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"The galaxy knows Alderaan as 'the planet of beauty.' Nature, poetry, philosophy, art, couture, cuisine—we freely share all with all."
―Bail Organa[22]

Alderaan, located in the Core Worlds, was a terrestrial planet covered with mountains. During the waning decades of the Galactic Republic, it was ruled by Queen Breha Organa and represented in the Galactic Senate by her husband, Senator Bail Prestor Organa. Alderaan was regarded for its natural beauty, its tranquility, and the sophistication of its arts and culture.

Following the rise of Sheev Palpatine's Galactic Empire, Alderaan played a pivotal role in the establishment of the Rebel Alliance, a movement that sought to restore the Old Republic's values, and was one of its earliest supporters. Because of its ties with the Alliance, the planet was destroyed when Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin decided to test the superlaser of the Death Star, a moon-sized battle station developed by the Empire, at full strength. Among the few survivors of that disaster was Princess Leia Organa, adopted daughter of Bail and Breha Organa and heiress to the royal house of Alderaan.


"This is going to sit inside you forever… and if I'm going to die, I want to really think about this. Imagine actually killing Alderaan. Alderaan of all places! Alderaan is nice. Who'd blow up Alderaan? Hell of a place. Incredible history. Good party town. Hell, even had great sunsets. Now it doesn't even have a sky."
―Chelli Lona Aphra[29]
Alderaan mountains

Alderaan's snow-capped mountains.

From space, the planet of Alderaan, located in the star system of the same name,[3] appeared as a blue-green orb enveloped in a white web of clouds.[9] Its surface had vast bodies of water[3] and was covered in snow-capped mountains,[9] with patches of green grassy hills.[30] Alderaan was known to the galaxy as "the planet of beauty."[22] Alderaanians were very artistic and lived for this beauty, but the planet still hid treacherous cliffs and forgotten crevasses.[31] Famous natural landmarks of Alderaan included the Cloudshape Falls,[12] the Glarus Lagoons,[11] and the Isatabith rain forest.[12]

A variety of grapevines grew on Alderaan, which notably allowed to produce Toniray[23] and emerald wine.[32] The local fauna included the Alderaanian wolf-cat,[19] nerfs,[21] and a species of white-winged bird.[23]

The cities on Alderaan were carefully designed to respect the natural beauty of their environment.[1] For example, the palace of the royal family, which as been the work of over a millennium,[11] and the city around it blended into the local snow-capped peaks. Alderaanian architecture made use of white synthstone, which inspired the architecture of certain mining economies of the Outer Rim Territories, like the floating colony of Cloud City, and the planets Lothal and Garel.[1]

Despite the lyrics of the traditional Alderaanian lullaby "Mirrorbright" referencing a moon, the planet never possessed any natural satellites.[23]


The Old Republic[]

The peaceful world of Alderaan was among the oldest members of the Galactic Republic,[33] the democratic union that governed most of the galaxy,[34] and was among the worlds that originally founded it.[35] Upon the formation of its monarchy it was established that the heir apparent to Alderaan must complete a Challenge of the Heart, Challenge of the Mind and Challenge of the Body which would be announced on their Day of Demand and upon completion they would be officially invested as heir. In ancient times, Alderaanian heirs who partook in their Day of Demand had to fight their way into the palace throne room.[11] Before they permanently settled on Coruscant, the Jedi High Council was known to have a council on Alderaan.[36]

During the High Republic Era, Alderaan was a prosperous world and, as a signatory of the Republic Defense Coalition treaties, was required to lend starships and personnel to be commanded by Republic military officers during times of crisis. These ships and personnel would then be returned to Alderaan after the crisis ended. Alderaan was called upon to fulfill this obligation in c. 232 BBY,[37] to aid the Republic in fighting the Nihil, a group of marauders who caused the Great Hyperspace Disaster.[38]

At some point between 40 BBY[39] and 28 BBY,[40] the heir apparent of Alderaan, sixteen year old Princess Breha Organa, took part in her Day of Demand where she announced her challenges of the heart, mind and body. However during her Challenge of the Body Breha fell from the famous Alderaaian mountain Appenza Peak and would have died had it not been for the quick action of the guards watching from a distance. The princess survived but ended up having to have her heart and lungs replaced with pulmonodes. After her fall Breha was officially invested as crown princess and heir to the throne of Alderaan. Years later the people would still speak of Breha's accident.[11]

Breha Organa eventually succeeded her mother[11] as queen of Alderaan.[9]

