Varga was overwhelmingly desert on its surface, with only 13% surface water. The water which did exist was deep underground, sometimes kilometers. Native flora were scarce, although some plants developed the ability to extend their roots deep enough to connect with the underground water supply. The native Vrizz eel lived in the underground water supply as its apex predator.
Society and culture
The Hykantar were the only sentient occupants of Varga; the Vrizz eels were sometimes believed to be semi-sentient, but since studying them was fraught with peril, their culture, if it existed, was largely unknown.
The Hykantar traditionally lived in relative small societies, clustered around sources of available water. While largely unwarlike, they did not have the technology to allow mining for deep water. From the ancient need to band together for survival, the Hykantar were a mutually supportive people, and it was not uncommon to see as many as twenty living in a single dwelling, and from different families.
Under the leadership of the Tetrarchy, the Hykantar were exploited for their massive strength as forced laborers, with the water supplies of Varga tightly controlled by Tetrarchy forces. After Varga was liberated by the Golden Empire, the Empire provided deep wells to access more water, allowing the growth and expansion of Hykantar cities, although many retained the more traditional practice of small community living.
Geologists debated whether Varga's widespread desert climate had existed since the planet settled geologically, or whether some calamity had brought it about. No reference to any other type of climate existed in oral or written Hykantar history.
Hykantar society spread over the planet's surface, largely clustered around strong sources of water. By the time the Tetrarchy invaded in the years shortly after the Battle of Yavin, the Hykantar had communities or at least outposts on every major water source the planet over.
The Tetrarchy conquered Varga in 13 ABY and subjugated the Hykantar for forced labor. Varga was the site of an infamous Tetrarchy penal colony for political dissidents.
The Golden Empire captured Varga toward the end of the Great Liberation in 102 ABY. In subsequent years, it invested in mining expeditions for Varga's vast mineral resources and built deep wells to tap the underwater oceans. Xenobiologists journeyed to Varga to study both the Hykantar and the Vrizz eels, the latter with mixed success. Given its vast tracts of empty land, Varga became home to a Royal Starfighter Corps Officer Training Institute.