- "I know that this city has been through tough times before, and we have pulled through. We survived the Undertaking. We survived the Siege. We survived the Outbreak, and somehow, someway, we will survive this. A friend of mine told me that living in Star City, it takes a special kind of tenacity, but we do live here, because this is our home. This is our home! It is our friend, our family, our lives, and we will not throw those precious gifts away by descending into chaos. We will look to each other for hope."
- —Oliver Queen to the people of the city[src]
Star City, formerly Starling City, was a major city in Washington, United States. It was founded 140 years before 2017, in approximately 1877. It was home to several important businesses and corporations such as Queen Consolidated, Palmer Technologies, and Merlyn Global Group. Despite being a thriving metropolis, Star City was rife with poverty, crime, and corruption. It is mentioned to have had a population of 576,000 people, though this number has presumably fluctuated following several terrorist attacks on the city. According to Oliver Queen, it was located approximately 600 miles from Central City, although this could have been exaggeration since Central City is in Missouri, which is much further than 600 miles away.
Initially, the city was named Starling City. However, following his takeover of Queen Consolidated, Ray Palmer wished to have the city rebranded as "Star City" in an attempt to rejuvenate its populace after the events of the Glades Earthquake and the subsequent invasion of Slade Wilson's army. After Ray Palmer's apparent death following a further terrorist attack by Ra's al Ghul, the city was rechristened as Star City in his honor.
- Queen Consolidated: The head business of Star City, Queen Consolidated was founded and led by Robert Queen until his death in 2007. The company was then led by Moira Queen's new husband and friend of Robert, Walter Steele, until his kidnapping by Malcolm Merlyn in 2012. The company was then taken over by Moira until the fulfillment of the Undertaking when she was arrested. In the following months, Queen Consolidated suffered from backlash, losing much of its influence and interest until it was at the point of potentially facing bankruptcy. Stellmoor International's vice president of acquisitions, Isabel Rochev, sought to buyout Queen Consolidated, which would result in the firing of all its employees, but the company was saved with Walter's help. Eventually, Isabel was able to manipulate Oliver Queen into signing over control of the company to her, allowing her to secure and render it bankrupt. Following Isabel's death, Ray Palmer bought the company and rebranded it as Palmer Technologies.
- Helix Dynamics: This was a company founded by Felicity Smoak and Curtis Holt in late 2017, but mainly run by Felicity. When Curtis left Star City February 2019, he transferred full ownership of the company to Felicity. A short time later, Felicity changed the name of the company to Smoak Technologies.
- Kord Industries: One of the branches of Kord Industries was located in Star City. It had been the target of numerous criminals hoping to steal some of its devices.
- Table Salt: A high-profile restaurant in Star City that opened in late 2012.
- Lord Mesa Bakery: A bakery in Star City which sells superhero-themed cakes. Felicity once bought a Green Arrow 6th birthday cake from Lord Mesa Bakery for Oliver's 32nd birthday.
- S.T.A.R. Labs storage facility: During the Mirakuru attack on Starling City, it was revealed that S.T.A.R. Labs has a storage facility in Star City, which Deathstroke targeted to steal a piece of machinery he needed in order to synthesize the Mirakuru serum. When he went to the facility, Caitlin Snow and Cisco Ramon were there cataloging old S.T.A.R. Labs projects and machinery, they run to the secure wing and distract Deathstroke with a light cannon that was developed by Dr. Arthur Light before his apparent termination. Deathstroke still got what he needed from the facility. It is unknown if the facility remained in operation after the death of "Harrison Wells" a.k.a The Reverse Flash (Eobard Thawne).
- SC Jitters: A café located in Star City.
- Russo's: An upscale Italian restaurant. Oliver and Helena Bertinelli went to dinner there one night in late 2012.
- Toro's Sushi: A sushi bar in Star City.
- Mario's Pizza: A pizzeria in Star City.
- Big Belly Burger: A chain of burger restaurants which a lot of residents eat at and order food from.
