In every good world-building exercise, there is at least passing mention of the local flora and fauna. The Star Wars universe is no different. Today, we're talking about the plants and plant-like beings of the franchise. Not all will be covered in this post, but I will endeavor to write others in the future to fill that void. Let us begin.
In a galaxy far, far away, it is not unlikely that there might be shifting beings who have taken on plant-like characteristics, nor plants that have developed measurable sentience. The Neti are one such species, possessing bark-like skin and brownish-black foliage. Like their stationary counterparts, the Neti were photosynthetic beings, requiring water in order to stay healthy. They were also shape-shifters, able to change from vaguely humanoid to tree-like personas at will, reproducing via seeds that often took many centuries to germinate. The average life-span, in the literature, seems to be around four thousand years (3). These beings, hailing from the planet Ryyk, a Neti colony (the forest-planet, Myrkr, being the supposedly abandoned, original homeworld) (1,2). Though they have not, to my knowledge made their way into the film cannon, the books depict a number of their ranks as Jedi masters. Unfortunately, most, if not all, are thought to have been killed when Ryyk was destroyed when the planetary system's sun went supernova (1,2).
The distinctive thrum through all life is a palpable thing, especially in the green spaces. This is as true in fictional universes as it is in our current reality. While I am not going to delve into all the botanical references available in the franchise, I am going to discuss one from each of three notable planets, namely Tatooine, Alderaan, and Endor.
Alderaan's Oro Wood trees were notable for providing homes for red deer and the small, white Cairoka birds living in the area. While the main population of these trees was destroyed with the Death Star's blast, destroying the planet, a number of individuals had been transplanted on Coruscant. These trees are particularly notable for having glowing, rainbow-colored lichen growing on them. Even prior to their home planet's destruction, they had a rather limited range, growing only on a small chain of Alderaan's islands (4).
Tatooine's Funnel Flower, or Funnel Plant is comprised of several large petals, growing on a long j-shaped stem, between rocks. To combat the planet's desert conditions, the plant draws in air, creating its own micro climate, managing to pull moisture from the air. This moisture is then stored by the plant in the crooked part of its stem (5).
Endor's Fuzzynettle, like its non-fictional counterparts, is medicinal and rather beneficial. In the stories, it has been used by the Ewoks of Bright Tree Village, most notably when the Ewok shaman, Logray, uses the plant to cure disease (6). Like the fictional Fuzzynettle, stinging nettles, also bearing fuzz-like hairs, are known to boost immunity, improve energy, provide topical pain relief, when applied to the skin, and are a good source of fiber and nutrients (7).
Thank you for reading. Till next time,
1. Star Wars Wiki. "Myrkr," http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Myrkr
2. Star Wars Wiki. "Ryyk," http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Ryyk
3. Star Wars Wiki. "Neti," http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Neti
4. Star Wars Wiki. "Oro Wood," http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Oro_wood
5. Star Wars Wiki. "Funnel Flower," http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Funnel_flower/Legends
6. Star Wars Wiki. "Fuzzynettle," http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Fuzzynettle
7. Organic Facts. "11 Amazing Benefits of Stinging Nettle," https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/stinging-nettle.html