|Chronological and political information|
- "To champion democracy is no brave thing. For eons, politicians have done so as naturally as they draw breath. To suggest there is a point beyond which democracy collapses on itself, yielding stagnation and eventually ruin? That demands a degree of political courage so rare as to border on the theoretical."
- ―Tarsus Valorum, Official Record of the Ruusan Deliberations
Tarsus Valorum was the Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic during and immediately following the conclusion of the New Sith Wars, a conflict between the Galactic Republic and the Brotherhood of Darkness, and was responsible for enacting the Ruusan Reformations that reconstructed the entire Republic. A member and potentially the progenitor of the politically influential House Valorum of Coruscant, Valorum became the first Supreme Chancellor who was not a member of the Jedi Order in over four centuries. During his term, the New Sith Wars ended, and he devised and implemented the Ruusan Reformations, a series of reforms that dissolved both the Republic Military and the Jedi Order's Army of Light while de-centralizing the Republic's power.
After his term as Supreme Chancellor ended, Valorum remained an ambassador for the Republic, visiting many worlds in an attempt to re-establish their ties to the Republic and to improve galactic relations with non-Republic worlds. One of the more prominent cases of his ambassadorship was when he survived a kidnapping attempt on Serenno by the Anti-Republic Liberation Front, which was secretly being aided by Darth Zannah and the Order of the Sith Lords, by being saved by Johun Othone, a Jedi Knight serving as his Jedi adviser. To repay Othone for saving his life, Valorum agreed to a request made by Othone and petitioned the Galactic Senate for funds to create a memorial for the Jedi who were killed defeating the Sith Brotherhood of Darkness during the last battle of the war. Valorum secured the finds and Othone, before his death at the hands of the Sith, constructed what became known as the Valley of the Jedi on Ruusan.
- "Corruption thrives where power is wielded in darkness."
- ―Tarsus Valorum
Tarsus Valorum was born in 1,050 BBY on Coruscant, the capital of the Galactic Republic, as a member of the politically influential House Valorum. During the final days of the New Sith Wars, a galaxy-wide armed conflict between the Galactic Republic, allied with the Jedi Order, and the Sith Brotherhood of Darkness, Valorum was elected Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic, becoming the first non-Jedi Chancellor in over four hundred years. Valorum only took the position after Jedi Master Valenthyne Farfalla, who had been in line to take the office, declined in order to fight with the Jedi Army of Light during the Ruusan campaign, the last campaign of the war. It was during this period that Valorum began formulating ideas for the de-centralization of the Republic's government, ideas that would become the Ruusan Reformations.
- "The Republic is crumbling. For the past thousand years it has slowly been decaying and rotting away. A rebirth is the only way to reverse this process."
- ―Tarsus Valorum in defense of the Ruusan Reformations
In 1,000 BBY, the New Sith Wars came to a close with the destruction of the Sith during the Seventh Battle of Ruusan. Both the Republic's citizens and the Galactic Senate were eager to put the war behind them. To this end, Valorum devised a series of Republic-wide reforms that he called the Ruusan Reformations, named for the battle that ended the New Sith Wars. These reforms included changes to how the Jedi Order operated within the Republic; because Valorum saw the Army of Light as being created as a reaction to the Brotherhood of Darkness, he felt that it or any other Jedi military force was no longer required. The Jedi Council would also operate under the supervision of the Republic's Judicial Department. At their core, the reforms were meant to unify the Republic and end the cycle of wars that had faced the galactic body for centuries.
Outside Jedi affairs, Valorum also reorganized the millions of sectors within the Republic to one thousand twenty-four, believing such a re-organization would allow better representation in the Galactic Senate. Hoping to curb corruption and decentralize power away from powerful Core sectors that held the most representation, Valorum confined representation to those sectors, with a few exemptions made for politically powerful Core Worlds. Other slots, such as those for species and cultural entities, were also granted. One such reform allowed "functional constituencies," which came to include entities such as corporations, to be granted Senate representation.
Valorum chose Valenthyne Farfalla as his first olive branch in reaching out to the Jedi Order in passing the reforms. While the Senate was responsible for passing laws, Valorum wanted to ensure that he would have the support of the Jedi Order. Following a closed-door meeting between Valorum, Farfalla, and Farfalla's apprentice, Johun Othone, Farfalla agreed to make sure that the Jedi Order complied with Valorum's wishes.
- "To win a world, you must win the hearts and mind of its people."
