- "And this is Vulpter, for goodness' sake—their security isn't exactly a ring of durasteel."
- ―Lon Shevu
Vulpter was the third planet of the Vulpter system in the Deep Core, and the homeworld of the sentient Vulptereen species. Originally an unspoiled world with a wide array of flora and fauna, Vulpter was transformed over the millennia into a massively polluted globe covered in waste and factories. This meant that the planet was unable to sustain itself in terms of agriculture, and was thus entirely reliant on importing foodstuffs from other worlds. Vulpter was a noted producer of starships, and was home to one of the galaxy's largest podracer factories. Several corporations, such as Viper Sensor Intelligence Systems and Arakyd Industries, operated facilities on the planet.
Vulpter became part of the galactic community at large between 20,000 and 15,000 BBY. The Vulptereens were among the founding members of the Trade Federation, an allegiance that proved catastrophic for Vulpter's ecosystem. When the Federation seized control of the planet, the organization essentially turned the already-polluted world into an enormous junkyard. Following the establishment of the Galactic Empire, Vulpter was blockaded and cut off from all interplanetary trade, leading to widespread famine on the planet. It was not until the establishment of the New Republic that Vulpter rejoined the galaxy. During the Second Galactic Civil War, Vulpter was the site of a meeting between the heads of the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances and the Confederation, where Jedi Ben Skywalker assassinated the Confederate leader.
Vulpter was the only habitable planet in the Vulpter system of the Deep Core. Despite being located near the center of the galaxy, it was historically considered insignificant by organizations such as the Trade Federation and the Galactic Empire, to the point where it was often omitted from maps. A local year on Vulpter lasted 391 standard days, while each day consisted of 22.5 standard hours. The atmosphere, although heavily polluted, was breathable by most species, and the planet's temperature ranged from very cold to temperate. Vulpter was situated on one end of the Carbonite Run, a popular route used by smugglers wishing to evade authorities on their way from the nearby planet Empress Teta.
The planet was originally covered with grassy plains, forests, and a wide assortment of other types of terrain. Over the millennia the native Vulptereen's intense focus on industrialization slowly turned Vulpter into a wasteland; polluted urban cities, massive factories and waste pits became the dominant topographical features, and a thick smog enveloped the entire world. This caused agriculture to be unsustainable, with the inhabitants forced to import foodstuffs from other worlds. The situation was worsened when the Trade Federation seized control of the planet—the megacorporation turned the planet into a dumping ground for low quality goods and impoverished the natives. Immense underground caverns were dug by the Federation's driller machines, and much of the planet's air and water supply came to be considered toxic.
Trash was shot into orbit around Vulpter, eventually forming massive, black belts around the world. Of particular note was the Orbital Advertisement Ring, an enormous advertisement billboard that surrounded the entire planet. The structure—consisting of kilometer-wide neon advertisements and assorted space debris—dominated Vulpter's skyline, and its shadow was large enough to ruin entire crop plantings—further damning agricultural efforts. One of the largest podracer factories in the galaxy was located on Vulpter, making the sport popular enough for the Vulptereens to host an annual race in the Advertisement Field surrounding the planet. The major exports of Vulpter were vehicles and starships, produced in the planet's many factories. In addition to food, the population relied on importing high technology and assorted consumer goods.
The acquired harsh climate of the planet ensured that five out of every six settlements were either abandoned or in gross disrepair—an example was Benoga, a town that was both devoid of inhabitants and slowly falling apart. These empty cities often served as hiding places for criminals who wished to evade legal authorities, such as the Black Sun associate Harper Krass. Local rumor was that some of the abandoned settlements were haunted by ghosts. Inhabited cities included Charbi and Hpaq.
Vulpter fell, at various times, under the political hegemony of galaxy-spanning powers such as the Galactic Republic, the Galactic Empire, and Darth Krayt's Galactic Empire. However, the only major organization to actively rule the planet was the Trade Federation. Following the dissolution of the Federation in 19 BBY, Vulpter still retained some form of local government, which operated a police force and a navy. Organizations such as Charbi Port Authority somewhat unsuccessfully monitored customs and immigration to the planet.
As the native Vulptereen species made advances in technology, they took the first steps to industrialize their planet. Once a verdant world, the natives soon turned Vulpter into a polluted wasteland. The world was discovered by the Galactic Republic somewhere between 20,000 and 15,000 BBY; subsequently, it joined the galactic community. Around 32 BBY, however, Vulpter was completely seized by the Federation through an internal power grab by Neimoidians, who viewed the planet purely as a factory and its inhabitants as inferior. The Federation established its headquarters in the city of Benoga and set about impoverishing the Vulptereens and further industrializing the world.
In 22 BBY, the corporations Viper Sensor Intelligence Systems and Arakyd Industries, both based on Vulpter, were involved in a conflict. Arakyd asserted that Viper's XPLR-R prototype borrowed heavily from their probe droid designs. The situation was resolved when Arakyd—using sixty AAD-4 assault droids and three XR-37 tank units—raided and seized Viper's Hpaq headquarters. Following the takeover, Viper Sensor Intelligence Systems was absorbed into Arakyd as a research and development division.
Following the establishment of the Galactic Empire, hyperspace travel into the Deep Core was heavily restricted by the Imperial Hyperspace Security Net, a complex and heavily monitored system ensuring that only authorized ships were allowed access to the region. Perceived by the Empire as a world with no useful resources or strategic value, Vulpter was almost entirely cut off from the rest of the galaxy. Trade was actively prohibited, including the import of foodstuffs, upon which the population was entirely reliant. The ensuing famines and riots claimed millions of Vulptereen lives. The population was also enslaved in forced labor.The lack of Imperial attention led to Vulpter being used as a safe haven for operatives of the Alliance to Restore the Republic. When the Alliance managed to penetrate the Hyperspace Security Net, the planet became a major staging point for the organization's attacks on Imperial holdings in the Core Worlds. In exchange for using the planet for military purposes, the Alliance supplied the inhabitants of Vulpter with much-needed foodstuffs and other resources.
