What is the Ruusan Reformation?
Without a doubt, there are many different events and characters which lead to the eventual fall of the Old Republic in the Star Wars Universe, though perhaps the one that had the most profound impact upon the events was known as the Russan Reformation. This effects of this event are seen in the Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menance, and is only hinted at directly in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, when the Republic is unable to directly answer a military threat to one of their member worlds, and has to “fight it out in the courts,” which ultimately proved to be not only ineffectual but created a fracture within the very Republic that the Reformation was meant to prevent. That still doesn’t exactly specify or define the Ruusan Reformation.
In order to better understand this pivotal event in the past of the Star Wars Universe, then we will first be looking into the basics. This means to start off that we will be looking at the Who, What, When, and Where. Once that has been covered, we will then be expanding to the ramifications of the Ruusan Reformation, and how it continues to impact the galaxy, the Republic, Imperial Remnant, Resistance, and The First Order.
There were many who were involved in the Reformation movement, but none that had more of an impact that the chief architect of the Reformation, Chancellor Tarsus Valorum. Chancellor Valorum belonged to the politically powerful House Valorum of the planet Coruscant. When he became the Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic, he was the first sentient to do so that was not a member of the Jedi Order in over 400 years. It could be said that, in many ways, his ascension to the highest level of power within the galaxy, and his ability to help push through the reforms to the Republic and the Jedi order were in direct result to the fact that he was not a Force user, and the Galaxy was somewhat tired of the Force wars that had been raging off and on for millennia in the form of the New Sith Wars.
Another key player in the Ruusan Reformations was half-Bothan, half-Human Jedi Master Valenthyne Farfalla, who was also one of the last to hold title of Jedi Lord (a title that was done away with due to the Reformation). Lord Farfalla was a cunning warrior and leader in the Jedi Army of Light (the Jedi Army that was formed to directly combat the Sith Brotherhood). Lord Farfalla was so well regarded for his wisdom and leadership that he was once considered for the position of Chancellor, though he turned that request down to help combat the Sith. Lord Farfalla was so successful in his campaign against the Sith that he was finally able to defeat them at the Seventh Battle of Ruusan, which is when the Sith as a larger organization was finally defeated and the Rule of Two was instituted by Darth Bane. As can be expected he was not a whole hearted supporter of the Reformation.
Do you realize the ramifications of what you are asking, Tarsus? Your proposal calls for the Jedi to renounce their military ranks, and completely disband all our military, naval, and Starfighter forces. You are asking us to destroy the Army of Light!
Despite some serious reservations, and a bit of hesitancy, Lord Farfalla finally agreed to support the Reformations. It was through this agreement that the Jedi Order changed and eventually became what is seen in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.
Technically, the Republic had already been standing for close on to 15,000 years by the time that the Reformations happened. However, after the Ruusan Reformations took effect the Republic was changed so dramatically that it was in effect considered to be a new entity. The resulting changes were so dramatic that Sio Bibble, Governor of Naboo, was able to honestly say:
It’s unthinkable! There hasn’t been a full-scale war since the formation of the Republic!
The Ruusan Reformation was a series of reformations and policy changes that changed both the political and military structure of the galaxy. One of the largest political changes that many citizens of the galaxy saw right away was that they had more direct control over the government, at least in theory. In an effort to reduce the potential for corruption by “decentralizing” the power of the Supreme Chancellor, and restructuring the Galactic Senate from the millions of separate sectors into 1,024 sectors. Each of these sectors had their own senators, often lead by a central planet that was the most powerful or influential in the sector. Examples of this can be seen with the representatives from Kashyyyk, Naboo, and Alderaan. This political change was covered in the Reformation Act, and was considered to be an integral, and critical, piece of the legislation.
The military forces of the previous Republic were disbanded as a standing army and navy, and were transferred over to the Judicial branch of the newly restructured republic. This removed almost all offensive military power from the Republic, and only allowed for punitive measures to be taken once Judicial action had been sanctioned. In large part this was done to help prove that the Republic stood for peace, and to help smooth over the after effects of the New Sith Wars.
Next to the military in general, there was one organization that was perhaps effected the most by the Ruusan Reformation…the Jedi Order. Through the changes in the Reformation, the Order was forced to disband their Army, Navy, and organized Starfighter forces, renounce any military titles, retire their commander-in-chief, and place themselves under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Chancellor and the Judicial Branch. This was done largely in part to keep the Jedi from becoming seen as a conquering army. Another change ordered by the Ruusan Reformation is that there was to now be only a single Jedi Training Temple, and it was to be located on the capital planet of Coruscant. Such a change was ordered in an effort to limit, or completely remove, the threat of “unsupervised” students delving into the forbidden Sith arts.