By the time of the Invasion of Naboo, Alderaan had not seen conflict in generations.[41] The planet was represented in the Galactic Senate by Senator Bail Antilles. That year, the then-Supreme Chancellor of the Republic, Finis Valorum, was ousted from office, and Antilles was nominated for the position in the resulting election. However, the Alderaanian senator was defeated by Senator Sheev Palpatine, who represented the sovereign system of Naboo.[42]

In 28 BBY,[43] former queen of Naboo Senator Padmé Amidala and her entourage were invited to Alderaan by Queen Breha and stayed at the royal palace for a week before returning home to Naboo.[41]

The Clone Wars[]

Aldera City

Aldera, the planet's capital.

Ten years later, Alderaan was represented in the Senate by Viceroy Bail Prestor Organa,[44] the prince consort of the planet's ruler, Queen Breha Organa.[9] At that time, the Republic was facing a secessionist crisis due to the existence of the Confederacy of Independent Systems led by Count Dooku, pushing the galaxy to the brink of war. Through Organa, Alderaan was a member of Chancellor Palpatine's Loyalist Committee, which concerned itself with the stability of the Republic during the Separatist crisis and would later strive to limit Palpatine's increasing executive authority. That year, an army of clones was discovered on the planet Kamino, which would be appropriated by the Senate in order to combat the Separatists. To save the Republic from the impending threat, the Supreme Chancellor was granted emergency powers, a decision that was contrary to the pacifist values of Alderaan and its representative and which ultimately led to the outbreak of the Clone Wars.[44] During the Clone Wars Viceroy Bail Organa became Alderaan's military leader.[11]


Alderaan Refugee Conference during the Clone Wars.

At some point during the Clone Wars, Alderaan hosted a conference concerned with aiding war refugees. Padmé Amidala, then senator of Naboo, was nearly assassinated during the conference when the Hutt crime lord Ziro, whom Amidala had sent to prison, hired the bounty hunter Aurra Sing to take revenge. The plot, however, was thwarted by the Jedi apprentice Ahsoka Tano.[30] Many refugees from all over the Republic came to stay on Alderaan during the war to find their way again or to stay.[31]

Queen Breha and Viceroy Bail would send aid to worlds that had been ravaged by the Separatists, sending not just money and supplies but also doctors, teachers, architects, builders, medics, and droids.[31]

Around the time of the Battle of Kadavo, two Alderaanian tourists visiting Tatooine died in a speeder-bike accident. The Zygerrian News implied that the two had gotten intoxicated in the cantina of Mos Eisley, which caused the accident.[45]

The Clone Wars saw a change in Alderaan. Although was still a peaceful planet with no large weaponry, the Royal Alderaan Civil Fleet had "more teeth," their officers had seen more hardship, they manufactured more practical items in larger quantities, and the planet had begun to quietly fill up due to the number of refugees.[31]

Following the end of the Clone Wars, Viceroy Bail and Queen Breha adopted Leia Amidala Skywalker, the daughter of the now deceased Padmé Amidala and former Jedi Knight turned Sith Lord Anakin Skywalker, renaming her to Leia Organa and making her princess of Alderaan.[9] Leia's adoption was announced on her Name Day three or four days after her birth and was publicly celebrated on Alderaan.[11]

Age of the Empire[]

"It's a long way to Alderaan."
―The codephrase spoken to EG-86 identifying Ezra Bridger and Sabine Wren as rebels[46]
CR70 alderaan

The Tantive III lands in Aldera in 19 BBY, right after the end of the Clone Wars.

In 3 BBY,[47] Leia Organa took part in her Day of Demand and after completing her three challenges became invested as crown princess and the future queen of Alderaan.[11]

With the Clone Wars coming to an end, Chancellor Palpatine had abolished the Republic, establishing the Galactic Empire in its stead.[9] However, a small number of systems rebelled against this new regime,[3] and the Alliance to Restore the Republic was ultimately formed by Bail Organa and his former colleague in the Galactic Senate, Senator Mon Mothma of Chandrila.[48] During this time, Alderaan became the Alliance's main source of munitions. The planet's crown princess and representative in the Imperial Senate, Princess Leia Organa,[3] began using her diplomatic immunity as an Imperial senator to carry out Rebel missions in restricted Imperial systems.[49]

