Taris was an urban planet in the fifth orbit of its star, located in the Taris system, within the Ojoster sector, of the Outer Rim Territories, in turn Taris was orbited by four moons, including Rogue. The term Tarisian was used to describe people and products from the planet. The planet's ecumenopolis quickly developed over a century of prosperity, and as a result the planet suffered from massive overpopulation. Once a galactic nexus, Taris' importance declined with the introduction of improved trade routes, and the planet rapidly fell into decay. The remainder of the planet's history was wrought with civil disorder and social unrest. As it turned to industry as a means of compensation for its economic troubles, its oceans became polluted, eliminating the planet's main food source. Famine spread among the lower classes while the rich hoarded what few supplies remained. The resulting strife led to the Tarisian Civil War, the start of lasting prejudices between the Humanocentric Tarisian nobles and the largely alien underclass. The city became segmented, and the lower classes were banned from living in the upper levels of Taris.
During the Mandalorian Wars, Taris served as a crucial rallying point for dissident Jedi who had decided to fight against the invading Mandalorian Neo-Crusaders. As the lower classes were crushed beneath the rich, crime became rampant, and the Tarisian government did little in response. This caused Lhosan Industries, a mining company which employed half of the planet's lower class in its operation, to leave Taris. The millions left unemployed rioted against the government, kidnapping the planet's senator in the Galactic Senate as well as the local constable. This caused the local Jedi to leave Taris as well, leaving the planet in a state of chaos, as the war raged on around it.
By the time of the Jedi Civil War, order had been restored, but swoop gangs and crime still held sway over the Lower City. During the war, Taris was conquered by Darth Revan's Sith Empire, which quarantined the planet in an attempt to capture Jedi Bastila Shan. As the search continued fruitlessly, the Sith leader Darth Malak, ordered the bombardment of Taris, killing countless civilians. This act had huge political repercussions for the Sith and changed the tone of the rest of the war, showing Malak and the Sith's true colors, the desire to achieve victory at any cost.
Over the next few millennia the planet managed to rebuild and recover from its devastation, though never reaching the extent of its former glory. Similar to other ecumenopolies like Coruscant and Nar Shaddaa, the upper levels were safe and secure, inhabited by the wealthy, while the lower levels were frequently plagued by gang warfare and inhabited by thugs and the poor.
During the Great Galactic War, Taris had become the subject to both Jedi and Sith plans; while the Jedi wanted to rebuild the planet to prove to the people of the Republic that they were strong enough to recover from such a disaster, and with it raise morale, the Sith sought to foil their plans, to prove that the Republic couldn't recover from such a thing.
Taris was a ecumenopolis, at least in that all its landmasses were covered in a large city. However, unlike other ecumenopoleis, Taris had an ocean that covered a large part of the planet's surface. The ocean once possessed massive kelp farms that were used to sustain the planet's immense population. However, these farms were poisoned by pollution, leading to food shortages in the city.
The city itself was formed over a century of prosperity, a remarkable feat considering other ecumenopolies such as Nar Shaddaa took many centuries, even millennia, to form. The towers of the city were tall and gleaming, possessing a unique, universally-rounded appearance not found on other ecumenopolies. However, beneath the planet's initial pristine exterior lay the result of many years of lawlessness and oppression. In the Lower City of Taris, the largely non-human population lived in total poverty and desperation, prevented from entering the safer Upper City, which was almost exclusively inhabited by rich Humans. Following the bombardment of Taris at the hands of Revan's Sith Empire, the city was left in ruins. Although much of the city would be rebuilt in the following centuries, many ruins remained.
Flora and faunaEdit
Being an ecumenopolis, Taris had relatively little animal or plant life. There were however several important species.
In the upper levels of Taris there were feathered dogs used almost exclusively as pets. These unique creatures could be seen on leashes as their owners took them out on walks through the promenades of Taris. There were also large lizards that were domesticated and used to pull refuse through the Lower City.
One of the only species of wild animals on Taris was the simian tach. The tach possessed a unique gland in their heads that, when powdered, could be used to make Tarisian ale, a major export of Taris. As they were actually native to Kashyyyk, the presence of tachs on Taris may have been due to importation.
The rakghoul, the fiercest and most terrifying species on Taris, inhabited the Undercity. They were mutated humans that ruthlessly attacked anything outside of the protective gates of the Undercity. Contact with the rakghouls caused a sentient to contract the rakghoul plague, a terrible affliction that would cause the victim to turn into a rakghoul.
