Relaea (pronounced /rɛˈleɪ/) was the fourth planet orbiting the binary star composed of the K-type main sequence stars Relius Prime and Relius II in the Relaea system of the Unknown Regions. The sole habitable world in the system apart from Rao, it developed no sentient life, which led to it being ignored by the nearby Rakata civilization, though the race did use the planet for weapons testing. After the Rakatan Infinite Empire shattered and fell some time around 27,500 BBY, Relaea was forgotten by the organization's successors.
In 3,655 BBY, Relaea was rediscovered by Galactic Republic personnel from their outpost in the Lehon system a mere three light-years away, but remained uncolonized due to the winds of the planet, which could reach speeds of 450 km/h and were a result of the temperature differences caused by the slow rotation of the planet. Being a world with conditions inhospitable to Humans and not having large deposits of metals, it was generally ignored, though an outpost was built into a mountain to study the climate and geology of the planet. After this establishment was abandoned in 3,651 BBY, Relaea became uninhabited once again.
Millennia later, in 8 ABY, a newly formed Imperial splinter faction, the Empire of the Hand, colonized the planet in an effort to provide minerals for the war machine. The only major settlement, Relaea City, was constructed on a plateau surrounded by peaks to shield it from the winds, while a network of underground tunnels, mines and facilities were drilled into the crust. In 15 ABY, a civil war took place on the planet between Imperial loyalists and those seeking separation, which ended with an Imperial victory. Following the merging of the Empire of the Hand into the Fel Empire, the new rulers abandoned the system, evacuating most of the inhabitants, and the inhabitants that chose to stay had to survive on their own.
Fourth in the Relaea system and the only habitable planet in the system, Relaea had a diameter of 12,150 kilometers. The world was located within the Unknown Regions of the galaxy at galactic coordinates G-11, inside a stellar-poor tract of space known as the Tempered Wastes, three light-years from the Lehon system and thirty thousand light-years from the galactic center. It orbited two orange K-type main sequence stars—Relius Prime and Relius II—and completed an orbit every 454 standard days. Its axial tilt of –177 degrees resulted in a slow rotation—a Relaean day lasted 243 standard days. The subsequent temperature differences facilitated fluctuations in air pressure on the warm side, which accounted for some of the galaxy's most powerful gales, gales further boosted by the gravity that was a tenth less powerful than that of Coruscant. The winds balanced the temperature on the world: warm air that rose to heights around ten kilometers flew to the warm side, where it descended, causing tornadoes and associated storms, while cold air from the night side flew onto the lit side near the surface.
Seventy-three percent of Relaea's surface was covered by oceans. The remaining dry land was mainly plains with little to no trees due to the winds. Coastal regions and low archipelagos lacked vegetation due to the tsunamis continually generated by the weather, while those craters and canyons that were shielded from the wind were overgrown with evergreen forests which supplied themselves with energy during the night by reacting various flammable organic compounds synthesized during the day with oxygen. The planet's atmosphere was a Type I oxygen mix, breathable for Humans and most Near-Human species.
Flora and fauna
No sentient species evolved on Relaea, and the little wildlife native to the planet limited itself to the mountainous regions for protection against the wind, remaining in the forests and hiding in caves against sudden wind strikes. The mammalian, carnivorous peak wolves developed innate Force-based abilities to sense incoming gales and detect nearby prey, such as the cold-blooded Relaean iguanas, which generally evaded the woodlands and remained in windproof shelters carved into the upper side of valleys, which were warmed up during the day. Another native species, the omnivorous boaks, lived in the caves littering the mountain ranges.
The flora of Relaea was mostly composed of various specimen of grass, which grew on the flatlands and were able to withstand the wind strikes. Trees could only be found in areas shielded from the wind, such as valleys and mountain craters.
Pre-Republic (—3,655 BBY)
Relaea was first explored by the Infinite Empire of the Rakata civilization from nearby Lehon. The planet, lacking native sentient species and thus a potential source of slave labor, was largely ignored by the race, although they did build an outpost into a mountain, the remains of which were still visible millennia later. The Rakata also tested radioactive weapons on the planet, measuring the speed of their dissipation and spread of the substances before their empire crumbled in 27,500 BBY. The testing inflicted heavy damage upon the planet's ecosystem, and the Relaean flora and fauna needed ten millennia to recuperate.
