"Here he is, the host you all know and love, I'm sure. The all-seeing, all-knowing master with a master key, Warden Fenn Booda!"
―Fode Annodue introduces Fenn Booda to Podrace spectators on Oovo IV[src]

The Gauntlet was one of three Podracing courses located on the barren moon Oovo IV. Like all of the Oovo IV Podrace courses, The Gauntlet sped through the maximum security prison Desolation Alley, but was otherwise the only course that sped outside of the prison facility and onto the moon's rocky surface. The outside portions of the course were only weakly protected by a energy shield, which put pilots in the path of oncoming meteors; The Gauntlet was specifically hosted during meteor showers, courtesy of the prison wardens.

During the year 32 BBY, the crowd favorite was the Xexto pilot Gasgano, who performed in his Ord Pedrovia Podracer and scored record lap and race times. Like all Oovo IV courses, events on The Gauntlet were hosted by Warden Fenn Booda. The entirety of Desolation Alley was destroyed during the intergalactic Yuuzhan Vong War, which lasted from 25 to 29 ABY.


Gasgano on Oovo IV

Gasgano, who was the crowd favorite during 32 BBY, navigates The Gauntlet

Located on the barren moon Oovo IV, which orbited the gas giant Oovo, The Gauntlet was one of three race courses built[1] in the Galactic Republic's Correctional Authority[5] prison Desolation Alley that was used for the sport of Podracing. While the other two courses, Vengeance and Executioner, wove through the prison, The Gauntlet was the only track that sped outside of the well protected facilities and onto the moon's rocky surface.[3] The track began in an arena inside the prison, where all of the Oovo IV races began, and quickly sped into an opening stretch of track that all of the courses wove through. However, The Gauntlet split from the previous routes near a large gate, which pushed pilots through a straight, transparent hex tube that connected the shielded facilities to the moon's surface.[2]

Although the surface was protected by a weak energy dome,[3] this area of the moon's surface was known to be pelted by an annual meteor shower that consisted of marble sized rocks smashing into the ground at high-velocity speeds. The prison's wardens, headed by the governing warden and race host Fenn Booda, primarily hosted The Gauntlet during these showers, to provide the competitors with an extra challenge.[1]

Once outside, pilots could take on of two paths to reach the next stage of the course. Pilots could either choose to head back inside of the protective facility, or they could veer to the right before reentering the facility and remain on an outside path. The outside path was considerably shorter, but it was not connected to the main course, forcing pilots to fly over unpaved terrain which greatly slowed down their pods. In addition, there were far more obstacles, such as rocky outcroppings, to avoid when remaining outside. For pilots who had gone back into the shielded facility, there were two paths that could be taken to reach the next stage. Pilots could either go up a ramp between two watch towers that would lead to a bridge, or pilots could simply avoid the ramp and continue straight through the concrete and metal path. All three roads met at the same spot, however, which was another, yet briefer, tenure outside of the protective facility. The second outside portion of the track wove around and under several large rock towers. The meteor shower, however, did not reach this portion of the track.[2]

Pilots who were able to navigate the rocks would then speed through a large, constructed tunnel that led into a small pit that veered right, where pilots entered another tunnel. After that, Podracers would, once again, fly outside for a brief flat stretch of uphill roadway before entering a circular, pit-like Cell Block D that spun back into Desolation Alley.[3] After a series of bridges and wall-hugging roads that sped past several prison facilities, pilots took on the last stretch of the course, which sped through the track's only anti-gravity tunnel. Like the anti-gravity tunnels on the other Oovo IV courses, this one had been stocked with chunks of ore,[2] courtesy of Booda and the other wardens.[1] Any pilots who had survived the tunnel were shot back out into the starting arena. A standard tournament race on the course would last for three consecutive laps.[2]


«I've seen better in Watto's Junkyard.»
―Gasgano would occasionally taunt other pilots before a race[src]
Fenn Booda hosts

The wardens of Desolation Alley were responsible for hosting The Gauntlet during meteor showers.

The Gauntlet was constructed on Oovo IV[2] by or during the year 32 BBY,[6] and was the second to last course on the Invitational Podracing Circuit, following the track Abyss on the planet Ord Ibanna, and preceding the track Inferno, located on the world of Baroonda. Only pilots who had successfully beaten the Boonta Eve Classic on the planet Tatooine could participate in The Gauntlet.[2]

One such pilot was the Xexto Gasgano,[2] who eventually scored record lap and race times on The Gauntlet. Ultimately, Gasgano was hailed as the crowd's favorite pilot for the course. Flying his green Ord Pedrovia, Gasgano's records included a lap time of 02.13.076 minutes and a record race time of 06:44.576 minutes.[1] Just like the other Oovo IV races, The Gauntlet was hosted by warden Fenn Booda.[2] It has been suggested that pilots should equip their Podracers with good coolant pumps and repair modules if they wished to race The Gauntlet.[1] During the intergalactic Yuuzhan Vong War,[4] which lasted from 25 to 29 ABY,[7] Desolation Alley and its facilities were completely destroyed.[4]

Behind the scenesEdit

The Gauntlet first appeared in the 1999[8] video game Star Wars: Episode I Racer, and was chronologically the third race to be held on Oovo IV. The course could only be unlocked after placing first place in every race for the Galactic Podracing Circuit.[2] Information and history of the course was detailed in the game's two accompanying strategy guides, which were released alongside the game.[1][3] Although The Gauntlet was not mentioned by name, 2008's The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia revealed that Desolation Alley was completely leveled during the Yuuzhan Vong War,[4] an event first introduced in the 1999 novel The New Jedi Order: Vector Prime, written by R. A. Salvatore.[9]



Notes and referencesEdit

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