- "Coruscant, capital of the Republic, an entire planet evolved into one city."
- ―Ric Olié
Coruscant (pronounced /'kɔɹəsɑnt/ or, more rarely, /kəˈɹʌskənt/), originally called Notron, also known as the Queen of the Core, or Imperial Center during the New Order and as Yuuzhan'tar under the Yuuzhan Vong, was a planet located in the Galactic Core. It was the ancient homeworld of the Taung and Zhell species, and it was generally also believed to be the original birthplace of Humans. During most of galactic history, Coruscant was the most politically important world in the galaxy. At various times, it was the capital of the Galactic Republic, the Galactic Empire, the New Republic, the Yuuzhan Vong empire, the Galactic Alliance, Darth Krayt's Galactic Empire, and the Galactic Federation Triumvirate. In controlling Coruscant, these governments controlled most of the galaxy in the process.
Over the centuries, Coruscant had developed into an ecumenopolis, with a total of 5,127 levels of city built up from the crust by the time of the Clone Wars. The actual planet-wide metropolis of Coruscant was called Galactic City. Under the Galactic Republic, the names Republic City or the City of Spires were also used to reference the city. It was also called Imperial City under the Galactic Empire, and New Republic City under the New Republic. However, in practice, Galactic City and its other names were sometimes applied to the Senate District, the central government center and de facto capital of Coruscant.
- "An incandescent organ of life, visibly vibrating with the pulses of billions."
- ―Supreme Chancellor Signet Mezzileen
Coruscant was a planet located in the Core Worlds. Located at the intersection of numerous major hyperlanes, including the Perlemian Trade Route, the Corellian Run, the Metellos Trade Route, the Koros Trunk Line, and the Leisure Corridor, its hyperspace coordinates were (0,0,0) which effectively made it the center of the galaxy. These coordinates also inspired the planet's military designation, "triple zero" or "Zero Zero Zero," though the actual galactic center was located in the Deep Core. As the de jure center of the galaxy, however, Coruscant was generally agreed to be the most important planet throughout most of galactic history, as well as being one of the wealthiest due to its advantageous location.
Coruscant served as the capital for the Galactic Republic, Galactic Empire, New Republic, Yuuzhan Vong Empire, Galactic Alliance, the Fel Empire, Darth Krayt's Galactic Empire, and the Galactic Federation Triumvirate. It also served at various times as the home of the Jedi Order and the Jedi Temple.
- "Seen from orbit, Imperial Center is a blaze of light and sparkling colors, reminding some spacers of corusca stones, after which this planet was named long ago."
- ―Pollux Hax
Geologically, the planet was composed of a molten core with a rocky mantle and a silicate rock crust. At its poles were huge ice caps that were popular spots for tourists. The entire surface of Coruscant was covered by sprawling kilometers-high ecumenopolis, and boasted a population of over a hundred billion to several trillion, depending on the era. Following the end of the Clone Wars, an official census noted 1 trillion official permanent residents. The statistics did not include transients, temporary workers, unregistered populace, nor residents of orbital facilities. Because of these omissions, the actual population of Coruscant was estimated to be three times the official record.
Coruscant was known to have the tallest buildings in the Galaxy. Coruscanti skyscrapers dwarfed all the original natural features, including mountains, as well as floors of oceans which once covered a large portion of Coruscant's surface. Areas of Galactic City were broken up into 5,127 levels which were then divided into megablocks, blocks, and subblocks. Coruscant itself was divided into quadrants, which were divided into zones. Below the skyscrapers was Coruscant's undercity, where sunlight never reached. Artificial lighting illuminated these lower levels and advertisement holograms could be seen everywhere. There were numerous establishments for entertainment, catering to a myriad of alien species. The residents were collectively referred to as Twilighters.
Coruscant was once a world mostly covered in oceans. However, all natural bodies of water were drained and stored in vast caverns beneath the city as a result of years of overpopulation. The only body of water visible was the artificial Western Sea, with many artificial islands floating on it, used by tourists on holidays.
With no other bodies of water available to feed and water its trillion inhabitants, Coruscant's architects, along with many others from around the galaxy, worked together to build a self-contained eco-system in the massive buildings set all over the planet. Polar cap stations also melted ice and distributed water throughout the planet-wide city through a complex series of pipes.
Galactic City was divided into quadrants, several thousand in number, with each quadrant further split into sectors. Each sector was numbered on official maps, but sectors often had nicknames, such as Sah'c Town, also known as sector H-46, named for a prominent family that owned a large portion of its land, or The Works, the largest of Coruscant's designated industrial zones.
The Works was once one of the galaxy's major manufacturing areas, where starship parts, droids, and building materials were heavily produced for centuries, but as construction and industry became more efficient and cheaper off-world, The Works fell into disrepair. The area gained a reputation as a hub of criminal activity and locals generally stayed away from it.
A similar, but more dangerous area, was the Factory District, which was once the industrial heart of Coruscant until it too lost out to competition from producers in other Core Worlds. By the time of the Great Jedi Purge, it lay in ruins and was almost completely deserted of sentients, because of the feral droids that prowled its streets. It was located on the opposite side of the planet, and was much more dangerous than the Southern Underground, Invisible Sector, which were infamous in their own right.
Another area of Coruscant was CoCo Town, an abbreviation of "collective commerce." Many diverse species lived there and worked in manufacturing. A partially enclosed open-air plaza near the Senate building, the Column Commons, was so-called because it housed most of the HoloNet and news media corporations.
- "The attitude of most inhabitants is that Coruscant exists for the business of government, not for vacations and sunbathing and sightseeing…"
- ―Pollux Hax
A series of orbital mirrors were set up that reflected the sun's warmth and light. Several of these mirrors were destroyed during the Clone Wars, specifically the Battle of Coruscant. It is known that thunderstorms and rain occurred during 19 BBY and 3 ABY.
The planet produced trillions of tons of waste every hour. Though almost everything on the planet, from clothes to packaging and machinery was recyclable, some waste was too dangerous to recycle. Such items included worn-out hyperdrive cores which were delivered to one of the planet's five thousand garbage pits, where they were put into canisters and fired into a tight orbit around the planet. Garbage ships then collected them and transported them to nearby moons for storage. Some of the more dangerous materials were shot into the nearby sun for complete incineration. Garbage not exported or destroyed was mixed into a slurry of silicone oils and processed by garbage worms which chewed it into pellets while removing any remaining organics, plastic, or recoverable metals. They turned millions of tons of pellets into carbon dioxide, methane, and other gases.
Coruscant's enormous population and industrialization also produced massive amounts of carbon dioxide and heat energy. Thousands of carbon dioxide-reactive atmospheric dampeners were put into place in the upper atmosphere to prevent atmospheric degeneration. The first set of these planet-wide dampeners, developed by the Galactic Republic, was known as the Coruscant Atmospheric Reclamation Project.
Near the planet's core were a number of massive power relay stations. The lowest levels were abandoned to mutants and scavengers, such as the cannibalistic, mythical Cthon. The foundations of many of the buildings, some of which weighed billions of tons, also extended deep into the planet's crust.
Galactic Standard Time was developed on Coruscant and so was tied to the daily and yearly cycle of the planet. A standard day, like Coruscant, was made up of 24 hours, while a standard year's 368 days reflected the length of Coruscant's year.
- "The recorded history of Coruscant stretches back so far that it becomes indistinguishable from legend…"
- ―Pollux Hax
Around 200,000 BBY, the planet Notron was home to two species: the grey-skinned Taung and the Zhell, the ancestors of the modern Humans. The Thirteen Nations of Zhell eventually came into conflict with the Taung, and the Battalions of Zhell fought the Taung in a fierce war. However, during a battle at the city of Great Zhell, a volcano erupted, and the Taung overran the terrified Zhell in the battle that followed. Taking the victory and the cloud of volcanic ash as a sign of divine favor, the Taung adopted the name Dha Werda Verda—the Warriors of Shadow. However, they were ultimately driven off of Notron to the planet Roon by the Zhell. The leaders of the Thirteen Nations were believed by archaeologists to have been buried near the planet's south pole, in the structure that became known as the Ice Crypts. The Mother Goddess Onrai was believed to be the Mistress of the planet Notron.
Sometime around 100,000 BBY, the Columi species visited Notron—known by that time as Coruscant—though they dismissed the world as primitive and a disappointment. Coruscant's Human natives began to urbanize their homeworld after the departure of the Taung, and archaeologists later believed that the Petrax Historic Quarter was the site of the planet's first skyscrapers. The Gree species also had contact with early Humans, building Coruscant's original infrastructure, and by the approximate date of 90,000 BBY, the ecumenopolis later known as Galactic City had begun to build upwards. As the Human population soared, they were forced to develop the first atmospheric scrubbers, delivery pipelines, recycling plants, and hydroponic farms, and instead of burying unrecyclable garbage, Coruscant's inhabitants built cannons that launched canisters of waste into orbit where garbage scows could tow them out of the star system.
