Tatooine (pronounced tætu'in) was a desert world in a binary star system in the Arkanis sector of the Outer Rim Territories. It was inhabited by poor locals who mostly farmed moisture for a living. Other activities included used equipment retailing and scrap dealing. The planet was on the 5709-DC Shipping Lane, a spur of the Triellus Trade Route, which itself connected to the Sisar Run. The planet was not far from the Corellian Run. It had its own navigation system. However, it would still play a role in galactic events, serving as the home of Anakin Skywalker. It was here that Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn recognized Anakin's potential to become a Jedi and where he introduced him to Obi-Wan Kenobi, his future master and mentor. Tatooine was also the home of Anakin's son, Luke, where he lived until his early adulthood. The planet built up a very bad reputation, often being viewed as the cesspool of the galaxy due to the high-level of criminals who could be found onworld.
- "What a desolate place this is."
Tatooine is thought to have been one of the oldest planets in known space and was composed of a molten core with a rocky mantle and silicate rock crust. Fossil records suggest Tatooine was once covered in large oceans, which dried up, leaving behind many pre-arid geological formations, including Beggar's Canyon, formed around 2,000,000 BBY, back when Tatooine was lush. Other notable geological features included the Dune Sea, enormous sodium-rich desert, Mushroom Mesa, a vast formation of giant standing stones, and the Jundland Wastes, a rocky region. There was a settlers' saying that one's eyes burn out faster by staring straight and hard at sun-scorched flatlands than by looking directly at the suns.
Tatooine orbited two suns, Tatoo I and Tatoo II and was covered in deserts and rock formations, so the days were extremely arid and bright, especially during double noon. In fact, it was so brightly lit by the suns from space it could appear to be a star itself. This was the case for the people who discovered Tatooine as they first thought Tatooine was in fact a star until they approached and discovered that it was a desert planet. The planet circled the suns far enough to develop a stable, but very hot climate. Due to the extreme conditions, only a relatively mild region of its northern hemisphere was habitable, and less than 1% of the planet was covered in surface water. The average humidity level was 5.4%.
One of the many extraordinary features unique to Tatooine was the mysterious mists, which rose regularly from the ground where desert sands met cliffs and mesas. Various theories of this moisture's origin were disputed by meteorologists and geologists, like water suspended in sandstone veins beneath the sand and complex chemical reactions which made it rise when the ground cooled, then fall underground again with the double sunrise.
Despite the planet's extreme aridity, many forms of life thrived on Tatooine; flora included the razor moss, funnel flowers, deb-debs, and Hubba gourds. Non-sentient life indigenous to Tatooine included:
Tatooine was once a lush world that had large oceans and a world-spanning jungle inhabited by the native and technologically advanced Kumumgah. Sometime in its history, the Rakatan Infinite Empire invaded the planet and conquered and enslaved its native inhabitants. The Kumumgah eventually rebelled and managed to drive the Rakata off the planet. In response they subjected the planet to an Orbital Bombardment that "glassed" (that is, fused the silica in the soil into glass, which then broke up over time into sand) the planet and boiled its oceans away. This drastic climatic change split the indigenous Kumumgah into two races: the Ghorfas—also known as Tusken Raiders or Sand people—and the Jawas. It is a planet where natives (specifically middle-aged and older Humans) are often mistaken to be a decade or more older than they actually are due to the twin suns and harsh climate.
Tatooine was first discovered by the Republic in 5,000 BBY but before that, space battles had already occurred near and over the planet; in 4,200 BBY the first colony named Anchorhead was established. Unfortunately, these first Human settlers disrupted the native Ghorfa culture, provoking their evolution into the Sand people, later known as Tusken Raiders. Over many years, the settlement was abandoned and recolonized over and over.
Although Tatooine was deemed not worth conquering by the Mandalorians during the Mandalorian Wars, a group of Mandalorian exiles settled on Tatooine after the war, although their fate was never known.
At the time of the Jedi Civil War, the planet was practically controlled by the Czerka Corporation. They were attempting to mine ores from Tatooine, although they soon discovered the ores had strange magnetic properties which made the metal corrode very fast and thus useless for production. Later, Revan came to Tatooine during his quest to locate the Star Forge, via the Star Maps, as there was one on Tatooine. He discovered that Czerka Corporation was attempting to eradicate a nearby tribe of Sand People due to attacks on Czerka's sandcrawlers. With the help of the recently purchased droid HK-47, Revan was able to communicate with the tribe and negotiate a truce after infiltrating their settlement. It was revealed to Revan that the Sand people considered the Czerka to be invaders on their land, which was the reason for the frequent attacks.
