For every insult, you will scream a dozen times.—Darth Vader, threatening Han Solo, The Empire Strikes Back (radio)
Throughout the galaxy, any practice by which severe pain and/or suffering was inflicted on a being, whether physical or mental, was considered torture. Torture was used for such purposes as obtaining from them or a third party information or a confession, as punishment for an act an individual had committed or was suspected of having committed. Another motive was pure and simple revenge. Torture also served a function as a way of intimidating or coercing individuals, or for discriminatory reasons of any kind. Occasionally, torture was the adverse byproduct of either medical or scientific research, studies, or procedures, and usually occurred without the expressed consent of the victim. Often times torturous methods were initiated by the directives of heads of state, though other individuals or groups were capable of inflicting torture for the same reasons. However, another motive for torture was simply for the sadistic gratification of the torturer.
Look at… what is left of him. Do you think saving his life would be a kindness?
Torture was widely considered as a gruesome and unethical practice by most cultures in the galaxy. Despotic governments and heads of states often coerced prisoners into revealing sensitive information through the use of intimidation and torture; known examples were the Krath in the Empress Teta system, the Galactic Empire,, the Tundei of Abregado-rae, the Corporate Sector Authority, Dictator-Forever Craw of the planet Targonn, and the Absolutes on New Apsolon.
Torture was also utilized by gangsters and criminal organizations; one notable example was the Hutt crime lord Rokko, whose invention and enjoyment of various forms of torture was the stuff of many a con being's nightmare. To bounty hunters like Boba Fett, Aurra Sing and Feskitt Bobb, torture was a useful tool for locating their prey.
The Galactic Republic was founded on the principles of law and justice, and torture was against the bylaws of the Galactic Senate. After Palpatine, a senator from the planet Naboo, became Supreme Chancellor of the Republic, he secretly had people tortured for investigating him. After Palpatine assumed the position of galactic Emperor, the Imperial Senate approved his call for more freedom in the treatment of the enemies of the Empire ("in times such as these, extreme measures can be called for" - Imperial Inquisitor Malorum). Under Imperial rule, there was intense demand for torture droids and torture equipment of all kinds. After the fall of the Empire, the resulting New Republic took a firm stand against the use of torture. However, torture equipment and droids were still manufactured in secret, and were often used by criminals and Imperial Remnant worlds. Many remaining Imperials like Admiral Natasi Daala, Imperial Guard Carnor Jax, Moff Leonia Tavira, Admiral Ysanne Isard, Grand Admiral Thrawn, and the sadistic scientist Leonis Murthé also perpetuated Palpatine's Imperial tradition. During the reign of Darth Krayt more than a century later, the agency in charge of torture was Sith Intelligence and Assassination.
Torture varied in both method and purpose between species and cultures. One notable example was the Yuuzhan Vong, who glorified pain not only as a motive for action, but also as a state of living. The Vong warrior caste derived perverse pleasure from their own pain and from the pain of others.
I didn't think such pain existed. In any universe.—Princess Leia, after being tortured by Darth Vader on the Death Star, Star Wars Journal: Captive to Evil
There was no set standard as to what could or could not be used for torture. Victims were usually held in place with restraints (for example with binders, shackles, ropes, or restraints that were part of the torture mechanism itself) or rendered immobile by other means (like the Geonosian containment field,), so as to lessen any potential opportunity for a successful escape. Sometimes, she or he were stripped of most of their clothing, and/or (if belonging to a hairy species) having their fur shaved off, and imprisoned within a cold, dark cell, adding to their misery. The torturer would often taunt and mentally abuse the victim both during and after the ordeal.
Physical torture methods ranged from a beating with nothing more than fists and boots, to the use of sophisticated custom designed devices such as the IT-0 Interrogator droid. Other types of torture could include sensory manipulation, sleep deprivation, uncomfortable extremes of heat and cold, loud noises, or any other means that inflicts physical pain.
Psychological torture used non-physical methods to cause extreme mental suffering. Torture was sometimes combined with a false display of sympathy or affection from the torturer, such as expressed regret for having to put the victim through the procedure, and/or tending to their injuries. A similar way of manipulation was through sexual seduction.
Some people even utilized their torture skills as an occupation, and were paid to glean desired info out of their contracted victims. Some bounty hunters, like Boba Fett, would gladly torture their bounties if they were paid to.
The Mandalorian Walon Vau performed physical torture upon a group of captured terrorists, in the days just after the first anniversary of the start of the Clone Wars. Vau, along with a team of Mandalorians, clone troopers and Jedi Knights was assigned to destroy a Separatist spy and terror network on Coruscant. They captured group of Separatist terrorists, M'truli, Gysk and Orjul, and took them to a soundproof apartment. There Walon Vau proceeded to beat information out of them, to the point that the walls were splattered with blood. Jedi Master Arligan Zey knew how the prisoners were treated, but chose to turn a blind eye to it, whereas Jedi Knight Etain Tur-Mukan helped Wau finish his job by torturing Orjul with her own psychic powers.
During the Black Fleet Crisis more than 35 years later, Han Solo was being held captive by Nil Spaar. To intimidate the President of the New Republic, Han's wife Leia Organa Solo, Spaar brutally beat, kicked and hurled about a bound Han for nearly twenty minutes, while Leia was watching via a holotransmission. Han's blood was smeared on the walls and the floor, and even on Spaar's arms.
One way to torture the victim was to break one or more of the bones in her or his body. The bounty hunter Aurra Sing used this method to tear information out of people to find the location of her bounty, Jax Pavan. When the young Rebel Deena Shan was confronted by Imperial Captain Rishyk, Rishyk decided to toy with her before killing her, and got the idea of breaking every single bone in her body.
One can do some interesting things with a saber, you know. I'll do my best to show you all of them if you'll cooperate by not passing out.—Darth Vader to Princess Leia, on Mimban, Splinter of the Mind's Eye
Branding involved using red-hot metal to hideously burn the victim's flesh. The same effect could be achieved by lasers; when Princess Leia was forced to fight Darth Vader on Mimban during the Galactic Civil War, Vader merely toyed with her, repeatedly slashing her skin with his lightsaber, leaving several black scorch marks on her body.
The Burning was a form of torture involving the use of a blaster set at low power, to scorch the flesh of an individual's body, leaving only blood-smeared bone. Usually, the interrogator would begin with a leg; immobilizing the victim, then continuing the process with other parts of the victim's body, burning off the flesh, inch by inch. Other prisoners were usually made to watch, as part of a psychological torture meant to break their will.
Jedi Historian Tionne Solusar fell victim to an act of violence very similar to The Burning. During the Second Galactic Civil War, the Galactic Alliance Guard was ordered by Colonel Jacen Solo to kill every Jedi at the Jedi Praxeum on Ossus. To draw other Jedi out of hiding, Master Solusar was held fast by Major Salle Serpa, who fired his blaster several times, burning away the lower part of her leg and most of her arm. Tionne fell to the ground writhing in pain, as the helpless Jedi trainees looked on. Then, as a literal "insult to injury," Serpa fired another blaster shot at the stump that was Tionne's brutalized arm, searing off even more flesh and bone.
Almost ten years before the Battle of Naboo, Jedi Master Tahl was kidnapped by the Absolute Balog, injected with a paralyzing drug that kept her conscious, but immobilized, and put in a sensory deprivation device. She was still alive when her love, Qui-Gon Jinn, arrived to rescue her, but the damage to her inner organs was severe, and he was unable to save her.
Imperial torture devices were often equipped with diagnostic scanners that would anticipate a prisoner's loss of consciousness, with chemical injectors keeping her or him awake and conscious during every second of the ordeal.
The Imperial Moff Sarne was fond of using exotic and painful pharmaceuticals to torture his prisoners. The liquid was injected into the victim's body with a hypo syringe, making the prisoner feel like the blood was boiling in their veins.
Technology could be used for locating pain stimulators and damping the victim's endorphins, making the slightest scratch feel like agony. Bavo-6 was a powerful liquid chemical notable for being used in the large syringes of IT-0 interrogation droids. The serum could lower pain thresholds, stimulate cooperation and trigger hallucinations.
Torture could be combined with truth drugs and/or chemicals designed to break the victim's will. OV600 was a peculiar type of truth serum which caused the victim's flesh to break out in a painful rash if the drug detected the tendencies of lies. Another powerful truth drug was skirtopanol, whereas loquasin had the peculiar effects of compelling the victim to talk, but the drug alone could not force the victim to say what the interrogators wanted—the victim could just as well talk, or even sing, about something else.
After Cade Skywalker was captured by the Sith, he was taken to Darth Maladi's laboratory, where he was tortured for a whole day, being injected with lethal ixetal cilona again and again, to see if he was able to heal himself.
I fell in love with a Mandalorian girl, married into the clans, and a hut'uun killed her. I know his name. I'll find him. And then I'll show him what it means to make a bad enemy of a Mandalorian with anatomical expertise and a scalpel.—Mandalorian Mij Gilamar, Republic Commando: Order 66
During the Clone Wars, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Alpha-17 were presumed dead after an explosion during the Battle of Jabiim. They had actually been captured by the Dark Jedi Asajj Ventress, and transported to her stronghold on Rattatak. There she tortured them to obtain information about Republic troop movements. One of her methods was cutting Alpha with a knife again and again. When Leia Organa Solo was captured by the Intendant Nom Anor during the Yuuzhan Vong War, she was hit across the legs again and again with a heavy, sharp object.
Another, presumably more painful and terrifying variant consisted of cutting out the victim's inner organs one by one, while the victim was conscious. A similar method involved cutting off flesh or body parts; for example, the female Sith Lord Darth Zannah killed the healer Caleb by cutting him to pieces with her lightsaber. Burra Stone, who took great pleasure in torturing his victims and was the most feared interrogator in the Empire, once threatened to pull every hair from an Imperial steward's body… from the inside, and was utterly serious about it.
