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Tusken Raiders
Homeworld Tatooine

Tusken Raiders (or Sand People) are fictional creatures in the Star Wars saga. They live on the planet of Tatooine.


History and origins

In the video game Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Tusken Raiders are said to be an ancient race, who at one point possessed advanced technology and were a major power in the known universe. They lived on the planet of Tatooine when the planet had oceans and lush jungles; however, the creators of the Star Forge, the Rakata, conquered the Tuskens, and mined their planet exhaustively. After a virulent disease weakened the Rakata, the Sand People saw the opportunity to strike against them: they sabotaged the Rakata's fleet, but, in retaliation, the Rakata glassed the planet's surface, and after many years of erosion Tatooine became a desert world. The Tusken race survived by hiding in a system of artificial caverns, but they were trapped and isolated on the planet. Once the "Builders" (the Rakata) lost power, the Tuskens abandoned most technologies, and poisoned their natural resources to prevent other species from having an interest in their planet and conquering it. However, the planet was conquered many times over the following millennia, though the conquerors frequently left it after a short period of time due to the atomic instability of the metals in the planet.

The Tuskens' precise bodily shape is unknown, since they cover themselves completely with clothes. Tusken Raiders only remove their clothes on their wedding night or in their own dwelling. Doing otherwise warrants execution or banishment, depending on the tribe. Their language sounds to most like a series of donkey brays, and few can understand it, even on Tatooine; one of the few who could understand it was the assassin droid HK-47, who had the language pre-programmed into his memory by Darth Revan, his master.

An apparition of a Tusken can be seen in Anakin Skywalker's nightmare in Star Wars Republic 62: No Man's Land, and on the cover of Boba Fett ½: Salvage an unmasked Tusken is shown.

In Knights of the Old Republic, it is implied that Tusken Raiders were the original humans. This would explain why humans seem to be spread out across the Star Wars universe, as they were the most commonly used slave race of the Rakata. However, later sources imply that Sand People are only related to Humans, and that Humanity has evolved and changed since their ancient enslavement to the Rakata.

Other sources[1] claim the Tusken Raiders are descendants of the Ghorfas, a society that built caves within the cliffs of Tatooine. Their civilization collapsed when off-world settlers disrupted their water supply, leading to their current nomadic existence. It is also discovered that, because only the richest and most ignorant of Tatooine's environment were taken captive by the Rakata, the Sand People think that outsiders coming to their planet are their long-lost ancestors, returning to destroy Tatooine's environment.

They appeared in the video games Star Wars: Battlefront, Star Wars: Galaxies, Star Wars: Battlefront II, Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy, Lego Star Wars: The Video Game, Star Wars: Bounty Hunter, and Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy.

In A New Hope, Obi-Wan mentions that Tusken Raiders are easily startled, but will return in greater numbers.


The Tusken Raiders' preferred means of transportation is the Bantha, which plays an important role in Tusken culture and religion. When a Tusken receives a bantha, they form a life-long bond; when one of the two dies, the other is exiled to the desert to die.

Expanded Universe

According to Expanded Universe sources, Tusken Raiders are named after Fort Tusken, an early Old Republic mining settlement in which all of the settlers were overwhelmed and captured or killed by Tusken Raiders, then referred to as Sand People. The attack probably occurred due to the fort's placement over one of the Raiders' holy wells.

Exiled Jedi Sharad Hett and his son A'Sharad Hett, whom he trained in the ways of the Jedi, lived among the Tusken Raiders for many years. Hett was one of the few non-Tuskens to be accepted into their ranks and was even given the title of Warlord. Although A'Sharad Hett believed he was half-Tusken for the better part of his young life, during his training on Coruscant he learned that humans and Tusken Raiders were genetically unable to reproduce, leading him to believe that his mother must have been a human, captured by the Tusken Raiders at a young age and raised as a Tusken.

In the Junior Jedi Knights and New Jedi Order series, it was revealed that Jedi Knight Tahiri Veila was raised by the Tusken Raiders after they captured her in a raid.

A Tusken Raider named Hoar appears as a playable character in the PlayStation fighting game Star Wars: Masters of Teräs Käsi.


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