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Senate Commando

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"Senate Commandos? How does a money grabbing worm like Gunray rate all this security?"
―Ahsoka Tano[src]

Senate Commandos were elite units in the Senate Guard, a Coruscant-based law enforcement agency that was responsible for the safety of government officials in the executive and legislative branches of the Galactic Republic. Like the more common guardsmen, Commandos functioned as bodyguards for senators and other politicians, but could also be used as security detail for enemies of the Republic, such as prisoners of war. During the Clone Wars, a galaxy-wide conflict between the Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems, Senate Commandos—along with the rest of the Senate Guard—were gradually supplemented and replaced by their Red Guard counterparts due to the machinations of the Republic head of state, Supreme Chancellor Palpatine.

OverviewEdit

An elite division in the Senate Guard, Senate Commandos were primarily stationed in the Senate District of Coruscant, the capital world of the Galactic Republic. Like the more common guardsmen of their organization, the Commandos were responsible for the protection of the Republic government's executive and legislative branches; the Supreme Chancellor and the Galactic Senate respectively.[8] Their duties included guarding various rooms and offices within the Senate Building[9] and its counterpart, the Republic Executive Building.[2] However, they also specialized in carrying out field missions on behalf of the Senate and the Judicial Department.[10] Their high profile status afforded them top priority assignments, as noted by Jedi Commander Ahsoka Tano when a unit of Senate Commandos was dispatched to guard the Separatist prisoner Nute Gunray.[1]

The Senate Commandos—reputedly the best and bravest soldiers of the Senate Guard—were composed of guardsmen noted for excellent service records, thus making them eligible for high risk mission profiles.[11] Some of their off-world assignments consisted of protecting senators, ambassadors and other representatives of the Galactic Senate during diplomatic voyages to other planets; guarding Republic starships that carried elected or appointed officials, such as Senator Orn Free Taa or Dutchess Satine Kryze;[12] and accompanying the Supreme Chancellor when ever he left Coruscant.[4]

In order to qualify for membership, a recruit had to pass through a brutal four week-long period of additional combat training. After being elevated to their new rank, Senate Commandos were deployed into a squad where they reported to a commander. They also deferred to the authority of the individual under their protection, except in situations that involved the person's security.[11]

SenateGuardCommando-GAW

The Senate Guard and his elite counterpart, the Senate Commando

On Coruscant, the Senate Commandos—along with the rest of the Guard—served as the elite security force of the Senate District in Galactic City. While the rank-and-file members of the Senate Guard were normally used for ceremonial functions, the Commandos served in a more practical capacity.[8] Hence, they were often dispatched to detain individuals who were wanted for questioning by the Galactic Senate;[1] or otherwise deployed into war zones where they acted as bodyguards to Republic senators.[3] As a police force, they maintained law and order on Coruscant alongside Coruscant Security Force, clone shock troopers, Coruscant Guard[13] and the Jedi Order.[11] Overall, position in the ranks of the Senate Commandos was regarded as a source of pride to its members, thus making them one of the most cherished traditions of the Galactic Republic.[14]

Senate Commandos were equipped with far more functional armor that did not include the heavy robes or symbolic feather plums that adorned the more common members of the Senate Guard.[8] They were a practical force of soldiers suited for combat purposes,[14] and thus their armor was similar to the Phase I battle armor of the Republic Military's clone troopers. Despite the aesthetic resemblance, Senate Commando armor differed from clone armor in terms of color and helmet design. The Commandos' armor also featured an enlarged left pauldron that was resistant to blaster fire; its primary color was blue, the trademark shade of the entire Senate Guard.[1] By discarding the heavy ceremonial robes of the Guard, Senate Commandos were capable of fighting more effectively in combat scenarios.[10] The Commando battle suit was a flexible, customizable form of field armor that protected its wearers in hostile situations.[11] Commando officers, such as captains, wore helmets with ceremonial crests; their blue armor incorporated white symbolic designs such as the Seal of the Galactic Senate.[2] Furthermore, Senate Commandos were also issued identification numbers, such as SG-1984, for security purposes.[4]

Another aspect that separated the Commandos from the rest of the Senate Guard was their weaponry. While their more formal contemporaries were armed with ceremonial blaster rifles,[15] the Senate Commandos were armed with the DC-15A blaster rifle, the DC-15S blaster,[1] and a thermal grenade,[11] all of which were utilized by clone troopers.[16]