During the Galactic Civil War, Alderaan was listed as an Alliance safe world. It was included in a map of the galaxy with a legend listing the various Alliance safe worlds, starfighter hubs at level five or higher, rebel operations sectors and regional headquarters, and shadow planets with deep space caches. The map would later be incorporated into The Rebel Files.[50]

About three years before the Battle of Yavin,[51] Senator Bail Organa dispatched three Sphyrna-class Hammerhead corvettes to the Phoenix Cell, which has sustained losses while fleeing Garel. Since Alderaan could not be seen directly supporting the rebels, Senator Organa arranged for his adopted daughter Leia to deliver the vessels to Lothal. The Alderaanians risked losing their seat in the Imperial Senate among other Imperial sanctions. Senator Organa had arranged for the crew of the Ghost to "steal" the ships from an Imperial depot on Lothal so that Alderaan could not be blamed for the "theft." With the help of the crew of the Ghost and the former Governor Ryder Azadi, Leia managed to deliver the three Hammerhead corvettes to the Phoenix rebels following a skirmish at the Imperial depot.[49]


Tarkin: "Princess Leia, before your execution, I would like you to be my guest at a ceremony that will make this battle station operational. No star system will dare oppose the Emperor now."
Leia: "The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers."
Tarkin: "Not after we demonstrate the power of this station. In a way, you have determined the choice of the planet that will be destroyed first. Since you are reluctant to provide us with the location of the Rebel base, I have chosen to test this station's destructive power on your home planet of Alderaan."
―Wilhuff Tarkin and Leia Organa[3]

In 1 BBY,[52] shortly before the Battle of Scarif, and three weeks prior to the equinox festivities,[4] Senator Bail Organa headed towards Alderaan to tell their people that there would "be no peace,"[53] after the plans for the Death Star, a planet-killing Imperial superlaser, were discovered. The plans were later stolen from the data vault on Scarif, and transferred aboard the Tantive IV. Princess Leia of Alderaan, Bail's adopted daughter and thus member of the Elder Houses was captured by the Imperial Navy while smuggling the plans to the Alliance base. Organa was taken prisoner by Vader, the Emperor's second-in-command, and brought before the Death Star's commanding officer, Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin.[3]


The Death Star fires on Alderaan.

Under threat of destroying her planet, Leia gave a fake location of the rebel base to Tarkin, only for Tarkin to nevertheless destroy Alderaan—noting that Dantooine was too remote for an "effective demonstration"[3]—to punish the world for supporting the Rebellion,[54] hoping the annihilation of the entire world would make the rest of the galaxy fear Imperial retribution for supporting the Rebels. The Imperials forced the princess to witness the obliteration of her home planet. The planet's destruction left only an asteroid field behind,[3] which was blockaded by the Empire.[55]

On Coruscant, the Empire's planetary capital, the numerous Alderaanian residents of Level 3204 began to hold vigils for those who had perished in what they called "the Disaster." However, as more information became available about the Empire's role in the destruction of Alderaan, the vigils soon turned into riots, which were quickly repressed by brute force.[16] The Empire defended the destruction of the planet to its military, claiming that its population had chosen its destruction by supporting anarchy.[54] A short time after Alderaan's destruction, the Death Star was destroyed in the Battle of Yavin, taking Tarkin[3] and many other high ranking Imperials with it.[56]

Under the orders of Vader, the Imperial Military was to "complete" the destruction of Alderaan by hunting any remaining Alderaanians.[54] Almost immediately after the Death Star's destruction, Leia Organa would embark on a mission to rescue the survivors of Alderaan from Imperial reprisals.[57] Also following the Battle of Yavin, Vader took the remains of Alderaan to serve as reminders to worlds that attempted to resist the Emperor; following an assassination attempt on himself at Shu-Torun, Vader then gave Trios, the new Queen of that planet, one of these reminders.[58] Finding himself the last of House Glorio, Rabael Dir Glorio, who had also been 26th in line to the throne, tried to have his own revenge on the Empire but was left behind and for dead by a crew working for the Son-tuul Pride.[59]


"What act of terror could be more horrible than what happened to Alderaan? Have you forgotten that? I was there. I saw it happen, stood there watching while they destroyed my world, my home, everyone I had ever loved—"
―Senator Leia Organa, to Senator Ransolm Casterfo[23]