Galactic Republic and beyond (3,655 BBY–8 ABY)
Following the conclusion of the Jedi Civil War in 3,656 BBY with the destruction of the Rakatan spatial manufacturing station known as the Star Forge, the Galactic Republic maintained an outpost on the edge of the Lehon system. In 3,655 BBY, scouts hailing from the outpost rediscovered the planet as part of a scientific mission, naming it and the system "Relaea." They deemed the planet unsuitable for colonization due to the gales, but constructed a research station into the side of a valley with a landing platform at the front. The scientists working at the station used droids to place instruments atop peaks to measure the speed and determine the direction of the wind, studied the volcanic and sedimentary rocks forming the mountain ranges and examined the Force-based talents of the peak wolves. The station was abandoned in 3,651 BBY to reduce costs, thus ending Republic presence on the world. However, the planet remained embedded in registries.
Following the abandonment of the base, the native fauna occupied the station after the blast door malfunctioned and opened. The bacta was consumed by various mammalian herbivores, while Relaean iguanas nested in the laboratory and peak wolves roamed the corridors.
Imperial rule (8 ABY–40 ABY)
In 6 ABY, Imperial Grand Admiral Mitth'raw'nuruodo—Thrawn—returned from the western parts of the Unknown Regions to the fortress world Bastion at the western, uncharted part of the galactic core. After hearing the news of the fragmentation of the Galactic Empire, he began to expand the diminutive splinter faction carved out by Grand Moff Ardus Kaine into a potential enemy of the New Republic—the Empire of the Hand. As part of his plan to acquire resources and food, Thrawn ordered the settling of multiple planets in the Unknown Regions.
In 8 ABY, Imperial scouts came across the Relaea system, and with it, Relaea. Although the explorers found the planet inhospitable, they reported it as being an acceptable candidate for colonization, as their sensors detected deposits of metal in the mountains. The initial settlers sent by the Empire constructed Relaea City beneath a plateau suitable for landing and constructed subsurface hangars and mining facilities for mineral export. A garrison of stormtroopers was stationed in the city to maintain order, supplemented by All Terrain Recon Transports and a battalion of 2-M repulsor tanks. The colony was later expanded to a total of fifty settlements in a thirty kilometer radius around Relaea City.
In 15 ABY, the inhabitants of multiple smaller settlements and the slums of Relaea City rebelled against the Imperial authorities due to inadequate social services. The initially poorly-armed protesters, mostly miners, stormed and occupied a local police department and acquired multiple blasters before attempting to march into the city center. The crowd assaulted multiple stormtrooper patrols and threw them into the sewage systems along its way and hanged Richard Sifour, the Imperial official responsible for the rights of miners, notifying the inhabitants of the neighboring settlements. Upon hearing about the incident, the leaders of many small towns fled to Relaea City's spaceport and began fortifying it.
George Rempor, Relaea's governor, evacuated his residence and the city's garrison, retreating to the spaceport, which had become the refuge of most pro-Imperial persons. Before leaving, he announced a state of emergency and urged the civilians to remain in their homes and avoid contact with the rebels. Public transportation ceased and the high-speed underground connecting Relaea City to the outlying mine shafts was shut down, while the energy supply to the districts occupied by the protesters was ended, which resulted in blackouts.
Meanwhile, the renegade miners elected a council of their most-trusted members. The body published the demands of the movement, titled the Relaea Bill. The document called for independence from the Empire of the Hand, the establishment of democratic institutions and the dissolution of the Relaean Guard, a semi-military organization supplementing the police. It gave all Imperial officials a two-day deadline to leave the planet or be executed. In response, Rempor condemned the bill and proposed negotiations, which ended in failure when a mass of people attempted to capture the loyalist delegation, resulting in the intervention of Imperial forces.
