29

Are there any plants on Tatooine? If not, what do the animals at the bottom of the food chain eat?

9
  • 7
    OK, now ask if there are any wild plants on Tatooine.
    – Politank-Z
    Feb 11 '16 at 23:26
  • @Politank-Z Exactly. But should that be a separate question, or should I edit this one?
    – CHEESE
    Feb 11 '16 at 23:28
  • Are we limiting 'plants' to what we biologically define as plants? Or does something we would classify as 'fungi' count?
    – CBredlow
    Feb 11 '16 at 23:28
  • @CHEESE : I think I've answered your question both ways. See update to answer.
    – Praxis
    Feb 11 '16 at 23:29
  • 2
    I was kind of disappointed to discover that the Sarlacc was an animal, not a carnivorous plant.
    – T.E.D.
    Feb 12 '16 at 14:52
48

View down into the circular central well of the Lars homestead with a small central vaporator and numerous doorways and windows opening from all directions.
Visible are many small plants near doors and flowering plants along the edge of the second-floor windows/entrances.

Above, we see various plants at the Lars homestead, where Luke grew up.

Also, according to the official Star Wars databank, Tatooine consists of deserts, canyons, and mesas. Mesas typically have low-lying shrubbery and grasses, due to water flowing close to the surface between soft shale layers.

For reference, here is a mesa in New Mexico:

View across scrubland, with yellowish grass and bare bushes to a rising mesa with a trapezoidal profile and a smaller central peak.  The mesa is gullied, with one profile showing gray and red sedimentary layers.  The mesa is mostly covered with green ground cover and spotted with darker green bushes or small trees.

Finally, here are some wild shrubs spotted on Tatooine:

Luke standing in profile facing the setting sun, with his left foot raised on the embankment surrounding one of the homestead's wells.  Three vaporators are visible in the distance beyond him, and there are pieces of the homestead's equipment partly visible just behind him, and in the immediate foreground.  Three small bushes are growing on the embankment, one in the foreground, one partially hidden behind Luke and one on the far side silhouetted against the lighter desert sand.

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  • 1
    Nice find. Who knows if the Tatooine ones do have wild plants, though?
    – CHEESE
    Feb 11 '16 at 23:32
  • 3
    I think comparing Tattooine desert to the New Mexico desert may be like comparing apples to oranges. It'd be better to compare to the Sahara or Gobi deserts (especially since it was filmed in Tunisia).
    – CBredlow
    Feb 11 '16 at 23:33
  • 6
    @CBredlow : I'm not comparing deserts. The Star Wars Databank mentions mesas on Tatooine.
    – Praxis
    Feb 11 '16 at 23:35
  • 10
    At least Luke knows where to go if he ever runs into the Knights who say Ni.
    – jpmc26
    Feb 12 '16 at 7:10
  • 2
    BTW, a mesa is a structure of land, literally translated to 'table' because it's flat on top. It has nothing to do with having plants. There are many mesas in Arches Nat'l. Park that have little to no plants. There are mesas on Mars as well because they happen anywhere you have an elevated area of flat compacted sand/sandstone eroded away on at least one side by water. A one sided 'canyon' would be the minimal case.
    – coblr
    Feb 12 '16 at 22:09
13

We also know that fungi grows in Tatooine, mostly on the moisture vaporators. In Attack of the Clones, Shmi was captured by the Tusken Raiders when she was out picking mushrooms that grew on the vaporators.

7
  • Do you have a picture?
    – CHEESE
    Feb 11 '16 at 23:33
  • 3
    @CHEESE no picture, just relying on the words mentioned by Clegg Lars in that movie.
    – CBredlow
    Feb 11 '16 at 23:34
  • 1
    That's fine, I don't need one
    – CHEESE
    Feb 11 '16 at 23:35
  • 5
    Fungi aren't plants, but they do grow on decaying biological matter, so there must be something else living out there. Or maybe this is Space Biology, and our earth classifications don't apply.
    – user867
    Feb 12 '16 at 4:51
  • @user867 we discussed this in the comments for the question itself, and agreed to allow fungi even though they are technically not plants
    – CBredlow
    Feb 12 '16 at 16:57
10

In addition to the other answers, Wookieepedia cites Star Wars 7: From the Journals of Old Ben Kenobi: "The Last of His Breed" as a canon source for the existence of a plant native to Tatooine which produces a black melon.

Frame from a graphic novel, showing a middle-aged Obi-Wan Kenobi, his beard just lightly shot with grey, facing the viewer with his cowl up and holding a black melon in his raised right hand while he points to it with his left.  The black melon is ellipsoidal, about 15cm in its longest direction and half that in width; it is black except for a network of cracks running over the surface which show as pale blue.  In the left foreground is the lower side of the face of the person Obi-Wan is showing the melon to.

The melon contains a milk which Tusken Raiders and humans can drink (and presumably other animals).

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  • Now, since melons are plants from Earth, how would Tusken raiders or humans from Tatooine know what a melon is? Feb 12 '16 at 20:09
  • 2
    Because someone who spoke English pointed at one and said "hey, that's a melon."
    – user60922
    Feb 12 '16 at 20:46
  • +1 This is the best answer because it specifically points out a native plant that is consumed by natives (giving it historical context). The shrubs in Praxis' answer are good as well, but this one specifically mentions the plant, and even provides a history for it. It's not a decoration or random prop on a set with no mention.
    – coblr
    Feb 12 '16 at 22:18
  • @DrunkenCodeMonkey: since SW universe is set in a far away galaxy a long time ago, how do you know that "Melons" weren't brought to Earth by a member of that galaxy first? Maybe the lack of 2 extra stars made the black melon lose its "melon-in" (pun) and became the cantaloupe or honey-dew the way that humans also became lighter with less UV radiation.
    – coblr
    Feb 12 '16 at 22:25

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