Galactic Empires, Past and Future

I was musing on single climate planets – that’s the sort of thing I’m likely to do.

The most fascinating is the desert. In our own cultural history, the desert is the place bereft of the physical requirements for life, which tends to both strengthen our spiritual character, and toughen our physical bodies – at least, for those who learn to survive the sparse environment.  Prophets, hermits, and warriors (and occasionally, messiahs) blossom in the desert, where little else does.

(I understand that’s an oversimplified view, and that deserts are actually very rich and complex ecosystems.  In some cases, that’s important to the setting and the story, but it’s not the first impression.)

The more I thought about it, though, the more convinced I became that two of the most famous desert planets might actually be the same planet, divided by millenia.

Tatooine is Arrakis.  Arrakis is Tatooine.

It all makes sense.  The spice hasn’t been found yet at the time of Star Wars; like the Fremen of later generations, the focus is on moisture collection.  And those Fremen?  Couldn’t they be evolved Tusken Raiders, already adept at desert survival, taking an evolutionary leap after discovering the melange?  (I haven’t read the Dune prequels, which I understand present a different origin for the Fremen.  But if my theory is correct, it wouldn’t be the first time a Kevin J. Anderson work suddenly found itself to be non-canon.)  While they weren’t present in the Original Trilogy, why wouldn’t the Trade Federation reassert itself after the fall of the Empire at the Battle of Endor – and over the eons, rebrand itself as the Spacing Guild?  Is the Force all that different from the powers used by the Bene Gesserit?

What sealed it for me, however, was the sarlacc, a/k/a the sandworm of Tatooine/Arrakis.  Perhaps the sarlacc is an old sandworm that has settled in one location, or maybe it is a larva that has not yet evolved enough to be mobile. The details are not important – it is the connection.

(The Hutts could even be a related species, and Jabba feeding his prisoners to the sarlacc could be a form of ancestor worship.)

Given that Star Wars occurred long, long ago, and Dune occurs at some time in the far distant future, Disney is going to be busy making movies for a long, long time.  But maybe we’ll find out in Episode VIII or IX that Rey is actually an Atreides, or a predecessor to the Bene Gesserits – or the “who is Snope?” mystery will reveal one of the earliest Harkonnens.

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