Eventually, the miners besieged the spaceport but were driven back by the shields and the garrison that protected the structure. A rapid-reaction unit of 2,000 elite stormtroopers and their support vehicles were dispatched to Relaea by the Imperial government and Rempor's forces began to take back Relaea City, which was deemed secure a week after the initial incident. The last clearing operations ended a month after the start of the war, which, albeit unsuccessful in shaking off the Imperial rule, led to an increase in pay and the improvement of living standards.
Abandonment (40 ABY—)
In 40 ABY, acting Grand Admiral Chak'oan'gen formally merged the Empire of the Hand into the successor of the mainstream Imperial Remnant, the Fel Empire. The new rulers held little interest in planets with few resources left to exploit, and since nearly all of Relaea's deposits had been mined, the planet was abandoned. Most inhabitants chose to leave, but about 3.7 million stayed on the planet, maintaining nominal trade with the Kaminoan Federation.
During the time of the Rakatan Infinite Empire and the Galactic Republic, Relaea did not have a civilian population. At the apex of the Rakatan hierarchical pyramid was the incumbent leader of experiments on the planet, usually a Field Marshal, while the Republic scientists working on Relaea between 3,655–3,651 BBY answered to the authorities on Lehon.
The Imperial colonization brought about a population boom and a governor was appointed to control the world. The legislative power of Relaea at this time was a council consisting of the representatives of the Imperial companies that operated on the planet. Following Relaea's abandonment, a collective of various respected individuals assumed control.
The Rakata did not export any products from Relaea and their only imports were weapons for testing and consumables. The Republic scientists sent samples of minerals for analysis in better equipped laboratories off-world and brought in foodstuffs and spare parts for maintenance. Trading only began during the rule of the Empire of the Hand, when both unrefined minerals and processed metals were shipped to other worlds in the Empire, importing various pieces of technology and food in return. After Relaea became independent, the settlers that remained on the planet exported raw materials for the Kaminoan Federation, importing the supplies and technologies necessary for survival.
The Rakatan military establishment used to survey the nuclear weapons experiments executed on Relaea was constructed into the side of a mountain that looked over the coastal plains and a portion of the ocean. The base had a 12 m2 strengthened and leadened observation window that was connected to the rest of the facility by a stairway. A 20-meter layer of earth and lead separated the interior from the potentially radiated environment while the entrance was protected by an electric field—a predecessor of the modern deflector shields—and a meter-thick door of lead-osmium alloy.
Situated outside the front door was a landing pad that consisted of a thin layer of duracrete on a gravel bed. The pad was large enough to bear the weight of Rakatan shuttles and other small spacefaring vehicles but was unable to support larger craft.
The Galactic Republic research station established in 3,655 BBY was constructed into the side of a valley, halfway between the bottom and the top. In front of the blast door shielding the interior, was a platform carved into the rock. It contained two rapid-fire anti-air turrets and two pads used to signal the whereabouts of the base to arriving ships. Inside the facility was a central laboratory used for biological examinations, a medical room containing ten bacta tanks and other equipment, supply storage, and habitats.
In the years that followed, the scientific station became a haven for the creatures of Relaea. The central laboratory became a nesting place for Relaean iguanas, while the bacta stored in tanks was consumed by various mammalian herbivores that sought shelter in the base. The damage caused by these inhabitants caused the station to deteriorate visibly, while the structural supports—made of low-quality durasteel from Metellos—began to crumble.
Constructed by Imperial settlers in 8 ABY, Relaea City was the prime settlement of Relaea. 1.8 million inhabitants, at its peak, lived in the underground residential areas and worked primarily in the various facilities of the city. The town contained mining facilities, mineral processing establishments, factories, and warehouses and was also the site of the world's administration and its sole garrison. Relaea City's spaceport—the only one on the planet—was located atop a hill rising above the plateau the city was built under, and was equipped with deflector shields and armored glass to protect it from the wind. Following Relaea's abandonment, the population shrunk to 200,000, but was bolstered by immigration from outlying settlements.
Behind the scenes
Relaea was created on June 21, 2011 by Star Wars Fanon contributor "TK-999" as a possible featured article candidate. The original idea did not include conflicts on the planet, but the Relaean Civil War was eventually included.