491 standard days
Oxygen Mix, Type I (Breathable)
|Points of interest|
- "This planet resonates with the dark side of the Force."
- ―Urai Fen
Dathomir was an obscure planet in the Outer Rim Territories, located in the Quelii sector. It was somewhat smaller than Coruscant in size, and had slightly-below-standard gravity, but the planetary day was close to standard, and the planetary year was long, lasting 491 days. Dathomir had four moons.
Dathomir was considered a temperate and beautiful planet by Human standards, with a varied terrain that included coastal lakes and tar-pits, thick forests and snow-capped mountain peaks, powerful rivers and broad savannas, small icecaps and dramatic rift valleys. Even under the New Republic, however, nine-tenths of the planet remained unexplored and uninhabited, with the population limited to a relatively small area along the edge of one of the three main continents, a zone of uplands and river plains bounded on one side by the unsailed ocean and on the other by vast expanses of desert.
Dathomir was originally the homeworld of a spacefaring species, the reptilian Kwa. By 100,000 BBY, the Kwa had built an Infinity Gate—the Prime Gate in a network of similar devices, used by them as a means of interstellar travel and as superweapons. The Infinity Gate was covered by massive pyramid-shaped structures known as the Star Temples, incorporating defensive systems to protect them from intruders. If the gate was ever activated, the planet housing the equipment could be collapsed into the Gate itself, along with the surrounding planets, moons and even suns.
For reasons that are unclear, the Kwa species began to degenerate, ultimately losing the ability to speak or use technological tools. Apparently recognizing the path that their civilization was on, they sealed the Infinity Gate and the Star Temples and set guardians to protect the Temples—whuffa worms with thick hides and an impressive turn of speed. The degenerate descendants of the Kwa came to be known as the Kwi or Blue Desert People, and like the rancors they appeared to be simple herd animals living around the planet's arid Great Desert; but on occasion they still showed some surprising hints of intelligence, including a capability to create primitive tools and ornaments, and they possessed a collective memory of their former glory, and the importance of the sanctity of the Star Temples.
Around 30,000 BBY, Dathomir was ruled by the space-faring Rakata. Using Force-based hyperdrives, they traveled to many worlds around the galaxy that possessed significant signatures in the Force, uniting them to form the Rakatan Infinite Empire. Of Dathomir they noted the rancor, and transferred some of them to their homeworld, Lehon, as curiosities. After five thousand years of galactic dominance, the Rakata retreated to Lehon following the outbreak of a plague.
Linguistic evidence shows that the native language of the planet's Humans derives at least in part from that of an Outer Rim hegemony known as the Paecian Empire, dating their presence on the world to about 2,000 BBY, being an adjunct of the Empire; after that the planet was then conquered by Drackmarian warlords.
Later Dathomiri tradition would remember the initial Human population as the exiled creators of illegal battle droid armies, but it is not clear whether the settlers arrived in a single event, or whether the planet was in more continuous use as a penal colony over a period of centuries or millennia. It cannot even be said for sure whether the Paecian exiles were leaders or enemies of their Empire. What is certain is that by 400 BBY, the planet's Human population had become little more than the favorite food for the rancors, reduced to hiding in the thick forests where the mighty beasts could not follow them. Around 502 BBY, the Brotherhood of Darkness operated an academy on the world that trained Acolytes and apprentices.
The Daughters of AllyaEdit
At that time, however, a rogue Jedi Knight named Allya was banished to Dathomir by the Jedi Council. She took the leadership of the survivors, teaching the ways of the Force to the exiles, and eventually to her own children. In later centuries, Allya was remembered as single-handedly transforming Dathomiri society, credited with enslaving the entire male population under her leadership, turning the rancors from predators to friends, pets and war mounts, and codifying her teachings in the Book of Law. Some accounts even seem to suppose that she was a lone woman within an otherwise entirely male population. But in reality, these practices may have evolved over several generations, and the parallel with the matriarchal social structure of the rancors may be significant, especially given the symbiosis of the Human warrior-women and their mounts; but Allya's leadership undoubtedly laid the foundations of a unique culture, dominated by Force-using women who regarded themselves collectively as her descendants, known to outsiders as the Witches of Dathomir.
The Dathomiri came to be divided into a number of reasonably permanent local clan communities, which took their names from significant geographical features such as Singing Mountain, Frenzied River, and Misty Falls. These clans, each just a few hundred strong, accounted for almost the entire planetary population. In c. 490 BBY, the Dark Lord Dessel Bane arrived on Dathomir and took up residence with one of the clans. The accommodations were meager but sufficient enough to serve as both a training ground for his apprentice Zannah Rain, as well as a home of sorts for both. The two eventually abandoned the clan for more luxurious locales as they came upon a small number of the planet's exiled dark-siders who lived outside the clan communities, and at times existed in sufficient numbers to form a distinct clan that would become known as the Nightsisters. Soon these dark witches were educated in Bane and Zannah's own knowledge of dark lore and in large part reshaped their society based upon Bane's beliefs, which would persist even after his death. It was theorized that at the time, the clans, in total, could have probably put at least a thousand warrior-women into the field, each of them a trained Force-user and many of them riding rancor mounts.
The strength of the Dathomiri was discovered by the Jedi Order in around 340 BBY, when the Jedi Academy ship Chu'unthor crashed into a tar pit on Dathomir. All attempts to retrieve the wreck were blocked by the natives, although it seems that some contacts were forged across the battle-lines. At some point, Dathomir was classed as part of the Quelii sector, and eventually, it fell under the rule of the Drackmarians, another matriarchal warrior race, but this time methane-breathing aliens, for whom the planet held little real interest. Over the centuries, the total Human population of Dathomir grew to perhaps just over five thousand, based in a relatively narrow coastal area of one of the planet's continents: it was theorized that even under the New Republic more than 90% of the planet remained unexplored.
Galactic Civil WarEdit
After the Great Jedi Purge, the fabled village of Aurilia was believed to be located somewhere on Dathomir, and it was rumored that Force-sensitive individuals, perhaps even Jedi, lived here in exile during the reign of the Galactic Empire. Around 13 ABY, Luke Skywalker would meet an old warrior-woman, Rell, who reminisced about Yoda as an "old flirt".
Post-Galactic Civil WarEdit
In 24 ABY, the remaining Kwi were decimated by a clan of Nightsisters during their attempt to access the secrets of the Infinity Gate. They intended to use the device to destroy Coruscant, though their plot was thwarted by the Jedi Quinlan Vos, who was able to make contact with the Kwa, and assumed the role of Temple Guardian, to redirect the deadly wave aimed at Coruscant back at the Infinity Gate. Only the scattered ruins of the Infinity Gate and the Star Temple were left, and the Kwi disappeared once more to roam the deserts.