Star Wars The Essential Guide to Planetsby Daniel Wallace, Brandon McKinney, Scott Kolins
THE ULTIMATE RESOURCE TO THE WORLDS OF THE STAR WARS GALAXY!
From the sun-baked deserts of Tatooine to the frost-bitten snowscape of Hoth to the misty swamps of Dagobah, here's your expert guide to the hundred most fascinating worlds of the extraordinary Star Wars universe. Travel from the Deep Core to the Outer Rim Territories and discover the wonders of:… See more details below
THE ULTIMATE RESOURCE TO THE WORLDS OF THE STAR WARS GALAXY!
From the sun-baked deserts of Tatooine to the frost-bitten snowscape of Hoth to the misty swamps of Dagobah, here's your expert guide to the hundred most fascinating worlds of the extraordinary Star Wars universe. Travel from the Deep Core to the Outer Rim Territories and discover the wonders of:
• Kashyyykthe treacherous, arboreal planet where the Wookiee race dwells among the branches in elevated cities . . . and lethal predators rule the surface
• Bespinthe gas planet devoid of solid ground, in whose atmosphere hovers the formidable Cloud City
• EndorThe Forest Moon: home to the peaceful but powerful Ewoks and site of a decisive battle in the galactic civil war
• Coruscantcenter of power, law, history, and culture in the galaxy . . . and once the location of Imperial City, the seat of the dreaded Empire
EXPLORE THE TERRAIN, MEET THE INHABITANTS, AND UNCOVER THE SECRETS OF THESE AND MANY, MANY MORE REMARKABLE DESTINATIONS ON A CAPTIVATING, FULLY-ILLUSTRATED VOYAGE TO THE BRIGHTEST STARS OF A FANTASTIC UNIVERSE!
Read an Excerpt
"An epic of heroes, villains, and aliens from a thousand worlds."
That's what the stentorian announcer promised to deliver in the first theatrical previews for a new sci-fi extravaganza called Star Wars. The flickering trailer offered tasty flashes of zooming spaceships, strange beasties, and double sunsets, hinting at a fantastic galaxy that was utterly unlike our own.
When the movie finally broke in May 1977, the "gee whiz" factor didn't diminish one bit. Our heroes' planet-hopping adventures took them from the hot sands of Tatooine to the cool mists of Yavin 4. And the phantasmagoric menagerie of bizarre barflies knocking 'em back in the Mos
Eisley cantina hinted at a thousand other points of origin.
The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi added several strange new locales to the canon, leading one to speculate that the Star Wars galaxy has a peculiar number of single-climate worlds: Tatooine is a desert planet, Hoth an ice ball, Dagobah a slimy mudhole, Endor the "forest moon." (But hey, this is space operawhy not?)
Though the films have been loved by generations of moviegoers and VCR
buffs, they spotlight only a small fraction of the countless planets in that galaxy far, far away. The books, comics, computer games, and television specials have done their best to rectify that. Even places that were mentioned only in passing on the big screen, such as Dantooine,
Kessel, and Taanab, have been given climates, geographies, and elaborate histories by dozens of new authors and artists. If you're interested in tracking down the original source material on any given planet, the back of this volume contains a coded bibliography to help you in your search.
From Abregado-rae to Zhar, planets and moons are the backdrops for the world's most popular space fantasy. This book covers a hundred of the most notable. But galaxies are big places, and there is still much to explore.
Enjoy the bus tour, and don't feed the Wookiees.
Daniel Wallace, Detroit, Michigan
System: Abregado system
Species: Humans, Gados, Moochers
Points of Interest: LoBue cantina
Abregado-rae has always been a common destination for smugglers and free-traders, who are greeted at spaceports by Moochers small sentient creatures that survive by panhandling. In recent years the world has suffered from the rise of a new, tyrannical government that has modernized
Abregado-rae but demanded total obedience from its citizens. A peaceful separatist group in the southern hills made the mistake of publicly protesting; as an example, the regime cut off its supply lines, forcing the group to submit or starve.
During the New Republic's war against Grand Admiral Thrawn, Han Solo and
Lando Calrissian went to Abregado-rae to make contact with Talon Karrde's smuggling organization. The planet's notoriously seedy starport was now gleaming and polished, but the sight of grim police thugs made it clear that the native Gados had lost a measure of freedom.
