- "The Upper City's got some nice shops and all, but it's boring!"
- ―Mission Vao
The Upper City was one of the metropolises that covered the city world Taris approximately 4000 BBY. It was inhabited by the privileged classes of Taris and featured the towering glittering spire shaped skyscrapers that dominated the planet's landscape. In 3964 BBY, following Zayne Carrick's second escape from the Jedi Tower, the Upper City was the last part of the planet to hold out against the marauding rioters that spread up from the lower levels. In 3956 BBY, however, the Upper City was destroyed, along with the rest of Taris. It is unclear as to when it was rebuilt, but it was at least partially reconstructed by 3 ABY.
As a result of the Upper City's elitism and social status, access was restricted to non-Humans, although there were many exceptions. One such exception was the crime lord Ajuur, a Hutt who owned the Upper City Dueling Ring. Similarly, a Rodian duelist named Twitch could be found in the Upper City. On the other hand, many non-Humans were met with anger and hatred and often complained about their treatment. The Upper City featured a cantina, which housed the famous dueling ring. Zelka Forn's medical facility, which was eventually able to produce a serum against the rakghoul disease, could be found in the Upper City.
A century before the planet became a major hub, the Tarisian Upper City had began to be constructed by the Taris Civil Authority, above the Middle City, the Lower City and the Undercity. Many species began to innumerate to the world. By the time the Upper City was complete, the Galactic Republic gave attention to the world and Taris began to prosper, the Upper City in particular, and became known as a Coruscant of the Outer Rim when it was discovered by the Republic. Taris's golden age eventually came to an end in 4156 BBY, when new, shorter trade routes were discovered, and Taris's fortunes began to wane. In 4086 BBY, the Upper City droids stole the luggage of visiting travel reviewers, who gave the planet an extremely harsh review in the Trampeta's Star Guide, the worst recommendation in the navigation charts.
Abandoned by the Galactic Republic, the food system of Taris relied completely on its own. The great city of Taris covered more the half the planet's surface, there was no place to grow food thus the kelp harvest and the creatures of the sea became their only food source. Tarisian industrialists switched to a new and cheaper power source, which produced toxic waste. A century after being abandoned by the Republic, the pollution poisoned and killed most of the sea flora and fauna, and famine swept the planet.
The Tarisian elite hoarded the remaining food and wealth for themselves--far more than they needed, while the poor were left to starve and die. Disgusted and starving, the poorer classes rebelled, and so the Tarisian Civil War had begun. Millions of innocents died, and large sections of Taris were destroyed or abandoned.
Eventually, the Tarisian nobles emerged victorious and the rebellion was put down. Thousands of disarmed rebels were imprisoned, but the jail cells could not hold them all. The rest were banished to the Undercity and forbidden to return to the Upper City and Middle City under penalty of death. As the decades passed, exile to the lower layers supplanted imprisonment, and the Upper City prisons were rendered unnecessary. The remaining kelp along with the remaining oceanic fauna was consumed to extinction by the Tarisian Nobles in which they were then forced to rely on imported food. As banishment replaced imprisonment entirely, no arrangements were made to care for the descendants of the banished by the increasingly corrupt government.
Circa 4056 BBY, non-Humans were banished from the Upper City and Middle City to the Lower City of Taris. Since then, the Upper City was occupied by the Tarisian Human elite as a symbol of strict socioeconomic divisions in the Galaxy, though a few non-Humans did remain.
Sometimes an individual Tarisian noble would venture down to the Lower City with his or her Droid and deliberately and brutally laugh at the oppressed aliens but since law enforcement didn't go down that far they were likely killed in a retaliation attack but many both from the Upper City and the Lower City did not blame them for it.
Circa 4000 BBY, the Exchange began to occupy the planet, establishing an estate in the Upper City and putting bounties on anyone who opposed them or owed them any debts. Once again, the corrupt government made little effort to confront the menace, instead accepting bribes from the Exchange to keep quiet or collaborate in their operations. Food and raw resources became the major imports of the planet and Tarisian ale made from the gland of a Tach, became a major export. The Lower City rivaled the Upper City's offworld economics for its swoop racing despite opposition by Hutt's and the Exchange.
In 3966 BBY, Taris even held a seat in the Galactic Senate, but the seat lasted for only two years. It was during this year that the Mandalorians first attacked Taris during the Mandalorian Wars. Therefore the Galactic Republic and the Jedi's presence on the urban world had begun. The Republic even eliminated the government that had terrorized its residents for 190 years. Therefore rules such as banishing criminals to the Undercity were terminated. However this did little to tighten up the socioeconomic divisions as it would continue mainly due to the interruption of the Mandalorian attacks. Thus Taris would remain hell for another ten years.
In 3964 BBY, following Zayne Carrick's second escape from the Taris Academy, the Upper City held out longer than other sections of the planet against the marauding rioters that spread up from the lower levels. During the Mandalorian Wars, Saul Karath had to abandon the planet to the Mandalorians. At the same time, the Exchange was temporarily driven off the planet by Revan.
As the Mandalorian Wars ended, with the Mandalorian defeat at the Battle of Malachor V in 3960 BBY, it is presumed that the Mandalorians either abandoned the planet or were driven out by Revan and Malak in the aftermath of the war. The Exchange regained its presence on the planet, filling the power vacuum from the Mandalorians' withdrawal. As a result, the dystopian society that had existed before the invasion resumed and continued for four more years.
The Jedi Civil War
Shortly before the Sith occupied the planet during the Jedi Civil War, the Republic ran a medical center in the Upper City. The Republic scientists there were responsible for the rakghoul serum that cured the Outcasts. The Republic was planning to tighten up the socioeconomic divisions, but was interrupted when the Sith armada invaded. The Republic was driven out, and the Sith enforced a planetwide quarantine and martial law, allowing no one to enter or leave except on official Sith business. During the Sith occupation, a Sith military base was also established in the Upper City. Public walkways in the city were heavily patrolled by Sith troopers and traveling between different levels of the city was restricted.
After the Endar Spire was attacked by the Sith over Taris, Republic soldiers Revan and Carth Onasi crashed into the Upper City in a battered escape pod in 3956 BBY. The two managed to find refuge in a vacant apartment there, where they began planning their search for Bastila Shan. The Upper City was destroyed, along with the entire surface of Taris, when the Sith fleet, led by Saul Karath's mighty Leviathan, bombarded the planet from orbit. After being forced to kill Davik Kang and severely injuring Calo Nord, the amnesiac Revan and the rest of his party members managed to escape the bombardment in the Ebon Hawk. Calo Nord also managed to escape, despite his injuries.
By 3 ABY, much of the Upper City had been rebuilt by Human colonists although never again was it a symbol of socioeconomic divisions. The Taris Dueling Ring had been rebuilt prior to the Rebellion era. The Upper City, like the rest of Taris, emerged from the Yuuzhan Vong War relatively unscathed. As of 40 ABY, Boba Fett owned a private residence on the planet during his search for Taun We. He also met his granddaughter Mirta Gev but did not know it at the time.
Behind the scenes
The citizens of the Lower City called Upper City residents "uptowns".
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- The Taris Holofeed: Invasion Edition (Mentioned only)
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- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic: Knights of Suffering
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (First appearance)
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- Legacy of the Force: Bloodlines
- The New Essential Chronology
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