Unlike the clone-filled Grand Army of the Republic, Senate Commandos—along with their Senate Guard contemporaries and Red Guard counterparts—were formed of birth-born Human volunteers.[11][14][17] As one of the Republic's few non-clone units to be deployed regularly on special assignments, the Senate Commandos developed a fierce rivalry with the Grand Army's clone commandos.[10]

HistoryEdit

Senate Commandos Hostage Crisis

Captain Jayfon and his men guarding the Republic Executive Building

Both the capital and the government of the Galactic Republic had been protected by the Senate Guard for hundreds of years; its best and bravest soldiers rewarded with position in the ranks of the Senate Commandos.[8] By 22 BBY, the first year of the Clone Wars, the Commandos were serving as protectors of Supreme Chancellor Palpatine.[11] Hence, they were often stationed on guard duties within certain chambers and facilities belonging to the Chancellor, such as his office at the Republic Executive Building,[7] although some of its most loyal members were incorporated into the Red Guard as well.[11]

When Nute Gunray, a member of the Separatist Council, was captured and detained by Republic authorities,[18] Captain Faro Argyus and a group of Senate Commandos were dispatched to oversee the Neimoidian's transfer to Coruscant. Given Gunray's dealings with the Order of the Sith Lords, Count Dooku and his Sith Master were unwilling to allow the Neimoidian to remain in the Jedi's custody. Therefore, Dooku deployed a Dark Acolyte named Asajj Ventress to either retrieve or assassinate Gunray before the Jedi broke his silence through interrogation. After infiltrating the Tranquility, a Venator-class Star Destroyer where Gunray was held captive, Ventress killed numerous clone troopers and several Senate Commandos while trying to free her target. However, Gunray's escape was ultimately successful due to the treachery of Captain Argyus. Bribed with promises of freedom and wealth by Count Dooku, Argyus broke his allegiance to the Republic and aided in Gunray's escape, killing his fellow Senate Commandos in the process.[1]

After Argyus's betrayal of the Republic,[1] Captain Jayfon and a large contingent of Commandos were killed while on guard duty at the Republic Executive Building by a group of bounty hunters. A hostage crisis followed immediately after their deaths, in which several senators were held captive as part of the mercenaries' plot to free Ziro Desilijic Tiure from the Republic Judiciary Central Detention Center.[2]

Four Senate Commandos were stationed aboard the New Mandalorian vessel Coronet as bridge crew under the command of Captain Gray. They were taken by surprise and killed by Mandalore Senator Tal Merrik, a secret Death Watch operative who attempted to abduct Dutchess Satine Kryze. The Dutchess was rescued by the Jedi and Merrik was killed,[12] though she was later framed for murder on Coruscant, thus leading to her arrest warrant. Aided by Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, Kryze allowed two Senate Commandos to arrest her. Kenobi used the distraction to infiltrate the Senate Building where he provided Senator Padmé Amidala with evidence to exonerate the Dutchess.[13]

CoronetCommandos

Senate Commandos aboard the Coronet

A group of Senate Commandos served as bodyguards to Chancellor Palpatine and Vice Chair Mas Amedda while the two inspected the captured Zillo Beast that was brought to Coruscant from Malastare. When the creature escaped from its bonds and rampaged through Galactic City, Palpatine was evacuated to a H-2 executive shuttle, piloted by a single Commando. The Zillo Beast disabled the shuttle, however, thus forcing the astromech droid R2-D2 to save Chancellor Palpatine. The Senate Commando was crushed to death by the Zillo Beast, immediately after he implored the Chancellor to escape to safety.[5]

When Chancellor Palpatine made a scheduled visit to his homeworld of Naboo for the upcoming Festival of Light, a large security force—consisting of Coruscant Guard shock troopers and Senate Guard commandos—accompanied him due to the Jedi High Council's concern for his safety. One of the Commandos responsible for guarding the Chancellor was a male Human designated as SG-194.[4]

The Senate Commandos were eventually phased out, along with the rest of the Senate Guard, in the aftermath of the Republic's transformation into the Galactic Empire. As Emperor, Palpatine's security was entrusted to the Imperial Royal Guard. The enforcement of the New Order on Coruscant fell to the Emperor's stormtroopers.[8]

AppearancesEdit

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Notes and referencesEdit

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