Around 30,000 BBY, the Rakata species discovered Coruscant and incorporated it into their Infinite Empire. Some Humans were taken as slaves and put to work across the Empire, though the remaining Humans learned from their rulers' technology and developed sleeper ships. Over the next several centuries, the Coruscanti dispatched a number of sleeper ships, and by 27,500 BBY, their ships had established colonies on Metellos, Alsakan, Axum, Tepasi, Alderaan, Kuat, Rendili, Corfai, Corellia, and the worlds of the Ringali Shell region. Around 27,000 BBY, they launched ships even further, seeding the planets Barseg and Janilis VII in the distant Tion Cluster.
Around 25,200 BBY, the Infinite Empire collapsed due to infighting and a species-wide plague that afflicted the Rakata, and the Humans of Coruscant reclaimed rulership of their world. Around that time, they launched the sleeper ship Lokani Dawn. By 25,053 BBY, Coruscant had established contact with Alderaan, Duro, Corellia, and many other planets in the Core Worlds, and the planet was the site of the signing of the Galactic Constitution, which founded the Galactic Republic and named Coruscant the capital of the new government.
Capital of the Republic
The Republic's early years
Almost two centuries after the Lokani Dawn's launch, the people of Coruscant were dismayed to witness the vessel's destruction when the sleeper ship—which had been carefully watched by Coruscanti scientists for the last two centuries—was ripped apart by a meteor shower. The development of hyperspace cannons linked Coruscant to Alderaan, Duro, Corellia, and other worlds, but it was not until Corellian scientists succeeded in reverse-engineering the Rakatan hyperdrive around 25,000 BBY that starships could travel between the worlds of the Republic in a matter of days. Coruscant soon became the anchor for the newly charted Perlemian Trade Route, a major hyperlane that linked the Republic with the distant Tion Cluster—where the Human colonists had developed their own proud and warlike society. Coruscant also sat at the intersection of the Perlemian and the Spin, a hyperlane that wrapped around the Deep Core from Metellos to Corellia.
Around 25,000 BBY, the Perlemian Trade Route brought the Republic into contact with the Jedi Order on the distant planet Ossus, and after Jedi Master Haune Tiar toured the Republic, the Jedi became the government's protectors and established a presence on Coruscant. However, when the First Great Schism split the Jedi Order around 24,500 BBY, Coruscant was caught up in the conflict between the Jedi Order and the Dark Jedi of the Legions of Lettow, as a battle occurred on Coruscant during the fighting. Around 24,000 BBY, the Tionese War broke out with the Honorable Union of Desevro & Tion as the Tionese began a march of conquest along the Perlemian Trade Route. Between 24,000 and 23,900 BBY, the Tionese pushed deep into the Core Worlds, and even Coruscant itself was attacked—the Tionese bombarded Coruscant's city-surface with pressure bombs. As the centuries passed, Republic City—a district in Coruscant's eastern hemisphere near the Manarai Mountains—expanded outward, absorbing the planet's other districts and developing into the ecumenopolis of Galactic City.
As Coruscant grew more prosperous, the Core World of Alsakan began to grow jealous of the planet's place at the heart of the Republic. Alsakan was a major influence in the Human-dominated sectors along the Perlemian Trade Route, primarily the region known as the Northern Dependencies, while Coruscant was a powerful player in the Arrowhead and the Slice—the sections of the Core Worlds, the Colonies, the Inner Rim, and the Expansion Region that lay between the Perlemian to the north and the Spin to the south. The Spin was the original lifeline of the Republic, and because the Perlemian only intersected with the Spin at Coruscant, Alsakan and its dependents were largely independent from the rest of the Republic. The aristocratic Alsakani, who called the Perlemian the Axis, sought to supplant Coruscant as the seat of Republic power, and in 17,018 BBY, Alsakan led the Axis worlds in claiming a number of resource-rich systems to block the Grand Companies, the major trading conglomerates of the Spin. Coruscant and the Republic backed the Spin merchants, sending a fleet to the planet Virujansi and capturing it. Thus began the First Alsakan Conflict, a series of seventeen wars between the Coruscant-dominated Republic and Alsakan that spanned fourteen thousand years. The First Conflict was ended by the Bureau of Ships and Services in 16,700 BBY, though both Coruscant and Alsakan would be raided during the early conflicts, neither side ever achieved true victory over the other, and Corellia developed into a third galactic player as it excused itself from the conflicts.
In 15,500 BBY, Republic scouts encountered the enormous, fire-breathing reptilian species known as the Duinuogwuin on a planet in the Outer Rim Territories. Terrified, the scouts opened fire on the Duinuogwuin and fled the planet, returning to Coruscant, but the enraged Duinuogwuin followed their attackers back to the capital and attacked it in what would be later known as the Duinuogwuin Contention. The Supreme Chancellor at the time, Fillorean, refused to mobilize the Republic Navy and instead attempted to communicate with the massive Star Dragons attacking the planet—and to the surprise of the terrified Coruscanti, Fillorean was successful. The Duinuogwuin were actually intelligent and naturally peaceful, and the Duinuogwuin philosopher Borz'Mat'oh negotiated a treaty to end the conflict. The two later worked together to establish the University of Coruscant, the planet's first university, and the two were immortalized in a pair of statues fashioned from chalcedony.
The Pius Dea and onward
Around 12,000 BBY, the Galactic Museum was established on Coruscant, and it would serve as the galaxy's premier repository of historical artifacts for well over ten thousand years. By that time, a religious cult known as Pius Dea that worshiped a deity named The Goddess had been established on Coruscant for several centuries, and the cult's followers were known for their strict moral code and their emphasis on both spiritual purity and humanocentrism. Around 12,000 BBY, the Human later known as Contispex I rose to prominence within the Coruscant Merchants' Guild, and he became a leadership figure in the Pius Dea faith on Coruscant. Pius Dea arranged for the impeachment of Bothan Supreme Chancellor Pers'lya in 11,987 BBY, and his assassination shortly afterward, and Contispex I was elected to succeed Pers'lya as a result.
Under Contispex, the Pius Dea became the unofficial religion of the Republic, and he taught that communities could be restored to purity by purging "irredeemable" elements—and to the Pius Dea, alien species were the epitome of spiritual corruption. In 11,965 BBY, Contispex I launched the First Pius Dea Crusade, one of thirty-four military campaigns against alien species that would be conducted by Contispex and his successors, who formed the Contispex dynasty and took on the title of Contispex to honor the first Contispex. In 11,933 BBY, the Jedi Order departed Coruscant and returned to Ossus in the Recusal, as they could not decide what action to take against the corrupt Republic. The Pius Dea Era finally ended in 10,966 BBY, when the Jedi Order, Alsakan, and a number of alien species defeated the Pius Dea at the Battle of Uquine in the Seventh Alsakan Conflict.
Wars with the Sith
After the Great Hyperspace War, where the Jedi helped repel Sith invaders from Coruscant, the Galactic Senate granted a vast tract of land on Coruscant to the Jedi Order. The Sith had managed to reach the steps of the Senate building before the Sith meditation sphere coordinating and exaggerating their forces was damaged, allowing the Republic and Jedi to counterattack. The land given to the Jedi, surrounding a Force nexus centered on a mountain, had been a place of worship for the Coruscanti for centuries. Many senators expected the Jedi to construct a fortress to defend the planet in the event of a future invasion, but while the Jedi Council eagerly accepted the land, it held to the belief that the Jedi were not by nature a military force. Instead, the Council authorized the construction of meditative centers and training centers, some of which helped preserve Coruscant's disappearing natural environment. Following the devastation of Ossus, the Jedi Council took up residence in the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, to which many Jedi relics from Ossus were taken. The Temple was greatly expanded, including the building of the original Jedi Council Chamber.
The Great Galactic War broke out between the Galactic Republic and the resurgent Sith Empire in 3681 BBY and lasted until 3653 BBY. Towards the end of the war, the Sith surprised the galaxy and extended an offer of peace to the Republic. Although cautious of the Empire's intentions, the Republic's Galactic Senate accepted.
While Republic and Imperial delegations convened on Alderaan for treaty negotiations, Sith Lord Darth Angral led a Sith battle fleet to Coruscant and initiated the Sacking of Coruscant. Their first contact was made with the Coruscant Security Force's Orbital Security Station Six which the Sith quickly obliterated. They then began their invasion of the planet. Sending a stolen Republic shuttle to the Jedi Temple, the Sith broke through and engaged the Jedi who were present as well as the Temple Security Force. However, the Jedi were overwhelmed and Coruscant's defenses were brought down, allowing the Sith to land their troops. The Sith took the Senate Building and the Supreme Chancellor was assassinated. Six members of the Jedi Council were also killed in the battle, while the Jedi Temple itself was destroyed.