Ducking into the LoBue cantina, Lando spotted their contact, Fynn Torve,
in an intense game of sabacc with several other players. All too aware of the security officers casing the place, Han purchased a pile of betting chips and took a seat at the table. As he was easing into the game, a burly religious minister shoved forward, seemingly plucking a
"skifter"an illegal face-changing sabacc cardfrom Han's hand. Law enforcement toughs converged to harass the suspected cheater, and Torve quietly slipped away.
Lando and Han finally met Torve back onboard the Falcon. Since
Abregado-rae's constabulary had impounded Torve's ship, the Etherway, for running contraband food to the hill dissidents, the smuggler had wisely been lying low. The "reverend" back in the cantina had actually been one of Torve's local contacts, happy to create the needed diversion. After Han and Lando expressed their desire to meet his boss, Torve reluctantly agreed to take them to Talon Karrde's hidden base on Myrkr.
Later, Mara Jade arrived at Abregado-rae to pick up the confiscated
Etherway on behalf of Karrde and discovered that the smuggling ship had been released from the impound yard thanks to a generous bribe given by
Wedge Antilles. After briefly chatting with Rogue Squadron's leader, Mara boarded the Etherway and piloted through the outer fringes of the planet's atmosphere.
Accelerating to full speed, Mara rapidly prepared the jump to hyperspace,
but the Victory- class Star Destroyer Adamant roared from the planet's far side and expertly cut off her escape route. The Imperial warship's smug commander called for the outlaw vessel's immediate and unconditional surrender.
Mara was out of options. Though she had enjoyed her years of anonymity,
she had no choice but to transmit the unmistakable recognition signal that identified her as the long-lost Emperor's Hand.
His valuable prize safely aboard, the Adamant's commander left
Abregado-rae with all possible haste, bound for Endor and a very interested Grand Admiral Thrawn.
System: Mirgoshir system
Terrain: Binka forests
Points of Interest: Calna Muun starport
A secluded planet in the isolated Outer Rim, Agamar is known primarily as the homeworld of Keyan Farlandera determined recruit who overcame his humble beginnings to become one of the greatest pilots in the Rebel
Because of the Outer Rim's distance from the Core Worlds, the Emperor was unable to maintain a tightfisted grip on the wild frontier region. Upstart resistance groups on backwater worlds such as Agamar thought they could plot against the Imperial regime with impunity. They were sorely mistaken.
An Imperial assault craft was dispatched to Agamar to quell its fledgling insurrectionist movement. Over deafening loudspeakers, the warship's commander announced the in-escapable penalty for Imperial citizens who dared harbor traitors. Proton torpedoes were then dropped from the sky.
A young Keyan Farlander, racing home through the binka forest, heard the screams of the wounded and dying. When the bombardment finally ceased, his hometown of Tondatha was a smoking ruin. At the blast crater that had once been his family's struggling mugruebe ranch Keyan found the lifeless bodies of his mother and father.
With no reason to remain, Keyan drifted to the main city, Calna Muun,
where he joined the Agamar Resistance. The dissident group had been shaken by the Empire's brutal attack but was now more driven than ever to continue the fight.
Mon Mothma, the distinguished leader and founder of the Rebel Alliance,
arrived on Agamar for a secret meeting with the planetary resistance,
hoping to persuade them to join her larger cause. Keyan listened intently as the dignified woman recited a litany of the Emperor's atrocities and called upon all free beings of the galaxy to make a stand against tyranny.
Inspired by her eloquence, Farlander asked how he could become a starfighter pilot to strike back against the butchers who had devastated his life.
Flight Cadet Farlander was sent to the Alliance star cruiser Independence for orientation and intensive training. It was far from easy, but the young Agamarian displayed a natural skill in the cockpitand manifested an uncanny ability to wield the Force.
Over the next few years Farlander distinguished himself in extraordinary service to the Alliance. Between countless dogfights, Farlander helped annihilate the Star Destroyer Intrepid, participated in the Battle of
Yavin, spearheaded the successful Operation Ram's Head, oversaw the deployment of the new B-wing fighter, and helped cover the Rebel fleet's evacuation to the ice world of Hoth. Agamar has every reason to be proud of its most famous son.
System: Alderaan system
Terrain: Plains, small seas
Points of Interest: Aldera, Castle Lands
Everyone has heard of the Alderaan tragedy. Grassy plains and alien ruins,
distinguished universities and celebrated museums, soaring thrantas and dazzling glimmerfish were all obliterated in an instant by the Death
Star's superlaser, leaving only a ragged debris field fittingly called the
For thousands of years Alderaan was famous as a world of unspoiled beauty and a center of art, culture, and education. The earliest colonists refused to pave their new home with ferrocreteone Coruscant was enough for them. Instead, cities were built into canyon crevasses, beneath the polar ice, and on stilts in the shallow saline seas.
