Ladies and gentlemen, there is only one rule here and that is to SHAKE...YOUR...BOOTIES!!
—A DJ welcoming visitors to Club StarDust
Club StarDust was a large space station that acted as a dance club and disco for all manner of beings from across the galaxy. It was noted for its conspicuous appearance--namely, an enormous glittering sphere that in later years was said to vaguely resemble the Death Star. Hovering in a stationary position in space near the Terax Nebula, it proved popular for both high society and commoners simply wishing to have a good time. It could accommodate at maximum ten thousand beings, and hence had seventy-eight different dance halls which were always playing something at any given time. Several luxury restaurants were also located there.
The space station itself was about ten kilometers in diameter, with fifteen docking bays along its equator. It was unarmed, relying on local law enforcement for protection. In the center of the sphere was the main reactor, which was an advanced type that needed to cope with the constant lights and advanced sound systems in the dance halls of the station.
Built around 40 BBY, by the mysterious magnate known as Shan Drievax, the station immediately became popular, and even in the Clone Wars visitor numbers remained high, and it was often used to host celebrations for events such as the end of the Clone Wars. However, during the more puritan times of the Empire, the music there was toned down and the management was forced to play pro-Imperial tunes. When the Empire collapsed, the station held its biggest party yet. The Club would continue to provide entertainment well into the days of the New Empire.
Ideal description of Club StarDust: shiny.
—An excerpt from the Unofficial Guidebook to the Galaxy and Beyond
Club StarDust had a fairly simple layout. In the top and the bottom areas were maintenance areas, reactors, and artificial gravity generators, all of which were strictly off-limits to all, but station personnel. In the north pole area of the station, just below the upper maintenance area of the station, were offices and areas for the exclusive use of the administration. There was also the private quarters of Mr. Drievax himself, who was almost never seen. In the southern part above the lower maintenance areas were quarters for personnel and technicians. Sandwiched between this were the various dance floors, with the vast majority of levels in this section of the station devoted to dance halls, discos and the like. Also located on most of these floors were bars, restaurants and rooms for beings who had arrived for various dance competitions or simply needed somewhere to stay. Some of the eateries were very specialized, such as an orang fruit vendor and a variety of pizza restaurants, such as Pizza Hutt and Menguil's Eatery. Also, higher-venue, more posh venues existed, with restaurants such as the Maitre D'Moll, which served high-class cuisine such as Mon Cal caviar, Coruscanti champagne, Daka sorbet, and other such delicacies.
Each dance area could be tailored to the preferences of whoever was hiring it out or simply to the sort of music that was being played; for example, if classical was on the venue, the dance hall would be decorated to have an ornate feel; or if it was disco or pop music, decoration would be absent and instead the room would be darkened and illuminated with fluorescent lights and disco balls. Dance halls could also be holographically altered to provide exotic dance locations, such as a Coruscant rooftop or a famous space location. Each dance hall had expensive, state-of-the-art sound systems and speakers to provide optimum music quality; opinions of the music itself being played varied.
Located along the equator were fifteen docking bays of identical size, each capable of accommodating at the maximum a large yacht. There were a few docking bays that were private or reserved for VIPs. If there was no room available in the bays, tractor beams would hold spacecraft in orbit around the station and shuttles would transfer visitors aboard.
Although unarmed and reliant on local law enforcement for protection, the station was equipped with adequate shielding to protect its expensive shiny exterior and from dangerous radiation emitted from the nearby Terax Nebula. If all non-essential power was diverted to this shield, it would be strong enough to withstand fire from a large capital ship for months. Fortunately for the management, this was only ever necessary once.
Also located aboard the station were special observation lounges from where one could observe the nearby nebula, which had a reputation for being one of the most beautiful sights in the galaxy, especially during ionical implosions caused by subatomic solar reactions within the nebula, which would result in beautiful multicolored flares.
Construction and opening
Who'd ever think that Invertebrates gone wild would nearly derail an entire construction effort?
—A worker reminiscing on the construction
Construction of Club StarDust began in 41 BBY, when the basic frame was put together at Drievax's personal shipyard at Kuat and then placed using tractor tugs in a location near the Terax Nebula. Drievax never made it entirely clear why he desired the construction of this, although some believed that it stemmed from his complaints a few years about the lack of decent dance clubs in the Republic. Initial construction went smoothly, but then construction workers began to suffer radiation sickness due to the meson streams from the nebula, a problem which threatened to scupper the whole operation. The foremen present responded by constructing anti-radiation shield generations around the site, which greatly nullified the problem.