With Coruscant securely in their grip, the Empire was able to take command of the negotiations on Alderaan, forcing the Republic delegation to sign the controversial Treaty of Coruscant. Although it brought an end to the Great Galactic War, the treaty set the stage for the Cold War, which would last a scarce decade before open conflict resumed. Even then, scars left by the Sith Empire were still visible on the planet, both on its inhabitants and on the buildings.
At some point before 3600 BBY, the war with the Sith ceased, and the Jedi returned to Coruscant, erecting a new Temple in place of the old. This new Temple was repeatedly expanded, including in 3519 BBY and 2519 BBY when the Jedi Archives were built, and 1019 BBY when the Temple spires were finally fully rebuilt. The seventeenth and final Alsakan Conflict also occurred after the conclusion of the Sith wars, and in 3017 BBY, Corellian privateers inflicted a dramatic defeat on a Republic squadron at Coruscant. The Republic declared war on Corellia in response, but its forces were quickly outfought, and the conflict ended when Corellian Prince-Admiral Jonash e Solo dictated a peace treaty on the floor of the Senate Building.
The New Sith Wars brought turmoil again to the Republic. Beginning in 2000 BBY with the Fourth Great Schism and ending in 1000 BBY, the New Sith Wars contained 1,000 years of fighting between the Republic and the Sith. The Republic Dark Age that began in 1100 BBY was seen by most as a period where the Republic ceased to exist as its territory became a rump around Coruscant and the some of the Core Worlds. The Jedi took direct control of the Republic, bypassing the Senate entirely. The Sith were poised to take Coruscant itself only to be stopped at Ruusan. With the Sith armies thought to be completely destroyed, the Republic was rebuilt under the Ruusan Reformation. A new age began for the Republic, a time of peace lasting for several centuries.
Great Peace of the Republic
One attack on Coruscant took place over 1000 years before the Clone Wars. In 335 BBY, the Coruscanti government introduced granite slugs, a species of land mollusks, to the planet's undercity to aid in efforts to clean up refuse that had accumulated over centuries. Over time, the slug population exploded, and while the appearance of the paved areas in the undercity was greatly improved, the slugs also served as a food source for predators that had previously been contained. In 110 BBY, many Blood Carvers relocated from their homeworld of Batorine to Coruscant, where they became famous for their wood carvings. In later decades, Prince Xizor, a Falleen of royal blood, used his fortune as the head of Xizor Transport Systems to raze Coruscant's historic Farfalla skyscraper and construct a castle in its place from the sub-foundations up.
In 33 BBY, terrorist organization The Flail, accusing the Galactic Senate of corruption, disrupted public services of Coruscant, including commerce, communications, traffic, and weather, destroying property and lives while doing so. They were stopped by agents of Finis Valorum.
In 32 BBY, the violent criminal gang Black Heth started terrorizing the Coruscant Underworld. The Jin'ha group was supplying weapons, but the Jedi Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi intervened and stopped the criminal activity. Later that year, Queen Amidala of Naboo escaped a Trade Federation blockade of her homeworld, and on Coruscant her attempts to persuade the Senate to aid Naboo were thwarted by bureaucracy and political maneuvering. In frustration, she called for a Vote of No Confidence in the embattled Supreme Chancellor Valorum, paving the way for Naboo senator Palpatine to take his place.
In 30 BBY, Jedi Masters Peerce and J'Mikel were killed by the bounty hunter Aurra Sing, who was wanted for the murder of several other Jedi, while searching for her on Coruscant. Xiaan Amersu, J'Mikel's Padawan, reported the incident to the Jedi High Council at the Jedi Temple, where a mission to capture Sing was organized.
In 27 BBY, Coruscant was almost destroyed by Ashaar Khorda using the Infant of Shaa. Jango Fett, Zam Wesell, and Yarael Poof saved Coruscant, although Poof sacrificed himself to do so. News of this averted disaster was never widely divulged, however. In the same year, Jedi Master Jorus C'baoth and his Padawan, Lorana Jinzler, interrupted a meeting between Supreme Chancellor Palpatine and his aide, Kinman Doriana, on Coruscant to demand more funding for C'baoth's proposed Outbound Flight Project. The sides came to an agreement that if C'baoth could resolve a mining strike on the planet Barlok, it would free up enough funds to finish the project, after which Palpatine ordered Doriana to keep watch over C'boath. Doriana returned to his apartment to pack and contacted his true master, Darth Sidious. After C'baoth received permission from the Jedi Council to travel to Barlok, Master Mace Windu ordered Obi-Wan Kenobi and his Padawan, Anakin Skywalker, to follow C'baoth to his destination.
- "The port crowding has reached dangerous levels. We can no longer assure the safety of newcomers to this world, or to the citizenry residing adjacent to the ports. In the interests of security, these new measures are needed."
- ―Minister Zelebitha Effhod explains new security measures
In 24 BBY, former Jedi Master Count Dooku reemerged on Raxus Prime and delivered an impassioned speech that presented the case for the Republic's irreversible corruption. Thus began the Separatist Crisis, in which thousands of worlds seceded from the Republic and joined Dooku's newly inaugurated Confederacy of Independent Systems. Westport, which handled the bulk of Coruscant's emigrant departures, experienced a 6,000% increase in traffic during the crisis, while Eastport took in masses of refugees from seceded worlds. On 13:3:6, Supreme Chancellor Palpatine announced on the general channels of the HoloNet from the Senate Rotunda that 5:16 would be the date of a full Senate vote on the creation of a centralized military to oppose the Separatist threat. On the morning of 13:3:7, a three-hour brawl between Houk and Weequay immigrants at the Eastport processing station left 15 dead and 45 wounded. On 13:4:4, a garbage launcher misfire destroyed four surrounding blocks of the cityscape and littered the entire Desrini District with dangerous industrial waste, which attracted huge numbers of scavenging dianogas to the area over the following months. Later in 13:4, the Coruscant Ministry of Ingress, in response to port overcrowding and the threat of Separatist terrorism, issued new restrictions on all interstellar traffic inbound to Coruscant.
Meanwhile, the Military Creation Act spawned increasingly vocal advocates and opponents, and on 13:5:9, large-scale riots were narrowly averted when the Senate Guard was dispatched to disperse crowds gathering at the entrances of the Senate Rotunda. On 13:5:16, an assassination attempt on Naboo senator Padmé Amidala was made when she arrived on Coruscant to vote against the Military Creation Act. A bomb destroyed her starship shortly after its landing, killing several of her handmaidens and guards. Jedi Knights Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi were assigned to protect her, and during the following night they foiled another attempt at Padmé's penthouse by Zam Wesell, leading to an airspeeder chase which ended in a showdown at the Outlander Club, a sports bar and club in an entertainment district in the lower levels of the planet. The Jedi captured Wesell, but she was killed by Jango Fett. Kenobi's subsequent investigation of Wesell's death led him to Kamino, setting off a chain of events that led to the outbreak of the Clone Wars.
In 22 BBY, the Clone Wars erupted when the newly created Grand Army of the Republic attacked the Confederate-controlled world of Geonosis. Coruscant experienced a number of radical changes during the galaxy-spanning conflict. Large swaths of the cityscape were laid low to make room for the construction of military staging areas. Millions of citizens were displaced by the urban renewal, most of them impoverished, members of alien species loyal to the Confederacy of Independent Systems, or both. Initially, there was public outcry, but such dissidence was either ignored or quashed. Acts of terrorism were also commonplace, with indiscriminate tactics such as bombings resulting in hundreds, or sometimes thousands, of casualties. Most were the products of Separatist cells, while some isolated incidents were of questionable origin. Assassination attempts on influential Republic politicians were common. Notable incidents included the raid of Ziro's palace after the Republic discovered the Hutt's affiliation with Count Dooku; the holding of Senator Meena Tills hostage by Korunnai terrorists which was actually cover for an attempt to turn the Corporate Sector against the Republic; and the Senate hostage crisis at the Republic Executive Building that was carried out by bounty hunter Cad Bane to free Ziro the Hutt. The year 21 BBY saw a wave of such disasters, including the Coruscant Insurrection by Count Dooku and Dark Jedi Trenox to steal a holocron at the Jedi Temple; the bombing of the freighter Star of Iskin that killed former Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum and thousands on the surface as a result of raining debris; a terrorist attack on a power generator that resulted in power outages and fires throughout the Senate District; the assassination of Senator Viento by rogue Jedi Quinlan Vos; and the murders of Senator Onaconda Farr and Senator Mee Deechi by Farr's personal aide Lolo Purs.
Also, at some point during the Clone Wars, there was an incident involving a Zillo Beast from Malastare. After the creature was transported to Coruscant by order of Chancellor Palpatine, the Zillo Beast was subjected to examination and experimentation. When Palpatine ordered its destruction in order to hasten the procedure, the Zillo Beast broke free and immediately sought vengeance on the man who was intent on killing it. As it rampaged through Galactic City, thousands of citizens tried to flee in terror while the Jedi and their clone forces scrambled to neutralize the creature. Upon reaching the Executive Building, the Zillo Beast nearly succeeded in killing the Chancellor, only for its efforts to be thwarted by the Jedi. Although they succeeded in killing it, Chancellor Palpatine discreetly ordered that the Zillo Beast be cloned to conduct further research.
