FALL OF THE REPUBLIC
Coruscant was at the center of many galaxy-changing events during the final days of the Old Republic, starting with Senate hearings on the invasion of Naboo. Queen Amidala and Senator Palpatine argued passionately in the planet’s Senate building, a spectacular disc-shaped construct with an immense round rotunda. It was here that the Queen moved for a vote of no-confidence in Supreme Chancellor Valorum, which set the stage for Palpatine’s rise to hold the office. Later, a young slave boy named Anakin Skywalker was brought to Coruscant’s Jedi Temple for evaluation, though he was initially denied entry into the Order.
With a secession movement sweeping the galaxy, Coruscant became a political hotbed and a dangerous place. Senator Padmé Amidala was the target of a near fatal bombing and later an assassination attempt in her sleeping quarters. Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker chased her attacker through the planet’s aerial speedways, and finally tracked the bounty hunter to a seedy Coruscant bar. There Obi-Wan was offered death sticks, which he refused with the use of a Jedi mind trick, and dismembered his target. Before she could speak, however, the changeling bounty hunter was killed -- her murderer escaping into the Coruscant night.
Meanwhile, Supreme Chancellor Palpatine sought executive powers to form a Grand Army of the Republic to counter the threats of the Separatists. Thankfully, for him, Representative Jar Jar Binks made a motion to gift him this authority. After the army was approved and the first battle of the Clone Wars ended, the Separatist leader Count Dooku surprisingly retreated to Coruscant. In an unidentified complex, he reconnected with the evil Darth Sidious, telling his Master, “I have good news for you, my lord. War has begun.”
After Republic forces discovered a giant creature on Malastare, the Supreme Chancellor ordered that the so-called Zillo Beast be brought to Coruscant for examination in a secret lab. Palpatine hoped the creature’s natural defenses might yield advances in military R&D, but the Zillo Beast escaped to wreak havoc, attacking the Senate building before finally being slain.
The Republic made plans to invade Mandalore after receiving a mysterious message from the planet pleading for help. Mandalore’s Duchess Satine Kryze knew the message had been altered, and met with an informant on Coruscant to prove the deception. She soon found herself being hunted by Death Watch assassins, and escaped with the help of Obi-Wan Kenobi. Obi-Wan brought an unaltered copy of the message to Naboo’s Senator Amidala, who played it for the Senate and prevented an expansion of the war to Mandalore.
While the Clone Wars often seemed far from Coruscant, the capital was not spared terror and violence. The bounty hunter Cad Bane -- infamous for managing to steal a holocron from the Jedi Temple -- infiltrated the Senate building, taking a number of senators hostage and forcing the Republic to release the crime lord Ziro the Hutt from prison.
Senatorial debates on Coruscant were often impassioned, with advocates of escalating the war with the Separatists arguing with those who urged peaceful negotiations, or who feared that the Republic’s military-industrial complex was becoming too powerful. When senators such as Padmé Amidala and Bail Organa spoke against the rush into war, they faced not only opposition from fellow senators but also physical intimidation from hired thugs. And in one highly publicized case, an aide to Rodia’s Senator Onaconda Farr poisoned the senator and tried to frame Kamino’s Halle Burtoni for the crime.
With the citizenry weary of war, someone detonated a bomb at the Jedi Temple. The attack was blamed on the widow of a Temple maintenance worker, who then died under mysterious circumstances while in her cell. Framed for the murder, Ahsoka Tano escaped prison and fled into the shadowy, dangerous underlevels of Coruscant. She was apprehended and tried in a grand court, one of the many massive new installations to spring up on Coruscant during this era. Ahsoka was found innocent, but chose to leave the Jedi Order.
When the ARC trooper Fives discovered a mysterious bio-chip had been implanted in the Republic’s clone troopers, he traveled to Coruscant to present his findings to the Supreme Chancellor. But Fives was falsely accused of attacking Palpatine and fled, seeking anonymity among the hordes of off-duty clones. He was hunted down and shot by his fellow clone troopers before he could tell the truth about the conspiracy he’d discovered.
In a daring move, General Grievous and Count Dooku kidnapped Supreme Chancellor Palpatine from his offices on Coruscant. The Battle of Coruscant erupted in the crime’s wake, with the clone army fleet taking on the Separatists’ droids in the planet’s stratosphere. Obi-Wan and Anakin rescued Palpatine, however, with Anakin safely landing Grievous’ flagship on the city-planet. Later, in a Coruscant opera house, Palpatine told Anakin a Sith fable about a dark side practitioner who could save people from dying; this would prove the key to Anakin’s turn from Jedi to Sith. He devoted himself to the dark side to learn this ability from Palpatine, a Sith himself, and led the destruction of the Jedi on Coruscant, including the slaughter of younglings in the Jedi Temple. Palpatine, meanwhile, held a special session in the Galactic Senate. He reorganized the Republic into the Empire, and named himself Emperor.
GALACTIC CIVIL WAR
After years of struggle, the Rebel Alliance had finally restored freedom to the galaxy, destroying the Empire’s Death Star II; at the same time, the Emperor was betrayed by Darth Vader -- the former Anakin Skywalker, who had finally turned back to the side of good. Celebrations erupted throughout the galaxy, with citizens overjoyed.
On Coruscant, the center of Palpatine’s tyranny as Emperor, fireworks decorated the night sky, streets and balconies filled with revelers, and confetti streamed from above. In a fitting symbol of the Empire’s end, a massive statue of the Emperor was toppled, crumbling much like the Sith Lord’s once unmatched power.
For over a thousand years, the Galactic Republic stood firm as a democratic union that governed the galaxy. The Republic was governed by the Galactic Senate, consisting of elected officials from each system and world, and Jedi Knights served as peacekeepers. With the rise of Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, however, the Galactic Republic -- and democracy -- would crumble.
At the height of its rule, the Galactic Republic was governed by a body of Senators representing the many worlds of the galaxy. Within the cavernous Senate rotunda, hundreds of politicians would fill the viewing platforms that lined the curved walls. The Senate’s power gradually eroded after it voted emergency powers to Supreme Chancellor Palpatine during the Clone Wars, and the body was sharply divided between supporters of the war and those seeking peace. After Palpatine declared himself Emperor, power was increasingly wielded by regional governors. Shortly before the Battle of Yavin, Palpatine disbanded the Senate.
Scheming, powerful, and evil to the core, Darth Sidious restored the Sith and destroyed the Jedi Order. Living a double life, Sidious was in fact Palpatine, a Naboo Senator and phantom menace. He slowly manipulated the political system of the Galactic Republic until he was named Supreme Chancellor -- and eventually Emperor -- ruling the galaxy through fear and tyranny.
Instantly recognizable by its distinctive crown of five spires, the Jedi Temple was the home of the Jedi Order on Coruscant. Part school and part monastery, the Jedi Temple was the central hub for all Jedi activities in the galaxy. When Supreme Chancellor Palpatine enacted Order 66, clone troops led by the newly risen Darth Vader attacked the temple, massacring its inhabitants and leaving the structure badly damaged. With the Empire triumphant, the Jedi Temple’s spires still rose into the Coruscant skies. But the building was now the Imperial Palace, home to the Sith Lord who had destroyed the Jedi.