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- "The Bank and the depositors of Aargau welcome you in the name of the sacred balance!"
- ―Aargau security captain
Aargau (pronounced /är-'gou/) was a planet in the Zug system of the Core Worlds region, not far from Coruscant and the Corellian Run. It was run by and served as the headquarters for the Bank of Aargau, which was part of the InterGalactic Banking Clan. Numerous other banks and corporations were also based on Aargau, including the Z-Gomot Ternbuell Guppat Corporation. Aargau was an exceptionally wealthy world, due both to its status as a financial center, as well as the planet's vast reserves of rare and precious metals.
Aargau was a member of the Galactic Republic from its discovery until the end of that galactic power. After the fall of the Galactic Empire, it was considered a New Republic stronghold. The region of space occupied by the planet would later fall under the hegemony of first the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances, and then subsequently Darth Krayt's Galactic Empire. Despite this, Aargau took a neutral approach to politics, which meant that warring factions were mutually welcome to conduct business on the planet. The planetary government imposed only three laws on citizens and visitors, called the Three Statutes of Aargau. These laws focused on the export of Aargau's natural resources, the absolute ban on weapons for visitors—and, conversely, the requirement to bear arms for Aargauuns—as well as maintaining the integrity of the Bank of Aargau. Breaking any of these rules was punishable by immediate execution.
- "Better poor on Aargau than wealthy anywhere else."
Aargau occupied a central location in the Core Worlds region; not only was it in close proximity to the politically important world of Coruscant, it was also surrounded by hyperlanes such as the Corellian Run and the Ag Circuit. Thanks to this, combined with a culture fixated on banking and finance, as well as enormous reserves of valuable metals, the planet became an economic powerhouse. Several governments, corporations, and organizations stored their assets in the planet's thousands of secure vaults.
Aargau's government, the Bank of Aargau, which in turn was owned by the InterGalactic Banking Clan, operated with only three primary laws called the Three Statutes of Aargau, all of which were punishable with death if broken. It was illegal to export Aargau's rare metals without proper approval, for non-Aargauuns to carry weapons—on the other hand, it was illegal for Aargauun citizens to be unarmed—and finally, it was unlawful to "defraud, discredit or deceive" the Bank of Aargau. The Bank's wholly owned subsidiary Bank of Aargau Security was, at the time of the Galactic Empire, the largest privately owned army in the galaxy. The Aargau Home Guard frequently played war games around Aargau's capital, New Escrow. This display of military power was meant to deter foreign powers from invading the planet, but in reality, Aargau's financial position already ensured this was an unpopular notion. Due to the planet's laws on export, the Bank of Aargau Security subsidiary BAS Customs strictly monitored all inbound and outgoing traffic.
Much of Aargau's surface was covered by city, though far from all of it. While the higher, newer levels of the cities were seat to the planet's political and financial power, the millions of years-old lower levels referred to as the Undercity, were home to a seedier element, which included members of the Hutt Desilijic clan. Due to Aargau's unique laws, this group of people were free to conduct their somewhat shady business mostly in peace.
Aargauun history stretched back millions of years, to the construction of its first cities by the planet's original natives. The existence of the enormous Dawn Pyramid of Aargau—considered by the historian Vicendi to be one of the Twenty Wonders of the Galaxy—led some scientists to believe the planet had been visited by the Sharu civilization several thousands of years prior to the founding of the Galactic Republic. Aargau was discovered by the Republic and the galactic community at large between 20,000 and 17,000 BBY, in the period of time referred to as the Great Manifest Period. Over time, Humans came to be the dominant species of the planet, and the Bank of Aargau became its planetary government. It was considered a major financial center by 3,963 BBY, and was in direct competition with the Telerath Interstellar Banking Initiative until Telerath was abandoned during the Mandalorian Wars.
In 22 BBY, just prior to the outbreak of the Clone Wars, Senator Aks Moe of Malastare was killed in a bomb explosion in New Escrow. Moe was visiting the planet to negotiate a deal with the InterGalactic Banking Clan to secure funding for a proposed Republic military initiative to deal with the Separatist Crisis, which concerned a rapidly growing secessionist movement within the Republic itself. This movement was suspected of being involved with Moe's assassination, but that claim was never proven.