Czerka’s mining involvement in the Anchorhead settlement proved fruitless, and the company began Czerka’s Secret Weapons division on the planet, due to no restrictions from the Republic. Sometime between Revan’s visit and 3,623 BBY, Czerka completely pulled out of Anchorhead, abandoning the Secret Weapons complex. This left the planet populated by dissidents and criminals, though the Republic still used the planet for a supply stop. The Sith Empire also set up a small outpost near Anchorhead in an effort to discover the secrets of the Czerka Secret Weapons division. Some time after their involvement on Tatooine, the planet was forgotten until the Republic rediscovered it in 1,100 BBY.
New Human colonies
In 100 BBY, the Dowager Queen crashed on the planet at the site where Mos Eisley was later built. The crash survivors were Humans from Bestine IV, who established the Bestine Settlement, the capital of Tatooine, and made first contact with the Jawas. Shortly thereafter, colonists founded Fort Tusken, which was wiped out by Sand people in a year after its establishment. From that point on the Humans referred to the Sand people as "Tusken Raiders." Anchorhead was then re-inhabited in 93 BBY. Mos Eisley was settled by Humans and Rodians in 85 BBY and Mos Espa was settled 80 BBY.
Corellian Mining brought many digger crawlers to the planet, but abandoned it, as did the Republic for all intents and purposes, in 70 BBY, when the orbital station Tatoo III crashed, revealing the unstable nature of the local ores from which it had been constructed. The abandoned crawlers radically changed Jawa civilization, serving as mobile fortresses for Jawa tribes searching the deserts for materials to scavenge.
Although the planet was thereafter considered technically part of the Republic's Arkanis Sector, the Hutts became its de facto rulers when they arrived in 65 BBY using the planet as an important transfer point between the Triellus and the Corellian Run.
In 60 BBY, Merl Tosche established Tosche Station on the outskirts of Anchorhead. Rival Hutt kajidics vied for control of the planet, notably Besadii (represented by Gardulla the Elder) and Desilijic (represented by Jabba the Hutt). The notorious Jabba chased Alkhara out of his citadel of operations and claimed the B'omarr Monastery for his personal palace.
Rise of the Empire
In 32 BBY, Queen Padmé Amidala and her companions, including the Jedi Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi, arrived on Tatooine to repair the hyperdrive of her starship. They couldn't pay for it in the currency that the dealer with the replacement, Watto, wanted. Anakin Skywalker, one of Watto's slaves, decided to enter the upcoming podrace, the famous Boonta Eve Classic, and use his winnings to pay for the hyperdrive. He became a local legend in Mos Espa by being the first Human ever to win a podrace. After winning the race, he was taken by the Jedi to join the Jedi Order.
In late 32 BBY, Jango Fett came to Tatooine and, on behalf of Jabba, disposed of Gardulla, giving Jabba a virtual monopoly on the rule of Tatooine's criminal underworld. However, Jabba's monopoly was eventually challenged by Whiphid crime queen, Lady Valarian.
In 22 BBY, Anakin Skywalker returned to Tatooine, sensing his mother, Shmi Skywalker, was in terrible pain. Shmi had been captured and tortured by Tusken Raiders and later died in Anakin's arms. Enraged, Anakin killed every Tusken in the village.
Early in the Clone Wars, the Republic tried to re-establish a presence on the world by constructing a Republic spaceport, but Confederacy General Sev'rance Tann, allied with the minor Hutt crime lord Boorka, wiped it out and established her own fortress. Jabba protested Boorka's direct involvement in the Clone Wars, and betrayed the fortress's location to Echuu Shen-Jon, who wiped it out. In truth, helping Echuu was simply Jabba's way of eliminating Boorka, since Jabba himself got directly involved in the Clone Wars: he shipped cortosis ore through Tatooine to Metalorn for the Techno Union to build cortosis droids. This operation was ended by Anakin Skywalker. Sometime before or during 19 BBY, X1 and X2 formed a garrison here with Jedi Master Ferroda. However the CIS came shortly after they arrived but the Republic garrison held them off successfully and X1 and X2 got medals for their efforts.
