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On Tatooine, is there any form of ruling body or law enforcement? Obviously the Republic has no control there, but is there any ruling government, or even a police force to keep things orderly?

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    The Hutts, and Imperial forces when they were looking for R2-D2 and ‘3PO
    – Boolean
    Nov 8, 2020 at 23:09
  • @Boolean Maybe the Hutts had some power, but the Empire didn't really control, or govern tatooine to my knowledge.
    – Rainbow
    Nov 8, 2020 at 23:11
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    What time period are you asking about? Specific to the time shown in some particular movie, show, book, or game? They span thousands of years.
    – TylerH
    Nov 9, 2020 at 14:17
  • @TylerH Let’s assumes for the moment that the OC is asking about the era in which the Skywalker Saga is set (episodes 1-9)
    – Boolean
    Nov 9, 2020 at 14:49
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    @Boolean That being a large assumption aside, Episodes I thru IX still spans some 68 years and, somewhat remarkably, includes no fewer than four galaxy-wide governmental authorities. Even just constrained to the movies, we see multiple different sets of authorities enforced.
    – TylerH
    Nov 9, 2020 at 15:03

1 Answer 1

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Republic and Imperial Period

Per StarWars.com, the Hutts run the cities and the starports as warlords. Outside of their own interests, they seem to have little or no desire to enforce anything.

A harsh desert world orbiting twin suns in the galaxy’s Outer Rim, Tatooine is a lawless place ruled by Hutt gangsters. Many settlers scratch out a living on moisture farms, while spaceport cities such as Mos Eisley and Mos Espa serve as home base for smugglers, criminals, and other rogues. Tatooine’s many dangers include sandstorms, bands of savage Tusken Raiders, and carnivorous krayt dragons. The planet is also known for its dangerous Podraces, rampant gambling, and legalized slavery. Anakin Skywalker and Luke Skywalker both grew up on Tatooine, and Obi-Wan Kenobi spent years in hiding on this desolate world.

Out in the wilderness, it's the wild west. The Essential Atlas makes a passing reference to "local councils" but basically it's just moisture farmers protecting their own farms and banding together to periodically form lynch mobs to attack the Sandpeople.

As to law enforcement, we see in the canon comics that they nominally pay "protection" money to the Hutts but basically it's just a shakedown as the only protection they get is from Hutt reprisals for not paying.

New Republic Period

With the decline in Hutt control after the death of Jabba, individual townships appear to have employed their own law enforcement in the form of sheriffs. Empowered by town leadership, these sheriffs have deep and wide latitude to 'keep the peace' by dispensing whatever justice they see fit.

Cobb shrugs. “Oh, now. I’m no monster. No worse than your boss, that Weequay dung-muncher, Lorgan Movellan. I know his scam. I know all the scams. Afraid the Republic is back and gonna put their boot down on all the lowlifes and scum-lickers, the syndicates are trying to find new ways to appear legit. And with the Hutts fighting one another for control, bunch of these little quote-unquote mining companies are swooping in with brutes like your boss at the helm. A new age of mining barons. Won’t fly. I’m here now. Me and others like me. Bringing the law to this lawless place. And that starts with me shooting you and taking that armor out from under you.”

Star Wars: Aftermath

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    How could slave trading be "legal" if the planet was "lawless".... That always bothered me. A minor quibble
    – BBlake
    Nov 13, 2020 at 19:00
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    @BBlake - It's legal in Hutt Space
    – Valorum
    Nov 13, 2020 at 19:49

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