Such incidents prompted the Republic to implement numerous changes on Coruscant in the name of increased security. Clone troopers of the Republic's newly formed Grand Army were dispatched throughout the planet on regular patrols as the capital's military guard. The fanatically pro-Human COMPOR was founded; the local SAGroup, led by Nenevanth Tion, marched in a parade of Republic patriotism on Coruscant. COMPOR pressured Tannon Praji into deporting from the capital all members of species whose homeworld had joined the Confederacy. Following the Star of Iskin incident, the Senate approved the Enhanced Security and Enforcement Act, which allowed Supreme Chancellor Palpatine to strip civil liberties in the name of civil security. Coruscant fell under particularly heavy government supervision, with security becoming gradually tighter as one traveled deeper into the levels of the Galactic City. The planet's lower levels, which had once been a haven for crime and an unregulated market, became heavily subdued, such that illicit goods and services became difficult to find. While most Coruscanti were content with surrendering these and other liberties for security, the changes did not sit well with the galactic capital's alien population, particularly those that were associated with the leadership of the Confederacy. Many Geonosians, Muuns, Neimoidians, and Gossams suffered ostracization on Coruscant, while many others were forced to flee the world altogether. In addition, numerous rumors surfaced regarding antiwar demonstrations that were quelled with forceful measures, seizure of private property, and disappearances. As disturbing as these abuses of power were, proof of the acts was either nonexistent or easily discredited. Throughout the remainder of the war, the Enhanced Security and Enforcement Act was altered by amendments known as the Security Acts, which, although intended to further enhance security throughout the Republic, also contributed to Palpatine's growing power over the government and the weakening of the authority of the Galactic Senate.
Despite the numerous precautions taken, in 19 BBY, on 15:5:20, the Confederacy of Independent Systems succeeded in making a surprise raid on Coruscant. Bypassing the heavily fortified Corellian sector by use of secret hyperspace routes through the Deep Core provided by Darth Sidious, a Separatist fleet under the command of the dreaded General Grievous took the city planet completely unaware. While the Separatist ships engaged the Republic home defense fleet, an army of battle droids descended upon Galactic City. The invasion distracted the defending Jedi and clone forces while General Grievous and a squad of his elite MagnaGuards captured Chancellor Palpatine. However, Jedi Knights Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi succeeded in rescuing the Supreme Chancellor from the infamous Separatist flagship Invisible Hand. The Battle of Coruscant eventually turned in the Republic's favor, and the Separatist armada was forced into a full retreat. However, the battle had shaken much of the population, and large portions of the city had been decimated by falling ships or collateral damage caused in the vicious fighting.
At the conclusion of the Clone Wars, Chancellor Palpatine brought about the destruction of the Jedi Order by issuing Order 66 to all clone troopers throughout the galaxy from his executive office. In the Grand Convocation Chamber of the Senate Building, Palpatine announced the creation of his New Order to the Galactic Senate. With the Jedi all but destroyed, Palpatine proclaimed his intentions to reorganize the Republic into the first Galactic Empire, and thus declared himself Emperor. Meanwhile, Alderaanian senator Bail Organa, having witnessed the massacre at the Jedi Temple, transported surviving Jedi Masters Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi to Coruscant, where, at the Temple, the two Jedi dismantled a coded signal urging Jedi to gather there. Yoda later confronted Palpatine at the Senate Building, but failed to kill him.
- "Imperial Center was a world with enough diversions for just about anyone."
- ―Mara Jade Skywalker
As with the Republic, Coruscant continued to function as the galactic capital, but was renamed "Imperial Center," while Galactic City was re-dubbed "Imperial City." While the planet's name was officially changed during Palpatine's rule, most working-class denizens of the Galactic Empire continued to call the planet-city by its old name. As part of the Humanocentric policies of the Empire, non-Human species were also compelled to live in segregated areas of Imperial City, the largest and best-known of which was known as Invisec. Those who did enter other parts, whether by intention or mistake, were punished brutally. Coruscant was also the site of the Imperial Senate until the body's dissolution in 0 BBY. Coruscant was seeded with weapon factories, laboratories, and various other military installations. Shipyards were also stationed above the planet to construct capital ships. As a symbol of Imperial power, Coruscant would act as a staging area within orbit of the planet where massive Imperial fleets would gather, to the point where they blocked the sunlight from reaching the planet.
Emperor Palpatine also began to shape Coruscant with his own designs, and this included the installation of almost one million surveillance systems throughout the ecumenopolis. Massive shield generators were placed all over Coruscant, and where the shield segments overlapped, powerful storms would brew. Although Coruscant had always been known for its high concentration of thunderstorms due to rising vapor from the billions of buildings and homes, the increased frequency lent the planet a foreboding, almost Gothic look. Palpatine also arranged for the Executor-class Star Dreadnought Lusankya to be buried beneath the Manarai Mountains district. Later, the massive battleship was used as a private prison by Director of Imperial Intelligence Ysanne Isard. Palpatine also had the Palace of the Republic rebuilt and renamed the Imperial Palace. The Palace, a massive pyramidal structure which was by far the largest structure on Coruscant, was rumored to also be the largest building in the entire galaxy, with the possible exceptions of the massive Sharu plastic pyramids of the Rafa system. Upon the completion of the Palace, Palpatine ordered the construction of a smaller castle residence for Lord Darth Vader nearby. Although Vader already possessed a fortress retreat on Coruscant and several other retreats off-world, the castle would function as his main residence.
Under Imperial rule, illegal trade flourished on Coruscant, where the nobility coveted certain prohibited items, including slaves and banned artwork, as status symbols. Palpatine tolerated such activity, as it kept minor nobles occupied with their own intrigues and provided him with a means of blackmailing some nobles into his service. Around this time, the most prominent spice dealer on the planet was Wendell Wright-Sims, a wealthy socialite who operated with the express permission of the Emperor himself and took great pains to ensure that his product was the finest available. Most members of the Alliance to Restore the Republic considered venturing to Coruscant a foolhardy endeavor; nevertheless, Coruscanti resistance cells did exist, based in the planet's Factory District. Shasheva Astopone, the heiress to an exporting fortune, used her wealth to fund some of the local Rebel cells and smuggled goods to and from Coruscant for the Alliance through her business.
Following Palpatine's departure to the Endor system, to oversee the second Death Star, at least two, massive space stations commonly known as worldcrafts were being constructed. The Emperor personally gifted them to his most loyal servants, with Ennix Devian and Grand Moff Ardus Kaine were to be gifted a craft each, however, Devian would steal both of them for his new empire following the failure at Endor.
The Empire erodes
- "The common perception is that the Alliance's current momentum will carry it to Coruscant, the seat of Imperial power. While all of us would like to believe that such a sweeping victory is imminent, we also know that reality is seldom so convenient."
- ―Voren Na'al, after the Battle of Endor
Following the death of Palpatine at the Battle of Endor in 4 ABY, an uprising took place on Coruscant. Billions of Coruscanti reveled in their new-found freedom, and an armed uprising sprang out from the non-human-dominated sectors. Imperial patrols were attacked in the streets, statues of Palpatine were toppled and other Imperial symbols were desecrated. In the midst of the celebrating and rioting, alarmed Imperial authorities ordered a massive crackdown on the rebellious elements in the city-planet's population and gave full power to the local military force to end the uprising and restore order to the system. The military retaliation was ruthless and the death toll rose as the Empire struck down the insurrectionists and brought the populace back under its control.
In the six months after Palpatine's death, operatives of the New Republic destroyed several Coruscanti HoloNet installations key to communication between the capital and Imperial forces throughout the galaxy. With the cessation of leadership from Coruscant and the absence of a clear successor to Palpatine, many Moffs and admirals in outlying regions became warlords, seizing sectors and fleets for themselves. One such individual was Admiral Gaen Drommel, who departed from Coruscant with the Super Star Destroyer Guardian with the intention of defending his native Oplovis sector.
Amidst these tumultuous events, the Grand Vizier Sate Pestage assumed control of Imperial Center. Unfortunately, he was opposed by Palpatine's former advisors who formed the Inner Circle. Ysanne Isard operated as a neutral intermediary between the two opposing factions. Unbeknownst to them, she had been secretly pitting them against each other, clearing the path for her rise to become Empress in all but name, though neither side realized her true intentions until it was far too late. She eventually assumed control of Imperial Center in 5 ABY though her reign was plagued by the threat of rival warlords and the expanding New Republic. Thus, she had a team of scientists including Evir Derricote create an artificial virus known as the Krytos virus which only affected non-Human species and then contaminated the city planet's water supply with it.
