- "Let us commit our military might to defending the Mandalorian people."
"Defending? You mean to occupy our home! You would trample our right to self-determination."
"We mean to save your people."
- ―Supreme Chancellor Palpatine and Duchess Satine Kryze
During the Clone Wars, a resolution for a military occupation of the Outer Rim world of Mandalore was introduced to and voted upon by the Senate of the Galactic Republic. The initiative was proposed in response to a sudden increase of violence on Mandalore instigated by the Death Watch movement. Death Watch leader Pre Vizsla orchestrated the attacks on Mandalore in order to destabilize the peaceful New Mandalorian government led by the pacifist Mandalorian Duchess Satine Kryze. Backed by the Confederacy of Independent Systems, Vizsla was able to create the impression that Death Watch was a significant threat to both Mandalore and the Republic as a whole. This, in addition to rumors that Kryze herself was working alongside the Confederacy, prompted the Senate to call a vote on whether or not to send the Republic's Grand Army to Mandalore to restore order.
Kryze, who desperately wished for Mandalore to stay neutral in the Clone Wars, resisted the idea of an occupying force from the Republic's clone army, as she believed it would push the Mandalorian people into the arms of the Death Watch insurgency. Vizsla and the Confederate Head of State Count Dooku also shared this belief and attempted to prevent Kryze from making an appeal against the initiative to the Senate. Although their attacks on the Duchess failed, Kryze's appeal to the Senate was derailed by a holographic testimony from Mandalore's Deputy Minister Jerec, which indicated that the world was in need of Republic protection from the Death Watch. As a result of the testimony and another attempt on Kryze's life, the Senate accelerated the vote on the initiative and approved it. Jerec's testimony was later found to have been doctored, and the true recording was presented to the Senate just before the Republic peace-keeping force was dispatched to Mandalore. In light of the new evidence, the Senate voted to rescind its earlier approval of the occupation, killing the initiative.
- "A Republic military presence is the only sure defense against the Separatists."
- ―Jedi General Obi-Wan Kenobi
The resolution was created to authorize a military occupation of the Republic world of Mandalore in the Outer Rim Territories. The occupation was to be a defensive maneuver carried out by the Grand Army of the Republic with the intent of protecting the people of Mandalore from the terrorist Death Watch movement and its allies in the Confederacy of Independent Systems.
Terrorism on Mandalore
- "This goes far beyond vandalism. This is a political statement against your government. And against you."
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi, after the bombing of the memorial shrine
716 years before the pan-galactic Clone Wars were waged between the Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems, the Republic was drawn into a conflict with the Mandalorians that brought devastation to the Mandalore sector and reduced parts of Mandalore to white-sand desert. From the ashes of the conflict rose the New Mandalorians—a political movement based on Mandalore that emphasized the importance of pacifism and placed nonviolence as its highest value. The New Mandalorians eventually claimed ascendancy over the other Mandalorian warrior clans, securing their place as the dominant Mandalorian political faction and rulers of Mandalore itself. In an effort to do away with Mandalore's past violence, the New Mandalorians exiled all of the warriors from their society who still upheld the warrior traditions to Mandalore's moon, Concordia. Although the New Mandalorians believed that the warriors died out, many in fact became members of the Death Watch movement, which advocated for Mandalore's return to the violent ways of the ancient Mandalorians.
By the outbreak of the Clone Wars in 22 BBY, Mandalore had joined the Republic and was being led by Duchess Satine Kryze, who epitomized the culture's ideology of nonviolence. Kryze was also the head of the Council of Neutral Systems—a coalition of Republic worlds that fundamentally opposed the Clone Wars and so chose to abstain from contributing to the war effort. In the early days of the war, the Republic's Galactic Senate was presented with a resolution that would authorize a military occupation of Mandalore after the body was fed rumors that Kryze was leading the Council of Neutral Systems into an allegiance with the Confederacy and creating a personal army that she would dedicate to fighting against the Republic. These rumors were reinforced by the appearance of the Separatist-aligned bounty hunter Jango Fett prior to the war and a Confederate saboteur who attacked a Republic cruiser around 21 BBY. Both individuals were garbed in Mandalorian armor, prompting the Jedi High Council to dispatch Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi to Mandalore on a fact-finding mission. While on the planet, Kenobi was assured by Kryze and Prime Minister Almec that the Confederate operatives were simply radical Death Watch terrorists who did not represent the entire Mandalorian government.
