10 Things You Didn't Know About Coruscant
A Staple In Star Wars
"Coruscant, the capital of the Republic. The entire planet is one big city."
- Ric Olie, Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace
Anyone who has watched the Star Wars prequel trilogy knows of the planet Coruscant. But how well do you know it? Here are 10 things you may not have known about Coruscant.
10. Not Originally The Imperial Capital
I do not mean this in an in-universe sense. Of course we all know that Coruscant was the Republic capital before it was the Imperial capital. But did you know that, in early drafts of the original Star Wars, George Lucas had Alderaan as the name of the Imperial capital? Leia's homeworld at one point was considered to be Organa Major. Other alternative names for Alderaan include Aquilae, Utapau, and Ophchuchi. But of course, Alderaan became the name of Leia's homeworld, completely separate from the Imperial capital world, and the rest is history.
9. A Near Return In Return
In early drafts of Return of the Jedi, George Lucas included the Imperial capital a city planet called Had Abbadon, a name later repurposed for the Star Wars: Legacy comics (during the 2007 Vector "crossover") as the name for a planet associated with ancient Jedi. The Imperial capital would have been orbited by two Death Stars under construction and the Green Moon (later renamed Jus-Endor and then changed to the forest moon we all know). The lowest levels would have featured the Emperor's throne room surrounded by lava. Given limitations at the time, the idea of depicting a city planet in the movie was scrapped. Of course, Lucas later incorporated the city planet onscreen for the first time at the end of the 1997 Special Edition re-release of Return of the Jedi.
8. A Legendary Name
The name Coruscant actually first appeared in Timothy Zahn's Heir to the Empire, which, in 1991, launched the modern Expanded Universe (now Legends) as we know it. Zahn used the West End Games materials as sources when working with the universe. He noticed that the planet was named "Imperial Planet" and decided that such a name would not make sense in-universe. Hence the need for a more refined name like Coruscant. George Lucas liked the name, so he later reused it as he was making The Phantom Menace.
While the second "c" in "Coruscant" is silent in The Phantom Menace and later materials, audiobooks released in the 1990s that feature or mention Coruscant pronounce the second "c" like a "k," making it sound like "chorus can't.
6. Manarai Mountains
In Heir to the Empire, Coruscant actually has twin mountain peaks. According to the annotations in the 20th anniversary re-release of Heir to the Empire, Zahn knew that Coruscant was a city planet but assumed that there would still be some wilderness areas here and there that the wealthy would enjoy. The name of the mountain range recently reappeared in the novel The High Republic: Light of the Jedi. It is shown to be covered by city in Star Wars: The Clone Wars episodes "Duchess of Mandalore" and "Pursuit of Peace."
5. Different Looks
Despite Zahn seemingly imagining Coruscant as a city planet, the overall look of the planet was not concrete until the release of 1999's The Phantom Menace. Some sources showed water on Coruscant's surface. The Black Fleet Crisis novel trilogy describes Coruscant as more than half ocean and having two continents, with the larger one containing the city area. A remade intro for a collector's edition of the 1994 game TIE Fighter depicts an orbital view of Coruscant looking strangely similar to Earth, despite the original intro making it look closer to the city planet we know. The 1996 Shadows of the Empire comic miniseries also shows Coruscant with a lot of water and green continents.
4. Qui-Gon Jinn's Homeworld
In Legends, Qui-Gon Jinn's homeworld was unknown. However, 2015's Ultimate Star Wars identifies Coruscant as his canonical homeworld. It really makes one wonder whether it would have been easier for Qui-Gon to visit any relatives even while serving as a Jedi.
3. A Sith Shrine
The Jedi Temple actually sits on top of a Sith shrine. This was confirmed in the canonical 2014 novel Tarkin. One of the unfinished arcs of The Clone Wars would have involved Ahsoka Tano investigating about this, and even fighting Darth Sidious (albeit separated by a door). In the recently released The High Republic: Into the Dark, it is referred to as the Shrine in the Depths.
In Legends, during the New Jedi Order novel series, the New Republic capital Coruscant falls against the extragalactic invaders known as the Yuuzhan Vong. Billions of lives are lost during the attack. The Yuuzhan Vong terraform the city planet, allowing natural ecology to become more prevalent. At the end of the war, when there is peace, Coruscant becomes the capital of the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances, which was essentially a renamed New Republic with reshuffling in the government.
1. Almost In Episode IX
Audiences mistook Hosnian Prime for Coruscant when they saw the New Republic capital destroyed by Starkiller Base in The Force Awakens. Coruscant was excluded from this film to give filmmakers the option of using it later on. When Colin Trevorrow was still attached to direct Episode IX, the idea was for Coruscant to appear after being taken over by the First Order, ruled by Chancellor Hux. There would have even been a big battle on Coruscant at the end. Perhaps this would have made the saga feel more united, coming full circle in a way.
Written By Steven Shinder
Syndicated From Culture Slate