- "The prejudice, the rich spoiling themselves while the poor are crushed beneath them—not a pretty picture."
- ―Carth Onasi
Taris was an urban planet in the fifth orbit of its star, located in the Taris system, within the Ojoster sector, of the Outer Rim Territories, in turn Taris was orbited by four moons, including Rogue. The term Tarisian was used to describe people and products from the planet, which took over a millennium to build, after being settled by Human colonists from unknown origins. Eventually Alien species settled or visited the city and before long the Republic took notice of the world and the planet's ecumenopolis quickly developed over a century of prosperity, and as a result the planet suffered from massive overpopulation. Once a galactic nexus that earned great wealth from its strategic position on hyperspace routes, Taris' importance declined with the discovery of improved trade routes, and the planet rapidly fell into decay with a slow mass migration of its residents across the galaxy. The remainder of the planet's history was wrought with civil disorder and social unrest. As it turned to industry as a means of compensation for its economic troubles, its oceans became polluted, eliminating the planet's main food source. After a century of the planet's ecosystem dying off, famine spread among the lower classes while the rich hoarded what few supplies remained. The resulting strife led to the Tarisian Civil War, the start of lasting prejudices between the Humanocentric Tarisian nobles and the largely alien underclass. The city became segmented, the lower classes were banned from living in the upper levels of Taris and the planet became the poster child of a economically dying world.
During the Mandalorian Wars, Taris served as a crucial rallying point for dissident Jedi who had decided to fight against the invading Mandalorian Neo-Crusaders. As the lower classes were crushed beneath the rich, crime became rampant, and the Tarisian government did little in response. This caused Lhosan Industries, a mining company which employed half of the planet's lower class in its operation, to leave Taris. The millions left unemployed rioted against the government, even spreading up to the middle levels and kidnapping the planet's senator in the Galactic Senate as well as the local constable. This caused the local Jedi to leave Taris as well, leaving the planet in a state of chaos, as the war raged on around it.
By the time of the Jedi Civil War, order had been restored, but swoop gangs and crime still held sway over the Lower City. During the war, Taris was conquered by Darth Revan's Sith Empire, which quarantined the planet in an attempt to capture Jedi Bastila Shan. As the search continued fruitlessly, the Sith leader Darth Malak ordered the bombardment of Taris, killing countless civilians. This act had huge political repercussions for the Sith and changed the tone of the rest of the war, showing Malak and the Sith's true colors, the desire to achieve victory at any cost.
Over the next few millennia the planet managed to rebuild and recover from its devastation, though never reaching the extent of its former glory. Similar to other ecumenopolies like Coruscant and Nar Shaddaa, the upper levels were safe and secure, inhabited by the wealthy, while the lower levels were frequently plagued by gang warfare and inhabited by thugs and the poor.
During the Great Galactic War, Taris had become the subject to both Jedi and Sith plans; while the Jedi wanted to rebuild the planet to prove to the people of the Republic that they were strong enough to recover from such a disaster, and with it raise morale, the Sith sought to foil their plans, to prove that the Republic couldn't recover from such a thing. Ultimately the Sith were victorious, despite the Republic and Jedi's best efforts to defend the world.
By the time of the Galactic Civil War, much of the city had been rebuilt but never to the extent of it prior to the Jedi Civil War. However, by that time many of the planet's problems that had plagued the city prior to the bombardment, including the species and class oppression, had disappeared with Taris's destruction millennia prior. This was a bittersweet resolution for the planet that once rivaled Coruscant.
- 1 Description
- 2 History
- 2.1 Growth
- 2.2 Decay
- 2.3 Civil war and anti-alien prejudice
- 2.4 Swoop racing and crime
- 2.5 Joining the Republic
- 2.6 Mandalorian Wars
- 2.7 Jedi Civil War
- 2.8 Dark Age
- 2.9 Rehabitation
- 2.10 Clone Wars
- 2.11 Imperial Period
- 2.12 Later events
- 3 Locations
- 4 Culture
- 5 Behind the scenes
- 6 Appearances
- 7 Sources
- 8 Notes and references
- "Taris? The planet's all one big city…"
- ―Carth Onasi
Taris was a ecumenopolis, at least in that all its landmasses were covered in a large city. However, unlike other ecumenopoleis, Taris had an ocean that covered a large part of the planet's surface. The ocean once possessed massive kelp farms that were used to sustain the planet's immense population. However, these farms were poisoned by pollution, leading to food shortages in the city.
