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Star Wars: 10 Things You Didn't Know About Tatooine

According to Luke Skywalker, if there's a bright center to the universe, Tatooine is the planet that's farthest from it. An isolated, backwater planet in the Outer Rim, it exists far removed from the hustle and bustle of the Inner Worlds. The decisions made by the Republic and the Senate on Coruscant had little effect on what happened on the desert planet, which allowed the proliferation of all sorts of illegal activities.

But Tatooine isn't only known for its unscrupulous element; it is the birthplace of a famous line of Jedi Knights, and in doing so became known as something more than a "wretched hive of scum and villainy". Tatooine was the stand-in for any small town in George Lucas's epic Star Wars Saga, and its mightiest heroes came from humble beginnings set in sand and suffering. Below are 10 things you didn't know about the most famous planet everyone else forgot about.

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Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker and Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in Star Wars
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10 IT'S THE BIRTHPLACE OF THE SKYWALKER LEGACY

Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker and Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in Star Wars

Though Tatooine may have languished in anonymity for some time, it became instantly famous when it was revealed to be the birthplace of not only Luke Skywalker, but his father Anakin Skywalker as well. Luke Skywalker would become a famous Jedi Master, forced to confront his own parent when Anakin Skywalker turned to the Dark Side and became the Sith Lord Darth Vader.

Once Luke Skywalker left Tatooine with Ben Kenobi and the droids carrying the Death Star plans, he was on his way to becoming a famous pilot for the Rebel Alliance, and restorer of the Jedi Order. Anakin Skywalker may have fallen from grace, but before the Empire was destroyed, Darth Vader was redeemed through the altruistic actions of his son.

9 IT HAS A VIBRANT TRADE ECONOMY

Star Wars Jawas

Like the equally remote planet of Jakku featured in The Force Awakens, Tatooine has a vibrant economy based on  trade. The notion of using currency like Republic credits out in its remote wastelands is suspicious to most citizens; they prefer bartering for real objects to dealing with monetary representations. There are a few ways in which the inhabitants of Tatooine make a buck.

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First, there's swap meets and bartering with Jawas. The hooded furry scavengers sometimes drive a hard bargain, but they can turn one citizen's trash into another one's treasure. There's also gambling over games of chance in any of the urban hubs like Mos Eisley or Mos Espa, where anything from your starship to your blaster pistol can be wagered. Or you can bet on extreme sporting events like pod-racing.

8 IT'S INCREDIBLY DANGEROUS TO LIVE THERE

With its dunes scorched by two merciless suns, Tatooine is one of the most inhospitable planets in the galaxy. When its inhabitants aren't trying to evade the unrelenting heat, they're trying to remain hydrated through extreme droughts that leave precious few resources for the brave souls that choose to call the planet home.

The Jundland Wastes are labyrinthine canyons that are easy to get lost in, and the Dune Sea is a wasteland that stretches for hundreds of miles. When inhabitants aren't getting lost in the dunes, or avoiding perilous sandstorms, they're fighting off Tusken Raiders or worse.

7 IT'S HOME TO MANY INDIGENOUS PEOPLES

While many of the inhabitants of Tatooine are human, there are other indigenous peoples that live among them. Sand People (or Tusken Raiders) are tall, nomadic beings that live in close-knit tribes. Covered in heavy wrappings and armor, they are known for being a violent species, pillaging for resources from moisture farmers and neighboring Jawas.

Jawas are half the size of Sand People and survive mostly by scavenging out in Tatooine's desert. Roaming the Dune Sea in their giant sandcrawlers, the unscrupulous yellow-eyed creatures scurry about collecting abjured machinery wherever they can, repair it, and then offer it to local settlements. According to most ranchers, they aren't known for their honest bartering.

6 IT HAS DRAGONS

star wars creatures krayt dragon

Tatooine is home to many dangerous creatures, but few are as threatening as the massive krayt dragons that prowl its surface. Krayt dragons dwell in the canyons of the Jundland Wastes, and are known for being able to eat a Ronto in only a couple of bites. The venom in their bodies helps in the pre-digestion of larger prey, making them the apex predator on Tatooine.

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Krayt dragons were divided into two sub-species; canyon krayt dragons and greater krayt dragons. Both had a natural concentration of minerals in their bodies that formed a luminous pearl, which was a highly sought after prize. If one dared to venture into such places as the Laguna Caves, one might be able to catch a glimpse of one of the creatures, though they might not live to tell about it.

5 IT'S COVERED WITH MANY LARGE BEASTS

For as inhospitable a planet as Tatooine is, it's covered with large beasts that require a lot more resources than it can seemingly provide. The mounts of the Sand People, for instance, collect in large herds and wander the Dune Sea in lumbering lines. Called Banthas, they're large woolly beasts with enormous curved horns, known for producing tasty Bantha steaks.

Other large beasts of burden include Rontos, four-legged creatures with tough hides and long necks. One of the largest creatures on Tatooine is the Sarlacc, a creature that lives in the Dune Sea and is only visible by its gaping maw of jagged teeth. Its tendrils have been known to stretch for miles under the sand.

4 IT'S MOSTLY A FARMING COMMUNITY

Star Wars Tatooine Moisture Farm

If you're not a spacer or freighter pilot stopping off in Mos Eisley to refuel your ship and your gullet, chances are you're a part of the moisture farming community that covers the vast expanses of Tatooine's desert. Moisture farming involves setting up a series of moisture vaporators that collect whatever condensation is in the atmosphere and distill it into a potable liquid.

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These are harvested seasonally and used to barter for other resources or goods. Owen and Beru Lars were moisture farmers, as was their nephew Luke Skywalker. But Luke dreamed of a more exciting life beyond Tatooine, and when he acquired two mysterious droids who crash-landed on it, he was swept up in an adventure he couldn't have ever imagined.

3 IT'S WHERE OBI-WAN KENOBI WENT TO HIDE OUT

Famous Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi chose Tatooine as his place of residence following the rise of The Empire and the fall of his apprentice, Anakin Skywalker. Anakin's son, Luke Skywalker, would be placed by Kenobi with Owen and Beru Lars, two moisture farmers who would become his guardians and provide a secret hiding place where Anakin (now Darth Vader) couldn't find him.

Not much is known about the nineteen years that Obi-Wan spent hiding out on Tatooine. He watched Luke go from infant to young man from his hermit's hut in the Jundland Wastes, using the guise of "Old Ben", and generally remaining a mysterious figure to locals. Marvel's The Journals of Ben Kenobi go into more depth.

2 IT'S KNOWN FOR ITS POD-RACING AND GAMBLING

One of Tatooine's "claims to fame", if you can call it that, is its extensive gambling platform. Because the planet is located in the Outer Rim, and therefore out of the reach of the Republic (and The Empire) and its laws about wagering for money or goods, it can proliferate with enough interest.

Pod-racing is an extremely dangerous sport involving custom-built racing pods that follow a predetermined route to the finish line, with loss of life being a frequent occurrence as the course winds through Laguna Caves and Beggars Canyon. Anakin Skywalker was the only human with the (Jedi) reflexes that could successfully do it, and earned his freedom from slavery by winning.

1 IT WAS CONTROLLED BY THE HUTT CRIME FAMILY

For many years Tatooine was controlled by the Hutt crime family. Jabba the Hutt, the slug-like crime boss that first put a bounty on Han Solo's head, implemented the defacto governing body that settled judicial decisions. From his fortress on Tatooine, he managed his criminal syndicate with its operatives throughout the galaxy and permitted all manner of unsavory activities to occur on the planet.

When Luke Skywalker and his friends came to rescue Han Solo from Jabba's palace, the ensuing conflict resulted in Jabba's death at the hands of his other prisoner, Leia Organa. With him dead, the Hutts lost control of the Tatoo System, and other factions struggled to take their place.

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