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|Tuskens, "Sand People", Ghorfas|
|First appearance||Star Wars: A New Hope (1977)|
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 that lives 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 Pod Race drivers, and again in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, set 22 years before Star Wars; in this film, they have kidnapped Anakin Skywalker's mother, Shmi, and tortured 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, including the women and children.
According to Star Wars expanded universe sources, 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.
Specialists studying the past of the Tusken Raiders also used the term Ghorfa to denote an earlier sedentary phase of their culture, and lastly Kumumgah, for the earliest stratum of sentient civilization on the planet, believed by some to represent a common ancestry shared by the Ghorfas (the Tuskens) and the Jawas.
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.
Outside Star Wars
In the 1998 video game Xenogears by Squaresoft, the enemy Dune Men, also called Freelancers, resemble Tusken Raiders' clothes and their attacks. Their weapon looks like the Tusken Raiders' gaderffii (gaffi stick).