The oceans of Taris once hosted a variety of kelp and marine life that were harvested as food for the Tarisians. Most of these were later destroyed by pollution from Taris' many industries and what was left of them was later consumed to extinction by the Tarisian nobles.
Several centuries before Taris became a major galactic hub a fleet of human ships from unknown origins colonized the planet and started to build a city underground in which according to Rukil would become the site of the Promised Land. They were governed by the Taris Civil Authority. Later the whole landmass surface was covered in a giant city which would become the Undercity, which housed the sewers. As population spread another city was built on top of it which would become the Lower City and then the Middle City above that and finally the Upper City was constructed and the Promised Land was abandoned and was eventually lost and forgotten. The kelp harvest and the oceanic fauna became the planet's only food source since there was nowhere to grow crops or herd livestock on land.
Eventually different Alien species settled or visited Taris. The Republic took notice of the world and before long it began to prosper.
Taris was situated on a major hyperspace transport hub not far from the Hyperlane known as the Perlemian Trade Route, and was called the "Coruscant of the Outer Rim." Taris became an ecumenopolis, with all landmasses eclipsed with a world-spanning city. The city's grandeur was once said to rival the galactic capital, Coruscant, itself. However, the planet wasn't truly a planet-wide city, as unlike other city-planets such as Coruscant and Nar Shaddaa, it contained an ocean.
In 4086 BBY Taris received an extremely harsh review in Trampeta's Star Guide, as it was given the lowest possible recommendation. According to the author, T3 droids working in one of Taris' starports stole his baggage. While probably not having any influence on the development of the planet itself, it was nonetheless a reflection of the decay that Taris was undergoing.
While still under Republic control somehow the rakghoul disease ended up in the Tarisian Undercity. This caused the city to be abandoned and the sewer system was left to disrepair and was eventually overrun by rakghouls and Gamorrean slavers but it still served as the planet's infrastructure. The rakghouls would often use the turbolifts from the sewers to ascend to the Lower City and attack its residents but the locals always ended up winning the fights of the disease.
Civil war and anti-alien prejudiceEdit
After over a single century of prosperity, new and shorter trade routes were found and Taris became obsolete. By this point, the Promised Land had been rediscovered. The Tarisian industrialists switched to a new, cheaper power source which produced toxic waste and polluted the once-pristine ocean, destroying the kelp farms and killing most of the marine life. Famine swept the planet. Panicking, the greedy Tarisian nobles hoarded the remaining kelp and marine life for themselves. Around 4056 BBY, a century before the Jedi Civil War, the starving lower-class engaged the nobles in a massive civil war and the Promised Land was lost once more and became a legend amongst the lower class faction. Ultimately, the nobles emerged victorious.
The Tarisian prisons couldn't hold all the rebels, so the nobles began the tradition of banishing criminals and their descendants to the Undercity, unable to return to the surface under pain of death. These people became the Outcasts. They built a village, but suffered from starvation, rakghoul attacks, and rakghoul infections; all hope for them was lost save for the legendary Promised Land. The remaining kelp along with the remaining oceanic fauna was consumed to extinction by the Tarisisn Nobles in which they were then forced to rely on imported food. Also, because many of the rebels were aliens, the human nobles became prejudiced against non-humans, and banished them from the Upper City to the Lower City, punishing any that dared to enter the upper levels without a permit. Thus began the long oppression by the Humanocentric Tarisian nobility of the non-human lower class. The Lower City's conflicts with the rakghouls continued but the locals continued to emerge victorious. Their hope for improving their lives was to save up until they could leave the world. Naturally, this gave the planet a very bad reputation to off-worlders both human and alien. The Middle City however was more tolerant of aliens and poor humans.
Swoop Racing and CrimeEdit
The gangs in the Lower City got worse as they fought each other more and their main vehicle was the swoop bike and they competed in the Tarisian Season Opener thus the term Swoop Gang was coined. Many gangs oppressed the common Lower City citizens. It was here that swoop racing captured the imagination of the galaxy around 4000 BBY. Using an intricate system of hyperspace beacons, Tarisian race organizers broadcast the results of their swoop races throughout the galaxy, which eventually gave rise to a huge and profitable gambling operation and was funded by Czerka Corporation. The planet also began to export Tarisan Ale that was made from a gland from a tach. Taris remained a hub for swoop racing for decades, becoming the center of the Galactic Swoop Racing Circuit. It was at this time that the Exchange based itself on Taris and the Taris Civil Authority only accepted bribes to keep quiet or collaborate in their operations. The Hidden Beks where the main authority of the lower levels and policed various other gangs most notably the Black Vulkars in which a Swoop Gang War had began in 3976 BBY.
