The galaxy of the Star Wars is a massive one, with as many secrets as there are iconic planets and moons, not to mention the battle-stations capable of destroying them. From the bustling city-planet of Coruscant, the seat of the Republic’s political power for much of the franchise, to the harsh sands of the desert world of Tatooine and the snow-capped mountains of Hoth, the planets of Star Wars are characters in and of themselves. They completely immerse audiences in the story and provide backdrops for some of the most dramatic and intense moments ever put to screen.
The planets you’ll find on this list (in no particular order minus the number one spot) are my personal favorite planets from a wide range of Star Wars properties, including the nine films in the Skywalker Saga, the animated series, and video games. If you don’t see your favorite planet on the list, let me know in the comments. Without further ado, here are my top five planets from the Star Wars franchise. Strap yourself in co-pilot—we have a big galaxy to explore.
Noted for its cosmopolitan culture, the capital of the Galactic Republic, and later the Empire is one of the grandest planets to behold in the entire franchise. The galaxy we see in the original trilogy, the first three films in the series, is torn apart by war and tyranny. Most of the planets and moons we do visit are grimy and tired, bathed in drab colors of military gray. The prequel films went in a more fantastical direction, with glamorous planets filled with massive domes, tall spires, and the flaunting and trapping of wealth mostly absent in the original trilogy.
The city-planet of Coruscant is home to both the heart of the Republic and the most recognizable Jedi Temple among the Core Worlds. Coruscant is split into different levels, separating the wealthy from the crime-ridden streets of the under-levels. Its strategic location at the end of several major trading routes allowed Coruscant to grow and cultivate its power and influence, surpassing most of its neighboring planets and systems. Coruscant is the hub of galactic culture uniting millions of people from varying places in the galaxy. The planet thrives in fine arts, politics, and technology. For many Star Wars fans, myself included, Coruscant is the face of the prequel trilogy.
I’m grateful Coruscant wasn’t blown up by the First Order in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the first film in the sequel trilogy. That honor went to poor Hosnian Prime, though if J.J. Abrams had his way, Coruscant would be nothing more than space dust. It would have been a huge blow to the galaxy and to many Star Wars fans, so I’m glad a compromise was made and a whole new system destroyed instead.
Long live Coruscant!
If toxic gases are your thing, the planet of Bespin, the source of rare and expensive tibanna gas, might just be the planet you’re looking for. Bespin is an odd choice to include on a list of my top five favorite planets, until you realize it’s not only home to the completely man-made city-station of Cloud City but features two-hour sunsets as well, bathing the station-planet is soft hues of pink, gold, and orange.
Cloud City, located in Bespin’s breathable atmosphere called the Life Zone is occupied by millions of workers, tourists, and support staff. Baron Administrator Lando Calrissian, known for his expensive tastes and impeccable fashion, made Cloud City one of the hottest tourist attractions in the galaxy, home to famous casinos, luxury resorts, and sightseeing trips through the tibanna mines. Bespin is one of my favorite planets to visit in the Lego Star Wars: Skywalker Saga video game. The soft orangish hues of Bespin’s two moons bath Cloud City in intoxicating and relaxing colors. Just don’t forget to bring your safety equipment if you dare venture beneath the city’s protected levels.
Lothal is a planet located on the frontier of the Outer Rim. Known for its sprawling grassy plains and large rock formations, Lothal is seemingly a backwater world mainly covered in farmland and small mines. However, throughout the animated series Star Wars: Rebels, the Empire puts much strategic value in Lothal, investing in the planet’s cities and mines and building a strong military presence among the planet’s residents, who are so far removed from much of the action of the galaxy—initially.
Lothal is actually home to Doonium, a heavy metal used in the construction of starships, star destroyers, and the infamous Death Star. As more corporations backed by the Empire came to the planet to mine Doonium, the farms and mines once dotting the plains of Lothal turned into massive strip mines. The planet has lost much of its natural beauty thanks to Imperial occupation, but its importance in Rebels and home to Jedi Knight Ezra Bridger means Lothal has more than earned its spot on this list.
Have you heard of the tragedy of Alderaan? The planet of great beauty, nature, philosophy, culture, art, and cuisine once stood as a symbol of freedom, peace, and artistic expression. Alderaan was once a blue-green world enveloped by clouds and surrounded by snow-capped peaks of tall and majestic mountains. Now it is nothing, a memory slowly fading with time as those who once knew it pass on. The hopes, dreams, and goals of its billions of people, vanished in an instant of horrific tragedy. I love Alderaan because of what it meant for Princess Leia. I love Alderaan because it sheltered, encouraged, and loved Leia. It molded her into a Princess and General who would one day save the entire galaxy.
Without Alderaan, there would be no Rebellion, no hope, or at least—not the kind we knew. When I think about Alderaan, I’m filled with a great sense of sadness and loss. While it barely had any screen time in the franchise, Claudia Gray’s novel “Leia, Princess of Alderaan” gives a heartfelt and intimate look at the beautiful planet and the people who would inspire a galaxy to rise up and fight tyranny.
And now, dear co-pilot, we come to my favorite planet in the entire franchise, the one I’d retire to if I lived in the Star Wars galaxy: Naboo. A small, Mid Rim planet, Naboo is home to the Gungans who dwell in beautiful underwater cities beneath the surface. Above water, Naboo is the quintessential planet for arts, culture, and fashion. Every citizen is encouraged to explore their inner artist, with many notable citizens becoming painters, opera singers, authors, and scientists. It is the home of Queen Padmé Amidala, who united the indigenous Gungans and the humans who lived above the surface. Tall, regal domes cap exquisitely designed cities, like Theed, the capital city. Crystal clear rivers and lakes dot the green grassy plains outside the exquisitely designed cities.
Naboo is the epicenter of peace and creativity, and it will long hold its place in the hearts of many Star Wars fans, myself included.
Oh Naboo, how I long for thee.
What’s your favorite Star Wars planet? Let me know in the comments. For all things Star Wars and pop culture, check out my website. Stay nerdy!