April 22, 2021

T is for Tatooine

         (My A-Z Blog Challenge theme this year is Mythical and Imaginary Places.)
        Tatooine is a desert planet in the Outer Rim Territories of the galaxy.  It has three moons and two suns, keeping things hot and dry, and its native peoples are Jawas and Tusken Raiders.  It is now also inhabited by many other people, notably the Hutts, and humans including first Anakin and later Luke Skywalker.  The largest city is Mos Espa, known for its pod-racing, but perhaps the most famous (or infamous) town is Mos Eisley, that most wretched hive of scum and villainy.  Despite Tatooine’s insignificance by any normal measure, a surprising number of events of great historical significance have happened here.  But perhaps it isn’t so surprising after all, when those events are interrelated.  After all, one thing leads to another.
        I first encountered Tatooine in the theater seeing “A New Hope” as a child, and it was pure magic to be transported to that place a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away.  I’ve mentioned Tolkien as a great influence in my love of fantasy and world creation, but “Star 
Wars” came first.  After seeing the movie I immediately set to work devising a space opera of my own (not that I knew that genre designation at the time, being 7 years old).  So what is it that was so amazing about these new worlds that George Lucas showed us?  It was the way the world seemed truly inhabitated, a place where real people of all races and species lived their lives.  You can find a longer, more detailed post about this here: Fantasy Worlds Need Depth.  The Mos Eisley cantina was possibly the most magical place in the whole galaxy, and this was because it looked like the people pursuing their business in that insalubrious dive didn’t actually care about the story I was there to watch.  They didn’t care about Luke’s little problems, and they didn’t even care about the Empire or the Rebellion.  They just wanted to make a quick buck, spend it on some cheap booze, listen to some most excellent music, and then head on their way, wherever that happened to be.  I didn’t care about their stories any more than they cared about mine, but the fact that they clearly had stories was  key in making the world seem deep, and round, and believable, and magical.
        Actually, it turns out that a number of these people’s stories were later added to canon in various other Star Wars movies, books, series, and so on.  For example, the bartender of Chalmun’s Spaceport Cantina (for so it is called) is named Wuher and is an orphan whose parents were killed by battle droids; the disfigured man who threatens Luke is named Cornelius Evazan and is a mad torture doctor; and the band is called Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes, and their hit single is “Mad About Me.”  (Listen to it here!)  I honestly still don’t care about their stories, and really prefer not to know.  When they make up a story about everyone, it stops seeming so much like a real world, and, paradoxically, starts seeming more shallow again.  After all, when you walk into a bar on Earth, you don’t know the entire history of every person sitting in there.  That would just be weird.  The exception to my indifference, however, is the band.  I seriously think they should be the subjects of their own spin-off series, now that we’re doing that.
        The MORAL of Tatooine:  Every person is the hero of their own story.
              OR:  The Force will be with you.  Always.
        So, what Star Wars character or place would you like to learn more about — or meet over drinks?  (Make mine blue milk, please.)

[Pictures: Mos Espa in the distance, and at closer view, from “Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones”;
The Lars Family moisture farm, and Jabba the Hutt’s palace, from “Star Wars IV: A New Hope”;
Mos Eisley, from “Star Wars IV: A New Hope” (All images from Star Wars and Fandom).]

12 comments:

Lisa said...

Not Tatooine, it's a hot, dusty, inhospitable planet, full of outlaws!

A Tarkabarka Hölgy said...

Hey look, my home town! :D
Star Wars was my first fandom when I was a kid. Good times.

The Multicolored Diary

Mike said...

Chewbacca might be fun to drink with, he might get a bit rowdy. Fun post!

Olga Godim said...

Definitely everyone has his or her own story. I encountered those stories when I started working as a journalist for a local newspaper. The amazing people I have interviewed in the last dozen of years broadened my mental horizon to a staggering degree. And every story was unique.

Deborah Weber said...

The Mos Eisley cantina strikes me as exactly my kind of spot as well. Being anonymous in plain sight is my way to go. No need to tell me your story - I can people watch and make up my own. And I'd definitely go there for the music.

JadeLi said...

Not that crazy about the Star Wars planets seems like too many have been blown up or their populations subjugated.

Very enjoyable read your thoughts about the people in the bar and think a spin off for the band could be a lot of fun.



My Tull for the day:
http://tao-talk.com/2021/04/23/a2z-2021-jethro-tull-day-20-thick-as-a-brick-bonus-whole-album-1972/

Anne E.G. Nydam said...

Mike, I'd be afraid Chewbacca would rip my arms off if he got annoyed with me.

Olga, I bet that was really interesting work!

Sue Bursztynski said...

I agree, Olga. I once met and hung around with a group of mostly Americans while overseas. One was a journalist in her regular life, and simply interviewed a new migrant couple, whose story she made interesting for her readers. It was published while we were over there.

My thought on the cantina scene...yes, everyone has a story, and when Obi Wan kills the threatening man, there is about two seconds of silence, then the band starts up again and everyone gets back to what they were doing. That’s th3 kind of p,ace i5 is, and I imagine that the barkeep has a contract cleaning service to dispose of dead bodies.

Not sure who I would want to meet. Too many chosen ones and leaders, who would irritate me. Maybe have a cup of tea with Aunt Beru...

Anne E.G. Nydam said...

Sue, to defend Obi-wan, I don't think he actually killed the guy - just chopped his arm off. Assuming there was prompt medical attention (which admittedly might be hard to find in Mos Eisley) I'm sure he was fine! But I absolutely agree that Aunt Beru might be nice.

Ronel Janse van Vuuren said...

I like the cantina scene :-) Though, knowing me, I'd live on Tatooine and run with Jabba the Hutt...

Ronel visiting for the A-Z Challenge with an A-Z of Faerie: Tooth Faeries

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