Rejoining the galaxy
After the defeat of the Empire and the establishment of the New Republic, Vulpter rejoined the galactic community. The Vulptereens, back in control of their own world, set about transforming Vulpter into a viable manufacturing planet. The same ecosystem purification team responsible for cleaning up the ruined atmosphere of Duro was hired to mend Vulpter's broken ecology. Under their supervision, the planet slowly recovered from the centuries of reckless pollution.
During the Second Galactic Civil War, the Vulpter city of Charbi served as the location for a secret meeting between Galactic Alliance Chief of State Cal Omas and Confederation leader Dur Gejjen to bring an end to the conflict. The Jedi Ben Skywalker, under orders from fellow Jedi Jacen Solo, assassinated Gejjen during the meeting, further souring the relationship between the two factions.
The dominant native species of Vulpter were the sentient Vulptereens—short, carnivorous reptilians with long snouts and a knack for manufacturing. Uniquely, Vulptereens did not possess a centrally located brain, putting them at risk of aphasia should they lose a limb. Vulptereen eyes had sub-standard depth perception, making the species reliant on echolocation to identify their surroundings. The polluted environment of Vulpter meant that the Vulptereens were constantly plagued by toxin-based ailments. This also meant that, over time, the species developed a resistance to many of these toxins. Although completely impoverished and powerless under the Trade Federation, the Vulptereens were a hardy people that clung fast to their homeworld. The native tongue of the species was Vulpterish.
Also present on Vulpter were the Amarans, making up six percent of the planet's population. The Amarans were mainly under the employ of the Trade Federation as managers for the underground storage caverns. Most members of the species did not get along well with the Vulptereens. Additionally, small minorities of Neimoidians and Humans called the planet home.
The pollution-fueled destruction of Vulpter's ecosystem eradicated Vulpter's native wildlife. One of the few survivors was the non-sentient garbage hunter species; two meter long rodents with substantial spine ridges that quickly adapted to living in the planet's many junkyards. When sneaking up on potential prey, garbage hunters would submerge themselves in garbage, revealed only by their spine ridges sticking out above the surface.
Benoga was once a large and heavily populated city, home to the Trade Federation's corporate headquarters. When the Federation moved its offices off-world, the city fell into disrepair. Though many buildings succumbed to erosion, most of the city remained close to intact years after being abandoned, giving occasional visitors the impression that the city's population simply vanished overnight.
Charbi was a polluted city, home to at least one spaceport, monitored by the local authorities. By the time of the Second Galactic Civil War, Charbi hosted a meeting between the leaders of the Galactic Alliance and the Confederation. When the Confederation leader was assassinated, the Charbi authorities investigated the murder.
The city of Hpaq was home to several corporate offices, with companies such as Arakyd Industries and Viper Sensor Intelligence Systems represented.
Orbital Advertisement Ring
Stretching all the way around Vulpter, the Orbital Advertisement Ring consisted of enormous advertisement billboards that dominated the skyline of Vulpter. Assorted space debris caught in the Ring only added to its size. The Advertisement Ring cast a shadow large enough to ruin crops on Vulpter's surface, making agriculture even less viable. Every year, the Vulptereens hosted a podracing event in the Ring.
Behind the scenes
Vulpter was first introduced in the reference book Inside the Worlds of Star Wars: Episode I (2000), as the homeworld of podracer Dud Bolt. The planet was slightly elaborated upon in The New Essential Guide to Characters (2002), and received its first appearance in an entry on the HoloNet News website that same year. It was not until the article Byss and the Deep Core (2005), published as part of Wizards of the Coast's Planet Hoppers feature, that the planet was substantially fleshed out. Vulpter was once again featured in the novel Legacy of the Force: Sacrifice (2007), and had its location pinpointed by The Essential Atlas (2009).
- (First appearance)
- Legacy of the Force: Sacrifice
- Star Wars: Episode I Podracer Punch-Outs (First mentioned)
- Inside the Worlds of Star Wars: Episode I
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 1 (Galaxy Map)
- The New Essential Guide to Characters
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 7 (PLA1, PLA6, Planets of the Core Worlds)
- Star Wars Insider 65 (Galaxy map)
- Inside the Worlds of Star Wars: Attack of the Clones (Galaxy map)
- The New Essential Guide to Weapons and Technology
- Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide
- The New Essential Guide to Alien Species
- Star Wars: Panel to Panel Volume 2: Expanding the Universe
- Star Wars: The Official Figurine Collection 55
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Atlas
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
- Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide: Updated and Expanded
- Star Wars: Edge of the Empire Core Rulebook
- Star Wars: Age of Rebellion Core Rulebook
Notes and references
- The Essential Atlas, p. 241.
- Legacy of the Force: Sacrifice, chapter 8.
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 7 (PLA6, Planets of the Core Worlds)
- The New Essential Guide to Alien Species, p. 214.
- The Essential Atlas, p. 132.
- The Essential Atlas, p. 226.
- Republic HoloNet News Special Inaugural Edition 16:5:241
- Legacy of the Force: Sacrifice, chapter 10.
- The Essential Atlas, p. 120.
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. III, p. 314.
- The Essential Atlas, p. 159
- Legacy of the Force: Sacrifice, chapter 6.
- Legacy of the Force: Sacrifice, chapter 9.
- The Essential Atlas, p. 17.