Their claims that Death Watch was a small fringe group of vandals were soon undermined by a bombing of Mandalore's memorial shrine. Following the incident, Kenobi and Kryze traveled to Concordia to meet with Governor Pre Vizsla, who was leading the search for the Death Watch headquarters. After Kenobi was captured by Death Watch agents, it was revealed that Vizsla himself was the leader of the organization. Kryze rescued the Jedi from the warrior-terrorists, and the two of them escaped the moon. Now knowing the truth behind the Death Watch movement, Kryze planned a voyage to the Republic capital of Coruscant to plead with the Senate to vote down the resolution and allow Mandalore to remain neutral in the Clone Wars.
The Duchess falters
- "Stop! Deputy Minister Jerec is an honorable man! He would never commit such lies to the record. The Mandalorian government holds no secrets from its people."
"If only that were true."
- ―Duchess Satine Kryze and Chancellor Palpatine
As the Senate prepared to debate the resolution, the Duchess traveled to Coruscant alongside a retinue of senators who represented worlds on the Council of Neutral Systems. Senators Orn Free Taa, Onaconda Farr, Kin Robb, and the Mandalorian senator Tal Merrik all accompanied Kryze aboard the Duchess's luxury starship, the Coronet, which was under the protection of Jedi Generals Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker, as well as a full contingent of clone troopers. Although Kryze herself protested the presence of the Jedi and their soldiers, a majority of the senators requested their attendance, in case the Death Watch made an attempt on their lives. While the Duchess and senators discussed the resolution with the Jedi in the Coronet's upper decks, the clones in the lower levels discovered that someone had smuggled assassin probe battle droids aboard the vessel. Unbeknownst to the troopers, it was Merrik—a secret Death Watch agent—who had smuggled the droids aboard. Once the Coronet entered hyperspace, the droids attacked the clones and attempted to kill the Duchess and the senators.
Kenobi, Skywalker, and the clones destroyed all of the droids but were uncertain of who brought them aboard the ship. After the senators were interrogated by Kenobi, Merrik revealed his true allegiance and took Kryze hostage. While holding her at blaster-point, the senator killed the Coronet's bridge crew and took control of the ship to bring it out of hyperspace. Once the ship reverted to realspace, Merrik was reinforced by Confederate battle droid forces delivered via Droch-class boarding ships. Skywalker and the clones destroyed the enemy droids, while Kenobi confronted Merrik, who revealed that the Coronet was wired with explosives that he planned to detonate should the tide of battle turn against him. Although Kryze was able to escape the senator's grasp, neither she nor Kenobi moved to kill him, as it would be a violation of her pacifist ideals. He was instead killed by Skywalker, who thus saved the Coronet and allowed the Duchess to complete her journey to Coruscant.
Upon her arrival at the galactic capital, the Duchess traveled to the Senate Dome to address the leaders of the Republic on the state of Mandalore. Within the Grand Convocation Chamber, Kryze listened as Supreme Chancellor Palpatine declared the Death Watch to be a significant military threat to the Republic and the Mandalorian government. The Duchess took to the senate floor to rebut the Chancellor, explaining that the terrorists would not be able to destabilize her government, and that any response to the movement should remain an internal affair of Mandalore, lest her planet become a military target in the war. Palpatine and Senate Vice Chair Mas Amedda responded by playing a holographic testimony from Mandalore's Deputy Minister Jerec. Although Jerec had been a supporter of Kryze, his testimony indicated that the Duchess and her government were attempting to downplay the strength of Death Watch to avoid a panic on Mandalore and that Satine's pride was preventing her from accepting vital Republic aid. Kryze insisted that Jerec would never lie on the matter and demanded to speak with the deputy minister but was informed by Palpatine that he had been killed in a Death Watch bombing on Kalevala the previous day. On that solemn note, the Chancellor adjourned the debate and scheduled the vote for the following day.
Approval of the resolution
- "The Senate completed its vote. They've decided in favor of occupation."
"When did this happen? The vote was supposed to be tomorrow!"
"It was during your meeting with the Chancellor. Your accident accelerated the Senate's decision. Republic forces are set to leave for Mandalore at sunrise tomorrow."
- ―Senator Padmé Amidala and Satine Kryze
Kryze left the Senate outraged, as opinion had turned sharply against her during the session. After a short conversation with Kenobi, who supported the resolution, Kryze left the Senate Dome aboard an airspeeder. The speeder, however, had been sabotaged by a Death Watch assassin sent to Coruscant by Pre Vizsla, and so began to fall from the planet's skylanes shortly after takeoff. Although Kryze and her guards escaped the doomed speeder, its pilot died when the aircraft collided with the side of a building.