The city itself was formed over a century of prosperity, a remarkable feat considering other ecumenopolies such as Nar Shaddaa took many centuries, even millennia, to form. The towers of the city were tall and gleaming, possessing a unique, universally-rounded appearance not found on other ecumenopolies. However, beneath the planet's initial pristine exterior lay the result of many years of lawlessness and oppression. In the Lower City of Taris, the largely non-human population lived in total poverty and desperation, prevented from entering the safer Upper City, which was almost exclusively inhabited by rich Humans. Following the bombardment of Taris at the hands of Darth Revan's Sith Empire, the city was left in ruins. Although much of the city would be rebuilt in the following centuries, many ruins remained.
Flora and fauna
- "And now that Taris is a smoking ruin, the only place to find tach is on Kashyyyk."
- ―Griff Vao
In the upper levels of Taris there were feathered dogs used almost exclusively as pets. These unique creatures could be seen on leashes as their owners took them out on walks through the promenades of Taris. There were also large lizards that were domesticated and used to pull refuse through the Lower City.
One of the only species of wild animals on Taris was the simian tach. The tach possessed a unique gland in their heads that, when powdered, could be used to make Tarisian ale, a major export of Taris. As they were actually native to Kashyyyk, the presence of tachs on Taris may have been due to importation.
The rakghoul, the fiercest and most terrifying species on Taris, inhabited the Undercity. They were mutated humans that ruthlessly attacked anything outside of the protective gates of the Undercity. Contact with the rakghouls caused a sentient to contract the rakghoul plague, a terrible affliction that would cause the victim to turn into a rakghoul.
The oceans of Taris once hosted a variety of kelp and marine life that were harvested as food for the Tarisians. Most of these were later destroyed by pollution from Taris' many industries and what was left of them was later consumed to extinction by the Tarisian nobles. Coin-crabs were a species of small crustaceans native to the Tarisian coastlines. Renowned for their delicious taste, the people of Taris would sometimes deep-fry and serve coin-crabs at establishments such as the Horizon Hotel.
- "Taris was once a magnificent planet-wide metropolis of towering skyscrapers. But that was a long time ago."
- ―Carth Onasi
Some time during the Manderon Period, a fleet of human ships from unknown origins colonized the planet and started to build a city underground, which was completed by 5300 BBY and according to Rukil would become the site of the Promised Land. They were governed by the Taris Civil Authority. In 5100 BBY, the whole surface of the landmass was covered in a giant city which would become the Undercity, which housed the sewers, which existed between the Promised Land and the Undercity and was built sometime after. In 4600 BBY, as the population spread another city was built on top of it which would become the Lower City and then another in 4400 BBY, the Middle City above that and finally in 4300 BBY, the Upper City was constructed and the Promised Land was abandoned and was eventually lost and forgotten. The kelp harvest and the oceanic fauna became the planet's only food source since there was nowhere to grow crops or herd livestock on land.
Taris was situated on a major hyperspace transport hub, and owing to its wealth and population became known as the "Coruscant of the Outer Rim," due to Taris being an ecumenopolis, with all landmasses eclipsed with a world-spanning city. The city's grandeur was once said to rival the galactic capital, Coruscant, for 144 years. However, the planet wasn't truly a planet-wide city, as unlike other city-planets such as Coruscant and Nar Shaddaa, it contained an ocean. Unfortunately with this title, the planet suffered from overpopulation, and only the Republic kept it from falling into disrepair.
- "They say Taris is the Coruscant of the Outer Rim. But this world is nothing but crumbling buildings and urban waste!"
- ―An outraged Quarren
In 4156 BBY, Taris underwent a precipitous decline as the hyperspace lanes that were key to its prosperity shifted when newer, shorter routes were discovered and without the republic, its business began to die out and so its population started to shrink with the Tarisian's diaspora across the galaxy. By this point, the Promised Land had been rediscovered. To maintain the planet's economy, Taris turned to industry, where the Tarisian industrialists switched to a new, cheaper power source, that produced toxic waste as a byproduct, which began to slowly pollute the once-pristine ocean, in a century of destruction of the kelp farms and most of the marine life. While the issue of of its overpopulation had been lifted, the city was slowly dying, which was an economical urban decay that would last for 200 years. When the Republic had abandoned the planet in 4156 BBY, Taris's population had likely numbered in the tens of billions, but by the time of the Sith occupation in 3956 BBY, the city's inhabitants had dwindled to just six billion.
In 4086 BBY Taris received an extremely harsh review in Trampeta's Star Guide, as it was given the lowest possible recommendation. According to the author, T3 droids working in one of Taris' starports stole his baggage. While probably not having any influence on the development of the planet itself, it was nonetheless a reflection of the decay that Taris was undergoing.