- Jade Dragon: A Chinese restaurant that is also a front for the Chinese Triad.
- Starling General Hospital
- Verdant: This nightclub was built in an abandoned Queen Consolidated factory and is used as a cover for Oliver Queen's vigilante activities. Underneath Verdant was the "Arrowcave", where Team Arrow had their primary HQ. After The Undertaking, Oliver transferred ownership of Verdant to Thea Queen. After Oliver lost the company to Isabel Rochev, she approached Thea and informed her that the club was still under the ownership of Queen Consolidated and she had 72 hours to vacate the premises. Following Isabel's death and the takeover of Queen Consolidated by Ray Palmer, Thea used Malcolm Merlyn's estate money to buy the deeds of the club. Thea once again reopened Verdant as a nightclub and is still currently the owner.
- Poison: A club opened by Max Fuller.
- Deville: A club that Oliver Queen and McKenna Hall once attended, but were banned from when Mckenna took her clothes off.
- Starry Nights: A club Oliver and Tommy Merlyn attended for a "Boys Night".
Star City was plagued by crime and corruption at all levels of society, from gangs and drug dealers in the streets to corrupt corporate executives such as Adam Hunt.
Gangs and drug dealing
The most prominent gangs in Star City were the Chinese Triad and the Solntsevskaya Bratva (the Russian mafia), and formerly the Bertinelli crime family before its demise. Drug dealing was a major concern for the police department for many years, but they were unsuccessful in effectively dealing with the issue. The city suffered from dangerous drug dealing from Cecil Adams, Dr. Webb, and Werner Zytle by spreading Vertigo throughout the city.
At one point, the Church of Blood gained considerable influence and power in Star City. They simultaneously managed to get Sebastian Blood elected mayor of Star City and gained control of Queen Consolidated through Isabel Rochev, and then unleashed an army of Mirakuru-enhanced soldiers on the city. However, the Church of Blood was stopped by the efforts of Team Arrow, and its leaders were imprisoned or killed.
The emergence of Tobias Church into the city saw the rise of crime in his quest to control the criminal element and the entire city.
In 2008, boxer Ted Grant began operating as a vigilante patrolling the Glades. He took on Isaac Stanzler as his protege and gained some small media attention. His vigilante activities ended when Isaac beat to death a criminal he and Ted were pursuing.
In 2012, shipwrecked billionaire Oliver Queen returned to civilization with the purpose of saving Star City from the people poisoning it. Acting as the vigilante The Hood, Oliver dealt major blows to the criminal underworld throughout his first months causing crime rates to lower. A mentally unstable crime lord's daughter, Helena Bertinelli, also acted as a vigilante to exact revenge on her own father, destroying his criminal empire and aiming to murder him. She failed to murder him, however, and he managed to escape from her.
After the earthquake that devastated the city and the Hood's self-imposed retirement, embittered survivors formed a copycat group called the Hoods to exact vigilante vengeance on those they considered guilty of helping in the Glade's destruction. At the same time that the Hoods appeared, Starling saw the arrival of a mysterious vigilante called The Canary, who fought crimes related to misogyny. She turned out to be Sara Lance, who had long been presumed dead.
After the Undertaking, Roy Harper took to vigilantism to protect the innocent people of the Glades. Later he became an informant for The Arrow, and ultimately a member of his team, known as Arsenal.
After Sara died, Laurel Lance turned to vigilantism as well and took up the mantle of the Black Canary in place of her sister.
In May 2016 after Green Arrow publicly defeated Damien Darhk many vigilantes fought to clean up the streets of their city, inspired by the acts of the Green Arrow. This included a hockey mask wearing vigilante named Rene Ramirez who was later given the name Wild Dog once he joined Team Arrow in the fall of the same year. Also, Evelyn Sharp became a vigilante again after acting as a Black Canary copycat and was given the name Artemis once joining Team Arrow. A mysterious man in rags named Rory Regan also became a vigilante, killing people he thought were responsible for Genesis Day, as he was the last survivor of Havenrock. Regan along with the others joined Team Arrow and was given the name Ragman. A mysterious vigilante who wore ski goggles also appeared as well.
