Behind the scenesEdit
Aquilae was one of the first planet-names seen in the early drafts of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, dating back to the first story treatment. In his story notes for the film, when discussing the theme, Lucas stated that the planet's inspiration was the communist country North Vietnam, which he claimed was a "small, independent country." In the shooting script, Luke Skywalker still referenced Aquilae, along with the planet Sullust, but this line was eventually cut out of the final movie.
In the first story treatment, Aquilae, which is the Latin plural or genitive of aquila, or "eagle", was a blue-green terrestrial planet threatened by a space fortress (later to become the Death Star). It contained the starport Gordon, and is the home of an anonymous princess.
In the rough draft, the princess was first named Leia, and was the daughter of King Kayos. She succeeds to the throne of Aquilae at the conclusion of the script. It was home planet of Kane Starkiller and his sons Deak and Annikin Starkiller. The planet was renamed Townowi in the first draft; by the second draft it only appears as in the name of the Aquillian Rangers.
"Aquila" is a real world constellation. The name "Aquilae" is the genitive used in the names of its component stars, such as Alpha Aquilae (Altair), etc. Altair, a triple-star system, is only 17 ly from Earth. It borders Ophiuchus, a constellation also referenced in early drafts (Ophuchi).
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