“Tatooine is a nasty, useless little planet. The only noteworthy things about it are Jabba, and the pilots it produces year after year.”
Tatooine was a desert world and the first planet in the binary Tatoo star system. It was part of the Arkanis sector in 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 acquired a bad reputation, often being viewed as the cesspool of the galaxy due to the large number of criminals who could be found there.
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, when Tatooine was lush. Other notable geological features included the Dune Sea, an 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%. Tatooine’s harsh arid climate caused Humans to show signs of accelerated aging.
“Companies pull out, cities dry up, and in a few years, someone who doesn’t know why it failed, tries again.”
―A sandcrawler engineer talking about Anchorhead
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.
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.