The reformation took place roughly 15,000 years after the formation of the Galactic Republic, and 1,000 years before the Battle of Yavin which saw the destruction of original Death Star. For 10 generations (1,000 years), the Sith and the Jedi had been conducting a large scale war between the two factions of Force Users and, as a result, had dragged the entire galaxy into the war with them. During this time neither side could conclusively gain a decisive advantage over the other, until Jedi Master, Lord Farfalla began his campaign in the Ruusan system. It was during the Seventh Battle of Ruusan that the Jedi were believed to have destroyed the Sith, and bring the New Sith Wars to a conclusive end.
While the Ruusan Reformation had galactic implications, the events were actually centered on two key locations, the worlds of Coruscant and Ruusan. Prior to the Reformations, Coruscant was the defacto center of government for the Republic more through tradition than anything else. However, after the Reformations, Coruscant became the true home of the Republic government, and the location where the Galactic Senate and Supreme Chancellor held their meetings. Additionally, this is also the location where the Jedi were told that they could build and maintain their only, legal, training center for new Padawans. While it could be argued that this world was chosen due to it being the home planet of House Valorum, it is just as likely that Coruscant was chosen due to the political and economic influence that it wielded as a central location for the various trade routes utilized throughout the galaxy.
Ruusan is the location where the final battle of the New Sith Wars took place (specifically the Seventh Battle of Ruusan) and the Sith were apparently defeated. It was after this battle that Darth Bane (and his apprentice) were the only known survivors, and instituted what became known as the Rule of Two. The Rule of Two is where there were, in the words of Master Yoda, only ever two Sith…a Master, and an Apprentice. The Rule of Two continued for 1,000 years, culminating in Darth Sidious (Emperor Palpatine) and Darth Vader (Anakin Skywalker) who finally succeeded in completing the Sith goal of conquering the galaxy. Ruusan is also the location of where a memorial was created by the Republic honoring the Jedi that were lost in the New Sith War called The Valley of the Jedi. Furthermore, the Reformations themselves were named in honor of the events ending the New Sith War.
The ramifications of the Ruusan Reformations were far reaching, and as with most political movements, completely unexpected and not what were originally intended. Politically speaking, the Ruusan Reformation was intended to root out political corruption, bring equality, and a sense of community to the galaxy as a whole. However, this was rather short lived as the Galactic Senate soon found itself locked in bureaucratic gridlock and becoming a center of the greedy and powerful new Senators. Due to the laws and regulations that were passed, as long as an organization could state that they were representing a “functional constituency” they could have a legal representative to the Senate, which is how such organizations as the Trade Federation and the Banking Guilds were able to have their own Senators beholden only to them. Over time, the corruption, greed, and gridlock represented in the Senate became a major contention point for the people of the Republic and lead to Palpatine being able to take advantage and step into power.
With the disbanding of the Army of Light, and the renunciation of any formal military training the Jedi were no longer what they once were. Over time, the Jedi order became pretty much intolerant, stagnant, conceited, and self-sure which lead to some rather tragic results. For example, the Jedi council were very reluctant in training Anakin Skywalker at the age of 9 stating that he was “too old,” forbade him and others (i.e., Obi-Wan Kenobi) from forming romantic attachments with others in the fear that this would lead to the dark side. Apparently the council forgot its own history of some of their greatest heroes who were trained at an older age than 9-years old, and that there were often generations of Jedi within a single family (as was the case with Lord Farfalla). There are two interactions from the movies that show just how intolerant of change the Jedi had become since the Ruusan Reformation:
He had all the lightsaber fighting capabilities and the moves of the Jedi, only faster and more aggressive. My only conclusion…is that it was a Sith lord.
Impossible! The Sith are extinct! They have been for nearly a millennium.
I agree. The Sith would not have returned without us sensing it.
It must be difficult having sworn your life to the Jedi…not being able to visit the places you like…or do the things you like.
Or be with the people I love.
Are you allowed to love? I thought that was forbidden for a Jedi.
Since the Republic was not allowed by law, it took extraordinary measures on the part of the Galactic Senate, and the granting of emergency powers to then Supreme Chancellor Palpatine to create the Grand Army of the Republic. Additionally, since the Jedi were unable to look to their own history and learn from it, in effect move to a more effective war footing, they too ended up falling. In the end, the Galaxy was never the same and even fifty years after the founding of the First Galactic Empire by the self-proclaimed Emperor Palpatine, the Galaxy is trying to recover from the events that were almost directly caused by the failed Ruusan Reformation. It still remains to be seen if the New Republic will be able to stand against the Imperial Remnants that are currently being led by the First Order.