Carida is a large, high-gravity world with deeply varied topography and a temperate to warm climate. High ranges of rocky landscape dotted with sharp crags, heaving oceans, dense jungles and forests, swamps and great plains characterize the planetary surface. Carida's main export is military personnel, technology, and industrial machinery. With minor exports including small amounts of raw minerals and local foodstuffs. Its proximity to Coruscant inspired the Galactic Empire to invest a significant amount of resources in the growth and development of the Imperial Military Academy located on Carida. Imperial recruits arriving have often been noted to wonder how could Carida, a place known for its beauty and lushness, has earned such a harsh reputation for training.
The planet is home to one of the Galactic Empire's most respected forces in the galaxy: the Imperial Army. The single most prominent feature of Carida is the campus of the Imperial Military Academy, which is centered on the Spinara Plateau and surrounded by dagger-like stone outcrops. It is composed of several imposing buildings that act as living quarters and training areas, as well as offices. The campus features highly polished white marble columns, reflecting pools, and parade grounds. The architecturally striking main building is a citadel designed to call to mind the old values of military training and tradition. Enormous turrets and tall, crowned spires punctuate the upper walls surrounding the citadel itself. Numerous storage buildings, drill fields, weaponry ranges, and training facilities surround the main courtyards. Decommissioned Imperial AT-AT's are placed along major footpaths to act as reminders of the Emperor's might and Imperial engineering.
The Imperial Military Academy is home to the Empire's most elite stormtrooper program, where generations of recruits have been intensively trained to serve the Emperor and the Imperial Order. The increased gravity, dangerous predators, formidable insects, carnivorous plants, and varied terrains push soldiers and their machines to the limit, making Carida a perfect military training ground for combat in difficult terrain. The relentless training in the various environments of Carida prepare the candidates for action on all planets and any situation.
The Imperial Military Academy includes other distinguished programs, such as the training of the Imperial Storm Commandos, the development of Stormtrooper Officers, which Carida is ranked number one, and the drilling of gunnery crews. Due to this, it is not uncommon for specialized soldiers in the Empire's forces to spend at least one semester in the academy; with part-time students often enrolling at the Empire's behest, for specialized combat studies. The academy is devoted to training personnel in all fields of combat and strategy. While stormtroopers train their skills in combat, officers labor in the vast halls and develop new strategies to ensure victory in all Imperial endeavors. Officers that have graduated from Carida's Academy take their leadership skills and knowledge into the Empire and are noted for their relentless approach and strategic understanding.
Although the Imperial Military Academy has gained a galaxy-wide reputation for its stormtrooper recruitment and training program, Carida's sprawling campus also offers a wide and diverse curriculum with courses such as administration, sciences, operative linguistics, military theory, Imperial history, tactics, and leadership as well as some manner of engineering and technical sciences courses. The varied curriculum allows the academy to provide the Empire with a powerful core that can serve in nearly any position that is needed.
The native Caridans are an intelligent humanoid species that are characterized by their thin limbs and heavy, barrel-like chests. Arrangements with the Empire left them mostly retracted to the southern parts where they run mines and other economic ventures that, directly or indirectly, supply the Galactic Empire with valuable resources. Little is known about their culture and customs, as they tend to stay on the planet and usually do not mingle with their Imperial neighbors.
The early history of Carida is relatively unknown, as the natives only have oral history to preserve their cultural heritage and amongst some tribes, the written language is still considered taboo. Xenoarchaeologists and other scientists rarely study the aboriginal culture of Carida as it not considered of much intrinsic value. Since the natives keep to themselves and do not share their culture with other species, it is not sure how long they have lived on Carida, or if they were, in fact, the by-product of an early colonization attempt from a different world.
Species endemic to Carida include poisonous insects, multi-legged reptiles, and combat arachnids. The combat arachnid possesses twelve-legs, is covered with spines, and is usually red in coloring. They can communicate with each other on a hypersonic level and are bred by the locals of Carida, who harvest their diamond-hard, chitinous exoskeletons. The combat arachnid's fighting skills are superb and arenas have been built to showcase the spectacle of them fighting as combatants for sport and entertainment.
However, while the combat arachnid is dangerous, the dominant predator on Carida is a bipedal lizard species the natives call Kuu'hat. Usually green to grey in color, this creature often hunts in packs and while being only a meter in height, they can run almost as fast as 70 km/h for long periods of time. Some Kuu'hat have been caught and are held semi-tame in various settlements of the native populace. In the vast grass plains reside a bull-like creature known as the Daatu. This herbivore stands over two meters tall and lives in small herds that seem to do nothing else than graze. Their hide is a valuable commodity as it is rather resilient to most bite and claw attacks and is highly resistant to toxic environments.
The flying Jumbal, a venomous bird species that hunts in the warmer climates around the equator, is a native creature that lives in the forests and jungles of Carida. Through its bite, the Jumbal injects venom into its prey, which targets the central nervous system. If the bite is not treated with an antiserum the venom can cause severe damage to the nervous system or death. They can grow as large as 30 to 60 centimetres but pose a deadly threat to those who wander the forested reaches of Carida unprepared. The Empire has also imported numerous rancors from Dathomir to be used for training exercises; often pitting stormtroopers or Imperial vehicles against them.