A/N: This chaptered essay is all the author's opinion. Readers do not have to agree with his favorites or his least favorites.


Kashyyyk


This planet is one of my all-time favorite planets from Star Wars, from the films and the Expanded Universe alike. Why, you may ask?

Well, to begin with, even though I occasionally have issues with the Force in Star Wars, particularly with the concept of mind tricks, I believe in it as a very powerful Force whose will controls all that happens in the SW galaxy. And as a Christian, I don't believe that the Force is God, or a god, but I do believe that it is something clandestinely created by God as an energy field that binds all life together and is in turn created and sustained by life. Whether it literally exists or not, I believe that it exists in our hearts, and helps to guide the affairs of the world as well as the galaxy far, far away, both good and bad alike. It's also my opinion that, unlike God, who is wholly good, the Force is neither good nor evil, but is simply what the user makes it out to be, and doesn't necessarily take good or evil sides. The devil can manipulate the Force just as much as God can, if not to as strong a degree. This is similar to the Mirialan species' view of the Unifying Force (the Mirialans are people like Luminara Unduli and Barriss Offee).

Now, after my introduction of my view of the Force, why is Kashyyyk one of my favorite SW planets, and what does it have to do with the Force? Because Kashyyyk is a planet that teems with a rich variety of wild life, from the can-cells to the katarns and many more besides, and because the sentient inhabitants, the Wookiees, have an informal religion that celebrates life in all its diversity and even has the holiday Life Day, where the Wookiees have a special celebration reminiscent of the American holiday Thanksgiving and the worldwide holiday Christmas in our world. The Wookiee species is impressive enough with their strong bodies and their fierce tempers in battle, but through their love and reverence for living things, not to mention their faithful life-debts and their fierce loyalty to their honor families, these "walking carpets," as some call them, are noble beings.

"Here on Kashyyyk. I have had a taste of [the Force]. I've never felt the Force so strong, so vital as I have here. I've walked dark paths for so long, I've forgotten the Force can feel this way." – Jedi Master Quinlan Vos

As Master Yoda had said many times, the energy of the Force surrounds and binds us. And on Kashyyyk, the Force was so strong because it had so much life that was not tamed. The great wroshyr trees grew taller and mightier than even the tallest redwoods and rain forest trees on our planet Earth, and the other flora was very beautiful too, if strange to off-worlders. The fauna was mostly undomesticated, and lived mainly by an eat-or-be-eaten philosophy, but it never became unbalanced in its population of non-sentient species, and life thrived in the forests and the Shadowlands for millennia upon millennia.

"I sense your thoughts, Master Vos. I feel it, too. Kashyyyk makes you very aware of itself, doesn't it?" – Jedi Master Luminara Unduli

As for the Wookiees, they made this green and brown planet into their home after leaving their unknown origin world, and they adapted so well to it, living mostly in the upper levels of the wroshyr trees, for the lower levels and the ground were usually too dangerous, especially for young Wookiees, hunting in the Shadowlands for food, and conducting their spiritual rituals, that it was as though Kashyyyk was made for them, even more so than their unknown origin world.

There is another reason why Kashyyyk is among my favorite planets in Star Wars. Because of their affinity for life and their humility before the Force, the Wookiees, in general, were one of the more morally superior species in the galaxy, always treating their home with respect and care. This was much different than the Trandoshans, their reptilian neighbors, the Galactic Empire, and many other people who had no respect for Kashyyyk or its inhabitants. The Trandoshans were very commercial and hunted sentient life as part of their own religious rituals, believing that the "Scorekeeper" would reward them after death, resulting in their hatred for Kashyyyk and Wookiees simply because of the latter's admiration for living things.

The Empire had even less respect for the planet. They tore it up with orbital bombardments and turned it into an enslaved world, and the Chosen One, Anakin Skywalker, deliberately ripped up hundreds of Wookiees with his Sith lightsaber and never felt any remorse for it.

"I want every Wookiee flushed out of hiding, even if it means burning the forests to the ground!" – Anakin Skywalker (Darth Vader)

The Imperials even gave Kashyyyk an insulting name, Wookiee Planet C, that almost stripped it of its individuality. Kashyyyk was its proper name that made it special, and by calling it Wookiee Planet C, it was as if the planet was little more than just another rock in space that housed "savages."

And as if the savagery of the Empire still wasn't enough, the Imperials who succeeded Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader clung to their Wookiee slaves for several more years after the Empire's official defeat, and decades later, Jacen Solo burned the forests of Kashyyyk all over again, and even later yet, Darth Krayt blockaded and isolated the Wookiee home world.

And yet, one more thing I admire about Kashyyyk is that the life on the planet was almost indomitable. No matter how hard the Trandoshans, the Empire, or anyone else hit the Wookiees, these furry simians and their fellow life forms continued to survive and endure through every hardship. While some other worlds were ruined or destroyed by the forces of evil, Kashyyyk still held onto its place as a planet connected to the Living Force.

Finally, regarding Kashyyyk, since the more good-hearted people of the galaxy, like the Rebel Alliance, New Republic, and Galactic Alliance, and both Jedi Orders, cared greatly for life and its right to live, and they were led by Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa Solo, the two virtuous children of the unfortunate Chosen One, Kashyyyk was one of the most honored planets in the boundaries of the galactic governments that followed the monstrous Empire. It was an important member of the New Republic and the Galactic Alliance, and it was also a popular site for victory celebrations after each galactic war.

"Go, I will. Good relations with the Wookiees, I have." – Jedi Master Yoda

Kashyyyk is one of the greatest worlds in all of Star Wars, and I would have liked to see it myself if it existed, or at least the safer parts of it, and not in the middle of a war. The Force existed there like it existed on few other worlds, and though her death was a tragedy of Order 66, there was no better place for Luminara Unduli to die in my opinion. And Chewbacca and Tarfful in particular are excellent representatives of what was good about the Wookiees, to me as well as to Yoda.