The limits of animal life on Tatooine


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Plants are there but they are all microscopic.


This is a fun post :slight_smile:


Eopies are mammals, according to wookiepedia.

So the large herbivorous could sieve the sand like whales?

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…pulling readers out of the world you’re trying to create and making it seem fake, rather than fictional.

Well, it hadn’t before this post explained to me why it should!

That aside, this was a great post…


In Dan Simmons’ Hyperion, I was completely put off by the description of the ‘ecology’ of the ice planet (don’t remember its name). There humans hunt and eat some kind of semi-intelligent Yeti. And said Yeti hunts and eats humans. That’s it. I was like ‘what!?!’


Those banthas have got big mouths. Why would they have big mouths unless it was to eat vegetation that would fit in it?

On a related note, I see that Maggie is drawing on the Extended Universe to a large extent. I feel that this might not be such a great idea. On the one hand, a lot of it was made up by people who had no better idea of biology or ecology than George Lucas, and so have made the questions raised by watching the movies with a science-y eye more complicated, rather than supplying verisimilitudanous answers. On the other hand, they explain nothing if you haven’t read them.

Maybe I’m a freak, but I never had much of an interest in the EU, and references to Star Wars camel-analogues just fly over my head like the Millennium Falcon on the Kessel Run. All I know is what’s in the three movies (plus maybe those other three movies if I’m feeling generous).


Well, you beat me to the punch. I was just here to say “Sand Plankton”

Just like blue whales!

All of this aside, do you realize that the entire idea of eating is basically just a myth we force ourselves to endure and what really sustains us is the force?


To me Tatooine is really a planet in the latter stages of environmental collapse brought on by a warming climate - it’s been a long time since I watched the movies, but isn’t there a scene where Luke needs to check on the condensers or something?

So the large animals could be relics of a once vibrant fauna, subsisting on undocumented pockets of fresh water - perhaps in caves or small seeps?

Edit: So apparently this is pretty much the backstory conjured up in other Star Wars books.


Walk without rhythm and you won’t have to find out…


Are they large because most of their body is basically a camel hump and they travel from one vibrant place to another across the desert? Maybe if you strip off their stores of excess fat and water they look like greyhounds.

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One of the best commentaries on this was from Robot Chicken. The bit with Krayt Dragon saying that no world could exist with only one climate, or something like that. Couldn’t find it on video to share, but you know.


Ding a-ding ding! All right-thinking people acknowledge the debt that “Star Wars” owes to Frank Herbert’s “Dune”. Early drafts of the script make this clear. Conclusion: the sand people are hiding something.


So ---- some of the desert scenes in the original Star Wars (Or, as the kids call it today, a New Hope) were filmed in Death Valley? They weren’t all filmed in Tunisia?

I knew that the Tatooine sequences in Return of the Jedi (Sarlaac pit, etc) were filmed in the U.S. But for some reason I thought all the desert scenes in the first movie were Tunisia.


exactly. Shai-Hulud wants to have a word with you, Maggie.

i’m glad i’m not the only one who did a double-take at the mention of death valley. it makes sense, but i’ve never heard this before, either.

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also on boingboing today. somewhat related.

Read the Rest of the Tatooine Science Carnival
This post is part of a series, spread over several blogs, all about the animals, climate, and oceans of Tatooine. Be sure to check out the rest of the stories!

Why a Bunch of Science Writers Are Writing About a Fictional Planet — Matt Shipman at Communication Breakdown.
The Tatooine Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — David Ng at Science Creative Quarterly.
Functional Anatomy of Tatooine Megafauna (Hyperspace Transmission Received) — John Hutchinson at What's In John's Freezer?
Science of Tatooine: Water — Adrienne Roehrich at GeekGirlCon
Cascading planetary-wide ecosystem effects of the extirpation of apex predatory Krayt dragons on Tatooine — David Shiffman at Southern Fried Science


Can something be invisible and photosynthetic?

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