Zuni was a planet in the Expansion Region. Known for its rich mineral content, it was a destination of choice for galactic mining interests for centuries. Eventually, a local company called Yorkin Mining Industries took control of the planet's mines and used a progressive environmental policy to carefully manage the planet's natural resources, making said resources last much longer than those of other planets in the region.
In 7 ABY, Zuni joined the New Republic. When the New Republic became the Galactic Alliance, it remained a member world. However, when Presidential Order 0139/D was given, Seth Yorkin felt it discriminated against certain citizens of Zuni (namely, the four Jedi from there), and announced the planetary government's intentions to secede from the GA. Zuni became an independent world until 74 ABY, when it joined the Galactic Commonwealth and later the Jedi Autocracy.
Zuni was a very rocky planet, with mesas, deserts and mountain ranges making up most of its terrain. It was extremely arid, and even its more humid regions where small forests grew saw less rainfall than wooded areas of most other worlds. This made agricultural operations difficult, although some nerf herders did manage to eke out a meager living in the foothills and plains, where hardy desert grasses grew. Zuni was also home to an astounding array of cactus species, some of which flowered quite beautifully under the right circumstances. The rocks and soil were rich in minerals, a likely reason why mining was one of the main operations (along with blaster duels) that the planet was well-known for.
Zunites were rugged, hardy, industrious and notoriously stubborn, a combination that caused many people to underestimate their intelligence. Like the vaguely similar culture of Agamar, they were actually fairly smart, above-average if some of their most famous citizens are anything to go by. They were, however, prone to observing outdated traditions that only served to further perpetuate the rest of the galaxy's perception of Zuni as a rather uncivilized place (for example, in lieu of civil courts, people tended to prefer settling disputes in formal -- and usually fatal -- blaster duels called "showdowns").
Zunite dress tends toward the practical, with heavy, sturdy boots for use in the planet's rugged terrain and a tendency toward rough materials such as leather and denim for pants, jackets and vests. Shirts are usually lighter and more comfortable, as are underwear. Most men on Zuni favor wide-brimmed hats, though they usually take these off on formal or religious occasions, and sometimes in the company of a lady as well.
Notable people who have hailed from Zuni include:
- Rango Yorkin (821 BBY-748 BBY): Founder of the Zuni Rangers, famous blaster duelist
- Bocephus Yorkin (596 BBY-482 BBY): Founder of Yorkin Mining Industries; great businessman and innovator often credited with bringing Zuni into the modern age
- Seth Yorkin (78 BBY-94 ABY): Scientist, businessman and politician who helped found the Galactic Commonwealth and Jedi Autocracy, and oversaw the liberation of Zuni from the Galactic Empire
- Raylan Carithlee (24 BBY-86 ABY): Rogue Squadron pilot and Zuni Ranger
- Orden Calway (33 BBY-15 ABY): Zuni Ranger, bounty hunter and mercenary, known for his incredibly fast blaster draws
- Jeb Ranson (5 BBY-98 ABY): Zuni Ranger, Jedi Master
- Evan Yorkin (50 ABY-160 ABY): Jedi Knight, Master Healer and philosopher
Though Zunites have spoken Basic for as long as anyone can remember, they speak a slightly modified version of it. Below is a listing of some of the words and phrases unique to Zuni, and what they mean.
- showdown: A blaster duel, usually of a formal variety done with witnesses and/or moderators. Often takes place on a public street or thoroughfare, usually at or near high noon.
- I'm calling you out: This is the standard, most widely accepted way in which to challenge someone to a showdown. A slap to the face with a glove is still used as a form of nonverbal challenge in some parts of Zuni, though.
- Yar: An affirmative response (in other words, it means yes). Usually used only in formal situations... "yep" or "yup" are used informally.
- palaver: A long and often serious discussion, usually about a topic of extreme importance. Can also be used as a verb, in which case it means to host or participate in such a discussion.
- farting in a mine: A charming colloquialism used to describe pretty much any obnoxious, insensitive or just plain stupid behavior.
- hoedown: A spirited celebration or medium-to-large-sized festival.
- saloon: An establishment where alcoholic beverages are sold. Some areas have started using the more galactically widespread term "cantina" instead, but in most places on Zuni it is still quite fashionable to refer to them as saloons.
- cattywampus: Out of alignment; damaged; screwed up. Usually used in relation to battle-damaged machinery, for example "Ever since that ion cannon hit it, my X-wing's been all cattywampus."