When the war broke out, Aargau retained its neutral stance, despite the fact that the Banking Clan were heavily involved in the war on the Separatist side. The Republic, fearful for its substantial investments, and suspecting the Banking Clan of manufacturing Hailfire droids on the planet, garrisoned a large peacekeeping force of clone troopers in major cities, including the InterGalactic Banking Clan Arcology. This was not without controversy: technically, the Republic occupation broke one of the Three Statutes of Aargau, specifically the one stating no non-Aargauuns could carry weapons. Not before Aargau threatened to secede did the Republic send diplomatic envoys.
Republic intervention, however, did not stop the prominent Confederacy of Independent Systems official San Hill from visiting the planet to attempt to recruit the crime lord Gorga Desilijic Aarrpo to the Separatist cause—a meeting that, by chance, was witnessed by the future leader of the Mandalorians, Boba Fett. During the war, the neutral organization Aargau Medical Observer Corps investigated recent battlefields for evidence of war crimes. This inquisitional organ was tolerated by both sides of the conflict.
Galactic Civil WarEdit
In the early days of the Galactic Empire, the Galactic Corporate Policy League held a week-long meeting on Aargau to plan and write the charter proposing the establishment of the Corporate Sector Authority, a Corporate Sector-based interplanetary government focused on free enterprise.
The planet retained its neutrality throughout the Galactic Civil War, which meant that both the Alliance to Restore the Republic and Galactic Empire could conduct business on the banking world. In 3 ABY Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan attempted to secure a loan for the Alliance that would enable the organization to procure several T-65 X-wing starfighters. The collateral presented for the loan were the priceless Crown Jewels of Alderaan. Imperial Supreme Commander and Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Vader, also on Aargau at the time, feigned an attempt to stop Organa's financial transaction from going through. His actual objective was securing the crown jewels, which he promptly stole as soon as the Alliance's loan was approved. Both Organa and Vader were tried in absentia following this incident, and were recommended to be arrested should either of them return to the planet.
During the Imperial Civil War, a conflict that lasted from 4 to 12 ABY, Aargau became a New Republic fortress world, and was garrisoned with a fleet consisting of hundreds of warships. Between 10 and 11 ABY, following the resurrection of Emperor Palpatine, a battle between Imperial forces from the Deep Core and the New Republic was fought on Aargau.
Aargau completely avoided the destruction wrought by the Yuuzhan Vong War. The region of space occupied by the planet fell under the political hegemony of the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances, and later Darth Krayt's Galactic Empire.
The original native people of Aargau were responsible for beginning construction on the world's many cities. However, by the Galactic Civil War, Humans had become the dominant species on the planet, although, as a major financial hub in the galaxy, thousands of other species were represented.
The InterGalactic Banking Clan was based in a mammoth pyramid-shaped structure, which was subdivided into seven color-coded levels. The higher levels were reserved for finance and lodgings, while the lower levels were employed for logistical and entertainment purposes. The lowest level of the massive building contained Aargau's Undercity.
Aargau's capital, New Escrow was a remarkably wealthy city, something that was evident in its unique and luxurious architecture. Air traffic in the capital was directed to a complex network of roads, which made it arguably somewhat safer than other similarly sized cities. New Escrow was also home to the Garden of Butterflies, a place where visitors could conduct business surrounded by a large collection of butterflies.
Behind the scenesEdit
Aargau was first introduced by writer Larry Hama in issue 48 of Marvel's Star Wars comic series. The planet was mentioned mostly in passing in later works. It was not until 2003's Boba Fett: Maze of Deception as well as the Aargau: For All Your Banking Needs article on Wizards of the Coast's website that Aargau was revisited, both sources substantially fleshing out the planet. Aargau's location was finally pinpointed in The Essential Atlas.
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 1.33 1.34 1.35 1.36 1.37 1.38 1.39 1.40 1.41
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 The Essential Atlas
- ↑ 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 Boba Fett: Maze of Deception
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Dark Empire Sourcebook
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Star Wars 48: The Third Law
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- ↑ Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 11: Reunion, Part 1
- ↑ Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 18: Nights of Anger, Part 3
- ↑ HoloNet News Vol. 531 50 (content now unavailable; backup links 1 2 on Archive.org) —
- ↑ HoloNet News Vol. 531 51 (content now unavailable; backup links 1 2 on Archive.org) —
- ↑ CIS Shadowfeed Dispatch 14:2:14 Edition
- ↑ Hero of Cartao
- ↑ Han Solo and the Corporate Sector Sourcebook
- ↑ The Essential Chronology
- ↑ Darksaber