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Coruscant // is a planet in the fictional Star Wars universe. It first appeared onscreen in the 1997 Special Edition of Return of the Jedi, but was first mentioned in Timothy Zahn's 1991 novel Heir to the Empire. A city occupying an entire planet, it was renamed Imperial Center during the reign of the Galactic Empire (as depicted in the original films) and Yuuzhan'tar during the Yuuzhan Vong invasion (as depicted in the New Jedi Order novel series). The adjective form of the planet name is Coruscanti.
Coruscant is, at various times, the capital of the Old Republic, the Galactic Empire, the New Republic, the Yuuzhan Vong Empire and the Galactic Alliance. Not only is Coruscant central to all these governing bodies, it is the navigational center of the galaxy, given that its hyperspace coordinates are (0,0,0). Due to its location and large population, roughly 1 trillion sentients, the galaxy's main trade routes — Perlemian Trade Route, Hydian Way, Corellian Run and Corellian Trade Spine — go through Coruscant, making it the richest and most influential world in the Star Wars galaxy. Coruscant is the sixth planet out of 11 planets in the Coruscant solar system, and has four moons; Centax-1, Centax-2, Centax-3, and Hesperidium.
The Galactic Standard Calendar was the standard measurement of time in the Star Wars galaxy. It centered on the Coruscant tropical year. The Coruscant solar cycle was 368 days long; with a day consisting 360 NET degrees (or 24 standard hours). Numerous epochs were used to determine calendar eras. The most recent of these calendar eras used the Battle of Yavin (i.e. the destruction of the first Death Star) as its epoch, or "year zero": BBY (Before the Battle of Yavin), and ABY (After the Battle of Yavin). The earliest date in the Star Wars expanded universe as a whole is 13,000,000,000 BBY, which serves as the year the universe was created.
Etymology and naming
The word itself originates in the late 15th century from the Latin coruscant- 'vibrating, glittering', from the verb coruscare. It is described in the Concise Oxford Dictionary as a poetic and literary adjective meaning 'glittering; sparkling'. The word "coruscant" is also a French adjective which means glittering, sparkling and, as a literary adjective, can be used to describe a decadent and overcomplicated language, decorum or community.
Concept of a city planet
The concept of a city planet in the Star Wars universe originated with the initial drafts of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. The planet was called Alderaan, and much of the action in the film transpired on it. Since building such a city would be prohibitively expensive, much of what was to take place on the planet was moved to the Death Star, and Alderaan became the name of Princess Leia's home planet.
The Empire's homeworld, Had Abaddon, came up in early drafts of Return of the Jedi. The entire planet was to be a sprawling city. However, concluding that the realization of such a city was (still) impossible at the time, the creators abandoned the idea.
The Empire's homeworld first appeared in the expanded universe and was called Coruscant for the first time in Timothy Zahn's Heir to the Empire. Coruscant was first seen on screen in the 1997 Special Edition release of Return of the Jedi, and the X-Wing series of computer games. Coruscant was then seen (major appearance) in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. There is a speeder chase through the skies of Coruscant in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones that eventually leads to a nightclub in the bowels of Coruscant's Uscru Entertainment District. Coruscant is seen in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith as part of the opening battle scene.
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.
Many have noted similarities between Coruscant and Hong Kong, which led to fans speculating that the galactic capital might have been inspired by the former British colony.
History within the Star Wars universe
Coruscant is a prominent location in both the Star Wars film series and the expanded universe media that has been produced. Within the narrative of the films, Coruscant based locations such as the Jedi Temple and Jedi Archives act as the home for the Jedi and in plot terms are frequently used for exposition or to drive other elements of the plot.
James Luceno's novel Labyrinth of Evil introduces a deserted manufacturing area known as 'The Works' as the meeting place for Sith Lords Darth Sidious and Darth Tyranus. Another area of Coruscant shown is Coco Town (short for "collective commerce"). Coco Town is the site of Dex's Diner in Attack of the Clones. Another notable area of Coruscant is 500 Republica, an area where the crème de la crème, such as politicians and diplomats, gather. In Revenge of the Sith, a theatre in 500 Republica is where Chancellor Palpatine holds a conference with Anakin Skywalker, while watching an opera.
Coruscant is also the location of an additional sequence added to later versions of Return of the Jedi. In a montage scene, upon hearing of the death of Emperor Palpatine, citizens are seen celebrating with fireworks and by pulling down his statues.
In the Dark Empire graphic novel, set after the original film trilogy, Coruscant is ravaged by battles between warring Imperial factions.
In The New Jedi Order series, Coruscant is the capital world of the New Republic until the extragalactic Yuuzhan Vong overwhelm the Republic defenses in three attack waves, led by Warmaster Tsavong Lah, and take over the planet. After surrendering, the Yuuzhan Vong agreed to help the Alliance rebuild Coruscant. The new Coruscant is a combination of technology and organic life, to represent the peace between the Galactic Alliance and the Yuuzhan Vong.
It is unclear what happened to the planet during the time between Revenge of the Sith and Return of the Jedi. Upon release of The Force Awakens, however, there was some confusion as to whether or not Starkiller Base destroyed it. However, the similar-looking planet depicted in the film is Hosnian Prime which, by the events of the film, served as the capital of the New Republic.
- The Essential guide to Planets and Moons (Star Wars), 1st edition, by Daniel Wallace, Scott Kolins. 1998. ISBN 0-345-42068-3
- Star Wars, X-Wing: Wedge's Gamble, (Book 2 of the X-Wing series) 1st paperback printing, 1996. Michael A. Stackpole, ISBN 0-553-56802-7
- Star Wars, X-Wing: The Krytos Trap, (Book 3 of the X-Wing series) 1st paperback printing, 1996. Michael A. Stackpole, ISBN 0-553-56803-5
- Star Wars: Before the Storm, (Book 1 of The Black Fleet Crisis), first paperback printing, 1996. Michael P. Kube-McDowell, ISBN 0-553-57273-3
- Star Wars: Shield of Lies, (Book 2 of The Black Fleet Crisis), first paperback printing, 1996. Michael P. Kube-McDowell, ISBN 0-553-57277-6
- Star Wars, Darksaber, 1st paperback printing, 1995. Kevin J. Anderson, ISBN 0-553-57611-9
- Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire, 1996. Steve Perry, ISBN 0-553-57413-2
- Heir to the Empire, (Book 1 of The Thrawn Crisis), 1st edition, 1991. Timothy Zahn. ISBN 0-553-07327-3
- Dark Force Rising, (Book 2 of The Thrawn Crisis), 1st edition, 1992. Timothy Zahn. ISBN 0-553-08574-3
- The Last Command, (Book 3 of The Thrawn Crisis), 1st edition, 1993. Timothy Zahn. ISBN 0-553-09186-7
- Edge of Victory: Rebirth (Book 8 of the New Jedi Order) 2001. Greg Keyes, ISBN 0-09-941044-3
- Star By Star, (Book 9 of the New Jedi Order) 2002. Troy Denning, ISBN 0-09-941038-9
- The Shadow Academy, Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta. Berkley, 1995. (ISBN 1-57297-025-1)
- The Lost Ones, Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta. Berkley, 1995. (ISBN 1-57297-052-9)
- Alain Musset, From New York to Coruscant. Essay on Geofiction (in French only : De New York à Coruscant. Essai de géofiction, PUF, 2005. This author uses science fiction as a way to explore the present (assuming that writers base their fiction as an extension of today)  /  (p. 109)
- For a description of the word coruscant in French with examples, look at the blog "Le Garde Mot"