Star Wars Coruscant

The Mandalorian is returning to Coruscant in the years immediately after the fall of the Empire. So what’s become of the former galactic capital?

During the days of the Republic and the age of Empire, Coruscant served as the capital of Star Wars‘ galaxy. The planet was first conceived by Star Wars creator George Lucas during the development of the original trilogy, though it ultimately wouldn’t make it onto the screen until the 1997 special edition release of Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi. Fans got a proper introduction to the planet in the prequel trilogy, in which Coruscant was heavily featured as the center of the Republic and the home to both the Senate and the Jedi Temple. Andor has recently offered a look at Coruscant under the reign of the Empire, and now The Mandalorian is getting ready to return to Coruscant after the Empire’s defeat.

Ultimately, in Disney’s new Star Wars canon, Coruscant ended up overrun by crime syndicates. With the Empire gone and the New Republic moving its capital away from Coruscant, the criminal element in Coruscant’s underworld was left unchecked, growing in power until gangs had absolute control of the planet by the time of the Star Wars sequel trilogy. However, this descent into lawlessness was a slow one. While the evolution of Coruscant’s political governance and standing in the galaxy has been documented throughout recent peripheral Star Wars media, The Mandalorian Season 3 may be the first time fans get to see what life on Coruscant looked like in this era and the latest trailer paints a hopeful picture.

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The Empire Relinquishes Its Grip on Coruscant

Coruscant in the Star Wars special edition

In the current Star Wars canon, the Empire relinquishes its hold over Coruscant at the same time as it officially surrenders to the New Republic, as part of the signing of the Galactic Concordance in 5 ABY. Up until this point, the remaining Imperial forces had continued to operate under leadership based on Coruscant. Following the Emperor’s death, the Empire was officially under the command of Grand Vizier Mas Amedda, though in reality Amedda was being kept under house arrest and controlled by Counselor to the Empire Gallius Rax. When Rax and his forces were defeated at the Battle of Jakku, Mas Amedda oversaw the surrender of the Galactic Empire to the New Republic.

Following the signing of the Galactic Concordance, Amedda remained the powerless figurehead of a provisional government on Coruscant, under observation from the Republic. The end of Imperial rule was warmly received by the citizens of Coruscant, resulting in weeks of celebrations to mark the end of the Empire’s tyranny. While no longer the seat of galactic power, Coruscant would go on to become a member of the New Republic, and it appears to have enjoyed a period of peace and newfound prosperity in the era immediately following the end of the Empire. With The Mandalorian taking place around 9 ABY, the series is perfectly placed to explore Coruscant in a moment between Imperial authoritarianism and criminal chaos.

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The New Republic’s Coruscant on The Mandalorian

The recent trailer for The Mandalorian Season 3 provides a fleeting glimpse at Coruscant in an era that has not been explored on screen before. A rush of traffic in bustling skylanes is seen against a backdrop of skyscrapers covered in lights. While little is seen of Coruscant in the trailer, what is shown appears to hint that this is neither a planet languishing under the Imperial Remnant nor a world that has succumbed to criminal brutality. In this brief moment, before the rise of the First Order, Coruscant appears to be thriving under the leadership of the New Republic.

Several droids are also glimpsed in the trailer — one piloting a speeder amidst Coruscant’s vast tower blocks, others seated in what appears to be a cantina exclusively for droids. These droids break away from Star Wars‘ traditional worn-down, lived-in aesthetic. Their casings are devoid of any sign of weathering, and instead they look pristine, shining as if they are brand new. It is perhaps a reflection of the state of the galaxy, at least on the core worlds, where stability and progress have replaced the soulless and regressive Imperial regime. By exploring Coruscant under the New Republic for the first time, The Mandalorian can reveal how the galaxy found a new sense of hope once the Empire fell.

The Mandalorian Season 3 premieres March 1 on Disney+.

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