Soon, the basic interior structure of the space station was complete, and work began to move on to the shiny exterior. Unfortunately, this soon represented a problem; the large amount of light reflected off the shiny plates used to cover the exterior of the station proved too dazzling and almost blinded anyone who looked at it. The foremen requested that all upcoming shipments of shiny plates be covered in non-reflective material, but nonetheless did not entirely rid the station of shiny plates to retain its glittering look.
Construction soon neared completion in 40 BBY. The exterior was almost completely finished, and all that was left was to add in essential systems such as life support, gravity, and of course sound systems. Unfortunately another headache arose. A vandal, presumed to be amongst the construction crews, had replaced the recordings for the holographic light systems for the discos with Huttese pornography. When some of the more sensitive construction workers present saw this, they fell violently ill upon watching some of the imagery, crippling the workforce. The recordings were deleted and replaced with what was originally intended, but nonetheless, constructed was still crippled. As a result, the foremen had to decrease breaks and soon some of the workers complained of overwork. Faced with a potential strike, the foremen had to bribe them with promises of extra pay. Construction of Club StarDust was finished on schedule, but it was rushed, leading to concerns about the quality of some of the vital systems.
Meanwhile, the opening of the club was advertised galaxywide with adverts all over the HoloNet. This advertising campaign was largely successful, and Drievax made sure it appealed to all potential customers. At the opening ceremony, VIPs such as major industrialists and even Nute Gunray himself were present, as well as thousands of beings. Club StarDust was officially opened in the seventh month of 40 BBY, with a record visitor turnout, and would more profitable than Drievax had hoped. Famous musicians from across the Republic were present for the event, with their most famous tracks played. Club StarDust got off to a good start.
Our demands are simple. We want ten billion Republic credits, or this club gets it.
—The terrorist leader broadcasting his demands on the HoloNet
For the first few years of its existence, Club StarDust maintained a healthy and stable rate of profit, whilst continuing to attract more and more punters. However, a major incident occurred in 33 BBY that nearly derailed the entire project. An independent group of anti-capitalist terrorists infiltrated the club during the birthday party of a major business magnate, with famous members of high society such as Nute Gunray and Shu Mai in presence. They succeeded in placing bombs on several power conduits throughout the station, which, when detonated, would completely destroy it. They then gatecrashed the party, overwhelmed all security present, and held the party goers hostage. They issued one demand over the HoloNet: the price of ten billion credits to be deposited in cash in a sealed pod near the Club within twenty-four hours, or the destruction of Club StarDust and everyone aboard.
The terrorists proceeded to activate the station's shield to prevent anyone from trying to enter. The only people capable of derailing their plot were a group of security guards who had been having a private party of their own in the toilets on one of the upper levels. When they fully grasped the situation, they tried to formulate a plan, and in the meanwhile slipped into one of the ventilation shafts to avoid the terrorists who were now seeking them out.
They first began to try and disable the bombs fixed to the power conduits, and due to the relatively small numbers of the terrorists these were lightly guarded. Within an hour, they had successfully defused three of the four bombs, and just to be sure they ejected them into space via the station's waste disposal tubes. By now, however, the terrorists were aware that they presented a threat, and so began to release poison gas into the ventilation system, eliminating that particular way of getting around and forcing the guards to use the corridors. However, by hacking into the station mainframe, they were able to discern the location of all beings aboard the station, and were able to navigate around without bumping into any terrorists searching for them. When the terrorist leader realized this, he recalled all terrorists to the main dance hall where the hostages where and broadcast a message over the intercom: surrender yourselves within ten minutes, or we will kill the hostages.
