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Up to date as of February 04, 2010

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"If you can bribe a member of Bespin's Wing Guard into taking you on a spin around Cloud City, you won't regret spending the credits. The views are stunning."
―Excerpt from Ullok's Underground Guide to Bespin

Cloud City was an outpost and a tibanna gas mining colony of the planet Bespin, named as such because it was perpetually surrounded by giant clouds. The city floated high above the actual planet, which was an uninhabitable gas giant. It contained a large and famous luxury resort district on its upper levels, complete with hotels and casinos.

Contents

Characteristics

Layout

Cloud City consisted of 392 levels, in addition to a top-side surface-level concourse. The level-arrangements were as follows:

  • Level 1-50: Luxury hotels and casinos which made the city famous throughout parts of the Outer Rim.
  • Level 51-100: Upscale housing areas.
  • Level 101-120: Administrative offices.
  • Level 121-160: Privately owned industrial areas with an infamous reputation, known as Port Town.
  • Level 161-220: General housing of the facility's workers.
  • Level 221-280: Factories.
  • Level 281-370: Gas refineries and miners' quarters.
  • Level 371-392: Contained the 36,000 repulsorlift engines and tractor beam generators that kept the city afloat and in position.
Cloud City schematics.

The main saucer-shaped city structure was 16.2 kilometers in diameter, and 17.3 kilometers tall. Some of the nearby floating settlements, like the Vapor Room, and industrial platforms were also considered part of the city.[2]

Government

Cloud City was nominally controlled in all aspects by the Baron Administrator, though the bureaucracy and administration was controlled by the city's business leaders, known as the Exex, who did not consider themselves subordinate to the Baron Administrator. Furthermore, the Parliament of Guilds was a distinct faction which, by ancient custom, controlled the juries in all the city's courts.[3]

Population

The last official census placed Cloud City's population at 5,427,080 (not counting droids)[4]. As Bespin's total population was estimated at 6 million, the city was by far the dominant settlement on Bespin.

History

Cloud City was commissioned and built by Ecclessis Figg, with the aid of Ugnaught labor and contracted employees from the Incom Corporation, around 400 BBY.[4][1]

Some of Cloud City's high-rise buildings.

During the Clone Wars, the Confederacy of Independent Systems launched an invasion force of battle droids to attack the Tibanna gas which was providing energy for Republic warships. Jedi Master Glynn-Beti and groups of clone troopers along with some Jedi Starfighters and LAAT gunships defended Bespin from the invasion force.

Cloud City became overrun by battle droids, super battle droids, and droidekas. Vulture Droids and Droid Gunships ran the skies, destroying many Jedi Starfighters and gunships. The Republic Army managed to save some civilians and take them to a Star Destroyer and escape, but the Confederacy was able to capture the planet, if only for a time.

Months after the Clone Wars, the Empire attempted to trade Nazren slaves to Darga the Hutt in exchange for large shipments of Tibanna gas during Cloud City's annual citywide sabacc tournament. The slaves were freed by agents of Bail Organa in Z-95 Headhunters.[5]

Around 2 BBY, Galen Marek came to Cloud City in search of Senator Garm Bel Iblis, whom Senator Bail Prestor Organa had sent Marek to find in order to start a Rebel Alliance against the Galactic Empire. After fighting a Gungan bounty hunter named Kleef and fighting his way through gangsters, Marek finally reached the mob boss, a Mandalorian bounty hunter named Chop'aa Notimo. After destroying Chop'aa's Basilisk war droid, he finished the hunter off in close-quarters combat, and rescued the Senator. Talks of a Rebel Alliance soon began, and a Treaty was established on Corellia, founding the Alliance to Restore the Republic.

The city's economy was centered on Tibanna gas, which was crucial for the production of weapons and hyperdrives. At the time of the Battle of Hoth, Cloud City was run by Baron Administrator Lando Calrissian, who had won administration of the city from Baron Administrator Dominic Raynor in a Sabacc tournament. During this period, Cloud City was relatively isolated and considered to be relatively unimportant by the extraplanetary authorities.

The Millennium Falcon lands at Platform 327 on Cloud City.

In the wake of the Battle of Hoth, Han Solo and Princess Leia Organa arrived in Cloud City, seeking refuge and repairs for their hyperdrive, with Solo confident that Calrissian would provide assistance. Unbeknownst to Solo, Calrissian made a deal with the Imperial leader Darth Vader to ensure the colony's continued economic autonomy. He promised to aid the Empire in taking his old friend prisoner, in order to lure the Rebel commander Luke Skywalker to the city in a rescue effort.[6]

When it was clear Vader did not intend to keep his end of the bargain, Calrissian betrayed him and ordered his citizens to flee. However, Solo ended up being frozen in carbonite and taken away by the bounty hunter Boba Fett. Calrissian escaped with Leia Organa and Chewbacca in the Millennium Falcon, while Skywalker and Vader dueled in the depths of the city, with fateful consequences for the galaxy.[6]

Residents celebrate the Rebel victory at the Battle of Endor.

