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The ominous underlevels of Coruscant.
"…the underworld is never traveled alone."
Pollux Hax

The Coruscant Underworld, Coruscant Underground, Lower Coruscant, or more properly, the Coruscant Underlevels, was the lowest region of the city-dominated, galactic-capital world of Coruscant, laid with a mixture of ancient and forgotten ruins from the planet's prehistory along with modern-looking, crime-ridden venues and clubs.

Different regions and levels ranged from the merely seedy (such as the Uscru Entertainment District), progressively worsening as one descended, ending in truly hellish reaches of stygian darkness populated solely by hypertrophied vermin and zombie-like devolved humanoids. The Underlevel's streets were riddled with thugs and the walls and streets were home to all manner of strange creatures.

Most of the Underlevels rested more than a kilometer below the urban surface and city platforms. It was beneath some of the greatest skyscrapers in the Galaxy and other closely-spaced spectacular buildings of Coruscant where few rays of light filtered through to the gloomy section known as the Underworld.

Contents

Introduction

Lying hundreds of stories bellow the skyscraper pinnacles, Coruscant's urban canyon floors never see the light of day. A realm of artificial illumination, the lower levels of the galaxy's largest city are the only affordable areas for many of the planet's citizens. Rumbling with machines that serve the elite above, its streets haunted by exploiters and thugs, and its walls riddles with vermin, Coruscant's underworld toughens the strong and consumes the weak. Coruscant's underlevels harbor a larger population than do many entire star sectors, leaving millions beyond the protection of Coruscant's security force. Local neighborhoods may fall to the mercy of hired thugs and extortionists. But the toughest faces sometimes belong to vigilantes, who choose to defend the people on their own turf from criminals.

History

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Pre-Republic

Very little is known of the Coruscant underlevels in the Pre-Republic era. In 100,000 BBY, the lowest fifty levels of the planetwide ecumenopolis had been fully built over the entire surface. During this period, all native non-sentient species presumably became extinct with the exception of the Thrantcill (which began to evolve with the new city) and the Hawk-bat (which stayed the same). Around that time, the big-brained Columi visited the world and dismissed Coruscant as a primitive failure despite the presence of the planetwide city.

Over the following millennia, the lower levels became the domain of criminals and vagrants. In 95,000 BBY, the bottom fifty levels that made up the underworld last saw sunlight as they were buried under levels of duracrete and buildings. Several mutant species developed around this period including the humanoid Cthon and the corridor ghouls.

Old Republic

In the formation of the Galactic Republic in 25,053 BBY, life in the underlevels was left unchanged by the new galactic government. Except that its Sentient species were diverse along with the rest of the urban world that had become a galactic capital forever. "Whoever controls Coruscant, controls the galaxy" was coined 53 years later, however this term did little to nothing to purify the Coruscant Underworld, since it would continue, mainly due to the obstructions of patrolling the surface world. Millennia after millennia during the Old Republic era the undercity stayed the same.

During the Great Galactic War, food shortages caused riots in the underlevels.[1]

During the waning days of the Galactic Republic period, while the wealth and marvel of Coruscant gleamed on its exterior level, the Underworld below degenerated even further, since the Republic was in decline. It served as a refuge for scum, petty crooks, as well as drug dealers, the poor gone bad, and other outlaws. Even the highest of the underlevels fell into ruin and disrepair, as the Order of the Sith Lords were rising to take the place of the Republic. Seedy nightclubs, overlooked gambling corners, and trashy cantinas were actually areas of some of the higher sections of these run-down nether levels. One place as dangerous as it was popular in the Underlevels was the Uscru Entertainment District with such hangouts as the Outlander Club and the Snapping Septoid.

The once-famous criminal organization called Black Sun had many allies working in the Coruscant Underworld including none other than District Mayor Acros-Krik.

The lowest levels of the Underworld had such an unbelievable crime rate that many areas were locked down by order of the government. These poor communities of desperate beggars and violent people were isolated from the rest of society by enormous, impenetrable blast doors.

