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Coruscant is considered both the economic and political capital of the Galaxy. What historical factors caused Coruscant to be determined as the galactic center as opposed to, say, Alderaan or Corellia?

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It was a combination of geography (on of the central Core world), spacefaring geography (hyperlane crossroads), and history (see below)

Coruscant was a planet located in the Core Worlds. Located at the intersection of numerous major hyperlanes— including the Perlemian Trade Route, the Corellian Run, the Metellos Trade Route, the Koros Trunk Line, and the Leisure Corridor—its hyperspace coordinates were (0,0,0) which effectively made it the center of the galaxy. (src)

As far as history, "The New Essential Chronology" states that

The planet was considered by many to be the Human homeworld, and was known as Notron early in its history. It has been speculated that at some point, the Celestials transplanted humans from Coruscant in order to populate Corellia and other human societies on different planets throughout the galaxy.

Also, Alderaan was colonized from Coruscant (same Wookiepedia)

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    One thing that interested me is the hyperspace coordinates. Current hyperspace technology is apparently Corellian reverse-engineering from Rakatan technology. Assuming that the hyperspace coordinate system is a technological convention and not naturally pre-determined, wouldn't the Corellians place (0,0,0) at Corellia? – Steam Jan 8 '13 at 14:13
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    @Yawus - that seems worth a separate question :) – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 8 '13 at 14:17
  • Question is up. – Steam Jan 8 '13 at 20:00
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The Rakatan who invented had the technology - settled on what would later be Coruscant as the planet where were they first encounter life in the SW Galaxy, and transplanted them to various world's across it (ie the Galaxy) that would explain why the planet that was later to be known as Coruscant got the 0, 0, 0 coordinates

Some of the native humans of the World was flown and settled on what would become Corellia or the Corellian-System ie later on

That they were given the knowledge of space travel like other humans settled across the Galaxy was to provide means for the human species to reestablish contact at the appropriate time in their evolution

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