- "Teeks are rodentlike, simian creatures that live in the forest, scavenging and stealing things from animal nests and from Ewok dwellings. The Ewoks don't like Teeks at all, considering it a sure sign of trouble even to be seen with one of the creatures."
- ―Pfilbee Jhorn, in a report on Teeks to Emperor Palpatine
Teeks were an intelligent species of rodent who had a colony on the forest moon of Endor. They had a scruffy appearance, with thick white fur covering their entire body; only their face and hands were devoid of fur. Due to their fast metabolism, Teeks could run extremely quickly, and were often seen as a blur. Teeks did not originally hail from Endor, but around 800 BBY, a Starhunter menagerie ark carrying Teeks, Gupins and choreamnos crashed on Endor, forcing the Teeks and other species to form colonies on the forest moon. The Teeks were extremely unpopular with the other sentients of Endor—especially the Ewoks, who viewed them as pests. Expert thieves and scavengers, Teeks were known to horde the various trinkets which they had taken from animal nests or Ewok dwellings. Teeks, however, did not think of themselves as dishonest; they always left something behind that they felt was of similar value to whatever they had taken. However, Teeks found value in things where most others would not, meaning that their victims were rarely satisfied with the trade-off.
One of few Teeks to ever venture into the wider galaxy was Yeep, who came first in a prestigious Republic running race in 22 BBY. At the time no-one knew of Yeep's species, though he was judged sentient, and was thus allowed to keep his medal. Teeks were only finally recognized as a species by the galaxy at large during the reign of Emperor Palpatine, who sent a scout team to Endor to search for the numerous species missed by an earlier survey. Another well known Teek was one named simply "Teek," who lived with shipwrecked spacer Noa Briqualon during the Galactic Civil War. He was ultimately left behind when Noa departed the moon on his repaired starship.
Biology and appearanceEdit
Teeks were covered in thick, white fur, and averaged at just under one meter in height. Their fur was generally scruffy and matted, though some Teeks had much thinner hair below their neck. They had two large front teeth, with much smaller teeth extended to each end of their jaw, and a pair of small, close-set eyes, usually dark brown or black in color. Some Teeks had small heads, which narrowed into thin snouts, though most had no such snouts. The other Teeks had a normal mouth, with a small nose several inches above it, and whiskers protruding from both cheeks. This type generally had no visible necks, though the smaller Teeks had long, thin necks. Both variants of Teeks had two large ears, which curved upwards into a fur-covered point, though some Teeks had much longer ears, covered in tufts of white fur. They also often pierced their ears, leaving in bronzed rings. Some Teeks were also known to have had different colors of fur; at least one Teek had fair hair on his head, and dark gray hair covering the rest of his body. Some Teeks also tied the hair at the top of their skulls into a knot, though this was not common practice. Underneath their thick fur, they had peach-colored skin.
Teeks were a bipedal species, with two short, furry arms and legs. They had small, five-fingered hands devoid of any fur, ranging in color from pink to yellow. The smaller variant of Teeks had much longer, thinner legs, with only a thin layer of fur covering them. Teeks had an extremely fast metabolism, allowing them to run at a speed far faster than nearly all other species in the galaxy. At full speed, Teeks looked nothing more than a blur, and could often do tasks in mere seconds.
Society and cultureEdit
It was widely known about Teeks was that they were expert scavengers. They had a love of trinkets, and often scavenged and stole various objects from animal nests on the moon, and occasionally from Ewok villages as well, which they horded together, hidden from outsiders. Teeks, however, did not feel as if they were thieves—they always left a trinket or token behind that they felt was of similar or equal value to whatever it was that they took. The original owners of whatever was taken, however, were rarely happy with the trade—Teeks held value in certain items where others might not have. However, they did not do this intentionally. Although they were relatively harmless, Teeks were viewed as pests on Endor; the Ewoks thought them as a plague, and felt that even seeing a Teek was extremely bad luck. For these reasons, Teeks were generally avoided, and kept to themselves. Teeks generally wore scruffy clothing made up almost entirely of pockets, which they would hide any items stolen in.
Teeks were never considered prey in the jungles, due to their extreme speed, which they used both to escape from predators and to flee from the angry victims of their thievery. They were generally afraid of outsiders, and often hid from them; though, after some time of basic contact with them, Teeks usually managed to overcome their initial fear. Teeks spoke a language of the same name, which very few other beings could understand. To bypass this, they often communicated through sign language and facial expressions.
Very little was known about the Teek species. They were declared to be rodents, and were sentient, though their sentience was debatable. Teeks were so quick that they avoided detection from the early explorers who arrived on Endor. Another by-product of their amazing speed was the fact that it was almost impossible to properly observe them, and so sentientologists found out little during their attempts to study the Teek species.
Teeks did not originally hail from the forest moon of Endor, but were accidentally introduced there when a Starhunter menagerie ark crashed on the world in approximately 800 BBY. Along with the Gupins and choreamnos also present on the ship, the Teeks managed to escape into the moon's wilderness and build a colony. After hundreds of years on the moon, it was widely believed to be the species' original homeworld.
Teeks remained undiscovered by any offworld scouts and anthropologists for centuries after their arrival on Endor, though the Ewoks and other intelligent species native to Endor knew them all too well. After the formation of the first Galactic Empire by Emperor Palpatine 19 years before the Battle of Yavin, an Imperial research survey was sent to Endor, though they missed these creatures. Palpatine was unhappy with the report he had received, which included no information on many of Endor's prominent species, including the Teeks, Yuzzums, and Sanyassan marauders who resided on the planet.
