“Coruscant, the capital of the Republic. The entire planet is one big city.”
Star Wars Inside Intel is a StarWars.com feature where Lucasfilm’s Emily Shkoukani, whose job is to know as much about a galaxy far, far away as possible, explores obscure facts about Star Wars lore and continuity. In this installment, Emily explores the city-planet of Coruscant…
One of the most iconic planets of the galaxy far, far away, Coruscant first appeared in the now-Legends (i.e., previous continuity) novel Star Wars: Heir to the Empire, where it was established as the capital of the New Republic. George Lucas then incorporated the planet into his films, and Coruscant made its on-screen debut in the 1997 Special Edition of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. In its brief scene, the city-planet bustles in celebration after learning of the demise of Emperor Palpatine. In 1999’s Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, however, Coruscant plays a much larger role. In the first Star Wars prequel, Coruscant is a dazzling jewel in an otherwise rustic galaxy. But the planet’s wealthy and thriving environment all comes down to its fortunate location in the galaxy.
The Star Wars galaxy is broken up into regions with the innermost called the Deep Core and the outermost called the Outer Rim. The closer to the Deep Core, the more prosperous a planet can be due to its proximity to other thriving worlds and vital hyperspace routes (allowing for more travel and trade), and its security from a galactic government.
Coruscant exists within the Core Worlds region, the space just outside the Deep Core, and is one of the oldest worlds in the galaxy. It sits at the nexus of at least six major hyperspace routes and neighbors some of the most esteemed worlds, like Chandrila. Coruscant was one of the first planets to come together in a mutually beneficial alliance (along with Alderaan, Duro, and Corellia), which prompted the establishment of the original foundation for the Republic. It has since been the capital world of galactic governments throughout most of history, including the Republic and the Empire. As such, Coruscant is an epicenter for not just government, but the economy, technology, education, and more.
The planet of Coruscant is entirely covered in cityscape. Otherwise known as an ecumenopolis, Coruscant’s planet-wide city has some 5,000 levels and is home to trillions of people, serving as a cosmopolitan capital. Just as Coruscant’s location in the galaxy is pivotal to its prosperity, the same applies to which level a person lives on. Coruscant’s lower levels are notorious for its seedy underworld that manages to thrive beneath the very capital of the galaxy. Meanwhile, the more wealthy populace can afford penthouses overlooking the colossal city. Xylan Graf was wealthy enough to own an entire building during the High Republic era.
In addition to levels, the planet also features many districts like the Uscru District, which is home to the Galaxies Opera House, the theater where Chancellor Palpatine confronts Anakin Skywalker for spying on him. Beneath Uscru is the Entertainment District and its buzzing nightlife. Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker track Zam Wesell to the Outlander Club in this district. And Dex’s Diner can be found in the Collective Commerce District, also known as CoCo Town.
One of the more expansive districts on Coruscant is the Federal District, where the galactic government would operate, and the most prominent building in that region is the Galactic Senate Building. During the era of the Republic, the senate chambers held over a thousand delegations from worlds across the galaxy. Colloquially known as the “Core of Coruscant,” other points of interest in this district were Padmé Amidala’s apartment, the Senate Office Building (later known as the Imperial Executive Building), and, most notably, the Jedi Temple.
In the ancient past, the Sith erected a shrine on Coruscant during their more prosperous years. It would later be replaced by the Jedi Temple, which stood for thousands of years before the Jedi Order’s extinction. Afterwards, the temple was retrofitted as the Emperor’s Imperial Palace and became the focal point of the Federal District.
The last remains of what Coruscant might’ve been before expanding into a planet-wide city can be found at Monument Plaza. Surrounded by shops and restaurants is the only uncovered mountain peak on the planet where citizens are welcome to visit and touch the peak. The mountain, Umate, has the highest peak in the Manari range -- mountains that have been swallowed up by the city. It’s at this same plaza that a riot erupts in Coruscant’s appearance in Return of the Jedi.
From politics to organized crime to the fall of the Jedi, Coruscant has seen it all -- and there’s no place quite like it in the entire galaxy.
Did you learn something new about Coruscant? Check back bi-weekly to learn something new about the Star Wars galaxy!