- "Yeah, well, a lot of spying goes on. And Bothawui is one of the more active hubs for operatives from around the galaxy. The Empire has its own spies here; so does the Alliance, and they've all pretty much decided to let the place be neutral territory."
- ―Dash Rendar
Bothawui (planet, located in the center of Bothan Space in the Mid Rim. It was the homeworld of the Bothan race as well as a major hub for information trafficking. It was also the center of the Bothan Spynet, widely agreed upon to be the best network of information gathering in the galaxy. The Imperial name for the planet was Bothawui Proper.) was a cosmopolitan
Bothawui was the fourth planet from the star Both in the Both system of the Mid Rim region of the galaxy and was also within the region known as the Slice. It was situated at the junction of four major hyperlanes, including the Bothan Run, the Kaaga Run, the Reena Trade Route, and the Manda Merchant Route. Due to a slight wobble in its axial plain, Bothawui experienced numerous small ice ages, which expanded and retracted across the planet's higher latitudes in seventy-year cycles. Bothawui was also affected by the destruction of the third planet in its system.
A terrestrial world orbited by three moons, Bothawui had a day that lasted 27 standard hours and a year that consisted of 351 local days. The planet was 9,000 kilometers in diameter and possessed a breathable atmosphere, standard gravity, a temperate climate, and a moderate hydrosphere. Bothawui was a bright blue-green in color and its terrain included urban areas, rich equatorial forests, large polar ice caps, many rugged mountain ranges, and grassy savannas that spanned the areas between rocky glacier fields. Bothawui's mountains and ridges were separated by deep, wide valleys that were inhabited by dangerous wildlife.
Due to the presence of mountainous terrain, large tracts of wilderness on Bothawui remained undeveloped and devoid of settlements. Snow covered mountain tops on Bothawui, and as a result of cyclical ice ages, large areas of land on the world would be covered by ice sheets for decades, transforming savannas into rocky wastelands. Krak'jyas dominated Bothawui's animal life, skar'klas were native to the world's higher elevations, and ganjukos lived throughout the ice sheets of Bothawui's arctic wastelands.
A major trade world, Bothawui was the center of the trade of technology in its sector and was the home of many trade houses and megacorporations while also boasting strong shipping, communication, and transportation industries. The industrial center and Bothan colony of Kothlis, which was only a few light-years away from Bothawui, supported Bothawui's technology trade. Annual operating taxes on Bothawui were very low, ranging from 8,000 for small businesses to more than 250,000 for large manufacturing facilities. Bothawui's tax rates, combined with minimal bureaucratic regulations, enticed many galactic concerns into maintaining satellite offices on the planet, and establishing a new business on Bothawui was a simple process.
Assassinations, espionage, and sabotage were as commonplace on Bothawui as debates and typical legislation were on other worlds, and the Bothan Spynet developed into the foremost information-gathering network in the galaxy due to the suspicious and treacherous nature of life on Bothawui. Espionage represented an unofficial industry on Bothawui, with spies from industries, governments, trade organizations, and crime lords traveling to the world to collect intelligence for their employers. Bothawui was considered an industrial world and possessed a reputation as a neutral ground for trade arrangements, diplomatic negotiations, and information-gathering operations.
Bothawui was governed by the Bothan Council, in which 18 council members represented the nation states of Bothawui. The Bothan Council was based on Bothawui along with various ministries that regulated commerce and government in Bothawui's colonies. On Bothawui, strict policies restricted the use and ownership of lethal weapons, and special permits issued by the Bothan Council were required to possess blasters or explosive ordinance. Bothawui lacked an independent navy, but possessed advanced planetary shields and a large, well-equipped civil defense army. The defense grid featured numerous backup systems and redundancies.
Bothan civilization originated in the equatorial forests of Bothawui. Bothawui was absorbed into the Galactic Republic sometime during the period of time between 17,000 BBY and 12,000 BBY, and Pers'lya, a native of Bothawui, became Chancellor of the Republic by 11,987 BBY. Bothawui was later attacked by forces from Ord Masterra during the Twenty-Third Pius Dea Crusade in 11,198 BBY. A longtime member of the Galactic Senate, in which it achieved considerable influence, Bothawui became one of the most recognizable and heavily-trafficked planets in the Galactic Republic, and many bureaucratic committees of the Republic met on Bothawui to discuss governmental matters. Information regarding the expansion of the known galaxy flowed through Bothawui as the Bothans sent agents to join the populations of newly-discovered worlds.
