- "Cerea is a beautiful world, but it is… backward."
Cerea was a planet located in the Mid Rim region of the galaxy. The homeworld of the Cerean species, Cerea was notable for its inhabitants' harmonious relationship with nature. Technology and pollution were frowned upon by the conservative government, a major point in the planet's decision not to join the Galactic Republic. The Cerean population mainly lived in giant buildings that took up a minimum of space, allowing the remainder of the planet's area to be employed as farmland. Foreign immigrants and visitors were, with a few exceptions, only allowed in Cerea's Outsider Citadels, enormous buildings erected to let non-Cereans practice their technological ways. This ensured that the foreigners' technology did not contaminate Cerea's nature, but also led to a concentration of criminal elements within the Citadels.
Cerea was ruled by the Council of Elders, which in turn was led by a president. The planet was for the most part ignored by the Republic until a few years prior to the Clone Wars. Cerea's seclusion caused a unique culture to develop, one that focused on other values than the mainstream galactic civilization. In 21 BBY, Cerea was the site of a battle between the Republic and Confederacy of Independent Systems, which had an adverse effect on the planet's relatively untouched nature.
- "I see a world and a people in harmony with nature, who choose not to sully their waters and their air with noxious emissions of motorized craft!"
Located in the Mid Rim region of the galaxy, Cerea's system was home to no less than three suns. Cerea was situated far away from other planets, which meant it was isolated from the galactic community for several millennia. The planet's remote location made it a relatively safe place; an invasion by any of the galaxy's factions was unlikely throughout its history due to the sheer cost of such a long-distance war. However, this also meant that interstellar trade was both laborious and expensive.
Cerea was a planet that went relatively untouched by pollution and advanced technology. This was due to the native Cerean species, who worked to preserve Cerean nature, even at the cost of both prosperity and technological advancement. As a result, Cerea was a lush, green world that was covered by vegetation, save for some mountainous regions and several large oceans. Cerea's vegetation consisted mostly of grass, bushes, and palm-like trees. The planet was home to an abundance of rivers, which were used for transportation.
Among the few sources of pollution on the planet were the enormous Outsider Citadels, built at the request of the Galactic Republic to house non-Cerean immigrants. Technology was allowed in these structures, which, despite the strict supervision of the Cerean government, were riddled with poverty and various forms of crime. The numerous plains of Cerea were the galaxy's only source of the organic matter malium, which was required in the growth cycle of the native tecave plant, which in turn produced the euphoria-inducing substance guilea. The effects of guilea made it a desirable trading commodity, particularly for crime lords such as Jabba Desilijic Tiure, who sought to synthesize malium to produce his own guilea.
At some point in Cerea's history, the Cerean species, led by Bi-Dar Tyunda, founded a government that encompassed their entire planet. Although it is not known whether Tyunda's government originally included it, a Council of Elders came to be the governing body of Cerea.
Cerea was introduced to the rest of the galaxy around the time of the Mandalorian Wars, when it was discovered by Hyperspace Navigator's Guild scouts. Dubbing the planet "36-AFE-2C", these first visitors reported no sightings of intelligent life or useful resources. Shortly after its discovery, the Arkanian corporation Adascorp sent an expedition to Cerea. For reasons unknown, the native Cereans did not welcome these first extraterrestial guests, resulting in the Adascorp agents kidnapping an entire native village and leaving behind several damaged starships. This violent encounter, coupled with the pollution from the discarded Adascorp vessels, caused the Cerean people to adopt an isolationist and anti-technological mindset that would influence their culture for millennia.
Cerea remained fairly isolated over the next few thousand years; the only contact consisted by and large of Navigators' Guild survey ships passing by. It was not until a few years prior to 67 BBY that Cereans fully established contact with the Galactic Republic and the galaxy at large. Finding certain aspects of Republic politics disturbing, Cerea's government decided not to join the trans-galactic union. At least one rural community on Cerea was lorded over by bandits in the years leading up to the Clone Wars, but the Cerean Jedi Ki-Adi-Mundi ended their reign in 67 BBY.
- "The galaxy is laughing. Listen! Hear the laughter ringing out from the stars! It's you who are the joke!"
- ―Bron, at a political rally
In 33 BBY, the Galactic Republic dispatched several diplomats to convince Cerea to join their galactic government. The Republic was interested in modernizing the planet, particularly the way Cereans handled their plentiful natural resources. Some diplomats, such as Silais, unsuccessfully attempted to convince the Cerean Council of Elders. Others, such as the charismatic Bron, sought to appeal to Cerea's younger generations. Through huge political rallies, he gathered a large amount of supporters with fiery speeches that condemned Cerea's "antique" traditions as the laughing stock of the galaxy. Bron was not above employing illegal means to raise support for his pro-tech movement; his campaign was in part financed by the gangster Jabba Desilijic Tiure, who traded technology such as swoops for malium. Bron was also aligned with Dorr-Femi-Bonmi, a member of the Council of Elders who acted as the pro-tech movement's spy in the government's affairs, while profiting from their trading operations. After Ki-Adi-Mundi and his daughter, Sylvn, exposed the connection to Jabba, Bron and his movement died down, though Elder Nar-Somo-Dali suspected the lack of activity was only temporary.