To soften up the victim and break down their resistance before the actual torture session, the victim could be deprived of sleep, or be kept waiting without food or water for long periods of time.
In 29 BBY, while being a prisoner of the Twi'lek Kh'aris Fenn, Jedi Master Tholme was introduced to Fenn's droid AX/RX, which tortured the Jedi Master through powerful electric jolts. Fenn ordered the droid to keep torturing Tholme until he was oblivious, but Tholme used the Force to drop his vital signs, making the droid believe he was unconscious, before throwing the Jedi in a cell.
Shortly after the declaration of the Galactic Empire, the smuggler Schurk-Heren was shackled to a table and electrocuted by Haka Hai's men, to make him reveal where he hid the contraband he had promised to sell Hai. When Schurk-Heren passed out, they proceeded to treat one of his companions, the Nosaurian Bomo Greenbark, the same way, but Bomo escaped by pretending to also be unconscious, and then using his horns to break the chains holding him.
One week after Endor, the Rebel pilot Ten Numb was captured by the sadist Imperial General Weir, who tortured the Rebel with electricity from a live wire. Numb soon broke and supplied Weir with all the information he wanted, including sizes and secret locations of military forces.
Three years later, Talon Karrde mentioned a renegade band of Twi'leks who used to torture their prisoners by running electricity through a vat of bacta. When the victim was at the brink of death, the electricity was turned off, allowing the bacta to heal the prisoner, only to face a new round of the same torture.
The force pike, or electro-jabber, was a spear with a vibrating power tip moving at extreme speed. At lowest setting, the spear would deliver excruciating electrical shocks, higher settings could result in paralysis and death, and at maximum setting, it could slice through everything from flesh and bone to thin durasteel plating. The weapon could be used for self defense, but also as a torture device. The Emperor's Royal Guards used the force pike mainly as a ceremonial weapon, but sometimes for other reasons; torture was one of them.
The neuronic whip consisted of a thin strand of wire attached to a handle with a switch on. By activating the switch, electricity would course through the wire. Anything coming into contact with the electric whip would suffer a debilitating neurological overload; repeated lashings could result in permanent brain damage. Since the whip rarely caused physical harm, it was often used by slavers.
During the Clone Wars, Jedi Knights Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker, along with Anakin's Padawan Ahsoka Tano and clone trooper Captain Rex, were captured by the Muun Overseer Juhm after a failed attempt to free Juhm's slavess from captivity, on Gwori. As a reminder to the slaves that they were firmly under the overseer's control, the four were placed against shocker sticks, torture devices which delivered electrical shocks through restraints on the victim's feet and hands.
Sometimes, fire was utilized as a form of painful execution. Shortly before the Battle of Yavin, Imperial forces tricked a group of resistance leaders fighting the Galactic Empire (presumably members of the Rebel Alliance) into entering a building which was then closed from the outside, before the soldiers torched the building. 7.5 years later, several members of Wraith Squadron planned to hit the Binring Biomedical Product facility on Saffalore, only to discover that the entire facility was a trap. Suddenly, a trap door dropped the Wraiths into an incinerator. They escaped after blasting the wall with explosives, but many of them sustained nasty burns and other serious injuries.
- Main article: Sith poison
Oh, he doesn't have to die—if his Jedi power can neutralize Sith poison!—Satal Keto, Tales of the Jedi: Dark Lords of the Sith 4: Death of a Dark Jedi
Poisons were a tool, often implemented for a number of reasons during torture sessions. This was the case with Sith poison; a dark side-infused toxin created through the arts of Sith alchemy. Once introduced to the bloodstream of a Force-sensitive individual, the poison wears away their resistance to the dark side of the Force. The victim suffers extreme anguish while being consumed by the dark side, over a prolonged period of time. Ulic Qel-Droma was administered a Sith poison by Lord Satal Keto, while being tortured by specialized droids, and interrogated about his intentions on Keto's homeworld.
- Main article: Sith sorcery
I can use my powers to conjure up your worst nightmares and bring them to life before your eyes. I can drive you mad with fear, shred your sanity, and leave you a raving lunatic for the rest of your life—Darth Zannah, describing the effects of her powers to Caleb, Darth Bane: Rule of Two
Sith sorcery granted its masters an affinity for a power that subjected victims to bouts of utter terror, anguish, and despair. By influencing a person's mind, the sorcerer could make a victim relive their worst fears or nightmares, to such an extreme that the victim would be driven to madness in a desperate attempt to escape the horrors, only to feel them inside their head and mind instead, as the power attacked all aspects of the victim's sensory perceptions. At one point, this technique was used by the female Sith Lord Darth Zannah, which left the Anti-Republic Liberation Front member Cyndra in a permanent catatonic state. The Sith Lord Darth Wyyrlok was another master of this art.
- Main article: Force lightning
Behold the naked energies of pure willpower. Now, feel its glory!—Emperor Palpatine to Luke Skywalker, before torturing Luke with Force lightning., Return of the Jedi (radio)
Force lightning was a well known Force ability associated with Sith and the dark side of the Force. The attack channeled Force energy down the user's limbs, hurling arcing bolts of electricity from the wielder's hands. Force lightning caused unbearable pain, while slowly diminishing the victim's life. It was also nearly impossible to deflect. When the electricity hit the victim, it felt like searing every nerve back into its individual cells, skewering each of them on white-hot needles.
In 3,998 BBY, the Arkanian Jedi Arca Jeth was captured by King Ommin of Onderon. With the assistance of the Sith Lord Freedon Nadd's spirit, the king attempted to torture Arca to the brink of death with a lightning-based attack, believing that the Jedi Master would be forced to call upon the dark side of the Force to save himself. At that point, Ommin planned to destroy Arca's body and raise the fallen Jedi as a dark side spirit.
In 3,956 BBY, the Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Malak captured Jedi Bastila Shan. In order to force her into accepting the dark side, he relentlessly tortured her for a week through the use of Force lightning. She eventually fell to the dark side and became his apprentice, although she was later eased back to the light side by a redeemed Revan.
In 31 BBY, Jedi Master Quinlan Vos embarked on a mission to the Twi'lek planet Ryloth, in search of his missing apprentice, Aayla Secura. When Quinlan confronted Aayla's uncle Pol Secura, who had taken her and was feeding her glitteryll (a powerful memory-reducing narcotic), he tortured the Twi'lek man with Force lightning. Just as Pol confessed about where the supply of glitteryll was coming from, he was accidentally Force pushed from a balcony by Aayla.
In year 4 ABY, when the Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker refused to join Emperor Palpatine, the Emperor tormented Luke with Force lightning, beginning with an agonizing but non-lethal barrage, working his way gradually upwards in lethality in order to maximize Luke's suffering, seemingly deriving pleasure from Skywalker's torment.
Other Force abilities used for tortureEdit
The Sorcerer of Tund Rokur Gepta developed a Force ability called torture by chagrin, in which the subject was forced to relive all the worst memories and horrors of their life, everything from the merely embarrassing ones to the painful ones, but would not experience anything but the fear. The victim was forced to relive their nightmares over and over again, for days or weeks, until their will and resolve were utterly crushed. A few years before the Battle of Yavin, Lando Calrissian was captured and tortured by Gepta, who subjected Lando to his unique torture method. Fortunately for Lando, he was able to escape.
Around 18 BBY, Darth Vader embarked on a mission to Vohai, in search of new cloning technologies. On Vohai, Vader was attacked by the Emperor's Hand Sa Cuis, who was easily overpowered by the Dark Lord. Vader then tortured Cuis via Force choke, bringing him to the brink of death again and again, in an attempt to force Cuis to reveal who sent him. He was subsequently killed by Darth Vader when he refused to reveal his employer.
When Princess Leia was tortured by Vader in order to learn the location of the hidden Rebel base, she was injected with mind-altering drugs that made her very susceptible to suggestion. Using his own psychic powers, Vader made her believe that she was in unbearable pain—that her skin was on fire and her flesh being torn apart.
Three years after the Battle of Yavin, Darth Vader again tortured Leia Organa, as well as Han Solo and Chewbacca, on Cloud City. While the torture was not augmented by the Force, Vader knew that their anguish would reach Luke Skywalker through the Force and draw him to Bespin where he could be captured and delivered to Emperor Palpatine. Han was subjected to the scan grid, Chewie to sonic torture and searing lights. Leia, like Han, went through an ordeal with a torture machine, though the specific details are unknown.
Even some proponents of the light side resorted to torture on occasion. Jedi Knight Etain Tur-Mukan tortured the terrorist Orjul mentally by projecting her own fear of being devoid of any direction into his mind by way of denial. Ignoring his gasping, squealing, panting and sobbing, she tortured him for an hour, before Orjul broke down and revealed everything. Etain justified her actions by claiming that she did it all without anger, which a Jedi wasn't supposed to feel, and that being serene made her actions acceptable.
After the assassination attempt on his daughter, Jacen Solo sought out Allana's great-grandmother Ta'a Chume. Demanding answers, he pressed his thumbs into the base of her skull, shooting charges of Force energy through her brain, while at the same time expanding his own Force presence into her mind, more and more. After getting the information he wanted, he violently poured Force energy into her head and kept pushing hard into her mind with his own presence, until he sent her into a coma.
One of the many torture methods of the Yuuzhan Vong involved a type of psychological torment where the Vong would feign the prisoner's execution again and again by repeatedly drawing the victim to within centimeters of the Sharp teeth of a yammosk.
