Haiku Me Friday! Tatooine

The desert planet
Appearances may fool you
The birthplace of two

It would be foolish not to mention Tatooine in my month of planet haikus and a part of me really thought I should put Tatooine first on my list.

This sums up the perfect description of the planet:

Han: I think my eyes are getting better. Instead of a big dark blur, I see a big light blur.

Luke: There’s nothing to see. I used to live here, you know.

I think it’s easy to overlook the significance of Tatooine. It’s quite boring when you think about the landscape. It’s a desert. Nothing more, nothing less (well, not counting the Sarlacc Pit).  What is interesting about Tatooine is that it is the first planet that us, as fans, were ever introduced to. Threepio and Artoo landed on the planet after escaping the Tantive IV and this is when the movie really begins – it’s the quest to find Obi-Wan Kenobi after a deadly space battle.

Who is the Obi-Wan Kenobi? Why are we following two droids across a desert landscape? Who are those hooded creatures with glowing eyes that capture Artoo?

It’s world building at it’s finest. Why? Because Lucas doesn’t explain anything to us – he throws us into everything and hopes that we are intelligent enough to piece together things bit by bit. And if we don’t, then we’ll have to watch it another time.

Tatooine is a used, lived-in world that was very different from what most people were watching in sci-fi movies at that time. Most movies that came out during the sci-fi craze showed other worlds as a futuristic, gleaming place with technology beyond our dreams and abilities we could only fathom might happen on Earth thousands of years down the road. Tatooine showed us that some planets, even those in far-off galaxy, can be run down and nitty-gritty.

Most importantly, we see that this is where Luke comes from and where he was raised. Tatooine is the equivalent, I think, of the country side in the deep south. There’s not much there to entertain you, only a small town center and vast expanses of corn fields, but in this case, sand. You can understand Luke’s desire to see the world better when you understand the planet and environment better. You see why he has this thirst for adventure, beyond being Darth Vader’s son, because living on Tatooine means monotony and the same thing over and over.

In A New Hope, we saw Luke’s hardworking family: honest and ethical. In the last movie, we get a glimpse that perhaps Luke was lucky in where he lived on the planet as there is a seedy gangster underground and it’s where Jabba the Hutt has his residence. We see a Sarlacc Pitt that gives hint to a planet that is hiding more than it seems.

Tatooine is also the birth place of Anakin, the future Darth Vader and father of Luke. The planet then gets another significant reboot in the Prequel Trilogy as we see a different aspect to it. We see the slaves, the gambling, and the shady side that is not as ethical as the Beru and Lars homestead. You realize that perhaps the glimpse of the gangsters in ROTJ is not so isolated on the planet, but more prevalent and a ruling faction. We also see why the sandpeople/Tusken Raiders are not to be messed with and how they can not only destroy a person physically, but also ruin families.

Tatooine, in case you have never counted (I’m sure you have), shows up in 5 out of the 6 original Saga movies. The only movie we do not see it in is The Empire Strikes Back. When I think about Tatooine, I feel like it’s a conflicted planet. It’s boring but dangerous at the same time. In fact, if you fall into the trap of overlooking the planet just because of it’s outer appearance, you miss out on the rich history of the habitants who call this planet their home. Tatooine is not about the sand, it’s about the life that lives on it.

(NB: I did not have time to go into TCW and SWR, but feel free to add some thoughts in the comments below!)

What are your thoughts on this significant planet?

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8 thoughts on “Haiku Me Friday! Tatooine

  1. I am glad I just read this piece now and not 2 days ago. Why? Because I just rewatched A New Hope last night and had a very specific thought about Tatooine as I was watching it…

    The opening act of A New Hope, with the droids on Tatooine and the story leading towards Luke Skywalker’s introduction to the saga, are some of my favorite moments in all of Star Wars.

    For whatever reason, some part of my brain identifies Tatooine as the most quintessentially Star Wars of all Star Wars worlds. And, those scenes with the droids, are the most necessary in all of the film. In some regards this makes no sense. It is irrational, it is all just feeling. But maybe that is the point. My brain identifies with Tatooine and those scenes because they are what I always experienced first as a kid when I popped in the Star Wars VHS. Watching the trilogy in order, you HAVE to go through Tatooine to get to the rest of the saga, so that pleasant and relaxing feeling of watching Star Wars became associated with the time spent on Tatooine.

    I think that makes sense…

    Also, I should add that when I would play the Super Nintendo Star Wars game as a kid I could NEVER get past Tatooine. The Jawas always kicked my butt when I tried to rescue the droids from the sandcrawler sooooooo I obviously spent a lot of time ON Tatooine as a kid, too.

    1. Have you watched The Hidden Fortress yet? If not, it’s a great movie to see how Lucas was influenced by it – specifically following Artoo and Threepio for a big portion of the movie in the beginning. https://starwarsanon.wordpress.com/2014/10/02/the-hidden-fortress/

      I agree with Tatooine being quintessentially Star Wars. It was the first planet/moon we’re introduced to and we spend a long time there. The only other planet we see in ANH is Yavin 4 (minus blowing up Alderaan), and we really only see the interior of the Rebel base.

      When the trailers for TFA were coming out, and we saw Jakku, I understood why JJ was going back to a desert planet. After so many people were disappointed with the PT (not me!), he wanted to hearken back the most original of all Star Wars. Actually, for a long time, I swore up and down that Jakku was Tatooine. Even when he announced at Celebration that it was a new planet, I refused to believe him – haha! I thought he was trying to throw us off.

      I loved the podracing game on N64 – that was my favorite. And there was an Episode I game for for Playstation that I also played a lot…I couldn’t get past Naboo on that one. I remember Queen Amidala kept saying, “Obi-Wan, you are stepping on my dress!” because I kept running into her lol.

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