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Long ago, preceding the time of the Old Republic, Tatooine was a gem in the stars. Its beauty rivalled even that of Alderaan. It was a world of large oceans and a lush world spanning jungle. It was inhabited by the technologically advanced Kumumgah until the influence of the Rakatan Infinite Empire arrived. The Rakatan were a species so advanced that, to this day, none have managed to duplicate their power. They sought to exploit the moons of Tatooine and eventually Tatooine itself, but the Kumumgah rose up in opposition to the attempts at a systematic violation of their world. The forces of the Infinite Empire responded by performing an orbital bombardment on the planet. The assault was so powerful that it boiled away the oceans of Tatooine and burned her jungles to the ground. The weapons even fused much of the surface of Tatooine into a single glass plane. The Rakatan left satisfied that they had left an permanent example of their overwhelming power, as a warning to all other races they would attempt to subjugate. The Kumumgah, however, did not die; though the devastation was so great that they had to undergo many changes in order to survive. Two races eventually emerged from their descendents, the Ghorfas and the Jawas.
During the galaxy's main expansion period, at the dawn of the Old Republic, Tatooine was thought to be a sun until further research revealed it to be a world covered with light-reflecting crystal sands. The planet's magnetic field also creates unusual conditions that confused early explorers. Whereas on most of the planet, temperatures rise to scorching levels throughout the year, one region in the northern hemisphere is always cooler, especially during the night. One explanation comes from the planet's history preserved in Jawa folklore. It states that Tatooine's huge, arid deserts were once a great ocean. Indeed, during the planet's first colonization, the multiple mining expeditions that scoured the planet for mineral resources found many clues that there had been water where later there was only sand. Sadly these early colonists also disrupted the Ghorfas and their interference is cited as the cause of the race's transformation into the xenophobic Sand People, who are now feared throughout Tatooine's desert. The Sand People are principally known as Tusken Raiders because of their devastating attack on Tusken Fort in the days of early human re-colonization.
Two of Tatooine's main native species, the Tusken Raiders and the Jawas, require special clothes and face masks to protect them from the glare of the planet's suns. The tiny Jawas are wandering scrap merchants who make their living by repairing and selling pieces of junk they find in the deserts. Among Tatooine's other inhabitants are the banthas, often called Tusken Mounts, rontos, dewbacks, womp rats, krayt dragons and eopies.
The settlements of Tatooine's sentient inhabitants are separated by huge expanses of desert. Many humans survive by collecting the planet's most prized commodity: water. Using evaporators, the moisture farmers collected the small amounts of moisture present in the air to irrigate underground plantations, while any surplus water is easily sold in the cities.
Poor living conditions are common to Tatooine's urban areas. The official capital is Bestine, but other important cities are Mos Espa and Anchorhead, none of them luxurious places to live. The main connection between Tatooine and the other planets of the galaxy is the Mos Eisley spaceport. Home to criminals, smugglers and killers, it is also one of the most depraved places in the whole galaxy.
The wild Jundland Wastes are considered one of the most perilous regions on all of Tatooine. There are countless hidden dangers lurking within its borders and only the boldest dare to tread its dusty desert trails. It is dry and intensely hot, but many species manage to survive in the caves beneath the rocks and they attract the large womp rats, that roam these spaces looking for food. The most feared predator in the Wastes is the krayt dragon, a huge reptilian creature, greater in size than a bantha. But perhaps the greatest dangers of all in the Jundland Wastes are the Tusken Raiders. Although the nomadic Raiders will generally set up their tribal camps anywhere, they have a permanent base in the northwestern part of the region. The colonists have little knowledge of the Tusken Raiders, except that members of this aggressive and wild species may appear suddenly in the rocky terrain to attack and kill, seemingly without reason. Despite these dangers, the region's most frequented area is Beggar's Canyon. Originally the area marked the junction of three different rivers, but now, only a maze of 60-metre-high cliff faces remain; making it a constant attraction for Tatooine's boldest pilots.