At first the guards felt that their plight was now futile, and decided to give themselves up. However, one of them hit on an idea, and first of all ordered them to don extra-thick earplugs, and he told another one to access the sound control part of the station network. They then seemingly gave themselves up to the terrorists, and were brought into the hall with the other hostages. The terrorist leader noted that one of them was absent, and demanded an explanation. Upon this cue, the guard left behind began playing a track of extra-loud rock music on all speakers at maximum volume. The sheer force of the music almost knocked out everyone aboard, but the guards, wearing earmuffs, were not affected as much. They took the opportunity to disarm and arrest the terrorists, foiling their plot. Once the media learned of the foiling of the terrorists' plot, there was much relief Republic-wide. Supreme Chancellor Valorum himself awarded medals to the guards, who proceeded to make lucrative amounts of money by selling the film and book rights of their adventure.
I remember Club StarDust. A pity all I did was shoot droids and see my friends get killed instead of partying.
—A clone trooper reminiscing on the battle
For years afterwards, there were little other notable events on Club StarDust, apart from the odd celebrity scandal being discovered there. When the Clone Wars abruptly broke out in 22 BBY, the Republic advised that Club StarDust be evacuated due to its proximity to several CIS planets. The management ignored this and business carried on as normal. Even as battles in the sector began to break out between Republic and Separatist forces, some of which were dangerously close to the Club, the administration remained confident that the club would remain unaffected by the war.
They were wrong. In 21 BBY, a fierce battle between Republic and Separatist forces broke out in the nearby Terax Nebula. The management then quickly proceeded to effectively quarantine the club, refusing to let anyone arrive or leave. The station provided spectacular views of the battle, and the mood became more relaxed as attendees decided that there was nothing to worry about.
Suddenly, a shuttle from a nearby disabled Separatist ship approached the station, and penetrated the shield. Aboard were several squads of battle droids, intending to convert the club into a battlestation to turn the tide of the battle, using a group of engineering droids they had brought along with them. They boarded the station and subdued the security guards, and began to start planning the conversion of the club. In response, the management sent a distress call from the station.
The Republic commander present during the battle responded by sending two CR20s full of clone troopers to board the station and root out the droid presence there. However, the droids had taken over the station's network of automated sentry turrets, which had been installed following the terrorist incursion back in 33 BBY. This gave them an advantage, and caused great casualties amongst the clones. However, a clone commando present managed to shut down the system, as turning it against the droids proved to difficult. The clones, with the odds of the battle now evened, proceeded to systematically clear out the club, using EMP weaponry that also damaged many sound systems across the station. Nonetheless, the droids were soon eradicated, but the clones had taken very heavy casualties.
The rest of the battle, which did not last for very long after this, proved to be a draw, as both fleets were nearing depletion due to the dangerous energies of the nebula, and so both sides began to retreat. However, a mysterious ship appeared and flew around the station, and many guests were amazed, having never seen anything like it. The ship flew away when Republic fighters approached it. The witnesses who had seen it tried to report it to the HoloNet, but for some reason they were approached by Republic agents who forcibly told them not to say anything about it.
Days of the Empire
When approaching a random partygoer, I questioned him on his opinion of the IEA. The following is what he said: Those Imperials can take their [expletive deleted] act right up their [expletive deleted] [expletive deleted] and [expletive deleted] [expletive deleted] [expletive deleted] so [expletive deleted]. From this, I garner it has not registered well with the citizenship.
—Excerpt from an Imperial report concerning public opinion on the Imperial Entertainment act
The Club remained untouched for the rest of the Clone Wars, although people were more wary about visiting it now, and so profits dropped, though not disastrously. When the Clone Wars came to an official end in 19 BBY, the Club hosted a massive celebration which lasted for several days, and the amount of beings that got drunk on the vast quantities of alcohol provided almost overloaded the organic waste disposal systems, and several toilet areas on the station were ruined, the WI TC-6 bathroom maintenance droids stationed aboard overwhelmed. Many Republic officers and even some clones attended the party.
However, as Palpatine's new Empire emerged from the ashes of the Republic, its nature soon became clear. What amounted to a small garrison of stormtroopers was placed on Club StarDust, and the wild partying that had defined it over the years was banned. The management was forced to play pro-Imperial tunes, albeit reluctantly, and visitor numbers again began to drop. Parties became more stuffy and formal, and members of the Imperial social elite began to dominate the visitor ranks. This would become the state of Club StarDust for the next several years. During this time, Lando Calrissian and Han Solo would occasionally meet up in the club, until Lando became Baron Administrator of Cloud City and Han got more involved with the underworld.
