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Distance from Core< 5000 light years
RegionCore Worlds
SectorAlderaan Sector
SystemAlderaan system
Number of suns1
Number of moons1
Diameter12500 km
Length Of Year364 standard days
Length of Day24 standard hours
rotation retrograde
Axial tilt23°
Major speciesHumans, Killiks (c. 1000 BBY)
Population1.97 billion (before its destruction; 60,000 residents not on the planet at the time of its destruction)
Official languageBasic
Primary terrainMountains, Seas, Forests, Plains
Points of interestAldera (capital), Crevasse City, Castle Lands
GovernmentConstitutional Monarchy
AffiliationGalactic Republic, Galactic Empire, Rebel Alliance

Alderaan is a planet in the fictional universe of Star Wars. It is the home of the characters Princess Leia, Bail Organa, Tycho Celchu and also, in 4000 BBY, Ulic Qel Droma who fought in the Great Sith War. It is ultimately destroyed by the Death Star.



There are three 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.
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.


The Alderanian 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 Antilles, 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 title of 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 Alderanian Council.

Alderaan became home to the majority of the remaining Caamasi when their home world 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.) 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. 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. The Emperor had made an apparently magnanimous offer to resettle the surviving Alderanians who were away when their home world was destroyed on his "private resort world."

"These people have lost a home world through no fault of their own. Offering them a new home world 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 Alderanians 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 Alderanian 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 amid the remains of their former home world 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.

References in pop culture

The lyrics "and Alderaan's not far away" can be heard in Red Hot Chili Peppers' song Californication.[1]


  1. ^ "Californication Lyrics". Retrieved 2012-04-09. 

Further reading

External links