- "Master Jedi, our search is about to take us to a whole new level."
- ―Captain Dyne, following Darth Sidious' trail to 500 Republica
500 Republica was the most exclusive residential tower on Coruscant. A building in the Ambassadorial Sector of Galactic City's Senate District, it was home to some of the most wealthy and famous individuals in the Galactic Republic and Galactic Empire. One of the tallest buildings on Coruscant, 500 Republica was a mountainous structure holding more technology and people than some entire worlds. From the square kilometers of machinery at its base that kept it running, to the spire at its pinnacle above the clouds, 500 Republica featured fifty-three skydocks, hundreds of private turbolifts, a security staff the size of a small army, and a large number of security armaments including plasma weapons in its crown, all within a tower over a thousand stories tall.
Celebrities, businessmen, and Senators of the most privileged classes made their homes in 500 Republica. Among its inhabitants were Jheramahd Greyshade, Simon Greyshade, Padmé Amidala, Bail Prestor Organa, Raith Sienar, and Jenna Zan Arbor. Palpatine kept his residence at 500 Republica for over a decade, during his time as Senator, Supreme Chancellor, and Galactic Emperor. It was there that he met with his Sith apprentice Darth Maul, convinced then-Queen Amidala to call for a Vote of No Confidence in Finis Valorum, and kept a hidden command center in the building's depths during the Clone Wars. Valorum spoke with Bail Organa about opposing Palpatine's moves towards tyranny in Organa's 500 Republica residence.
Republic Intelligence and the Jedi tracked Palpatine's alter ego, Darth Sidious, to the building's basement in 19 BBY, at the end of the Clone Wars. While the Jedi were distracted by the battle breaking out above the planet, Captain Dyne of Intelligence located Sidious' lair, but he and his team were killed. During the battle, the upper part of the building was attacked by Separatist General Grievous as part of an ultimately successful strike to kidnap Palpatine.
500 Republica was located in the Ambassadorial Sector of Coruscant, a prestigious area of the Senate District, and was considered to be the crowning jewel of both. A mountainous structure over a thousand stories high, 500 Republica was taller than any of its neighbors and one of Coruscant's tallest buildings, rising above the clouds in an organically stepped fashion, and topped with a ring of penthouses and a narrow spire at its apex. Plasma weapons were concealed in the crown of the building. The "steps" that made up 500 Republica could mass as much as whole buildings in the Senate District, and were topped in a variety of ways, some flat and some rounded; several atria decorated the building as well. The massive structure was supported by the towers around it, allowing it to reach the size it had. Its foundations covered square kilometers. The building was large enough that weather patterns formed around its upper reaches.
500 Republica contained more technology than many worlds in the Outer Rim. Hundreds of private turbolifts ran the height of the building, from the very top penthouses down to the deepest sublevels, transporting the building's residents directly to their doors. These lifts could be the size of small rooms. Other sets of turbolifts were used to transport waste and supplies. The building was fitted with fifty-three skydocks, large enough to accommodate everything from private vessels to Coruscant's largest air taxis. Landing instructions for arriving vehicles were routed through the tower's systems. Upon arrival, residents entered a small reception room, decorated in azurite, from which they could take a turbolift to their apartment. Protocol droids waited on hand to take the cloaks or coats of the arriving individuals. A maglev train line stopped at 500 Republica as well. Palpatine's apartment had a secret turbolift running down to a mid-level skydock, used in case of an evacuation. A repulsorlift speeder running through a deep network of tunnels linked 500 Republica, as well as a number of other important government locations, with the Chancellor's hardened bunker in the Sah'c District. The building's lowest east and west skydocks, located at the bottom of Coruscant's urban canyons, connected by tunnel to the level-one sub-basement. A series of tunnels linked the sub-basements of 500 Republica with the LiMerge Power building in the Works that the Sith used as their lair in the days of the late Republic. 500 Republica's lobby opened out, via a massive pair of transparisteel doors, onto a plaza in front of the building.
