Star Wars—How did the Empire carry out formal executions?

I’m only a casual Star Wars fan, but I’ve picked up a few references, in canon works as well as EU/“Legends” works, to the Galactic Empire using capital punishment. As in the sense of through at least some semblance of a judicial process, not just Lord Vader crushing your windpipe because you failed him, or a Stormtrooper death squad being dispatched to shoot up a place.

Fine and good, and not really surprising. However, I’m not actually seeing a lot of details as to what method(s) were used, or what kind of procedure—I mean, even Ming the Merciless had a fancy ceremony, if only for the sake of dinner entertainment.

So, I ask you: what kind of fate, specifically, would await you if you committed a capital offense against Emperor Palpatine and his glorious regime? And how much would it hurt?

No internal evidence from the movies, but, given their neo-Nazi fashion and style choices, I’d bet on something with the appearance of neatness and industrial efficiency, such as disintegrator chambers. A bunch of dissidents get marched in, the door closes, the door opens again and the room is empty.

It’s good enough for Star Trek; it’s good enough for Star Wars.

The Nazis, for their actual legally sanctioned executions, favoured the guillotine. That’s how Hans and Sophie Scholl were executed, for instance.

Couldn’t have been anything TOO quick to set up: Tarkin gets miffed that Leia snookered him about Dantooine being the location of the rebel base, snaps “Terminate her – IMMEDIATELY!” to Vader…but before The Oh-So-Efficient Imperial Machine can kack one unarmed princess, a farm-boy, a smuggler and a walking carpet bust her out of jail. :smack:

Yeah but there is the scene where Tarkin orders the execution, then it cuts to the Falcon coming into the Alderaan system and being discovered immediately. Maybe the cut hides hours or days, but as the Falcon is being brought on board Vader says Leia may be of some use. He clearly knows what is up, by having a tracking device placed on the Falcon, and has the execution order put on hold.

Even so, have to agree that whatever method it would be efficient. Probably do all the day’s executions at the same time. That is probably why Leia was still alive when the Falcon showed up.

As far as I can tell … 1. Put them on their home planet. 2. Blow the planet up.

Canonically, don’t they love to hold their fire? Isn’t that the whole reason Artoo got to deliver the message that makes the movie possible?

Granted, that one wasn’t an execution – but follow it all the way down: Leia’s already locked in a cell, right? Tarkin says to terminate her immediately, but she’s still alive in that cell later, right? So maybe they execute you by just leaving you in your cell. Getting a bit peckish? Perhaps a little thirsty? Yes, well, I’m not paying for that, or for a single blaster bolt; you can just die for free; simple, cheap, efficient.

When Han was frozen in carbonite, that had something of an execution feel. Easy to imagine the same sort of setup but with disintegrators or whatever.

Seems like the simplest approach would be to just space them.

Push them down the garbage chute.

Blasters wouldn’t work, they’re too inaccurate.

Right after that, the Millennium Falcon comes out of hyperspace and is quickly pulled into the Death Star. We don’t know when Vader proposed his plan of letting them excape, but perhaps the arrival of a ship to the Aalderan system right then gave Tarkin pause.

Very sketchy memory from Splinter of the Minds Eye, when Luke and Leia escaped from jail, the head imperial dude was injured and somewhat pissed off , so ordered the execution of some of the stormtrooper guards. I think he had them tied up and shot, so they use that method.

This could be one more badly remembered sci fi novel detail by me, but what is more disturbing is that I have even one neuron dedicated to badly remembering a pointless detail from a book I read over 30 years ago. Why, brain, why?

Hold our fire!? What do we get paid by the laser!?

The galaxy is a big place with lots of planets and people. You can’t expect Vader to show up to every petty execution, or the Emperor to worry about how your planet (or station) deals with rebel scum.

So I would imagine the methods vary quite a lot.

My question is, why do they even need a procedure? They’re the Empire! They aren’t accountable to anyone. They can just shoot them, right there, right now. They don’t need to “sign orders to terminate”. They got guns! Just shoot them.

They weren’t trying to kill Han, they were just using Han as a test subject, to see if it was possible to survive carbon freezing. Vader wanted to freeze Luke, but not if it meant killing him.

It’s a big station. Just walking her back to her cell from her meeting with Tarkin took, like, a week.

Well, we already know the ship is too big; if I walk, the movie will be over.

Simple, but very very dangerous when ships are zooming throughout the galaxy at speeds faster than light. Han warns against plotting a course running through a star, but plowing into a frozen corpse at hyperspeed probably wouldn’t buff out either :stuck_out_tongue: