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In Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope, the Death Star destroys Alderaan, killing all life on the planet.

After its destruction, I assume there was still some debris left from it being destroyed. So what happened to this left-over rock and other debris of Alderaan after its destruction by the Death Star? Was it left alone? Were the remains of Alderaan reinhabited by surviving Alderaanians? Was there some attempt (possibly using some sort of gravity creating device) to recreate Alderaan?

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    The gravel harvesters turned it into a nice rock garden on Coruscant – Machavity Dec 5 '17 at 22:18
  • Han Solo: "Thats what I'm trying to tell you, kid. It ain't there. It's been totally blown away." – jeffronicus Dec 6 '17 at 17:01
  • It became an asteroid ring around star under habitable zone. So, it's possible that some kind of life grows on it. – Lobo Dec 6 '17 at 18:08
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The canon novel "Aftermath: Life Debt" identifies the remains of Alderaan as a debris field named the Alderaanian Graveyard:

Asteroids tumble through space. They drift and spiral, and when one hits the perimeter shield, it breaks. Bits drift, pulverized, as the rest of the rock pirouettes away to join the rest of its crumbling brethren. Every time it happens, it hurts Teven Gale's heart. Because that asteroid is a piece of his world. Was a piece of his world, anyway.....

Out in the black, demo-droids drill and dig into the asteroids, one by one - they look like fireflies out there with their bright-orange light flickering from their cutting lasers. Those droids look for anything of note from the world the Alderaanians lost: artifacts, remains, fragments of precious stones or minerals or metals. Even a single brick would be a find. Accessing any of this wasn't even an option under Imperial rule; the Empire blockaded all access to the Alderaanian graveyard.

-- Interlude: The Alderaan Flotilla

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Vader was apparently not averse to giving away bits of the former Alderaan as a reminder to unruly systems that they needed to remain loyal to the Empire

enter image description here

Darth Vader: Annual #01

As to what's left, we can actually see it in A New Hope. In short, not a lot.

"We've come out of hyperspace into a meteor shower or some kind of asteroid collision"

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    ....Were those laser sound effects as rocks fly by always there? – jpmc26 Dec 5 '17 at 23:46
  • @jpmc26 - I think so. They're a bit more prominent in the clip though – Valorum Dec 6 '17 at 0:08
  • @jpmc26 Ben Burtt is a master of subtlety. – JakeGould Dec 6 '17 at 0:50
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I'd doubt if there'd be many survivors to populate it. Basically you'd be left with a huge Asteroid Belt. It might be worth mining but not likely to have a permanent population unless there are a lot of people who care to live in hollowed-out Asteroids.

  • Did this actually have any evidence of happening, or are you merely speculating what could potentially happen with it? The question doesn't seem to be asking for that speculation, just facts of what did really happen. – doppelgreener Dec 6 '17 at 14:43
  • @doppelgreener: See orbital mechanics. – Joshua Dec 6 '17 at 19:34
  • @Joshua - it's not entirely clear that the Death Star was powerful enough to permanently destroy a planet. If it lacked enough power, over a reasonably short time period (at least, geologically speaking) the remains of Alderaan would condense and reform an essentially new planet. I don't know if there's any evidence in canon for whether or not this actually happened, but orbital mechanics entirely allows for it. – Jules Dec 7 '17 at 8:28
  • Fromthe explosion we saw, no there would not be a short time period where the remains would condense into a planet. Instead you would have a wide band of rocks and dust that would spread round the sun and it would be a long time before accretion would counteract the high relative velocities of the individual fragments. – Rory Alsop Dec 7 '17 at 10:01
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I presume the remains eventually formed an asteroid belt around the star. The explosive force would rip any atmosphere from the debris; only Alderaanians off-world could survive.

Reassembly of the planet would be unlikely, as the explosion would scatter a substantial fraction of the planetary mass too far to coalesce by gravity alone.

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    OTOH, almost all of the fragments are going to be still in orbit around Alderaan's sun, and their orbits will still bring them back, at some point, into or across Alderaan's original orbit. The ones in near-circular orbits may collide at relatively low speeds, and thus form the kernel of a new planet onto which other fragments may later fall as meteorites, as presumably happens when a solar system is first formed. So Alderaan may gradually reform. However, this would be a very gradual process and would take millennia or even megayears. Nor is it clear how habitable a new Alderaan will be. – Mike Stone Dec 6 '17 at 8:25
  • Presuming is easy enough -- but do you have any evidence this is what actually occurred? – doppelgreener Dec 6 '17 at 14:44
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    Well, when Luke and Co arrived at where Alderaan was supposed to be, didn't they find themselves flying through a shower of rocks of various sizes? – Mike Stone Dec 6 '17 at 14:47
  • @MikeStone Yes but nothing planet-sized. – TylerH Dec 6 '17 at 16:22
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    @MikeStone regardless of what is or isn't in the movie (unless you think GL modeled the destruction instead of just doing what's best for the flow of the movie), if you pump enough energy into a planet that it blows up in three seconds (IIRC, 3x10^26 Watts required), you aren't going to get a local debris field. That being said, I'd be very interested in seeing the results of a proper modeling to see exactly what would happen. – RonJohn Dec 7 '17 at 6:43
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Referring to Valorum's answer, there was a similar event also in a Legends comic book Star Wars 86: The Alderaan Factor. A stormtrooper was carrying a chunk of rock around his neck, which was, as he claimed, everything that was left of the planet Alderaan. Later, the trooper was shot dead and the rock remained in Leia's hands.

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