In October 2016 Curtis Holt, member of Team Arrow as tech support, turned to vigilantism after being beaten up and feeling helpless. He became the vigilante known as Mr. Terrific and provided field support for Team Arrow. Later on, the mysterious "Mr. Ski Goggles" was revealed to be a murderous avenger known simply as the Vigilante, who opposed Green Arrow's methods as ineffective.
In 2017, Councilwoman Emily Pollard issued an anti-vigilante legislation to put restrictions on vigilante activities. However, Oliver Queen the mayor of Star City (secretly the vigilante known as Green Arrow) invoke chapter 9 of the city charter to put the vote out to the citizens. So far, 70% of Star City have voted against the anti-vigilante legislation.
After Cayden James released a video to the press, displaying that Team Arrow was apparently attacking police officers (however, it was actually Cayden's men disguised as Star City police officers) this causes more citizens to vote in favor of the anti-vigilante legislation, enough for the legislation to pass.
However, despite this action, the anti-vigilante laws has proven to be ineffective in putting limitations on the Outsiders and Team Arrow's vigilante activities.
Five months after Ricardo Diaz's downfall, due to the citizens of Star City being aware that Diaz had corrupted most members of the SCPD; as a result, they have lost complete faith in the police department, as they have come to have more faith in vigilantes such as the new Green Arrow.
Team Arrow was deputized by the SCPD and later was turned into their own special ops unit for the department. Star City's faith in the police was eventually restored thanks to this collaboration.
Starling City was founded in 1910.
In 2013, the city was shaken by a corporate conspiracy known as the Undertaking, through the machinations of Malcolm Merlyn, CEO of Merlyn Global Group, in a plan that took years to complete. It was during this Undertaking that a Markov Device caused an earthquake in an impoverished section of the city named the Glades. This was done in retaliation for Malcolm losing his wife Rebecca, despite her goal in life was to help the less fortunate residing in the Glades. Rebecca's murder served as the catalyst for the Undertaking, which cost the life of Tommy, Malcolm and Rebecca's son.
In 2014, the city was under a siege lead by a Mirakuru-infected Slade Wilson and his army. They were beaten back by who was then known as The Arrow, his allies, and The League of Assassins, lead by Nyssa.
In 2015, Ra's al Ghul attempted to unleash an outbreak of the Alpha-Omega virus on Starling City. However, Team Arrow stopped various assassins from exposing the virus airborne, preventing massive casualties. Ray Palmer had Palmer Technologies synthesize a cure for the virus.
Not long after, Ray was presumed dead. The city was subsequently re-branded as Star City in honor of him saving the city from the Alpha-Omega virus.
- "It used to be that The Glades were the worst part of the city, but now it seems like every other part is just as bad."
- —Oliver Queen[src]
Soon after being renamed, Star City fell under attack by H.I.V.E., and their leader, Damien Darhk. H.I.V.E. enacted their Genesis-plan on the city, in which they constructed Ark underneath Glades, where they would survive the nuclear destruction. However, thanks to the efforts of Oliver Queen and his team, Darhk's plan was ruined and Oliver personally killed him as revenge, as Darhk had killed Oliver's friend and former lover, Laurel Lance. Afterwards, Oliver became the new mayor of Star City.
Oliver had to balance of being the mayor of Star City and Green Arrow at the same time. He got into a conflict with then district attorney of Star City, Adrian Chase, aka Prometheus. Ultimately, Chase was defeated.
As Chase killed Samantha Clayton, mother of Oliver's son, William, Oliver had to be a parent for him. In this time, a new conflict arose, when Cayden James and his cabal declared war against Oliver and the city. James threatened to destroy Star City with a thermobaric bomb as revenge against Oliver, as he believed Oliver had killed his son. However, James was defeated, but he was merely a puppet for the real culprit, Ricardo Diaz, who used James for his own scheme to take over the city. He killed James and he bribed nearly all the cops and city officials, and leaked false (yet also real) evidence, that Oliver Queen is the Green Arrow. In order to defeat Diaz, Oliver made a deal with FBI, and Diaz's corruption of the city was exposed, but it also meant Oliver would be arrested for his crimes as the Green Arrow.