As a result of the crash, the Senate decided to advance the vote on the resolution. The legislation passed and preparations were made for a Republic incursion force to depart Coruscant for Mandalore at sunrise the following day. Kryze was not informed of the early vote, as she was attending a meeting with Palpatine during the session. Although the Duchess was certain it was a Death Watch operation, the Chancellor told her no charges were to be pressed as no evidence survived the accident. Amedda agreed with Kryze but used the incident as proof that the New Mandalorian government was incapable of reining in the Death Watch. Kryze was infuriated by the meeting and her failure in the Senate, and so planned to circumvent the legislative process by contacting a friend of hers in the Republic Ministry of Intelligence who supposedly had knowledge that could derail the Republic's plan for invasion. Before leaving the Senate, however, she was stopped by Senator Padmé Amidala and informed of the approved resolution.
- "Death Watch is far stronger than we once thought. But we have been training for this. We can stop them. But if we are to combat them effectively, we must have the temerity to stand strong in the name of peace. And if we are to do so, we must reject any Republic assistance. Instead, this government will act. It acts not out of pride, but for safety. Intervention by the Republic will inflame the opposition and this is why our government rejects the help of the Jedi. We must listen to the Duchess Satine. If we do not, we will ultimately cause our defeat."
- ―Deputy Minister Jerec, in his authentic testimony
Kryze met with her contact from the Ministry of Intelligence, Davu Golec, in the alleys of Coruscant's surface streets. Golec was a supporter of Satine and had discovered that the recording of Deputy Minister Jerec that had been displayed to the Senate was in fact a doctored version of the original testimony. He had pilfered a datadisc containing the original recording from the evidence facility of the Ministry and brought it to Kryze so that she could deliver it to the Senate and prevent the Republic's occupation of Mandalore. Upon giving her the datadisc, Golec was gunned down by the Death Watch assassin who had been attempting to kill the Duchess since her arrival on Coruscant. Kryze was left with the man's body and was quickly confronted by Coruscant Security Force police droids and clone members of the Coruscant Guard. The law officers believed her to have shot and killed Golec and attempted to take her into custody. Kryze fled and, after avoiding arrest at the hands of the Coruscant Security Force and murder at the hands of the Death Watch assassin, contacted Kenobi to request assistance.
The two had a clandestine meeting in a park plaza, where Kryze provided Kenobi with the undoctored recording and asked that he deliver it to the Senate. The Duchess herself planned to surrender to Republic authorities in order to allow Kenobi time to enter the Senate Dome. Before they could set their plan in motion, the two were attacked by the Death Watch assassin once more but survived after a scuffle between the assassin and Kenobi.
Kenobi and the Duchess traveled to the Senate and enacted their plan. While Kryze was arrested by two Coruscant Guards outside the Senate Dome, Kenobi infiltrated the building and located Amidala. Amidala was generally opposed to military actions and the use of force over diplomacy, and so agreed to present the new testimony to the Senate. The following day, Palpatine presided over a session of congress and updated the galactic representatives on the progress of the Mandalore incursion force, which was set to leave Coruscant shortly. The Chancellor was interrupted by Amidala, who activated the recording of Jerec. The undoctored testimony revealed that Mandalore was indeed in a state of civil war, but that Satine's government was fully capable of dealing with the insurgents. Furthermore, Jerec claimed that Republic intervention would only result in further violence and death, and that Death Watch was solely an internal Mandalorian matter.
In light of the newfound evidence, the Senate ordered an emergency session, during which the earlier approval of the resolution was overturned and the Republic intervention force was recalled. Satine was later released from Republic custody once it was discovered that she was not guilty of the murder of Davu Golec.
The ramifications of neutrality
- "The corruption we witnessed is intolerable. How does this happen?"
"I'm sorry. I'm setting up a committee to look into it."
"I'm counting on you, Almec."
- ―Duchess Satine and Prime Minister Almec
Duchess Satine later returned to Mandalore to govern the now-legally neutral world into continuing peace. Despite her hopes, she soon found that her opposition to the Republic occupation force was perceived as a snub by much of the Republic hierarchy, and that she was now an outsider in the business of Republic governance. As such, trade routes to Mandalore were closed, forcing the Mandalorian people to invest heavily in black market dealings in order to attain supplies. With the illegal goods came astronomical levels of corruption and greed within both the New Mandalorian government and the Mandalorian police force, allowing smugglers to import dangerous materials onto the planet. To alleviate the tensions, Kryze invited Senator Amidala to the world for a diplomatic visit and to request advisement on the crisis. However, during Amidala's stay on Mandalore it was revealed that corruption within the New Mandalorian customs department allowed for hundreds of children across Mandalore to be poisoned by a toxic chemical brought to the world by Moogan smugglers. Although Kryze and Amidala were able to break up the smuggling ring and distribute antidotes to the affected children, the Duchess was still deeply troubled by the levels of depravity within her government. In an effort to ease her concerns, Prime Minister Almec agreed to form an investigative committee to handle the matter, but this did little to quell his Duchess's misgivings. Instead she turned once more to Senator Amidala, who agreed to speak with the Jedi Order about placing an agent within the Royal Academy of Government.
