JEDI HoloNet

443.18 // Stenax Emperor Hautrn Turns 243, Health Raises Concerns Over Succession

On the remote planet of Stenos, in the Spadja Sector, purple banners emblazoned with the house sigil of Emperor Hautrn’s family wave from tall poles that line the broad avenue of the main promenade outside the Imperial Palace. Confetti, fireworks, and the wonderful fragrance of cooked food fill the air as the people rejoice in the continuation of the long reign of their elected Emperor.

Turning 243, the Emperor is venerable for his species and questions of his health have been in daily conversations across the planet. In the last four cycles, his public appearances have waned in frequency and duration along with members of his cabinet taking on responsibilities above their usual expectations. The title of Emperor is held for life, but it is also an elected one. The Imperial Chamber elects a new Emperor after the passing of the last one who will succeed in the role for life and so on.

The Emperor’s reign has not been one without controversy. Considered a Reformer, when he was elected 204 cycles ago Stenos was still coming out of over two hundred cycles of Republic observation and quarantine following the Stenax Massacres of 4 ABY. Rather than the quarantine ending overtly, over time the Republic simply stopped maintaining their patrols, listening posts, or enforcement of blockades around the planet until it was clear that they were no longer interested in enforcing the centuries long status quo. Emperor Hautrn promised to take the Stenax back into the Galaxy a changed people, his goal being to show that the Stenax would be building a positive future rather than moving back to a violent past.

Traditionalists, though, on Stenos view this campaign of the Emperor as dishonorable, shameful, and as abandonment of core cultural values of strength, warfare, and purity for the Stenax people. Many of these Traditionalists are in power in the Imperial Chamber now, worrying leaders on surrounding worlds in the Spadja and Thanium sectors of a resurgence or new wave of violence akin to what was seen four centuries ago.

With the Emperor’s health stopping him from public addresses, little has been done to assuage these concerns or dissuade his political opponents in the Imperial Chamber from continuing to build support for a return to a more bellicose political stance.

Notably, many Stenax who lived in outlying colonies four centuries ago who were not quarantined like the government of Stenos have voiced their support for the reform movements championed by Emperor Hautrn. They publicly beg and ask for Emperor Hautrn to endorse a clear successor to his position to gain political support inside the Imperial Chamber to ensure further progress continues after his reign comes to a close.

Reporting originally from the Tandankin Tribune, distributed by the Associated Presses.

442.13 // Political Shifts in the new Legislative Session

The final votes have been cast and the newest Republic Senate has been sworn in. Chancellor Naka Rei maintained his position with an overwhelming vote, the only system in his sector that did not vote for him, ironically, was that of Tibrin.

As forecast at the end of last cycle, the nascent Free Soiler party has taken seats from the well-established War Hawk and Diplomat parties, bringing themselves as a third majority party in the Senate. Their message of stronger local government in the face of border tensions in the outer rim resonated with voters in the mid and outer rim where concerns over increased pirate, cartel, and criminal activity have caused people to call for more control over their own sector security forces while Coruscant continues to struggle with maintaining security across the breadth of their territory.

The Senate also welcomes their youngest member in over two centuries as sixteen-year-old Primsta Natsha Estillo defeated her incumbent opponent. An independent, she’s become a political celebrity overnight. After she was sworn in she held a town hall meeting at the University of Coruscant campus where secondary students from all over the planet came to meet her, ask questions about the future of Republic politics, and ask for autographs. She had this to say about her idea for the future of the Republic,

The Republic is an ancient institution. While we claim to be the third Galactic Republic, borrowing from the great system of state that existed for millennia centuries ago, and while we have adopted the charters from the Republic that was established after the reign of Emperor Palpatine, we are our own government that upholds all of those same values as those who came before while also learning from their mistakes and missteps.

Democracies are strong and healthy when the citizenry participates and feels they have a voice. When the people feel that they are ignored by the powers who influence change over their lives they become disillusioned, discouraged, and participation slows to a crawl… When that happens, opportunists gain the opportunity to leverage the powers of Democracy not for the benefit of all, but for the sole benefit of a few.