Eventually the rakghoul disease ended up in the Tarisian Undercity by unknown means. This caused the city to be abandoned and the sewer system was left to disrepair and was eventually overrun by rakghouls and Gamorrean slavers but it still served as the planet's infrastructure. The rakghouls would often use the turbolifts from the sewers to ascend to the Lower City and attack its residents but the locals always ended up winning the fights of the disease.
Civil war and anti-alien prejudice
- "A century ago rising levels of toxic pollution poisoned the oceans and famine swept the planet. The rich hoarded food for their own use, and the poor were left to starve and die. But the poor rose up against this tyranny and civil war engulfed the planet."
After several decades of Taris's ecosystem dying off from pollution, famine swept the planet. Panicking, the greedy Tarisian nobles hoarded the remaining kelp and marine life for themselves. Around 4056 BBY, a century before the Jedi Civil War, the starving lower-class engaged the nobles in a massive civil war, where millions of innocents died and large sections of Taris were destroyed or abandoned. The Promised Land was lost once more and became a legend amongst the lower class faction. Ultimately, the nobles emerged victorious.
The Tarisian prisons couldn't hold all the rebels, so the nobles began the tradition of banishing criminals and their descendants to the Undercity, unable to return to the surface under pain of death. These people became the Outcasts. They built a village, but suffered from starvation, rakghoul attacks, and rakghoul infections; all hope for them was lost save for the legendary Promised Land. The remaining kelp along with the remaining oceanic fauna was consumed to extinction by the Tarisian nobles in which they were then forced to rely on imported food. Also, because many of the rebels were aliens, the human nobles became prejudiced against non-humans, and banished them from the Upper City to the Lower City, punishing any that dared to enter the upper levels without a permit. Thus began the long oppression by the Humanocentric Tarisian nobility of the non-human lower class. The Lower City's conflicts with the rakghouls continued but the locals continued to emerge victorious. Their hope for improving their lives was to save up until they could leave the world. Naturally, this gave the planet a very bad reputation to off-worlders both human and alien. The Middle City however was more tolerant of aliens and poor humans.
Swoop racing and crime
The gangs in the Lower City got worse as they fought each other more and their main vehicle was the swoop bike, where they competed in the Tarisian Season Opener thus the term Swoop Gang was coined. Many gangs oppressed the common Lower City citizens. It was here that swoop racing captured the imagination of the galaxy around 4000 BBY. Using an intricate system of hyperspace beacons, Tarisian race organizers broadcast the results of their swoop races throughout the galaxy, which eventually gave rise to a huge and profitable gambling operation and was funded by Czerka Corporation. The planet also began to export Tarisian ale that was made from a gland from a tach. Taris remained a hub for swoop racing for decades, becoming the center of the Galactic Swoop Racing Circuit. It was at this time that the Exchange based itself on Taris and the Taris Civil Authority only accepted bribes to keep quiet or collaborate in their operations. The Hidden Beks were the main authority of the lower levels and policed various other gangs most notably the Black Vulkars in which a Swoop Gang War had began in 3976 BBY.
Joining the Republic
In 3976 BBY the Jedi Tower was constructed in the Upper City shortly after the outbreak of the Mandalorian Wars and the local Swoop Gang War. In 3966 BBY a secret backroom deal Haydel Goravvus helped install Lhosan Industries on Taris and in exchange, Jervo Thalien managed to bribe Taris into the Republic and install Goravvus as its Senator. Lhosan Industries replaced Czerka Corporation in funding the Swoop Races.
- "Taris, this planet so close to the stalemated Mandalorian front—"
- ―A Tarisian broadcaster
Around the year 3964 BBY, Captain Saul Karath commanded the Republic fleet that protected Taris during the Mandalorian Wars in which they built themselves a base in the Upper City. Due to Taris' close proximity to the Mandalorian War front, it had been granted Republic membership in 3966 BBY and it became the heart of the Republic's defense for the region. The planet served as a staging point for dissident Jedi who where led by Revan and his apprentice Malak and their allies for campaigns against the Mandalorians who based themselves in the Jedi Academy. Many Exchange members sold their slaves to the Mandalorian Neo-Crusaders; among them was the slaver Xor and the slave Juhani in the Lower City. They succeeded in dissolving the Taris Civil Authority and driving the Exchange off the planet. The Jedi Order managed to free the slaves but the Mandalorian presence did not lift.
Meanwhile, Taris had compensated for its decaying importance to trade routes by negotiating with Lhosan Industries, which employed over half of the Lower City residents in its mining activities. However, due to increasing swoop gang activity, Lhosan was considering pulling out, and moving its operations to a world with less crime. The local authorities assured Lhosan Industries that they had the swoop gangs fully under control, and would take care of them with the assistance from the local Jedi. However, after a fugitive Jedi Padawan named Zayne Carrick was accused of murdering the entire graduating class of new Jedi Knights and escaped twice from Jedi custody in the Jedi Tower, Lhosan made its decision, and abandoned Taris.
