Columus was the homeworld of the ancient Columi species, which lived in tree-spanning cities and developed interstellar travel in 100,000 BBY. Around 24,500 BBY it was the site of a battle during the First Great Schism. By the latter days of the Galactic Republic, Columus was something of a backwater, with Columi civilization having been overtaken in influence by younger species.

Though their technology was up to galactic standard, it was too specialized to attract significant trade. The Columi tried to attract trade by marketing their homeworld as a tourist destination, though the health benefits of Columus' low gravity were disputed.

During the Clone Wars, its therapeutic cloning technology was restricted as was all nonmilitary cloning. When the Galactic Empire turned its attentions towards Columus, the Columi reacted with uncharacteristic swiftness and joined the Imperial cause. Though the Columi feared and despised other, more "primitive" sentients, they were willing to lend assistance to the Empire in exchange for being left alone.

A minority of Columi went renegade, and lent their intellectual assistance to criminal organizations or even the Rebel Alliance. The Imperial sentientologist Obo Rin also claimed in his Catalog of Intelligent Life in the Galaxy that the Empire made first contact with the Columi, much as he did with the Mon Calamari.

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