Tatooine is a desert planet in the Star Wars universe. Its main claim to fame is the local Skywalker family, and more specificially Anakin and Luke Skywalker, who play major roles in the sci-fi epic. As such, the planet makes an appearance in most films of the franchise.

The planet orbits a binary star system, and is in turn circled by three moons. The twin suns contribute to Tattooine's harsh, arid desert climate. Yet the planet once had oceans and jungles, until the Rakata ‘glassed’ the planet during an attack.

The planet is thinly populated by four sentient races: human settlers, often moisture farmers; Hutts, a race of criminals who once ruled the planet; the Jawa, a race of pygmy-like scavengers and traders; and the Sand People, a.k.a. Tusken Raiders, a tribe of hostile nomads. The latter two races are Tatooine natives. Both hide their true appearance by fully cloaking themselves. It is hinted at that they share a common ancestor – and that this might be humankind.

 Less lawless than in the Hutt era, Tatooine remains unruly and largely untouched by the authority of the Galactic Empire. Its small population is scattered across the planet, with only a few population centers of note.

  • Bestine is one of the earliest settlements on Tatooine and its nominal capital. Located near the Dune Sea, it is the base of operations for the Galactic Empire's presence on the planet.
  • The Dune Sea is a huge desert inhabited by Tusken Raiders, Jawas and various desert animal species. In the Dune Sea are the palace of Jabba the Hutt, a powerful crime lord, and the Great Pit of Carkoon. This pit was created by Sarlacc, a giant omnivore that uses it to capture prey.
  • The largest settlement on the planet is Mos Eisley, location of the spaceport – and of the famous cantina. In the words of Obi-Wan Kenobi, the town is the "wretched hive of scum and villainy".
  • Mos Espa is a rugged city with ‘desert-proof’ domed buildings, a slave quarter and a podracing track.
  • Anchorhead is a settlement south of Mos Eisley, home mainly to moisture farmers, who capture water from the dry atmosphere to grow crops underground.
  • The Jundland Wastes cover most of Tattooine's temperate zone, a rocky and dangerous region. 

In the Star Wars saga, the planet originally was not named. George Lucas intended to name it Utapau, but retrospectively named it after the Tunisian town nearest to the first movie's desert set. Tataouine is the French transliteration of the place's Berber name, which means Water Springs. Like on its fictional namesake, the inhabitants of Tataouine live in underground cave dwellings to keep cool in the blazing heat. The planet Tatooine's three moons, Chenini, Guermessa and Ghomrassen, are named after Berber settlements around Tatouine. 

 

Map of Tattooine found here. Map of Tataouine found here.

Strange Maps #45

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