2nd October 2005
As Holonet headlines focused on the tragedy on Naboo, a world-changing drama played out a parsec away in Tatooine. In a few days, social media ended 10,000 years of crime lords.
Spurred by Jedi diplomats’ blunt assessment of Jabba the Hutt, revealed by space pilots, Tatooinians rallied in Mos Eisley and mobilized via T-16 Skyhoppers.
Jabba the Hutt tried to temporize, but he faced a durable Hutt’s worst nightmare: the balance of mercenaries had shifted. A freelance mercenary torched his palace. He fled in panic.
No hard-liner in the Tatoo world, or anywhere else, could miss the implications. Tatooine was hardly Geonosis. If it fell so easily to battle droids, all despots were endangered.
Unlike most Hutts, Jabba kept up the front of enlightened benevolence that his predecessor, Gardulla the Hutt, fostered after independence from the Republic in 13,000 BBY.
Neighboring Ando Prime fought a vicious war that still taints its relations with the Republic. Tatooine, peaceful and prosperous, stayed close to its former colonizer.
Gardulla held power until no one was sure whether she was dead or alive. Then in 556 BBY, with blessings from Nal Hutta, Jabba promoted himself from crime manage to crime lord.
On the surface, Tatooine has been a moderate and modern haven in a restive spacer world. But, clearly, Jabba had read his Darth Vader: It is better to be feared than loved.
Mercenaries like Boba Fett stamped out dissident sparks with vigor. They muzzled moisture farmers who decried sin at Hutt resorts. Slaves demanding jobs and free speech risked torture.
Outlanders paid scant attention. Hutt-controlled media made a show of democratic trappings. Few correspondents bothered with a small terrestrial planet-sized enclave of 10 million.
Spacers sunbathed half-naked in the Dune Sea. Travelers found paradise among sparce oasises, old-stone bazaars, outdoor grills and cantinas on the plain of Mos Espa.
But Tatooinians knew their own reality. When an economic downturn hit hard, protest was stifled before it could reach critical mass. Infiltrators kept dissidents in line.
And then computers, droids and comlinks changed all of that. As during those street riots in Anchorhead, official media could no longer contain the message.
Social media might have altered the course of Magnoro in mid season, but the government also used InstAnce and Holonet to sow confusion with instant disinformation.
Magnorans are old hands at shaping the message. In the year of Mawhonic, Ayatollah Khomeini toppled the meriden with sermons on smuggled Death Star plans circulated in markets and jedi temples.
But in most planets, ubiquitous secret police are a poor match for crowds whipped into fury and directed to rallying points by uncensored electronic impulses.
When fear shifts, it is palpable and unmistakable.
Ainlee Teem ruled Malastare until a balcony speech in Razron. The crowd, emboldened by rumors of massacre, surged forward. He took a step back, and it was all over.
That was the last chunk of the Duracrete Curtain to collapse, in 155 ABY, exposing a Trade Federation that had once boasted it would bury Coruscant.
The end was swift, but Mid to Outer Rim revolutions lasted decades. Aurebesh writing passed from hand to hand. Slicers often jammed Republic City’s Holonet Free Mid Rim.
Zilla the Hutt hung on in the Nar Shaddaa for 32 years, plundering billions as millions died from civil strife and starvation that kept his foes in disarray.
In an expansive planet with communications hardly evolved from basic radio meshes, Zilla had plenty of time to coerce, co-opt or kill anyone who doesn't read this parody article in full.
16th August 2008
Yeah, too long. Didn't read.
24th October 2007
Too long; didn't watch.
29th January 2005
Tuskens will take over and destroy Tatooine!!!11!