This page is an archive of a community-wide discussion. This page is no longer live. Further comments or questions on this topic should be made in a new Knowledge Bank page rather than here so that this page is preserved as a historic record. jSarek 12:11, February 9, 2012 (UTC)
[First time I've tried to start a thread on these forums, so I hope I'm doing it right . . .]
I spent some time reading certain articles recently -- about the Imperial Security Bureau, the Great Jedi Purge, the Inquisitorius, the Emperor's Hands, and so forth -- but I want to hear some opinions from my fellow fans on precisely how the Imperial bureaucracy would react to certain types of reports of "possible Jedi sightings."
Let's say this is all happening about ten years after Palpatine became Emperor -- so he's had plenty of time to create or revamp various government programs, including recruiting and training a bunch of Emperor's Hands, accepting the allegiance of some Dark Jedi, and so on and so forth. Things have settled down into a new routine.
Even after reading those articles I mentioned, I'm not terribly familiar with details of how the Empire actually got things done in the era between the two movie trilogies, so it's possible that there are "solid canonical answers" for the questions I'm about to pose. (Or someone may tell me "it might be handled differently at different times, depending on the mood swings of the Emperor or one of his minions.")
Situation #1. Suppose a report of a "possible Jedi sighting" reaches the bureaucracy on Coruscant. In the main city of an obscure (and usually very quiet) planet out in the Mid Rim, a planet the Emperor has never really cared about before, there has been reports of a few violent incidents involving a mysterious woman who's been in a few fights with thugs -- and the only reason this matters to anyone else is that eyewitness accounts (from the bruised thugs) suggest she might be using the Force during those skirmishes.
(Then again, it could all be hysterical exaggeration from some macho male thug who doesn't like admitting an ordinary woman might have cleaned his clock in a fair fight. Who knows?)
Who would investigate such a low-level, unreliable rumor that might not amount to anything?
Ordinary field agents of the Imperial Security Bureau?
Or would a Force-sensitive Inquisitor be likely to get sent to that planet right away, on such flimsy evidence? (I gather the Inquisitors mostly appeared in the "Last of the Jedi" series of juvenile novels, which I haven't read, so I'm far from clear on just how trigger-happy they were about responding to vague rumors.)
Or would you expect someone else, from some other arm of the Imperial bureaucracy, to make time in his schedule to go check it out in the near future? If so, who?
Situation #2. Suppose nothing much happened right away in response to the first report. Now suppose that, a week or two later, a detailed follow-up report arrives. It was sent from the local cops on that same obscure little planet. It says that a woman, real name unknown, definitely has been seen brandishing a lightsaber in a recent fracas. She made a clean getaway afterwards, but it is believed that she is still in or near the local "capital city."
Having a lightsaber in her hand still doesn't prove she is any sort of Jedi, nor that she ever got as much as ten minutes of training from a "real Jedi." After all, any schmuck could pick up a secondhand lightsaber and turn it on and swing it around in the air, without even being Force-sensitive. But I'm sure the Imperial bureaucracy would want to check this out, just to be on the safe side. "A strange woman with a lightsaber" sounds just a tad more serious than "a strange woman who may or may not have somehow used the Force in a recent brawl."
Whom would you expect the authorities on Coruscant to send? (I'm assuming that even if the Emperor hears about this report right away, he can't be bothered to go investigate it himself -- and that, likewise, he has much more important things for Darth Vader to be doing over the next several weeks. After all, it's an awfully big galaxy!)
Would they send, for instance, an Inquisitor who just happened to be Force-sensitive, and who might be able to spot this woman in a crowd and try to recruit her to Imperial service . . . or would a full-fledged Dark Jedi with a lightsaber of his own be more likely to get sent out to that backwater planet in order to settle the hash of the person, trained or untrained, who was swinging a lightsaber around? Or what? —Unsigned comment byLorendiac (talk • contribs).
I'm afraid even though those are great questions, answering them would require a great deal of personal opinion which is not allowed on Wookieepedia. I'm not well versed on the topics you bring up, but I'm sure an administrator who knows a lot about Imperial bureaucracy could answer your questions for personal interest. They just need to be careful to not make the answers sound like fact. MaxReebo 04:00, December 20, 2011 (UTC)
It's a fact that the Imperial bureaucracy was complex and confusing by design, with different and competing branches having overlapping areas of authority. So, generally speaking, there are multiple possible answers to these two questions, with such details as who first heard the information, who took it most seriously, and possibly who successfully jockeyed (or had their proxies or patrons jockey) for the right to be the one to investigate having an effect on the answer. For instance, we see a higher-profile version of the situation in the comic Extinction, where newly-minted Emperor's Hand Mara Jade has uncovered information on the whereabouts of the Dark Woman, and Jade and Vader both argue before the Emperor to have the right to be the one to hunt her down. So, here begins my speculation: In the case of your first scenario, I find it unlikely anyone would be dispatched unless an Inquisitor or other investigator literally had nothing better to do, or had a hunch and made time to investigate. The Surveillance branch of the Imperial Security Bureau is tasked with uncovering "beings or activities which might be helpful to the Rebellion or otherwise obstruct the Empire's plans," so they're the likeliest to take even a passing interest in the rumor; they probably wouldn't send someone from the Investigations branch without stronger info, though. Some lower-level flunkie in the Media or Signal branch of the Analysis Bureau of Imperial Intelligence, or in one of its system cells, might be tasked to sift through the media or comm traffic from the planet in question to see if anything relevant turned up. Note that it would likely only be one or the other, as Intel and the ISB are rivals who tend not to help one another except under the most egregious of circumstances. In your second situation, it seems more likely that an investigator would be dispatched. It might possibly be an agent from the ISB's Investigation branch, or a an Imperial Intelligence agent from the Surveillance branch of the Bureau of Operations, but multiple confirmed witnesses of someone openly brandishing a lightsaber might warrant a visit by an Inquisitor. How "trigger-happy" they were really depended on the individual Inquisitor; they were given great latitude to carry out their duties. Note also that all Inquisitors "happen to be Force-sensitive," and specifically have as one of their tasks the investigation of possible Force-sensitives and fugitive Jedi. jSarek 09:59, December 20, 2011 (UTC)