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Not to be confused with the star Aldebaran. Alderaan is also the name of a real asterism; see Alderaan (astronomy).
Alderaan Alderaan250ppx.PNG
Distance from Core < 5000 light years
Region Core Worlds
Sector Alderaan Sector
System Alderaan system
Number of suns 1
Number of moons 0
Diameter 12500 km
Length Of Year 364 standard days
Length of Day 24 standard hours
rotation retrograde
Axial tilt 23°
Major species Humans, Killiks (c. 1000 BBY)
Population 1.97 billion (before its destruction; 60,000 residents not on the planet at the time of its destruction)
Official language Basic
Primary terrain Mountains, Seas, Forests, Plains
Surface water 70%
Points of interest Aldera (capital), Crevasse City, Castle Lands
Government Constitutional Monarchy
Affiliation Galactic Republic, Galactic Empire, Rebel Alliance

Alderaan is a fictional planet in the fictional universe of Star Wars. Within the story, it is the home of the fictional characters Princess Leia, Bail Organa and also, in 4000 BBY, Ulic Qel Droma who fought in the Great Sith War.

Contents

Description

There are three contradictory descriptions or depictions of Alderaan:

Considered a "Shining Star" of the Core Worlds. Wild grasslands and old mountain ranges dominated the planet's surface. Ice-rimmed polar seas were the only large bodies of water, though thousands of freshwater and saltwater lakes provided habitats for a large variety of flora and fauna. Alderaan was also the home-world of some of the galaxy's most famous animals, such as the nerf and the Thranta. Cities of Alderaan were often built with great care taken to protect nature. One city was built on the walls of a canyon, nearly invisible from above. Other cities were built on stilts along the shoreline or under the polar ice. The capital, Aldera, known for its university, was built on a small island in the center of a caldera.
The terrain of Alderaan appears to be mountainous and the planet surface bears no resemblance to established Expanded Universe descriptions; however, only a small fraction of the planet is actually seen.
  • In Episode IV: A New Hope
Alderaan is seen only from space and appears to be an Earth-like planet covered mostly in water, and then as a cloud of rocky planetary debris after its destruction by the Death Star.

Culture

The Alderaanian people highly valued education, arts, architecture, poetry, the performing arts, and diplomacy. They placed high value in their participation in the Galactic (later Imperial) Senate. Though largely a democratic society, Alderaan was headed by a hereditary constitutional monarchy, under the historic Royal House of Antillies, and later through marriage the House of Organa presiding over the High Court and legislative High Council of Alderaan. Its monarchs have variously borne the King or Queen of Alderaan. The ruler of Alderaan from the end of Revenge of the Sith to A New Hope was Queen Breha Antilles-Organa. Queen Breha was married to Bail Organa, who served a term as Senator during the events depicted in Revenge of the Sith, later serving as First Chairman and Viceroy of Alderaan. Traditionally, the heir of the Alderaan throne also serves in the legislative High Council of Alderaan and a term as Senator of Alderaan. Queen Breha and Bail's heir and (secretly adopted) daughter was Princess Leia who was serving as Senator of Alderaan in the Imperial Senate during the events depicted in A New Hope.

History and destruction

After the Clone Wars, Alderaan's massive war machine was dismantled and the weapons were placed aboard an armory warship called Another Chance. The ship was programmed to continually jump through hyperspace until called home by the Alderaanian Council.

Alderaan became home to the majority of the remaining Caamasi when their homeworld of Caamas was devastated by the Galactic Empire, as told in I, Jedi by Michael Stackpole.

Alderaan was destroyed by the Death Star in Episode IV: A New Hope at Grand Moff Tarkin's order as a demonstration of its power to the galaxy. (Despite Princess Leia's protests of Alderaan being a peaceful world with no weapons, the film's novelization states that the planet had armaments as strong as any planet in the Empire.) Approximately 60,000 natives survived because they were off-world, and many of them relocated to the planet of New Alderaan, hoping to recreate the beauty that had been Alderaan.

Alderaan was destroyed by order of Tarkin and the Emperor Palpatine. Tarkin felt the Rebels were growing bolder, and only a very public demonstration of the Death Star's power against a Rebel target would succeed in frightening the Alliance into submission. Palpatine approved in advance of the destruction of the planet, but publicly adopted a benevolent persona, announcing that he was saddened by the loss of such a noble world. He added that, had Alderaan entrusted itself to Imperial protection, it would still be thriving. In other words, the destruction of Alderaan might not have been necessary had Bail Organa simply bowed before the emperor. He then made an apparently magnanimous offer to resettle the sixty thousand surviving Alderaanians who were away when their homeworld was destroyed, on his "private resort world."

