ecological zone

Inspired by Myst and No Man’s Sky, I came up with a really cool open-ended prompt for the pre-bedtime group discussion: if you had absolute creative control over designing a planet, what are some of the features would it have?

I gave them a full minute to silently think about it before answering. One camper went into elaborate detail about the binary star system his planet would orbit, the particular physics of its many moons, and the breadth and variety of cultures that work develop in its different ecological zones. Another described a planet like Waterworld, upon which several different species of marine animals had developed higher intelligence and built underwater cities. One kid wanted a planet made entirely out of gummy candies and kittens, and gummy candy kittens. Everybody listened to and fed off of each other’s answers - it was extremely successful and they were all eager to keep discussing it even when I declared that it was lights out.

Not so for Nosferatu. His imaginary planet? “It would be exactly the same as this one, except I would be the supreme ruler and anyone who disagreed with me, I could send to a dungeon in the center of the planet until their families forgot about them. The end.” He later added that his planet would also have an island populated by dinosaurs, and anyone banished there would have to survive their attacks.


Home world of the Sith. Not much is “canonically” known about this planet. We have a wookieepedia page on it, but let’s be honest… In true Star Wars fashion this world, like so many others, comes off as bland and one note.

I’m here to fix that (hopefully) by making stuff up! :D

So here we go~


Korriban doesn’t have oceans, at least not anytime recently in the planet’s history. There could’ve been oceans very early on, after the planet was recently formed. But none were around by the time sentient beings were around.
It did have large rivers that wove through the planet’s landscape. Also had several large lakes, aquifers, and pockets of hot springs. The ancient Sith mostly used rivers and wells tapped into the aquifers as their source of water.
Many of the surface water features slowly dried up over the ages that started when the exiles arrived. Today only a few springs, maybe one or two lakes, and some of the aquifers still exist.

Korriban wasn’t always a giant desert. It had a few various landscapes that included mountains (some with snow caps!), plains, shrublands, caves, and few pockets of forests (usually near rivers).
Unfortunately, as the water on the planet dried up, most of these also turned into deserts.

Temperatures varied depending on which hemisphere, the landscape of the area, and tilt of the planet’s axis. But the planet has always been, fairly cool and chilly with a dry, arid atmosphere for the most part.


(I’m gonna be real honest, this part annoys me the most. Three animals and ONE flower does not make a planet!!)

There used to be many different kinds of planets on Korriban. Most have adapted to the harsh climates and dry environment. Making a lot of them small, tough, and prickly.
Unlike green plants that use chlorophyll, many of the native plants on Korriban used other compounds for the process of photosynthesis. This lead to an array of colors in the leaves, flowers, and grass ranging from black, blues, reds, violets, yellows, etc. The colorful pigments of the native plant life were utilized in many ways by the Sith.
Of course there were many plants that were a food source for the Sith. Fruits, vegetables, and a few grains native to the world made up a part of the inhabitants’ diet.

The native wildlife on Korriban had been a lot more diverse in the past. There were various animals through the different ecological zones involved in complex food webs. Korriban had some of the ‘main’ animal groups: fish, insects, reptiles, birds, and mammals.
Due to the dryness of the planet, all of the amphibians either evolved into reptiles or went extinct early on.
Sith had several domesticated beasts for various purposes: food, transportation, work, clothing, and pets.

Unfortunately, most of the native organisms of Korriban became extinct over the years. The Sith had taken some of the plants and animals they used to other worlds. But some of that was also lost over the years due to the organisms being unable to adapt as well in the new worlds.
Plants needed specific compounds found in Korriban soil, and the animals either needed a specific diet or environment that was difficult to replicate off world.

Some of these organisms were preserved and “improved” through the use of Sith alchemy. But it is rare to find the any of the original lifeforms from Korriban.

That’s it. That’s basically all I have right now. I might do a post regarding the different plants and animals later. But I’m gonna be using this as a self reference when doing the stupid Sith culture post (that will never be written cause I’m bad at these things).


My finished thesis - CASCADIA: Life in the Upper Left. Stay tuned for some individual posts with descriptions and detail shots of each of these four pieces. 

The Pacific Northwest has been a source of endless fascination for me. It has influenced and inspired much of my work as a student and continues to unveil connections and curiosities that keep me returning to the subject again and again. I am constantly humbled by all that is not human and inspired by the endless connections that exist within nature, both seen and unseen; some felt, others simply understood.  

This respect and adoration for the Pacific Northwest is what inspired me to create Cascadia: Life in the Upper Left. This collection illustrates the biodiversity of the four distinct ecological zones (high desert, sub-alpine/alpine, temperate rainforest, and coastal)  found between Oregon, Washington, Western British Columbia, and Southeast Alaska.  

Each illustration provides information on a single zone that is found in different areas across the span of the Pacific Northwest; it was important for me to illustrate the defining common elements of each zone, while still portraying the differences that may be found within the zones as they exist in different areas.  I want the viewer to be able to look at each piece as a cohesive narrative and at the same time, find many individual narratives within each piece.

Overall, my hope is that all four pieces be seen and understood together as a collective ecological portrait.