Through the efforts of General Skywalker's Padawan Ahsoka Tano and Duchess Satine's nephew Korkie, it was revealed that Prime Minister Almec had orchestrated the rise in black market influence on Mandalore in order to increase his personal wealth and power. Almec succeeded in incarcerating Kryze for a short time, but she was eventually rescued by Tano. The Duchess and her personal guard then proceeded to imprison Almec and attempt once more to lead Mandalore into a peaceful future.
- "Consider, once the Senate orders peace-keeping troops to Mandalore, the people will be surrounded by a military presence. Most distasteful. They will rebel."
"And rally to Death Watch. Our insurgency will grow stronger."
"Yes. And Duchess Satine will fall."
- ―Count Dooku and Pre Vizsla
Although the resolution to dispatch the Republic's Armed Forces to Mandalore was intended to protect the planet from Separatist influence, the legislation was secretly backed by interests within the Confederacy of Independent Systems—namely Head of State Count Dooku and de facto leader Darth Sidious. Alongside Vizsla, the two conspired to manipulate events within the Republic to ensure the passage of the resolution. Their ultimate hope was that the aggressive overtures of the Republic Senate would alienate the pacifistic and independent Mandalorian people and drive them to become sympathetic to the Death Watch cause. Had the resolution been approved and Republic forces been dispatched, Vizsla would have led his warriors in a campaign to liberate the world from the invaders, and in the process, overthrow the New Mandalorian regime of Duchess Satine Kryze. Thus, the Mandalorians would have once more embraced the warrior traditions of their ancestors, and the Confederacy would have adopted yet another world into the Separatist fold.
Following Kryze's escape from Concordia, Vizsla and Dooku's primary concern was the assassination of the Duchess so as to prevent her from speaking out against the resolution. Senator Merrik's failure to prevent Kryze from reaching Coruscant drove the two to dispatch a Death Watch assassin to the planet. Vizsla still intended to invade Mandalore following the assassin's failure and the repeal of the resolution's approval, but Dooku, who was convinced that a Death Watch attack without the support of the Mandalorian people would end in failure, prevented him from doing so.
Intrigue within the Republic
- "You were right. Someone faked the evidence. The recording presented to the Senate was not the full recording. But this disc is. You must show the Senate—"
- ―Davu Golec, immediately before his death
The resolution revealed corruption within the highest levels of the Republic's government. Merrik was ultimately revealed to have been a Death Watch agent, and an individual within the Republic was found to have been responsible for the doctoring of Deputy Minister Jerec's testimony. Kryze was wrongly accused of treason and later murder, and was hunted through the Coruscant Underworld by Republic forces. Most of these instances were resultant of the manipulations of Supreme Chancellor Palpatine and his alter ego, Darth Sidious, who wished for Dooku and Vizsla's plan to succeed.
Palpatine ostensibly supported the legislation on the basis that it would restore order to a rapidly deteriorating Mandalore. He had a hand in tampering with Jerec's speech—tampering that was discovered by Ministry of Intelligence member Davu Golec. Golec was promptly assassinated by a Death Watch agent, but not before impressing upon Kryze the gravity of the situation. Kryze was unable to deliver this information to the Senate, as she was accused of Golec's murder by Republic authorities. She instead entrusted it to Kenobi but understood that if the corruption within the Republic was as deep as Golec suggested, the Jedi Master would not be able to enter the Senate Dome due to his affiliation with her. In order to preserve the data, Kryze surrendered herself while Kenobi infiltrated the Senate and delivered Jerec's undoctored testimony to Amidala. Despite the revelation, Palpatine's complicity in the situation remained hidden to all parties.
After the vote to recall the occupation force, much of the Republic government chose to turn a blind eye to Mandalore in light of its Duchess's reluctance to accept military aid. As a result, trade routes to the world were closed, leaving the Mandalorian people to find their own resources. Although Kryze was now considered an outsider, Senator Padmé Amidala still agreed to travel to Mandalore in a show of diplomatic support for the Duchess's fight against corruption within her own government.
- "Mandalore is making great strides to find the leaders of this terrorist movement. They are not powerful enough to destabilize our government. We will resolve this without conflict. If the Republic gets involved in our affairs it will lead to further violence. Thus I will reassert our position of neutrality."