Below the lowest levels lay 500 Republica's sub-basements. The level-one sub-basement lay a hundred meters above the Coruscant Underground proper, and two hundred meters above the planet's bedrock. While many of Coruscant's larger buildings sat on top of older structures that they used for support, 500 Republica's foundations ran down to Coruscant's actual bedrock. Ferrocrete and durasteel made up the building's supports, and the rest of the sub-basement was filled with a plethora of machinery that supported, stabilized, climate controlled, secured, and provided water and power to the building above. A large staff of custodial and maintenance droids were kept on hand in these depths.
The lowest levels of 500 Republica were virtually unexplored. Deep underneath the building, below the level-one sub-basement, Darth Sidious kept a secret installation during the Clone Wars. A shaft fifty meters deep and four wide, covered by a hydraulic lift, provided access to the underground facility, created from a maintenance node of an ancient building that had once stood at that site. A large metal door leading from the node's corridors opened into a command center, filled with computers and holoprojectors for monitoring data that Sidious sought to keep an eye on.
- "As I've made abundantly plain to my advisers and protectors, I feel that my place is here, where I can best communicate with our commanders."
- ―Chancellor Palpatine, from his 500 Republica apartment
500 Republica was the most exclusive address on Coruscant. It was home to thousands of Coruscant's wealthiest individuals, from Senators to celebrities to shipping and media barons. It held more people than some planets. From the very top, the most privileged of individuals could literally look down on Coruscant. 500 Republica became a symbol for the disenfranchised classes of the galaxy of the excess of Coruscant and the Galactic Senate. 500 Republica had its own security staff, the size of a small army, and the building was protected by many discreet security armaments.
As Senator, Supreme Chancellor, and Galactic Emperor, Palpatine kept his quarters in 500 Republica. Palpatine's senatorial apartment was located high in the building. The walls and floor were decorated in red, and the Senator filled every spot he could with works of art, mostly from the galaxy beyond Naboo, a sign of the Senator's worldly view—as well as a statue of Sistros that concealed the Sith Lord's lightsaber. It was a modest dwelling, compared with those of other Senators. Palpatine allowed few outsiders into his home, and it remained the domain of his most trusted confidants. The Senator used his apartment to meet with his Sith apprentice as well. As Chancellor, Palpatine owned a penthouse suite at the top of 500 Republica; though it was publicly known that Palpatine lived in the building, the exact location of his quarters was a well-kept secret. Red Guards kept watch outside. Like his senatorial home, Palpatine's apartment as Chancellor was decorated with unique statuary and holoart. As Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Sidious, he also had his command center in the depths of 500 Republica, which he staffed with Geonosian guards and assassin droids.
500 Republica apartments were extremely difficult to get. Many wrangled to get one, resorting to everything up to bribery, and lifelong feuds had started over the apartments there. Besides Palpatine, several other Senators were able to get apartments in 500 Republica. Jheramahd Greyshade, Senator of the Commonality, kept a dwelling in the building. After he was killed by an assassin, his position and home were given to his cousin Simon Greyshade. Bail Organa of Alderaan had a residence of his own in the building, as did Senator Orn Free Taa of Ryloth. Padmé Amidala kept an apartment there, as well, in her tenure as Senator for Naboo. So, too, did Raith Sienar, shipbuilding magnate of Republic Sienar Systems. Under the Empire, Imperial Senators, bureaucrats, and even Inquisitors jockeyed for apartments in 500 Republica. Grand Inquisitor Malorum was placed on the waiting list for one shortly after the rise of the Empire. The scientist Jenna Zan Arbor negotiated for an apartment on a high floor as part of her financial compensation for giving her services to Darth Vader. Zan Arbor's apartment took up an entire floor, and was inhabited by herself and her assistant Linna Naltree.
500 Republica was built centuries before the rise of the Galactic Empire. From its beginning, it was a majestic building, constructed in the classical style. Republica grew over the years, with terraces and towers and roofs being built bit by bit on top of the old structure. Surrounding towers buttressed the growing edifice, allowing it to rise above all its neighboring buildings, until eventually it topped out in a spire far up in the clouds of Coruscant.
