I'm guessing that the majority of the Senate would have had to vote to agree with Jar Jar's proposal to give Palpatine emergency powers (although in the film it doesn't show any vote, it seems as though Palpatine just needed Jar Jar to propose it) and the obvious reason for giving Palpatine emergency powers is so that he can order the use of the clones to fight the droids.

If this is the obvious reason for giving him emergency powers, and my assumption is correct that the majority of the Senate agreed to this, why can't the Senate just vote to use the clones without having to resort to giving Palpatine emergency powers?

  • 4
    A better question is why Palpatine's first act as Emperor wasn't to immediately have Jarjar killed.
    – Valorum
    Sep 6, 2015 at 11:06
  • 5
    @Richard Palpatine is evil.
    – Mr Lister
    Sep 6, 2015 at 12:57
  • 1
    Your name is Richard Palpatine? Whoa.... Sep 6, 2015 at 19:50
  • @Richard - No, because Palpatine is merely doing Lucas's bidding and Jar Jar is Lucas's meal ticket Sep 7, 2015 at 15:35
  • So that George Lucas could make a statement about George W. Bush.
    – Wad Cheber
    Sep 9, 2015 at 5:26

2 Answers 2


That is pretty close how it works in real life; emergency powers are not granted for using the Clone Army, but for anything that may needed afterwards. It grants Palpatine a way to bypass (most of) the legal checks and securities to protect from his rule.

For example, if Palpatine wanted the Republic to take control of privately owned spaceships, usually he would propose a law that would be discussed in the Senate; even if Senate agreed with it, it would mean a considerable delay just in approving it. Additionally, affected parties may try to take the issue to judges/local jurisdictions/etc.

With emergency powers, Palpatine is granted to make such a law that comes into effect automatically, even if that law concurs rights granted by other laws. Usually, most constitutions have a limit on what rights may be violated, and usually force the government to seek approval of the law by Senate/Congress after the law comes into effect.

So, in short, it is not a power needed to use the Clone Army (because that was already granted) but to ease the creation of new laws as needed by the course of war.


Some of my answer is opinion but most comes from the Star Wars Wikia:


Palpatine needed emergency powers in order to assure the creation of the Army because a straight vote could have went either way.

The Senate had been in debate over the need for an Army for years. On the day of the vote Senator Amidala who was the leader of the opposition was attacked and the vote was postponed. A heck of a lot of worlds had great respect for Amidala after what the Trade Federation did to Naboo and how she kicked their butts.

When Jar Jar (acting as representative of Naboo in Amidala's place) proposed giving Palpatine emergency powers, that was the push that a lot of Senators needed to back the army even if their worlds didn't necessarily agree. After all, if Naboo suddenly was supporting Palpatine (who wanted the Army) then maybe it was necessary to have the army after all.

It was much easier for Palpatine to influence Jar Jar's weak mind to get him to make the proposal then it was to influence thousands of Senators to vote for an Army. And by not directly voting on an Army's creation it would also provide somewhat of a "save face" for those politicians in the eyes of the voters since they did not actually vote for the Army directly.

  • If a straight vote could have gone either way, then shouldn't a vote on emergency powers go either way as well? Why would the Senate be willing to give Palpatine emergency powers (which he would use to authorize the use of the clone army) but not vote for the Military Creation Act? I don't think that is explained here. The point about "saving face" is a good one, but I don't see that reason given anywhere in Star Wars canon.
    – Null
    Sep 8, 2015 at 18:59

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