You are the subject of scientific experimentation. You will not be hurt, only studied.—Jenna Zan Arbor to Qui-Gon Jinn, as she prepares to perform her "experiments.", Jedi Apprentice: The Evil Experiment
During the Mandalorian Wars, the Mandalorian scientist Demagol, used the conquered people of the Outer Rim as subjects for his grisly studies. He even liked experimenting with children, and was particularly interested in finding a biological base for Jedi powers. Initially, Jedi were kidnapped for this purpose, before hostilities with the Galactic Republic surfaced, and a number of Jedi captured on Suurja poured into his lab on Flashpoint Station, to serve as new research subjects. When the Arkanian offshoot Jarael was captured by Mandalorians while impersonating a Jedi, she was taken to Flashpoint, where other Jedi were being tortured and tested by Demagol. After arriving she met with Squint, a Jedi who had also been made into a prisoner. Upon seeing that he had a new test subject, Demagol wanted to study Jarael immediately. Squint, however, protested and insisted that he go in Jarael's place since he had already discerned that she was not a Jedi, and knew that there were trials only a Jedi could survive.
Roughly ten years before the Battle of Naboo, Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn was captured and brought before the famed scientist Jenna Zan Arbor, who was studying the traits of Force-sensitive individuals (with hopes of genetically engineering Force sensitivity into normal beings). Her "experiments" included phlebotomy and torture, designed as test of Qui-Gon's endurance.
The scientist Leonis Murthé was fond of experimenting on living beings, finding new ways to make them die and experimenting with how long he could keep them screaming. Active during the reign of the Galactic Empire and years afterwards, the doctor eventually admitted that he gave up any science pretense long ago, and was simply doing it for his own personal pleasure.
During the Second Galactic Civil War, Darth Caedus had the Embrace of Pain installed in a secret hangar bay on board his command ship, the Anakin Solo. There, he used the Embrace to torture his cousin, Ben Skywalker, hoping to turn him to the Dark side of the Force.
In 1 ABY, when the Executor-class Star Dreadnaught Lusankya was commissioned for use by the Galactic Empire, it was taken to Coruscant and buried underneath Imperial City. While stationed there, a section of the Lusankya was used as a private corrections facility by the Director of Imperial Intelligence, Ysanne Isard. To thwart any potential escape attempts, the prison was fitted with a rotating artificial gravity generator.
Prisoners believed they were right side up, but in truth, were upside down, so that any attempts to dig themselves to freedom would only lead them deeper within the prison. Isard used the dreadnaught's facilities for her Imperial intelligence-gathering needs, usually including torture and interrogation. Isard was ruthless during interrogation sessions with Lusankya's prisoners, employing multiple methods as required—torture, drugs, and psychological conditioning—to learn what she desired.
Alderaan native Tycho Celchu was also sent to the Lusankya, having been captured during a failed spy mission to Coruscant. Isard tried to condition Celchu, and turn him into one of her agents, but the methods were too extreme and left him catatonic. The Corellian pilot Corran Horn was imprisoned within the bowels of the Lusankya, where he was tortured by Isard for vital New Republic secrets. When Isard realized that Horn would reveal nothing, she had him placed in the general population of the prison, where he would later escape.
During the reign of the Galactic Empire, there existed several secret interrogation chambers close to the solid surface of Imperial City. The constructions were disguised as nondescript, run-down buildings, but in reality, they were sealed bunkers protected by strong metal walls. The inside of the bunkers were a showcase of tools designed to induce pain; racks, bed platforms with manacles and electrical rods, pain-inducing drugs and serums, interrogation droids and so on.
After the New Republic's capture of Coruscant, EVS-6962, a construction droid under the supervision of Wedge Antilles, inadvertently uncovered a secret Imperial Interrogation Center during its routine tear-down assignments.
When Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn was held captive by scientist Jenna Zan Arbor, he was kept floating in a chamber of vapor without sight or sound, while at the same time being slowly drained of blood.
Ah, if these devices could only speak, what tales they would tell!—Dictator-Forever Craw, commenting on his private torture chamber, Star Wars Droids: Season of Revolt 3
The Agony inducer was a small, circular device that could be attached to the ear. Small buttons could be pressed to cause the victim pain. A short time after the Battle of Yavin, the bounty hunters Fud and Dafi used an agony inducer on the smuggler Jaxxon in order to force him to tell them the location of Aduba-3.
Shortly after the Battle of Endor, the Zeltron female Dani was captured by the Nagai agent Den Siva, who subjected her to weeks of mental torture and clinical study before she was rescued. Eager to study the make up of her species, Siva subjected Dani to the analysis grid, a device designed to detect the physiology of a species, by firing coherent beams of energy through a specimen.
Carbonite was a metal alloy that was mixed with Tibanna gas, compressed, and flash-frozen, encasing materials for transport in an incredibly strong metal alloy. The freezing of living subjects in carbonite was used as a form of torture; the process was excruciating, and the victim was placed in a form of stasis hibernation, while still experiencing a form of consciousness.
In the days of the old Sith Empire, torture was known to be a common practice, so much so that ancient Lords of the Sith constructed terrible devices and chambers for which their torturous methods could be carried out. One such prison was Dreypa's Oubliette, crafted by a Sith Lord of the same name. When a victim of Dreypa's was placed inside the oubliette, they would endure what was described as a living death, being subjected to such torment for as long as they were held captive. Lord Dreypa intended this prison to contain a rival Sith named Karness Muur, and the powerful talisman within his possession, but Dreypa's plan never came to fruition.
The Embrace of PainEdit
The Vong call it the Embrace of Pain. The more you struggle to escape, the more pain it inflicts.—Darth Krayt to Cade Skywalker, Star Wars Legacy 18: Claws of the Dragon, Part 5
The Embrace of Pain was an organic, rack-like restraint used to torture prisoners. A victim was kept face down in restraint bands, and tortured while the creature would read the electrochemical outputs of the victims nerve impulses and evaluate her or his brain chemistry. The resultant data was used to keep the pain at constant and optimum levels. The device had a number of different methods for inducing pain, including stretching of ligaments and joints, acid, electric shocks, sharp devices, needles, thorns, and injected biotoxins. In at least one case, the victim was stripped naked, and all of his hairs pulled out. When the victim was at the brink of dying, the Embrace would tend to the prisoner's body by lowering them to the floor and letting them sleep for a time, while tending wounds and injecting the prisoner with enough water and nutrients to keep them alive.
The Agonizer-6 nerve disruptor was an Imperial torture and interrogation device resembling a small, three-legged droid. A built-in droid brain would closely monitored life indicators like heartbeat, nerve functions and respiration to keep the her or him alive until interrogation was complete. The disruptor pushed the victim into her or his limits, physical as well as mental. Microfilament injectors caused pain and dispensed truth drugs, while stimulators worked on sensitive nerve clusters, causing aches, tingling, pain or uncontrollable spasms. Nerve stimulation was also used to induce altered states of mind, ranging from euphoria, relaxation, and bliss, to fear, panic, and uncontrollable terror. Emotional states could be artificially enhanced, eventually destroying the victim's mental defenses and break their will.
The scan grid was a rack-like device originally designed to analyze metals, gathering data by emitting electrical charges. When Han Solo was tortured by Darth Vader at Bespin, Vader utilized Cloud City scan grid which had been heavily modified with additional tools designed for torture, including microsurgical vibroscalpels, an electroshock assembly, diagnostic scanners and chemical injectors. The scanners would anticipate loss of consciousness while the chemical injectors kept the victim awake, forcing Han to endure every measure of pain without passing out.
According to Director of Imperial Intelligence Ysanne Isard, Vader created the design himself. Earlier during the war, Lieutenant Zuud of Imperial Intelligence used the same, or a similar, device to torture the rebel agent Jorin Sol, and Isard herself would use yet another version called the Inducer to torment Corran Horn several years later. Whereas the original only worked on the pain receptors, the Inducer stimulated the receptors for heat and cold as well, making it feel like one's flesh was burning and the bones were chilled to absolute zero.
Spinerays were biologically engineered Yuuzhan Vong creatures used for stimulating the nervous system, both for medical purposes and as a means of torture. The tracer spineray was mainly used to evaluate the condition of organic tissue and for determining an organism's physiological balance, but also served a purpose as a tool for inflicting pain to selective nerve arrays. Inflicting pain was more often the domain of the provoker spineray, which would target and incite individual nerve endings, issuing pain to certain receptors with micromillimeter precision.
Ulic Qel-Droma! I am only a humble torture droid… While you are a great Jedi Knight. My masters are pleased that you have chosen to join the noble Krath, but claims of loyalty must be tested, and verfied.—Krath torture droid, torturing and interrogating Ulic Qel-Droma, Tales of the Jedi: Dark Lords of the Sith
Kh'aris Fenn owned a torture droid with the designation AX/RX, capable of inflicting pain through powerful electric shocks. The droid was tasked with torturing Tholme after the Jedi Master was taken captive by Fenn.
BL-39 interrogator droidEdit
The BL-39 interrogator droid was a direct successor to the Imperial torture droid IT-0. Following the decline of the Galactic Empire after the Galactic Civil War, a private company, Aratech, purchased the schematics for the IT-0. High demand from law enforcement agencies and local governments, resulted in the design being adapted to a civilian model.
The droid used many components from modern medical droids, and was capable of extracting information from the reluctant with minimal pain or physical injury. During the reign of Darth Krayt's Sith Empire, Moff Nyna Calixte made use of these droids in her duties as the Director of Imperial Intelligence.
EV supervisor droidEdit
The EV supervisor droid was manufactured by MerenData, and planned as a manager droid that could oversee and increase the efficiency of droid labor. During production, the EV motivators for the supervisor droids were mistakenly swapped for MDF motivators, contraband hardware designed for torture droids. MerenData didn't notice the error until after hundreds of faulty droids had gone out. The manufacturer blamed it on industrial sabotage, but others attributed it to a fatal combination of malicious intent and stupidity. The mix-up also exposed that MerenData were building illegal droids for the House of Tagge. According to several industry surveys, production lines where the droids were employed boasted a high efficiency rating, and the faulty models were outperforming the standard EV units at droid worker motivation.
