Skyhooks, or spacehooks, were repulsor craft that floated above the surface of a planet, but remained within its atmosphere, sometimes tethered by carbonite nanofibers. They were commonly symbols of status among the very wealthy, and were usually found on heavily-populated worlds, such as Coruscant.
Under the Galactic Republic, skyhooks were at one point banned due to the possibility of system failures which would send them crashing into the Coruscant surface. This fear was based on a rare occurrence, a combination of a lightning storm and a freak accident. Such accidents were only known to occur around once every century. Under the Galactic Empire, the skyhook ban was dropped.
After its conquest of Coruscant in 7 ABY, the New Republic made no moves to reinstate the ban. However, when the Star Dreadnought Lusankya broke free from its berth under the planet's surface, she fired on a skyhook, destroying it and causing its remains to crash into the planet's surface, damaging several square kilometers of the cityscape.
In the aftermath of the massive ship's departure, the New Republic Provisional Council ordered the grounding of all skyhooks in the area of the city destroyed by the ship. Though a popular rumor stated that the Council had ordered the skyhooks down in order to spite former members of Rogue Squadron, the Council officially stated that its aim was to provide shelter to those who had had their homes destroyed in the Lusankyas escape.
By the time of the Yuuzhan Vong War, skyhooks were again a common sight in Coruscant. Following the Battle of Coruscant the Yuuzhan Vong tore a number of them out of orbit, causing them to crash to the planet's surface, each impact killing millions and devastating hundreds of kilometers of cityscape.
Emperor Palpatine possessed a lavish skyhook in which he housed his greatest treasures, preferring to keep the most priceless ones in the air instead of in his palace. The botanist in charge of his orbiting garden was one of the best in the galaxy. When Prince Xizor attempted to hire him away from the Emperor's service the botanist was killed in a mysterious elevator 'accident', which no doubt occurred under the direction of Palpatine.
Prince Xizor, leader of the Black Sun criminal organization, also had his own skyhook, above Coruscant, a Core Worlds Engineering Skyhook Platform which was known as Falleen's Fist. It was destroyed by Darth Vader when he commanded the Super Star Destroyer Executor to fire at it during the Battle over Coruscant. Xizor was killed when the skyhook was destroyed.
There were a number of other skyhooks operating on Coruscant, including one owned by Vader himself. One of these was the SoroSuub skyhook, which was offered to the former members of Rogue Squadron before the Council ordered the grounding of all skyhooks.
The economic powerhouse of Muunilinst had a skyhook connecting the orbital city of High Port with the capital Harnaidan, the skyhook tethered the station in place and allowed for cheap travel up and from the planet's surface.
On Kashyyyk, the Empire was constructing a skyhook to ferry Wookiee slaves to low orbit to be transported to labor camps across the galaxy, under the supervision of Captain Ozzik Sturn. But Galen Marek destroyed the mooring points that kept the skyhook stable, causing it to blow up. However according to Galen, the Empire would eventually rebuild the skyhook. Princess Leia agreed that they would, but at least the Wookiees have a chance to go into hiding.
Core Worlds Engineering was known to manufacture skyhooks.
Behind the scenes
In science fiction, skyhooks are hypothetical structures used for transporting material to and from a planet's surface into orbit, continuously supporting it rather than using rockets, catapults or hypothetical anti-gravity effects. The term was coined by scientist Giuseppe Colombo.
In real-life, it is an object that connects vertically earth with sky. For example atmospheric research balloons, types of helicopters etc. It is not clear which concept preceded which.
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