Joining the republicEdit
In 3976 BBY the Jedi Tower was constructed in the Upper City shortly after the outbreak of the Mandalorian Wars and the local Swoop Gang War. In 3966 BBY a secret backroom deal Haydel Goravvus helped install Lhosan Industries on Taris and in exchange, Jervo Thalien managed to bribe Taris into the Republic and install Goravvus as its Senator. Lhosan Industries replaced Czerka Corporation in funding the Swoop Races.
Around the year 3964 BBY, Captain Saul Karath commanded the Republic fleet that protected Taris during the Mandalorian Wars in which they built themselves a base in the Upper City. Due to Taris' close proximity to the Mandalorian War front, it had been granted Republic membership in 3966 BBY and it became the heart of the Republic's defense for the region. The planet served as a staging point for dissident Jedi who where led by Revan and his apprentice Malak and their allies for campaigns against the Mandalorians who based themselves in the Jedi Academy. Many Exchange members sold their slaves to the Mandalorian Neo-Crusaders among them was the slaver Xor and the slave Juhani in the Lower City. They succeeded in dissolving the Taris Civil Authority and driving the Exchange off the planet. The Jedi Order managed to free the slaves but the Mandolorian presence did not lift.
Meanwhile, Taris had compensated for its decaying importance to trade routes by negotiating with Lhosan Industries, which employed over half of the Lower City residents in its mining activities. However, due to increasing swoop gang activity, Lhosan was considering pulling out, and moving its operations to a world with less crime. The local authorities assured Lhosan Industries that they had the swoop gangs fully under control, and would take care of them with the assistance from the local Jedi. However, after a fugitive Jedi Padawan named Zayne Carrick was accused of murdering the entire graduating class of new Jedi Knights and escaped twice from Jedi custody in the Jedi Tower, Lhosan made its decision, and abandoned Taris.
This left many Tarisians unemployed, and angry citizens began rioting all over Taris, setting entire sections of skyline on fire. The riots soon spilled up into the Middle City. Crime began to envelope Taris. The Chancellor of the Republic became suspicious of Taris' quick entry into the Republic and sent Jedi Master Raana Tey to retrieve Goravvus. Jervo Thalien, head of Lhosan, became frantic since it was Goravvus who had installed Lhosan on the planet and Jervo had arranged a Senate seat in the Grand Convocation Chamber of the Senate Building on Coruscant for him in return. He hired Marn Hierogryph and the Moomo Brothers to retrieve the Senator. He promised Hierogryph a reprieve of the Massacre charges and most of the bounties on him lifted, but also secretly ordered the Moomo Brothers to kill Goravvus, as he had become a liability. Haydel Goravvus the Senator that represented the planet in the Galactic Senate disappeared, and the constable's family was kidnapped. Due to the political anarchy, the Jedi based on Taris were recalled to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, abandoning the Tarisians to their fates. Taris was also largely abandoned by the Republic military. It maintained only a small military base on the planet's surface. Without the protection of the Jedi and the Republic military, Taris was left open to a Mandalorian invasion.
The Mandalorians used Taris to make their first direct strike at the Republic and captured the Jedi Tower and to a lesser extent the Military Base was used as the Mandalorian base who were led by Cassus Fett. The Tarisians managed to form a small resistance movement led the swoop gangs such as the Hidden Beks employed guerrilla tactics to assist them.
Hierogryph met up with the Beks and was soon reunited with Zayne Carrick. The Beks wished to join with the Resistance but had nothing of value to offer them. Luckily, Carrick found the constable's children, who were being held hostage by Brejik and Griff Vao. The Beks then took the children to the Resistance, where they were reunited with their mother. Together, they sought to take out the Mandalorian commander, Cassus Fett. Cassus was on the winning side in which he was succeeding in defeating the Resistance, driving them into the Undercity and eventually they left the planet aboard The Last Resort ship that was based in the Undercity. The Mandalorians then used Taris as a stronghold in their conquest of the galaxy. For this Cassus became the most wanted person in the galaxy.
In the aftermath of the Battle of Malachor V the Mandalorians presumably abandoned the planet or where driven out by Revan and Malak in the aftermath of the war and the Jedi Tower and the Military Base where left deserted. Only for the Exchange to regain its presence and became the main authority of the planet. Czerka Corporation reclaimed its position in funding the Swoop Races.
The jedi civil warEdit
Battle over TarisEdit
Though the Republic managed to maintain a small military presence on Taris to once again desegregate the world, the planet had not been viewed with any military importance since the Taris Siege. This changed when the Sith succeeded in overrunning nearly the entire Outer Rim, leaving Taris as the last valuable planet in that region still under Republic control.
