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Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi engaged in a handshake when they first met.

"I never shake hands."
Doctor Thalleus Tharn[src]

A handshake was a gesture of greeting,[1] agreement, or reconciliation, used by beings throughout the galaxy.[2] It was especially common among Humans, even in remote and archaic civilizations like the Witches of Dathomir.[3] Many non-Human species were also familiar with this custom, including the Wookiees,[4] the Mrlssi, the Sullustans[5] the Hiromi,[6] the Tammuz-an,[2] the Jazbinans,[7] the Talz,[8] and the Calibops[9]—although the latter did not have real hands, but only prehensile wingtips.[10]

Politeness usually required a handshake to be made with bare hands, although some individuals would keep their gloves on in fear of infection. Refusal to shake hands was also considered rude and undiplomatic. When Imperial Governor Wilek Nereus greeted the ambassadors from the New Republic in 4 ABY, Han Solo simply stood aside with a flat disapproving expression, while protocol required to bow or shake hands at the very least.[11] Skillful politicians like Tarsus Valorum were known to give good handshakes, with a firm but not overpowering grip,[12] while some individuals would crush other people's fingers in a rude, unnecessary display of strength.[11]

Mandalorians traditionally shook hands by clasping one another's forearm with their hand above the wrist. This hand-to-elbow grip was said to be a gesture proving one's ability to haul a comrade to safety, if need be.[13] Chiss who had a close relationship—brothers, for example—greeted each other in similar way.[14]

Although normally harmless, this social rite could become dangerous when meeting a Kuati noble. On Kuat, poisoning one's enemies was a centuries-old tradition, and nobles would wear special injector rings that allowed them to administer poison while shaking hands. Grodin Tierce once frightened the con artist Flim by telling him of the Kuati custom after he had just shaken hands with the Kuati Nalgol—the Captain, however, had used his ring to take a skin sample instead of injecting poison.[10]



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