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TATOOINE

The world of Tatooine lies on the outer fringes of the galaxy, far from the primary galatic population center. It is the first of three planets orbiting the binary stars Tatoo I and II, which are rather ordinary G-1 and G-2 type stars, respectively. The system's other two worlds, Ohann and Adriana, are uninhabitable gas giants with seven moons between them.

It is believed that the planet once bore great amounts of oceanic water. During the initial colonization of Tatooine, mining expeditions, boring eep into the planet's primeval crust, unearthed mulitple layers of fossil bearing rock. Jawa folklore holds that the great Dune Sea was once a true ocean and not just the vast expanse of hot desert sand that exists today.

Discovered during the main expansion period of the Old Republic, Tatooine was at first thought to be a third sun in the system and was charted as such for decades. Closer approach revealed a world of brilliant crystalline sands, and it was these which had reflected the light of the two suns so effectively that the earlier mistake had been made. Tatooine was seen by its original settlers as a treasure trove of minerals and ores, promoting something of a "rush" to the planet soon after the Republic's preliminary surveys were completed. Mining colonies sprang up overnight, centered in a relatively small area of the planet's northern hemisphere.

An unusual concentration of magnetic ores in the planet's mantle, interacting with Tatooine's intense planetary magnetic field, shifts prevailing wind patterns and atmospheric concentrations, creating a zone of relative coolness in one location. While the remainder of the planet reaches highs better than 65.5º C throughout the year, the single temperate zone rarely exceeds 43º C, while reaching nighttime lows near freezing. Although limited, exploration has mapped out all of Tatooine's surface, there are no outstanding features or mining opportunities enticing enough to cause habitation of the planet's hotter regions.

Tatooine's mineral resources failed to meet most corporate expectations, however, and all but a very few closed their mines and pulled out long ago. Much equipment was badly worn and left behind, where it was quickly claimed by the native Jawa and Sand People populations. Some of the moisture farms that had sprung up found use for the mining compressors and shallow-diggers abandoned in the evacuation, though most farmers found themselves being billed for the machinery they had adopted.

The first settlement established in the northern sector of the temperate zone, Fort Tusken, was founded at the northern end of the area known as the Jundland Wastes. The settlement was quite successful during its first two years, for its extensive moisture vaporator array pulled enough water vapor from the atmosphere to allow the growing of healthy, bontiful crops.

Then, during Fort Tusken's third growing season, mysterious raiders began attacks upon the settlement. The unprovoked assaults wounded many and killed a few, and resulted in the disabling of several crucial pieces of farm equipment. Repairs were made and the settlement survived, despite repeated attacks by what came to be known as the "Tusken Raiders" or "Sand People". Eventually, however, the harsh conditions present at the extreme northern end of the temperate zone forced the inhabitants of Fort Tuslen to abandon the settlement. Some colonists left the planet altogether, but most joined friends and relatives living on the moisture farms farther south.

The official capital of Tatooine is Bestine, a town some 200 kilometers west of Mos Eisley. With just over a thousand permanent residents, Bestine holds what government the planet has in a hewn-stone building on the town square. Facing the capital building is Bestine's Museum of Tatooine, which proudly displays an impressiv collection of sand and sandglass sculptures. The main hall of the museum boasts the only complete, fully-mounted and properly-displayed krayt dragon skeleton on the planet.

Today, Tatooine has a population of approximately 80,000. The planet supplies salts and silicas (and little else) to those worlds in need. Smugglers use the planet as a safe haven for it lies just beyond the regular patrol routes of the Imperial police and is rarely intruded upon by law-enforcement officers. The most interesting of Tatooine's claims is that it is home to some of the most beautiful sandglass sculptures known.

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Disclaimer: Star Wars and all related characters, trademarks, and graphics are all property of Lucasfilm Ltd. The above entry is from Star Wars: Technical Journal of the Planet Tatooine.