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The year 24 before the Battle of Yavin (BBY) was a span of time during the declining days of the Galactic Republic. The year was one of unrest on the Mid Rim world of Utapau. After high grade plasma vents were discovered beneath the streets of Ogana, Utapau's capital city, King Veruna Arcadia and Senator Malus Palpatine decided to construct a plasma mining center in the city. Because Utapau lacked experience in the galactic markets, the planetary government signed a contract with the Trade Federation shipping cartel that allowed the Federation to purchase plasma from the planet at a fixed cost.
It was later discovered that the Federation was cheating Utapau out of profits, as the shipping corporation was selling the plasma to other buyers at marked up prices. Arcadia ended the deal and began expanding the planet's security forces, fearing a military attack by the Federation. The citizens of Utapau believed that Arcadia was using the situation as an excuse to create a police state, and he was assassinated by a disgruntled citizen because of it. His daughter, Sabé Arcadia, became Queen of Utapau and reversed a number of her father's controversial security policies.
For centuries, the Mid Rim world of Utapau, the capital of the Chommell sector and a Galactic Republic member world, was governed by the House of Arcadia. Once a house of warriors that fought against the Gungan Empire, the House of Arcadia ultimately became one of politicians.
A member of the political house filled the power vacuum left by an heirless monarch, and the Arcadia family ruled the planet from then on. They held the respect of most of the planet’s inhabitants throughout their reign. Sometime prior to 24 BBY, Veruna Arcadia became the King of Utapau.
The galaxy in 24 BBYEdit
Veruna Arcadia ruled the planet for a number of years. Towards the end of his reign, high grade plasma veins were discovered beneath the streets of Ogana, the planet’s capital. Arcadia and Malus Palpatine, the Senator of Utapau, chose to build a plasma mining and refining center in the streets of the city.
The people of Utapau were not fond of trade. In order to make a profit off of the plasma, Arcadia and Palpatine allowed the Trade Federation to purchase the plasma at a fixed cost. After awhile, Utapau discovered that the Federation was selling the planet short by selling the plasma to other buyers at marked-up costs. Believing that the Federation had taken advantage of the planet’s inexperience in the interstellar markets, the people demanded that the planet be freed from the contract.
Arcadia agreed to the people’s demands, but he feared a military retaliation from the Federation. In an effort to prepare for a potential threat, Arcadia expanded the Utapau Space Fighter Corps and founded a number of new starfighter squadrons to defend the planet. These moves were widely unpopular with the people, many of whom perceived them as attempts to suppress political dissent and expand the size of the planetary security forces in an effort to create a police state. Arcadia was ultimately assassinated by a disgruntled citizen.
To fill the void left by Arcadia’s assassination, Princess Sabé Arcadia ascended to the throne, becoming the Queen of Utapau. She immediately began overriding some of her father’s policies, including a reduction in the size of the planet’s security forces. She did, however, keep one of the starfighter squadrons for defense, despite knowing that the move was unpopular. She received threats over the decision, prompting her to create a group of handmaidens and body doubles trained in defense. The threats eventually subsided, and Utapau returned to a state of relative peace.
Queen Arcadia was widely regarded as a popular ruler across Utapau. In 23 BBY, she made her first foray into the galactic political scene, working with Senator Palpatine to support the Republic Anti-Slavery Law. When Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum signed the bill into law, all corporations that were using slave labor outside of Republic jurisdiction were forbidden from doing so.
This act caused a loss of profit for the Trade Federation, which used slave workers in the Outer Rim Territories. In retaliation for the planet’s support of the measure, and in an effort to force the Republic to overturn the law, the Federation blockaded and ultimately invaded Utapau in 22 BBY.
Behind the scenesEdit
The events of 24 BBY were first mentioned in the backstory of Star Wars: Episode I - The Chosen One, a fan fiction novel by Brandon Rhea set in the Alternative Star Wars Saga. The information provided a backstory for both conflicts between the Federation and Utapau prior to the invasion of 22 BBY, as well as Queen Arcadia’s ascension to the throne of Utapau.
- Star Wars: Episode I - The Chosen One (First mentioned)