But then the stories trickled in. The MDF Motivator had given the corrupted droids a rather malicious personality, along with a tendency to utilize painful forms of discipline. The combination of the MDF motivator's sadism and the EV's power of positive management lead to catastrophe. In a hotel on Indu San, the slowest droids were given oil baths set on fire. Worker droids on Eriadu were having their feet melted to the floor to prevent them from leaving their stations. A report in Cynabar's Droid Datalog described how an EV-droid supervisor working in an automated bulk freighter mistreated the droid crew so badly that an angry astromech droid blew it out the airlock. The droids' brutality extended to the rare cases where they were tasked to supervise organics; on Kadril, employees were prodded with high-voltage electroprods.
MerenData panicked, and made every effort to recall the corrupted droids, but some of them found homes with owners unfazed by their sadistic personalities. One example was certain pirate groups in the Outer Rim who modified their EV droids to serve as torture droids and slave pen supervisors.
One example was EV-4D9, employed by the crime boss Ploovo Two-For-One. One of its previous owners had noticed the droids habits, and enhanced its brutality even more by a little bit of programming, processors from an older torture droid and adding a few pain tools, including a thermal drill, an arc welder, a plasteel cutter and three solution injectors that could by loaded with a variety of pain- and truth-serums. The droid eventually came into the ownership of Lotas, a bounty hunter employed by the crime boss.
Yet another unit was EV-9D9.2, which took over as chief of interrogation on the assembly moon of Telti. This droid was a second generation administrative droid descended from the prototype EV-9D9. When the New Republic mechanic Cole Fardreamer, who was turned over to EV-9D9.2 after a run-in with Dark Jedi Brakiss in the latter's droid factory, experienced first-hand why the droid was said to be twice as ruthless as its predecessor. Cole managed to escape with the help of R2-D2 and C-3PO, who rallied the other droids against EV-9D9.2.
The most notorious EV droid was EV-9D9, former head of automated security on Cloud City, and supervisor of the droid pool at Jabba the Hutt's palace. Even though she left a series of broken droids in her wake, victims of her sadistic streak, it is unknown whether she ever harmed any organic beings.
Interrogation droids were used almost exclusively by the Galactic Empire and other tyrannical governments. After the Empire rose to power, most droids programmed to cause harm to organic creatures were outlawed, but interrogation droids remained legal, and their existence was not a well-kept secret; rumors of their horrifying techniques and cruelty spread throughout the Empire. Many of the sadistic tendencies shared by Imperial Inquisitors and ISB agents were programmed into the droids, and as a result, Imperial torture droids tended to have decidedly sadistic temperaments.
The IT-0 (Eyetee-Oh) was a series of Imperial torture droids developed by the Department of Military Research during the reign of the Galactic Empire. A product of military research and the ISB, it was manufactured solely by Imperial factories, though the droid was originally devised by the ancient Sith as an instrument to torture their prisoners (and not necessarily for information). Its reputation was spread far enough that many prisoners confessed as soon as one floated into their cell. High Inquisitor Mox Slosin, one of the Empire's most efficient interrogators, provided keen insight during the development of the droid. The look of the droid was designed to give it an aura of menace. The glossy black globe moved about on small repulsor lifts, dotted with pain-producing equipment, all linked to each other and adapted from top-of-the-line medical droids and assassin droids. It also contained an audio and videorecording unit. Combining sophisticated medical science and psychiatric modules with interrogation and torture programs, the droid would monitor all body functions searching for weaknesses to exploit, chemical as well as physical, in order to apply maximum pain with minimal damage. Precise stimulation of nerves assured that the victim was feeling excruciating pain while being kept conscious. Some of the equipment and program modules were modified assassin droid parts, linked to medical droid diagnostic and operating modules.
Use of the droid was carefully controlled by ISB, though IT-0 models did also get into the hands of senior Moffs, military intelligence and CompForce, the near-fanatical military arm of COMPNOR. The droid was especially popular among the Imperial Inquisitors, and the Inquisitorius was secretly manufacturing the model on its own. Stormtrooper garrison commanders were also known to make use of them, though generally only under the guidance of a senior officer. The Death Star was stocked with IT-0s, exclusively to the domain of detention personnel and security. Few others could bear to watch them in action.
The IT-0s had much of the same programming and equipment as a medical droid, and were programmed with expertise in psychology, medicine, surgery and human biology. They were capable of monitoring vital signs to prevent the onset of unconsciousness or catalepsy, even bringing the victim back from the brink of death, only to endure further torture. Its medical equipment and programming could be used if the session went too far before any valuable information could be squeezed out of the victim. The droid was also equipped to bring a victim "only" to the brink of physical damage. After the victim submitted to the ordeal, the IT-0 would evaluate her or his truthfulness, based on heart rate, muscle tension and voice patterns. The torture droid's painful equipment included:
- An oversized hypodermic injector syringe to inject liquid chemicals, including Bavo-6
- An internal reservoir of drugs, ranging from mind altering to lethal
- Acid jet
- Searing flesh pincer
- Laser scalpel
- Power shear
- Grasping claw
- Sonic torture device
- Electroshock assembly
The droid was also equipped with a vocabulator producing speech; this had seldom been required, as the devices dotting the black sphere spoke for themselves. The droid was still perfectly capable of interrogating a prisoner on its own, speaking in a flat, emotionless monotone. When working with a living, organic assistant, the droid would often keep quiet, allowing the victim to hate and fear the droid, while seeing its living companion as a source of potential mercy.
IT-904 was once an Imperial interrogation droid that was purchased at an auction by the bounty hunter Dej Vennor. Vennor had the droid extensively modified, and was given augmented with additional armaments, along with an upgrading of its memory and processing capability. Unlike most other IT-droids, the IT-904 was fiercely independent and had was highly sarcastic when dealing with organic lifeforms of all kinds.
The IT-0 was inevitably succeeded with new models with more refined torture equipment, like the IT-1, which was one of the available tools used for interrogation in the Death Star, along with IT-0.
Yet another IT model was the IT-3, which was especially popular with Ysanne Isard, Director of Imperial Intelligence. The IT-3 incorporated even more manipulators and injectors than its predecessor, and had a glossier shine, presumably so that victims could see in their reflection exactly what was done to them during interrogation. In addition to the tools of its predecessor, the droid had three power shears and a trio of syringes. An additional syringe contained Sith poison. Unlike its prototype, the droid could and would speak Basic while performing its grisly work, in a motherly, soothing voice, intended to be far more unnerving than a torture droid that remained silent. Most IT-3s were dismantled after Coruscant was liberated from the Empire after the New Republic came to power.
The IT-0 26 served the Empire on board the Star Destroyer Desolator. The tools at the droid's disposal included knifes, twin hypodermic needles, and a grasping claw delivering electric shocks. The droid's shiny surface allowed the victim to see their own reflection during the torture.
Many decades before the Battle of Yavin, the IT-09 served the crime lord Riboga the Hutt, hovering near his throne whenever he was entertaining his unsavory guests. After the end of his regime of crime in the Cularin System, it was employed by the SoroSuub company, which had no official need of interrogator droids, and had the droid reprogrammed as a quality control agent.
Krath torture droidsEdit
In 3,996 BBY, while reigning as Emperor over the Empress Teta system before the Battle of Yavin, Lord Keto, kept dissidents in line with the regular use of torture droids. Although their technology was seemingly antiquated, Keto's son Satal found them nonetheless effective when he became ruler of Empress Teta. Some droids could be modified from their primary functions to serve as torture droids. Satal Keto, leader of the Sith-inspired Krath, used ordinary medical droids and modified them to perform surgical tortures on individuals. Ulic Qel-Droma was a victim of Keto's torturous ways. When Ulic attempted to infiltrate the Krath, Lord Keto had the Jedi restrained in the dungeons of the Krath's Iron Citadel, where Krath torture droids administered excruciating punishments to him.
Dubbed "Double-X," SD-XX, was Darth Caedus's personal security droid during the Second Galactic Civil War. At the end of the war, the droid had been given new assignments as a torture droid. Equipped with a wide array of needles, probes and electrodes hidden inside its fingers, "Double-X" was tasked with torturing Ben Skywalker to find the Jedi's hidden base. After the droid failed to get any information out of Ben, SD-XX was sent to hunt him down after Ben escaped.
Sith torture droidEdit
During the reign of Darth Krayt, Darth Maladi, head of Sith Intelligence and Assassination, often used torture droids which appeared as mechanical jellyfish with tentacles comprised of knives, probes, and other devices.
T0-D Interrogation droidEdit
Yet another torture droid employed by the Galactic Empire was the wheeled T0-D Interrogation droid. It was equipped with two claws and tool mounts, as well as a stun baton and a sonic stunner. The latter creates waves of sonic energy that assaults the victim's aural receptors, creating high-frequency vibration that penetrates the brain, causing the victim great pain. Not even deaf people were immune to it.
A prisoner could be made to watch other victims being tortured, particularly their own friends or family. Jedi Knight Ben Skywalker suffered in this manner, watching his friend Lon Shevu be tortured to death by Sith apprentice Tahiri Veila. During the onset of the Swarm War, Leia Organa Solo was made to watch what she was led to believe was her husband being tortured. Leia watched in horror as Han's torturer, having at his disposal an entire table full of torture devices, cut off Han's ear and scarred his face with a laser scalpel, all because her interrogator did not believe her statements. Eventually she discovered that Han was perfectly safe; the camera she was watching employed trick photography to give the impression of Han's torture. When they met each other shortly after, Han indeed had both ears and no other scars, much to her relief.
Worms and insectsEdit
One bit me, then at the smell of blood the others swarmed over me.—Bevel Lemelisk, describing the voracity of piranha beetles, Darksaber (novel)
A torture method favored by the Nightsisters of Dathomir involved force feeding or injecting the victim with liquid containing artery worms. Burrowing through the victim's veins, the worms would feed off the arteries. A Nightsister would survive after a day of torment; but others would die, unless they were given a potion containing witch blood, which would rid the victim of the worms, provided they hadn't reached their heart.