As the Galactic Civil War began to flare up around 2 BBY, the management began to secretly hide a Rebel cell right in front of the noses of the Imperials present. This cell helped co-ordinate rebel operations and military movements in the sector around the Terax Nebula, and helped organize the siphoning of expensive gases from the nebula. An Imperial officer who was a regular at the club began to sense something suspicious, and began to lead investigations as rumors about the cell spread. The management, knowing that discovery of the cell would result in the club being shut down--or worse, destroyed--managed to expel the officer from the club, upon him entering a restricted area.
Very shortly afterwards, the Empire passed a law dictating that Imperial military personnel were not subject to the rules of any establishment, and the officer returned, this time with an entire squad of Imperial intelligence operatives. Knowing that they were very close to discovery, the rebels present managed to hire some call-girls, who proceeded to distract the officers at one of the bars into getting drunk. Rebels present then managed to administer some amnesia-inducing chemicals into their drinks, essentially making the officers forget why they had come. The Imperials then left, convinced they had simply got drunk, and the Rebel cell aboard Club StarDust continued.
Upon the Battle of Endor in 4 ABY, all Imperials aboard Club StarDust were expelled, and the management held a party even larger than the one at the end of the Clone Wars. Wild partying, dancing drinking continued for almost two weeks, and a spirit of celebration had never been stronger. Wild orgies were held in some dance halls, upsetting some of the more conservative beings present. The Terax Nebulax--and the club--found itself as part of the territory now owned by the newly-formed New Republic, making it safe from Imperial repercussions.
New Republic scandals
Trust me, if someone told you nothing went on at Club StarDust, they told you wrong.
—A patron of Club StarDust
The club would thrive through the golden age of the New Republic, as dance clubs became more popular, especially once peace was signed between the New Republic and Imperial remnant in 19 ABY. However, this time was not without incident. Around 20 ABY, a group of criminals began hiding stolen loot in some rooms aboard Club StarDust. An official aboard found out, but was quickly bribed in exchange for his silence. The operation went smoothly for a few weeks, until an intrepid HoloNet reporter working for Channel 454 under the codename of NetSky spying on celebrities present began to be suspicious after noticing a person with a large bag of credits entering a room. She proceeded to monitor the person she had seen, and gained another lead when she witnessed him having a conversation with the corrupt official in a toilet.
Checking up on said official, she discovered that he had a history of corruption and taken bribes from companies he had formally associated with. Confident that she had stumbled across something, she found the official and interrogated him. He eventually cracked, and told her everything. However, a member of one of the criminals overhead it, and took it upon himself to take out the reporter when she was walking down a corridor. He missed, and she ducked into a crowded bar, and attempted to lose her assailant amongst the people present. The criminal, having come to the conclusion that she had escaped him, sat down at the bar. Whilst he was ordering a drink, she crept up behind him and smashed a bottle from the bar down on his head. Nobody took much notice, as this sort of thing was commonplace between drunk couples. She took him to security, where he was interrogated, and eventually told them everything. The remainder of the criminals were arrested, as was the corrupt official, and the reporter had managed to produce a story that was trumpeted across the HoloNet.
Several other less major scandals and incidents took place at Club StarDust. For example, a celebrity who was officially engaged to another one was found intimate with another celebrity at the club. Occurrences of this kind began to become more commonplace throughout the age of the New Republic.
Yuuzhan Vong War
—A Yuuzhan Vong warrior's reaction to disco lights and music
A few years later, the Yuuzhan Vong War broke out. Unlike in the Clone Wars and Galactic Civil War, where the outcome of said wars was unlikely to have much effect on Club StarDust, victory for the Yuuzhan Vong would result in the end of the club, making the management genuinely worried. Visitor numbers to the club again plummeted, and at times the station was almost completely empty. Instead, the club began to take on a new, unofficial purpose: harboring refugees fleeing nearby Vong-devastated planets. As the club made sure that the club was deleted from all official charts, with co-ordinates only available via the HoloNet, the management remained confident that it would be undiscovered by the Yuuzhan Vong. Nonetheless, the New Republic placed a few warships to guard in the vicinity.
