There are endless examples of cinematic landscapes throughout the Star Wars franchise, but none are as iconic as the original dry lands of Tatooine. This is the central location we return to time and time again as it houses the family farm of the Skywalkers.
Existing far on the Outer Rim of the recognized universe, Tatooine supports a much slower lifestyle than the fast-paced backroom deals of the Inner Worlds. Whenever a new law is passed by the Republic or a treaty signed by the Senate, not much difference is felt in the communities scattered across the desert planet.
The distance and anonymity of such a small population are probably why Luke was sent to live with his aunt and uncle on a moisture farm. As we have finally learned from the new Han Solo Disney Plus series, it certainly made keeping an eye on the young Jedi much easier.
This is a common trope in writing to have the hero come from humble beginnings. That is probably why Tatooine has such a precious space in the hearts of viewers worldwide. From the first moments we see look stare off into the “sunset” in Star Wars Episode IV or watching Rey bury lightsabers at the conclusion of Star Wars Episode IX, the unyielding sun-scorched land seems a constant companion to George Lucas’ epic science fiction fantasy world.
How Does Tatooine Fit into Star Wars
Besides being the birthplace of the Skywalker legacy, Tatooine is also a vibrant trade economy. Many of the locals prefer bartering with physical objects as opposed to Republic credits. This is probably why the Jawas scurrying feet and hooded heads are kept so busy. With many people crashing into the desert or giving up on such a challenging lifestyle, there is plenty to salvage for scrap.
You can also find plenty of gambling opportunities in Mos Eisley or Mos Espa. All you need is something valuable to get started, and you’ll be able to wager on pod racing or whatever else strikes your fancy.
The downside is you cannot get lost. Part of the reason Tatooine works so well in the Star Wars canon is that it has twists and turns, desolate landscapes, and endless canyons that lend themselves perfectly to storytelling. You’re just as likely to come across Tusken Raiders as you are a sandstorm.
It is also a target-rich environment for beasts and survival. Properties around Boba Fett and The Mandalorian have both used the large creatures of Tatooine as plot points to explain learned knowledge and skills.
Then there is the ever-powerful Hutt family that gets to reinsert themselves into the dialogue whenever a writer is feeling particularly gangster-like emotions. This allows stories to tie into the more extraordinary plots of interplanetary discovery and colonization.
The Small-Town Feel of Space
Most importantly, Tatooine provides relevance to the modern viewer. Most of us have some small-town experience, whether growing up in a similar community or having friends and families with farmer ties. We can better relate to the slowed-down, day-to-day activities of Tatooine instead of having to jump in headfirst into intergalactic political struggle.
This is why Star Wars, and the lightsaber-wielding Jedi are so beloved by viewers. We feel a kinship with every character as there is a certain level of humanity in even the most outrageous creature.
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