Anakin who was besided with his apprentice Ahsoka Tano, was reluctent to return to Tatooine, via the Twilight, due to Jabba allowing the Republic access over the secret Hutt Hyperlanes against the CIS for rescueing his son Rotta on the Teth Monastery. The Jedi emerged victorious at delivering Rotta to Jabba's Palace, despite sabotage from Asajj Ventress and Count Dooku. Thus Jabba's Empire became an ally of the Republic, as well as the Clone Army been allowed safe passage threw Hutt Space and the Arkanis sector.
Following Order 66 and the Great Jedi Purge, Obi-Wan Kenobi went into hiding on Tatooine, keeping a close eye on young Luke Skywalker, whom Kenobi entrusted to Shmi's stepson, Owen Lars, and his wife Beru.
- "I doubt the Empire would ever fight to keep this system."
- ―Biggs Darklighter
At the time of the early Galactic Empire, the planet's population was estimated at 200,000. In 18 BBY the Empire stationed several battalions of stormtroopers on the world to be picked up by the Eye of Palpatine, which never arrived. It also had a small garrison in Mos Eisley, although the troops stationed there paid little heed to the crime infesting the spaceport.
Shortly before the destruction of Alderaan, the Star Destroyer Devastator captured Princess Leia Organa aboard the Tantive IV above Tatooine. This began the First Extermination of the First Battle of Tatooine (Galactic Civil War). Leia had been trying to contact Kenobi, to ask him to help the Rebel Alliance resolve the crisis of the Death Star, as she had been instructed by her foster father Bail Prestor Organa, a former compatriot of Kenobi. Leia did not realize the secret Bail and Obi-Wan shared: she was Anakin Skywalker's daughter. As stormtroopers boarded the corvette, she gave the recently received plans for the Death Star to R2-D2, who escaped to the surface of Tatooine with counterpart C-3PO. Moments later, Darth Vader had Leia captured alive, not knowing she was his daughter.
Vader, the former Anakin Skywalker, had Commander Nahdonnis Praji's stormtroopers, placed under the command of Brenn Tantor and Grand General Malcor Brashin, scour the planet for the droids, ignoring the protests of local Governor Tour Aryon. The droids were captured by Jawas and purchased by Owen Lars, but R2-D2 ran away seeking Obi-Wan Kenobi. Luke Skywalker and C-3PO gave chase. They were attacked by Tuskens, but rescued by Kenobi, who emulated the sound of Tatooine's vicious monsters, the Krayt Dragons. The Tuskens were scared off but would soon return in greater numbers. Obi Wan began to teach Luke about the Jedi, although hiding the truth about his father, making him think that Anakin Skywalker had been murdered by Darth Vader. He gave Luke a lightsaber that had belonged to Anakin.
- "Mos Eisley spaceport. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious."
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi
Meanwhile, the Imperial search party, following the droids' trail, had slaughtered the Tuskens who had attacked Luke and used their banthas to disguise their tracks as those of a Tusken raiding party. They attacked the sandcrawler which had rescued R2-D2 and C-3PO, interrogating and killing the Jawas. They proceeded to Lars' Homestead, where they interrogated and murdered Owen and Beru. The Imperials also ran into a local Rebel cell in the Dune Sea, beginning a brutal skirmish, with the Empire triumphing. The Imperials blockaded Tatooine to prevent the droids from escaping, and began a thorough search of Mos Eisley. This led into a second skirmish with some of the inhabitants.
In Mos Eisley, however, Kenobi and Luke hired Han Solo and Chewbacca to take them to Alderaan with the droids. Solo's Millennium Falcon fled Mos Eisley and broke the Imperial blockade. The Empire had had enough, and they began a brutal pacification campaign, murdering anyone who showed their face. Hidden Rebel troops coupled with Mos Eisley citizens tried to resist but were soon overrun.
Either in conjunction with the above events or shortly afterward two Rebel X-wings piloted by Rookie One and Ru Murleen took out a portion of the AT-ST garrison stationed in Mos Eisley. Turning their sights skyward, the pair then led an only partially successful attack on the Star Destroyer Devastator still in orbit around the planet. Though the Devastator was heavily damaged, both Rebel pilots abandoned their target in order to pull back to the Rebel base on Yavin 4 in time for the Battle of Yavin.
Following this disaster, the Empire increased its presence on Tatooine. The Empire introduced Bledsoe's Disease to Tatooine. However, Luke Skywalker, now a Jedi in training and member of the Rebel Alliance, returned to the planet and destroyed the Imperial garrison after kidnapping Dr. Bledsoe himself, from whom Luke acquired the antidote to the disease.
