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...do you really believe that a few new laws will stop Nute Gunray from making his profit?
The year 23 before the Battle of Yavin (BBY) was a span of time during the declining days of the Galactic Republic. The period was one that saw a number of political events in the Republic, including the end of the Yinchorri Uprising during the Battle of Uhanayih. During the battle, a Jedi strike team, with assistance from a number of Republic vessels, infiltrated a hidden Yinchorri High Command base on Uhanayih. The Jedi strike team took the High Command into custody, effectively ending the conflict.
As the Yinchorri Uprising was coming to a close, the Republic Senate deliberated the Republic Anti-Slavery Law, a measure that would forbid Republic corporations from using slaves outside Republic territory. The scandal-marred Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum signed the anti-slave measure into law once the deliberations ended. In response, the Trade Federation shipping cartel drafted plans to blockade and invade the planet Utapau, as the corporate monopoly's profits were negatively impacted by their inability to use slaves in the Outer Rim Territories. The Federation carried out their plan and invaded Utapau one year later, an attack that led to the Jedi Order's discovery of Annikin Skywalker, the supposed Chosen One, on the Outer Rim world Tatooine.
The Republic doesn’t exist out here. We have to make due on our own.
For some time prior to the year 23 before the Battle of Yavin, the Galactic Republic Senate banned the use of slaves of any kind for any purpose within Republic territory. The Senate did not, however, make any such laws preventing Republic corporations from using slaves outside Republic territory. The Trade Federation shipping cartel, for example, was a Republic-based corporation that slaves while conducting business in the Outer Rim Territories of the galaxy.
Also sometime prior to 23 BBY, the Yinchorri Uprising broke out between the High Command of the planet Yinchorr and the Galactic Republic. The Jedi Order also fought in the conflict alongside the Republic.
The galaxy in 23 BBY
The Federation has more influence and power than I'd like to give them credit for.
Towards the end of the Yinchorr Uprising, the Jedi Order suffered a defeat during the Battle of Yinchorr. Responding to their defeat, the Jedi began searching for a hidden war-time headquarters of the Yinchorri High Command, which the Jedi eventually located on the planet Uhanayih. The Order sent a strike team to infiltrate the base and end the conflict. The team received assistance from a small fleet of five Republic Judicial Forces cruisers authorized by the Galactic Senate and Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum.
When the Jedi and Republic forces arrived at Uhanayih, the Republic fleet was confronted with a number of Yinchorri vessels. The Republic managed to defeat the fleet and blockade the planet, preventing the High Command from escaping. The Jedi strike force infiltrated the base and took the High Command into custody, effectively ending the war. A Yinchorri battle cruiser did, however, arrive on the scene, having been sent to reinforce the Yinchorri fleet that had since been defeated. The cruiser shot the Republic vessel Acceptance down, causing it to crash land on the planet. Most of the crew survived and managed to assist in rescuing a number of Republic hostages on the planet who had been captured by Yinchorri forces that had not been taken into custody by the Jedi. This ended the fighting in the Yinchorri Uprising.
On Coruscant, the Republic Senate began discussing the drafting of a law that would render it illegal for Republic corporations to use slaves while operating outside Republic territories. A number of these companies, including the Trade Federation, opposed the measure, believing it would cause a drop in corporate profits. At the behest of Malus Palpatine, Senator of the planet Utapau, Queen Sabé Arcadia of Utapau entered into the discussion, becoming a principal supporter of the bill that had been drafted by the Senate. With the majority of planets supporting the bill, the Senate passed the measure despite the corporate objections. Chancellor Valorum, who was caught up in a sex scandal that was just becoming public, signed the bill into law.
With their slaves forced to be let free and their corporate profits declining, the Trade Federation became outraged at the new law. During this time, Federation Viceroy Nute Gunray was contacted by Dark Jedi Master Maul, and the two began working on a way to reverse the law. After some time, they decided that the Federation would blockade and subsequently invade Utapau. Although there was a revenge factor in the decision, the Federation's primary reason for choosing Utapau was due to their belief that the planet was helpless, as Utapau lacked a conventional military and was in the far reaches of Republic territory. Gunray believed that the Federation's show of strength against Utapau would force the Senate to reverse the anti-slavery measures.
On the Outer Rim world of Tatooine, beyond the affairs of the Galactic Republic, Annikin Skywalker participated in a championship swoop race against his racing rival, the Dug Sebulba. Skywalker, a young Human moisture farmer who lived near the planet's Anchorhead settlement, hoped to win the competition to earn money for his family, but he lost the race when Sebulba cheated during the final lap.