This left many Tarisians unemployed, and angry citizens began rioting all over Taris, setting entire sections of skyline on fire. The riots soon spilled up into the Middle City. Crime began to envelop Taris. The Chancellor of the Republic became suspicious of Taris' quick entry into the Republic and sent Jedi Master Raana Tey to retrieve Goravvus. Jervo Thalien, head of Lhosan, became frantic since it was Goravvus who had installed Lhosan on the planet and Jervo had arranged a Senate seat in the Grand Convocation Chamber of the Senate Building on Coruscant for him in return. He hired Marn Hierogryph and the Moomo Brothers to retrieve the Senator. He promised Hierogryph a reprieve of the Massacre charges and most of the bounties on him lifted, but also secretly ordered the Moomo Brothers to kill Goravvus, as he had become a liability. Haydel Goravvus the Senator that represented the planet in the Galactic Senate disappeared, and the constable's family was kidnapped. Due to the political anarchy, the Jedi based on Taris were recalled to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, abandoning the Tarisians to their fates. Taris was also largely abandoned by the Republic military. It maintained only a small military base on the planet's surface. Without the protection of the Jedi and the Republic military, Taris was left open to a Mandalorian invasion.
The Mandalorians used Taris to make their first direct strike at the Republic and captured the Jedi Tower and to a lesser extent the Military Base was used as the Mandalorian base who were led by Cassus Fett. The Tarisians managed to form a small resistance movement led by the swoop gangs, such as the Hidden Beks, which employed guerrilla tactics to assist them.
Hierogryph met up with the Beks and was soon reunited with Zayne Carrick. The Beks wished to join with the Resistance but had nothing of value to offer them. Luckily, Carrick found the constable's children, who were being held hostage by Brejik and Griff Vao. The Beks then took the children to the Resistance, where they were reunited with their mother. Together, they sought to take out the Mandalorian commander, Cassus Fett. Cassus was on the winning side in which he was succeeding in defeating the Resistance, driving them into the Undercity and eventually they left the planet aboard The Last Resort, their ship that was based in the Undercity. The Mandalorians then used Taris as a stronghold in their conquest of the galaxy. For this, Cassus became the most wanted person in the galaxy.
In the aftermath of the Battle of Malachor V, the Mandalorians presumably abandoned the planet or were driven out by Revan and Malak in the aftermath of the war. The Jedi Tower and the Military Base were left deserted, only for the Exchange to regain its presence and became the main authority of the planet. Czerka Corporation reclaimed its position in funding the Swoop Races.
Jedi Civil War
Battle over Taris
- "The Sith fleet must have been waiting to ambush us over the planet."
- ―Carth Onasi
Though the Republic managed to maintain a small military presence on Taris to once again desegregate the world, the planet had not been viewed with any military importance since the Taris Siege. This changed when the Sith succeeded in overrunning nearly the entire Outer Rim, leaving Taris as the last valuable planet in that region still under Republic control.
In 3956 BBY the galactic senators decided to make a stand there and the Endar Spire soon arrived above the planet to bulk up the existing garrison. Several important members of the Republic war effort were onboard the Endar Spire including Carth Onasi, Bastila Shan, and an amnesiac Revan (who was currently under the impression that he was a Republic soldier).
While on a mission over Taris, the Endar Spire was ambushed by a Sith warship. Bastila Shan was famous for her affinity to the Force and her skill with battle meditation, but she was unable to use her powers during the ensuing battle. The Sith troops quickly seized the ship in an attempt to capture Shan to use her Jedi powers for their own goals. Shan and several other crew members including Carth and Revan were able to escape the ships in escape pods. The Sith then destroyed the Endar Spire.
Shan's escape pod landed outside the Undercity of Taris, while others crashed in the Upper City. Many Upper City citizens gave over injured Republic soldiers to the local healer, Zelka Forn. The Black Vulkars, a swoop gang of the Lower City, swarmed over the Republic escape pods that landed in the Undercity, salvaging what was left of them. Shan had been unable to exit her escape pod in time due to being separated from her lightsaber and was captured by the Vulkars. Their leader retrieved her weapon for himself but was unable to use it because he wasn't force sensitive. Revan and Onasi's pod had landed in the Upper City and they were able to find an abandoned apartment to hide out in while they planned Shan's rescue.
- "We've been ambushed by a Sith battle fleet!"