In 0 ABY, Tatooine, along with the rest of the system was put under Imperial curfew by a Nameless Moff. Ackmena, the bartender of Mos Eisley Cantina was the one to receive the message, who reluctantally reponded by singing to her gust to leave.
Some time between 0 ABY and 4 ABY, C-3PO and R2-D2 returned to Tatooine with a Rebel agent and Holocam E to destroy a hidden Assassin Droid factory of the Empire by infiltrating a Jawa Sandcrawler. They succeeded in turning all the Imperial IG-model Assassin Droids into harmless dancing droids.In 4 ABY, Boba Fett brought Han Solo, frozen in carbonite, to Jabba's Palace, and collected his bounty. Luke returned to Tatooine to rescue Han. Before undertaking the endeavor, he built a new lightsaber, the one Kenobi gave him having been lost on Bespin. Luke, Leia, Lando Calrissian and the droids infiltrated Jabba's Palace and freed Han Solo from the carbonite, but the Skywalker siblings and Han were captured. Jabba tried to feed Luke and Han to the Sarlacc at the Great Pit of Carkoon, but they turned the tables on him. Han accidentally sent Boba Fett into the Pit and Leia strangled Jabba to death with a chain, as Luke battled the Hutt's many guards with his new lightsaber. There fore destroying Jabba the Hutt's empire alongside the Hutt Cartel. After having successfully destroyed Jabba's barge, Luke and his friends left for their rendezvous with the Rebel Alliance.
- "Tatooine is a nasty, useless little planet. The only noteworthy things about it are Jabba, and the pilots it produces year after year."
After the Battle of Endor, the demise of Jabba's Empire caused the rival gangs of Tatooine to wage a bloody conflict with each other for many months. Well over a year later, the Criminal Empire was resurrected by Jabba’s farther and subsequently his nephew. Thus the local feud had ended and Gorga had expanded the empire greater then Jabba himself, due to his affiliation of the main criminal body. The Cartel on the other hand, was never resurrected.
Also after the Battle of Endor, Emperor Sate Pestage built a redoubt on Tatooine called Eidolon Base, although he never used it. Eidolon Base was later discovered by the New Republic's Rogue Squadron. Commander Wedge Antilles gave Elscol Loro many of the weapons stored in Eidolon Base. Elscol left Rogue Squadron and used the weapons to create an independent guerilla movement which liberated worlds from the Imperial Remnant. Rogue Squadron also returned to Tatooine to purchase weapons from Gavin Darklighter's uncle (Huff Darklighter) during the Bacta War, when Rogue Squadron was working independent of the New Republic.
As the homeworld of Luke Skywalker, Tatooine became something of a tourist trap as a member of the New Republic.
In 8 ABY, following her marriage to Han Solo, Leia Organa Solo traveled to Tatooine to retrieve the Alderaanian moss-painting Killik Twilight and the Shadowcast key hidden within it. There, she discovered her grandmother Shmi's diary and, with the help of her father's childhood friends Kitster and Wald, discovered her father wasn't the evil monster she thought he was and learned to forgive him.
In 12 ABY, the Eye of Palpatine stopped at the planet and, failing to find the stormtroopers it was looking for, took onboard a number of Tusken Raiders and Jawas whom it tried (with no success) to brainwash into being Imperials. That same year, Luke Skywalker and Han Solo searched Jabba's palace, and discovered that the Hutts were planning to build a superweapon.
In 14 ABY, Jaden Korr of the New Jedi Order visited the planet twice while investigating a mysterious Sith Cult known as the Disciples of Ragnos. The first time Jaden visited Tatooine was when a moisture farmer overheard a group of smugglers talking about a Sith cult in a bar and had his R5 droid record the conversation. Unfortunately, he became afraid and sold the droid to some Jawas before leaving Tatooine. Jaden went to Tatooine and got a hold of that droid before the Jawas wiped its memory and returned to the Academy.
The second time it was to investigate some mercenary activity. Arriving in Mos Eisley, the Raven's Claw and the Millennium Falcon were trapped by tractor beams under the control of the cultists. Jaden released the ships with the help of Chewbacca.
In 22 ABY, Jedi trainees Anakin Solo and Tahiri Veila traveled to the planet after Tahiri's foster Tusken Raider father Sliven demanded that she return. All her life, she had been raised by a Tusken tribe without knowing her true parents. That day had come but first she had to prove that she was worthy of knowing.
