Tatooine is not a particularly loved planet. Lately, you can hardly move for the Outer Rim rock popping up in the Star Wars saga, which has led to some dissatisfied viewers calling for a break (our own Jack Shepherd wrote “let’s hope we don’t have to return to this dusty planet anytime soon” in his review of The Book of Boba Fett’s finale). Even its most famous residents detest it: who can forget Anakin’s “I don’t like sand” lament, or Luke’s sentiment that “if there’s a bright center to the universe, you’re on the planet that it’s farthest from.”
But I’m here to argue that Tatooine is, in fact, the best planet in the galaxy far, far away – and we should be welcoming more trips to its sandy plains with open arms (hello there, Obi-Wan Kenobi).
For one thing, Tatooine has a simmering, Wild West vibe that all of Star Wars’ many other desert planets can’t quite capture. In The Book of Boba Fett, we see legendary bounty hunter Cad Bane walk achingly slowly through the desert to confront Freetown’s Marshal Cobb Vanth, in a scene that ratchets up the tension until the duo draw guns in a classic cowboy showdown.
Look to Mos Eisley, too. How can you not love a place that’s introduced by Jedi master Obi-Wan as “a wretched hive of scum and villainy”? Its saloon-style cantina reveals Tatooine is far more than merely a planet of farmers: there, we see all the dustball’s most colorful denizens hanging out in a fascinating display, and our relatable protagonist Luke is the outcast. Within seconds of reaching the bar, he’s almost killed by two violent randoms – and then one of them has a limb lopped off courtesy of Obi-Wan’s lightsaber. This causes nothing more than a moment of silence before that jaunty tune kicks back in. The cantina, clearly, has seen it all before.
Then there’s one of the most feared and powerful crime lords in all the galaxy who calls Tatooine his: Jabba the Hutt. His Palace is a morbidly curious place packed to the rafters with bounty hunters (and musicians, for some reason) with a monstrous rancor lurking below, and a Sarlacc pit around the corner.
There’s so much else that’s weird and wonderful on Tatooine. Where else are you going to see Tusken Raiders handing people hallucinogenic lizards for strange vision quests, or Krayt dragons diving through the sand (don’t say Arrakis), or high-speed, high-stakes podracing that literally determines the fate of the galaxy? Nowhere, that’s where. It’s hard to believe Luke found his life so boring when all this was on his doorstep.
And if only Luke knew just how important Tatooine would become in the grand scheme of the Star Wars saga. Some of the galaxy’s most pivotal figures have either lived on the planet or spent time there. That includes Luke himself, as well as his father Anakin and their mentor Obi-Wan – but we also meet Han Solo and Chewbacca for the very first time in Mos Eisley’s cantina. Han even has a shootout there, because that’s just something that happens on Tatooine.
In fact, significant events always seem to go down on the planet, as if the Force is redirecting everything back to those dusty plains. It’s where Qui-Gon Jinn offers to train Anakin, and where the young Padawan-to-be meets his future love Padmé Amidala – a relationship that dooms the galaxy to a lot of strife. It’s where R2-D2 is able to deliver that all important message from Princess Leia to Obi-Wan, where Fett is revealed to have survived being snacked on by the Sarlacc, where Obi-Wan finally finishes off the sinister Sith Lord Darth Maul (see the animated Star Wars shows), where Jabba finally meets his grisly end, where Din Djarin and his tiny charge Grogu are reunited, and it’s where Luke picks up a lightsaber for the very first time. It’s also the location of the final shot in the entire Skywalker saga as Rey looks out onto that binary sunset.
Maybe you’re thinking it’s not much to look at compared to the lush greenery of Naboo or the bright lights of Coruscant, but I raise you those two brilliant suns setting in harmony – every time we’ve seen it happen, it has been nothing short of magnificent, and gives us some of the Skywalker Saga’s most iconic moments.
If none of this has convinced you to give Tatooine a little love, then perhaps nothing will. Luckily, we’ll be seeing the planet again in the Obi-Wan Kenobi series, and probably even more after that. Long live Tatooine, the greatest planet in Star Wars.
For more, check out everything you need to know about all the exciting upcoming Star Wars movies and shows coming soon.