The Lyran bloodslug was an omnivorous parasite used as a form of torture and punishment by the crimelords of Lyran IV. This slug could grow anywhere from 1 to 6 centimeters long. In its dormant state, it could take nourishment by eating wheat and grain, burrowing through piles of grain by exuding a trace amount of a powerful, toxic acid. If they got close enough to a sleeping (or restrained) person, they would use their venom to burrow into the person's body, and start feeding off the victim's viscera, slowly draining the victim of blood over a period of several weeks. The host would slowly go insane from the pain, and eventually die.
In their larval state, the Mustafar lava flea were worm-like borers about half-a-meter in length. The worms fed on the mineral rich rock-dust from the inner caverns of Mustafar, using acidic enzymes to break down the rock into needed nutrients. There were disturbing reports of the acid-filled pre-flea worms being used as a ghastly form of torture.
Muscle maggots were burrowing insects that entered their victims through their muscle tissue, causing extreme pain and anguish. The Dark Jedi Asajj Ventress used these insects on Obi-Wan Kenobi in her stronghold on Rattatak. There, Ventress tortured Kenobi in order to obtain information about Republic troop movements.
Emperor Palpatine himself was quite fond of torturing those of his subordinates who had earned his displeasure, such as Death Star I engineer Bevel Lemelisk. The Emperor subjected Lemelisk to numerous tortures, the first of which was having Lemelisk blinded and consumed by piranha beetles, ultimately resulting in Lemelisk's death. However,to capitalize on his suffering, the Emperor would preserve Lemelisk's mind, and after each of his "deaths," would transfer his essence into that of a pre-existing clone body. Lemelisk was forced to endure seven of these grueling punishments in all.
Listen, you can go back home and tell everyone you didn't crack, and they'll give you a medal or something.—Dirk Harkness to Jai Raventhorn, after having both endured Imperial torture without breaking., Gathering Shadows
Resistance to torture was often associated with interrogation, although the term also applied to brainwashing, endurance and coercing. Technically, interrogation was asking questions. Interrogation usually accompanied torture, with torture itself being the result of the individual's reluctance or outright refusal to cooperate. Despite the fact that interrogation through torture was viewed as an effective means of gleaning information from the reluctant, there were still those who were incapable of breaking, in spite of the extreme anguish.
Strength of willEdit
Damn you, Choba, what am I paying you for?—Jib Kopatha to Choba, while Choba attempts in vain to break Han Solo., Star Wars Empire: Idiot's Array
Shortly after the rise of the Galactic Empire, the smuggler Schurk-Heren was imprisoned and electrocuted by Haka Hai, who was hoping to pry the location of some mysterious contraband out of Schurk-Heren. Hai admitted that he didn't expect him to break, and the smuggler lived up to his expectations.
In 0 BBY, while a captive aboard the first Death Star, Princess Leia was tortured by Darth Vader in order to learn the location of the hidden Rebel base. Leia was introduced to an IT-0 torture droid, and pain was inflicted through needles, pressure points, fire-knives and electro-shocks. Vader also employed mind-altering drugs and subliminal suggestion in his sessions with the Princess, which made Leia believe that her skin was on fire and her flesh being torn apart, causing the same reaction the real thing would. It was only under threat of destroying Leia's homeworld of Alderaan by Grand Moff Tarkin did Leia relent, and expose the location of the decoy rebel base on Dantooine. Tarkin then obliterated Alderaan anyway, saying that Dantooine was far too remote for an effective demonstration of the Death Star's power. Shortly after the battle of Yavin, when Leia was once again taken captive by the Empire, the Pau'an interrogating her didn't even bother inflicting pain, as he had read her file, and knew she'd rather die before she talked.
While on a mission for the Rebel Alliance, Han Solo was captured by the information broker Jib Kopatha. Desperate to know the location of the Rebel fleet to escape Darth Vader's wrath, Kopatha left Han to his own personal torturer, Choba. Choba was surprised when Han proved to be stronger than the other victims he'd had on his table, and never got the chance to finish the job, as Han was rescued by Chewbacca and the smuggler Sheel Odala.
Another example was Han and Leia's fellow Rebel Mirith Sinn, who refused to reveal anything while being tormented by Carnor Jax's men in order to make her disclose the location of the former Emperor's Royal Guard Kir Kanos. Other Rebels who managed to pass the ordeal were Dirk Harkness and Jai Raventhorn.
One technique to help a person withstand torture was called "drawing inwards"; this involved breathing techniques, and the visualization of mental images. This drawing inwards also separated mind from body, and helped the individual either remain oblivious to the pain to come, or relive the pain from previous moments, thereby ignoring the present torment. Other ways involved putting one's focus elsewhere, which could be everything from strong feelings like hatred, dedication to one's cause, or pleasent things like the warmth of the sun. Mandalorians were trained to endure torture, as were Imperial agents, whereas the Zabraks were known for their incredible willpower, being able to endure intense physical pain and torture without breaking their resolve. The Chalactan Adepts, a philosophical-mystic order of Chalactans, went through training which made them resistant to all forms of mental manipulation and brainwashing, including by torture.
You are strong, child—but I will break you!—Darth Malak, torturing Bastila Shan into accepting the dark side of the Force, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Many Force-users were able to endure pain through mental focusing techniques, which made them appear somewhat stronger than others in terms of handling pain. One of the methods was a kind of mind tricks, another way was setting up a Force block in one's mind. Both the Jedi and the Matukai were capable of withstanding enormous amounts of pain. The Jedi Master Yaddle went through a torture session with the warlord Tulak without even screaming once.
In rare instances, a Force-user's pain control could be circumvented by another Force-user. This was the case of Jedi Master Shylar, who was tortured to death by the Sith Lord and former Jedi, Count Dooku.
Droids as victims of tortureEdit
Droids could feel pain in their own way if a pain-stimulator button, a tiny device connected by a single wire, was added to their central circuits. This technology was supposedly restricted, and typically installed in droids meant to interact with organics at the most personal level. This was supposed to give them a deeper understanding of organics. Droids equipped with the pain-stimulator would react to pain through pain transmissions and sine waves of pain and despair. They could even be tortured to the point where they stopped functioning. However, it is unknown whether it was possible to torture information out of a droid.
Droids were also capable of taking pleasure from the pain of other droids. One notable example was EV-9D9, who existed for bad feelings and enjoyed experimenting with her fellow droids. She took great pleasure from their suffering and despair, and each squeal of despair from her victims was like a surge of fresh current through her circuits. She would record the sensations, playing them back over and over, calling up associative memory files of flavor, texture and shifting densities of sensory input.
During EV-9D9's career at Jabba the Hutt's palace, an 8D8 smelting operator droid assisted her in the torture and dismantling of the other droids in Jabba's labor pool. The 8D8s were one of the most mean-spirited droids in service in the galaxy.
Colicoids were cannibalistic, emotionless and vicious beings. Those unfortunate enough to be caught in the middle of their feeding frenzy, risked being eaten alive; if given the chance, the Colicoids would pounce on the victim, quickly stripping bones of meat and flesh, slicing and dicing her or him like filleted fish.
Though Devaronians were not generally malevolent, their tradition of severe capital punishment kept them from being accepted into the New Republic. Criminals found guilty of a capital crime were thrown alive into a nest of ravenous quarras, rending her or him to pieces in a public execution.
The Humans of the planet Entuur valued pain and suffering, which could partially explain the sadistic tendencies of the Entuuran High Inquisitor Mox Slosin, one of the Empire's most efficient interrogators. During the years of the rebellion, a report from the Task Force on Alliance Security described him as perhaps one of the most sadistic and cruelest beings in the Empire's service. In his mind, torture was an art form, almost a game, where the challenge was to traverse the line of the victim's pain and endurance without killing the person. Still, occasionally his enthusiasm would drive him too far, and his subjects died during "overly sensitive" interrogations.
The Ewoks were a good-natured species who valued community, friendship and family. But although they may look cute, they were cunning warriors, and an Ewok tribe wouldn't think twice about cooking its enemy alive over open flames.
The bloodthirsty civilization of the Geonosians enthusiastically encouraged public executions in gladiatorial arenas, where condemned individuals would die a gruesome death from the sharp teeth of savage beasts, or at the hands of their fellow prisoners. Thousands of Geonosians would congregate in the execution arenas to watch, and the vicious animals were goaded by the energy pikes of picadors.
Undisputed lords of the underworld, most Hutts were vicious megalomaniacs who considered their species to be beyond morality as perceived by lesser beings. Combined with the fact that many Hutts were leaders of vast criminal empires, it was hardly surprising that many Hutts enjoyed torturing sentients to gain their own ends. Hutts were the most notorious gangsters in the galaxy; most of them took great pleasure in torturing their enemies, and more than a few of them liked to find new "sport" in these activities.
The notorious Hutt crime lord Jabba Desilijic Tiure enjoyed the cruelty of torture, such as imprisoning victims in a room with bloodsucking worms, or execution by feeding them to the rancor, sacrificing them to the sarlacc in the Great Pit of Carkoon, having them thrown out the airlock, or tying them up in Tatooine's Valley of the Winds, where the sand tides would throw the sand deposits and small stones around with such velocity that they would cut into the victim's skin, slashing them to death; this method was known as the Teeth of Tatooine. His architect Derren Flet was executed when Flet failed to provide adequate space for the countless dungeons where Jabba's enemies suffered slow, painful deaths.
Another feared Hutt crime lord was Rokko the Hutt, notorious for being one of the most vengeful gangsters of Coruscant's underworld. His invention and enjoyment of various forms of torture was the stuff of many a con beings's nightmare. The gangster Durga the Hutt was also fond of using torture as a tool. When he learned that his parent, Aruk, had been poisoned to death, Durga's entire household staff was rigorously interrogated. Durga oversaw each session personally, and at least six members died. Other Hutt gangsters using torture as a means to an end were Grappa, Zonnos, Ribogga, and Bogga.
