December 07, 2004
Jawas Explained: A Guide to My Pet Jawa
Here is a classic from the archives. Enjoy.
Ok, so I've been doing some thinking....not a lot, just some. It seems we can now safely divide our enemies into two camps.
First, you got the jawas. See, these guys don't really like us but don't mind making a buck selling us an R2 unit or oil or whatever. It doesn't matter to them if your part of the Imperial powers that be or a member of the Empire hating Rebel Alliance, as far as they are concerned you are just another colonist that a buck can be made from.
You see, according to their custom they own Tatooine and everyone else should be subjected to them. It really makes no sense to them how we, an uncultured and unsophisticad lot, could control so much of the planet as it rightfully belongs to their ancient culture. They despise being a second rate power when they were the most advanced civillization for so long. They hate you but tolerate you.
The only thing they hate more than you are the "settlers" that ventured out into the desert. In public, they openly rail against these settlers and say they wouldn't mind the rest of the colonists if we would just withdraw our support for this small minority. This would placate some of them, for sure, but they would just find another excuse to resent us.
For the most part, the jawas can be dealt with. They live their semi-nomadic life and simply want to be left alone. But don't misunderstand them, while they wouldn't personally kill you, when a Tusken Raider takes the life of an Imperial Stormptrooper or even an innocent colonist, they secretly (and sometimes openly) celebrate.
Jawa political society varies from clan to clan, with some tribes even outwardly adopting many of the customs of the colonists they so despise. However, in all cases leaders rule with an iron fist.
Second, you got your Tusken Raiders. These guys are a lot like the jawas, but are bigger and meaner. Like the jawas, they too claim that Tattooine belongs to them. In fact, they are a sub-species of the jawas but they claim to be the only "true" followers of the ancient ways. The more radical among them have declared open season on the jawa leadership who they believe have lost their way. Even the most traditional of jawa clans are sellouts, in their view, since they openly trade with the colonists.
Unlike the jawas, they do not think that peaceful coexistence with the colonists is possible. The believe that both the Imperials and the Rebels are basically controlled by the small group of desert settlers. Both the Emperor himself and the President of the Rebel Council are really puppets for this small group that had the audacity to wander out of the cities and into the unfertile desert.
While they share with the jawas a contempt for all things human, they take their anger one step further: they beleive colonists should be killed until the day that Tusken society dominates Tattooine. In order to further that goal, they train their young to kill colonists at every opportunity. Tusken society should be respectfully feared but are not a long term threat to the Empire's grasp on this quadrant. While the Tuskens beleive their raids have severely weakend the Empire's grip on Tattooine, the truth is that the damage done by them is rarely significant. In recent years the Tusken's have taken to hijacking women, taking captives as slaves, and have occasionally hijacked an Imperial transport cruiser or two.
Unlike the jawas that can be tolerated, Tusken Raiders should be killed at every opportunity. Our restraint only emboldens them as it makes us look weak. Often they hide among the jawas. They know we are reluctant to shoot innocent jawas and they know that jawas rarely will turn them over to the Empire. In some places (for example here, and here) they have rested control from the jawa leadership and have imposed a harshly traditional way of life. In fact, many jawas now openly oppose Tusken rule and might be valuable allies of convenience.