I hope that with my election a new generation of the electorate will see that there’s room for hope and optimism in politics. It’s not just committee meetings, backroom deals, and corruption. Those are the issues I’m going to tackle and dismantle. I aim to reinvigorate the faith of the people in our democracy, and I thank everyone who has supported me and who continue to support me, in that mission. Thank you.”

The Galaxy’s second largest democracy, the League of Sovereign Systems, also has gone through some reforms. In light of growing Cartel activity that’s disrupted trade outside of their territory and negatively harmed their international trade and GDP, the League Congress has drafted changes to their constitution that have been voted for and approved by the member worlds.

The amended constitution adds a second chamber to the legislature. In addition to the Hall of Representatives there will be a Senior Council that is made up of the founding worlds of the League as well as two seats that will rotate amongst new members. Moving forward, all bills must pass both chambers in the legislature and then be signed by the President in order to make it into law. As promised, President Zeublon Pyke did not run for a fourth term at the end of this election cycle. After a fierce presidential campaign, former Svivren President Skesteece-Hikataram Milaficat has been voted into the office, becoming the second president of the League of Sovereign Systems. They signed bills that welcomed a number of new worlds into the League including Cotellier, Wrea, and Shimia. Wrea and Shimia cited concerns over planets that have historically been hubs for criminality such as Socorro, Orvax, and Karazak being used as bases of operation for the Triellus League, a new organized Hutt Cartel that’s been jockeying for influence in the region.

Reporting from Coruscant, this is Quan Regal from the Associated Presses

441.25 // Republic Celebrates Festival of Cultures

Chancellor Rei has declared an executive order that will open the Senate building on Coruscant for a multi denominational celebration of diversity, faith, and expression from across the Republic. Opening on Life Day and running until the start of the next cycle, the ‘Festival of Cultures’ is a celebration of the wide diversity of beings, cultures, beliefs, and expressions of the pluralistic society that makes up the Galactic Republic. In his announcement, Chancellor Rei wore traditional garb of his home world while introducing the festival.

“It’s our intention to take advantage of the spirit of Life Day, a Kashyyykian holiday that has spread to a galactic significance, to celebrate all the beautiful diversity that is the soul and strength of our society, culture, and government. In the face of rising totalitarianism, intolerance, and political violence across the rim it’s our responsibility to celebrate others, to give voice to those who feel as if they’ve been silenced. We encourage everyone who can come to the Senate building to participate in the festival. My administration will also be setting up local festivals in our federal government buildings across hundreds of sectors for those who wish to express local cultures and for those who cannot make the long trek all the way to Coruscant. Happy Holidays to every being, you’re celebrated here in the Republic.”

Translated as she spoke, Wookie Senator Uma from the Mytaranor sector said this about holding these ceremonies during Life Day.

“It has been the greatest honor to our culture, planet, and our people. Our species has long known that when the limbs of two Wroshyr trees meet and meld together they form both a physical and spiritual bond with one another, turning two into one. So too is the spirit of this holiday being embraced and celebrated by all beings in the galaxy! Every time the galaxy celebrates with us, we bind ourselves closer together as one people. A celebration of our differences is a celebration of us all. Kashyyyk is happy to endorse this festival and we look forward to celebrating with the galaxy.”

Cynics argue that this is a political maneuver given the current election cycle and uncertainty in the Rei administration’s re-election campaign. Supporters argue, however, that regardless of the political season this move is important to the values of the Republic and to vocally answer the stifling of the free expression of religion and spirituality being seen in the Third Estate in the last cycle. Several local religious organizations in Third Estate territory have been arrested or driven underground. Most recently, the Temple of Light, a religious organization based out of Elamposnia, Chenowei, Atorra, and Troos has been subject to mass arrests for “felony thought crimes” and “seditious activity.” Their Great Abbot and other leaders have not been seen nor heard from since they were arrested and imprisoned in a secretive, undisclosed location.

While the purpose of the Republic’s festival is clear, the impact and significance are multifaceted and already organizations from all across the galaxy are setting up areas inside the Senate Building’s many chambers to share with one another the things we all hold dear.