In 3956 BBY the galactic senators decided to make a stand there and the Endar Spire soon arrived above the planet to bulk up the existing garrison. Several important members of the Republic war effort were onboard the Endar Spire including Carth Onasi, Bastila Shan, and an amnesiac Revan (who was currently under the impression that he was a Republic soldier).
While on a mission over Taris, the Endar Spire was ambushed by a Sith warship. Bastila Shan was famous for her affinity to the Force and her skill with battle meditation, but she was unable to use her powers during the ensuing battle. The Sith troops quickly seized the ship in an attempt to capture Shan to use her Jedi powers for their own goals. Shan and several other crew members including Carth and Revan were able to escape the ships in escape pods. The Sith then destroyed the Endar Spire.
Shan's escape pod landed outside the Undercity of Taris, while others crashed in the Upper City. Many Upper City citizens gave over injured Republic soldiers to the local healer, Zelka Forn. The Black Vulkars, a swoop gang of the Lower City, swarmed over the Republic escape pods that landed in the Undercity, salvaging what was left of them. Shan had been unable to exit her escape pod in time due to being separated from her lightsaber and was captured by the Vulkars. Their leader retrieved her weapon for himself but was unable to use it because he wasn't force sensitive. Revan and Onasi's pod had landed in the Upper City and they were able to find an abandoned apartment to hide out in while they planned Shan's rescue.
The rest of the Sith fleet quickly arrived above Taris, and began landing their troops on the planet. There was little resistance from the Tarisians, and the Sith were able to take the Republic military base and to a lesser extent the Jedi Tower without much trouble and emerged victorious in conquering the planet.
Darth Malak, leader of the Sith armada, enacted a planet-wide quarantine, preventing any ships from landing on or leaving Taris. The Sith also programmed their orbiting fleet to auto-target any ships that attempted to do so who weren't part of the Sith armada. This was all part of Malak's plan to capture Shan. The Sith troopers led by the Sith Governor declared martial law and blocked the Upper City, the Middle City, the Lower City and the Undercity from being entred by anyone who wasn't affiliated with the Sith Empire. Sith troops questioned the Upper City residents about the escape pods that landed there, searching for any surviving crew from the Endar Spire. Malak also sent Sith patrols into the Undercity to look for Shan, using the rakghoul serum to protect them from a mutating disease spread by rakghouls.
The quarantine kept many off-worlders who were on business on Taris from leaving the planet. Since aliens were forbidden in the Upper City without a permit, off-world aliens were ordered into the slums of the Lower City while the quarantine was active. The Sith did little to enforce this edict when off-world aliens ventured into the Upper City.
A local gang war between the Hidden Beks and the Black Vulkars further hindered the Sith's efforts to find Shan. Brejik, the leader of the Black Vulkars, wanted to encourage recruitment into his gang and gain dominance over the Lower City by winning the swoop season opener. He had a prototype accelerator stolen from the Beks, which would allow the Vulkars to win the race. He even offered Shan up as a prize to raise the stakes.
This was Onasi and Revan's opportunity to rescue Shan. Cooperating with the Hidden Beks, Revan stole back the swoop accelerator and won the Taris swoop championship. Brejik, unwilling to give up his prize, retracted Shan from the prize pool. While Revan protested, Shan freed herself and a brawl erupted. In the end Brejik and his racers where killed, and Revan looted his body and found Bastila's lightsaber in which they then both escaped to the Upper City apartment before reinforcements arrived.
After Revan, Carth, and Bastila left the apartments they were greeted by a male Twi'lek who told them that Canderous Ordo wanted to meet them in the Upper City Cantina. Canderous, a Mandalorian enforcer for Davik Kang, the local crime lord and member of the Exchange, was impressed by Revan's skill and boldness during the race and the brawl afterwards. He approached Revan with a plan to escape Taris and told him where he could obtain a droid, T3-M4 from Janice Nall's shop, that would be capable of bypassing the security system for the Sith Military Base. This would allow them to break into the base to steal the codes necessary to bypass the Sith blockade. Once they had obtained the codes from the Sith Governor, the three traveled to the Lower City Cantina to meet Ordo, who took Revan and Bastila to Davik Kang's estate to steal his ship, the Ebon Hawk.
bombardment of TarisEdit
On his flagship, the Leviathan, Darth Malak grew impatient with the search for Shan. He feared her possible escape and ordered his fleet to bombard the entire planet. This was arguably the most horrific event during the Jedi Civil War. Taris was destroyed unnecessarily as Revan and his crew, including Shan, escaped the bombardment aboard the Ebon Hawk, which would eventually lead to the toppling of Malak's Sith Empire. It is assumed that most of the Upper City citizens were killed including Davik Kang himself while only a few citizens, most notably Calo Nord, survived the destruction. This had ended the Bek–Vulkar gang war, the oppression of the other violent gangs, the Sith occupation and the Exchange influence, the Czerka Corporation funding as well as the species and class oppression of Taris and the disorganized slavery in the sewers.