- ―Trask Ulgo
The rest of the Sith fleet quickly arrived above Taris, and began landing their troops on the planet. There was little resistance from the Tarisians, and the Sith were able to take the Republic military base and to a lesser extent the Jedi Tower without much trouble and emerged victorious in conquering the planet.
Darth Malak, leader of the Sith armada, enacted a planet-wide quarantine, preventing any ships from landing on or leaving Taris. The Sith also programmed their orbiting fleet to auto-target any ships that attempted to do so who weren't part of the Sith armada. This was all part of Malak's plan to capture Shan. The Sith troopers led by the Sith Governor declared martial law and blocked travel between the levels for everyone but Sith. Sith troops questioned the Upper City residents about the escape pods that landed there, searching for any surviving crew from the Endar Spire. Malak also sent Sith patrols into the Undercity to look for Shan, using the rakghoul serum to protect them from a mutating disease spread by rakghouls which transformed any infected persons into rakghouls themselves.
The quarantine kept many off-worlders who were on business on Taris from leaving the planet. Since aliens were forbidden in the Upper City without a permit, off-world aliens were ordered into the slums of the Lower City while the quarantine was active. The Sith did little to enforce this edict when off-world aliens ventured into the Upper City.
A local gang war between the Hidden Beks and the Black Vulkars further hindered the Sith's efforts to find Shan. Brejik, the leader of the Black Vulkars, wanted to encourage recruitment into his gang and gain dominance over the Lower City by winning the swoop season opener. He had a prototype accelerator stolen from the Beks, which would allow the Vulkars to win the race. He even offered Shan up as a prize to raise the stakes.
This was Onasi and Revan's opportunity to rescue Shan. Cooperating with the Hidden Beks, Revan stole back the swoop accelerator and won the Taris swoop championship. Brejik, unwilling to give up his prize, retracted Shan from the prize pool. While Revan protested, Shan freed herself and a brawl erupted. In the end Brejik and his racers where killed, and Revan looted his body and found Bastila's lightsaber in which they then both escaped to the Upper City apartment before reinforcements arrived.
After Revan, Carth, and Bastila left the apartments they were greeted by a male Twi'lek who told them that Canderous Ordo wanted to meet them in the Upper City Cantina. Canderous, a Mandalorian enforcer for Davik Kang, the local crime lord and member of the Exchange, was impressed by Revan's skill and boldness during the race and the brawl afterwards. He approached Revan with a plan to escape Taris and told him where he could obtain a droid, T3-M4 from Janice Nall's shop, that would be capable of bypassing the security system for the Sith Military Base. This would allow them to break into the base to steal the codes necessary to bypass the Sith blockade. Once they had obtained the codes from the Sith Governor, the three traveled to the Lower City Cantina to meet Ordo, who took Revan and Bastila to Davik Kang's estate to steal his ship, the Ebon Hawk.
Bombardment of Taris
- "Appraisal: this is what a planetary liquidation looks like. The Maker was busy here."
On his flagship, the Leviathan, Darth Malak grew impatient with the search for Shan. He feared her possible escape and ordered his fleet to bombard the entire planet. This was arguably the most horrific event during the Jedi Civil War. Taris was destroyed unnecessarily as Revan and his crew, including Shan, escaped the bombardment aboard the Ebon Hawk, which would eventually lead to the toppling of Malak's Sith Empire. The Upper City, Middle City and the Lower City were completely destroyed, the rubble from those levels landed on the surface, which crushed most of the Undercity, flattened much of the sewer system below and badly damaged the Promised Land beneath that. It is assumed that most of the Upper City citizens were killed including Davik Kang himself while only a few citizens, most notably Calo Nord, survived the destruction, despite his injuries.
During the Sith occupation, Taris had a population of six billion, an already dwindling number, but after its destruction, it was closer to six hundred, with the Outcast of the Undercity being the only survivors, who were at their time making their months long exodus from the their village to the entrance of the Promised Land, through what was left of the sewers.
On the plus side, Taris's destruction and the slaughter of its entire population had ended many of the planet's problems, including decaying skyscrapers, the Bek–Vulkar gang war, the oppression of the other violent gangs, the Sith occupation and the Exchange influence, the Czerka Corporation funding as well as the species and class oppression of Taris and the Gamorrean enforced slavery in the sewers. So after two hundred years of the planet slowly dying, since losing the title "Coruscant of the Outer Rim", the city was put to rest, in a brutal bombardment.
