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13 Things 'Star Wars' Fans Probably Don't Know About Alderaan And Its Survivors

List Rules
Vote up the facts that surprised you about Alderaan.

Given the fact that it has very little screen time in the Star Wars universe, Alderaan is a surprisingly important planet. Alderaan's destruction was the event that ultimately proved how powerful the Death Star was, and the planet was also the adopted homeworld of Leia Organa, one of the Star Wars canon's most important figures. 

Given the fact that the planet blows up shortly after it is introduced, though, it makes sense that there's plenty about it that even die-hard fans of Star Wars may not know. There are plenty of facts about planets in the Star Wars galaxy that are more commonly known, but Alderaan deserves its time to shine (ideally not while it's illuminated by a turbo laser). It isn't as central to the story as Tatooine or even Coruscant, but that doesn't mean that there aren't plenty of interesting facts about the planet or its people. Take a gander down below and be sure to vote up the facts about the planet that surprised you the most. 

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    272 VOTES

    Alderaan Was Initially Envisioned As The Capital Of The Galactic Empire

    Alderaan Was Initially Envisioned As The Capital Of The Galactic Empire
    Photo: Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith / 20th Century Fox

    Throughout the drafting of each Star Wars movie, Lucas clearly had a number of ideas for planets and names that he combined in various ways throughout the drafting process. Before it was the planet being destroyed in A New Hope, Alderaan was initially the name given to the capital planet of the new Galactic Empire. That planet ultimately wound up being Coruscant. 

    In early drafts, Alderaan was a gas giant that resembled Bespin. The planet also featured a city on a cloud that was similar to Cloud City. Ultimately, Alderaan was given a very different role in the world of Star Wars. 

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    229 VOTES

    One Of Alderaan’s Major Exports Was Wine

    Even before the planet was destroyed, Alderaanian wine was already considered a delicacy. The wine existed in various types, including whites and reds and specific varieties like Emerald and Toniray, and was known to be part of many of the fanciest festivities held throughout the galaxy. 

    In the aftermath of the planet's destruction, though, the wine became even rarer and all the more valuable as a result. Decades later, when the First Order was warring with the Resistance, an alien named Derla Pidys claimed to sell the "last bottle" of Alderaanian wine to a wide array of individuals, even though those who purchased the wine usually knew their bottle was not in fact the last one. 

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    270 VOTES

    Leia's Grandfather Almost Became Chancellor Of The Republic

    Leia's Grandfather Almost Became Chancellor Of The Republic
    Photo: Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace / 20th Century Fox

    In The Phantom Menace, we see Chancellor Fins Valorum step down from his post after a vote of no confidence, and the audience begins to understand the beginning of Sheev Palpatine's rise to power as the Emperor. History almost took a very different turn after Fins Valorum stepped down, however. 

    In a deleted scene, Bail Antilles, Princess Leia's grandfather on her mother's side, was also nominated for the post of chancellor and wound up losing out to Palpatine. The history of the entire series might have been very different if Antilles had wound up in the role, given the general Alderaanian belief in democracy and the rights of all people. 

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    195 VOTES

    The Planet’s Royals Had To Undergo A Series Of Trials Before They Became Eligible To Rule

    Although monarchy may seem like an outdated mode of rule, Alderaan had a unique ritual that ensured that their next leader was fit for the job. On the Day of Demand, Alderaan's heir to the throne was forced to undergo a series of trials designed to test their fitness. The day typically happened on the royal's 16th birthday, and both Princess Leia and her mother were forced to go through the trials that were part of the ceremony. The trials tested a potential ruler both mentally and physically, and it was no guarantee that any given Alderaanian would survive them. 

    The three challenges tested the heart, body, and mind, and each was excruciating in a totally unique way. 

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    224 VOTES

    Leia Was Once Supposed To Be Crowned Queen Of The Surviving Alderaanians

    Leia Was Once Supposed To Be Crowned Queen Of The Surviving Alderaanians
    Photo: Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

    Following the destruction of her planet and her parents, Leia was undoubtedly the sole remaining member of the royal family from Alderaan. As a result, George Lucas had initially planned to isolate Leia in Return of the Jedi by having the remaining Alderaanians crown her as their new queen. 

    The idea behind this development was for Luke to become totally isolated, as Han's demise was also a part of this early version of the script. Obviously, the final version of Return of the Jedi departed from this idea quite radically, and Leia was never crowned the new leader of the Alderaanians, although she did serve time in the newly formed Galactic Senate. 

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    215 VOTES

    After The Battle Of Yavin, The Empire Hunted Down Surviving Alderaanians

    After The Battle Of Yavin, The Empire Hunted Down Surviving Alderaanians
    Photo: Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back / 20th Century Fox

    Because the Empire was interconnected by the time Alderaan was destroyed, a significant segment of the planet's native population had moved off-world and was therefore safe from the destruction on the planet. One of the biggest off-world populations lived on Level 3204 of the Imperial capital, and those Alderaanians began holding vigils in the wake of the planet's destruction, which they termed "the Disaster." 

    When they learned that Alderaan had been destroyed intentionally, those vigils turned into riots, and stormtroopers began rounding up first-generation Alderaanians, claiming that there were Rebel spies working to foment rebellion among them. Although that may not have been true at the time, the harsh actions of the Empire naturally radicalized plenty of Alderaanians, convincing them to join the cause.