New Republic takeover
In 6.5 ABY, the famous New Republic starfighter squadron Rogue Squadron under their leader Wedge Antilles was sent undercover to infiltrate Coruscant and sabotage the planet's powerful shield generator. To do this, they hijacked a construction droid and used it to transport them to a command center where they used one of the planet's orbital mirrors to evaporate a large amount of reservoir water, thus creating a powerful electrical storm which brought down the shields. This allowed a New Republic fleet under the famed Admiral Gial Ackbar to enter the Coruscant system and capture the galactic capital on 42:2:17.
However, within days of the victory, millions of Coruscant's non-Human population started to die due to the Krytos virus. Since only Humans were immune to the virus, this drove a wedge between the New Republic's member species. Worse, Ysanne Isard used the Lusankya to escape Coruscant and flee to the planet Thyferra despite the efforts of Rogue Squadron. In the process, the Lusankya caused devastation to over 100 square miles (259 km²) of the planet's surface, killing millions of inhabitants instantly. It then blasted its way through the two planetary shield levels, pausing to exchange fire with an orbiting Golan III Space Defense NovaGun before jettisoning the lift cradle and departing the Coruscant system. Later, New Republic scientists developed a cure for the Krytos virus by mixing bacta with a rare grade of the spice ryll, known as kor. This prevented further loss of alien life, though inter-species relationships remained volatile for some time.
Center of the New Republic
Controlling Coruscant was the key to the Galactic Civil War for the New Republic. Imperial City was renamed once more to Galactic City and the former official name Imperial Center was abandoned. After Isard's loss of Coruscant and her retreat to Thyferra, fragmentation within the Empire deepened as the Imperials lost faith in their leaders and the survivors of the Imperial Inner Circle were found once again providing a tenuous central authority for the Empire. They supported the Chiss Grand Admiral Thrawn as Supreme Commander—mistakenly believing that as an alien, and with no standing in their rarefied political world, he would necessarily remain beholden to their patronage and government.
In 8 ABY, Coruscant was visited by the Hapes Consortium which surrounded the planet with a fleet of Hapan Battle Dragons, marking the first time in millennia that the insular society had made significant contact with the rest of the galaxy since the Consortium sealed its borders around 3100 BBY. At the Grand Reception Hall, the Hapan delegates presented the New Republic with many magnificent gifts including several captured Imperial Star Destroyers.
However, the final gift would be the most shocking of them all. The Hapan Queen Mother's son and heir Isolder presented himself to Councilor Leia Organa as a marriage suitor. Despite realizing the benefits of an arranged marriage between the two factions, she was still romantically attached to Han Solo. Following an adventure on Dathomir and the defeat of the Imperial warlord Zsinj at the hands of the Hapan fleet, Han Solo and Leia Organa married during a wedding ceremony at the Alderaanian consulate on Coruscant. This was attended by hundreds of friends and officials and viewed on holovid by billions across the galaxy.
In 9 ABY, during the Thrawn Crisis, Grand Admiral Thrawn's fleet besieged the galactic capital on 44:8:11. Since his forces were outnumbered by the New Republic defenses of Coruscant, he used cloaking technology to create an effective siege weapon. To do this, he fitted 22 asteroids with cloaking devices and placed them onboard his Star Destroyers. During the battle, Thrawn placed the asteroids in low orbit, then retreated into hyperspace, creating an invisible hazard field around the galactic capital. As a result, the New Republic was faced with two major problems: they could not drop the energy shield around the planet in case an asteroid hit the heavily populated cityscape, nor could they allow space traffic near the planet in case of collision. This left Coruscant effectively blockaded. After Thrawn died at the Battle of Bilbringi, on 44:8:27, the blockade was lifted and Coruscant was free again.
Imperial resurgence and the Dark Empire
- "It weighs on me like an unseen burden, Voren. To see this world, where I spent so much of my childhood, the capital world of the Republic, like this... Deities help us, the sounds at night, the fires..."
- ―New Republic reporter Rivoche Tarkin during the Imperial infighting on Coruscant
In 10 ABY, the Imperial Inner Circle, encouraged by what Thrawn had accomplished so quickly with so little, agreed to organize an attack on Coruscant and other key New Republic worlds in the Core. This forced Chief of State Mon Mothma to consider a last-minute plan for the defense of the galactic capital. However, she never got a chance since the combined Imperial armada began bombarding Coruscant's energy shield from orbit, causing extensive damage to the heavily populated cityscape below. Mon Mothma then ordered a general evacuation of the entire population of the capital. Thus, the Empire had retaken its Center and the New Republic resorted to guerrilla fighting.
However, after Coruscant had been retaken, the Council decided that it was time to elect a new Galactic Emperor. The various admirals, generals, Moffs, Inquisitorius, COMPNOR and Imperial Security Bureau officials disagreed, and an armed conflict soon broke out amongst the various Imperial factions on Coruscant. At the height of the infighting, the equivalent of three sector fleets divided among twelve factions annihilated each other in Coruscant's skies, while orbital bombardments were ordered, terror troops destroyed reactors to weaken the planetary shields, and counter-insurgents fought openly in city streets and walkways. The city planet was devastated during the conflict with much of the planet-wide metropolis devastated by the fighting and the deaths of billions. The space around Coruscant was littered with the wreckage of starships which would not be cleared for years. However, eventually the cloned Palpatine appeared, claiming that he was Emperor, and ended the Imperial Civil War. Later he decided to create a new empire, since the remnants of the Empire had claimed the galactic capital and recovered the old Galactic Empire, which he renamed the Dark Empire.
Reconstruction and war's end
After Palpatine's final death in 11 ABY at the Battle of Onderon, the New Republic retook the planet and used EVS Construction Droids to clear the rubble and create new, gleaming skyscrapers. While Coruscant had suffered severe damage during the Imperial Civil War, the solar mirrors remained in their orbits and no irreversible damage had been done to the planet itself. Many urban centers remained mostly intact, and, most critically, the major water distribution systems were largely undamaged. New Republic civil and military forces received funding from the Senate to begin rebuilding the planet's infrastructure, particularly government facilities such as Imperial City and the Imperial Palace. Another priority was the clearing of hazardous debris drifting in orbit, which posed a danger to essential shipments of consumables. After several months of work, the New Republic Defense Fleet had cleared safe zones through the debris, and shipping resumed a somewhat regular schedule. Most of the key Imperial City areas were largely restored, and within a year the metropolis had returned to its usual administrative and business activities. However, the shadowy lower levels remained unaffected by the reconstruction programmed and would still remain the haunt of various crime syndicates. Many still struggled to survive in the lower forty or fifty levels.
In 17 ABY, following the Black Fleet Crisis, while Leia Organa Solo was preparing for a speech, the Senate Building was attacked and severely damaged by Brakiss and Dolph, forcing a nearly complete renovation.
In 19 ABY, following the signing of the Pellaeon–Gavrisom Treaty by Imperial Grand Admiral Gilad Pellaeon and New Republic Chief of State Ponc Gavrisom on the Chimaera, Jedi Master Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade planned to wed on Coruscant. However, one year later, during the wedding ceremony, a group of Imperial partisans attempted to sabotage it including infiltrating the event site and hiring a swoop gang to disrupt the wedding.
The wedding started with a bachelor party in the lower levels before attending a private Jedi ceremony in the renovated Jedi Temple. The public ceremony at Coruscant's Reflection Gardens remained largely peaceful because Booster Terrik and several others kept the swoop gang at bay. Lastly, when the final Imperial partisan attempted to unleash a computer virus, Luke persuaded him to surrender and to join the party.
In 22 ABY, the Second Imperium infiltrated the Coruscant system by using the cloaked Shadow Academy to remain in orbit above the planet, invisible to the eyes of the New Republic military presence and Coruscant Planetary Defense Force. A Second Imperium force consisting of the former TIE pilot Qorl's assault shuttle and several modified TIE Fighters also boarded the bulk cruiser Adamant and fled into hyperspace with its valuable cargo of starship hyperdrives.
The Imperium also sent three Nightsisters named Tamith Kai, Garowyn and Vilas to infiltrate the lower levels and recruit more followers for their cause including the street gang Lost Ones and Zekk. Those discovered to be Force-sensitive became Dark Jedi while others became Stormtroopers and TIE pilots. However, Jedi trainees Jaina Solo, Jacen Solo, Tenel Ka Djo and Lowbacca used several solar mirrors to burn out the Shadow Academy's cloaking systems, exposing it to the New Republic fleet. The station powered its hyperdrive and escaped into hyperspace.
Coruscant's darkest hour was at the peak of the Yuuzhan Vong War. During the Fall of Coruscant, the extragalactic Yuuzhan Vong overwhelmed the Republic defenses in three attack waves and conquered the planet. Coruscant, which had been completely covered in city sprawl for millennia, was devastated during the assault. Billions of lives were also lost during the battle.
