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"The Imperial Security Bureau pays attention to patterns."
―Agent Alexsandr Kallus to Cumberlayne Aresko[src]

The Imperial Security Bureau (ISB), also referred to as the Security Bureau or Imperial Security, was a law enforcement and intelligence agency of the Galactic Empire that was charged with matters of state security and ensuring the loyalty of citizens to the Empire. Aside from that, it happened to be one of the many umbrella organizations under the greater Commission for the Preservation of the New Order, and was larger than its sister agency Imperial Intelligence. It was led by ISB high command.


Early growthEdit

The Imperial Security Bureau was formed by Galactic Emperor Palpatine himself as a secret police organization, dedicated to rooting out enemies of the New Order and maintaining stability throughout Imperial territories shortly after the proclamation of the New Order. Within fourteen years, the organization grew from a handful of agents into an organization double the size of Imperial Intelligence.[2]

Following the Clone Wars, the agency helped oversee the dismantling of Confederate warships and martial supplies.[3] Concurrent loyalty purges would see vast amounts of Separatist propaganda destroyed, rescinded, and withheld. Only a handful of propaganda posters such as Ansibella Delu's Count Dooku: Words of Truth would escape the purges. When Art Group agents discovered egregious violations of its artistic tenets, agents of the ISB were called in to make troublesome artists disappear.[9]

Five years into the Emperor's reign, Imperial Intelligence agents found a cache of communications devices on the distant world of Murkhana and referred the case to the ISB who brought the matter to the Emperor and his Imperial Ruling Council, it was ultimately decided to send Wilhuff Tarkin and Darth Vader to investigate the cache, which was in reality set up by a small rebel cell, despite the ISB hoping to receive full oversight of the investigation from Imperial Intelligence and the Naval Intelligence Agency.[3]

One of the ISB's top members was Agent Kallus, who worked in both the Investigation and Internal Affairs branches of the organization and searched for signs of disloyal activity or insurgency. His primary mission was to ensure it did not spread into a full-scale rebellion against the Empire.[10] In the fifteenth year of the Empire, the Imperial Security Bureau took special interest in a crew of Lothal-based thieves, whose attacks on Imperial outposts revealed risks of sedition and gave warning signs of rebellion.[11]

Galactic Civil WarEdit

Following the destruction of the first Death Star, the ISB engaged in an increasing number of operations to root out the growing rebellion, and became busier than at any previous time in its history.[12] These operations included a plan to sway mathematical genius Drusil Bephorin to the Empire's cause by keeping her in a sort of luxurious imprisonment on Denon.[13] Project Hidden Eye was aimed at seeding sleeper operatives across the galaxy to spread propaganda and secretly report on citizens. The project, however, was cut short due to the intervention of Commander Luke Skywalker, a hero of the Rebel Alliance.[14]

Post-Endor fragmentationEdit

As with most other governmental agencies following the Empire's defeat at the Battle of Endor, the ISB was left scattered as the New Republic attacked distant ISB outposts and fermented dissent.[5] Twenty days after the Battle of Endor, the ISB kept information on the Emperor's posthumous contingency plan on one of its Black Sites, the Wretch of Tayron. However, the base was then taken by Rebel Alliance General Han Solo and his elite Pathfinders. The base commander was unable to initiate a data purge and the Alliance was able to attain information on Operation: Cinder,[8] thwarting attempts at its implementation for over three months.[15]

In the months following Endor, the ISB was given full oversight over the security of the Imperial throneworld, Coruscant, after the Imperial Navy refused to provide ships to defend the planet, with Fleet Admiral Gallius Rax viewing it as a symbol of indolence and torpidity. As such, control of Imperial forces was left to the Empire's chief administrator, Grand Vizier Mas Amedda. While the ISB lacked the ships to effectively withstand a New Republic naval assault, ISB-loyal stormtroopers and personnel were deeply entrenched on the surface of the planet, which was already involved in a civil war between the ISB and New Republic-backed resistance movements.[5]

The former loyalty officer Sinjir Rath Velus[16] joined a team of Imperial hunters led by the New Republic starfighter pilot Norra Wexley and defected to the New Republic.[17] After losing his family during a New Republic attack on the Hyborean Moon, Romwell Krass Junior abandoned his post and traveled the galaxy to grieve the loss of his loved ones.[5] During the Battle of Jakku, Commander Brisney served as the ISB officer aboard the Imperial Star Destroyer Inflictor.[12]


By 28 ABY, the Imperial Security Bureau had ceased to exist along with the "Old Empire". One former ISB officer was Arliz Hadrassian, a small-time businesswoman who was the leader of the Amaxine warriors; a paramilitary faction that served as a front group for the First Order, a remnant of the Old Empire based in the Unknown Regions. During a meeting with the Centrist senator Ransolm Casterfo, Hadrassian spent hours regaling the young senator with stories about her career in the Imperial Military and the ISB; unaware that he was part of Senator Leia Organa's investigation into the Amaxine warriors.[18]


Command hierarchy and administrationEdit

Kallus calls the shots

Agent Kallus, wearing the distinctive helmet of the ISB, designed to symbolize their status and instill fear within opponents.[1]

The Imperial Security Bureau was a sister agency and rival to Imperial Intelligence.[19] The ISB worked closely with Emperor Palpatine, being led five years into his reign by a Bureau Chief under which served Deputy Director Harus Ison and Colonel Wullf Yularen, who often operated in conjunction with the Joint Chiefs. ISB would sometimes be attached to various fleets, sometimes falling under the command of the Navy and working alongside Naval intelligence. Members of the ISB worked from the ISB Central Office as part of the Federal District on Coruscant, while agents in the field would constantly provide intelligence updates to headquarters.[3] The ISB high command governed the ISB. Many military officers feared the group and its power.[4]