Senator Palpatine's dealingsEdit
Senator Palpatine of Naboo took up residence in the building in 46 BBY. In 34 BBY, he violated his usual strict standards of privacy to host an informal gathering of politicians, including Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum, at which he convinced Valorum to take military action against the rebellious world of Yinchorr. In 32.5 BBY, Palpatine spoke with the newly-elected Queen of Naboo, Padmé Amidala, by holocomm. Amidala informed him of the death of her predecessor, Ars Veruna, under mysterious circumstances, and spoke to Palpatine about providing him additional security; they then discussed the upcoming vote on the taxation of the Republic's Free Trade Zones, on which Palpatine promised to vote in the interests of Naboo and the Republic. The taxation vote passed, but the resulting uproar led the Trade Federation to blockade, and eventually invade Naboo under the orders of Palpatine's alter ego Darth Sidious. When Sidious learned Amidala had escaped, he met with his apprentice Darth Maul at 500 Republica, on his own balcony. Sidious ordered Maul to track down Amidala and kill her Jedi protectors, then bring her back to Naboo.
Maul failed, and soon Amidala and her retinue arrived on Coruscant to speak to the Galactic Senate about the invasion. The Naboo party and Palpatine retired to Palpatine's 500 Republica apartment to prepare for the Senate hearing. There, Palpatine expounded on the corruption of the Republic and inefficacy of Chancellor Valorum to Amidala, warning her that the Senate might not hear her plea. Palpatine counseled that she could call for a Vote of No Confidence in Valorum, paving the way for the election of a stronger Chancellor who would listen to her; the only other way, he said, would be the slow process of the courts. Amidala went before the Senate later, but Palpatine's warning had proven true; the Senate wanted to call a committee to look into the matter, and Amidala, angry that her people would continue dying while they deliberated, called for the Vote of No Confidence in Chancellor Valorum. At the same time, Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Plagueis came to Palpatine's apartment in search of Anakin Skywalker, a young boy strong in the Force, but learned that Skywalker had left for the Jedi Temple to be submitted for training. While the Senate voted in the wake of her motion, Amidala returned to 500 Republica. There, her traveling companion Jar Jar Binks told her how his people, the Gungans, had an army of their own that they could use to fight off the invaders. When Palpatine returned with the news that he was in the running for the Chancellery, Amidala decided to wait no longer and return to Naboo to fight the Federation herself. With the help of the Gungans, the Naboo were able to drive the Federation off, and Palpatine won the election, becoming Supreme Chancellor.
Intrigues and assassinationsEdit
In 24 BBY, Senator Jheramahd Greyshade was killed by the assassin Tsian in his apartment in 500 Republica. The body was thrown off the building from his quarters, causing a massive and fatal pile-up in the traffic outside the building, and launching an investigation by the Senate Guard. Jheramahd Greyshade's constituency, the Commonality, appointed his cousin Simon Greyshade to fill in the late Senator's position. Simon Greyshade was given Jheramahd's apartment as well, and to prevent any assassination attempts on him, two Jedi—Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker—were appointed to guard the Senator. That night, Greyshade spoke with Venco Autem, Tsian's employer, who was now threatening Greyshade to vote the way Autem wanted him to on a critical Financial Reform Act. Greyshade, however, would not comply. As Greyshade left his office to speak with the Jedi, the apartment's protocol droid suddenly revealed a set of concealed blasters and opened fire on the Senator. The Jedi moved to defend him, and even with a second assassin droid coming in through the window, they were able to stop the attack. The Jedi were able to discover that the droids were under Tsian's control, and herself in Autem's employ, and the plot against Greyshade was foiled. When Padmé Amidala was appointed Senator in Palpatine's old position, the Chancellor gave her exclusive use of a 500 Republica guest suite, though Amidala kept her primary quarters in a separate building. Years later, when Anakin Skywalker became a Jedi Knight, he visited Amidala in her 500 Republica apartment to give her his Padawan braid.