She and Anakin would use the Force as they never had which included fighting a deadly krayt dragon and surviving the harsh Dune Sea. In the end, both Jedi prevailed and Tahiri learned that her parents were Tryst and Cassa Veila and that they had accidentally been killed during a Tusken raid on their moisture farm. Following that, the duo returned to Yavin IV and freed the trapped Massassi souls within the Golden Globe.
During the time of the New Republic, Tatooine experienced a cycle of harsh sandstorms that damaged and destroyed several Human settlements.
When the Yuuzhan Vong War had began in 25 ABY, the New Republic had lost authority on the world and so was left on its own. After the Yuuzhan Vong destroyed all life on Nal Hutta and Nar Shaddaa, along with the Hutt Empire in 26 ABY, the Hutts of the Hutt Underground adopted Tatooine as their new homeworld in 28 ABY. During the war, Tatooine became a center of commerce due to the Yuuzhan Vong leaving it alone. By 29 ABY the Hutts returned to Nal Hutta and reclaimed the planet and the resistance movement returned its operations of its original world during the early anarchist era of Hutt Space. This resulted in Gorga's Empire been reduced to the sole authority on Tatooine. Eventually in 30 ABY, the Galactic Alliance claimed the planet, but it is unknown if Gorga's Empire fell soon afterwards.
New Galactic Empire
Darth Krayt's Galactic Empire kept only a small presence on Tatooine. Small garrisons were kept in Anchorhead, Mos Eisley and Mos Espa. The former palace of Gardulla the Hutt served as Imperial Station Bravo, Moff Nieve Gromia's headquarters. Sometime after his victory over Darth Krayt, Cade Skywalker landed on the planet as a fugitive.
The inhabitants of Tatooine included many different species from many parts of the galaxy, as can be seen in the multiple bars and cantinas in the cities. Most creatures on the planet loved to gamble on nearly everything, especially podracing, though the sport declined after the rise of the Empire. This may attest to the fact that the planet has long been controlled by the Hutts. Human natives of the planet often had unusual sounding last names, such as Fardreamer, Sandskimmer, Darklighter, and Skywalker.
See also Locations on Tatooine.
Behind the scenes
Tatooine is frequently misspelled as "Tattoine" in some sources. This should be interpreted as a typing error.
The planet is not actually named in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope; according to Lucas he used the name Utapau in the script, but eventually named it retroactively after the movie's desert location, Tataouine (French spelling) in Tunisia. (see also Tunisia for other Tunisian-inspired names)
Tatooine has appeared in every Star Wars film except Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. In Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith the planet appears only in the closing shot on the Lars moisture farm.
Some critics have seen Lucas's use of a desert planet as excessively derivative of Frank Herbert's Arrakis in the Dune series of novels. An example of the similarity is the name of Tatooine's sector: it is called Arkanis, which is similar to Arrakis. However, Arrakis itself could be taken as a derivative of the planet Mongo of Flash Gordon, which is presented as a desert planet in some media. This is strongly supported by the presence of the starport Gordon on the planet Aquilae in rough draft, the same planet which was later named Utapau in the second draft, where Gordon is briefly mentioned. Utapau, as noted above, was renamed Tatooine. Additionally, Kenner attempted to create a Mongo Beefhead Tribesman action figure for The Epic Continues, further strengthening the Mongo/Flash Gordon connection; however, the 1986 toy line was canceled before making it to production.
In Star Wars: Rogue Squadron, various famous locations on Tatooine such as Beggar's Canyon, Jabba's Palace, the Sarlacc Pit, Mos Eisley, and Artoo and Threepio's escape pod as well as several moisture farms are all shown as being fairly close to each other - when in actuality they are vastly spread out over the planet's surface.
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Star Wars: Complete Locations
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 Star Wars: Empire at War: Prima Official Game Guide
- ↑ 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22 The Essential Atlas
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Tatooine Ghost
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope novelization
- ↑ Star Wars Technical Journal
- ↑ A Barve Like That: The Tale of Boba Fett
- ↑ Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
- ↑ Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
- ↑ Inside the Worlds of Star Wars Trilogy
- ↑ Tatooine Sojourn
- ↑ Darksaber
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Junior Jedi Knights: Promises
- ↑ Legacy Era Campaign Guide
- ↑ Star Wars: Legacy 37: Tatooine, Part 1
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 The Making of Star Wars: The Definitive Story Behind the Original Film
- ↑ "Tales of Phantom Toys"—Star Wars Galaxy Magazine 2