Reporting from Coruscant, I’m Quan Regal of the Associated Presses

441.13 // Election season sees rise of new party

Across the Republic polls are tracking hundreds of races for Senate seats this cycle. Amongst the usual parties we’ve come to know over the last two legislative sessions a new group of contenders is surprising many in the mid-rim with their strong early statistics. Calling themselves the “Free Soilers,” the young party’s platform is built on antiestablishmentarianism, populism, and sector rights. On the mid-rim planets where the candidates have gained popularity they are competing with, and on some planets outstripping, both Diplomat and War Hawk incumbents, threatening to fragment the two majority parties even farther.

In the Dustig Sector Haruun Kal native Nawanh Poshma has pulled ahead of War Hawk incumbent Zalneem Brooch by over twenty points in the last quarter. In his last debate he had this to say over the current border discussions in the Senate,

“The War Hawks have made it clear: they do not actually care about security in the Republic. One of the foundational pillars of their platform is a categorical lie. They vote against protective tariffs that would increase security along our hyperspace lanes. In the face of pirate battles inside the borders of our Republic, a scene that has not been seen for the better part of a century, they want to write it off as a non-issue. My friends and fellow citizens, it is an issue! If you elect me to the Senate, I will make sure that every sector is given back the rights they are entitled to. I will introduce legislation that will allow sector security forces to have meaningful power, redirecting funds from the over bloated Republic military budget so that sectors can handle their own security problems in the ways they best see fit!”

Candidate Poshma’s platform, like the Free Soiler platform at large, is built on concepts of sector rights over federal power on Coruscant. This has been very popular with populist movements on other planets in the mid-rim such as Naboo, Bespin, and Bakura as well. The Hadar sector, home to the Tibrin system, has also seen a rise in a Free Soiler candidate threatening the future of Chancellor Naka Rei and his continued leadership as Chancellor of the Republic. Naka Rei shared these thoughts in a recent debate with Tinn native Ral Makneel,

“To the people of my home sector I say this: I understand your frustrations. Having grown up in the Hadar sector for my entire youth I remember feeling as if we’re considered a pass-through sector by the core worlds. However, my resume speaks for itself. With the leadership of our sector, we’ve seen historic foreign policy successes. We’ve seen our sector bring together the fragmented political landscape of the Republic into a coherent direction. My opponent, the honorable Ral Makneel from Tinn, believes that all of the work we’ve put in should be undone. Should be cast aside in order to fragment our Republic even more. He advocates for the disillusionment of the common cultural ties that bind us to beings across the Galaxy. Your vote in this cycle is a referendum not only on me, but on our values as a people: Do we wish to bind ourselves in our common vision of free expression, civil rights and liberties, and to better the common good? Or do we wish to abandon our bonds with our fellow Republicans and draw inward to look out at the galaxy with suspicion and mistrust? This is what you must decide at the end of this cycle.”

This cycle has also seen the rise of the youngest generation of politicians the Republic has seen since before the Galactic Alliance. Exemplifying this is sixteen year old candidate Primsta Natsha Estillo. Endorsed by the Queen of her homeworld Eiattu 6, this young woman is leading her opponent, 87 year old Diplomat incumbent Opeek Bluul, by nearly fifteen points in recent polls. An independent candidate, Estillo’s message advocating for compromise and sensible governance has been wildly popular when coupled with her youthful optimism and interest in the spirit of democratic politics.

Reporting from Coruscant, this is Quan Regal of the Associated Presses

441.07 // The Empire Speaks to Growing Tensions on the Rim

A Joint Denouncement today, led by Emperor Jarek Fel himself, identifies the nascent Third Estate as a source of tension, division, and unrest along the rim of the galactic northeast. The Emperor had this to say about the developing situation on the borders of his Empire,

Citizens of the Galactic Empire, loyal friends, and denizens of the Galaxy.

I, Emperor Jarek Fel, the Second, come before you today to address a call to action that cannot be ignored. This infantile sovereignty, The Third Estate, looms at the edge of the Galaxy as a potential threat to the security of all peoples, in all nations.

I stand before you and state that the united Citizens of our Empire deny The Third Estate’s legitimacy and decry the methods in which they attempt to spread it. A nation should offer order, peace, and prosperity to those that reside with its borders. The Third Estate offers nothing but dread and lackluster promises to those that submit to it.

