Otoh Gunga

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From the Movies

Secreted beneath the surface of a serene Naboo lake is a world entirely different than that encountered above. Here is the hidden domain of the amphibious Gungans, the native inhabitants of the peaceful planet.

The largest Gungan city, Otoh Gunga, is a spectacle to behold. A crowning achievement of unique Gungan technology, the city appears as a glittering cluster of jewel-like bubbles connected together in the dark waters. The bubbles are hydrostatic force-fields that contain breathable atmospheres for the city's inhabitants. Though they are rigid enough to keep the water out, they can be breached by Gungans swimming to and from the city.

The architecture of Otoh Gunga is sweeping in shape, lacking the rectilinear symmetry commonly found in human designs. The Gungans actually grow the building material of their cities, and the elegant structures contained within the bubbles consist of curving forms that look alive.

Inside Otoh Gunga is the High Board Room of the Gungan Rep Council. This is home to the government of the Gungans, where their leader, Boss Nass, resided. During the Trade Federation occupation of Naboo, Nass ignored the battle droid threat, deeming it to be an offworlder concern. The battle droids eventually encroached on Gungan territory, invading Otoh Gunga. The Gungans abandoned their beautiful home, and hid in the nearby forests containing the Gungan Sacred Place.

From the Expanded Universe

Millennia ago, following strife and conflict, the Gungans of the regions retreated beneath the serene surface of Lake Paonga and began to construct what would become Otoh Gunga. The discovery of locap roots led to unique technological developments that made Otoh Gunga possible.

Though Naboo lacks a molten core, its porous structure is permeated by a highly energized naturally occurring plasma. The roots of the locap plant pierce through the planet's honeycombed crust, and metabolize the plasma, distilling and naturally stabilizing it in the digestive process. The locap plant contains this safe form of plasma in buds located on the tips of its stalks, which the Gungans then harvest as a power source.

The Gungans strongly believe in a harmonious balance with their natural world, and Otoh Gunga, like many of their cities, is built atop the immense locap branches found underwater. Gungans also harvest a swamp plant called bubble spore. The spores are boiled to extract the raw material called bubble wort. Using a secret technique, Gungans combine bubble wort catalyst and stabilized plasma in electrostatic field generators to create the permeable hydrostatic bubbles they need to keep their cities dry.

Otoh Gunga grew from a cluster of bubbles -- now called the Ancient Quarter -- to encompass an area inhabited by a million Gungans. The central district consists of elegant city squares, noisy cantinas, and sacred bubbles for the worship of Gungan gods. As the city radiated outwards, areas such as the Otoh Villages, were most Gungans live and work, were organically grown and grafted onto the existing structure. In an effort to make an indelible mark on Otoh Gunga during his term, Boss Nass commissioned a popular concourse called the City Bigspace.

Following the defeat of the Trade Federation, overcrowding became a prime concern for Boss Nass and the Rep Council. The increased tolerance of visiting off-worlders resulted in Otoh Gunga becoming a tourist attraction and, surprisingly, an often-recommended spot for honeymooning vacationers.

Behind the Scenes

While the Art Department began sketching away, conceiving the underwater Bubble City (as it was called in production notes), questions arose as to how a supposedly primitive culture could create so fantastic a settlement. The Gungans couldn't be shown to be reliant on advanced technology, but still had to have the means to construct such a city. George Lucas' vision that the Gungans be completely harmonious to Naboo's ecology provided the answer -- though the amphibians didn't have the means to build technology, they had discovered a way of growing it.

As such, most of the Gungan architecture and devices have similar organic curves and lines, reminiscent of coral, crustacean and seashell formations. To further underscore the Gungan philosophy, Lucas downplayed the support structures and surrounding "ribs" of the bubble city, so that it would appear mostly as incandescent globes.

Keywords: Databank - Episode I

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