Nightsisters of DathomirEdit
The Nightsisters of Dathomir prided themselves in ruthlessness and barbarism, and a propensity for violence and cruelty was drilled into their early training. A Nightsister was encouraged to impose her will on those weaker and constantly test her power, and would earn the respect of her fellow sisters by being at least as powerful as them, or even better, making them fear her by being twice as ruthless. The ones who failed to learn ruthlessness were cast out, or more common, would not survive. According to the Dathomiri Nightsisters, the weak were meant to serve.
The dark side Force witches would gladly torture their slaves or prisoners to punish them or keep them in line. The same thing went for the weak ones. Occasionally Nightsisters painfully executed individuals, if for no other reason than it suited their desires at the time. One of their method was to inject the victim, or force them to drink a liquid containing artery worms. The worms would burrow through the victim's veins, and feed on their arteries. A Nightsister would survive the treatment after a day of torment; others would not, unless they were given a special potion containing witch blood, which would rid the victim of the worms, provided the worms had'nt reached their heart.
Your tunic could do with a wash."
"It's the little horns. You can't punch a Nikto. Had to use something else.—Mandalorians Kal Skirata and Walon Vau, Republic Commando: True Colors
The life of the Mandalorians revolved around battle and war, both as a culture and as a source of pride and honor. Often working as mercenaries, assassins, and bounty hunters, Mandalorians were proven to be ruthless adversaries, known for their tough pragmatism and brutality. In battle, they would do whatever was necessary to reach their objective. While it is unknown exactly how common the use of torture was among these feared warriors, at least some Mandalorians had no qualms about implementing torture as a means to an end. Notable examples were the mercenary and assassin Kal Skirata and mercenary Walon Vau. Apparently, the bounty hunter Rav Bralor shared their attitudes; after the Kaminoan cloner Ko Sai was captured by Skirata during the Clone Wars, Bralor casually asked him what information he was going to beat out of Sai. The Mandallian Giant Feskitt Bobb employed a special torture method called the Burning, to apprehend his quarries. The clone commando RC-1136 ("Darman"), who was trained by Kal Skirata, went as far as saying that torture had to be done, and did not make you a bad person.
Right after the Battle of Naboo, the Mandalorian Silas was tortured by Count Dooku for information on Jango Fett. As a Mandalorian, Silas was trained to withstand torture, but Dooku's methods were too much for him to endure. After telling everything the Count wanted to know, he was killed through an ultra-lethal injection.
Skrillings devoured uncooked, spoiled meat, that would have made others deathly ill. As a result, they often lived near the torture chambers of unscrupulous despots, or anywhere else where a steady supply of corpses and other carrion could be found.
Tusken Raider lifestyleEdit
Adolescent Tusken Raiders had to undergo ritual blood rites, in which they were obligated to capture and torture a lifeform for weeks before ascending to adulthood. The Tusken emerged more esteemed if the victim was sentient.
Yuuzhan Vong methodsEdit
To understand us, there is one place to start. Let me introduce you to the Embrace of Pain.—Shedao Shai, Dark Tide II: Ruin
When Jedi Knight A'Sharad Hett was captured by Yuuzhan Vong scouts, they imprisoned him and placed him in their Embrace of Pain. Hett was relentlessly tortured and subjected to biological experiments, replacing both his cybernetic eye and arm with biological Yuuzhan Vong components.
During the first stages of the Yuuzhan Vong invasion, Jedi Knight Miko Reglia was captured at Helska 4. There, he was introduced to a yammosk and subjected to "mind-breaking," where the Vong would feign his execution by drawing him in to within centimeters of the yammosk's voracious teeth, over and over again. Each pseudo-execution replayed in his mind nearly as vivid as the actual act.
When Jedi Knight Tahiri Veila was captured by the Vong, she was subjected to a painful shaping project by the Master Shaper Mezhan Kwaad and her assistant Nen Yim, who attempted to make Tahiri closer to the Yuuzhan Vong, creating a new personality for her: that of Riina Kwaad.
Later in the war, several Jedi were assigned to destroy the cloning facility at Myrkr, including Anakin, Jacen and Jaina Solo, and Tenel Ka, Tahiri Veila, and Zekk. The Jedi were captured and tortured, and one of them, Ulaha Kore, almost died. The Yuuzhan Vong commander Duman Yaght showed particular sadism against the Jedi by repeatedly inflicting pain upon the already injured Ulaha, and by forcing Jaina Solo to choose which of her brothers was to be tortured.
The frightening Zanibar used live subjects for their ceremonies, rituals sacrifices that no victim ever returned from. Judging from what Kir Kanos saw when traveling to Xo to rescue Mirith Sinn, the hapless prisoner was restrained and kept hanging upside down, before being carved up with sharp axes and spiky sickles.
Regimes and organizationsEdit
- Maladi: "Tell me, Hosk Trey'lis—tell me what you know of the one named Cade."
- Trey'lis: "I'll… tell… you… nothing!"
- Maladi: "We both know that's not true, Trey'lis."
- — Hosk Trey'lis, being interrogated by Darth Maladi, head of Sith Intelligence and Assassination[src]
During the reign of The Absolutes, the dissidents of New Apsolon were imprisoned and subjected to "reclassification," which was the government's term for torture. Prisoners were often kept waiting without food or water for long periods to break down their resistance, before being "reclassified." Separate rooms were designed for different forms of torture. One chamber had screens where the prisoners had to watch other victims being tortured, sometimes their own friends or family.
Corporate Sector AuthorityEdit
The Corporate Sector Authority often resorted to torture and intimidation to coerce unwilling prisoners into revealing information. They had many of the same tools as the Galactic Empire at their disposal, like energy prods, interrogation and truth drugs, nerve disruptors and torture droids. The Authority's penal colony was Stars' End, a facility located on Mytus VII, where in the main tower, the doomed prisoners were confined in stasis booths until removed for interrogation or execution.
When the Trianii colony world Fibuli was annexed by the Authority, some Trianii tried armed resistance. The ones captured by the invaders were brutally interrogated by the Corporate Sector Authority's Security Police ("Espos"), who were seeking their ringleaders. One of the methods used was The Burning. Among those who were captured and put in Authority custody was Atuarre's mate, the resistance fighter Keeheen, and their son Pakka. The Authority was no respecter of age and convention, and used methods of interrogation on Pakka, which had left the cub unable to speak when his mother finally managed to rescue him. Keeheen was subjected to countless torture sessions, but refused to help the Authority with the subjugation of his people, and was sent to Stars' End, where his life consisted only of countless interrogations and cycles of dreamless sleep in a stasis booth. He was eventually rescued, and reunited with his wife and son. Pakka began to speak a few week after the family's return to their homeworld Trian. His speech was rare and halting, but he was beginning to get over his trauma.
Galactic Alliance GuardEdit
During the Second Galactic Civil War, a secret police organization was created by the Galactic Alliance. In order to counter Corellian terrorist activity on Coruscant, the Galactic Alliance Guard (GAG), as it was called, used brutal methods to achieve its goal. Suspected terrorists were rounded up, deported and interned, before being tortured during interrogation.
You will be interrogated. Tortured. You will give me the names of your friends and allies. And then, when you are no longer of any use to me, you will be executed."
"Our deaths will only rally others—"
"Your executions will be very public and very painful, Senator Organa. They will serve to crush any further dissent.
During the reign of the Galactic Empire, torture was elevated to an art form. The Imperial regime had many tools at its disposal, like energy prods, interrogation and truth drugs, nerve disruptors, racks and torture droids.
According to rumors, Emperor Palpatine himself kept private detention centers in Coruscant's lower levels, with IT-0 torture droids to tear information from the reluctant. When Pollux Hax, chief of the Emperor's propaganda dissemination section, wrote an article about the wonders of Imperial Center (a report commissioned by Palpatine himself), he claimed that the Emperor had no need for such "barbaric practices," and had "no need to keep secrets." In reality, there existed several secret torture chambers close to the solid surface of the planet, disguised as nondescript, run-down buildings.
The Emperor himself viewed torture as a useful tool; after the Empire's ultimate weapon (the Death Star) was destroyed, Palpatine summoned the chief engineer, Bevel Lemelisk, to meet with him personally. There, Lemelisk was locked in a cage and eaten alive by hungry piranha beetles as the Emperor blamed him for the weapon's design flaw. After finally succumbing to what he thought was his death, Lemelisk awoke the next day in a clone body, with all memories intact. Palpatine told him that though his talents were quite useful, failure of any sort was intolerable. All in all, he would be executed seven times, every execution just as painful, from being lowered inch by inch into a vat of molten copper (which Palpatine told Lemelisk was what the smelter preferred that day), being flushed out of an airlock and crushed by hard vacuum, to being sealed in a room where acid mist gored and dissolved his flesh.
Torture wasn't exclusive to Palpatine or Imperial umbrella organizations; many Imperial officers also utilized the painful art form. Notable examples were Admiral Daala, General Sk'ar, and Captain-Supervisor Grammel. Imperial Grand Admiral Pitta was a zealous anti-alien bigot and defender of Human High Culture. His three Imperial dungeon ships—the Apocahk, the Angrix and the Azgoghk—searched the Outer Rim territories, depopulating alien homeworlds and dooming the hapless inhabitants to slavery and vivisection. The chief scientist Leonis Murthé onboard the Azgoghk used the alien prisoners for his personal studies, experimenting with new ways to kill and investigating how long he could make a being scream.