For the first couple of years of the war, the Club indeed remained hidden from the Yuuzhan Vong, and it soon became a safe haven for refugees from all over the sector. Due to its limited space, many refugees were soon transferred to other safe planets, but nonetheless it was considered a hub of safety. Soon, any dancing and music there became very rare as dance halls were transformed into cantinas and sleeping areas. A powerful HoloNet transceiver was installed aboard the station so that news of the war could be transmitted to it from any part of the galaxy.
Unfortunately, Club StarDust did not remain untouched by the war. An organic Yuuzhan Vong probe traveling through space eventually stumbled across the station, and initially interpreted it as a small planetoid, confused by its glittering appearance. It managed to transmit a telepathic signal to a nearby Yuuzhan Vong flotilla seconds before being shot down by New Republic starfighters. The Yuuzhan Vong were now aware of the station, and the New Republic commander in charge of managing the club suspected this. There was no time for an evacuation, and there were not enough ships spare anyway. Calling in reinforcements, the commander prepared for a battle.
Within hours, the Yuuzhan Vong force was in sight. It consisted of one Miid ro'ik and several Ro'ik chuun m'arh, but no starfighters, which gave the New Republic a slight advantage. All non-essential energy aboard the station was channeled to its shield, about four minutes before the Yuuzhan Vong began firing. To the horror of the New Republic commander, the Miid ro'ik unleashed a Dread weapon upon the station, but it was paralyzed by the shield, and drifted away into space. Meanwhile, the Republic vessels concentrated their fire on the Miid, with the commander having decided to hold off the Yuuzhan Vong until reinforcements arrived.
For the initial twenty minutes of the skirmish, all Yuuzhan Vong attempts to penetrate the shield failed, and despite taking a hammering, the Republic vessels held their ground. All those within the club began to relax more. Suddenly, the Yuuzhan Vong unleashed something that nobody had been expecting: about two dozen Yuuzhan Vong soldiers wearing biological spacesuits. Exiting from the Miid roi'ik, the Yuuzhan Vong warriors were small enough to slip through the shield and into one of the docking bays. The management tried diverting power from the reactor to the sentry gun system, but the Republic officers vetoed this, stating that this would drain power from the shield, and that in any case the antiquated sentry guns would only slow the Yuuzhan Vong down. Suddenly, one of the senior management members hit on idea, and said that all it needed was for the Yuuzhan Vong warriors to be diverted to any one of the dance halls.
To do this, they activated a speedy floating maintenance droid and made it head to the corridors where the Yuuzhan Vong warriors were. Upon seeing what they viewed as blasphemy, the Yuuzhan Vong immediately gave chase. They chased the droid right into a disco hall, just as the management person wanted. As soon as they were inside, the doors were locked, the light systems were activated, and music began playing. Confused, the Yuuzhan Vong found themselves blinded by the bright disco lights, and were unable to focus due to the loud music. New Republic soldiers, wearing earmuffs and sunglasses, entered and neutralized the Yuuzhan Vong soldiers. Meanwhile, New Republic capital ships arrived outside and destroyed the remainder of the Yuuzhan Vong force. The battle was won.
New Empire times and beyond
After the events of the Yuuzhan Vong War, Club StarDust was temporarily closed for several years, mainly due to the fact that hardly anyone was visiting it due to the damage done to the galactic infrastructure. The management took the opportunity to renovate the club somewhat, giving it more of a luxury hotel feel, adding several swimming pools and some courts for racket games. Rooms were also completely redone, and were reserved more for wealthier visitors. When the club reopened in 32 ABY, it received a relatively lackluster visitor turnout, although it still maintained a healthy rate of income. Visitor numbers would increase over the next several decades, despite the various crises that plagued the newly-formed Galactic Federation of Free Alliances. Notable patrons included the crime lord Ferd Swqaru.
During this time, Club StarDust would also begin to host concerts from celebrity performers, such as Maran Juiseen, which proved fairly popular. One such concert from performer '40 Credits' almost ended causing a riot due to inflammatory remarks in one of the songs performed concerning Gungans. The riot was mainly stopped due to the large amounts of free alcohol provided to the crowd.
By 130 ABY, the club was famous galaxywide as a good place for music and as a hotel, and several knockoffs had been constructed by rival companies across the galaxy. It would survive the reign of Darth Krayt, and would provide entertainment for years to come.
Behind the scenes
The author of this article was inspired to make it after watching the opening logos of Rebel Strike, which had a Death Star-shaped disco ball.