- ―Valorum to Johun Othone
Relying on ambassadors and treaties, Valorum successfully pushed the Ruusan Reformations through the Galactic Senate and implemented them during his term, leading to the largest dismantling of central authority that the Galactic Republic had ever seen. Valorum was re-elected to a second term, during which time Johun Othone, who had been promoted to Jedi Knight, served as the Jedi member of the Chancellor's Guard. After his Chancellorship ended, Valorum continued to utilize Othone's skills as a Jedi adviser, having the Jedi Knight accompany him on numerous diplomatic missions. Nevertheless, the former Chancellor refused an honor guard, as he felt that he was not a threat to anyone and that he was not important enough for anyone to attempt to assassinate.
In the years following the end of his second term, Valorum conducted nearly fifty diplomatic missions, choosing to remain an advocate for the Republic and its values throughout the galaxy. These missions were seen as crucial to the Republic, as he would attempt to bring worlds into the government for the first time or convince them to rejoin the Republic after they had previously seceded from it. In 990 BBY, two years after his term as Chancellor ended, Valorum and Othone traveled to Serenno to conduct a diplomatic mission, hoping to convince the planet's six most powerful families to persuade the other ruling families of the world to cut off funding to the planet's anti-Republic factions. Upon arrival, Valorum was targeted for kidnapping by the Anti-Republic Liberation Front, one of the more powerful anti-Republic groups and one that was being aided by the Sith Lord Darth Zannah. The sect set off an explosion that destroyed the Chancellor's transport and killed its crew, but Othone defeated the would-be kidnappers and saved the diplomat's life. Valorum promised to do whatever Othone asked of him to repay him, but Othone's only request for the time being was that the Chancellor hire a security detail.
Although it had not been what he planned for, the attempted kidnapping succeeded in accomplishing Valorum's goal of having the planet's leaders fight against the separatist groups. The ruling families promised swift action in dealing with the threats, and offered a reward for any information anyone had on the assailants. However, Darth Bane, Zannah's master and the Dark Lord of the Sith behind the kidnapping plot, foresaw the outcome. Bane exploited Valorum's mission as a means to divert the attention of the Republic and the Jedi Order away from his Order of the Sith Lords, which the galaxy did not know the existence of, and towards the Serenno separatists.
Following the mission's end, Othone requested that Valorum petition the Senate for funds to create a memorial to Jedi Master Hoth and the other Jedi who died defeating the Sith Brotherhood of Darkness during the Seventh Battle of Ruusan. The Jedi Council, however, did not approve of the construction of the memorial, feeling it to be a sign of vanity, but the Republic media and the Galactic Senate, both of whom were shocked by the Jedi Council's decision, approved Valorum's request. Othone began constructing the memorial, called the Valley of the Jedi, on Ruusan, but was killed by Darth Bane and Darth Zannah shortly thereafter. The construction was nevertheless completed.
- "This will be the beginning of a new era for the Republic. We will enter a new age of prosperity and peace."
- ―Tarsus Valorum
While the Ruusan Reformations repaired many of the declining aspects of the Republic, it did seemingly have drawbacks. Because the reforms were designed to give each member of the Senate a powerful voice, the Senate found itself faced with gridlock and greed. In the centuries that followed, this bureaucratic system became a source of contention amongst the Republic's citizens, as well as some of its leaders. One part of the system, the granting of Senate representation to "functional constituencies," enabled corporations such as the Trade Federation to be represented by a Galactic Senator. The Federation used its power, beginning in 124 BBY, to buy votes from poorer sectors. The Federation attempted to exploit this during the Invasion of Naboo of 32 BBY, when the Federation used its political influence in an attempt to stall a Senate investigation into the Senate testimony of Padmé Amidala, the Queen of Naboo, who truthfully claimed that the company's battle droid army had invaded her world.
It was also this bureaucratic system that Palpatine, the Senator of Naboo during the Federation's invasion of the planet, used as justification to convince Queen Amidala that then-Chancellor Finis Valorum, a descendant of Tarsus, needed to be removed from office. A special Chancellery election led to Palpatine's election as Supreme Chancellor and, subsequently, his creation of the First Galactic Empire in 19 BBY.
In the centuries that followed Tarsus Valorum's term as Supreme Chancellor, a number of other members of House Valorum rose to prominence in the political arena. Tullius Valorum and Laeca Valorum were seen as important politicians of their time. Eixes Valorum went on to become Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic, as well as Finis Valorum who was the last Supreme Chancellor prior to the election of Palpatine and the rise of the First Galactic Empire.