Knowing not to expect any help from the weakened Republic in any near future nor seeing any possibility to survive in a world reduced to rubble, the surviving members of the Tarisian government and intellectuals evacuated to a long-term storage facility near one of Taris' underground transport stations, sheltered from the bombardment. There, they preserved themselves in carbonite blocks, programming a nearby droid open the facility when Taris was once again under Republic control. The facility was later discovered during Republic's reconstruction efforts, but there is no record of whether any of the people inside actually survived three centuries of stasis.
The Outcasts were the only survivors according to their search for the Promised Land. When they had reached their destination they made it safe and saw that the realm was sheltered from the bombardment but found out that the buildings, equipment and possibly droids had been destroyed, and therefore the Outcasts had to start over. Whilst being a difficult task, they had survived the bombardment. However, many generations had passed since then—each having a "Promised One", who would keep the memories of the terrible apocalypse and be in charge of the colonists.
The anti-rakghoul serum which Revan had previously discovered was enough to protect the first few generations, but after the Rakghouls evolved to an advanced level, it was obvious the serum became useless and that babies couldn't be born immune. The Outcast later left the Promised Land and recolonized the Undercity and renamed themselves the Tarisians. This however was in vain as the Tarisians continued to die out on the surface, from starvation, disease, and rakghoul attacks. It was also shown, in the last successfully preserved time recording, that the last generation alive had lost so much information about the world, they didn't even know how or what brought them there. The remaining members died out from toxic waste well which ultimately resulted in their extinction like the rest of the planet's population many years earlier.
This left the planet to be uninhabited for some time.
315 years after the bombardment during the Cold War that followed the Great Galactic War, the Republic took up the difficult task of recolonizing Taris, establishing a spaceport, a military base, and settlements. The Republic believed that rebuilding Taris would be a substantial symbolic victory against the Sith Empire.
Three centuries after the planet's devastation, Taris was finally resettled by Human colonists, led by Twi'lek Governor Leontyne Saresh. These settlers were famous for their shipbuilding skills. These settlers rebuilt some of the planet's former cities, though much of the surface was left in ruins. Historians attempted to excavate the planet-wide ruins, looking for proof that the swoop bike originated on Taris. Not long after Taris was linked to the Hydian Way Route, the sole route that passed through the entire galaxy. However, the Empire, led by Darth Gravus attempted to sabotage the reconstruction project.
Governor Saresh struggled to stamp out corruption in the military and civilian forces across Taris. Thanks to her efforts and her dedication to the cause, the initiative was making more progress than it had in the last decade.
During the final days of the Republic and the Clone Wars, Taris was considered a "faded" city-world and was represented in the Galactic Senate by the human female Kin Robb. When she found the battlefronts getting closer to Taris, she joined the Council of Neutral Systems under Duchess Satine Kryze, hoping it would keep her world out of the fighting.
In the years following the Battle of Endor, Taris was in Warlord Zsinj's Empire. Zsinj lost the planet after a combined New Republic/Imperial raid on Taris in 7 ABY. The world returned under the control of the Galactic Empire after this battle and stayed under Imperial control until the fragmentation of the Empire following the final death of Emperor Palpatine, in 11 ABY. It later joined the New Republic.
Near the end of the Galactic Civil War, Gilad Pellaeon, leader of the Imperial Remnant conquered Taris. However the planet was quickly recaptured in a New Republic counterattack. Taris along with the Taris system and indeed the entire Ojoster sector rejoined the New Republic.
Taris was conquered by the invaders during the Yuuzhan Vong invasion but it wasn't reduced to rubble for a second time. After the Yuuzhan Vong were defeated the planet was presumably liberated by the Galactic Alliance.
As of 40 ABY, the famed bounty hunter Boba Fett owned a private residence on Taris. He had once taken a bounty down in the Lower City and retained bad memories of the experience. He returned to the planet to research the possible whereabouts of the Kaminoan Taun We, and unwittingly met his granddaughter.