The Empire garrisoned Cloud City, putting down an attempted coup staged by the Rebellion. Right after the Battle of Endor, the Imperial forces present on Bespin were defeated by a more substantial Rebel force,[7] thanks to the intel provided by Tian Chyler, a defector from the Imperial Security Bureau.[8][9]

After the rise of the New Republic, Cloud City rose out of obscurity and became a major exporter of Tibanna Gas for the Republic. However, Bespin lay relatively close to what remained of the Empire, and changed hands more than once over the subsequent decades. Cloud City had been reoccupied by the Empire by the time of Grand Admiral Thrawn's campaign in 9 ABY, and during the Empire Reborn crisis, the city was once again overrun by Imperial forces, now aided by the Reborn and the private army of Nar Shaddaa garbage hauler Reelo Baruk. Kyle Katarn and Lando Calrissian traveled to Cloud City to help the locals destroy the token garrison and their sympathizers, and were met with total success. The action on Cloud City was a turning point in the crisis, as Katarn learned from Tavion Axmis on her surrender that his partner had not been killed by her, changing the nature of his personal quest and perhaps averting a falling out between the powerful Jedi and the New Republic.[10]

During the Dark Nest Crisis, Bespin was troubled by the appearance of Tibanna tappers, siphoning gas from floating refineries such as BesGas Three to sell elsewhere. Because of this, Cloud City's profits dropped by at least ten percent. Fortunately, the Jedi made an effort to stop the Tibanna tappers.[11]

Darth Krayt's Galactic Empire restricted the sale of tibanna to non-government entites, which resulted in many smaller operations moving out of the Cloud City. As a result, it became a darker and more dangerous place. The Baron administrator Ormo Haddon had moved the business and entertaining areas to the central locations of the city, leaving the outskirts abandoned and completely lawless.[12]

Behind the scenes

Concept art by Ralph McQuarrie.

Cloud City may have been inspired by a similar city seen in the episode of the original Star Trek television series entitled "The Cloud Minders", and/or similar concepts explored in other previous science-fiction works.

In the early rough draft of Star Wars written in 1974, a city on Alderaan, which is set as a giant gas planet and the capital of the New Galactic Empire at that time, resembles the Cloud City of Bespin in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. When McQuarrie began conceptual work for the second draft, he designed the Imperial capital on Alderaan. The art he provided was the inspiration for the look of Cloud City, differing only in minor respects from the city as seen in Episode V.

Appearances

Non-canon appearances

Cloud City cutaway.

Sources

External links

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Geonosis and the Outer Rim Worlds
  2. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (novel)
  3. The Illustrated Star Wars Universe
  4. 4.0 4.1 Galaxy Guide 2: Yavin and Bespin
  5.  The Queen of Air and Darkness on Wizards.com (article)
  6. 6.0 6.1 Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
  7. Star Wars: Battlefront
  8.  Chyler in the Databank
  9.  Willow Hood in the Databank
  10. Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
  11. Dark Nest II: The Unseen Queen
  12. Legacy Era Campaign Guide


This article uses material from the "Cloud City" article on the Starwars wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

Star Wars Fanon

Up to date as of February 04, 2010

The Star Wars wiki of fan invention.

Cloud City and the BesGas Three station.

Cloud City was a covert mining colony on the planet Bespin. It received its name from the fact that it floated high above the actual planet—an uninhabitable gas giant. The city's only export was Tibanna gas.

During the Black Fleet Crisis, Bespin was troubled by the appearance of space pirates (funded by the Sith Order of Decreto siphoning gas from floating refineries such as BesGas Three to sell elsewhere. Because of this, Cloud City's profits dropped by at least ten percent. Eventually the Jedi stopped the Space pirates but did not discover the Order's involvment.

It was later conquered by the Sith during the Sith Crusade and even later claimed by Darth Wyyrlok as part of his domain during the Successors War.

It was the sight of the Battle of Bespin betwwen Darth Wyyrlok and Darth Proditor.

Layout

Some of Cloud City's high-rise buildings.

Cloud City consisted of 392 levels, in addition to a top-side surface-level concourse. The level-arrangements were as follows:

  • Level 1-50: Luxury hotels and casinos which made the city famous throughout parts of the Outer Rim.
  • Level 51-100: Upscale housing areas.
  • Level 101-120: Administrative offices.
  • Level 121-160: Port Town, an area which held an infamous reputation.
  • Level 161-220: General housing of the facility's workers.
  • Level 221-280: Factories.
  • Level 281-370: Gas refineries and miners' quarters.
  • Level 371-392: Contained the 36,000 repulsorlift engines and tractor beam generators that kept the city afloat and in position.

Population

The last official counting placed Cloud City's population at 5,427,080 (not counting droids). With Bespin's total population somewhere around 6 million, this made the city the decidedly largest of all colonies on Bespin.


This article uses material from the "Cloud City" article on the Star Wars Fanon wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.







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