him as he closed the distance between the two. Yoda managed to start redirecting Sidious's lightning back at him, coalescing the energy into a blue orb in front of him. However, as each combatant attempted to overpower the other, the orb of energy exploded, sending both of them flying.
Sidious was sent tumbling head over heels to the edge of the pod, but having been at it's opposite end when the energy orb exploded, he was not blasted clear of the pod and managed to grab one of its guardrails. Yoda however, had been standing at the very edge of the pod during the explosion, and did not weigh very much. As such, the blast sent Yoda flying all the way back to the central podium, situated high above the Senate floor with nothing in between but air. Yoda struck the podium too hard to control his landing, and he rolled off the main portion to the edge where he desperately attempted to climb back up. But, exhausted and holding onto a smooth edge, Yoda lost his grip and fell to the Senate floor. Battered and weary, Yoda chose to retreat as Sidious cackled in triumph above him. Yoda crawled through the ventilation shafts and eventually dropped into Senator Bail Organa's airspeeder, escaping into exile.
Shock troopers sweeping the chamber were unable to recover Yoda's body, and Sidious ordered the clones to double their search for him. Having been unable to defeat the Sith Lord, Yoda chose to go into exile on the swamp planet of Dagobah, where he would wait until Anakin's children, Luke and Leia, would be old enough to turn their father back from the Dark Side. Years later, on Dagobah, Yoda would train Luke in the ways of the Force, and he would ultimately go on to rescue his father from the dark side and inspire him to defeat Palpatine, bringing balance to the Force at last.
Behind the scenesEdit
This lightsaber duel in the Senate Rotunda was created for the 2005 film, Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith. According to The Making of Star Wars Revenge of the Sith, Senate hovercams were meant to broadcast the duel across the galaxy on the HoloNet, but this idea was later dropped. In a DVD commentary, Rob Coleman stated that the Emperor's use of Senate pods as weapons was a metaphor for the fall of freedom and democracy brought about by Palpatine's victory.[source?]
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith (First appearance)
Notes and referencesEdit