Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sand People (SW 1978-79)

This figure represents a case of blatant false advertising, since it says “Sand People” and there is clearly only one Sand Person in the package. I’m still waiting for my lawsuit to make it through the courts.

A Sand Person came with a gaffi stick as an accessory (you know, where he stood over Luke and shook it in the air), and a vinyl cape already on. A known variations of the figure are hollow and solid face tubes right below the eyes. The Sand People figure was one of the original twelve, the first wave, and came on SW, ESB, and ROTJ cards. Its name was changed by the ROTJ card to read “Tusken Raider (Sand People).”

As a kid, this was always my WTF character, as in WTF was it? Yes, I knew it was a Sand Person, but it was kind of scary looking and I just didn’t like it. If there was ever a character that gave me the creeps (as much as the Star Wars movies did) it was the Sand Person. I don’t know what it was, but it might have been because the 18-minute Super 8 version we had of the first movie featured it prominently. Who knows?

Why should you own this figure? Five reasons:

1. Give that whiny Luke figure the beat-down he deserves.

2. Have it ride a Bantha, oh wait, that’s right. They never made one for the original line. But they made a frickin’ dewback!

3. Wait until C-3PO with removable arms comes out. Remove said arms. Raise gaffi stick in triumph.

4. Probably the closest you come to a post-apocalyptic “Road Warrior” type figure from Star Wars.

5. Combine it with your newer figures and, voila, Anakin Sand People Slaughter!


Sand People were an offshoot of a people indigenous to Tatooine for millennia. When a global disaster struck the planet, this civilization eventually evolved into Sand People and Jawas. Much later in their history, after a series of raids which forced out the colonists in the town of Fort Tusken, the Sand People became known as Tusken Raiders.

Unlike the Jawas, Sand People disregarded most technology. For attack and defense they used gaffi sticks, or gaderffii. They do occasionally gather enough metal scrap to make rifles, however. These can be seen in SW and Episode I. Sand People stay covered from head to toe to keep in moisture and protect them from the harsh desert climate. They roam in small tribes, and domesticate native banthas for transportation. Like the Jawas, they subsist mainly on native hubba gourds for nutrition and hydration.

About the only things that Sand People truly fear are krayt dragons, a large carnivore indigenous to Tatooine. In fact, the howl that Obi-wan makes in the first movie to scare the Sand People was a krayt dragon roar. The skeleton that C-3PO passes in the desert was that of a krayt dragon (the prop of which was left there and is still there today).

Want more? The Tusken Raider Wookieepedia entry

138th in alphabetical order

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