Tatooine (IPA: [tæ.tu.'in]) is a fictional setting for many key scenes in George Lucas's Star Wars saga, and it appears in every Star Wars movie except The Empire Strikes Back. Since it is the home planet of Anakin Skywalker, it is also one of the most iconic planets in the Star Wars universe.
Tatooine is a desert planet in a binary star system. It once had large oceans and a world-spanning jungle, but this biosphere was destroyed when the myopic Rakata (a careless race of amphibian-humanoids) razed the planet, drying up its riverbeds and boiling away its oceans.
Now Tatooine’s twin suns (named Tatoo I & Tatoo II) bake its surface, making water (and shade) hard to come by. The planet's indigenous lifeforms—such as the rodent-like Womp rat, elephantine bantha, and fearsome Krayt Dragon—are well-adapted to its arid climate, but human settlers often become moisture farmers and live in subterranean dwellings in order to survive. The planet's lack of resources, brutal heat, and decentralized population have made governing the planet nearly impossible.
But many rulers have tried. The evil Sith held a tight grip on Tatooine for thousands of years. When they died out, the planet fell into the clutches of the Hutts, a clan of vile gangsters. Since Tatooine was beyond the reach of the Galactic Republic (the central governing body of the galaxy), the Hutts could preside over the lawless planet with little outside interference. When the Galactic Empire subsumed the Old Republic, the new regime established only a token presence on Tatooine, which left Jabba the Hutt’s reign unchallenged. Jabba ruled the planet until Princess Leia strangled him to death aboard his personal sail barge.
Although the barren planet seems like it would be a minor asset to any ruler, Tatooine has several sizable settlements, which increase its value considerably. The largest settlement is the spaceport Mos Eisley, once described as a “wretched hive of scum and villainy” by Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Others include Bestine (the nominal capital of the planet, where the Empire's weak government is located), Anchorhead, Tosche Station, Mos Entha, Wayfar (near Jabba's Palace), and Mos Espa (home of a famous podracing track).
Tatooine’s developed areas draw the biggest crowds, but the planet has natural beauty as well. Such underappreciated geographical wonders include the Dune Sea (an enormous desert), and the Jundland Wastes (a rocky region).
- Humans — Settlers
- Hutts — Slug-like crime lords
- Jawas — Short, humanoid scavengers and traders
- Tusken Raiders (or Sand People) — Fierce, nomadic humanoids
- Toydarians — Greedy blue-skinned barterers
- Sarlacci — Giant, pit-dwelling carnivorous plants
- A form of mushrooms (They often grow on the moisture vaporators used by moisture farmers).
- Trees; but they are extremely rare. Most were planted by an exiled Ithorian.
- Non-native crops cultivated by moisture farmers.
- Sarlacci — Giant, pit-dwelling carniverous plants
Anchorhead is a fictional settlement located a few miles east of the Lars family home, south of the bustling spaceport of Mos Eisley, and primarily consists of moisture farmers.
, the "capital" of Tatooine, is situated far west of Mos Eisley near the south-western Dune Sea. It was also one of the earliest settlements on the planet but never thrived economically, sharing the same problems as many other settlements on the dry world. The Galactic Empire
eventually established its base of operations here and placed its regional governor in the city's Main Hall. It is featured prominently in Star Wars: Galaxies
The Dune Sea
is a huge sandy desert, near the cities of Anchorhead
, Mos Eisley
and Tosche Station. It is inhabited solely by Tusken Raiders
and the occasional Krayt dragon
. Moisture farmers often have many moisture vaporators
located in the Dune Sea to collect the scarce water vapor from the air.
It was to this area that Obi-Wan Kenobi went after the destruction of the Jedi Temple and the corruption of Anakin Skywalker. At his home near the Dune Sea, Kenobi communed with the spirit of Qui-Gon Jinn, while keeping watch over young Luke Skywalker, who lived on the nearby Lars Homestead.
The Dune Sea was also home to the Great Pit of Carkoon, location of the great Sarlacc creature.
Great Pit of Carkoon
The Great Pit of Carkoon is located within the Dune Sea. It is a large depression in the desert sand created by the Sarlacc, a large omnivorous creature that uses the pit to capture prey. The Great Pit of Carkoon is the site of a skirmish that takes place between Luke Skywalker and the forces of Jabba the Hutt. The Hutt crime lord and most of his minions are killed during the battle.
, made of stone and metal, is located in the desert
known as the Dune Sea and was home to the gangster Jabba the Hutt
. It is introduced as the main setting of the beginning of Return of the Jedi
when Luke Skywalker
, Princess Leia Organa
, Lando Calrissian
, and C-3PO
rescue Han Solo
from Jabba. Jabba's palace is also the main setting in Tales From Jabba's Palace
edited by Kevin J. Anderson
]], as well as a playable area in the video game Star Wars: Battlefront II
. The palace was originally a monastery built by the mysterious B'omarr monks
, who still inhabit parts of the palace.
The Jundland Wastes
occupy most of Tatooine's temperate
area, a rocky region known for its numerous cliffs and a multitude of hidden dangers.