The Emperor sent Sergeant Pfilbee Jhorn of the Imperial Navy on another expedition to the forest moon, aided by a team of at least a dozen other scouts. During their expedition, the group finally discovered the Teek species. The team, especially the humanocentric Jhorn, disliked the Teeks immensely, and like the Ewoks and many other of Endor's inhabitants, found them extremely annoying. The Imperial team was given a demonstration of the Teeks' peculiar sense of value when the creatures replaced some of their high-tech, sophisticated tools with dried seedpods and polished beetle shells. The expedition attempted to shoot a specimen of the Teeks to add to the large collection of dead creatures they were planning to bring back to Coruscant when they had finished assembling their report. The Teeks, however, proved too fast even for Imperial weaponry, and managed to evade the outsiders' attacks, using their speed to flee.
Teeks in the galaxyEdit
One of few Teeks to ever venture into the wider galaxy was a gray-furred specimen named Yeep. Yeep had somehow managed to avoid detection and sneak aboard a starship belonging to Tuner Ryna, though the spacer eventually discovered the rodent on his ship. After realizing Yeep's spectacular speed, Ryna entered him in the prestigious bipedal race at the 22 BBY Mobquet Presents: Fastest Land Beings. Yeep completely outclassed all the other entrants with his break-neck speed. However, there were doubts about his eligibility: entrants were required to be sentient to be allowed to race, and since no-one knew what species Yeep was, they weren't quite sure if he was sentient. Eventually, despite great protests, Yeep was designated "adequately sentient," and was allowed to keep the medal, which he chewed on with his oversize front teeth.
One of the most well-known Teeks was an individual named after his species. Teek was a companion of a shipwrecked Human scout named Noa Briqualon. Briqualon and Teek lived in a small cabin deep in the Endor forest with little or no interaction to other sentient beings. The old scout was extremely wary of outsiders, though Teek longed for company and often went looking for strangers while Briqualon repaired his damaged ship, near to their forest dwelling. For several years Teek lived with Noa Briqualon, until he befriended a young Ewok, named Wicket W. Warrick, and his companion, a Human child named Cindel Towani, who had gotten lost in the woods. Briqualon initially refused to give the children refuge in his home, though he eventually permitted them to stay for several evenings. However, Towani was later kidnapped by a Sanyassan warlord named Terak, and taken to his stronghold. Warrick, Teek and Briqualon rescued Towani, and later, Teek helped defeat Terak and his men in the woods around Noa's ship. Teek, however, was left behind as his old friend and Cindel Towani left the moon on Noa's ship, which had been finally repaired. After the departure of his friend, Teek went to live with the Ewoks of Bright Tree Village, some of whom he had rescued from Terak's keep. He was the only Teek ever to have been known to become integrated into Ewok society.
Behind the scenesEdit
- "I walked right out of frame and over the edge. I tumbled and tumbled and tumbled some more. Finally I ended face down in the creek, water rushing through me as well as the costume, making it weigh about two tons. I was choking on water by the time they yanked me out of the water and ripped my mask off."
- ―Niki Botelho, on the difficulties of wearing the Teek costume
The character of "Teek" was created by George Lucas for Jim and Ken Wheat's 1985 made-for-television movie Ewoks: The Battle for Endor. The character was initially envisioned as a puppet, but actor Wilford Brimley vehemently objected to the idea and often called on crewmember Niki Botelho to stand in his line of sight while he spoke with the Teek puppet during filming. When it was decided that Teek would be played by an actor in a suit, the diminutive, sixteen-year old Botelho was called to the film's creature shop and was fitted with a full body costume. The costume had both a stationary head and an articulated one; the latter contained devices to make Teek's eyes and face move and was operated by off-camera puppeteers. When Botelho tumbled down a hill and into a creek during the filming of one scene, the weight of her costume almost caused her to drown before crewmembers rescued her and removed her mask.
The Teek character's species itself was not identified until later sources, which also gave it the name of "Teek." Teek was later seen Star Tours safety video, and a different Teek named Yeep appeared in an article in the online HoloNet News Vol. 531 52.
Several sources including the StarWars.com Databank establish the Teek species as being native of Endor, but the article Castaways of Endor—originally slated to appear in Star Wars Gamer but later published online at Star Wars Hyperspace in 2008 after the cancellation of Gamer—establishes that they were brought to Endor by a menagerie ship.
- The Bounty Hunters: Aurra Sing
- HoloNet News Vol. 531 52 (content now unavailable; backup links 1 2 on Archive.org) —
- Ewoks: The Battle for Endor (First appearance)
- Ewoks: The Battle for Endor book-and-record
- The Ring, the Witch, and the Crystal: An Ewok Adventure
- Star Tours
- Dark Nest I: The Joiner King (Mentioned only)
- The Essential Guide to Characters
- The Illustrated Star Wars Universe
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- "Star Wars Kids Feature Planet: Endor"—Star Wars Kids 6
- "Yoda's Puzzle Pages"—Star Wars Kids 6
- Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Guide to Planets and Moons
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 10 (END2, The Forest Moon of Endor)
- Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide
- Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide: Special Edition
- Star Wars Galaxy Series 4 (Card: Amy Pronovost sketch card)
- Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide: Updated and Expanded
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 HoloNet News Vol. 531 52 (content now unavailable; backup links 1 2 on Archive.org) —
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 "Star Wars Kids Feature Planet: Endor"—Star Wars Kids 6
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8
- ↑ 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 Ewoks: The Battle for Endor
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Castaways of Endor
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Endor and the Moddell Sector"—Star Wars Gamer 9 "
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 The Essential Guide to Planets and Moons
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 The Bounty Hunters: Aurra Sing
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 The Official Star Wars Fact File 10
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 The Illustrated Star Wars Universe
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Niki Botelho interview. Star Wars Interviews. Archived from the original on September 22, 2012. Retrieved on September 7, 2013.