- "It was night in our palace—were you awake or asleep, with Mother... or alone?"
- ―Leia Organa
The Aldera Royal Palace, also known as House Organa, was an elegant, centuries-old building in the heart of Aldera, capital city of Alderaan. In the waning days of the Galactic Republic, it was home to the Royal House of Organa, and the palace from which Queen Breha Organa ruled the planet. The young Princess Leia Organa, the adopted daughter of Queen Breha and Bail Prestor Organa, was raised in this castle, along with her foster sister Winter, her aunts Tia Organa, Rouge Organa and Celly Organa and other members of the extended family. In 0 BBY, the Alderaanian government became a threat to the rise of the ever-rising Galactic Empire. The Royal Palace was presumed destroyed with the planet when Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin demonstrated the power of the Death Star battlestation on Alderaan. In spite of the planetary destruction, a large portion of the Palace had been preserved within the rocky mass of the Asteroid 7785.
- "When I was living in my father's palace, I was utterly bored, Luke."
- ―Leia Organa
Relative to the millennia of history of the Alderaanian monarchy, the Royal Palace of Aldera was recently built. It was constructed in the mountains of Aldera around 719 BBY, in the first centuries of the Great Peace of the Republic. In the millennia which preceded its construction, the monarchs of Alderaan had held court in various castles—including the ancestral home of House Panteer in the Glarus Valley.
In the last decades of the Galactic Republic, tensions arose between the nobles as to whether the line of ascent to Viceroy should go to the House of Organa or another family. In 28 BBY, the resulting crisis, known as the Alderaan Ascendancy Contention, was resolved by Jedi Watchman Jorus C'baoth, who ended the dispute by joining the Organas and the Antilles through marriage. As a result, united members of both houses inhabited the Royal Palace—including the Viceroy Bail Prestor Organa and his wife, Queen Breha Organa, née Antilles. The building itself, however, remained the property of the Organas and was thus referred to as "House Organa."
Following the devastating conflicts of the three-year-long Clone Wars, the royal couple adopted the daughter of the late Senator Padmé Amidala. The young Princess Leia Organa grew up in the Palace with her surrogate parents. Meanwhile, the galaxy still bore the scars of the war, and it was decided that Alderaan would be disarmed completely. The war frigate Another Chance was converted into an armory ship in which all the weapons of war of Alderaan were stored. The frigate was programmed to continually jump through hyperspace until recalled on Alderaan by the Council of Elders. The command chamber of the Another Chance was hidden within the Royal Palace of Aldera. Around the same period, a series of demonstrations took place around the Palace when the newly formed Galactic Empire attempted to increase the restrictions on the refugees that had found shelter on Alderaan. However, the Alderaanian law enforcement units managed to confine the protestors to a preassigned circuit, and the Royal Palace did not suffer any damage.
In 3 BBY, the Palace hosted the festivities of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Ascendancy Contention, with nobles from other planets being invited by Queen Breha and her husband Bail Organa. On that occasion, Count Adan Dooku of Serenno was murdered by Imperial agent Jahan Cross inside the very walls of the Palace. One year later, the Palace became one of the crucibles from which the rebellion against the Empire emerged: following the Cantham House Meetings, Bail Organa joined with Garm Bel Iblis of Corellia and Mon Mothma of Chandrila to form the Alliance to Restore the Republic. However, in 0 BBY, the Imperial Grand Moff Tarkin grew suspicious of Bail Organa's loyalty, and he decided to make an example. Tarkin used the immense firepower of the Death Star, a moon-sized battlestation equipped with a planet-killing superlaser, on Alderaan. The Aldera Royal Palace was presumed destroyed along with the planet itself and its millions of inhabitants.
- "They found the Palace. The Royal Palace. It's in the Graveyard. Go to Mining Outpost 11. The report was filed there. One scout also said they found... Bail Organa... hurry..."
- ―Zaz Kamiroz
Some time later, a group of Rebels intercepted a message meant for Princess Leia Organa, claiming that the Royal Palace had been found intact somewhere in the Graveyard—an asteroid belt created by the destruction of the planet Alderaan. Following the lead, the Rebel agents reached the Asteroid 7785, where a significant portion of the Aldera Royal Palace had indeed been preserved. Unbeknownst to them, the message had been sent by Darth Vader, the Supreme Commander of the Imperial Military. By providing such information, Vader hoped he could lure Leia Organa and any other of the survivors of the Battle of Yavin to Alderaan, where the Imperial Captain Janus Bonn waited for them.
Vader's trap was sprung, but not on its intended victims. While exploring the ruined section of the palace, the Rebels stumbled upon various frightening holograms that had been implanted by the Imperials to instil fear in the visitors. After defeating Janus Bonn and his henchmen, the agents of the Alliance discovered the hidden room from which the frigate Another Chance could be called back.
Built at the heart of the city, the Royal Palace lay on a slight rise at the edge of Aldera, overlooking the vast lake. It was a compound of multistoried buildings and turrets, surrounded by ramparts and defensive moats filled with water. The Palace appeared as an assemblage of shallow domes and tall, sharp spires that gleamed white and gold in the daylight. A beautiful ensemble of orchards and gardens surrounded the castle’s outer enclosure, and several terraces were built on various levels, providing the inhabitants with fresh air and light. The North tower was equipped with a lofty balcony, from which the old moats and the palace's ramparts could be seen unobstructed. Viceroy Bail Prestor Organa viewed a series of demonstrations from this tower in 19 BBY.