Knowing not to expect any help from the weakened Republic in any near future nor seeing any possibility to survive in a world reduced to rubble, the surviving members of the Tarisian government and intellectuals evacuated to a long-term storage facility near one of Taris' underground transport stations, sheltered from the bombardment. There, they preserved themselves in carbonite blocks, programming a nearby droid to open the facility when Taris was once again under Republic control. The facility was later discovered during Republic's reconstruction efforts, but there is no record of whether any of the people inside actually survived three centuries of stasis.
The Outcasts were the only survivors according to their search for the Promised Land. When they had reached their destination, the underground city was however, vastly different from the legends, or at least after Taris's destruction. While they had made it safe and saw that the realm was sheltered from the bombardment but found out that the buildings, equipment, generators and possibly droids had been destroyed, and therefore the Outcasts had to start over. Whilst being a difficult task, they had survived the bombardment. However, many generations had passed since then—each having a "Promised One", who would keep the memories of the terrible apocalypse and be in charge of the colonists.
The rakghoul serum which Revan had previously discovered was enough to protect the first few generations, but after the Rakghouls evolved to an advanced level, it was obvious the serum became useless and that babies couldn't be born immune as many Rakghouls learnt to use weapons such as blasters and some even evolved into the sentient Nekghouls, but unlike the Rakghouls, the Nekghouls couldn't spread infection. The Outcast later left the Promised Land and recolonized the by than sky filled Undercity and renamed themselves the Tarisians. This however was in vain as the Tarisians continued to die out on the surface, from starvation, disease, and rakghoul attacks. It was also shown, in the last successfully preserved time recording, that the last generation alive had lost so much information about the world, they didn't even know how or what brought them there, where they had then likely numbered close to a dozen. One by one, the twelve remaining Tarisians quickly dwindled, until not a single human on Taris had remained. This was due to toxic waste in the water which they drank from, which ultimately resulted in their extinction like the rest of the planet's population many years earlier.
Following the death of the last generation of the Outcast, Taris was inherited by the Nekghouls, which by then their population was likely close to a hundred thousand and were for an unknown period of time, the planet's sole sentient species.
During the Cold War, 315 years after the bombardment, the Republic took up the difficult task of recolonizing Taris. Initial goals were to establish a spaceport, a military base, and settlements. The Republic believed that rebuilding Taris would be a substantial symbolic victory against the Sith Empire. The rebuilding efforts were focused around the city of Olaris, where the government buildings, spaceport, and chief resettlement areas were located. Led by Governor Leontyne Saresh, the recolonization efforts proceeded well.
The Rakghoul plague was one major setback for the rebuilding efforts. To protect against rakghoul attacks, a Republic Resettlement Zone was built around Olaris and eventually found the cure in the wreckage, that was created over three centuries ago. Protected by the Republic Armed Forces, the Resettlement Zone was considered safe from the rakghoul plague.
These settlers were famous for their shipbuilding skills. These settlers rebuilt some of the planet's former cities, though much of the surface was left in ruins. Historians attempted to excavate the planet-wide ruins, looking for proof that the swoop bike originated on Taris not long after Taris was linked to the Hydian Way Route, the sole route that passed through the entire galaxy.
However, the Empire, led by Darth Gravus attempted to sabotage the reconstruction project. Establishing a central base in the Brell Sediment area, the Sith Empire proceeded to sabotage Republic projects through mostly guerrilla attacks and covert operations.
Governor Saresh struggled to stamp out corruption in the military and civilian forces across Taris. Thanks to her efforts and her dedication to the cause, the initiative was making more progress than it had in the last decade. However, thanks to the assistance of various members of the Empire, Gravus succeeded in halting the project, and Taris for an unknown period of time, was consequently occupied by Imperial Forces, despite Jedi and Republic's best efforts to defend the world.
By the time of the Golden Age of the Old Republic, much of Taris had been rebuilt, and the planet was once again an ecumenopolis. During the final days of the Republic and the Clone Wars, Taris was considered a "faded" city-world and was represented in the Galactic Senate by the human female Kin Robb. When she found the battlefronts getting closer to Taris, she joined the Council of Neutral Systems under Duchess Satine Kryze, hoping it would keep her world out of the fighting. Nevertheless, Taris became the headquarters of the Republic's 10th Sector Army under the command of Moff Tanniel, guarding the neutral coalition against a Separatist incursion.
By 3 ABY, much of the city had been rebuilt, but never to the extent of it prior to the Jedi Civil War, with the then population of 1 billion.
In the years following the Battle of Endor, Taris was part of the Imperial Warlord Zsinj's Empire. Zsinj lost the planet after a combined New Republic/Imperial raid on Taris in 7 ABY. The world returned under the control of the Galactic Empire after this battle and stayed under Imperial control until the fragmentation of the Empire following the final death of Emperor Palpatine, in 11 ABY. It later joined the New Republic.
