For a franchise set in a galaxy far, far away – a place where every scruffy-looking nerf herder has a starship of their own – Star Wars is weirdly fixated on a handful of planets. In fact, we’d argue Star Wars is too obsessed with Tatooine. It’s the only Star Wars planet to appear in all three movie trilogies, and it’s been a fixture of both The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett.
Not that we don’t enjoy visiting this harsh, sun-baked world, but there are so many other fascinating planets that have yet to really get their due in the movies and shows. Let’s take a look at the Star Wars locales that deserve more time in the spotlight.
Planets Star Wars Should Explore (That Aren’t Tatooine)
Despite never appearing in a Skywalker Saga movie, Corellia is easily one of the most important worlds in the Star Wars galaxy. For one thing, it’s the birthplace of hotshot Rebel pilots like Han Solo and Wedge Antilles. Han and Wedge are just two members of a culture that seems to have wanderlust and a thirst for adventure baked into its DNA.
While Corellia did finally make its live-action debut in Solo: A Star Wars Story, we only got brief glimpses of the planet languishing under Imperial occupation. Why not showcase this critical world before the era of the Empire, or the role it played in combating the First Order? Just compare the relative sizes of the Canon and Legends versions of Wookiepedia’s Corellia pages and you’ll see that Disney hasn’t even begun to tap into this planet’s storytelling potential.
The fourth moon of the gas giant Yavin plays an important role in both A New Hope and Rogue One. It’s there the Rebel Alliance has established its base of operations and launches its first real strike against the Empire. All of this raises the question – why Yavin IV? What made this world right to serve as the secret headquarters of the Rebellion? Who built those temples in the jungle, and what purpose did they serve originally?
Fans of the old Expanded Universe novels will know some of those questions were answered in writer Kevin J. Anderson’s Jedi Academy Trilogy, which revealed the Yavin compound was an ancient Jedi temple that still houses the imprisoned spirit of a Sith Lord named Exar Kun. Why not adapt that twist for the new Disney canon?
Alderaan is undoubtedly one of the most important planets in the entire Star Wars galaxy. As the home of Bail Organa and his adopted daughter Leia, it’s basically the birthplace of the Rebel Alliance. Unfortunately, we only catch a glimpse of this world from space in Episode IV before it becomes a testing ground for Grand Moff Tarkin’s new toy. In fact, we only ever see a few shots of Alderaan in Episode III, with most stories focusing more on the tragedy of its destruction rather than what this world was actually like.
Why not use Alderaan as the setting for a pre-Episode IV story? Show us the struggles Bail Organa faced in trying to foment a Rebellion without drawing the full wrath of Emperor Palpatine. What about a young Princess Leia?
The planet Ord Mantell has long been a source of fascination for Star Wars geeks. That world is briefly referenced in The Empire Strikes Back when Han Solo reflects on a recent run-in with one of Jabba’s bounty hunters. We can assume Ord Mantell is one of those wretched hives of scum and villainy that make the Star Wars franchise what it is, which definitely makes it worth a closer look.
To date, Ord Mantell has mainly been seen in the Star Wars comics and the animated series The Bad Batch. There’s plenty of room to explore its history as a home base for the Black Sun crime syndicate and its role in the Imperial era. And maybe one of these days we’ll finally get the definitive account of what exactly happened when Han visited Ord Mantell.
Mon Cala might just be the most important Star Wars planet to never actually appear in a movie. This watery world is home to two iconic alien races – the Mon Calamari and their squid-like rivals, the Quarren. Because of the Mon Calamari’s expertise in designing starships, their world was a hotly contested battleground in the Clone Wars and throughout the reign of the Empire.
For the most part, this world has been explored in the Clone Wars animated series and Marvel’s comics. The Mandalorian: Season 2 featured Trask, a moon that serves as a second home to the Mon Calamari and Quarren peoples, but that’s no substitute for the real thing.
Dantooine is one of the first worlds to be mentioned in a Star Wars movie. This peaceful, remote planet was nearly wiped out by the Death Star before Grand Moff Tarkin realized it was no longer home to the Rebel Alliance. But at one point the Rebels did set up shop on Dantooine, and that seems like a story worth telling.
In fact, Dantooine has a surprisingly intriguing history for a world populated mostly by farmers. Even the Jedi used to maintain a temple there during the Old Republic and harvest kyber crystals. Surely there’s a reason this seemingly innocuous world has been a site of so much conflict in the Star Wars universe.
Nal Hutta & Nar Shaddaa
If you think Mos Eisley is a wretched hive of scum and villainy, just wait till you get a load of Nal Hutta. As the name suggests, this swampy planet is home to the Hutts. It’s the kind of place only a hedonistic gangster slug could love.
Then there’s Nal Hutta’s infamous moon, Nar Shaddaa. There’s a reason it’s nicknamed “Smuggler’s Moon.” It’s home to many of the most powerful criminal cartels in the galaxy, and countless smugglers, bounty hunters and other riff-raff call this moon home. Nar Shaddaa has a rich history in the classic Legends timeline, but Disney’s Star Wars projects have barely begun to tap into the potential of these two seedy worlds.
It may seem strange to include Naboo on this list when it’s appeared in four Star Wars movies so far. But even though Naboo is one of the main set pieces in The Phantom Menace, it often feels like the franchise hasn’t tapped into the potential of Naboo and its people in the period after the Clone Wars.
What is it like living on Naboo after Senator Palpatine becomes Emperor Palpatine? Do its people regret their part in helping install a galactic tyrant on his throne? How does Palpatine himself view his homeworld? What becomes of Naboo after the Empire?
We do get some insight into what life is like on this world during the Imperial era in Marvel’s Darth Vader comics. It turns out the late Senator Amidala’s former handmaidens and bodyguards led a resistance cell and even attempted to assassinate Darth Vader. That’s a start, but we need more of Naboo.
The Sith Worlds
One of the downsides of Disney eliminating the old Expanded Universe is that we don’t know a great deal about the ancient Sith Lords before Darth Sidious rose to power. We’ve seen glimpses of Darth Bane and references to Darth Revan, but there’s so much Sith back-story that needs to be filled in. It doesn’t help that the franchise now has three different worlds that all purport to be the ancient home of the Sith.
In the Season 6 finale of The Clone Wars, Yoda travels to Moraband, a world that was previously known as Korriban in the EU. In Star Wars Rebels, Ahsoka has her fateful duel with Darth Vader on Malachor. And in The Rise of Skywalker, we learn Palpatine retreated to Exegol and spent decades building his Final Order fleet.
All three of these worlds offer fascinating clues about the history of the Sith, but there’s still so much we don’t know. Which one of these planets was the true birthplace of the Sith? Why are there three Sith planets in the first place? Maybe the upcoming Knights of the Old Republic remake can straighten out all this confusion.
Jesse is a mild-mannered staff writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter.