How and why the Rakata civilization died out remains a mystery, and even their homeworld was simply referred to as the Unknown World. In stature, the Rakata were humanoid, standing on two muscular legs which were protected by a heavy talon at the back of the calf. The head of the Rakata was shaped like an upright bullet, with the mouth and eyes located at its base. The eyes were set out from the head on thick stalks, giving the Rakata a wide range of vision. The lack of any form of record of the Rakata's passing through the galaxy had led xenoarchaeologists to assume that they were a conquering species who wanted their existence to remain a secret. This theory was borne out with the discovery of the Star Forge, a huge space station that had been built as a manufacturing facility for starships and weaponry that could be used by the Rakatan Empire.
It was also learned that their homeworld, which was known as either Rakata Prime or the Unknown World, was located near a node of the galaxy that was strong with the Dark Side of the Force. It was believed that his proximity to the Dark Side node fueled their desires for conquest. However, the Rakata were unprepared for the strain of plague that infected the entire Infinite Empire, wiping out only the Rakata. Those that did survive discovered that they were no longer able to contact the Force, and Rakata Prime was plunged into darkness as the Rakata people devolved into savages. Those few tribes that survived were later wiped out in the War of the Star Forge. Evidence of the existence of the Rakata was cleared from official databanks by the leaders of the Old Republic, who feared a galaxy-wide panic if the general population learned of their existence, since the Rakata had enslaved many of the galaxy's races at one time. In order to completely cover up its true history, the Old Republic chose to designate the planet as Lehon in its official starcharts, since the planet was the primary world in the Lehon System.
Investigation by scholars discovered that the Rakata had most probably acquired their technology from the ancient race known as the Architects, who were believed to have created the Corellian System. This technology employed the Force as a source of power for the Star Forge and the hyperdrives that propelled their starships through space.