In 4 ABY, Leia married Han Solo on the forest moon of Endor. Due to the destruction of Alderaan Leia's mother, Breha Organa, couldn't attach the Rhindon Sword to her waist before Leia went to meet her husband though during the ceremony Leia felt as if her mother was attaching the sword and her father, Bail Organa, was kissing her on the cheek. After the ceremony, Leia mused to herself that had Alderaan not been destroyed she would have been married at the cathedral in Aldera, with a customary lace dress, an hour dedicated to the bell service, three different traditional meals with guests of rank and more.[10]

By 5 ABY, a flotilla of starships orbited the Alderaanian Graveyard, the new name for the debris remaining of the planet. Princess Leia managed to use her political connections to take scrap from the Death Star, initially intended for incineration, to be used to construct a new space station around the planet.[55]

By the time of the New Republic, Alderaan's destruction would become a stark reminder for future generations about the terrors of the Galactic Empire, and would often be an 'uncomfortable subject' for those that brought up the planet's destruction in conversation. As such, surviving Alderaanians would be treated with great respect for their lost world and people. For collectors, rare bottles of the alcoholic beverage Toniray would become a highly-prized commodity.[23]


"Soldiers are a thing of Alderaan's past, Leia."
―Bail Organa, to his adopted daughter Leia[22]
Young Leia studying

Alderaanians valued culture and education.

Alderaan hosted a population of humans, known as Alderaanians, who were known for their philosophy of pacifism. Even in time of galactic conflicts, the Alderaanians shunned weapons. They were not, however, bereft of spirit, as many of them chose to join the rebellion against the Galactic Empire. Their society was ruled by the House of Organa,[26] in conjunction with an individual bearing the titles of Viceroy and First Chairman.[60] The female child of the royal couple was referred to as a princess.[3] For diplomatic missions, the Royal Family used streamlined cruisers.[61]

According to Nash Windrider, on Alderaan, its people were encouraged to learn and grow. All education was free, and people would volunteer to teach various skills or crafts just for fun.[12] Queen Breha herself served as the minister of education,[17] and personally mentored a select number of young Alderaanians, including Evaan Verlaine, teaching them about the culture and heritage of their homeworld.[57]

Alderaan also had a number of traditions involving braids such as who wore them, when and why that varied from continent to continent and age to age. The Alderaaian monarch was expected to wear braids.[11]

Every child of Alderaan owned a keepsake chest whose designs would be carved by the child's parents and grandparents though the child themselves choose what went inside. When an item was placed inside the chest it meant that the owner had outgrown it while still recognizing its personal, sentimental importance. In adulthood, an Alderaanian could then open their chest, look back, and see how they had chosen to tell their own story.[23] It was traditional for the owner of the chest, upon coming of age, to give it to their parents as a sign that they were now an adult, although it was not mandatory. Many heirs of Alderaan would give up their keepsake chest before their investiture as crown prince or princess though the ritual didn't demand it.[11]

Behind the scenes[]

"The Alderaan system actually consists of seven planets. Alderaan was the capital planet of that system. There was a Senate and my father was the president of that Senate."
―George Lucas, assuming Leia Organa's character[62]

Alderaan first appeared in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, the seminal movie of the Star Wars saga. In that movie, the planet was only seen from space during the scene depicting its destruction.[3] In the treatment, rough draft, second draft, and third draft of what would become A New Hope, the name of Alderaan was used for the capital of the "New Galactic Empire." At that time, it was described as a giant gas planet that resembled Bespin, with a city that resembled Cloud City on it. In the second draft of A New Hope, the home planet of Princess Leia was called Organa Major. Aquilae, Utapau, and Ophuchi were also considered as names for worlds partially corresponding to Alderaan.[63]

Following the success of A New Hope, a full ancillary world was being built around the movie. In order to get everyone on the same page, George Lucas decided to create a few background stories and ideas. In those notes, Alderaan was described as a four or five million years old Earth-like planet, covered with high snowcapped mountains and green pastures. The same notes also described the planet as being the capital of its star system and possessing its own Senate.[62] In canon, the surface of Alderaan only made its first appearance in the 2005 movie Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith.[9] The planet's mountainous terrain was modelled after a location in the Swiss Alps.[64]

In the 2018 reference book Star Wars: The Rebel Files, Alderaan was mistakenly depicted as being in the Colonies instead of the Core Worlds.[50]


Non-canon appearances[]


Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Ultimate Star Wars
  2. Star Wars: The Galactic Explorer's Guide
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Eclipse" — From a Certain Point of View
  5. A New Hope: The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy
  6. Star Wars: The Force Awakens Beginner Game
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 7.12 7.13 7.14 Dawn of Rebellion
  8. 8.0 8.1 Star Wars Super Graphic: A Visual Guide to a Galaxy Far, Far Away
  9. 9.00 9.01 9.02 9.03 9.04 9.05 9.06 9.07 9.08 9.09 9.10 9.11 9.12 9.13 9.14 Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
  10. 10.0 10.1 The Princess and the Scoundrel
  11. 11.00 11.01 11.02 11.03 11.04 11.05 11.06 11.07 11.08 11.09 11.10 11.11 11.12 11.13 11.14 11.15 11.16 11.17 11.18 Leia, Princess of Alderaan
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 Lost Stars
  13. Obi-Wan Kenobi new series logo Obi-Wan Kenobi — "Part I"
  14. "Rules of the Game" — Canto Bight
  15. Unlimited Power
  16. 16.0 16.1 SWInsider "One Thousand Levels Down" — Star Wars Insider 151
  17. 17.0 17.1 Princess Leia: Royal Rebel
  18. Star Wars (2020) 24
  19. 19.0 19.1 The Empire Strikes Back: So You Want to Be a Jedi?
  20. Savage Spirits
  21. 21.0 21.1 Moving Target: A Princess Leia Adventure
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 Princess Leia 2
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 23.4 23.5 23.6 23.7 Bloodline
  24. Jedi: Battle Scars
  25. Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know
  26. 26.0 26.1 StarWars Bail Organa in the Encyclopedia (content now obsolete; backup link)
  27. StarWars SDCC 2023: 10 Reveals from the Lucasfilm Publishing Panel on StarWars.com (backup link)
  28. Lost Stars webcomic
  29. "The Trigger" — From a Certain Point of View
  30. 30.0 30.1 TCW mini logo Star Wars: The Clone Wars — "Assassin"
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 31.3 Queen's Hope
  32. The Rebellion Begins
  33. StarWars-DatabankII Alderaan in the Databank (backup link)
  34. StarWars-DatabankII Galactic Republic in the Databank (backup link)
  35. Star Wars Helmet Collection 1
  36. Star Wars Jedi Master Magazine 1
  37. The main events of The High Republic: Light of the Jedi occur several weeks before the dedication of the Starlight Beacon, which The Star Wars Book dates to 232 years before the events of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. Since Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates the events of that film to 0 BBY, it can be determined that the main events of Light of the Jedi occur around the year 232 BBY.
  38. The High Republic: Light of the Jedi
  39. Star Wars: Timelines places the events of Master & Apprentice in 40 BBY. Master & Apprentice also establishes that Breha was a princess, which means she became queen of Alderaan sometime after 40 BBY.
  40. Breha was Queen of Alderaan in the novel Queen's Shadow, whose events take place four years after Padmé Amidala went to Tatooine, as depicted in Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace. Since Star Wars: Galactic Atlas places The Phantom Menace in 32 BBY, it can be deduced that Breha was queen by 28 BBY.
  41. 41.0 41.1 Queen's Shadow
  42. Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace
  43. Star Wars: Timelines dates the events of Queen's Shadow to 28 BBY.
  44. 44.0 44.1 Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
  45. StarWars "Escape from Kadavo" Trivia Gallery on StarWars.com (backup link) (Slide 5)
  46. Rebels-mini-logo Star Wars Rebels — "Blood Sisters"
  47. Star Wars: Timelines
  48. StarWars Rebel Alliance in the Encyclopedia (content now obsolete; backup link)
  49. 49.0 49.1 Rebels-mini-logo Star Wars Rebels — "A Princess on Lothal"
  50. 50.0 50.1 Star Wars: The Rebel Files
  51. Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know, Updated and Expanded states that Leia Organa was 16 years old during her mission on Lothal. Since Star Wars: Galactic Atlas establishes that Organa was born in 19 BBY, the mission must take place in 3 BBY.
  52. Star Wars: Timelines
  53. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  54. 54.0 54.1 54.2 Star Wars: Squadrons
  55. 55.0 55.1 Aftermath: Life Debt
  56. Darth Vader (2015) 1
  57. 57.0 57.1 Princess Leia 1
  58. Darth Vader Annual 1
  59. Doctor Aphra (2016) 15
  60. Star Wars: Card Trader
  61. StarWars Alderaan cruiser in the Encyclopedia (content now obsolete; backup link)
  62. 62.0 62.1 The Making of Star Wars
  63. The Making of Star Wars: The Definitive Story Behind the Original Film
  64. The Art of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

External links[]