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Up to date as of February 04, 2010

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Grand Convocation Chamber
General information
Constructed

after 4,000 BBY

Location

Senate Building, Coruscant

Height

100 meters

Usage
Era(s)

Rise of the Empire era Rebellion era, New Republic era

Affiliation

Galactic Republic, Galactic Empire

"The Jedi have their battles in this war, so have we. Our battlefield is not in space or some distant planet. It is in the Senate Chamber."
Bail Organa

The Grand Convocation Chamber, also referred to as the Senate Rotunda, Senate Arena, Senate Chamber, Great Rotunda, was the largest room in the Senate Building on Coruscant. It was over 100 meters tall and consisted of 1,024 pods for Senators from all over the galaxy. The entrance to the Chamber was the Atrium of the Senate, and it was ringed by the Grand Concourse. When choosing a color scheme for the walls, ancient designers chose lavender—as it was the only shade that had not been historically associated with mourning, anger, or war in the entire Galaxy.

In the center, a thirty-meter-tall podium would rise up from the Chancellor's holding office for the Senate sessions. On this podium, the Supreme Chancellor, his Staff Aide, and the Vice Chair stood on the upper level, and the Senate scribe, journal clerk, parliamentarian, and Sergeant at Arms were seated on the lower level. Many major events occurred in this room throughout the history of the Galactic Republic and the Galactic Empire.

In the time of the New Republic Senate, the senior members of the Senate were seated at the lower levels, with the newer and less powerful Senators seated in the upper tiers.

Contents

History

The Grand Convocation Chamber in 3,653 BBY

The Grand Convocation Chamber, like the rest of the Senate Building itself, was built sometime after 4,000 BBY. Prior to it being built, the Senate met in a chamber shaped like an oval stadium known as the Senate Hall, which was buried several levels below the Convocation Chamber.

In 32 BBY, a session for the Senate was called to deal with the Invasion of Naboo. As a result of Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum's lack of power in resolving it, he was given a Vote of No Confidence. Senator Palpatine was voted the new Chancellor, and began serving soon after the crisis was ended.

Ten standard years later, Palpatine was voted emergency powers by the Senate to deal with the ongoing threat of the Separatist Crisis, which began the Clone Wars in 22 BBY. After three years of battles and the Chancellor's own kidnapping, in 19 BBY, Palpatine announced to the Senate further security for his people by creating the Galactic Empire. After the announcement of Order 66, the room was the location of a fight between him and Jedi Grand Master Yoda. In the duel, Palpatine threw several Senator pods towards Yoda, demolishing much of the once pristine chamber. It was quickly rebuilt, and continued to be used until the Senate was disbanded shortly before the Battle of Yavin.

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Later reuse

The Senate Building survived the Galactic Civil War largely intact, although not without some wear and tear. It was the first structure to be rebuilt after Rebel Alliance's retaking of the planet. Then, during the Thrawn crisis, it was almost completely destroyed. Later, it would be severely damaged by Kueller's bombs and would undergo a major renovation.

The bombed Senate Hall.

By the time of Borsk Fey'lya's election as Chief of State, the building itself was rebuilt, which saw the internal fittings of the auditorium completely replaced, and the Grand Convocation Chamber was thought of by many contemporaries as an entirely "new" structure, distinct from the old Senate Hall. The chamber was extensively redecorated, the Chief of State's podium was lowered to ground level, and most strikingly of all, in place of the former geometric arrangement of repulsorpods, the seating for delegates was organized into clusters of differing size and shape arranged around the rotunda, connected to each other by ramps and stairways, and capable of holding more than 2,000 delegates. The upper levels were randomly pitted with large chambers to seat other senators or representatives temporarily visiting the planet. It was said that they may have replaced some of the rooms with repulsorlift pods, but by the time of the Yuuzhan Vong's taking of the planet, that plan had been long abandoned. The overall effect of the design was to create a complex arrangement of contrasting forms and details, combined nevertheless into a clear, coherent harmony.

However, the old Senate Building proved to be an exceptionally durable structure, and substantial elements of the original fabric remained in situ following the rebuilding. The main entrance was still through the venerable Great Door and the Atrium which it enclosed, and while the fittings of the Senate Chamber might have been entirely new, they had been reverently installed upon the old auditorium, leaving the preexisting structure intact underneath.

After the Fall of Coruscant, the conquering Yuuzhan Vong selected the Senate building for transformation into the Well of the World Brain. During Jacen Solo's sham attempt to sacrifice Ganner Rhysode to the World Brain, Ganner fought off scores of Yuuzhan Vong Warriors, becoming a legend to both the Jeedai heretics and the Warrior caste alike. During the Liberation of Coruscant, Han Solo, Leia Organa Solo, and the Priest Harrar went to the Well in an attempt to prevent the World Brain from destroying Coruscant. The Yuuzhan Vong subsequently repaired the atrium in a way that disguised the damage to the ancient structure underneath.

Following the liberation of Coruscant at the end of the Yuuzhan Vong War, the World Brain remained in situ, beneath the Senate Chamber. The Senate body had returned to the capital by 35 ABY, and launched a concerted effort to restore the building to its original state. During the Second Galactic Civil War, it was once again a center of governmental activity. The Building was still standing, at least, as of 130 ABY.

Appearances

Convocation Chamber circa 32 BBY cutaway.

Sources


This article uses material from the "Grand Convocation Chamber" article on the Starwars wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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