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|First appearance||Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker (1976 novel)|
Tusken Raiders (less formally referred to as "Sand People" or simply as "Tuskens"), are fictional creatures in the Star Wars universe. They are characterized as a nomadic warrior race who live on the planet Tatooine.
Appearances in Star Wars media
Tusken Raiders first appear in Star Wars when a pack of them attack Luke Skywalker in the Jundland Wastes and knock him unconscious. However, just as they are going through Luke's landspeeder, Obi-Wan Kenobi frightens them off by imitating a Krayt dragon's mating call and rescues Luke.
They briefly appear in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, taking shots at the Boonta Eve Classic podracer drivers, and again in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, set 22 years before Star Wars; in this film, they kidnap Anakin Skywalker's mother, Shmi, and torture her for a month. Anakin eventually finds her, but she is mortally injured and dies in his arms. Seized by a violent rage, Anakin slaughters the entire tribe.
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According to Star Wars expanded universe sources,[clarification needed] Tusken Raiders are named after Fort Tusken, an early Old Republic mining settlement in which all of the settlers were overwhelmed, 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.
The comic book series Star Wars: Republic explains that exiled Jedi Sharad Hett and his son A'Sharad Hett 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 life, during his training on Coruscant he learned that Humans and Tusken Raiders were genetically unable to interbreed. This leads 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. The series Star Wars: Legacy, set some 200 years later, reveals that A'Sharad eventually turned to the dark side of the Force and, as the Sith Lord Darth Krayt, briefly conquered the galaxy.
Tusken Raiders appear in Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic and Star Wars: The Old Republic when players visit Tatooine. If the player pursues peace between the Tusken Raiders and the local mining corporations in Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic, the player will be given an opportunity to learn the entire history of the Tusken Raiders and Tatooine. During the recital of Tusken Raider history, the player learns that Tusken Raiders were once human exactly like the player, Tatooine was once a lush and verdant world, and the original Humans in the Star Wars Galaxy were abducted from this world by the Rakata of the Infinite Empire and then seeded among the stars as slaves building the Infinite Empire's monuments. Eventually the humans of Tatooine rebelled against the Infinite Empire, and in retaliation their world was destroyed by an orbital bombardment of the entire surface. Remaining groups of survivors adapted to the world's new destroyed surface, and the lesson that they took from all of this was that it was a sin to advance technologically and reach for the stars like their ancestors did. The player's companion will note that because the history has been passed only through recitation that it may be inaccurate; however almost everything the Tusken Raider recites to the player is confirmed throughout the game, and the only thing left to be confirmed is whether or not the Tusken Raiders were in fact once human and the origin for all humans throughout the galaxy.