Near the end of the Galactic Civil War, Gilad Pellaeon, leader of the Imperial Remnant conquered Taris. However the planet was quickly recaptured in a New Republic counterattack. Taris along with the Taris system and indeed the entire Ojoster sector rejoined the New Republic.
Taris was conquered by the invaders during the Yuuzhan Vong invasion but it wasn't reduced to rubble for a second time. After the Yuuzhan Vong were defeated the planet was presumably liberated by the Galactic Alliance.
In 40 ABY, during the Second Galactic Civil War, Taris remained affiliated with the Galactic Alliance and during that time, the famed bounty hunter Boba Fett owned a private residence on Taris. He had once taken a bounty down in the Lower City and retained bad memories of the experience. He returned to the planet to research the possible whereabouts of the Kaminoan Taun We, and unwittingly met his granddaughter.
The city of Taris was divided into four levels: the Upper City, the Middle City, the Lower City and the Undercity. Each possessed unique inhabitants, lifestyles and problems. However it was believed that there was a fifth level, that lacked any significant conditions.
- "The Upper City's got some nice shops and all, but it's boring!"
- ―Mission Vao
The Upper City was a beautiful area inhabited by the rich and powerful people. They lived in the highest reaches of the towering glittering spire shaped skyscrapers that dominated the planet's landscape. Here, the privileged surrounded themselves with the all the trappings of prosperity, oblivious to the suffering and oppression of those forced to dwell far below them. Although access to the Upper City was restricted, notable non-Humans found in the Upper City included a Twi'lek droid merchant Janice Nall, Ajuur the Hutt, and a Rodian duelist named Twitch.
At some point prior to or during the Mandalorian Wars, the Jedi Order established a satellite training academy on Taris, ostensibly as a means of preparing its students for the more rigorous duties of patrolling the Outer Rim. The relationship between the Jedi and the Tarisian authorities was mutually beneficial and the planetary constabulary sought in vain for more Jedi to be stationed there. The pressing threat of the Mandalorians, rendered this wish untenable, with all enclave graduates earmarked for front-line combat duty. In the midst of the Mandalorian invasion, the academy, under the leadership of headmaster Lucien Draay, was partially destroyed during an attempt to kill Cassus Fett, by the Tarisian Resistance.
The Upper City featured a cantina famous for its dueling ring owned by Ajuur the Hutt, and Zelka Forn's medical facility, which possessed a reputation for being able to heal all diseases except the infamous rakghoul plague. During the Second Great Sith War, a Sith military base was also established in the Upper City, and its roads were heavily patrolled by Sith troopers.
- "This table was Taboon hardwood! Do you know how hard it is to get that in the Middle City?"
- ―A Besalisk businessman
The Middle City was the most populous level of Taris. The middle class and working citizens of the planet's Human population lived there. Many small business owners lived there, and most average people came to the Middle City to conduct business. Swoops and air speeders traversed through the air-traffic ways that cut through the many avenues of the Middle City towers. The Middle City was also the largest area, since a large portion of buildings were included in the jurisdiction of the "middle area". After the second escape of fugitive Jedi Zayne Carrick, massive riots rocked the Middle City, causing extensive damage. Although not entirely devoid of crime, the Middle City was notably more peaceful than the lower levels of Taris.
- "Just be careful down there. Those swoop gangs will take a shot at anybody. Even our Sith patrols have come under fire!"
- ―A Sith guard to Revan
The Lower City was home to the lower class people who had not been born into the privileged classes of Tarisian society. Aliens were common there, as it was one of the few areas on Taris where they were legally allowed to live. A popular lower city attraction was Javyar's Cantina. Here, another Hutt named Zax placed bounties and rewarded successful bounty hunters on behalf of his de facto boss, Davik Kang.
Control over the Lower City streets was the subject of rivalry between swoop gangs. These gangs had pilots who competed in swoop racing, a popular sport on Taris and other planets (among them Tatooine and Manaan) since 4000 BBY. The most notable swoop gangs were the Hidden Beks, led by Gadon Thek, and the Black Vulkars, led by Gadon's protegé Brejik, from 3976 BBY to 3956 BBY.
As one descended into the slums of the Lower City, the signs of urban decay became undeniable. Filth and refuse littered the streets. Burned out vehicles and shattered windows served as stark reminders of the violent wars of the swoop gangs fighting for control. Denizens of the Lower City struggled to survive amidst the violence and filth of the urban wasteland.