Over a thousand years after its construction, the location of the Valley of the Jedi, which received funding due to Valorum's standing with the Galactic Senate, became lost, but was re-discovered by Morgan Katarn, a Force-sensitive ally of the Alliance to Restore the Republic that opposed the First Galactic Empire. Morgan was murdered by a Dark Jedi named Jerec, who used the Valley's inherent Force powers to increase his power exponentially. Jerec was eventually defeated by Morgan's son, Kyle Katarn, but a second Dark Jedi, Desann, discovered the location of the Valley and used it to create a Dark Jedi army. Desann and his army were defeated by Kyle Katarn during the Battle of Yavin 4.
Personality and traits
- "Never trust a promise made in front of a holoprojector. If you want to get anything done, you need to meet behind closed doors and look a person right in the eye."
- ―Tarsus Valorum, expressing a warning he often gave
When the Chancellor was in his early fifties, Johun Othone noticed that Valorum looked at least ten years younger than he was. With his dark hair, bright eyes, and square chin, his face was one that many called honest and determined. Physical traits such as these, coupled with his long record of public service in the Republic, were what led to Valorum being appointed the first non-Jedi Chancellor in four hundred years. These traits complimented Valorum's oratory skills when he proposed and successfully passed the Ruusan Reformations through the Senate.
Despite his accomplishments, many felt that Valorum had remained modest, citing his lack of an honor guard and light accommodations as an example. While he was a decorated diplomat after his second term as Supreme Chancellor ended, Valorum nevertheless chose to fly in vessels, such as the New Dawn, that some, such as Othone, believed were less extravagant than what most former heads of state would have chosen to utilize on ambassadorial missions.
Unlike most politicians, Valorum was seen as being a man of conviction, someone who believed his words rather than simply saying them for the sake of votes or popularity. His convictions pushed him to champion the Ruusan Reformations, as well as serve as a diplomat on dozens of missions after his Chancellorship ended. He felt it necessary to travel on these missions, believing that one was required to win the hearts and minds of a planet's people in order to bring it into the Republic or convince it to rejoin the Republic.
Valorum, like many citizens of the Republic, had a low opinion of a number of politicians, specifically those who did not serve the public's interest. He felt they were untrustworthy, recognizing that politicians would lie to further their own goals. As he warned on more than one occasion, a politician could not be trusted if he or she made a promise over a holoprojector, as only meeting behind closed doors could allow for someone to look the politician in the eye and see if he or she was telling the truth.
Skills and abilities
- "The Senate will never refuse Valorum anything."
- ―Valenthyne Farfalla
Being a man of deep convictions, Valorum possessed the ability to present his goals for the Ruusan Reformations using renowned oratory skills. These goals became reality, as the Ruusan Reformations were implemented after he worked throughout his Chancellorship to pass them. He was considered by the Senate to be a man of great diplomatic skill, which led to him becoming a seasoned diplomat for the Republic even after his second term as Chancellor came to a close. These diplomatic skills were used in nearly fifty ambassadorial missions after his Chancellorship. The Senate was also seen as a body that would do whatever Valorum requested of it, an opinion expressed by Valenthyne Farfalla after Valorum requested funds for the Valley of the Jedi despite the Jedi Council's opposition.
Behind the scenes
Tarsus Valorum was first mentioned by author Daniel Wallace in The New Essential Guide to Characters, a reference book published by Del Ray on April 23, 2002. However, he was only mentioned as one of many members of the renowned Valorum political dynasty, and was not revealed as the Supreme Chancellor behind the Ruusan Reformations until the publishing of The New Essential Chronology, also by Wallace, on October 25, 2005. Valorum's first appearance was on December 26, 2007 in Darth Bane: Rule of Two by Drew Karpyshyn, and his physical appearance was revealed on August 18, 2009 with the publishing of The Essential Atlas by Wallace and Jason Fry.
- Darth Bane: Rule of Two (First appearance)
- The New Essential Guide to Characters (First mentioned)
- The New Essential Chronology
- The Essential Atlas
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 Darth Bane: Rule of Two
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 The Essential Atlas
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 The New Essential Guide to Characters
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 The New Essential Chronology
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
- ↑ Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
- ↑ Labyrinth of Evil
- ↑ Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II
- ↑ Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast