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Tusken Raider

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"Those Tuskens walk like men, but they're vicious, mindless monsters."
Cliegg Lars[src]

Tusken Raiders, less formally referred to as Sand People or simply as Tuskens, were a culture of nomadic, primitive sentients indigenous to Tatooine, where they were often hostile to local settlers.

CultureEdit

"A moisture farm? Poor locals never stood a chance. The Sand People think all water is sacred and was promised to them."
Saponza to his partner after discovering a moisture farm ravaged by Tusken Raiders[src]

Tusken Raiders were a species native to the desert world of Tatooine. Their homeworld's harsh environment resulted in them being extremely xenophobic & territorial of their native resources, often attacking the outskirts of smaller settlements such as Anchorhead.[2] The Sand People believed that all water was sacred and promised to them, resulting in them raiding moisture farms set up by colonists.[4] Additionally, Tusken Raiders harvested black melons which grew in the Jundland Wastes, providing them with a reliable source of milk.[6]

Tusken clan groups consisted of 20 to 30 individuals, and were led by clan leaders, tribal chiefs, and warlords. The Sand People communicated in a language known as Tusken. At the age of 15, a Tusken became an adult, and had to slay a krayt dragon and cut out the precious pearl found in its stomach. Tuskens inhabited encampments scattered across an area of the rocky Jundland Wastes known as The Needles,[3] which were guarded from intruders by vicious massiffs.[7]

Male Tusken Raiders were the warriors of their clans, often attacking vulnerable travelers that were unfortunate enough to wander through their territory.[1] They wielded gaderffii sticks in combat, and used Tusken Cyclers to fire on vehicles they spotted.[2] Every Tusken warrior created their own gaderffii stick, making each one unique. Males wore rough wrappings and garments that provided protection and allowed ease of movement.[3] Females could be distinguished by their elaborate jeweled masks with eyeslits and torso-covering sand-shrouds. Tusken children wore unisex cowls and simple cloaks,[2] and couldn't dress like males or females until they reached adulthood. All Sand People wore mouth grilles and eye coverings to retain moisture and keep sand out. They were forbidden to remove their clothing in front of others, except at childbirth, on their wedding night, and at coming-of-age ceremonies.[3]

The Sand People and banthas shared a close, almost mystical bond. During warrior initiation rites, a young Tusken was given a bantha[2] matching their own gender[3] and learned to care for it, with the pair becoming extremely close as the youth earned a place in its clan.[2] When Sand People married, their banthas also mated, and, should its rider die, their bantha usually perished shortly after. If a bantha died before its rider, its remains were placed in a large graveyard, which was treated with great respect by Tuskens and other banthas.[3]

HistoryEdit

During the Boonta Eve Classic, several Sand People camped out on Canyon Dune Turn. During the first lap, they took several shots at passing podracers with their projectile rifles. Though initially unsuccessful, on the second lap a Tusken managed to shoot down the podracer of pilot Teemto Pagalies, causing it to crash.[8]

A month before the Battle of Geonosis, Sand People attacked the Lars moisture farm and kidnapped Shmi Skywalker Lars, whom they imprisoned and tortured. Her son, the Jedi Padawan Anakin Skywalker, returned to Tatooine to rescue her, but after finding her in a Tusken camp, she died of her injuries. The vengeful Anakin proceeded to slaughter every nearby Tusken, even the women and children.[7] Following the massacre, the Tuskens began to fear Skywalker as a vengeful desert demon, and began performed ritual sacrifices to ward him off.[3]

Over twenty years later, Anakin's son Luke was attacked by URoRRuR'R'R and a group of Tuskens after venturing from the homestead to retrieve R2-D2.[5] Fortunately, Obi-Wan Kenobi warded off the Tuskens by imitating the cry of a krayt dragon, Tatooine's deadliest predator.[9]

Sometime after the Battle of Yavin, a Tusken known as the "Jundland General" led his people in a series of coordinated strikes against the colonists of Tatooine. However, the efforts of him and his followers were crushed by a group of mercenaries led by Saponza and his partner.[4]

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Behind the scenesEdit

Sand peoples by McQuarrie

Tusken Raiders concept art by Ralph McQuarrie.

The Tuskens appeared initially in the second draft of Star Wars: A New Hope, as Imperial spies deployed as a platoon onto the surface of Tatooine to search for whatever had brought Deak Starkiller to that planet. They appeared to be humanoid, with red eyes, and drove distinctive landspeeders. They became a native people of Tatooine in the third draft.[10]

When a Tusken speaks, they sound like the sea lions of Earth, but in actuality their sounds were fashioned by Ben Burtt from donkey brays.[source?]

AppearancesEdit

Non-canon appearancesEdit

SourcesEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

External linksEdit

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