The way to the main gates of the Palace went through a twisting path in the middle of a blooming garden, lined with majestic dark golden trees. The front entrance itself was a wide wooden door ornamented with intricate carvings. There were other entrances to the castle, including one in the curved South wall, another in the East wall, and another gate the royal family used to enter and exit their private wing in the back of the castle.
Since no weapons were allowed on Alderaan, the security measures around the palace were almost non-existent. The palace had been conceived as an open place, where any Alderaanian could ask for access. While the defensive moats had once been in use, they were considered obsolete in the last decades of the Republic. However, following the end of the Clone Wars, the outside of the Palace was protected by the Royal Guards.
- "We don't know the palace very well. You see, we've only been with our present master for two local months, and we're not very well acquainted with the layout."
The multistory building included kilometers of winding corridors and all manner of bedrooms, ballrooms and reception rooms. The Palace featured a Grand Reception Room contained within a dome-shaped structure, a Grand Ballroom with a marble staircase, a throne room, a bridge-spanned reflecting pool, and Bail Organa's study—which overlooked the lake and was surrounded by gardens.
The palace's most formal room was topped by a domed ceiling and paneled with wood. There was no furniture inside, and a massive, sun-shaped lighting fixture hung from the ceiling. The Royal family would discuss their most ceremonial affairs in this space.
One of the Palace's entrances led to the First Hall, one of the many ceremonial chambers located within the Palace. The First Hall was long hallway decorated with statues, holo-art and sculptures. It provided access to a series of offices, most of which were occupied by low-ranking bureaucrats. One of those hosted the Alderaan Department of the Arts; various holoposters and four desks with data viewers were placed in that office. By walking past the suite of offices, visitors could reach the Grand Hall, an ornately decorated chamber, the Grand Hall in which the royalty of Alderaan held court. That second hallway was lined with pillars and featured a grand staircase that led to a lower level. Down the steps of the Grand Hall lay another series of chambers, which included a map room that contained a holomap of the Republican space. There were also a meeting chamber, a steam bath room, the dining hall and the lounge of the Council of Elders and the Amphitheater. That final room not only hosted the official gatherings of the Elders, but also contained the only possible access to the castle's best kept secret: the hidden chamber from which the armory ship Another Chance could be called back.
The private wing of the Royal family was located at the back side of the Palace. This private compound contained a room nicknamed the "inside-outside room." It was equipped with transparisteel doors marching along a wall so that the surrounding gardens would be seen in full display. The Royal family often gathered in this room in the mornings and evenings because the sunset light made it gleam like a flower. The bedroom in which Princess Leia slept had a window which opened on the palace grounds, and a tree with low-hanging branches allowed the young girl to go over the wall at night. Killik Twilight, a moss painting by the famous Alderaanian artist Ob Khaddor, usually hung outside the Princess' bedroom—although it could be borrowed for art exhibits. In addition to their bedrooms, ladies of the court like Rouge Organa could also possess their own boudoir.
Honored guests had the benefit of their own wing, which was located a long distance from the main reception room of the castle. One such guest suite was prepared for Count Adan Dooku shortly before his assassination. Those particular chambers featured a balcony, scarlet floor tiles, wide windows an a large, round bench settee.
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Assassin"
- Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader
- The Traitor's Gambit
- The Last of the Jedi: Master of Deception
- The Paradise Snare (First appearance)
- Agent of the Empire—Hard Targets, Part 1
- (Mentioned only)
- "The Princess Leia Diaries"—Star Wars Tales 11
- "Constant Spirit"—Star Wars Insider 145
- Empire 5: Princess... Warrior, Part 1 (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars radio drama
- Splinter of the Mind's Eye (First mentioned)
- Rebel Force: Hostage (Mentioned only)
- Graveyard of Alderaan
- Star Wars Journal: The Fight for Justice (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars 53: The Last Gift From Alderaan! (Mentioned only)
- Tatooine Ghost (Mentioned only)
- Planet of Twilight (Vision to Leia Organa Solo)
- The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force (Mentioned only) (As "House Organa")
- Dark Nest III: The Swarm War (Mentioned only)
- Dark Force Rising Sourcebook
- The Illustrated Star Wars Universe
- Coruscant and the Core Worlds
- Star Wars Illustrated: The Empire Strikes Back (Card: One Year Earlier: Princess Leia Organa) (Indirect mention only)
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Graveyard of Alderaan
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 The Paradise Snare
- ↑ Star Wars radio drama
- ↑ The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. I, p. 363 ("Great Peace of the Republic")
- ↑ Star Wars: The Old Republic—Codex Entry: "Glarus Valley"
- ↑ Dark Force Rising
- ↑ Agent of the Empire—Hard Targets, Part 1
- ↑ In the novel Splinter of the Mind's Eye, Leia Organa referred to the Royal Palace as belonging to her father rather than her mother.
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 13.7 The Last of the Jedi: Master of Deception
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 14.2 Agent of the Empire—Hard Targets, Part 1
- ↑ Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
- ↑ Rebel Force: Hostage
- ↑ The Traitor's Gambit
- ↑ Children of the Jedi