• Mattie Stu

The Starship Graveyard - Star Wars: The Force Awakens Lore

The Western Reaches world of Jakku was known for its isolation, dangerous creatures, and Graveyard of Ships. Before the existence of Niima Outpost or much of anything else on the planet, New Republic and Imperial starships fell from the sky above to litter the sands below. However, unlike their enemy’s vessels, some of the New Republic fighters and cruisers suffered from crash damage as opposed to battle damage. As a result, most believed that when the Imperial officers realised they were beaten in the Battle of Jakku, they locked onto the New republic warships with their tractor beams and dragged them down to the surface below. No one knew exactly why the Empire made such a drastic move, but that didn’t stop those around Niima Outpost’s washing tables from speculating and theorising. Everyone believed the Empire were hiding something, whether it was a secret Imperial Base under Carbon Ridge, a storehouse beneath the Sinking Fields filled with looted treasure from ancient civilisations, or a throne room from which the Emperor planned to conquer the rest of the galaxy.

As it turned out, Jakku was once home to a secret Imperial facility, and was the last rallying point of the Galactic Empire’s fleet. In a last ditch attempt to stop the New Republic from capturing the base, doomed Imperial vessels used their tractor beams to drag as many enemy warships into the planet’s surface as they could. The rain of burning vessels finally came to an end at the signing of the Galactic Concordance peace treaty on the distant Coruscant. However, before the remaining Imperials retreated to the Unknown Regions, they destroyed the research facility. Most of those within the doomed vessels died on impact, and - as tragic as it sounds - they were the lucky ones. Crew members who made it to escape pods, or pilots who managed to eject from their fighters, were stranded in the middle of a desert with survival gear meant to keep them alive long enough to reach the nearest settlement. Unfortunately, back then the nearest settlement was dozens of lightyears away. As a result, combined with the fact some Imperial cruisers had larger populations than Jakku would ever have, bones covered the planet’s golden sands.

The aftermath of the battle was not contained to just a single area of Jakku; wrecked fighters were found in Kelvin Ravine, and blown-apart engines littered Carbon Ridge. Ships came down everywhere on the planet. The Starship Graveyard became home to sunken X-wings, B-wings, A-wing Fighters, Y-wings, Calamari Cruisers, Nebulon-B Frigates, Blockade Runners, Tie Fighters, the Inflictor Star Destroyer, and the Executor-class Star Dreadnought Ravager. One area within the Graveyard of Giants was referred to as the Crackle, which was formed from a capital ship that crashed with such heat that the surrounding sand turned into blackened glass. The Graveyard did house other crafts though – Imperial shuttles, walkers, and New Republic transports all lay dormant. The sheer amount of salvageable technology and parts drew many to the planet. Seeking the vast amount of untapped fortune, species from all across the galaxy began to loot the wreckage. Some even became junk bosses, who bought weapons, gears, and scrap for food rations. Unkar Plutt was one such junk boss. He ruled over the lives of many scavengers, including the young teen girl going by the name “Rey.” She became one of Plutt’s greatest scavengers, and used a speeder made by herself to zip around the Graveyard of Ships. But in a fierce duel for scavenging supremacy, Rey had to fend off Teedos and even native life-forms. Steelpeckers, for example, were iron-beaked carrion birds. Drawn to the magnetic signature of metal, they collected vanadium, osmiridium and corundum in their gizzards to break down their metallic meals.

With a seemingly endless supply of salvageable material, as well as rumoured command ships filled with credits laying underneath the planet’s sands, Jakku looked to forever be centred around the final battle between the New Republic and Galactic Empire…

Now it’s time for this week’s question: what planet do you prefer; Jakku or Tatooine? Let me know in the comments below.

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