In Star Wars there are three cities I’m going to talk about. 1) Coruscant 2) Mos Eisley and 3) Cloud City.
Coruscant was the capital of the Galactic Empire. The whole planet had become one gigantic city, an ecumenopolis. It’s pretty interesting to note that there are many ecumenopolises in science-fiction, which seems to imply, for some, an ideological end to a city’s growth in total expansion around a planet. Coruscant is seen in Episode II, during an aerial speeder chase involving Anakin and his mentor Obi-Wan. They go on a chase “that eventually leads to a nightclub in the bowels of Coruscant’s Uscru Entertainment District.” In these scenes of Star Wars: Episode II, a sense of the kind of red light, seedy, underbelly of the city. We also see it as a political hub in the few scenes when Senator Palpatine is in the process of consolidating power. It’s an interesting, sort of dystopian idea of the city as something that completely takes over nature that’s interesting about Coruscant. I saw recently a video game coming out soon that takes place entirely on Coruscant and focused around a bounty hunter or something. It’s intended to be a detective-like future noir style game.
“Mos Eisley Spaceport. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious.” Obi-Wan’s words to Luke, cautioning him of the dangers of this futuristic port city. Mos Eisley is representative of the kind of bustling, almost desert city reminiscent of cities like Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Mos Eisley seems to be in incarnation of the city as a center of crime and corruption. Indeed, Jabba the Hut is stationed on Tatooine, the same planet as Mos Eisley. Jabba the Hut being a kingpin of organized crime especially in Mos Eisley. Indeed, it’s where Obi-Wan and Luke go to enlist some smugglers to help them get off the planet.
The third major city I want to talk about is Cloud City. It’s mostly an industrial city in the clouds of the planet Bespin. While all the cities in Star Wars have a large dependence on technology, none of them are so heavily dependent as Cloud City. That is to say, technology is how the city stays afloat in the clouds. The city is known for its casinos and hotels on the upper levels and its views. Sadly, it’s also a site of corruption. It’s where Lando Calrissian sells out Han to Vader.
The cities in Star Wars all seem to have resonance to corruption and evil, whereas the more natural environments tend to have a more innocent appeal. Dagobah, where Yoda trains Luke, and Endor, a strategic planet from which the rebels disable the Death Star’s shields, are both almost entirely undeveloped. This juxtaposition seems to be saying something about the role of nature in the fight between good and evil.