The Undercity was a mechanical wilderness built on the original surface of the planet many centuries ago, on the ground level beneath the immense skyscrapers of Taris, which was right above Taris's sewer system. It was a dark, wild area inhabited by the Outcasts, people who were, or whose predecessors had been, banished for their crimes. The Outcasts never saw the sky in their miserable lives, and nobody had hope that their lives would ever turn for the better. Rukil was the exception. He was an old man who was considered crazy by the rest of the village because of his stories about the Promised Land, a self-sufficient colony built long before the founding of the Undercity. No one else believed in these stories, and most of the villagers considered them to be tales created with the purpose of giving people false hope. The amnesiac Revan assisted Rukil in discovering the alleged location of the Promised Land, allowing a great number of the Undercity's people to undertake the dangerous journey to improve their lot.
The area outside of the Undercity village gate was extremely dangerous because of rakghouls, semi-humanoid beasts that could infect Humans with the rakghoul disease. The Outcasts had to keep infected people isolated from the rest of the society because they would inevitably mutate into rakghouls. Few ventured outside of the gate, and many of the ones who did perished.
The Promised Land
- "Legends tell of a self-sufficient colony where droid servants tend to every need."
The Promised Land was a underground city located beneath the Undercity of Taris. It was where the first Tarisians first discovered and settled on the planet which was several centuries before the Jedi Civil War back when the world was still forest and oceans. It was governed by the Taris Civil Authority. It was before the Tarisian Civil War turned the portion of the planet's surface that was not covered by an urban sprawl into a wasteland. Once someone entered the colony, they were unable to exit, thus protecting the Promised Land's secret. According to Gendar, it would have taken weeks or even months to reach the entrance and the traveler had to cross many rakghoul infested areas.
The inhabitants of the Undercity believed in the Promised Land, and many died searching for information regarding its location. The amnesiac Revan found evidence of its location and gave this to Rukil, who would later lead the Outcasts to it, who began their months long exodus thorough the sewers, from their village in the Undercity, to the entrance of the Promised Land
- "The whole swoop racing circuit for this sector has been falling apart since the Sith bombed Taris."
- ―A traveler on Manaan
Taris was a very segmented society, naming the layers of the cities where each class of citizen lived, Middle City, etc. After the Civil War, the humans on Taris banned all but a select few non-humans from the Upper City, making it exclusive only for the wealthiest citizens. Most aliens that ventured into the Upper City without a permit were arrested. The Middle City had mostly humans in it as well, but had many aliens there too. Conversely, the Lower City was mostly aliens, and crime was rampant. The Undercity was avoided at all costs, and only the Outcasts dwelt there. The underground city beneath the Undercity known as the Promised Land was long forgotten except for in legends amongst the outcast and visitors of their village.
Justice was swift and harsh on Taris, and criminals were either executed or banished to the Undercity, depending on the severity of the crime. The Lower levels, while heavily crime-stricken, were occasionally patrolled by surveillance droids.
The law-enforcing division of the government was known as the Taris Civil Authority, headed by a Constable. During the Mandalorian Wars, the Civil Authority had several patrol ships in orbit.
One of Tarisian society's few reliefs was swoop racing. Taris being the rumored birthplace of the swoop bike, swoop racing was huge on Taris, and some of the best swoop racers came out of Taris. The Galactic Swoop Racing Circuit started on Taris with the Tarisian Season Opener. When Taris was bombarded by the Sith during the Jedi Civil War, some of the galaxy's best racers were killed, as most were present for the Season opener.
Behind the scenes
Taris was created for Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, an in-depth Star Wars based role-playing game on the Xbox and the PC. It is the player's initial starting point and is the only planet where the player cannot use Force powers of their own, since they are not Jedi yet.
Taris was also a recurring setting in the comic series based on Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.
The pronunciation in Knights of the Old Republic varies between characters. Some pronounce the first syllable "tar," while others pronounce it as "terr" (as in "terra").
Taris is an accessible planet in the MMORPG, Star Wars: The Old Republic. It is one of the first planets that Republic players visit after leaving Coruscant, whilst still under Republic control. Empire players visit much later in their campaigns, after the Empire has established a major presence there.
Notes and references
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Handbook
- Star Wars: Empire at War: Prima Official Game Guide
- Star Wars: The Old Republic
- Knights of the Old Republic 4
- The Essential Atlas
- Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
- Knights of the Old Republic 6
- Legacy of the Force: Bloodlines
- Star Wars: The Old Republic—Republic Mission: "Where Darkness Abides" on Taris.
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic: Commencement
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (comics)
- Knights of the Old Republic 1
- Star Wars: The Old Republic
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The New Essential Guide to Droids
- Knights of the Old Republic 22
- Knights of the Old Republic 24
- Star Wars: Empire at War
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars Character Encyclopedia
- The Essential Guide to Warfare