Within the next three years, the state of the galaxy changed as the Clone Wars broke out across the Republic. In 21 BBY, Finis Valorum returned from his two years of seclusion to visit Bail Organa at his apartment in 500 Republica. Valorum was concerned at how much power Palpatine had been gathering, and he believed that the Supreme Chancellor was shaping himself into a tyrant. Valorum believed Palpatine to be behind several assassinations of his opponents, even an assassination attempt on Organa himself. The former Chancellor warned Organa that Palpatine was going to push a security act through the Senate, a resolution that Organa had opposed for its removal of the Republic's freedoms. Organa vowed to act against it, and asked Valorum to stay; Valorum intended to leave Coruscant as soon as possible, however, and he left Organa's residence. Unknown to either man, Palpatine had had their conversation monitored through a cleaning droid. Only days later, Valorum was killed while leaving Coruscant, by a bomb detonated on his transport. His death gave the Senate its push to pass the security act. Security for Palpatine's suite was heightened as the war escalated. A pair of LAAT gunships and squad of patrol skimmers hovered outside the Chancellor's apartment window, and Palpatine was put through a series of familiarization drills in case an evacuation was needed.
The pursuit of SidiousEdit
In 19 BBY, near the end of the Clone Wars, an investigation was launched into the identity of Darth Sidious. Upon finding Sidious' hideout in the sector of Coruscant known as the Works, a team consisting of Jedi Masters Mace Windu and Shaak Ti, Captain Dyne of Republic Intelligence, and ARC commander Valiant and his clone troopers, were able to track Sidious' path from the building by his footprints. The trail led them through a system of tunnels beneath Coruscant's urban surface, eventually arriving in the sub-basements of 500 Republica. The investigation was halted by 500 Republica's security, who held the team up for hours as they were cleared, but eventually they were allowed in. However, Sidious' trail disappeared in the middle of an unremarkable ferrocrete floor, and numerous other footprints covering the floor masked where it might have picked up again. Dyne wanted to requisition more probe droids to help scan for the Sith Lord's whereabouts and begin scans of the walls and partitions of the basement, a process he estimated would take weeks. Sidious had been alerted to their investigation, however, and seeking a distraction, he had ordered the Separatist General Grievous to attack Coruscant. Dyne and the Jedi were interrupted by the first shocks of 500 Republica shaking as destroyed ships plummeted to the ground, only to be joined moments later by the building's own plasma weapons opening fire. Grievous had jammed communications, and with no way to learn what was going on other than the danger they sensed in the Force, Windu and Ti took half of Dyne's soldiers and left the building through one of its skydock tunnels. Outside, they could see that the planet was under attack, and Ti was dispatched to find Palpatine while Windu put the clones on crowd control and left to get backup.
Meanwhile, having learned of the attack, Dyne briefly considered leaving to help in the battle, but was convinced by Valiant to remain and continue the search. As he waited for the additional droids to arrive, Dyne began a relatively superficial scan of the basement with what he had on hand. Realizing that transmissions on regular frequencies were jammed, the intelligence officer set the droids to search for more unusual frequencies; they found one, emanating from the very spot Sidious' trail had disappeared. The droids realized that embedded in the floor was a hydraulic turbolift, and they were able to discover it was controlled by audio signals. After having the shaft of the turbolift scanned to get an idea of its depth, Dyne tried to contact Windu, but with communications still down, he and Valiant made the decision to continue without the Jedi. The team loaded themselves onto the platform, the droids activated it, and they descended into the depths of 500 Republica. In the dark corridors below, the team discovered a large metal doorway, behind which, the probe droids said, was one organic and several droids. The team moved to advance on the door, but upon hearing someone speaking Geonosian, they turned around to find a pair of Geonosian guards aiming at them with sonic blasters. The Geonosians opened fire instantly, and their blasts sent Valiant and his soldiers' mangled bodies flying into the door. Dyne slammed into a wall, his insides liquefied. As he lay there, the door opened and Sidious stepped through, observing the scene. In his dying moment, Dyne recognized him as Palpatine.
The pursuit of PalpatineEdit
- "Alert Homeworld Security that General Grievous has broken through the perimeter."