- ―Duchess Satine Kryze
Mandalore was adopted as a Republic member world following the rise of the New Mandalorians and their abandonment of their warrior ways. However, the New Mandalorians' passion for nonviolence also impeded their ability to comply with certain aspects of Republic policy—specifically, the military opposition to the Separatist movement. Kryze and her government adamantly refused to take part in the Clone Wars and joined the Council of Neutral Systems. Mandalorian neutrality was desired by neither the Confederacy nor the Galactic Senate, and was actively opposed by Vizsla, who had already made plans with Dooku to ally his world with the Separatists. Despite appearing to be nothing more than a defense initiative, the resolution to occupy Mandalore was in fact solely intended to end the reign of peace on Mandalore and force the world to back either the Republic or the Confederacy in the war.
Kryze, Prime Minister Almec, and Deputy Minister Jerec were among the few individuals who recognized that fact. Many high-ranking Republic officials, including a majority of the Senate, supported a military occupation of Mandalore based upon the evidence presented by Palpatine. Until the revelation of Jerec's authentic recording, the resolution was even supported by members of the Jedi Order, who believed that safety was more imperative than principal in this instance. Kryze's victory ensured that Mandalore was allowed to remain neutral in the Clone Wars, and thus avoided becoming a military target for either the Confederacy or Death Watch.
Mandalorian neutrality came at a heavy cost, however. Upon her return to Mandalore, Kryze was branded a Republic outsider, and her people were left to find their own resources without aid from the interstellar government. As trade routes closed, the Mandalorian people turned to smugglers to bring much-needed supplies to the world while also accepting a new lifestyle of greed and corruption. Although Duchess Satine attempted to address the growing depravity in sessions of the New Mandalorian ministry council, she was met with little more than legislative gridlock and bickering. Unbeknown to Kryze, her own Prime Minister was leading the rise in black market activity, as Almec hoped to use the supply shortage to bolster his own power. The corruption crisis reached its tempest when the bribery of a customs officer allowed Moogan smugglers to poison hundreds of Mandalorian children. In the aftermath of the fiasco, Almec pledged to Kryze that he would take action to end the corruption, but the Duchess instead decided to recruit a Jedi to help. With the assistance of Ahsoka Tano, Almec's duplicity was revealed and the Prime Minister was taken into custody.
Behind the scenes
Despite never being officially named, the Senate's vote on the defense of Mandalore was the driving plot point behind the "Mandalorian trilogy" in the second season of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series. This trilogy consisted of episodes twelve, thirteen, and fourteen of the season, respectively titled "The Mandalore Plot," "Voyage of Temptation," and "Duchess of Mandalore." The trilogy introduced the Mandalorian culture to the series, albeit in a portrayal heavily altered from that commonly found in the Star Wars Expanded Universe. That alteration—the New Mandalorians' adherence to the principals of pacifism and diplomacy over violence—was essential to the concept behind the vote.
The trilogy also offered the first view of the Galactic Senate in action to be portrayed in The Clone Wars. This view of the Senate allowed for producers of the show to introduce several pre-existing characters to the series, including Senator Mon Mothma and Senate Vice Chair Mas Amedda.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Mandalore Plot" (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Planets in Peril (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Voyage of Temptation" (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Duchess of Mandalore" (First appearance)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Corruption" (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Darth Maul: Shadow Conspiracy (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars Character Encyclopedia (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide: Updated and Expanded (Indirect mention only)
Notes and references
- ↑ <includeonly>[[Category:Pages with broken references]]</includeonly><span class="citeerror">Cite error: Invalid <code><ref></code> tag; no text was provided for refs named <code>DoM</code></span>
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 The Essential Atlas
- ↑ The Essential Guide to Warfare
- ↑ Star Wars: The Clone Wars: New Battlefronts: The Visual Guide
- ↑ <includeonly>[[Category:Pages with broken references]]</includeonly><span class="citeerror">Cite error: Invalid <code><ref></code> tag; no text was provided for refs named <code>TMP</code></span>
- ↑ <includeonly>[[Category:Pages with broken references]]</includeonly><span class="citeerror">Cite error: Invalid <code><ref></code> tag; no text was provided for refs named <code>SW_Annual_2011</code></span>
- ↑ <includeonly>[[Category:Pages with broken references]]</includeonly><span class="citeerror">Cite error: Invalid <code><ref></code> tag; no text was provided for refs named <code>VoT</code></span>
- ↑ Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Senate Murders"
- ↑ <includeonly>[[Category:Pages with broken references]]</includeonly><span class="citeerror">Cite error: Invalid <code><ref></code> tag; no text was provided for refs named <code>Corruption</code></span>
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Academy"