What do Star Wars' Tusken Raiders (now just "Tuskens") look like under the mask? The modern era of the Star Wars Saga has been all about deepening the already-expansive franchise lore – including doing some literal and figurative unmasking of some of the franchise's most mysterious characters. Case in point: Boba Fett's return in The Mandalorian finally took audiences under the iconic bounty hunter's helmet, to detail how he's grown and changed since his apparent death in The Return of the Jedi. His spinoff series, The Book of Boba Fett, has continued that tradition by unmasking the nefarious Pyke Syndicate for the first time.
However, The Tuskens have had a major presence in The Book of Boba Fett – and yet, we still have never really gotten a good look at what the Sand People look like under the head wraps, helmets, and/or goggles. Is it one of the last low-key mysteries that Star Wars holds sacred? Or is it some much-needed character development that needs to happen?
21st Century Star Wars
The passage of time has been interesting to measure when it comes to Star Wars. It's been somewhat surprising to see how POV and opinions about the franchise's content, character, story arcs, and themes have all evolved as the decades roll on. Boba Fett grew from a cool-looking bit character to the force of great change on Tatooine we're watching him become in The Book of Boba Fett. George Lucas' Star Wars Prequels have shifted to become beloved classics for the generation that grew up watching them, and more diverse characters (established and new) have all gotten bigger spotlights as times and tastes have changed. Now, fans are even looking back at Anakin Skywalker's massacre of a Tusken tribe (which killed his mom) and are siding with the Tuskens.
Don't Call Them Raiders
The "Tusken Raiders" have similarly gone through a change of perspective and opinion from Star Wars fans, as the years have gone on. The Tuskens were easy creatures to vilify in the original Star Wars movie, A New Hope – after all, 1970s and 80s audiences were trained to associate depictions of barbarism and savagery with phrases like "tribe" or "desert people." In 2022, however, Star Wars fans have a much different kind of sensibility.
The Mandalorian picked up on that change in perspective, by taking fans into a story that saw Mando actually ally with the Tuskens to end a monstrous threat (in the season 2 premiere). It sparked something in fans, who began to open their minds to the idea of the Tuskens being less evil savages, and more indigenous people dealing with the constant intrusion of colonizers (see also: Dune). The Book of Boba Fett has deepened that sentiment; Boba Fett's (Temuera Morrison) journey of going from being a prisoner of the Tuskens to their adopted son, has had the power and resonance of acclaimed films like Dances With Wolves and Avatar.
What Do The Tuskens Look Like?
Now that Star Wars has invested time, resources, and successfully swayed fan opinion on the Tuskens – do we need to know what they look like under the mask?
Given the Tuskens' general backstory, there's room for Star Wars to actually pull a big surprise about their true appearance. As The Book of Boba Fett just detailed for us, Tatooine used to be a world covered in water, before it became a desert. What if the natives of that planet were actually quite beautiful and graceful, and the total opposite of what we expect from the fearsome outer garb and harsh, guttural language? The Book of Boba Fett revealed the evil Pykes to be catfish-cute aquatic aliens under those scary tribal masks – perhaps that reveal was meant to set up a larger thematic point?
It would certainly drive home such a theme to have Book of Boba Fett bring things around to having Boba truly welcomed into the Tusken tribes, by having them reveal their faces to him. Then again, having the Tuskens still look fearsome under the masks – but still act civilized and even loving – would also carry the theme.
Do you want to see what Star Wars' Tusken people look like under the mask? Let us know in the comments!