Many of the landmarks of Coruscant either met their end or were altered to suit the invaders' needs. The Imperial Palace was destroyed when Chief of State Borsk Fey'lya detonated a suicide bomb in his office; the Manarai Mountains, the last part of the planet untouched by cityscape, were blasted into giant craters; the Western Sea, the planet's sole body of water at the time, was turned into a giant Succession pool; the Senate Building became the location of the World Brain, which was in charge of the terraforming of the planet. It was at this event the Yuuzhan Vong Empire was formed, since they had claimed the galactic capital.
The Yuuzhan Vong designated it Yuuzhan'tar, after their ancient homeworld, and terraformed it to overwhelm the city covering its surface and restore a natural ecology. In order to get Yuuzhan'tar to match their original homeworld, large dovin basals pulled the planet closer to Coruscant Prime and biological processes were set forth to create the jungle including increasing the temperature and releasing more moisture into the atmosphere. Soon, nearly the entire planetwide city was covered beneath vegetation while rivers filled canyons where airspeeders had once roamed before. The lower levels were the domain of wildlife brought in from the Yuuzhan Vong galaxy and was where most of the outcast Shamed Ones lived.
Coruscant's three smaller moons were dragged from their original orbits by dovin basals while its largest moon was destroyed by tidal stress created by pulses from other yammosk-linked dovin basals. A similar technique dragged the resulting expanse of dust, rock and hardening magma into a wide spreading asteroid belt known as the Rainbow Bridge, that they were familiar with. The Rainbow Bridge orbited Coruscant around at an angle of 17 degrees from the ecliptic.
The vast majority of the planet's non-Yuuzhan Vong population was shipped off-world in massive refugee ships, though some people did stay behind in the substructure of the city, which was called the new Coruscant Necropolis. A resistance movement of shopkeepers-turned-guerrilla fighters also emerged in the bottom levels of the Petrax Historic Quarter. After the fall of their homeworld, many former residents of Coruscant fled to Galantos, noting the lack of interest the Yuuzhan Vong showed in conquering the Farlax sector, where Galantos was located.
When the living planet Zonama Sekot suddenly arrived in the system, it collapsed the Rainbow Bridge, caused another of Coruscant's moons to be ejected from orbit, and pulled Coruscant closer to its original orbit, causing volcanic eruptions and groundquakes for the first time in two thousand years. The newly formed Galactic Federation of Free Alliances retook Coruscant from the Yuuzhan Vong during the Recapture of Coruscant.
- "Sometimes I think this planet is nothing but a hellhole."
- ―Natasi Daala, to an unconscious Nek Bwua'tu
The Galactic Alliance and the Yuuzhan Vong signed a peace treaty in 29 ABY, thus ending the Yuuzhan Vong War, and not long after, terminated the Yuuzhan Vong Empire and the Peace Brigade. It was decided that Coruscant would be rebuilt as the capital of the Galactic Alliance, returning to the ecumenopolis-style whenever possible while leaving the Yuuzhan Vong terraforming wherever it was as yet unfeasible to change. The World Brain would still remain in the Senate Building, as there was as yet no way to remove it without causing further damage to the planet.
As the government transferred back to the world from Denon in 30 ABY, buildings such as the Senate Building were remodeled, new buildings were constructed such as the Defense Force headquarters and the New Jedi Temple. With this move, the Galactic Alliance had officially taken authority of the galaxy. A large park called Unity Green was also constructed to symbolize the treaty between the Yuuzhan Vong and the Galactic Alliance.
Coruscant began to appear as bustling and thriving as it once did during the Old Republic with the effects of the Yuuzhan Vong War still a reminder, from the growth on skyscrapers, to the altered night sky. Air traffic in skylanes was still the primary mode of transportation.
Around the time of the Second Galactic Civil War in 40 ABY, the Galactic Alliance Guard (GAG), a secret police organization, was formed by the Galactic Alliance to spy on and monitor Corellian terrorist activity on Coruscant. The Guard was led by Jacen Solo, a Jedi Knight, a Colonel of the Galactic Alliance military, and also an aspiring Sith Lord.
The GAG were responsible for interning and deporting Corellian citizens in Galactic City, and in some cases, executing those taken during the raids. Thus, because of these harsh actions and their dark military uniforms, members of the Guard earned a fast reputation as a uncompromising band of hard-liners among the population. Members of the Coruscant Security Force gave them the nickname "Stormies," thus drawing inevitable comparisons of Jacen Solo to the late Darth Vader and the troops themselves to stormtroopers.
Under Solo's leadership the soldiers saw a likeness within Solo with Vader's own command style, noting that he "never asked of them what he would not do himself." Though necessary in some respects, the GAG's actions were mainly a vehicle for Solo's rise to the position of Sith Lord. This would only deepen the rift between the Galactic Alliance and the Corellian-led secessionist movement.
In the same year, Solo, now the Sith Lord Darth Caedus, was attacked by Kyle Katarn and three other Jedi Knights in front of the Senate building. Katarn was deeply wounded and one of the Knights had lost his life by Caedus's hand, but Katarn and the other Jedi had managed to escape. The outcome came as expected for the Jedi. Unbeknownst to the Sith, Jedi Seha Dorvald planted a tracking device on Caedus's cloak allowing the Jedi hidden on Endor to track Caedus's every move. Following Darth Caedus' death in 41 ABY at the hand of his sister, the Confederation surrendered, ending the war.
Two years later, the Unification Summit was held on Coruscant to resolve post-war disputes between the three galactic governments, Natasi Daala of the Galactic Alliance, Turr Phennir of the Confederation, and Jagged Fel of the Imperial Remnant. On the sidelines, the Hapes Consortium of Hapes, led by Tenel Ka Djo, also agreed to unite with the larger galaxy during the signing of the galactic treaty. However, Natasi Daala, Chief of State of the Galactic Alliance, ordered Luke Skywalker to be exiled for 10 years for not stopping Darth Caedus. His sentence would be dismissed if he could find the reason as to why Caedus turned to the dark side. During his exile, several Jedi succumbed to Force psychosis which resulted in the involvement of Galactic Alliance Security and caused the Galactic Alliance to take a hostile stance against the New Jedi Order.
Chief Daala's draconian reign abruptly ended when the Jedi launched a preemptive strike in 44 ABY to remove Daala from power by force. Due to her growing unpopularity with the Jedi Order, the Senate and the citizens of the Galactic Alliance, Daala's fall from grace was virtually uncontested and many were well pleased to be rid of her. In lieu of the unprecedented situation, the Office of the Chief of State was indefinitely suspended and its executive authority was invested in a constitutionally appointed replacement—the Triumvirate.
The first of the triumvirs were Grand Master Saba Sebatyne of the Jedi Order, Senator Haydnat Treen of the Galactic Alliance Senate, and General Merratt Jaxton of the Galactic Alliance Starfighter Command. Together, the three triumvirs quickly consolidated their rule over the Galactic Alliance from Coruscant, all the while representing the collective interests of the Jedi Order, the Senate and the Armed Forces. Abeloth eventually managed to take power by posing as a potential candidate of the leader of Coruscant, leading the Sith into Coruscant. In addition, a large portion of Coruscant was devastated by seismic activity caused by Abeloth as a means to get away from the Jedi. After Abeloth's defeat, Wynn Dorvan became the next Chief of State.
New Galactic Empire
- "My Jedi brothers, Admiral Stazi, and members of the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances—we have all suffered great losses, but we cannot wait for the inevitable attack on Bastion! The time to attack Coruscant is now!"
- ―Emperor Roan Fel, motivating the Allies to liberate Coruscant from nearly a decade of Sith rule
In 130 ABY, control of Coruscant was wrested from the grip of the Galactic Alliance during the final days of the Sith–Imperial War. With the fall of the Alliance and the Jedi retreat to Ossus, the galactic capital fell to the resurgent Empire, by then under the command of Emperor Roan Fel. Bastion was then replaced by Coruscant as the Imperial throne world, thus restoring the urban-wide planet as the heart of the Empire once more. Fel's control over Coruscant did not last for long, however, as the Empire's Sith allies launched a coup d'état, forcing Fel and his loyalist supporters into exile. With Coruscant under Sith control, the Sith Lord Darth Krayt declared himself Emperor of a new Galactic Empire.
Seven years later, Darth Wyyrlok assassinated Darth Krayt and took control of the Galactic Empire during the Second Imperial Civil War. Krayt, however, managed to cheat death and returned to Coruscant a year later to reclaim his throne. Wyyrlok was slain in the Sith Temple and with his death, Coruscant and the Empire were once more under the rule of Krayt.
Though the Dark Lord's return resulted in the Empire's rejuvenated war effort against its enemies, Krayt's revival also pushed them to the point of desperation. Thus, the Empire-in-exile, Galactic Alliance Remnant and the New Jedi Order combined their strengths to launch a major offensive on the Imperial capital. Their objective was to seize Coruscant in the hopes of destroying the Galactic Empire along with its Emperor and his Sith followers.
- "The point is the investment. We're investing in the future of this government."