Elsewhere on Tatooine, a group of young members of the Ophuchi Clan of hermits chose to leave the Ophuchi sanctuary in the Dune Sea and attempted to assimilate into the planet's society. The group opted to live in the Mos Eisley settlement, but they were unprepared to live in a non-Ophuchi lifestyle. The local population branded these young Ophuchi as crazy wizards, and some traders were able to exploit the local fear of strange outsiders. After the Ophuchi did not hear from the group again, the Ophuchi leader Sarus came to believe that they were taken as slaves by the Trade Federation.
A communications disruption can only mean one thing. Invasion.
—Ogana Governor Sio Bibble one year later, as the Federation begins its invasion of Utapau
In 22 BBY, the Federation leaders implemented their military plans and blockaded Utapau, with Gunray and Maul leading the blockade efforts. For one month, Chancellor Valorum, Senator Palpatine, and Queen Arcadia attempted to negotiate the end of the blockade. When the talks failed, Valorum sent two Jedi, Jedi Master Jard Dooku and Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi, to Utapau as ambassadors in the hopes of forcing a settlement with the Federation. Gunray, however, attempted to have the Jedi killed, though he failed. The invasion of the planet began soon thereafter, and the Federation quickly took control of the entire planet.
The Federation invasion caused Queen Arcadia, with the aid of the two Jedi who had escaped the lead blockade vessel for the surface following the unsuccessful attempt on their lives, to flee Utapau for the Republic capital planet Coruscant, where she hoped to persuade the Galactic Senate to help liberate her world. Due to damage that the queen's escape vessel received while fleeing Utapau, the two Jedi ordered the crew to land the ship on Tatooine so the crew could repair the vessel on a non-Federation controlled planet.
It was on Tatooine that the Jedi first discovered Annikin Skywalker. The Jedi learned that the Ophuchi Clan of desert hermits believed Skywalker was destined to be the savior of the galaxy. Sarus, the leader of the Ophuchi Clan, negotiated with the Hutt Cartel that controlled the planet for Skywalker to be released from the sharecropping contract his family held with the Hutts. His release from the contract was the only way Skywalker could leave the planet and become a member of the Jedi Order, which the Ophuchi believed he needed to do in order to fulfill his supposed destiny. Skywalker had to race Sebulba once again in order to be released from the contract, but he rejected the offer as he did not believe the prophecy and had no intention of leaving Tatooine. Nevertheless, the Chosen One later went on to fulfill his destiny, meaning that if Skywalker was the prophesied savior then the events of 23 BBY, namely the Republic Anti-Slavery Law, were a catalyst for the fulfillment of his destiny.
- The Yinchorri Uprising comes to an end after the Jedi Order arrests the Yinchorri High Command during the Battle of Uhanayih.
- After a series of deliberations, as well as vocal objections from corporations such as the Trade Federation, the Galactic Republic Senate passes the Republic Anti-Slavery Law, setting the stage for the Invasion of Utapau one year later.
- Annikin Skywalker loses a championship swoop race to Sebulba.
- A group of young Ophuchi Clan clan members disappears after leaving their sanctuary on Tatooine, leading the Ophuchi leader Sarus to suspect that they were taken as slaves by the Trade Federations.
- Arkus Quelprim is born into the Quelprim family on Alderaan.
Behind the scenes
The events of 23 BBY are first mentioned in Star Wars: Episode I - The Chosen One, an Alternative Star Wars Saga fan fiction novel that re-imagines the canon Star Wars films. While the Yinchorri Uprising is only given a passing mention in the beginning of the novel, the passage of the Republic Anti-Slavery Law factors extensively into the plot; the law's passage provided the catalyst for the Invasion of Utapau and the discovery of Annikin Skywalker, both of which the novel's story centers around. The events of the Yinchorri Uprising, specifically the Battle of Uhanayih, were later expanded upon in The Alternative Essential Guide to Characters.
- Star Wars: Episode I - The Chosen One (First mentioned)
- Star Wars: The Alderaan Affair (Indirect mention only)
Notes and references
- The Chosen One, Chapter 1
- The Treaty of Coruscant was signed in 3,653 BBY. The date was derived using simple math.
- The Ruusan Reformation occurred in 1,000 BBY. The date was derived using simple math.
- The Alternative Essential Guide to Characters
- The Chosen One, Chapter 2
- The Chosen One, Chapter 8
- The Chosen One, Chapter 11
- The Chosen One, Chapter 4
- The Chosen One, Chapter 7
- The Chosen One, Chapter 12
- The Chosen One, Chapter 15
- The Chosen One, Prologue
- The Alderaan Affair, Part 4
- Brandon Rhea's StarWars.com Blog