Most of Tatooine's indigenous creatures can be found in the Jundland Wastes including, Banthas, Dewbacks, and the fearsome Krayt Dragons. The nomadic Sandpeople, also called Tusken Raiders, live in the region as well as the scavengers known as Jawas.
Obi-Wan Kenobi lived in a small dwelling on the edge of the Jundland Wastes after he took the infant Luke Skywalker to live on a moisture farm with relatives to hide the boy from Darth Vader. This area is also a level in the video game LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy.
Moisture farms are small agricultural settlements found in the deserts of Tatooine that utilize a large amount of moisture collecting devices spread over a wide area to harvest water from the relatively dry air of the planet. Luke Skywalker spent his early years living with his Uncle Owen (Anakin Skywalker's stepbrother) and Aunt Beru on a moisture farm. Moisture farmers harvest water vapour from the atmosphere, and use it to grow crops in underground hydroponic labs.
On Tatooine, the moisture farmer's primary enemy is the Sand People, or Tusken Raiders, who feel that moisture farmers infringe on their territory. Sand People attacks frequently result in damaged equipment.
Famous moisture farmers include Beru and Owen Lars, Luke Skywalker's aunt and uncle, as well as Cliegg Lars, Owen's father.
Mos Eisley is a spaceport town. In Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Obi-Wan Kenobi described Mos Eisley as a "wretched hive of scum and villainy."
It is also the home of the Mos Eisley Cantina and Figrin D'an and the Modal Nodes.
Mos Eisley Cantina
The Mos Eisley Cantina, officially named Chalmun's Cantina, is a bar located in the pirate city of Mos Eisley. It is the haunt of freight pilots and other dangerous characters of varying races and contains booths, a bar counter, and some free-standing tables, and sometimes a band of musicians named Figrin D'an and the Modal Nodes. This is a busy area in the video game Star Wars Galaxies, or SWG.
is a city known for its distinct "desert-proof" domed buildings. It is home to a podracing
track and was the home of Anakin
and Shmi Skywalker
in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
. There was a large slave quarter within the rugged city.
Tosche Station (Toshi Station)
The Tosche Station
, or Tosche Power Station
, is a general store found in the city of Anchorhead
. It sells a variety of goods such as power converters. Tosche Station serves as the central location in the Anchorhead Story of Star Wars
, a series of scenes that were deleted from Episode IV
. It is described as a frequent hangout for Anchorhead's youth due to the fact that its owner, Merle Tosche, is seldom around. In his absence, "Fixer"
runs the business, accompanied by his girlfriend Camie
, and assisted by a repair droid.
The planet is not actually named in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
; according to Lucas he intended to name it Utapau
but finally he named it retrospectively after the movie's desert
(French spelling) or Tatooine
spelling) in Tunisia
. Tataouine was a French penal colony until 1938. Utapau however was given to a different planet, in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
. The Tunisian region Tatooine was also featured in The X-Files: Fight the Future
Tatooine in other pop culture
Some critics have seen Lucas's use of a desert planet with aborigines
reminiscent of the Bedouin
as excessively derivative of Frank Herbert
in the Dune
series of novels.
Tatooine was referenced in the television show House in the episode "Cane and Able," when they have a patient who believes he is being tortured by aliens.
"Tatooine" is a song by Honest Bob and the Factory-to-Dealer Incentives, a Massachusetts-based band.
In the episode "Diet" of "Aqua Teen Hunger Force", Master Shake claims he has three hearts because he is from Tatooine.
In the Family Guy episode "Blue Harvest", R2D2 (Cleveland) states, "I could sure go for some Tatooine, Wind and Fire right about now." This is a reference to the 1970s R&B band Earth, Wind and Fire.
Tatooine in science
The California Institute of Technology reported on July 13, 2005 that Maciej Konacki, a senior postdoctoral scholar in planetary science, discovered a planet orbiting a triple-star system known as HD 188753
in the constellation Cygnus about 149 light-years from Earth. It is the first planet to be discovered orbiting a multi-star system, and Konacki refers to planets of this type as "Tatooine planets" after Luke Skywalker's home world.
Knights of the Old Republic
Knights of the Old Republic II
(video game mention only)
Lego Star Wars
Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy
Star Wars Battlefront
Star Wars Battlefront II
Star Wars Empire At War
Star Wars Bounty Hunter
Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (novel)
Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (video game)
Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds
Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds: Clone Campaigns
Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided
Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic
Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy
Star Wars filming locations
- Star Wars: The Annotated Screenplays, softcover, 1997. George Lucas, Leigh Brackett, Lawrence Kasdan, Laurent Bouzereau, ISBN 0-345-40981-7
- Star Wars: Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina, 1st paperback printing, 1995. Kevin J. Anderson (editor of anthology). ISBN 0-553-56468-4
- Star Wars: Tales from Jabba's Palace, 1st edition, 1995. Kevin J. Anderson (editor), ISBN 0-553-56815-9
- Star Wars, Darksaber, 1st paperback printing, 1995. Kevin J. Anderson, ISBN 0-553-57611-9
- The Essential guide to Planets and Moons (Star Wars), 1st edition, by Daniel Wallace, Scott Kolins. 1998. ISBN 0-345-42068-3