There is no greater honor I can give my Grandmother, Empress Bellitria Fel, than to stand in solidarity with our allies of old. But our silence, of late, in their admirable symphony of peace has not had its ill effects. I have directed my closest advisors and confidants to pledge our support to our allies’ cause, only to be met with understandable skepticism. As I am sure many of our Citizens are aware, it takes time and effort to rekindle friendships, and wisdom to avoid missteps.

While the Empire feels it is our duty to support our allies against the growing threats in the Outer Rim, we also do not wish to fan the embers of their skepticism and shall refrain from sending fleets into any fray. Skepticism leads to lack of coordination on the battlefield, and lack of coordination can lead to unnecessary loss of life. This is something I cannot willfully ask any of our dedicated service personnel to engage in.

The protection of my Citizens is my duty. To that end, I have ordered my advisors to place great priority on the training of our forces; be they soldiers, spacers, or officers. This is to ensure that, in the event we are called to defend ourselves or our allies, they will be able to operate safely, efficiently, and with confident leadership that they may return to their families victorious and unharmed. This is the reason for the routine drills that our allies have expressed misgivings about.

However, the Citizens of our Empire are united, and there will be no reluctance to commit fleets to defend against any action this growing threat may pose to any Imperial World.

Any such action will be met with total and utter obliteration.

Followed shortly after from Mothma Plaza outside the Senate building Chancellor Naka Rei seconded the Empire’s denouncement with one of his own as well as supporting his verbal denouncement with a call to the Senate to enact economic sanctions on the small government:

The Galactic Republic joins the Fel Empire in its condemnation of the practices being exercised by the Third Estate inside its borders. Years ago I served alongside fine Imperial naval officers in the struggle to maintain Empress Bellitria’s right to her throne. I know that she would be proud of the declaration today made by her grandson condemning the errant behaviors of the Third Estate.

It is true that since Emperor Jarek has ascended to the throne there has been uneasy disquiet from the Empire. However, this reaffirmation that the Fel Dynasty continues to be an ally in the fight versus civil injustice puts the minds of all freedom-loving governments across the galaxy at ease.

The Galactic Republic has recently passed legislation to reorganize, update, and bolster our own armed forces while phasing out older, but still combat effective, equipment to our southern ally in the League of Sovereign Systems. While we understand the timing of these decisions, I personally want to urge caution to my fellow heads of state:

Mobilization is an act that makes everyone in the galaxy uneasy. As political tensions rise, none should implement violence as a form of foreign policy. The Triple Entente that has been formed between the League, Jedi, and Republic is one of mutual defense for a reason.

The Galactic Republic has no interest in military conflict. No other state in the galaxy can have war with us without themselves being first the aggressor. We wish to reaffirm bonds of fellowship, camaraderie, and peace between the major powers in the galaxy; bonds that the Third Estate is seeking to strain with their oppressive behaviors antithetical to ours and of our allies.

I have brought legislation forward for our Senate to consider that would enforce strict embargoes upon the Third Estate. In addition, my legislation will increase the internal security of hyperspace lanes between Hutt Space and the Third Estate, ensuring that no organized smuggling attempts will be effective in undermining our territorial sovereignty, nor our ability to enforce our embargoes upon the Third Estate’s economy.

We hope that the Third Estate comes to realize that creating ties with the Empire and Republic while also dropping their oppressive legislation that suppresses the rights and liberties of their citizens will bring a new era of prosperity for their young nation, rather than dire economic situations that will stymie their goals of expansion and subjugation.

This joint denunciation comes as the Third Estate signs a multinational annexation treaty with nearly a dozen worlds in the Esstran Sector, bringing all of the sector save a few systems directly into the fold of the Third Estate. The treaty, called the Stygian Pact, doubled the size of their borders in the galactic northeast, bringing their border to meet the Fel Empire’s along the southern side of Thalassia. While the propaganda arm of the Third Estate claims that this has been met with jubilation, festivals, and parades of the worlds that are joining the move has also abruptly stopped all other free press from reporting on the fallout of this move as the oppressive laws of the Third Estate blanket the ability for independent journalism to operate within their borders.

Reporting from Jaemus, I’m Ayahes Cesaro of the Associated Presses with contributions from Quan Regal on Coruscant.