- ―Shaak Ti, to Armand Isard
Meanwhile, Shaak Ti returned to 500 Republica with fellow Jedi Stass Allie, Roron Corobb, and Foul Moudama, this time to Palpatine's suite. They were at first denied access by Palpatine's Red Guards, but when Palpatine completed his trip from the basement, the guards let the Jedi in just short of Ti forcing her way through. Palpatine, along with his advisor Sate Pestage and Director of Republic Intelligence Armand Isard, met with the Jedi inside. The Chancellor refused to evacuate to a secure bunker, insisting that he set an example by not hiding away, though Isard, Pestage, and even the captain of Palpatine's guards agreed with the Jedi that he needed to leave. Sensing a perturbation in the Force, Ti and Allie tackled Palpatine to the ground as the gunships outside the suite's window exploded, and a Separatist craft carrying Grievous and a band of battle droids rose into view. Grievous blew open the window and, as the battle droids poured into the room, Allie and the Red Guards set up a defense while Ti hurried Palpatine deeper into the suite. The skimmers, meanwhile, had taken up the attack on Grievous' ship, and soon enough the general and his droids were forced to withdraw. As Isard alerted Homeworld Security that Grievous had broken through Coruscant's defensive perimeter, Palpatine had decided it was indeed time to evacuate. Grievous, however, quickly returned, bursting through the window. Palpatine stood his ground, facing down Grievous, but Ti pulled him back with the Force and the group ran, with a squad of clone troopers remaining in an attempt to hold back Grievous. Suspecting that the prepared escape routes had been compromised, Ti had the party hurry to one of Republica's private turbolifts, heading back down to the sub-basement.
Having defeated the troopers blocking him, Grievous ambushed the Chancellor's party as they were waiting for the turbolift to arrive. Corobb, an Ithorian, used his four throats to emit a powerful blast that tore up the hallway and drove Grievous back long enough for them to enter the lift. Grievous attempted to catch up with the turbolift, but the Chancellor's clone trooper escort fired a rocket through the lift's wall, blowing Grievous off the side of the building. At the bottom, Ti saw no sign of Dyne and Valiant, and the group made their way through the tunnel to the east skydock. They had not escaped the Separatist forces yet, though; Grievous was waiting with an army of B2 super battle droids outside. Corobb used his trick yet again, buying them the time they needed to escape. The Jedi decided that air vehicles would be too risky, and boarded a maglev train that would get them near the bunker. Grievous had been one step ahead of them, though, and he was able to capture Palpatine at the bunker. The Chancellor was ultimately freed by Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker. Dyne and Valiant were not heard from again, and Intelligence sent a second team to locate them with no success. The Jedi's suspicions, however, had been raised over what they had found in 500 Republica. Mace Windu wondered how Grievous had known to find Palpatine there, particularly as the location of the Chancellor's suite was kept secret. The Jedi came to suspect that Sidious was hiding in Palpatine's inner circle. All their suspicions on who it was, however, were incorrect, and when Palpatine at last revealed himself to be the Sith Lord, the Jedi were slaughtered. The night that Windu himself fought, and was eventually killed by, Palpatine, a bolt of lightning struck the spire of 500 Republica. With the Jedi gone, Palpatine declared the Republic to be a Galactic Empire, with himself as Emperor.
Rise of the EmpireEdit
With the creation of the Empire, Palpatine continued to keep his residence in 500 Republica. Competition remained fierce, with even those as highly placed as Grand Inquisitor Malorum having to go on a waiting list for a 500 Republica apartment. As part of her payment for helping Darth Vader develop a memory-erasing drug, the scientist Jenna Zan Arbor negotiated an apartment for herself. Former Jedi Ferus Olin intended to free Zan Arbor's assistant, Linna Naltree, and sent his friend Trever Flume to inspect the security of 500 Republica. Under the guise of delivering a package of flowers, Flume entered the lobby without notice, then decided to go beyond Olin's orders by breaking into Zan Arbor's apartment. While Flume inspected the rooms, examining Zan Arbor's data for any stray unencrypted bits, another visitor looking for Naltree arrived, the fugitive Jedi Ry-Gaul; the Jedi had received a message from Naltree via her husband that Zan Arbor intended to test her drug on her assistant first. Flume and Ry-Gaul decided that when Arbor returned in the evening, they would divert her vehicle to a dock on level 1010, where they would ambush her.