Old Sith Wars
During the turbulent time of the Great Galactic War, the galaxy faced a deadly threat in the form of the resurgent Sith Empire which began conquering system after system. In 3671 BBY, after a string of victories in the Outer Rim, the Sith turned their attentions to the Both system with the intention of conquering it. This culminated in the First Battle of Bothawui, when a squadron of Imperial warships attempted to conquer the planet, but they were ambushed by Republic forces, who achieved their first victory in the Great Galactic War.
Fortifying the planet with a planetary shield generator, the Republic left a garrison force of 84 Jedi Knights and 4,000 Republic soldiers led by Jedi Master Belth Allusis to protect the world which they did from a renewed Sith attack who deployed 50,000 soldiers to take the Bothan homeworld. It was only the heroic sacrifices of hundreds of Jedi Knights and Republic soldiers who fought against impossible odds. The Republic defenders were killed in the struggle, but the losses they placed on the Sith Empire forced the enemy to retreat.
In the months preceding the beginning of the Clone Wars, Polo Se'lab, the Senator of Bothawui, expressed desire to avoid Bothawui's involvement in the onset of open warfare. In an address directed toward Count Dooku during the Separatist Crisis, Supreme Chancellor Palpatine named Bothawui as a potential site for negotiations. Defended by its own small planetary defense forces, Bothawui was a neutral planet during the Clone Wars and was largely untouched by the conflict, although Bothawui's neutrality did little to deter Separatist and Republic representatives from attempting to recruit the world to their respective causes. However, hostile interactions between Republic and Separatist agents on Bothawui were rare.
Despite its neutrality, a battle took place in the Both system, with General Grievous attempting to invade the planet. The Republic forces on the ground were tired out after hard combat, when a fleet of Munificent-class star frigates entered the system to reinforce their own troops. Anakin Skywalker used a strategy for stopping them that saw AT-TE walkers deployed on local asteroids in the rings of the gas giant Golm, ambushing the warships from behind. The Munificent's unshielded sterns were bombarded and the battle ended with a win for the Republic.
Galactic Civil War
The Bothans negotiated limited neutrality for Bothawui when the Galactic Empire came to power. Bothawui was technically part of the Empire and enjoyed representation in the Imperial Senate, and the world and its colonies were left relatively free from Imperial tyranny. Imperial involvement in the planet's economy was minimal, with the Empire's presence consisting mostly of a small consulate and routine patrol sweeps conducted by the sector fleet. The Empire also monitored an advanced communications and sensors station, and agents of the Imperial Security Bureau who participated in a counterintelligence operation aimed toward the Bothan Spynet were stationed at an Imperial complex on Bothawui. Under Imperial rule, Bothawui, though somewhat marginalized, remained a quiet and content world.
Although Bothawui had no need for a prominent military force, as the planet showed little outward evidence of affiliation with the Alliance to Restore the Republic, the Alliance maintained a presence on Bothawui, operating a safe house in the foothills surrounding Drev'starn that served as an intelligence headquarters and as an operations center for the sector. A figure-head governor and a small contingent of stormtroopers was the only outward sign that the world was under supposedly Imperial governorship. During the early years of the conflict, Imperial Security Bureau Agent Mar Barezz intercepted Rebel agent Tiree at Mesa 291 on Bothawui while Tiree was recruiting support for the Rebel Alliance, but failed to capture or kill him. Both the Imperial and Rebel Alliance intelligence services apparently decided to let the planet serve as neutral ground, where they could both spy on one another with no open conflict.
Despite its neutrality, upon learning that Bothan spies had acquired the Death Star plans and given them to rogue Imperial Moff Kalast, who in turn delivered them to the Rebels, Emperor Palpatine traveled to Bothawui with two Royal Guards. The Emperor personally slaughtered hundreds of Bothans. Learning from one begging for his life that the plans were to arrive at Tatooine, Palpatine dispatched his servant, Darth Vader, to the Tatoo system to retrieve them.
Shortly before the Battle of Endor in 3.5 ABY, the Bothan SpyNet and its leader, Koth Melan, discovered evidence revealing that the Empire was transporting a freighter supposedly carrying fertilizer from Coruscant to Bothawui, which, in fact, was transporting a closely guarded computer core containing plans to a top secret Imperial construction project. Luke Skywalker, along with Dash Rendar, traveled to Bothawui to aid in the capture of the plans.
Accompanied by Rendar in his YT-2400 light freighter, the Outrider, and twelve BTL-S3 Y-wing starfighters piloted by eleven Bothans sympathetic to the Rebellion and Alliance pilot Ace Azzameen, Skywalker, in his personal X-wing, led an attack to intercept the freighter as it exited hyperspace on the fringes of the Both system. When the squadron intercepted the freighter, named the Suprosa, and demanded its surrender, the ship unveiled its heavy armaments and shields. Before Skywalker and Azzameen could disable the ship, the freighter had destroyed six of the Y-wings. After the computer was secured, it was taken to the Bothan colony world of Kothlis where a special team would attempt to decrypt it.
