Thirty thousand years ago, Tatooine was the lush, vibrant homeworld of the Kumumgah‒a technologically advanced species believed to have been wiped out in a forgotten war. Ultimately, the war ended with Tatooine's devastation by one faction or another‒the details are long since lost.
Most researchers aware of the story believe the Kumumgah were wiped out in the attack that transformed their planet into a desert wasteland. However, some xenosociologists believe the Jawas and Sand People who dwell in the dunes may be descended from the world's original rulers. The stories of the Jawas and Sand People themselves, however, are largely confused and contradictory.
Human settlement of Tatooine came much later, but colonization never truly took hold despite several efforts by the Republic (including a brief period during which Tatooine was considered a Republic protectorate, and a failed attempt by Czerka Corporation to set up planetary mining operations). The native population had little use for outsiders, and so the world became a haven for pirates, smugglers and general scum seeking a place to disappear.