The two hid on the dock the rest of the afternoon, and Zan Arbor and Naltree returned at sunset. They intended to grab Naltree at the skydock's reception room, but sensing trouble, Ry-Gaul instead had them enter the turbolift while Zan Arbor was occupied with a protocol droid. As they escaped to the lift's roof, Darth Vader arrived and joined Zan Arbor on their way up. Vader harangued Zan Arbor on the speed of her research, wanting results faster. When Zan Arbor protested, the Sith Lord used the Force to push the turbolift back down, jarring it against the bottom of the shaft, then left. Ry-Gaul and Flume, taking advantage of the fact that Zan Arbor was off-balance, leapt into the lift. Zan Arbor pulled a small blaster and opened fire on Ry-Gaul, then attempted to shoot Naltree, who had dived to the floor. However, Naltree had withdrawn a syringe of the memory-erasing drug, and she plunged it into the scientist's ankle. As Zan Arbor felt her knowledge being erased bit by bit, the three others escorted her back up to her apartment, where they released her and left with her data. Vader later found her, and realizing she had lost the formula for the memory drug, broke apart the apartment's walls with the Force in his rage.
Behind the scenesEdit
500 Republica was first named in Inside the Worlds of Star Wars Episode I by Kristin Lund. It was identified with the building in which Palpatine's apartment in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace was located, and illustrated with a shot from the movie indicating which building this was—in the film, the shot of it precedes an interior shot of Palpatine's apartment, but the two are not explicitly connected. The image from The Phantom Menace and the description of Inside the Worlds have been the main inspiration for almost every portrayal of 500 Republica, including the comic series Star Wars: Republic: Honor and Duty, which bases its illustration of 500 Republica directly off the building from The Phantom Menace.
However, there are a handful of anomalous portrayals of the building. Star Wars: Republic 61: Dead Ends includes a shot of 500 Republica that is very different from the other version, more resembling Padmé Amidala's apartment—though not the same building, as Bail Organa occupies the penthouse in that comic, while Amidala occupies her building's penthouse, as seen in works such as Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. 500 Republica is consistently stated as a single building, but whether Dead Ends' tower is the same spire seen in other sources, with allowances made for artistic license, or whether it is meant to be a tower projecting from the rest of the building, is unknown. A different erroneous depiction occurs in The Official Star Wars Fact File 32. This describes 500 Republica as another building seen in The Phantom Menace, in the "air taxi" scene appearing only on the DVD version of the film. In this scene, Padmé Amidala and her entourage are shown flying through the skylanes of Coruscant to Palpatine's apartment. The scene ends with them approaching the building identified by the Fact File, but it is not shown that this is their destination.
The Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith novel mentions Padmé Amidala having an apartment in 500 Republica, in which Anakin Skywalker presents his Padawan braid to her. This is not, however, Amidala's apartment as seen in Attack of the Clones and the movie of Revenge of the Sith; the scene described in the Revenge of the Sith novel is seen in Star Wars: Clone Wars—with some differences—and the setting of it does not resemble Amidala's apartment in the films. Leland Chee has confirmed that Amidala's apartment building is separate from 500 Republica, and the fact of the two apartments was later put into print in The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 28.
- Star Wars: Darth Plagueis
- Cloak of Deception
- Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace / Novel / Junior novel / Comic (First appearance)
- Star Wars: Republic 46: Honor and Duty, Part 1
- Star Wars: Republic 47: Honor and Duty, Part 2
- Star Wars: Clone Wars – "Chapter 21"
- Republic Commando: True Colors (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Republic 61: Dead Ends
- Reversal of Fortune (Mentioned only)
- Labyrinth of Evil
- Star Wars: Clone Wars – "Chapter 23"
- Star Wars: Clone Wars – "Chapter 24"
- Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith novel
- The Last of the Jedi: Death on Naboo (Mentioned only)
- The Last of the Jedi: Against the Empire (Mentioned only)
- The Last of the Jedi: Master of Deception
- The Last of the Jedi: Reckoning
- Millennium Falcon
- Star Wars Episode I: The Visual Dictionary
- Inside the Worlds of Star Wars Episode I (First identified as 500 Republica)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 32 (COR11-12, Coruscant - Palpatine's Apartments)
- The New Essential Chronology
- Star Wars: Complete Locations
- Star Wars: The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 28
- Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide: Updated and Expanded
- The Essential Reader's Companion