The Desert Planet.
Tatooine: Basic Information.
Native Species: Jawas, Sand People.
System: Tatoo System.
Region: Outer Rim.
Terrain: Deserts, Mesas and Canyons.
Atmosphere: Dry, but breathable.
Landmarks: Dune Sea, Anchorhead, Lost Czerka Lab.
System Information: The Tatoo System is a binary star system, meaning it has two suns. Other than Tatooine, there are only two other planets in this system. They are called Ohann and Adriana, and both are gas giants.
Everyone knows this planet.
Probably the most well known planet in the entire Star Wars Intellectual Property, Tatooine is where both Luke Skywalker and his father Anakin grew up. It is home to Jabba the Hutt and also has a Sarlacc living on its surface. Tatooine shows up in five out of six movies (all except Empire Strikes Back), as well as many games and books. Something else you might find interesting is that scientists at NASA have recently discovered a planet (which they have called Kepler-16b) that, like Tatooine, orbits a pair of stars. Kepler-16b is already being referred to as “the Tatooine like planet”.
It is believed that Tatooine was once a lush world of oceans and rain forests with a native species known as the Kumumgah, who were thought to be either Human or similar to Humans. The Kumumgah were a technologically advanced race that tried to defy the Rakatan Infinite Empire. The Rakata bombarded the planet from orbit, boiling the oceans away and turning the surface to glass, which eventually crumbled to sand. It is believed that the Kumumgah that survived this went down two different evolutionary paths and became two separate species; the Jawas and the Ghorfas. The Ghorfas evolved into what are now known as the Sand People after the Galactic Republic tried to settle Tatooine around 5,000BBY and unintentionally disturbed the Ghorfa water harvesting. The Republic was forced to abandon Tatooine not long after.
The planet went through a vicious cycle of being settled and abandoned by various governments and companies until Anchorhead was founded circa 4,200BBY. This cycle of abandonment continued, but usually with Anchorhead being the focus point for resettlement each time. This entire process was mainly initiated by mining operations each time who would settle on the planet, find out that the ore was of poor quality and leave again. Many such operations left their machinery behind due to the cost of transporting it off-world. Such machinery was most commonly reappropriated by the Jawas, such as the Sandcrawlers that they use as mobile homes.
The Czerka Corperation.
Czerka is a company with a rather shady background. Originally founded as Czerka Mining and Industrial by a man named Pollard Seario, the company was soon renamed to the Czerka Corporation and has had ties to the Sith since its early years. Pollard, a corrupt opportunist, allied his company with the Sith during the Jedi Civil War. Czerka was a galaxy-spanning business that quickly expanded from honest mining and industrial work into weapons and droid manufacturing and slavery. It was Czerka that established Anchorhead for mining on Tatooine, but as with every other company who mined on Tatooine it ended in failure.
Instead of pulling out of their investments on Tatooine completely, Czerka set up a secret weapons lab to test various alien technologies that would draw to much attention in other parts of the galaxy. It is known that some of the experiments they conducted out on the deserts of Tatooine were done there because they needed a place without restrictions or to many eyes watching, but in truth no one knows the full scope of their research out there. If all of this wasn’t shady enough, one day Czerka pulled out of Tatooine completely and just abandoned their facility without warning or any given reason…
Come to Tatooine. We have sand!
So as a player in SW:TOR you will come into this environment at an interesting time. The Republic has no official presence on the planet, though they do use Anchorhead as a stop over for their enterprises in the Outer Rim. Anchorhead itself is viewed as a “lawless haven for smugglers, pirates and anyone else who wants to drop off the radar”. The Sand People are still out in the deserts and dunes, Jawas are still scavenging and (hopefully) there might be a Krayt Dragon or two out there as well. The Imperial Army has taken over Mos Ila after the Jawas had just restored the spaceport in hopes of encouraging trade. The reason for the Empires interest in Tatooine is the old Czerka Weapons Labs, which are all but swallowed by the sands. All in all, there are quite a lot of different elements for story writers to work with in this harsh, backwater planet.