Star City was ultimately destroyed in the Anti-Monitor Crisis, when Anti-Monitor's wave of antimatter destroyed the multiverse. However, due to Oliver's noble sacrifice, he created a new multiverse, and a new Star City was created on Earth-Prime.
When the Legion of Doom created an alternate reality, Damien Darhk became the mayor of Star City, once again in possession of the Khushu Idol and all of the magical powers that it grants him. Sara Lance and Amaya Jiwe work as Darhk's personal assassins, hunting down and killing vigilantes active in the city. Masks put on display in Damien's mayoral office include Rory Regan/Ragman, Rene Ramirez/Wild Dog, Barry Allen/The Flash, Oliver Queen/Green Arrow, Vincent Sobel/Vigilante, and John Diggle/Spartan. Felicity Smoak was a vigilante active in the field, as opposed to her main counterpart who stays at the base of operations, as the last vigilante left in Star City. Malcolm Merlyn is once again the rich, famous, and well-respected CEO of Merlyn Global Group. His wife, Rebecca, and son, Tommy, are still alive and happy, and his daughter Thea is also part of his family, who adores him.
- Emily Pollard
- Quentin Lance (deceased)
- Oliver Queen (impeached; deceased)
- Ruvé Adams (deceased)
- Celia Castle (deceased)
- Sebastian Blood (deceased)
- Altman (deceased)
- Prescott (impeached; deceased)
- Damien Darhk (altered reality; formerly; deceased)
Known deputy mayors
- Quentin Lance (formerly; became mayor after Oliver was impeached; deceased)
- Remz (formerly)
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
Arrow: Season 2.5
The Flash: Season Zero
Arrow: The Dark Archer
Crisis on Infinite Earths Giant
The Chronicles of Cisco
- (indirectly mentioned)
- Despite being renamed "Star City" in 2015, a newspaper article from 2024 in S.T.A.R. Labs's Time Vault still called it "Starling City" until the timeline was changed in 2019.
Behind the scenes
- In the original Green Arrow comics, the city is named "Star City". It was changed to Starling City to match with the grounded atmosphere the show was introducing. However, it was later renamed in-universe to Star City in an attempt to re-brand the city.
- While the majority of filming takes place in Vancouver, other cities including Boston, Philadelphia, Frankfurt, and Houston have been featured in various flyover scenes.
- In the first season episode "" at around 12 minutes and 10 seconds in, the Chinatown scene that flashes briefly is actually of Chinatown in San Francisco, CA.
- In the third season episode "" the Starling City Airport is located on Lake Superior in Northern Wisconsin.
- In the third season episode "" Felicity Smoak said there were about 86,000 people named Paco in the city. This would mean that 17.2% of the population of Star City are named Paco.
- The license plates in Star City read "Land of Mist".
- In the original pitch, Star City was short for Starkton City.
- A rundown neighborhood in Starling City is seen to be located at the coordinates (47.6097N 122.3331W). In real-life Earth, these coordinates are near the Pioneer Square-Skid Road Historic District known for the Seattle Underground. The Underground was built after the Great Seattle Fire of 1889 and forgotten decades later, much like the subway system abandoned in Starling City.
- A letter addressed to Sebastian Blood was labeled with the ZIP code 98114. 981xx is the main ZIP Code for Seattle on our Earth.
- Star City is located approximately 600 miles from Central City.
- In the Season 5 episode "" when Oliver showed his progress in tracking Adrian Chase's plane, a map of the west coast of the United States appeared, placing Star City in the approximate location of the real-world San Francisco. This is in contradiction with , which places Washington as the city's state.
- Marc Guggenheim (@mguggenheim) - Twitter
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