"We're investing in window dressing, not solid statecraft."
- ―Empress Marasiah Fel and Admiral Gar Stazi discussing rebuilding efforts
Following eight years of galactic rule by the One Sith, the combined military might of the Galactic Alliance Remnant, the Empire-in-exile, and the New Jedi Order defeated the Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Krayt and his Galactic Empire. The Galactic Triumvirate was set up after the war to merge the various factions into one, cohesive government. With Coruscant's liberation and the final death of Darth Krayt, the One Sith quickly lost their hold over the galaxy as the Empire collapsed into ruin without the leadership of its Emperor. The surviving members of the One Sith fled into hiding while the victorious allies united as one to form the Galactic Federation Triumvirate, headed by Master K'Kruhk of the New Jedi Order, Admiral Gar Stazi of the Alliance, and Empress Marasiah Fel of the Empire.
The new government immediately set about restoring stability to the galaxy. Reconstruction efforts began on the planet Coruscant which had suffered damage during the battle to seize it from the Sith. The Imperial Mission, abused by Darth Krayt, was disbanded. However, efforts to improve the galaxy's infrastructure were continued beginning with a communications array that would link the Outer Rim sectors with the Core Worlds. Though not an especially costly project, it did cause political tensions.
Coruscant was home to a variety of species, though Humans made up the majority. Most of the planet's native species were either extinct or lived in the lowest parts of the Underworld by the time of the Old Republic. The planet was thought to be the home of Humans. Though not all well known citizens were always born on Coruscant, many considered the planet their home.
Government and politics
- "The planet thrives on the changing tide of politics, providing a stable anchor through damaging rebellions, the long-overdue fall of the corrupt Old Republic, and the sweeping introduction of the Emperor's resplendent New Order."
- ―Pollux Hax
Political life and government on Coruscant centered around the Galactic Senate and its successor governments. During the reigns of the Old Republic and the Galactic Alliance, Coruscant was represented in the Senate. As the center of galactic government, Coruscant thrived on politics and the business of government. However, this also opened up huge opportunities for greed and corruption. The Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic did exercise some control over Coruscant's administration though he did not interfere with the day-to-day affairs of government. This practice continued well throughout the era of the Galactic Empire with the Emperor, but Moffs were placed in command over the mayor of Imperial City in the form of the Imperial Sector. During the New Republic and the Galactic Alliance, the Chief of State exercised overall control of Coruscant but stayed out of day-to-day affairs.
Until 27 ABY, Galactic/Imperial City, had a mayor who led the City Municipal Authority. Several of the planet's sectors also had their own local mayors and governments. The Yuuzhan Vong took direct control over Coruscant establishing a theocratic dictatorship without a local government. This lasted until the Galactic Alliance retook the planet from the Vong in 29 ABY. The Galactic Alliance then established the Galactic City Authority, which managed Coruscant's government and the planet's day to day affairs.
- "We're the law on Coruscant. Not the Jedi."
- ―CSF Detective Gwad Raatu
One of the oldest planetary police forces in the galaxy, the Coruscant Security Force (CSF) served as the primary law enforcement during most of Coruscant's history, especially during the Galactic Republic, the New Republic, and the Galactic Alliance. It worked closely with the Senate Guard and the Jedi Peacekeepers during the Old Republic, but maintained ultimate control of policing the planet. This included regular patrols of the various districts and neighborhoods of Galactic City, criminal investigations, counter-terror, counter-espionage operations, crowd control at major events, and public disturbances, maintaining the planet's skylanes, handing out speeding tickets, diplomatic protection, and responding to a variety of other emergencies and situations.
During the later years of the Republic, foot patrol on the upper levels was mainly the responsibility of police droids, though humanoid and organic police officers were also present especially in the underworld police detective division, and special units. Special units existed for various tasks including SWAT teams, Forensics Unit, the Organized Crime Unit, the Anti-Terrorism Unit, the Tactical and Operational force, the Customs Enforcement Division, and the CSF's Traffic Division which was charged with maintaining order in the massive skylanes of Galactic City.
During the Galactic Empire, the Coruscant Guard was placed in overall command of Coruscant's security, but the CSF continued as a police force though subservient to the Guard. After the formation of the New Republic, the Guard was disbanded and the CSF were returned to their primary status which continued throughout the Galactic Alliance. When the threat of a new civil war between Corellia and the Galactic Alliance threatened the safety of Coruscant, several CSF officers joined the new Galactic Alliance Guard. However as the war continued and the GAG's methods became more and more brutal, most CSF officers left and returned to the CSF.
Public health and safety
Fire fighting, rescue, and cleanup was performed by the Coruscant Rescue Ops. Each planetary district maintained their own teams. Many Rescue Ops were poorly educated and underpaid, as their work was thought more fitting for droids. At the higher end of the Rescue Ops were Coruscant's fire-fighting teams; they piloted firespeeders, wore fire and radiation-proof body suits (including bronze helmets), and were equipped with fire-suppression backpacks that fed handheld hose-guns. These teams protected the endless urban sprawl from disastrous fires and explosions. Their duties were later continued by Coruscant Fire and Rescue during the Galactic Alliance.
The Coruscant Health Administration was charged with protecting the populace from various diseases and infections that could develop and spread in a large city. They also focused on issues of drugs such as death sticks and inoculations for new immigrants and migrants. They worked together with medcenters to ensure the general health of the population. However, the lower levels were mostly left to their own devices. Few had access to proper health care, police, or fire services. Most of these services were concentrated on the upper levels.
Entertainment and sports
Coruscant had many attractions to offer its visitors and inhabitants. Chief among them was the Uscru Entertainment District. In it could be found the Galaxies Opera House, a favorite location of then-Chancellor Palpatine. Coruscant was also home to the Coruscant Opera, Monument Plaza, and the Galactic Museum, all of which were popular tourist sites providing timeless entertainment and enjoyment.
Chin-Bret was one of the most popular sports on Coruscant during the last years of the Galactic Republic. The sport was played by chin-bretiers who carried pikers to play the game. The sport was most famously played at the T'Chuk Arena.
Fugitive animals were a large component of the city-planet Coruscant's "wild" fauna. Many exotic trophy species were smuggled in from other planets for the pleasure of Coruscanti citizens. Often, these creatures remained too wild or dangerous to be domesticated, and were either surreptitiously released into Coruscant's artificial environment or escaped on their own from animal traders. One such species were the narglatch, a species that made cute pets when young, though they invariably caused problems once they began to grow to maturity. Some of the more dangerous predatory animals even killed and ate their masters before escaping.
Though they were far from their homeworlds, many of these escaped species were able to eke out an existence on Coruscant. Some animals migrated to certain areas, like the wampas who adapted to Coruscant's cooler polar regions. The lower levels of Coruscant were infested by dangerous creatures like anoobas, saw-toothed granks, and veermoks, who feasted on garbage or on other creatures. Sometimes, these creatures made it too dangerous for the inhabitants of the lower levels to go out at night.
The Senate District served as the de facto government capital for Coruscant. It included locations such as the Senate Building, the Republic Executive Building, the Galactic Justice Center, 500 Republica, and the Galactic Museum. Throughout the planet's history, the Senate District was the site of numerous battles in several wars including the Great Galactic War, the Clone Wars, the Galactic Civil War, and the Yuuzhan Vong War. During the latter, the District became the center of the Vong Empire with the Senate Building serving as the house for the Well of the World Brain, which controlled the Vongforming of the planet. After the war, the District once again became the center of political activity and returned to its former glory under the Old Republic.
The Imperial Palace was originally the Palace of the Republic. During the Galactic Empire, it became Emperor Palpatine's official residence and was drastically expanded, becoming the largest building on Coruscant. When the New Republic captured the planet, it was converted into the main government center and the residence for the Chief of State. However, it was destroyed in the Yuuzhan Vong attack, partially when Chief of State Borsk Fey'lya detonated a bomb in his office.
The Jedi Temple was the seat of the Jedi Order for thousands of years. Throughout its history it was damaged several times. During the Galactic Empire it was left standing, though a damaged and burned shell of its former glory. Luke Skywalker, upon re-establishing the New Jedi Order, built the Jedi Headquarters on top of the roof of the Temple. However, it and the Temple were razed to the ground during the Yuuzhan Vong attack. The Galactic Alliance rebuilt it as the New Jedi Temple, an exact replica of the old Temple, though with an added glass pyramid structure above. It remained this way until the One Sith turned it into the Sith Temple.
The Coruscant Underworld was the area below the glittering skyscrapers of Galactic City. It was filled with crime and despair, but also with the entertainment of various kinds. It was in effect, a world of its own, with many areas controlled by gangs.
One of the few pieces of Coruscant's landmass that were left untouched was the Manarai Mountains, twin peaks that stuck up out of the ground near the famous Imperial Palace. The Manarai Mountains included the tallest peak, Umate. The peak contained many floating restaurants as well as Monument Plaza, and was home to the Flames of Umate cult. It was beneath the Manarai Mountains that the Lusankya was hidden. The mountains were destroyed during the Yuuzhan Vong assault on Coruscant.
