Way back in 1991, Tom Veitch was writing STAR WARS DARK EMPIRE for Dark Horse Comics and needed a lawless place Han Solo could mine for old contacts. Just like that, the moon of Nar Shaddaa — aka the “Smuggler’s Moon” — was born. Circling the Hutt homeworld of Nal Hutta, a lively moon-wide city of shady dealings has sprouted and grown over the centuries. Like Coruscant, but for scum and villainy. And while Nar Shaddaa has been part of Star Wars lore for decades, it’s only recently begun to worm its way into the collective consciousness of the fandom, thank in large part to the video games.

But the Nar Shadda we all know and love is not the one that appears to be canon.

If you think of the Smuggler’s Moon, you probably conjure the grey metal skyscrapers from “Knights of the Old Republic 2” or the Las Vegas feel from “Star Wars: The Old Republic.” Seedy? Yes. Dangerous? Yes. But also glamorous and full of adventure if you know where to look. A place where can see anything, sell anything, and procure everything.

We already knew Nar Shaddaa had survived the jump to the new canon, but in STAR WARS #9 — on sale now — Jason Aaron and Stuart Immonen pan back to reveal a moon that is less ‘Vegas Crime Lord’ and more ‘Lawless Backwater.’ While the bright lights of the casinos could simply be on the other side of the planet, this new Nar Shaddaa makes sense. Dilapidated buildings haphazardly stacked on top of one another and a thick layer of smog seems more in line with a criminally-run moon. Infrastructure support and air quality probably aren’t high on the list of Hutt Cartel priorities. When you rule with an iron fist, citizen happiness doesn’t need to factor in.

Image Credit: Marvel Entertainment/Stuart Immonen

What do you guys think? Did you prefer the decadence of the original or the squalor of the new Nar Shaddaa?


Mom. Wife. Geek. Gamer. Feminist. Writer. Sarcastic. Succinct. Donna has been writing snark for the Internet in one form or another for almost a decade. She has a lot of opinions, mostly on science-fiction, fantasy, feminism, and Sailor Moon. Follow her on Twitter (@MildlyAmused) for more of all these things.