In the past, we’ve taken a look at some of the civilizations the Star Wars universe, such as the fierce Mandalorians and the scavenging Jawas. This week, we take a look at another facet of life on Tatooine: the Tusken Raiders.
Native to the harsh deserts and blinding wind of Tatooine, the Tusken Raiders, also known as Sand People, became harshly territorial and xenophobic, ready and willing to attack anything and everything they come across. Further, Tusken Raiders believed all water was sacred and promised to them, resulting in fury whenever they find anyone else in possession (such as a moisture farm). Groups, known as clans, consisted of around twenty to thirty individuals, led by tribal chiefs or warlords.
At the age of fifteen a Tusken Raider becomes an adult, and must slay a krayt dragon, dangerous reptilian creatures living on Tatooine, and retrieve the natural pearl from its stomach. Living in encampments in the rocky area known as Jundland Wastes known as The Needles, clans are normally guarded by vicious doglike creatures called massiffs. Male Tusken Raiders acted primarily as warriors, wearing rough cloths to both protect themselves from the natural Tatooine landscape and allowe ease of movement, wielding gaderffii sticks in close-quarters combat and using rifles called Tusken Cyclers for vehicles or long range. Every Tusken Raider warrior has their own unique gaderffii stick.
Female Tusken Raiders are distinguished by their elaborate jeweled masks and torso-covering sand shrouds. The children wore simple cowls and cloaks, and were not allowed to dress in specifically male or female dress until reaching fifteen. All Sand People, regardless of age or sex, wear mouth grilles and eye glasses to keep sand out and conserve water. Tusken Raiders are forbidden to remove clothing except during childbirth, wedding nights, and coming-of-age ceremonies.
At age fifteen every Tusken Raider is given a bantha of matching gender, with which they share a close and tied relationship. When Tusken Raiders marry, their banthas also mate, and when the rider dies the bantha is also usually quick to perish. The large bantha graveyard is treated with great respect by all Tusken Raiders.
Behind the Scenes:
Initially appearing in the second draft of A New Hope as a type of Imperial spy, Tusken Raiders had red eyes and drove distinctive speeders. They became a native of Tatooine in the next draft. Though Tusken Raiders sound much like sea lions, their piercing cries were actually made from donkey brays by sound designer Ben Burtt
Thanks for reading! Come back next week for more fun fan information!