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Bespin in Empire at War (2006)
|Planet type||Gas giant|
|Notable locations||Cloud City|
|Created by||George Lucas|
|First appearance||The Empire Strikes Back (1980)|
Bespin is a fictional planet, a gas giant in Star Wars films and books. The planet was first seen in the 1980 feature film The Empire Strikes Back. Since its introduction, Bespin has gained more specific characteristics in the Star Wars expanded universe.
Bespin is a major source of tibanna gas, a fictional material which is refined for production and transport in Cloud City and used in hyperdrive coolant for starships, as well as in the production of firearms. It is home to several million individuals, including humans and Ugnaughts.
The planet is a gas giant that is about 73,000 miles (117,000 km) in diameter. Like most gas giants, it has a solid core that consists of metal followed by layers of metallic gases. Many of the layers of gas are poisonous, and the pressure and temperature are far above what a human could tolerate. But from approximately 93 to 112 mi (150 to 180 km) down from outer space, there is a habitable layer known as the Bespin Life Zone. This layer has an oxygen atmosphere with the temperature and pressure that makes it ideal for human life. It is in this layer that Cloud City is located.
According to fictional smuggler Han Solo, his starship the Millennium Falcon barely made it there when travelling from another star system; he had to use the ship's hyperdrive to complete the journey (he couldn't have, the hyperdrive was malfunctioning as established in The Empire Strikes Back). Lando Calrissian, the previous owner of the Millennium Falcon, administered Cloud City and provided "well-paying" jobs for the Ugnaughts until the Galactic Empire occupied the system.
During the Galactic Civil War, Darth Vader captured Cloud City (as seen in The Empire Strikes Back) after blackmailing Calrissian into turning over Han Solo and Princess Leia to him. But after the Battle of Endor the planet and cloud city was liberated from the empire by the New Republic.
Cloud City is a playable level setting in numerous video games, including Star Wars: Battlefront, Star Wars: Uprising, Star Wars Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith, and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.
- Bespin at starwars.com
- Christensen, Bill. "Cloud Cities On Venus?", Space.com, 23 July 2008.
- Death Star, Bespin coming to Star Wars Battlefront via season pass at Entertainment Weekly
- Lucas, George; and Leigh Brackett, Lawrence Kasdan, Laurent Bouzereau. Star Wars: The Annotated Screenplays, 1997. ISBN 0-345-40981-7
- Anderson, Kevin J. Star Wars: Jedi Search (Book 1 of the Jedi Academy Trilogy), 1994. ISBN 0-553-29798-8
- Wallace, Daniel; and Scott Kolins. The Essential Guide to Planets and Moons (Star Wars), 1st edition, 1998. ISBN 0-345-42068-3