The Book of Boba Fett: who are the Tusken?

The Book of Boba Fett: who are the Tusken?

The Book of Boba Fett

The first time Star Wars fans encountered the Tusken raiders, they came to know them as sandpods. It has been more than three decades since this first encounter, years in which these dangerous marauders of Tatooine have been regarded as inferior beings, a condition that is being partially reworked in The Book of Boba Fett, the new live action Star Wars series available. on Disney +. Since the first episode, Stranger in a Strange Land, we have seen how the Tusken marauders have been central to Boba Fett's second life, a particular relationship that in the second episode, The tribes of Tatooine.

While appreciating the importance of the Tusken raiders in The Book of Boba Fett, it would be unfair to ignore their importance within the Star Wars saga. While appearing in moments during the nine main course films of the main narrative body, these dangerous desert nomads played a significant role in the progression of two central Star Wars characters: Anakin Skywalker and his son Luke.

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The origins of the Tusken raiders

When Lucas was giving life to the first chapter of Star Wars, the tusken had a completely different role. Inserted within the second draft of the screenplay of A New Hope (1975), the Tusken were initially conceived as a special force of the imperial army engaged in the sands of Tatooine. Only at the third revision of the script it was decided to transform these soldiers into an indigenous population, initially known as the Sand People (people of the desert), inspired by the Bedouins, a population of northern Africa. This nomadic people was known to be made up of ranchers who did not hesitate to raid if necessary, attacking settled populations or rich commercial caravans. A familiarity that can also be seen in the Dune's Fremen, the space opera that famously influenced Lucas in the creation of his world.

if (jQuery ("# ​​crm_srl-th_culturapop_d_mh2_1"). Is (": visible" )) {console.log ("Edinet ADV adding zone: tag crm_srl-th_culturapop_d_mh2_1 slot id: th_culturapop_d_mh2"); } In giving life to the Tusken marauders, Lucas was inspired by another passion of his, the western, especially the classic Ford films, in which the Comanches were presented as savages attacking the caravans of the white colonizers. Not surprisingly, following this stereotype, the Tusken marauders in the trilogy and prequels are treated as a violent and bloody society, as opposed to the more civilized inhabitants of Mos Eisley and Mos Espa. The name of the Tusken marauders, within the saga, derives from Fort Tusken, an outpost of colonizers who was stormed by these beings, an event that led them to be identified with this tragedy.

How traditionally, the first study on the appearance of the Tusken was carried out by Ralph McQuarrie, who did not imagine these strange beings as humanoids mutated by the hard life in the sands of Tatooine. These mutations were covered by loose clothing and traditional masks, which through glasses and respirators helped to give the marauders their typical appearance. Characteristic of these nomads of the desert, guttural and apparently incomprehensible to anyone who does not belong to this species, it is due to Ben Burrt, who using a sampling of donkey braying gave life to one of the best known alien languages ​​of Star Wars. An integral part of the Tusken language is their gestures, which previously sketched in the course of the previous appearances of the Tusken marauders, found a definition in The Mandalorian thanks to Tory Kutsur, a deaf actor who played one of the sandpods in the series:

“I researched the culture and environment in which the Tusken raiders move. My intention was not to use ASL, the American Sign Language, but to develop a new form of sign language that reflects their world "

Since their first appearance, the Tusken raiders have intrigued the Star Wars fans who have always wondered what the real appearance of these beings was, thanks to the fact that they were among the first Star Wars characters to be proposed used as models for the famous Kenner figurines. During one of the first comic books dedicated to Star Wars, dated 1978, made by Russ Manning, Luke Skywalker was almost able to reveal the face of a Tusken marauder, claiming to be the first human to see a maskless sandblaster in 200 years. >
if (jQuery ("# ​​crm_srl-th_culturapop_d_mh3_1"). is (": visible")) {console.log ("Edinet ADV adding zone: tag crm_srl-th_culturapop_d_mh3_1 slot id: th_culturapop_d_mh3"); } The strip failed to show the face of this Tusken. We had to wait for the comics to come after Return of the Jedi. In this context, Tusken marauders were often shown without their mask, to the point that in the 1993 card game a Tusken was clearly presented without the traditional mask and with a look decidedly far from the tradition of the characters. In this period of the exploration of the world of Star Wars, devoid of the rigid dictates typical of the post Canon - The Awakening of the Force, several hypotheses were presented on what the appearance of Tusken marauders was, theories that now, with the entry into force del Canon, they are not considered part of the official Star Wars continuity.

The Tuskens in the Star Wars continuity

Despite being treated as subhuman beings, the Tusken Raiders within the continuity canon of Star Wars play a central role in the development of the affairs of the Skywalker family. Thinking back to the events of A New Hope, within the vision of the hero's journey, the meeting between Skywalker and the sandpods is central, it represents the first real obstacle that the young man has to face in his great adventure. A difficulty that helps us to understand how, despite his desire to emancipate himself from this simple life on the periphery of the universe, he has his first taste of the dangers that await him far from his peaceful life in his unhappy acquaintance with the marauders Tusken. . It is no coincidence that the mentor figure, Obi-Wan Kenobi, appears in this difficult moment.

if (jQuery ("# ​​crm_srl-th_culturapop_d_mh4_1"). Is (": visible")) {console.log ("Edinet ADV adding zone: tag crm_srl-th_culturapop_d_mh4_1 slot id: th_culturapop_d_mh4"); } Likewise, the Tuskens are central to narrating Anakin Skywalker's fall to the dark side. The kidnapping and killing of his mother Shmi by a Tusken tribe is one of the fundamental pieces of his loss of faith in the Jedi precepts, a condition that brings him closer to his darker and more violent part that will cause the death of the Jedi and the rise of Darth Vader.

If we limit ourselves to considering the Tusken marauders only within the context of the Star Wars cinematic, it is easy to see hateful figures in these savages. The merit of series like The Mandalorian before and now The Book of Boba Fett is to have wanted to give these beings a human dimension, with a radical change of perspective. Starting from the first contacts of Din Djarin up to the coexistence of Boba Fett with the Tusken tribe who saved him, in fact, a nomadic community emerges with its own culture and customs, which shows a depth rarely seen before.

Thinking back to the events of Le Tribù di Tatooine, second episode of The Book of Boba Fett, the undeniable western ancestry of the episode brings the Tuskens closer to the ideal of the Indian populations of the films of the genre, showing however a less stereotyped vision. While not failing to emphasize their being in contrast with the technological civilization that invades Tatooine, the Tuskens still have a depth that shows their own spirituality and a social structure that makes them closer to the viewer, less alien. The way in which these marauders are portrayed, within The Book of Boba Fett, is the first real opportunity offered to fans to discover the unusual sides of this people, with particular care in giving every aspect of their life and their traditions the right emphasis, permeated from the point of view of the 'foreigner' Boba Fett, within an emotional construction that recalls what is seen in cinema cult such as Lawrence of Arabia or The Last Samurai. Interesting, above all, is the simplicity with which the different dynamics within the tribe are portrayed, from the care of the little ones to the role of women, such as the warrior played by Joanne Bennet (former stunt woman of Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel), who is portrayed with a precise and convincing body acting, without resorting to the exaltation of visually recognizable female characteristics.

With Stranger in a foreign land and The Tribes of Tatooine, The Book of Boba Fett is offering us a first glimpse into the life of Tusken within their culture, via the clone's flashbacks. A definition that we can hypothesize will find further characterization not only in the next episodes of the series dedicated to the bounty hunter, but also in Obi-Wan, the announced serial dedicated to the Jedi master during his period on Tatooine between Revenge of the Sith and A new hope. .

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