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"Scarif? They're going to Scarif? Why does nobody ever tell me anything, Artoo?"
―C-3PO, to R2-D2[src]

Scarif was a remote, tropical planet in the Abrion sector of the Outer Rim Territories. Although a small and idyllic world, Scarif played an important part in the Galactic Empire's military-industrial complex, becoming a center for top-secret research beyond inspection distance of the prying eyes of the Imperial Senate. Among the projects stored here was the Death Star battle station, a construction so important the entire planet was covered by a planetary deflector shield that could only be entered via a Shield Gate.

Description[edit | edit source]

Scarif was a verdant,[7] beautiful if relatively small world, measuring just over nine thousand kilometers in diameter. It had a remote and isolated galactic location[1] in the Abrion sector of the southeast Outer Rim Territories.[2] A deep-blue world speckled with clouds,[5] Scarif was comprised of tropical, volcanic island chains rising from clear, shallow oceans.[1] Deeper oceans teeming with life were surrounded by rocky archipelagos.[5] The planet's mantle was filled with dense metals that became valuable in starship construction. Scarif's sandy beaches were tranquil and idyllic, and some led into jungle canopies filled with wildlife, including areca nut palm trees and the giant peetalex sea grape, which offered natural protection.[1] The world had a temperate and comfortable climate and from the surface appeared as a tropical paradise despite its challenging ecosystem and dangerous predators.[7]

The Galactic Empire constructed its Imperial security complex across a wheel of islets and landmasses connected by sandy tombolos and artificial transit tubes. The region was surrounded by a volcanic island covered in jungles, and the central islet housed the monolithic Citadel Tower.[5]

History[edit | edit source]

Galactic Empire[edit | edit source]

The Imperial security complex.

Although Scarif's planetary mantle was filled with dense metals valuable in starship construction, its remote location deep within the Outer Rim Territories meant that supplying shipyards of the Core Worlds proved too costly. However, the Galactic Empire saw Scarif as a potential place to house their most classified projects away from the inspection distance of the Imperial Senate. To this end, the Empire built a major security complex in the planet's northern hemisphere, garrisoned by a special deployment of the Tarkin Initiative, centered on a Citadel Tower. Large swaths of land were excavated in order to build starships, and a high-altitude Shield Gate station allowed entry past the planetary deflector shield,[1] which itself was protected by several Imperial Star Destroyers.[12] Scarif became the principal construction facility for the Empire's vast war machine.[8]

Over the years, various officers treated Scarif as a place for an unofficial retirement, where they could neglect their duty in the comfort of a tropical paradise.[5]

In 9 BBY, the Death Star, an armored battle station whose superlaser would be capable of destroying entire worlds, was moved from Geonosis to Scarif to continue its construction under the supervision of Director Orson Krennic. The designs for the station were transferred to the massive databanks of the Citadel. Despite the importance of the project, the officers of the garrison, commanded by General Sotorus Ramda, became complacent, mainly because of the confidence placed in Scarif's defenses.[1]

Battle of Scarif[edit | edit source]

"He said we can find the plans. That they're in a data vault on the planet Scarif. Tell the Alliance: they have to go to Scarif and get the plans."
―Jyn Erso, to Cassian Jeron Andor on her father's message[src]

Imperial forces and the forces of Rogue One fought each other on Scarif.

The Battle of Scarif was a battle between the Rebel Alliance and the Galactic Empire, taking place in the year 0 BBY.[1] The Rebels had received information from Jyn Erso that the Death Star plans were being held in the Citadel Tower, and decided to attempt to capture them. The group successfully infiltrated the tower and successfully managed to transmit the plans to Princess Leia Organa and the Alliance Fleet. However, Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin ordered the Death Star to fire a precise single reactor blast at the planet in an effort to halt the transmission, as well as to eliminate his longtime rival Krennic. The blast did not destroy Scarif itself[12] but dissipated its planetary shield[5] and obliterated the Citadel Tower as well as everyone in its vicinity.[12] The Death Star's superlaser boiled the oceans of Scarif, burning a part of the planet's surface.[13]

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

Scarif is a tropical planet that was created for the 2016 Star Wars anthology film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The first footage of the planet was shown in the Rogue One teaser trailer that was released on April 7, 2016.[14] The planet's islands were filmed in the Maldives, while the interior of the Citadel Tower was filmed at the Canary Wharf stop on the London Underground.[1]

Early in Rogue One's production, Scarif was conceived as a sort of "dry dock" for the Death Star, with an immense portion of the planet's surface excavated in order to house the battle station.[15]

Director Gareth Edwards said the planet's nature came about after the crew noticed how George Lucas had been inspired by every theater of World War II except the Pacific front.[16]

At the 2017 South by Southwest film festival, Edwards revealed that the planet's name, Scarif, came from a misspelling of his name on a coffee cup, telling the audience, "I must have said, 'It's Gareth,' and they wrote 'Scarif.'"[17]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

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Non-canon appearances[edit | edit source]

Sources[edit | edit source]

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 Star Wars: Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 StarWars.com Where in the Galaxy Are the Worlds of Rogue One? on StarWars.com (article) (backup link)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Dawn of Rebellion
  4. Ultimate Star Wars, New Edition
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story novelization
  6. The "Where in the Galaxy Are The Worlds of Rogue One" map shows Scarif in the same grid position as Ukio and Molavar, which were shown by the Star Wars: The Force Awakens Beginner Game to be located in sector S-15.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Star Wars: The Visual Encyclopedia
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 StarWars-DatabankII.png Scarif in the Databank (backup link)
  9. 9.0 9.1 Star Wars: The Rebel Files
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know, Updated and Expanded
  11. 11.0 11.1 Star Wars: Rogue One Mini Build preview
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  13. Alphabet Squadron
  14. StarWars.com Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Official Teaser Trailer on StarWars.com (backup link)
  15. StarWars.com Designing an Empire: Doug Chiang on Imperial Architecture in Rogue One on StarWars.com (backup link)
  16. Rogue One's Gareth Edwards discusses, in detail, the creative process behind the very first Star Wars spin-off movie! (2016-12-05). Ain't It Cool News. Archived from the original on July 28, 2019.
  17. Natalie Jarvey. SXSW: How a Coffee Cup Mix-Up Led to a New 'Star Wars' Planet Name (March 13, 2017). www.hollywoodreporter.com. The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on March 13, 2017.
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