Several people joined or defected to the Rebel Alliance after witnessing how the Empire treated its prisoners. One notable example was Zevulon Veers, member of the Empire's Sub-Adult Group battalion and son of Imperial soldier Maximillian Veers. When Zevulon's commanding officer tortured an elderly man suspected of supporting the Alliance, he helped the man escape and defected to the Rebel Alliance. Another example was the medic Ahleazah, who did her best to relieve the pain and suffering of her fellow beings after being forced into the Empire's medical corps. Eventually, she managed to escape, and served the Alliance as a medic and healer.
"Facilitation" was an ISB euphemism for torture. ISB (Imperial Security Bureau) was part of COMPNOR (the Commission for the Preservation of the New Order), an umbrella organization designed to maintain support for Emperor Palpatine's New Order. As an organization created to increase the Emperor's knowledge of political events, one of ISB's tasks was to uncover beings or activities that might obstruct Palpatine's plans. The people caught who were suspected of withholding information were sent to Interrogation, one of ISB's branches. Apparently, few people really knew what happened to the suspects, since no one really wanted to know.
A rival to ISB, Imperial Intelligence had its own branch of Interrogation. Rebels or other enemy agents caught by the organization were usually sent to Interrogation. Imperial Intelligence (Intel) had many sophisticated torture devices at its disposal, including pain tables, nerve inductors, sensory deprivation chambers, sensory overload chambers, selective neurotoxins, truth drugs and IT-0 torture droids. However, Imperial Intelligence members were not so fanatically dedicated to the New Order as their counterparts in ISB, and Interrogation was said to be somewhat less bloodthirsty than ISB and therefore slightly less effective in breaking a Rebel's will. Unless the Rebel suspect was believed to hold vital information, interrogation would be light compared to what it could have been, but many of the prisoners would be subjected to brainwashing through neuroprogramming and image surgery. Subconscious instructions and posthypnotic commands could be programmed into a prisoner's subconscious through the use of hypno-imprinting and hypno-indoctrination. The technique was used on many captured Rebel agents, who were then released, and found their way back to the hidden Rebel bases. The hypno-imprinting forced these Rebels to spy for the Empire without knowing that they were betraying the Rebel Alliance. A suicide command could be implanted into the Rebel's mind, activating if the brainwashing was discovered by their fellow Rebels.
When the Rebel mathematician Jorin Sol was betrayed by the Jabiimi resistance fighter Tal Hesz, he was taken into Imperial custody, and tortured personally by Darth Vader. After giving Vader the logarithms used for rendezvous points of the Rebel fleet, he was taken to the Imperial base on Kalist VI, and tortured by the Imperial Intelligence Lieutenant Zuud. When Jorin was finally rescued, he had been brainwashed and given a special mission: "Destroy the Rebellion from the inside."
And now, my Rebel friend, we shall have a… chat.—Antinnis Tremayne, Galaxy Guide 9: Fragments from the Rim
The Inquisitorius was a secret division of Imperial Intelligence, consisting of Force-trained agents called Imperial Inquisitors. These agents performed various tasks for Intelligence, including surveillance missions and intelligence-gathering, but were most often called upon to assist with interrogation of prisoners; though Force-sensitive, many Inquisitors learned only basic Force powers suited for interrogation. Intelligence would rarely call upon the Inquisitorius, but did so when all other methods of interrogation failed, including drugs and torture. With their potent Force-skills and powerful techniques of manipulation, Imperial Inquisitors rarely failed to break the victim's will. They were ruthless and effective even when not using the dark side of the Force, and few could withstand an interrogation session with an Imperial Inquisitor.
The agents were also charged with seeking out other Force-users, either turning them to the will of the Emperor, or eliminating them. They specialized in scouring the Galaxy for all types of Force-sensitives, from surviving Jedi to adepts to primitive shamans, and every student of the Force not aligned with the Emperor. Inquisitors were enlisted by the Emperor himself to destroy the last remnants of the Jedi Order, and would seek out, track down and capture Jedi who escaped the Great Jedi Purge. The captured Jedi were faced with an ultimatum—usually along with torture—to turn to the dark side and join Palpatine's New Order, or be destroyed. The Inquisitors were known for their ruthlessness, and could torture an entire village of innocents to draw one Jedi into a trap. The best Inquisitors had everything from starships to money at their disposal, including sophisticated torture instruments.
The Citadel Inquisitorius was the central base of operations for much of the Inquisitorius. The citadel was a towering black spire jutting from a position nestled in the mountains of the planet Prakith. There, the High Inquisitors were given assignments and came to confer with others of their order. Housed within the spire were a number of torture chambers and detention blocks used to detain and torture the most dangerous and strong-willed prisoners. Many citizens on Prakith whispered that the screams of the Jedi brought to the citadel echoed across the mountains for days at a time.
High Inquisitor Tremayne was a former Jedi Knight who was seduced by the dark side. The most feared and respected High Inquisitor in the Outer Rim, he was a master of manipulation and his interrogation skills were formidable. He was disarmingly polite and composed, unnerving his subjects. He believed the victim, as an intelligent subject, could be convinced that they were better off to confess, rather than stubbornly resisting to the point where torture was necessary. Cordial and friendly, he wanted his victims to know how much he regretted that fate had brought them together like this, and often took some time explaining that when two ideologies intersected, one must give way, and it would not be Tramayne's. Quiet and calm, he reassured his victims that they would break. Often, his mere presence was enough to break the will of those who had resisted all other approaches. He had failed to break only one victim; the Jedi Corwin Shelvay. After losing a lightsaber duel with Shelway, he chose metal cybernetics for his damaged face and arm, to enhance the fear in those he interrogated.
Another notable Inquisitor was Loam Redge, who derived great pleasure and joy from his work, and finding, torturing and destroying Force-sensitives was his highest priority. He was good at his vocation, and when he was at his busiest, he looked as though he was enjoying a private joke.
Department of PunishmentEdit
Also around 0 BBY, the Galactic Empire commissioned the Department of Punishment, a government agency dedicated to the relentless torture of detained Rebels and Imperial criminals. The department was run by the infamous Master Torturer Vengnar Heiff, who rather than use devices to torment his captives, used his massive reptilian claws to brutally slash and gore them. The very nature of Heiff's methods garnered him the nickname the butcher, and the majority of his peers sought to remain in good standing with him because of it. The screams could be heard throughout the Ithorian herdship Tafanda Bay as the Master Torturer tore apart his helpless victims.
School of TorturersEdit
Four millennia before the Battle of Yavin, Lord Keto was the ruler of the Empress Teta system, sharing the power with the carbonite guild. Both were arrogant and ruthless, and Keto kept dissidents in line with the regular use of torture droids. When the Krath, a group of young Tetans dabbling in Sith magic, came to power after the coup in 3996 BBY, they kept this tradition going, to crush any resistance from those who were unwilling to accept them as their nrulers. The Sith sorceress Aleema Keto also liked to feed dissenters to her pet, a serpentine constrictor with quills that wrapped itself around the victim.
The Lost OnesEdit
The Lost Ones were a Coruscant street gang who were at one point led by the Ortolan Trunks Bibo. One of the few things in life that Bibo took pleasure in was torturing new gang members, and the Lost Ones' gartro rookery ritual, devised by Bibo himself, was notorious in Coruscant's underworld for its needless cruelty.
Sith Intelligence and AssassinationEdit
During the reign of Darth Krayt, the agency in charge of torture was Sith Intelligence and Assassination. The Devaronian Sith Lord Darth Maladi presided over this "branch of government," and was herself an expert in the ways of torture.
One of her victims was the Jedi healer Hosk Trey'lis, who was interrogated by Maladi in her laboratory, and was made to reveal the identity of Cade Skywalker. Lady Maladi used torture droids to implement brutal punishments on the Bothan Jedi until she finally gleaned from him Skywalker's name.
The life of a Sith apprentice, one aspiring to attain the rank of Sith Lord, was laden with mental and physical torture. This relentless "training" was designed to mold the apprentice into an individual who was strong, calculating, and determined.
During the tenure of Lord Kaan's Sith Brotherhood of Darkness, the students of the Sith academy on Korriban were subjected to rigorous training excersises that many of them felt were along the lines of torture. The practice of covering the students' training sabers with microscopic Pelko bug barbs, was implemented in lightsaber training exercises. The barbs secreted a venom which when introduced to an individual's bloodstream, caused numbness and severe pain, similar to the feeling an actual lightsaber strike induced. Students were to practice their combat techniques daily, and many sessions often ended with students severely injured, as though they had participated in actual combat.
After Galen Marek became Darth Vader's secret apprentice, his new master spent years personally training Starkiller (the codename Galen now went by), in the ways of the Sith. Starkiller's training was harsh and unforgiving: Vader subjected the boy to rigorous physical tests bordering on torture.
After Jacen Solo was captured by the Yuuzhan Vong, Vergere, who years later was revealed to be one of the Sith, held him trapped in the Embrace of Pain for weeks, forcing him to give into the pain and understand the strength gained from it when it was fully embraced.
The Embrace of Pain was used again by the Sith Lord Darth Caedus, who in 40 ABY used it to torture his own cousin, Ben Skywalker onboard the Anakin Solo. Hoping to forge Ben into a Sith apprentice, Caedus took Ben to the lower levels of the Star Destroyer, where he secretly had his own personal Embrace of Pain installed. Ben was subjected to Vong biotoxins injected via organic needles that caused immense pain and swelling. Ben was subsequently rescued by his father, Master Luke Skywalker, but his recovery was painstaking; the injections continued to cause him agony, and swelling from his wounds took weeks to heal.
Dread Lord Darth Krayt had previously experienced the Embrace of Pain after completing his apprenticeship with XoXaan on Korriban and being captured by the Yuuzhan Vong. As Dark Lord of the Sith, Krayt would use the Embrace as part of the training for certain members of the New Sith Order, including Darth Nihl, in order to push them towards the dark side. One of Nihl's ordeals in the Embrace was so painful that it drove him to slaughter an entire village. Krayt would also have the Embrace of Pain installed in the underlevels of the Temple of the Sith.