Prospective ISB personnel were drawn from the Imperial Academy system, and given training within the ISB Academy and Offices complex, located within the Verity District on planetside Coruscant. Members went through a training regimen which included the learning of xenophobic propaganda, and were taught from the ISB Loyalty Manual.[5] Members of the ISB were taught a specialized vocabulary to prevent outsiders from understanding their conversations. The term "auditing" was used to signal that suspects knew they were being investigated. The practice of provoking a suspect to commit a crime was referred to as "crustbusting," and interrogating a supposed innocent in hopes he or she would react suspiciously was known as "scattering." Framing a wanted suspect for a crime to make sure he or she would be arrested was referred to as "Jabba."[2]

Following completion of the Academy, recruits filed into one of several branches of the organization, such as Surveillance, Interrogation, and Re-Education.[2]

High-ranking ISB agents could command stormtrooper squads, override orders of civilian and military authorities, replace questionable officers and commandeer Imperial military hardware, including Star Destroyers.[2] Loyalty officers of the ISB[20] were tasked with ensuring that regular troops and officers obeyed orders and conformed to Imperial ideology, and were regarded with great fear and respect. Impromptu inspections, undercover surveillance and seemingly limitless authority gave such officers unprecedented access to the lives of regular servicemen, creating a culture of fear to deter any tenuous links within the chain of command.[17][5]


Operatives in the Surveillance branch were by far the most numerous, with its members focused on deciphering encrypted information and analyzing data to screen for potential threats against the New Order.[2]


Interrogation was the second largest branch in the ISB, and was intent on extracting information from various lifeforms to obtain valuable information. It claimed to have a 95 percent success rate in recovering useful data from questioned subjects.[2] To that end, the ISB notably used IT-O Interrogation Units [21] developed by the Imperial Department of Military Research.[22]


The Re-Education division was focused on what some would call 'brainwashing' its subjects into supporting the Galactic Empire and its actions across the galaxy.[2] Project Unity consisted of re-educating elements of society resistant to the New Order through a process of psychological manipulation and pharmaceutical conditioning.[23]


The Enforcement branch of the ISB served as backup for agents in the field, specially trained to provide support when necessary.[2]


Those in Investigation used previously collected data to suppress rebel activity.[2]

Internal AffairsEdit

The Internal Affairs division maintained order by investigating possible instances of insubordination within the Empire, with Colonel Wullf Yularen briefly heading a division dedicated to exposing sedition within the Imperial Senate before becoming Deputy Director of the Naval Intelligence Agency.[3][2] In addition, a single Internal Affairs officer was stationed aboard all Star Destroyers to investigate any signs of sedition among the crew.[12]

Special OperationsEdit

The Special Operations division was responsible for varying tasks within the Bureau, such as establishing Project Hidden Eye during the Galactic Civil War.[14]


Behind the scenesEdit

During the early development of what became Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, John Knoll's original story draft, which was planned to be an episode of the ultimately unproduced Star Wars: Underworld live-action TV show, depicted the character of Orson Callan Krennic as a double agent in Jyn Erso's Rogue One team reporting them to the Imperial Security Bureau, specifically to Willix Cree, his boss and an important member of the agency. The idea, however, was cut when writer Gary Whitta rewrote Knoll's treatment.[31]


Non-canon appearancesEdit


Notes and referencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Star Wars Rebels: The Visual Guide
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 Tarkin
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Smuggler's Run: A Han Solo & Chewbacca Adventure
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 Aftermath: Life Debt
  6. Rebels-mini-logo Star Wars Rebels – "Double Agent Droid"
  7. 7.0 7.1 Aftermath: Empire's End
  8. 8.0 8.1 Shattered Empire, Part III
  9. Star Wars Propaganda: A History of Persuasive Art in the Galaxy
  10. 'Star Wars Rebels': First look at 'Rebel hunter' villain Agent Kallus. Hero Complex. Retrieved on July 10, 2014.
  11. StarWars-DatabankII Imperial Security Bureau in the Databank (backup link)
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 Lost Stars
  13. 13.0 13.1 Heir to the Jedi
  14. 14.0 14.1 Star Wars: Commander, Rebel Campaign: Echoes of the Force
  15. Shattered Empire, Part IV
  16. 16.0 16.1 In the novel Aftermath, Velus was decribed as a loyalty officer. According to the short story "The Levers of Power," such officers were part of the Imperial Security Bureau.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Aftermath
  18. 18.0 18.1 Bloodline
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 Star Wars: Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide
  20. 20.0 20.1 "The Levers of Power"—The Rise of the Empire
  21. Ultimate Star Wars
  22. StarWars-DatabankII Interrogation Droid in the Databank (backup link)
  23. Servants of the Empire: The Secret Academy
  24. 24.0 24.1 Star Wars: The Rebel Files – Deluxe Edition
  25. Thrawn
  26. 26.0 26.1 Ezra's Gamble
  27. 27.0 27.1 Battlefront II: Inferno Squad
  28. TwitterLogo @ruckawriter (Greg Rucka) on Twitter. "@lelalmekha Haven't seen the final version of that comic. In my script, the communique is to 'Adm. Ras-Teker, J. - ISB Command, Coruscant'" (screenshot)
  29. Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith 8: The Dying Light, Part II
  30. Star Wars: Uprising
  31. The Art of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

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