- "Those who wish to rid themselves of fleegs must clean the hair of their neighbors."
- ―Askajian saying
Biology and appearance
Externally, Askajians appeared very similar to humans, mainly differing in the thick, wrinkled skin on their foreheads, their six breasts, and their girth. Internally, the mammalian species was adapted to desert survival with large epidermal sacs for water storage. This allowed them to go for several weeks without water. An Askajian could shed up to sixty percent of the water in his or her body with no effect other than tremendous slimming. Askajians like Yarna d'al' Gargan were normally slender, and imbibing huge volumes of water increased their girth considerably. Askajians also had two hearts.
Society and culture
Askajians lived in a primitive, tribal society, living mostly by gathering plants and hunting herds of large, woolly beasts called tomuons. Askajians used their meat, milk, fat, wool, hooves, and bones for fabric, food, shelter, and other essential items.
One of the most important figures in an Askajian tribe was the weaver, who knew the secret techniques to create tomoun cloth. Tomoun cloth was a strong, yet soft and wrinkle-resistant fabric that was a high-demand luxury item as far away as the Core Worlds. It was rumored that even Palpatine's robes were made of tomuon wool. As this was the only export the Askajians had, their tribes had been known to fight wars over the services of especially skilled weavers.
The main political organizations among the Askajians were nomadic tribes composed of several extended families. These tribes were led by male or female hereditary chieftains, depending on the region. Many tribes formed loose military alliances with one another in order to make war on other tribal federations.
Dancers were also important in Askajian culture. A skilled dancer acted as a shaman and loremaster, re-enacting tribal history and legend and leading worship of their main goddess, the Moon Lady, which was the moon of Askaj. The shamans of the Moon Lady taught that joy could be found in just about everything, and that tragedy was the best time for mirth. They encouraged folk to laugh even as they die.
In the Askajian language, "Yarna" meant "pretty". An early version of this language was known as ancient Askajian. The Song of the Dongtha Slayer was a musical piece in ancient Askajian, containing a whopping 722 known verses.
During the early years of the New Republic, several Askajian tribes migrated to Tatooine with the assistance of an Imperial defector, Gwend. They brought with them tomoun cloth to trade for the technology needed to survive on the planet.
One of the most famous Askajians in galactic history was Yarna d'al' Gargan, who was one of Jabba's favorite dancers in his Palace on Tatooine. When she had stored as much water as she could hold, Yarna was said to remind Jabba of his "mother". She performed the Dance of the Seventy Violet Veils at the wedding of Han Solo and Leia Organa. Afterward, she found fame as a model for jeweled brassieres.
Behind the scenes
- Alien Encounters
- Star Wars Trilogy Sourcebook, Special Edition
- The Essential Guide to Alien Species
- Star Wars: The Action Figure Archive
- The New Essential Guide to Alien Species
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Star Wars: The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 18
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
- The Essential Reader's Companion