Queen Padmé Amidala of Naboo and her head of security, Captain Panaka, got to see the Underworld firsthand when she was taken hostage by mercenaries during her visit to Coruscant. Panaka was given access to one of the locked-down communities where the Queen had been taken by holding the door-operator, an intellectual government agent, at gunpoint. Once rescuing Queen Amidala and killing much scum and hostiles alike, Panaka re-opened the verbally-accessible blast doors by giving the passcode phrase "Coruscant has lovely sunsets".

Garbage was compressed into thick blocks and stored in the deeper levels of the Underworld. Much machinery that satisfied the needs to the well-to-do surface-dwellers, were also kept in the depths of the Underlevels and so there was a constant sense of motion and unrest. Artificial lighting barely brightened the dark, sorrowful levels. The Underlevels were home to various mutant species including the Cthon, Coruscanti ogre, Duracrete slugs, Mutant Rats, Shadow barnacles, taozin, and Granite slugs, which often posed a threat to sentient beings.

Quinlan Vos is tested by Mace Windu in the bowels of Coruscant.

Lower-class immigrants who came to Coruscant, expecting to be living in the prosperity of the "surface life", were all gradually sunken into the subterranean realms. Self-made neighborhood lookouts would often gain some small territory over their group of companions and lessers (if lower ranks could at all be possible), thus occasionally creating a tight-knit and durable community who might have even withstood hoodlum fights and minor attacks. Usually though, once these vigilantes acquired weapons to protect their turf or began engaging in violence, even if in self-defense, there was always a great chance their strengthening community would collapse to eventual criminal influences.

In 27 BBY Ashaar Khorda along with his associates attempted to euthanize the Coruscant Underworld, along with the entire planet itself with the Infant of Shaa. The destruction of the galactic capital was hoped to be followed by the destruction of the Galactic Republic. However, their attempts to use the infant were thwarted by Zam Wesell, Jango Fett and Yarael Poof. This resulted in the deaths of Ashaar, all his comrades and Yarael.

Imperial Era

Luke Skywalker fighting a dianoga in the sewers below Xizor's Palace.

Throughout the Imperial reign of the galaxy that began in 19 BBY, the Lowerworld only worsened, leaving even more filth to be cleaned during the time of the New Republic. As a result of all space traffic to Coruscant being tightly controlled by the Empire and the harsh cruelty of the ruling Imperials, many criminals fled to the underworld. They ranged from bureaucrats who had made serious mistakes in their work to diplomats from worlds punished by the Empire to even clumsy personal servants and slaves from the Imperial Palace. Thus, an entirely shadowy culture developed in the lower levels since the fugitives were forced to remain there for all their lives.

These fugitives survived by revamping some of the abandoned underbasement rooms, tapping into electrical conduits and stealing energy from the city world's power grid. These survived on scraps and the fungus found in these lower levels.

Han Solo was once forced to descend to the very planetary surface itself, an experience he found so harrowing he vowed never to do it again, making the same vow for the surface of Nar Shaddaa.

Also, at some time prior to the Battle of Endor, the Emperor had the Super Star Destroyer Lusankya constructed and hidden beneath the lower levels of the planetwide city. The Lusankya would become the private prison and secret headquarters of the Director of Imperial Intelligence Ysanne Isard who would use it to imprison key Rebel Alliance prisoners.

New Republic

The Undercity in 11 ABY.

Even after the capture of Coruscant from the Empire by the more benevolent New Republic in 6 ABY, life in the lower levels continued as it had for millennia. After one of her captives Corran Horn escaped, Ysanne Isard had the crew of the Lusankya break the immense vessel free of the planet.

While leaving Coruscant, the Lusankya caused devastation over 100 square miles (259 km²) of the planet surface, killing millions instantly and presumably causing damage to a large area of the lower levels. The Lusankya blasted its way through the two planetary shield levels, pausing to exchange fire with an orbiting Golan defense platform before jettisoning the lift cradle and departing the Coruscant system.