"These people have lost a homeworld through no fault of their own. Offering them a new homeworld is the least I can do to compensate them for their loss."

The planet's destruction was not without detrimental effects to the Empire, however. Once word of the world's fate got out, thousands of Alderaanians who had been off-planet joined the Rebel Alliance. Alderaan's survivors became among the most dedicated soldiers of the Alliance, vowing never again to let the Empire destroy another world. Most Imperial military members from Alderaan immediately defected to the Rebellion. A few of the Alderaanian survivors became supporters of the Empire, blaming the inept and traitorous Bail Organa and the rebellion for opposing the Emperor and thereby destroying everything they had, even their loved ones. Princess Leia met one such supporter, an Imperial military officer, on the planet Bakura during a temporary truce between the Alliance and one section of the Empire.

Survivors of Alderaan and their descendants practiced a ritual of "returning" to the Alderaan system. Returners would fill memorial capsules with gifts for departed relatives and friends and jettison them into the asteroid field (known as the Graveyard), which was all that remained of the planet after its destruction. Some survivors, such as Tycho Celchu, had made known their desires to be buried amongst the remains of their former homeworld after their deaths.

With Alderaan destroyed, some council members led the people to New Alderaan, which was founded after the Galactic Civil War died down somewhat. The Royal House of Alderaan, in the person of Leia Organa-Solo and her children, continue to hold sovereignty of both New Alderaan and the Alderaan system. The government on New Alderaan administers both systems.

Popular culture references to Alderaan

  • In the Red Hot Chili Peppers song "Californication" a reference to Alderaan is made with the line "Alderaan's not far away" in reference to the Star Wars opening tag setting the places and events in the movie "in a galaxy far far away."
  • In Star Trek: The Next Generation's episode Up the Long Ladder, a display screen shows that in 2135, HMS New Zealand was "on a diplomatic mission to Alderaan."
  • In Star Trek: The Next Generation's episode Brothers, a display screen shows that the starship Thomas Paine was assigned to "a diplomatic mission to Alderaan."
  • In Star Trek Deep Space 9's episode A Man Alone, when Odo checks Ibudan's log the screen shows that the ship has recently been at "Alderaan Spaceport"
  • On Chris Thile's solo CD "Stealing Second" there is an instrumental song titled "Alderaanian Melody".
  • In an episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Master Shake claims to get physicals on Alderaan.
  • In Blink-182's song, A New Hope, singer Mark Hoppus states that Princess Leia is "Exactly the kind of Alderaanian that I need."
  • A song titled 'I Told Her On Alderaan' appears on Neon Neon's debut album Stainless Style.
  • In the 2009 film Fanboys, Hutch uses the pick up line "looking for love in Alderaan places" to talk to a couple of girls.
  • On one of the popular webcomic Ctrl+Alt+Del's t-shirts, Ethan remarks that "Lasers make everything better", where Zeke retorts that "Well, except for Alderaan."

References

Further reading

  • A Guide to the Star Wars Universe 3rd Edition, by Bill Slavicsek, Del Rey Books
  • The Essential guide to Planets and Moons (Star Wars), 1st edition, by Daniel Wallace, Scott Kolins. 1998. ISBN 0-345-42068-3
  • Star Wars: Rebel Dawn (Book 3 of "The Han Solo Trilogy"), by A. C. Crispin. 1998. ISBN 0-553-57417-5
  • Star Wars, X-Wing: The Bacta War, (Book 4 of The X-Wing series), 1sp paperback printing, 1997. Michael A. Stackpole, ISBN 0-553-56804-3
  • Star Wars: The Annotated Screenplays, softcover, 1997. George Lucas, Leigh Brackett, Lawrence Kasdan, Laurent Bouzereau, ISBN 0-345-40981-7
  • Star Wars: Roleplaying Game- Coruscant and the Core Worlds, hardcover 2003, by Craig R. Carey, Chris Doyle, Jason Fry, Paul Sudlow, John Terra, Daniel Wallace, ISBN 0-7869-2879-4

External links

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Simple English

Alderaan is a fictional planet found in the Star Wars series of films created by George Lucas. It is the home of the characters Princess Leia Organa and Senator Bail Organa. The surface of Alderaan is only seen for a short time at the end of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005). The entire planet is destroyed in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977) when the Death Star fires a laser beam at the planet, which then explodes, killing everyone on it.


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