Tatooine is one of the most iconic locations in all of Star Wars. As the home of Luke Skywalker, it was first featured in Episode IV: A New Hope. The Prequel Trilogy and shows like The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett often returned to the planet for their stories.
With its significance to the franchise, it’s a fascinating world to dive deep into. Here are 10 interesting facts about Tatooine.
1. You Can Pay It a Visit
You can visit Tatooine, or at least where Tatooine was filmed. Except for The Empire Strikes Back, the first six Star Wars movies had scenes filmed in the African country. Fans can tour the set locations and landmarks and even stay at the Hotel Sidi Driss, where the Lars homestead was filmed.
2. It Wasn't Always a Desert
At one point in its ancient history, Tatooine was covered in lush jungles and vast oceans. For unknown reasons, the oceans dried up and turned the world into the desert it is known for.
Inhabitants remembered the legends of how their world once looked, like how the Tusken Chieftain spoke of these tales to Boba Fett. Vegetation and plants were rare and a status symbol of wealth, like in Garsa Fwip’s cantina, the Sanctuary.
3. No One Knows What Jawas Really Look Like
Jawas were one of the native inhabitants of Tatooine. What they looked like under their robes was a mystery, though some people like Peli Motto quipped that they were hairy beings. The Jawas’ passion was being scrappers, and they would comb the desert and podracing circuits for lost ship parts to sell. Moisture farmers and miners knew Jawas were tricky, often selling the farmers low-quality items for high prices; with no other options, the farmers would be forced to take the deal.
An example of this was in the series Obi-Wan Kenobi when the Jawa Teeka stole a part from Obi-Wan just for her to sell it back to the hidden Jedi for a higher price.
One extra fact is Jawa Juice was a popular drink in the galaxy. Though, the beverage was not made by or for Jawas. The drink originated from Tatooine and was brewed from bantha hides and fermented grains.
4. The Tuskens
Image Credit Lucasfilm.
The other indigenous people of Tatooine were the Tusken Raiders, who also had the moniker of “Sand People.” These nomadic beings broke into tribes who learned to survive in the harsh climate of the desert after the waters dried up. Protective of their planet's natural resources, Tuskens viewed all off-worlders as invaders, making them aggressive towards colonists.
The few water wells were considered sacred to them, and they would raid moisture farms claiming it was their world’s water being taken. They were open to letting outsiders pass through their lands if asked respectfully, as Din Djarin used Tusken sign language to request permission to cross the Tusken territory safely.
5. Banthas and Dragons and Sarlacc – Oh My!
The Tuskens cared for or respected the various creatures of their world. One example, Tuskens would train massiffs to be guard dogs for their camps. But it was the banthas that held the utmost respect with the Tuskens. Each Tusken was given a bantha who would be their life companion. If the rider died, the bantha would perish soon afterward. There were great graveyards for the banthas that the Tuskens treasured.
Other creatures on Tatooine included the great and terrifying krayt dragons with their coveted pearls, dewbacks, womp rats, and the Sarlacc. While rancors weren’t native to Tatooine, they were seen as a status symbol as the Daimyo or ruler of Tatooine usually had one, including Jabba the Hutt and Boba Fett.
6. Fort Tusken
For an extra fun fact, the Tuskens weren’t always called by this name, and it’s a title they’ve only held for about 80 years before Luke Skywalker was born. Parts of this story have been brought into the current canon, but the Legends materials say a successful moisture farming settlement was built called Fort Tusken.
It was profitable for a few years until constant raids on the fort by the Sand People led to a high loss of life. The fort was abandoned, and the Sand People would be known as Tusken Raiders afterward.
Because of the harsh desert landscape, attempts to colonize Tatooine had been unsuccessful for centuries. There was an endeavor for mining operations long ago, which led to the widespread use of sandcrawlers. But once it was discovered the minerals on Tatooine were relatively unwanted, the mining companies abandoned the machinery. The Jawa population was more than happy to claim the sandcrawlers for their own mobile fortresses.
Eventually, settlements carved out a space on the planet, but the wealthy tended to stick to the cities like Mos Espa and Mos Eisley. Thanks to the influence of the Hutts, Tatooine became a hub for crime organizations.
8. Jabba the Hutt
Tatooine fell under the rules of one particular Hutt named Jabba Desilijic Tiure as he staked his claim in this part of the Outer Rim. Jabba’s control of the planet dates back to at least the High Republic era, 250 years before the events of Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Slavery, the spice trade, and allowing bounty hunters and pirates to work in his area were ways that Jabba stayed in power for the Hutt Syndicate.
Jabba had a massive amount of authority over the planet. By controlling the local governments, often putting his people in various administrations, he was able to manipulate high tariffs and rule the world's trade markets. The Hutt would often respond violently if local groups could not pay Jabba's tribute.
9. Disembodied Brains In Jabba’s Palace
Before Jabba came to Tatooine, there was a group of monks called the B’omarr Order. This religious group worshiped throughout the galaxy, including on Tatooine. When the monks became enlightened, they would transplant their brains into a jar filled with nutrient-rich liquid as they believed isolating themselves from the physical world would free their mental power. Spider-like droids carried around these jars.
The B’omarr Order built a monastery on Tatooine that Jabba would eventually claim as his palace. Jabba allowed the spider droids carrying their brains to stay. He thought it was funny how the monks creeped other people out.
10. Tatooine Pays Its Taxes
Probably the most surprising thing about Tatooine and the Hutt rule is they paid their taxes. Regardless if it was the Empire or the Republic, the Jabba paid his taxes to them in exchange for freedom. He gave these governments an incredible amount of money with the understanding that they stay out of his territory. It’s why with the outbreak of the Clone Wars, negotiations with the Hutts are sought out by both the Republic and the Separatists.
Whoever won Jabba’s favor won the use of moving through his space. During the Imperial era, the Empire needed funding for projects like the Death Star, so keeping the Hutts happy meant it was a profitable payout. In return, Jabba carved out a sector of the Outer Rim where he ruled and wielded power for centuries.
With so many assets in Jabba’s command, the Republic, Separatists, and Empire feared making an enemy out of him.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Hope Mullinax is a freelance writer with over ten years of experience working for various publications. She’s the Site Expert at Dork Side of the Force, a Freelance News Writer for Collider, and the Animation Staff Writer at The Geeky Waffle. When she’s not writing, she loves on her cats, collects Pokémon cards, and rolls dice on For Light and Dice, a Star Wars TTRPG podcast.