The rolling plains and gentle breezes attracted some of the greatest artists and philosophers who ever lived. Some sought inspiration in the
Castle Lands (empty dirt mounds left by long-vanished aliens), while others used the endless fields as their canvas in vast "grass paintings."
Though Alderaan had long been a democracy, it still retained a royal family: House Organa. The Organas, ruling from the capital, Aldera, took an active role in the Old Republic government and helped oversee the voluntary demilitarization of their world after the bloody Clone Wars.
After Palpatine's rise, Bail Organa became a founding member of the Rebel
Alliance, and his adopted daughter, Leia, followed in his footsteps.
But Princess Leia was captured above Tatooine by Darth Vader and brought aboard the newly completed Death Star. Grand Moff Tarkin had planned to use his new weapon on Alderaanas an example to other free-thinking worldsbut now he could also finally crush the Rebellion.
The princess was brought to the control center and led to believe that she could save her homeworld by divulging the site of the secret Rebel base.
Leia named a location, but it made no differencethe defenseless planet was obliterated.
Tarkin, however, had made a disastrous error. The callous murder of billions struck angernot fearinto the galaxy. New allies, seeing the
Empire's true face, flocked to the Rebel banner.
Imperial spokespeople put their best spin on the story, initially claiming that Alderaan had destroyed itself with titanic internal detonations. When a pirated holoclip exposed the lie, the Empire claimed that its action had been necessary to prevent the release of "Bail Organa's biowar virus."
Few, save the staunchest Imperial loyalists, believed that.
Today those Alderaanians who were safely offworld during the incident make regular pilgrimages to the Graveyard. Among the drifting rocks they leave flowers, poems, and mementos of their lost loved ones. The survivors leave with a new determination: the galaxy must never forget.
System: Almanian system
Terrain: Mountains, plains
Points of Interest: Great Dome of the Je'har, Stonia
Almania is a cold, wind-whipped planet on the farthest edges of the galaxy. Its three moons, Pydyr, Auyemesh, and Drewwa, are also habitable and have been settled for generations. Almania is so far from the galaxy's hub that even the Empire ignored the remote outworld.
For years the planet was ruled by the Je'har, a group that lent financial support to the Rebel Alliance. During the New Republic's battle against
Grand Admiral Thrawn, however, the Je'har changed to a new, merciless regime. Thousands of Almanian dissenters were brutally executed. Some of them sent a distress signal to the New Republic, but the government was preoccupied with other problems. The slaughter continued for years.
During that time Dolph, a Force-sensitive Almanian studying at Luke
Skywalker's Jedi academy on Yavin 4, received terrible news about his family. Rashly, Dolph abandoned his Jedi training and rushed back to his homeworld, only to find his parents' bodies hanging outside the Je'har ruling palace. Not yet able to control the Jedi powers he had learned,
Dolph allowed his anger to consume him, tapping deep into the powers of the dark side.
Dolph assumed the name Kueller, after an ancient Almanian general, and began a crusade against his parents' murderers. Through the eyeholes of a chilling death's-head mask, he watched as his armies killed their former oppressors and then massacred all who stood in their way. Only a thousand handpicked Almanian citizens survived Kueller's holocaust.
Thirteen years after the Alliance's victory at Endor, Kueller set his sights on the galaxy. He murdered the populations of Pydyr and Auyemesh with explosive-rigged droids, using the acquired wealth to finance his campaign of conquest. Luke Skywalker felt the deaths in the Force and tracked the disturbance to Almania. When his X-wing unexpectedly exploded,
a severely wounded Luke was captured and imprisoned. With the Jedi Master in his possession, Kueller contacted President Leia Organa Solo and demanded that she transfer all governmental power to himor her brother's life would be forfeit.
Unintimidated, Leia arrived at Almania with a New Republic fleet. While
Wedge Antilles battled Kueller's warships and their TIE squadrons, Leia rescued Luke from the dungeon, but the pair ran straight into Kueller.
An inexperienced Leia and an injured Luke were no match for Kueller's dark side power. Han and Chewbacca arrived with Force-canceling ysalamiri, but the lizards were promptly swallowed by a huge, hairy Thernbee. The ysalamiri still projected their nullifying bubble even as they were digested. Without the Force, Kueller's advantage vanished. In a last desperate move he tried to detonate the bombs in every rigged droid he had spread across the galaxy. Leia killed him with a blaster shot, finally putting a stop to his reign of terror.
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