Worst was to come in 10 ABY when the Imperial Inner Circle launched an attack on Coruscant and other key worlds, having being encouraged by Grand Admiral Thrawn's devastating campaign throughout the New Republic. The combined Imperial armada began bombarding Coruscant's energy shield from orbit, causing extensive damage to the heavily populated cityscape below, turning much of the planet into a battlefield and forcing Chief of State Mon Mothma to order a general evacuation of the entire population of the capital.

However, after Coruscant had been retaken, the Council decided that it was time to elect a new Galactic Emperor. The various admirals, generals, Moffs, Inquisitorius, COMPNOR and Imperial Security Bureau officials disagreed, and an armed conflict (the "Imperial Civil War") soon broke out amongst the various Imperial factions on Coruscant. The city planet was devastated during the conflict with much of the planetwide metropolis devastated by the fighting and the deaths of billions.

The lower levels would remain untouched by the rebuilding program executed by the New Republic following the recapture of the galactic capital.

After Palpatine's final death in 11 ABY at the Battle of Onderon, the New Republic retook the planet and used EVS Construction Droids to clear the rubble and create new gleaming, skyscrapers. However, much of Coruscant's population had fled as result of the fighting and the planet's population during the New Republic era may have been lower. Thus, many of New Republic City's midlevel apartments were unoccupied but still serviceable. However, the shadowy lower levels remained unaffected by the reconstruction program and would still remain the haunt of various crime syndicates, most notably the Lost Ones. Many still struggled to survive in the lower forty or fifty levels.

In 22 ABY, the Second Imperium sent three Nightsisters named Tamith Kai, Garowyn and Vilas to infiltrate the lower levels and recruit more followers for their cause including the street gang Lost Ones and Zekk. Those discovered to be Force-sensitive became Dark Jedi while others became Stormtroopers and TIE pilots.

Yuuzhan'tar

The Underworld persisted through the years of Yuuzhan Vong domination, but gained some new inhabitants. When the Yuuzhan Vong conquered and vongformed Coruscant into Yuuzhan'tar in 27 ABY, many Coruscanti fled into the Underworld to escape the Yuuzhan Vong. It was during this event the Yuuzhan Vong Empire was formed, since they had claimed the galactic capital. Soon, however, the tunnels became the home of the outcasts of the Yuuzhan Vong—the Shamed Ones. Fleeing torment and persecution, many Shamed Ones fled to the Underworld to find honor of their own. It was also down here that Nom Anor took the guise of Yu'shaa, and began molding the Jeedai heresy into a true threat to the Elite.

The lower levels were also the domain of various life forms brought in by the Yuuzhan Vong from their home galaxy. In 29 ABY Coruscant was liberated by the Galactic Alliance from Yuuzhan Vong occcupation, but Denon was the temporary capital of the Galaxy, in which during that time, the surface world was been reconstructed by the Reconstruction Authority, but the bowls remained largely untouched. Following the planet's recapitalisation from Denon by the Galactic Alliance in 30 ABY and the continuation of the Reconstruction Authority, it was yet to be seen if the underworld would be cleaned up and beautified.

Legacy Era

Between 30 ABY to 40 ABY, the Coruscant Underlevels were left untouched by the new galactic government due to the reconstruction efforts in the greater galaxy following the end of the Yuuzhan Vong War in 29 ABY. As late as 40 ABY, the underlevels were still overrun with exotic wildlife introduced by the Yuuzhan Vong including wild yorik coral and criminals who had survived the Fall of Coruscant. This was due to the Galactic Alliance being preoccupied with the chaos of the Second Galactic Civil War from 40 ABY to 41 ABY.

By the time the Fel Empire took control of Coruscant in 130 ABY, the exotic Yuuzhan Vong wildlife had been cleaned up and security had finally been brought down to the Underlevels after many millennia of lawlessness and instability.

The Underlevels still existed as late as 137 ABY with one notable resident being the Hutt crimelady Queen Jool who owned Rik's Cantina. This Cantina appeared to be on the lowest level of the lowest fifty levels of Coruscant.

Known non-sentient species

Appearances

Sources

Notes and references

  1. Timeline 2: The Mandalorian Blockade is Broken

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

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