Region: Outer Rim Territories
Sector: Kessel sector
System: Kessel system
Moons: At least 1
Grid coordinates: T-10
Trade routes: Kessel Run, Pabol Sleheyron, Sanity Skip
Rotation period: 12 hours
Orbital period: 322 days
Diameter: 7,200 kilometers
Primary terrain: Barren spice mines in the north, lush sanctuaries in the south
Points of interest: Spice mines of Kessel, Spice mine K76
Immigrated species: Dwuni, Gigoran, Humans, Pyke, Twi'lek, Wookiee
Major imports: Slaves
Major exports: Coaxium, Kesselstone, Kessoline, Spice
Description: Kessel was a planet within the Akkadese Maelstrom that hosted spice mines. The planet also exported coaxium and Kesselstone. While Kessel's northern hemisphere was devoted to mining, the planet's southern hemisphere was home to lush sanctuaries. During the Imperial Era, the Galactic Empire and Pyke Syndicate ran several mining operations that employed slave labor. These slave mining operations were targeted by various underworld and rebel factions.
The planet Kessel was located within the Akkadese Maelstrom in the Kessel sector of the Outer Rim Territories. Much of the planet's northern hemisphere was devoted to mining spice, coaxium, and Kesselstone. While much of Kessel's surface was devoted to mining said minerals, Kessel's southern hemisphere was home to lush sanctuaries.
During the Clone Wars, Kessel was ruled by King Yaruba of the Yaruba Family of Kessel, and his majordomo, Kinash Lock. At one point, Kinash Lock, while acting in the name of the king, negotiated a deal with Rafa Martez to transport spice to Marg Krim of the Pyke Syndicate on Oba Diah.
For years, the Pyke Syndicate dealt with spice mined from Kessel, using smugglers and freighter captains to deliver it to the crime families of Coruscant. The Galactic Empire also operated a mining operation, employing numerous slaves, including Wookiees, to harvest spice. Meanwhile, the Yaruba Family of Kessel lived in lush sanctuaries in the planet's southern hemisphere, turning a blind eye to the brutal working conditions in the mines of the northern hemisphere.
In 10 BBY, the Pyke Syndicate Capo Quay Tolsite operated a coaxium mine on the planet which was manned by slave laborers. During a mission to obtain coaxium for the Crimson Dawn crime lord Dryden Vos, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Qi'ra, and the droid L3-37 freed the slave miners and droids from the Pyke Syndicate. They then escaped into the Akkadese Maelstrom aboard the smuggler and gambler Lando Calrissian's freighter, the Millennium Falcon.
Being pursued through space by Imperial TIE fighters and TIE heavy starfighters, Solo flew the Falcon through the dangerous Maw Cluster. Despite being attacked by a Summa-verminoth, Han Solo and his crew managed to complete the Kessel Run in twelve parsecs.
In 5 BBY, the Spectres rescued several Wookiee prisoners from Spice mine K76. During the mission, the former Jedi Padawan Kanan Jarrus identified himself as a Jedi by igniting his lightsaber, bringing himself to the attention of the Grand Inquisitor.
When the Empire boarded the starship Tantive IV, which carried Princess Leia Organa on a secret mission for the Rebel Alliance, the protocol droid named C-3PO expressed fear that he and his counterpart, R2-D2, would be sent to the spice mines of Kessel.
King Yaruba was a male individual who ruled as king of the planet Kessel from at least 19 BBY to at least 10 BBY. Due to the proximity of the Pyke Syndicate, who were based out of Oba Diah which was not far from Kessel, they were able to forcibly enter into Kessel's spice scheme and strike a deal with Yaruba, which allowed them to be the lone exploiter of resources harvested from the sacrificed side of the planet. Yaruba was served by the majordomo Kinash Lock, who frequently dealt with visitors, such as pilots hired to transport spice, in his employer's stead. When Rafa Martez inquired if she would ever get to meet the king, Lock told her that that was contingent on her coming to be considered a reliable transporter of spice and being offered a permanent contract for the work.
The Yaruba Family of Kessel,, also known as the royal family of Kessel, was a royal family that controlled the planet Kessel. During the reign of the Galactic Empire, the royal family allowed for the harvesting of spice from one of the hemispheres on the planet. The royal family recognized but ignored the brutal working conditions against the slaves in the spice mines, as well as the fact that the mineral was transformed into a drug and used in criminal operations by groups such as the Pyke Syndicate. One of the kings was King Yaruba. King Yaruba's majordomo was Kinash Lock.
Spice mines of Kessel
The spice mines of Kessel, known as the Dark to veteran miners, were a series of labor camps on the planet Kessel, where various slaves from various species, Wookiees among them, were forced to mine a medicinal spice mineral into a dangerous drug. Spice mining was extremely dangerous, and slaves were thus used as expendable labor. Life expectancy for humanoid species was two to three years, while Wookiees had an expected survival time of three months. The Yaruba Family of Kessel turned a blind eye to the harvesting of spice on their world, living in luxurious sanctuaries in the southern hemisphere of the planet, while the spice mining took place in the northern hemisphere.
Spice mining was accomplished via the use of deep pits, mine shafts and massive refineries.
Approximately 10 years before the Battle of Yavin, the Empire sent Nakari Kelen's mother to the spice mines of Kessel for writing the song "Vader's Many Prosthetic Parts," along with the entire membership of the band Hakko Drazlip and the Tootle Froots for performing it. In 10 BBY, Qi'ra, Tobias Beckett, and his crew conducted a raid on the mines in order to steal unrefined coaxium in order to pay off Dryden Vos.
Approximately 14 years after the Galactic Republic was transformed into the Galactic Empire, a group of Wookiees, including Wullffwarro and his son Kitwarr, were sent to Spice mine K76 by Agent Kallus. However after a brief fracas involving a group of rebels from Lothal, the Wookiee slaves were rescued and brought aboard the heavily modified VCX-100 light freighter Ghost.
When Imperial forces boarded the Tantive IV, C-3PO was worried that he and R2-D2 would probably be sent to the mines.
The palace of King Yaruba of Kessel was a structure that existed on the planet by the Clone Wars. It was located on the unspoiled jungle side of Kessel, and had a tower where starships could dock and a banquet hall where the king's majordomo, Kinash Lock, often entertained guests in his stead.
Spice mine K76
Spice mine K76 was a mining facility in the spice mines of the planet Kessel. The Galactic Empire brought Wookiee prisoners to mine K76 to harvest spice, but the Wookiees were rescued by the rebel crew of the Ghost.