Bespin is a fictional planet, a gas giant in Star Wars films and books. The planet was first seen in the 1980 feature film The Empire Strikes Back. Since its introduction, Bespin has gained more specific characteristics in the Star Wars Expanded Universe.
Bespin is a major source of tibanna gas, which is refined for production and transport in Cloud City and used in hyperdrive coolant for starships, as well as in the production of blasters. It is home to several million individuals, including humans and Ugnaughts.
The planet is a gas giant that is about 73,000 miles (117,000 km) in diameter. Like most gas giants, it has a solid core that consists of metal followed by layers of metallic gases. Many of the layers of gas are poisonous, and the pressure and temperature are far above what a human could tolerate. But from approximately 93 to 112 mi (150 to 180 km) down from outer space, there is a habitable layer known as the Bespin Life Zone. This layer has an oxygen atmosphere with the temperature and pressure that makes it ideal for human life. It is in this layer that Cloud City is located.
By Han Solo's admission, his starship Millennium Falcon barely made it there from the Anoat system without the hyperdrive. Lando Calrissian, the previous owner of the Millennium Falcon, administered Cloud City and provided "well-paying" jobs for the Ugnaughts until the Galactic Empire occupied the system.
During the Galactic Civil War, Darth Vader captured Cloud City (as seen in The Empire Strikes Back) in what became known as the Occupation of Bespin, after blackmailing Calrissian into turning over Han Solo and Princess Leia Organa to him.
The Jedi Knight Streen, an old gas prospector, was discovered on Bespin by Luke Skywalker and recruited to be part of the first class of the Jedi Academy. He had lived in the abandoned Tibannopolis complex as a hermit for years, trying to stay away from the larger galaxy.
In Star Wars: Battlefront, Star Wars Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith, Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed Cloud City is a playable level. Only in Star Wars: Battlefront can the player pilot the cloud cars.
- Lucas, George; and Leigh Brackett, Lawrence Kasdan, Laurent Bouzereau. Star Wars: The Annotated Screenplays, 1997. ISBN 0-345-40981-7
- Anderson, Kevin J. Star Wars: Jedi Search (Book 1 of the Jedi Academy Trilogy), 1994. ISBN 0-553-29798-8
- Wallace, Daniel; and Scott Kolins. The Essential Guide to Planets and Moons (Star Wars), 1st edition, 1998. ISBN 0-345-42068-3