Nar Shaddaa

What is Nar Shaddaa, who up with it, and why do all the video games use it? — Kristine

Nar Shaddaa
The Smuggler’s Moon: Dark Coruscant

Nar Shaddaa, also known as the Smuggler’s Moon and Vertical City, made its first appearance in the Dark Horse Comics series Dark Empire. In this series, originally released in six bi-monthly parts between December 1991 and October 1992, our heroes go up against the Emperor Reborn (Palpatine restored to life in a cloned body through the power of the Dark Side). When Luke is taken to the Deep Core world of Byss and warns Leia and Han not to follow him, they immediately find a way to do so by connecting with some of Han’s smuggler friends on the moon of Nar Shaddaa.

As Nal Hutta is the center of the Huttese Empire and Nar Shaddaa is the largest of Nal Hutta’s moons, it is infamous throughout the galaxy for illegal activity.  Like Coruscant, the moon is completely grown over in urban development, and this has earned it the nickname Little Coruscant; it has been compared to a dirty version of the lustrous coursica gem from which Coruscant gets its name. Its government is organized crime, and its major exports are contraband, technology, weapons, spice, and slaves.

As far as its use in the video games, it has or will have appearances in Star Wars: Dark Forces, Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II, Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, The Force Unleashed, and The Old Republic. (It was mentioned only in Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy). I haven’t played most of these, but guess one of the primary reasons for its popularity is its essentially lawless environment. Star Wars has been compared to “cowboys in space,” and apart from the wild, wild west shooting opportunities, the intricate dark city provides ample areas for gameplay.

Appearances of Nar Shaddaa (also used as sources):

  • The Hutt Gambit (A. C. Crispen)
  • Rebel Dawn (A. C. Crispen)
  • Dark Empire (1st appearance) (Tom Veitch)
  • Dark Forces: Rebel Agent (William C. Dietz)
  • Darksaber (Kevin J. Anderson)

Other Sources:

Star Wars: The Essential Atlas (Wallace & Fry)
A Guide to the Star Wars Universe: Second Edition (Bill Slavicsek)
The Wookieepedia: Nar Shaddaa

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