At the height of the Separatist Crisis, Cerea joined the Refugee Resettlement Coalition, a program run by the Refugee Relief Movement. In doing so, Cerea's government volunteered to allow vast amounts of displaced refugees to settle on the planet. However, the refugees were forbidden from bringing any vehicles or heavy machinery, in accordance with Cerean law.
During the Clone Wars, the Confederacy of Independent Systems secretly encouraged a tendency in the younger Cerean generation to seek out more technological ways of life. This culminated in the Separatist-aligned Trade Federation holding a number of young Cereans hostage, until Jedi intervention rescued the youths. The planet chose neutrality during the war, which caused both the Republic and the Confederacy to fear the planet would join the other faction's side. This led to the Battle of Cerea in 21 BBY, which resulted in an estimated 1,000,000 civilian casualties, the despoiling of much of the planet's pristine nature, as well as the assassination of the reigning planetary president, Bo-Ro-Tara.
Following the Clone Wars, the Cerean government adopted an isolationist stance, choosing not to get involved in galactic politics. As a result, the planet remained secluded during the reign of the Galactic Empire, although at least a few Cereans found themselves working for the Imperial military. Although it is unknown if Cerea eventually joined the New Republic, a Cerean dignitary witnessed the signing of the Pellaeon–Gavrisom Treaty between the Republic and the Imperial Remnant in 19 ABY. Cerea maintained its isolationism even after the Yuuzhan Vong War.
Darth Krayt's Galactic Empire also had little interest in the planet and left it under only a light Imperial supervision. This allowed members of the Galactic Alliance Remnant, Jedi in exile and other dissidents to visit Cerea without risking being caught by the Sith. The Cereans, however, continued to view the outsiders as trouble and were even known to hand those seeking refuge over to the Empire in order to avoid a larger Imperial presence on their world.
- "A person always takes his home with him, wherever he goes. Worlds are vast—yet they fit easily into one's heart."
- ―Ki-Adi Mundi
The planet's dominant species were the native Cereans, a peaceful people with large, cone-shaped craniums. The Cereans were not very technologically advanced, instead preferring to rely on non-polluting tools and vehicles, as part of their philosophy that called for a harmonious relationship with nature. The species generally preferred to stay on Cerea, although the few individuals who left for the galaxy on occasion rose to prominent positions such as Jedi Master or neurosurgeon.The Cereans suffered from a low male-to-female birth ratio; females outnumbered the males twenty to one, which led to a culture of polygyny. By 22 BBY the Cerean population numbered 450 million.
Non-sentient species on Cerea included the aryx, an avian species that possessed great stamina and speed, that was domesticated by the Cereans for transportation. The rivers of Cerea were home to the crown of silk creature, a short-lived species that found nourishment in the brain energies of its victims.
Most of Cerea's inhabitants resided in large cities, allowing for much of the planet's area to be employed for farming purposes. This trend also applied to Tecave City, the planet's largest city and capital. Notable for its ornamented, architecturally distinctive buildings, Tecave City shared its name with the tecave plant. The one deviation from the semi-tall buildings that characterized the city was the structure that housed the Council of Elders—a massive, metallic edifice seemingly overgrown with vegetation.
As part of an agreement with the Galactic Republic, several Outsider Citadels were built to house non-Cerean immigrants and visitors. The Citadels were enormous buildings that each housed an entire city, and were among the few locations where non-Cerean technology was allowed. The concentration of polluting technology and the relative lack of space caused some Citadels to devolve into environmentally contaminating and overpopulated ghettos. Crime was rampant, despite the supervision of Cerean police forces.
Behind the scenes
Writer Jan Strnad created Cerea for the Prelude to Rebellion arc of the Star Wars: Republic series of comics. When naming the planet, Strnad sent in a number of suggestions to Dark Horse Comics and Lucasfilm, among them "France." They chose the name Cerea, which Strnad had come up with based on the Roman goddess of harvest, Ceres. Strnad felt the name fit with the agricultural nature of Cerea.
- Star Wars: Knight Errant: Influx (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: Republic: Vow of Justice
- Darth Plagueis (Mentioned only)
- Darth Plagueis audiobook (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Republic: Prelude to Rebellion (First appearance)
- Cloak of Deception (Mentioned only)
- Episode I Adventures 15: The Final Battle (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars (1998) 8 (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars (1998) 9 (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars (1998) 13 (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars (1998) 14 (Mentioned only)
- Only the Force (Mentioned only)
- "Republic HoloNet News Core Edition 14:9:04" – Star Wars Insider 70 (Mentioned only)
- The Clone Wars: No Prisoners (Mentioned only)
- The Clone Wars: No Prisoners audiobook (Mentioned only)
- Republic 62 (Mentioned only)
- Crosscurrent (Mentioned only)
Notes and references
- The New Essential Guide to Alien Species
- Star Wars: Force and Destiny Core Rulebook
- Star Wars: Republic: Prelude to Rebellion
- Star Wars Roleplaying Game Saga Edition Core Rulebook
- The Essential Atlas
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 135
- Star Wars (1998) 1
- Ultimate Adversaries
- Star Wars: Republic: Vow of Justice
- Ultimate Alien Anthology
- Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide
- Star Wars Roleplaying Game Revised Core Rulebook
- Death Star
- The Essential Chronology
- Legacy Era Campaign Guide
- Interview with Jan S. Strnad on www.cswu.cz (archived from the original on February 17, 2001)