Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
|Distance from Core||10,000 light years|
|Number of Suns||1|
|Number of Moons||4|
|Surface Water||29% (in ice caps)|
|Affiliation||The Galactic Government (whatever it may be)|
The galaxy's main trade routes -- Rimma Trade Route, Perlemian Trade Route, Hydian Way, Corellian Run, and Corellian Trade Spine -- went through Coruscant making it one of the richest worlds in the Star Wars galaxy.
There was a huge city covering the entire planet of Coruscant (an ecumenopolis), as early as 100,000 BBY. New buildings were built on the old. As a result, there was virtually no exposed land. In the forgotten underlevels of the city, there was darkness, pollution and crime. Higher up, there were government offices and penthouses owned by the elite. Galactic City is divided into several thousand quadrants, with each quadrant subdivided into numbered sectors. Some of these numbered sectors received colloquial names. For example, H-46 is also called Sah'c Town, named for the family that owns much of it. Some areas were specifically designated senatorial, governmental, financial (including banking zones), commercial, and residential. Larger areas of the planet were designated for industrial or manufacturing use only. The largest of these areas is known colloquially as "The Works". The Works had manufactured spacecraft parts, droids, and building materials at an astonishing rate for hundreds of years, but as construction in space became more efficient, The Works fell in disrepair. It has gained the reputation as a hub of high criminal activity and many locals stay away from it. The Works was the meeting place of Darth Sidious and Count Dooku in Attack of the Clones. Another area of Coruscant shown is Coco Town (short for "collective commerce"). Many diverse species live here and work in manufacturing. Coco Town is the site of Dex's Diner in Attack of the Clones.
Under the Empire, non-human species were compelled to live in segregated parts (also known as "ethnic neighbourhoods") of Imperial City, such as Invisec. The Emperor also had the Palace of the Republic rebuilt and renamed the Imperial Palace. The Imperial Palace was a massive pyramidal structure and was the largest construction project in Coruscant. The Emperor also commissioned top Imperial engineers to design and manufacture massive Construction Droids that were the size of skyscrapers. These gigantic automatons would "eat" an old, decrepit building by using its many smelters, conveyer belts and mechanial arms. From the recycled parts of that old building they would construct a new building. After the death of Palpatine, a series of the Emperor's warlords including Isard ruled the Imperial Centre. Ysanne Isard's reign over the Imperial Centre was plagued by the threat of rival warlords and the expanding New Republic. So before she left the Imperial Centre, she contaminated the city's water supply with the deadly Krytos virus that only affected non-human species. When her Super Star Destroyer Lusankya left Coruscant, it tore off a large part of the cityscape in the process killing millions. The New Republic eventually recaptured Coruscant but were tasked with dealing with the Krytos virus and Imperial guerillas.
In the New Jedi Order series, Coruscant is the capital world of the New Republic until Star by Star, in which the extragalactic Yuuzhan Vong overwhelm the Republic defenses in three attack waves and take over the planet. The Yuuzhan Vong designated it "Yuuzhan'tar", after their homeworld, and terraformed it to overwhelm the city covering its surface and restore a natural ecology. The vast majority of the planet's non-Yuuzhan Vong population was shipped offworld in massive refugee ships, though some people did stay behind in the substructure of the city. The Galactic Alliance eventually retook Coruscant back from the Yuuzhan Vong. Within the Star Wars universe, there is currently a debate on what is to be the fate of Coruscant.
Etymology and Naming
The name itself is literary English meaning "sparkling" or "glittering" and probably refers to the night side of the planetwide city. Traditionally pronounced with a hard 'c' - ko'-rus-kant' - the word is pronounced Ko'-ru-sant in the Star Wars Universe.
Originally the planet, which was then called "Alderaan", was to appear in the first Star Wars film, but the budget wouldn't allow, so a lot of action on Alderaan was moved to the Death Star and Alderaan became the name of Princess Leia's home planet which is destroyed. The concept of seeing the Empire's home world, renamed "Had Abbadon", came up again in the Return of the Jedi, and the concept of the entire planet being a city came up for the first time. However, realizing such a city on screen was impossible at the time so the idea was abandoned.
The concept of a city covering an entire planet is not entirely new. The planet Trantor in Isaac Asimov's Foundation novels is probably the first fictional planet to be totally urbanized, but it was not the last. Indeed, one of the draft names of Coruscant was "Jhantor", in homage to Asimov's work. Trantor was entirely covered in city except for 100 square kilometers devoted to the gardens of the Imperial Palace; the same is stated to be true of Coruscant in Shadows of the Empire.
The planet first appeared in the Expanded Universe and was called "Coruscant" for the first time in Timothy Zahn's Heir to the Empire. Coruscant wasn't originally seen on screen until The Phantom Menace. It was seen on screen in the 1997 Special Edition release of Return of the Jedi. There is a speeder chase through the skies of Coruscant in Attack of the Clones that eventually leads to a nightclub in the bowels of Coruscant's Uscru Entertainment District. Coruscant will be seen yet again in Revenge of the Sith as part of the Battle of Coruscant near the end of the Clone Wars.
In various novels, characters aligned with the Empire refer to Coruscant as "Imperial Center". Within the stories, this is explained as an administrative renaming undertaken to emphasize the differences between the Old Republic and the Empire. The new name never resonated with the general population — it was only called Imperial Center in government documents. The name was abandoned when the New Republic retook Coruscant.
In the large volume of material that exists relating to Coruscant, there are conflicting statements about the ecumenopolis.
The population is variously stated as 176 billion, 1 trillion, or 1 quadrillion. The smaller figures are illogical, but more often stated. However, the G-canon source, Inside the Worlds of Episode I states that Coruscant has a population of 1 trillion.
The assumption that Coruscant was made up of many layers of buildings on top of each other, supported by Expanded Universe works such as the Young Jedi Knights series, was not supported by the appearance of the planet in The Phantom Menace. The canonical interpretation was revised for The New Jedi Order. Now, Coruscant is essentially two planet-spanning cities: one on the surface and one underground. The underground city takes the status of "lower levels" from the retconned covered-over buildings. Incidentally, this new interpretation makes Coruscant much more like Trantor. It also explains why the surface seen in Attack of the Clones was not nearly as dismal as the lower levels in YJK: they were below the surface in the book.
Most sources, including all illustrations, show Coruscant as having negligible surface water. However, the Black Fleet Crisis Trilogy states that Coruscant has two continents, a large one that contains Imperial City and a smaller one. More than half of this version of Coruscant is ocean. There are cliffs along the coast, contradicting the previous statement that the only place the bedrock was exposed to the surface was at the peaks of the Manarai Mountains, which are otherwise covered in buildings. This contradiction is because Michael P. Kube-McDowell, author of the Black Fleet Crisis trilogy, has publically stated he has personal issues with the concept of a city covering an entire planet. He was apparently attempting to retcon Coruscant into being a more Earth-like world with a population of only a few billion. His version of Coruscant has been ignored by later Expanded Universe books, as well as the movies.
It is said that Coruscant was naturally a cold planet, similar to Hoth, before terraforming millennia ago. It still has icecaps, according to the Young Jedi Knights and Rogue Squadron novels, but they are never visible in depictions of the planet from space. Supposedly, Coruscant was cold due to distance from its sun, but the sun appears large in the sky in The Phantom Menace. 
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