After a series of conflicts with the Imperial Navy immediately thereafter, the plans were finally delivered to the Mon Calamari Star Cruiser Independence, where it was revealed that the plans were the construction details to a new, more powerful Death Star. It would turn out that the Emperor had intentionally allowed the plans to fall into the hands of the Alliance in order to lead them into a trap at the Death Star II construction site over the moon of Endor, where he would finally attempt to destroy them once and for all.
Post-Civil War eras
The planet was a founding member of the New Republic, although long represented only indirectly by Senator Borsk Fey'lya of Kothlis. When Fey'lya was elected President of the New Republic, Bothawui was again represented directly in the Senate by Mak Sezala.
The New Republic Fourth Fleet made Bothawui its headquarters. The bounty hunter Moxin Tark established contact with former agents of Jabba Desilijic Tiure on Bothawui, and as of 7 ABY, observations of this incident constituted the most recent sighting of Tark known to the New Republic. Bothawui was a New Republic stronghold during the Zsinj campaign of 7–8 ABY and the Thrawn campaign of 9 ABY.
During the Caamas Document Crisis, Bothawui was the subject of many anti-Bothan riots. Leia Organa Solo and Han Solo were caught up in one of these attacks at a record center. Han was blamed for killing one of the rioters, though it was really an Imperial agent.
As the crisis escalated, General Garm Bel Iblis was stationed over the planet. When he and the New Republic task force had to leave, the General left Corran Horn and Wedge Antilles to guard the planet's shield generator from anticipated subterfuge. The duo met with Moranda Savich, an employee of Talon Karrde, who was also attempting to stop such an attempt. The trio was only somewhat successful, as the Imperial Intelligence team led by Drend Navett managed to bring down the shields, resulting in a battle at Bothawui.
During the Yuuzhan Vong War, Bothawui and the other worlds of Bothan Space were protected by the Fifth Fleet of the New Republic Defense Fleet. This kept the Fifth Fleet out of much of the actual fighting, as Chief of State Borsk Fey'lya wanted to make sure that his home sector was safe. Still, the Bothan people served in the war in many roles, from soldiers and naval officers in the Defense Force to intelligence operatives. Their most notable contribution to the war was the famed Bothan Assault Cruiser, a powerful warship that served in New Republic fleet and later the Galactic Alliance Navy. In 26 ABY, Kyp's Dozen moved to protect the planet following the Battle of Ithor.
The world was an important member of the Galactic Alliance, though extreme fundamentalist views of some Bothans in regards to the defeated Yuuzhan Vong would cause some friction. In 40 ABY, although originally hesitant to ally with Corellia in the Second Galactic Civil War, Jacen Solo's mass assassination of Bothans on Coruscant caused them to prepare three cruiser fleets for Corellian service. The Galactic Alliance was quick to dispatch a scout screen to the planet in order to monitor the fleets. However, Sith Lady Lumiya not only persuaded intelligence chief Tathak K'roylan that the GA had conclusively been behind and backed the assassinations, but also arranged for the scout screen to be disabled. The Bothans were able to send their fleets to Corellia and there they helped break the blockade. Following this outbreak of hostilities, Bothawui became a founding member of the Confederation. Following the end of the Second Galactic Civil War Bothawui rejoined the Galactic Alliance; in 43.5 ABY, Tiurrg Drey'lye was a senator representing the Bothan sector as well as being the head of the Senate Unification Preparations Committee for the Unification Summit.
By 137 ABY, Bothawui was within territory controlled by the Galactic Empire of Darth Krayt, who ordered that Imperial Intelligence base its operations on Bothawui and instructed his Moffs to offer prestigious positions throughout the Empire to Bothans who possessed influence on Bothawui. Unrest and civil conflict arose on Bothawui as a result of Imperial indoctrination of Bothan nobles and spies.
Bothawui was the homeworld of the Bothan species. Its population of 2.5 billion also included Humans and other species, who each comprised 1% of the total population. Many off-worlders were drawn to Bothawui by the planet's economy and business climate. Bothese and Galactic Basic Standard were spoken by Bothawui's inhabitants. Settlers from Bothawui established colonies on the planet Kothlis.
Drev'starn, the capital and largest city of Bothawui, was located in a long, broad valley near the world's equator. The world's primary starport was located away from the capital, and the Tiaran'grast sling racing course was located 40 kilometers south of the capital. Bothans maintained a small starfighter base, which featured 12 Y-wings and their support crews, outside of the city.
Behind the scenes
In earlier sources, Bothawui was only known as Bothan's Planet or even as Bothan.