During the early years of the New Republic, the nominal government of Abregado-rae was usurped by the Tundei regime. After a relative golden age of smuggling and piracy, the new regime of the planet were extreme in their persecution of lawbreakers, and would torture those who were even suspected of armed violence or trafficking contraband. Political dissidents also became victims of torture.
- Jacen: "Okay, Dad, I was interrogating her and she died. Do you really want to know the details?"
- Han: "It kind of makes a difference, Jacen."
- Jacen: "I used a mind-invasion technique to make her talk. She must have had some physical weakness. She died of an aneurysm."
- — Jacen Solo, describing to Han Solo, the death of Ailyn Vel during interrogation.[src]
The mere threat of torture was often enough to cause the most determined resistors to cooperate. Mandalorian Protector Mirta Gev was one such individual. While under the custody of the Sith Lord Darth Caedus and his apprentice Tahiri Veila, Gev was threatened with disfigurement; Lady Veila intended on misshaping Gev's face, if she refused to disclose who it was that cut off Lord Caedus's arm. Mortified by the threat, Gev relented, and told everything she knew.
Threats of torture could also force an individual to torture others. Doctor Akanseh was an accomplished surgeon and a great philanthropist who was captured by Moff Kentor Sarne after the Battle of Endor. Moff Sarne confiscated Akanseh's private medical suite, and forced the doctor to work for him as an interrogator. Akanseh tried to carry out his duties in his own manner. Rather than resorting to torture, he attempted to convince his subjects to trust him enough to disclose the information willingly. He knew that if he couldn't obtain the information in this manner, the prisoner would be turned over to Imperial interrogators and their savage droids, or worse, Akanseh might be forced to perform the act himself. Once, while interrogating a stubborn resistance fighter, Sarne decided to drop in for a spot inspection to make sure the doctor was performing accordingly. Akanseh was forced to chemically torture the prisoner, or face the same fate himself if he didn't produce results soon. After being freed by New Republic forces, Akanseh joined the crew of the FarStar corvette, who were tasked to hunt down Moff Sarne. Deeply regretful of his service as Sarne's interrogators, he hoped to make up for what had done.
The pain inflicted on the victim during the actual torture section would often linger for a long time, days or hours, after the ordeal was over. The victim might feel that it hurt to breathe, to wear clothes, to swallow. Other temporary effects included dizziness, fatigue, extreme physical or mental exhaustion, numbness, shivering, a raw or hoarse voice (due to the victim's screams), slurring, confusion, a nasal quality to the voice (due to a broken nose), temporary loss of memory (for example, the Rebel Dirk Harkness had difficulties remembering his own name after being tortured by COMPNOR), catatonia and blackout.
Burns, scars and bruises were common effects of torture. Eyes glued shut, a black eye or two, split lips, swollen eyes, a broken nose and swollen lips were common facial injuries. More serious effects included disfigurement, broken bones, broken teeth, calcification of the skeleton, permanent brain damage, loss of limbs, and loss of one or more appendages and outer organs, like eyes or ears.
Wounds and burns could be cleaned up with sufficient bacta treatment, and body parts could be replaced by cybernetics. Mental damage would take considerably more. Torture could seriously harm the victim mentally. If they were lucky, they would only relive the ordeal in their nightmares; many individuals were badly traumatized, sometimes to the point of being unable to speak. This was the case with many of the citizens who were introduced to the IT-0 Interrogator droid after being unlucky enough to be rounded up by the Imperial Security Bureau. Some torture victims succumbed to madness or were brainwashed. During an experiment by the Imperial commander Rezi Soresh to create the perfect assassin, the "winner," X-7, was tortured and brainwashed to the point of not remembering his real name or his past, and didn't recognize the person staring back at him when he looked in the mirror. During the reign of the Galactic Empire, it was rumored that the Emperor's Shadow Guard, mute, ruthless Force-wielding warriors, were Jedi Knights captured and tortured by Emperor Palpatine, their minds so broken that they could not even speak.
Other victims were so broken mentally that they simply existed as mindless shells. Victims of torture could also suffer from mental suffering like catatonia, paranoia and egomania. About a millennia before the Battle of Naboo, the Gen'dai bounty hunter Durge became a victim of unspeakable torture at the hands of the Mandalorians, who turned his species' natural longevity against him, finding ways of inflicting pain throughout his scattered nerves. Unable to die, his already dangerous psyche was pushed further past the brink of sanity. Curiously, some torture victims would grow fond of and/or admire their tormentors; like the way Jacen Solo bonded with Vergere after she tortured him for weeks.
Prior to the Battle of Endor, the Rebel Alliance hero Tay Vanis was captured and tortured by Darth Vader, who left him a mindless shell of a man. After Vanis was found by his fellow Rebels, his droid LE-914 ("Ellie") destroyed both herself and her master, as an act of mercy killing.
Mental post-torture traumas could be treated, at least to a certain degree, by placing the victim in hypno-trance and administering anti-trauma de-programming.
Sometimes, torture would be the catalyst in a Force-user's descent to the dark side. This was the case of Kam Solusar, who was tortured by the Dark Jedi Sedriss until he submitted. After the fall of the Galactic Republic, Jedi Knight Halagad Ventor was captured by the Empire, and tortured by Darth Vader himself. As Vader broke down Ventor's mental shields, Ventor told him everything he wanted to know, and was consumed by the dark side.
During the quest to find the ancient Star Forge, Jedi Knight Bastila Shan and soldier Carth Onasi were captured by Admiral Saul Karath and tortured into revealing Jedi secrets. Later, when Bastila was freed, she was then confronted by Darth Malak, and tortured with needles and relentless barrages of Sith lightning. Finally unable to withstand the assault any longer, Bastila gave into the dark side, and became the apprentice of Darth Malak, Dark Lord of the Sith.
In year 23 ABY, the Jedi apprentice Lowbacca, along with his fellow apprentices Jacen and Jaina Solo, was kidnapped and taken to the Shadow Academy. There, he was locked in a room where he was repeatedly exposed to high-pitched, ear-piercing sound, flashing, blinding lights, and jets of near-freezing water at extremely high pressure. The only way to stop his suffering would be to smash the sonic generator, which was incredibly heavy and reinforced, so the only way to destroy it would be to call upon the dark side of the Force. Eventually, Lowbacca could no longer endure, and smashed the generator in a fit of rage and horror.
Often, if the opportunity arose, the victim would gladly kill themselves rather than getting tortured. One incident was the Cerean grifter Toh Revo Chryyx, who somehow managed to to stop his own heart before he could be delivered to the feared Hutt crime lord Rokko the Hutt. Majordomo Ob Fortuna strangled himself to death with a length of cable rather than facing his former employers in the Bounty Hunters Guild.
A standard Rebel trick was to commit suicide rather than divulge information, and, of course, to escape the ordeal of torture. When the Rebel Bria Tharen and her Red Hand Squadron were tracked down by the Empire during the operation to secure the Death Star plans, she committed suicide by swallowing a lullaby—Alliance Intelligence slang for suicide pill—knowing that she would more than likely be tortured if captured. According to Imperial documentation, another Rebel method was having an affide crystal hidden under a waterproof barrier in a false tooth. The crystal could be pried loose with the tongue, releasing the poison. Leia Organa Solo was taught how to will herself to die, through what was said to be the most difficult mind-act there was, especially for someone young and healthy.
The infamous bounty hunter Boba Fett had ways to ensure that those of his prisoners who were worth more alive than dead couldn't kill themselves before he could collect the bounty. If the person attempted to injure themselves, they would be restrained; if they tried to starve themselves, the victim would be brutally force-fed.
Died of complications from acute cardiopulmonary viral trauma.—Imperial euphemism for death during interrogation, The Truce at Bakura Sourcebook
Shortly before the outbreak of the Clone Wars, Shmi Skywalker, mother of Anakin Skywalker, was captured by Tusken Raiders and tortured for weeks. She died in the arms of her son, moments before he was able to successfully rescue her.
During the reign of the Galactic Empire, death during interrogation was not entirely uncommon. During the Rebellion, several Rebels were tortured to death, including Shanda Dok, Tev Matthews and Ten Numb. During the Yuuzhan Vong war, several Jedi suffered the same fate, like Swilja Fenn and Yabaley.
In 40 ABY, bounty hunter Ailyn Vel was led to Coruscant, where she hid in a Corellian community and was caught during the Galactic Alliance Guard's raids. Believing her to be a Corellian terrorist, Jacen Solo interrogated her. When she did not provide information, he used the Force to repeatedly slam her head into the table where she was sitting while attempting to enter her mind. The punishment was far more than Ailyn could endure, and she died while being questioned.
Behind the scenesEdit
Torture has been a part of Star Wars from the very beginning. In the rough draft of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Darth Vader tortures Princess Leia with powerful electroshocks. In the incarnation of the second draft of A New Hope, Leia is replaced by Deak Starkiller, brother of Luke Starkiller, who would become Luke Skywalker in later drafts. When the heroes find him inside his cell, there's a strange yellow glow in his eyes. In the third draft, Vader steps into Leia's cell, the door slams shut and "her screams can barely be heard." The IT-0 torture droid didn't appear until the fourth draft.
In the movie, the door to Leia's cell slams shut before the viewer gets see what actually happens to Leia. In the Star Wars radio drama, the actual interrogation session was vividly depicted in a psychologically intense scene which was so chilling that it prompted some complaints from a concerned listener.
For Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, director Irvin Kershner originally filmed more shots of Han Solo being tortured, which showed the machine in operation with spikes and needles and electronic things going, and flashes of electricity everywhere. It was cut out of the movie because the filmmakers were afraid that this would be to intense for children. Some of Han's screaming off-screen was also taken out for the same reason According to the director, everyone also felt that the cut material was too much for a film of this type.
Titles set in bold means that the word torture, including inflections and compounds, is mentioned.