Planetary defense systems
As of the Battle of Coruscant during the Yuuzhan Vong War, Coruscant had a four tier defense system. The first and uppermost tier was a series of mines. These were deactivated during the battle at the behest of Lando Calrissian, because he believed that they would do more harm than good, only to be reactivated by Calrissian later when the attacking Vong fleet was in the midst of the minefield.
The second tier was a series of Golan Defense Platforms, mostly Golan II types. The command platform was dubbed "Orbital Defense One" and was larger than its cousins. Most of these were destroyed when the Vong broke through New Republic lines, including Orbital Defense One.
The third tier was a massive planetary shield, controlled by a series of relays on the surface of Coruscant. The shield seems to have worked by some kind of dispersion of energy released onto the shield. The Vong employed a tactic that involved waves of kamikaze ships crashing into the shield, overloading the relays, and effectively bringing it down.
The fourth and last tier was an array of rooftop turbolasers, akin to the point-defense systems on some capital ships. Some were operated automatically, others by Human gunners and astromech droids. Also counted was the proton bomb in the Chief of State's office, which was detonated when Vong soldiers occupied the Imperial Palace. The explosion destroyed the building housing the office, and the data towers on Coruscant.
Economic and political rivalries
Coruscant was not unique as a galactic hub in the galaxy after hyperdrive became common usage. 53 years after the formation of the Republic, the term "Whoever controls Coruscant controls the galaxy" was coined. During the Old Republic era and beyond, there were several urbanized planets and moons that rivaled Coruscant economically, and some that were other major governmental centers.
- Alsakan: From 17,000 BBY to 3017 BBY, the Core World Alsakan attempted to usurp Coruscant's pre-eminence as the Galactic capital seventeen times in the Alsakan Conflicts. Initially driven by differences over colonization policy, with Coruscant favoring a centralized, bureaucratic state and Alsakan preferring greater local independence and initiative, the Alsakan Conflicts were fought over 14,000 years. The differences between the two planets survived the Pius Dea Era, the Old Sith Wars, and the Great Galactic War, before the Seventeenth Alsakan Conflict was finally, decisively ended by the Corellian Hegemony.
- Nar Shaddaa: In 15,000 BBY, the Hutts, having abandoned their homeworld of Varl, took control of the moon, which was located on popular trade routes, particularly the Ootmian Pabol, and Nar Shaddaa became completely urbanized. Eventually, trade routes shifted, and the moon lost its economic opportunities. Nar Shaddaa became a haven for smugglers and criminals. Nicknamed "Little Coruscant" as the moon was heavily populated with layer on layers, it had little of the grace of Coruscant's skyline.
- Empress Teta: In 5,000 BBY, the planet, then known as Koros Major, rose to the forefront of galactic events as the Old Sith Empire attacked it. The Jedi repelled the invaders, and since then it was considered the capital of the Deep Core, even being called the "Coruscant of the Deep Core." A bastion of civilization in the impenetrable and treacherous Deep Core, it remained a major center of commerce during the times of the Empire, New Republic and Galactic Alliance. It was also intended as the original redoubt for the New Republic government to flee to during the Yuuzhan Vong War, but eventually, Mon Calamari became favored over the ancient planet.
- Taris: The planet was situated on the Perlemian Trade Route and became a major economic center in ages past. However, several new, shorter trade routes were discovered, rendering Taris obsolete. Without the support of the Republic, the planet fell into ruin and disrepair. Taris's surface was devastated by Darth Malak in 3956 BBY, during the Jedi Civil War.
- Eriadu: Located on the Hydian Way, this prosperous and highly polluted world served as the capital of the Outer Rim in the waning days of the Old Republic, the time of the Empire, and during the rise of the New Republic. However, it lost its glory after the Yuuzhan Vong War.
- Denon: Throughout the waning days of the Galactic Republic, the Galactic Empire and the New Republic, Denon continued to thrive in the Inner Rim. After the end of the Yuuzhan Vong War, while the Galactic Alliance and the Yuuzhan Vong were rebuilding Coruscant, Denon was chosen to serve as the temporary capital of the Alliance in 29 ABY. By 30 ABY, the galactic capital had returned to Coruscant.
- Muunilinst: This economic powerhouse had backed the galactic currencies since the inception of the Galactic Credit Standard and remained at the center of the galactic economy. Although not rivaling Coruscant politically, its economic power remained as strong as ever, if not stronger as shown after the Battle of Muunilinst, which led the galaxy to the brink of financial ruin. After this, it became the financial center of the Empire and remained in this position for at least the duration of the New Order. After the Yuuzhan Vong war, Muunilinst, along with Mygeeto, no longer had a tie in with Coruscant, and by 40 ABY, the Imperial Remnant had control of its credit harvest.
Behind the scenes
Coruscant first appeared in the Expanded Universe and was called such for the first time in Timothy Zahn's Heir to the Empire in 1991. Coruscant was first seen on screen in the 1997 Special Edition release of Return of the Jedi, and later appeared in the prequel trilogy. Coruscant is therefore one of the few Expanded Universe elements that made its way in to the films.
The word "coruscant" is traditionally pronounced in English with a hard "c" and with the stress on the second syllable – /kəˈɹʌskənt/ (ko'-rus-kant'), and this was indeed the pronunciation usually used in early audiobooks and audio plays, such as the audio adaptations of Tales of the Jedi and Dark Empire or Chuck Benson's reading of The Thrawn Trilogy. However, since the release of The Phantom Menace, the word is usually pronounced /'kɔɹəsɑnt/ (ko'-ru-sant) in the Star Wars universe, with stress on the first syllable and the second "c" silent.
Coruscant, which was originally to be called Alderaan, was to appear in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, but the budget wouldn't allow for it, so much of the planned action was moved to the Death Star, and Alderaan became the name of Leia Organa's home planet. The "Imperial Capitol" was first mentioned in fiction in Marvel Comics' Star Wars (1977) 61 in 1982 and then briefly appeared in images of archival video seen in Star Wars (1977) 63. The concept of seeing the Empire's homeworld renamed Had Abbadon, came up again during the development of Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi and the concept of the entire planet being a city came up for the first time. However, it was realized that such a city on screen would be impossible given the technical limitations at the time, and so the idea was abandoned.
In various novels, characters aligned with the Empire refer to Coruscant as Imperial Center. Within the stories, this is explained as an administrative renaming undertaken to emphasize the differences between the Galactic Republic and its successor state, the Empire.
The PC game Star Wars: Rebellion mistakenly places Coruscant in the Sesswenna sector, itself a misspelling of the Seswenna sector of the Core. The Seswenna sector is actually located in the Outer Rim.
In the large volume of material relating to Coruscant, there are conflicting statements about the ecumenopolis; inconsistencies are found mainly in sources released before 1999 when Coruscant was visually established in The Phantom Menace.
Most sources, including all illustrations, show Coruscant as having negligible surface water, save for the ice caps. However, the Black Fleet Crisis trilogy states that Coruscant has two continents, a large one that contains Imperial City and a smaller one. More than half of this version of the Coruscant is an ocean. No other source follows this version, though The Thrawn Trilogy Sourcebook does refer to distinct continents, and the discrepancy is usually solved by referring to the alleged ocean as the artificial Western Sea.
The intro of the 1994 game Star Wars: TIE Fighter shows an orbital view of Coruscant that looks very similar to how the planet would appear in the prequel movies five years later. However, the Collector's edition, which features a remade intro, shows an Earth-like Coruscant, blue with clouds.
Another depiction of Coruscant, shown in the Shadows of the Empire comic, shows Coruscant as a terrestrial planet as opposed to an ecumenopolis, including green continents and a very large body of water.
One of the most notable inconsistencies concerns the planet's population. Most recent Expanded Universe sources, such as the novel The New Jedi Order: Traitor and the sourcebooks Inside the Worlds of Star Wars: Episode I and Coruscant and the Core Worlds, have stated a population of one trillion for Coruscant. At the last planetary census around 19 BBY, the population was around one trillion, counting only full-time registered citizens. Including the omitted, such as temporary workers and transients, the real population is said to have been triple the original count.
Coruscant chosen for the films
Regarding Coruscant appearing in the prequels, Timothy Zahn had this to say at Celebration III:
- "Just to make it clear, I did not invent the planet…George Lucas had invented the planetwide city a long time ago. When I was starting the Thrawn Trilogy, they told me to coordinate with the West End Games source material, and they had it listed as the Imperial Planet. Well nobody names a planet 'Imperial Planet,' so I thought it needed a name, so I picked the word that means glittering: 'Coruscant.' Apparently, when it came time to choose a name [for the films], people persuaded George to go with Coruscant and be done with it. So I felt very vindicated -- the tail wagging the dog. It was an honor to be slipped into the movies this way."