- "The Jawas are not powerless—if they do not wish to be."
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi, to Het Nkik
Het Nkik was a free-thinking male Jawa from Tatooine. Unlike most members of his species, he believed that the Jawas were not powerless and needed only to push themselves to be strong and fight back against their enemies—the Tusken Raiders and the Galactic Empire. Nkik had held unorthodox beliefs ever since he and his friend Jek Nkik had managed to repair an E522 assassin droid around 2 BBY and sell it to the crime lord Lady Valarian, despite the objections of other Jawas. This gave him the belief that Jawas could do anything they wanted to if properly motivated, a view only strengthened when he later managed to scare off several Tusken Raiders singlehandedly, saving himself from death.
After Jek Nkik was killed by Imperial stormtroopers in 0 BBY, Het Nkik was motivated to avenge his friend's death and inspire his species to oppose the Empire. He purchased a DL-44 heavy blaster pistol from a fellow Jawa and traveled to Mos Eisley, where an Imperial garrison was stationed. Once in the spaceport, Nkik spent a brief time in Chalmun's cantina, where he purchased a stimulant to build up his confidence. While there, he bought a Tusken battle talisman from the Ranat Reegesk. Nkik was unaware, however, that Reegesk had stolen his blaster's power pack. When he confronted a group of stormtroopers outside a short time later, his blaster failed to shoot, due to the missing power pak. Nkik noticed this too late and was shot dead by stormtrooper 1047.
- "This one has a reputation for speaking without thinking. We can only hope his wisdom will grow with age."
Het Nkik was a male Jawa, a sentient species on the Outer Rim world of Tatooine. He had very unorthodox ideas for a Jawa, believing that his species did not have to act timidly and cower at the sign of any possible threat, as was their wont. Most Jawas believed that they were not strong enough to fight for themselves, while Het Nkik felt that they were only weak because they chose not to defend themselves. This belief was given great reinforcement when, sometime before 2 BBY, he and his best friend Jek Nkik discovered a starfighter wreck, and inside it, a damaged E522 assassin droid. After several months of work, the two were able to fix it up using spare parts that they found in the Jawa fortress where they lived. When they were finished, it no longer had the violent programming or weapons it had once possessed, but was fully functional as a messenger droid. Though other Jawas, namely the clan leader Wimateeka, attempted to discourage the two by telling them that no one would buy an assassin droid to use as a messenger, they were able to sell it to the crime lord Lady Valarian, who operated on Tatooine and had a reputation for being difficult to please. However, she was satisfied with their droid, much to the delight of the two Jawas.
After this, Het Nkik swore that he would never listen to the doubts of others and would never believe the common school of thought about what Jawas could not do. Around this time, Het Nkik also encountered a group of Tusken Raiders—a species hostile to Jawas—while examining the wreckage of a T-16 skyhopper. Though Het Nkik was fully aware that they could easily kill him and was therefore terrified, he forced himself to act. Nkik activated the skyhopper's security system, causing a loud screech that scared the Tusken Raiders away. This also opened his eyes to the fact that with the right attitude and weapons, the Jawas could be powerful.
Becoming a martyr
- "I know we are not powerless, but my clan members do not realize it."
"Perhaps they will."
- ―Het Nkik and Obi-Wan Kenobi
By 2 BBY, Het and Jek Nkik had been separated into different clans, although they later met at the Jawa's annual swap meet, where Jawas exchanged goods and swapped stories among one another. By 0 BBY, Het Nkik became a legends. In the meet that year, Het Nkik's clan's sandcrawler was delayed by a sandstorm, causing them to arrive after much of the bargaining had already taken place. However, Jek Nkik and his clan were not present. Wimateeka—the leader of Het Nkik's clan—and other clan leaders feared that they had been attacked by Tusken Raiders, as had recently happened with the clan led by Eet Ptaa. Het Nkik insisted that the Jawas should unite to defend themselves, only for the clan leaders to mock him for his unorthodox ideas.
Disheartened, Het Nkik wandered the aisles where items were up for sale. While examining the wares, he was approached by the Jawa Hrar Kkak, who, having heard of Nkik's unusual ideas, offered to sell him a DL-44 heavy blaster pistol. Though a recent Imperial decree had banned Jawas from having such weapons, Kkak denied knowing of such a law. He placed a hefty price on the item, and although Nkik was forced to trade most of his possessions in return for the blaster, he greatly desired the illegal weapon and was able to purchase it.
After Het Nkik's clan left the swap meet, he was able to persuade the sandcrawler's pilot to head along the route Jek Nkik's clan had likely taken on their way to the gathering. As they traveled along the detour, they encountered the wreckage of a sandcrawler. Nkik knew that it had been Jek Nkik's clan's vehicle and that his best friend was now dead. As the Jawas got out to investigate, they noticed an old man—the hermit Obi-Wan Kenobi, though the Jawas did not know his name—and two droids, R2-D2 and C-3PO, by the sandcrawler. Though some of the Jawas suspected that the old man had attacked the sandcrawler, Het Nkik believed that the notion was ridiculous, sensing that he was harmless. Noticing that the old man was burning the bodies of the dead Jawas, a Jawa ritual, Het Nkik approached him and began to question him, asking who he was. The man replied in fluent Jawaese, explaining that he tried to understand and respect all creatures and thus had learned the Jawas' language and many of their traditions.
The old man also agreed with Het Nkik that Imperial stormtroopers were behind the attack—not Tusken Raiders, as many of his brethren believed. Before the Jawas left, the man explained to Het Nkik that the Jawas could be strong if pushed to the breaking point. This caused a sudden revelation for Nkik, and he decided to go to the spaceport city of Mos Eisley and challenge the Imperial forces stationed there with his new blaster. Though he knew that he would almost certainly be killed, he was prepared to die to motivate his people to stand up for themselves, oppose the growing Imperial presence on Tatooine, and resist the Tusken Raiders.
Het Nkik traded what remained of his possessions to another Jawa in his clan in exchange for a vehicle that could take him to Mos Eisley. Though it broke down twice, he was able to get the vehicle working again and arrive at the spaceport. Once there, he traded the vehicle to another Jawa, and then, realizing how close he was to actually accomplishing his goal, began to feel fear. Though his instinct told him to flee and hide, Het Nkik pushed on, forcing himself to go into Chalmun's cantina with the hope of getting a drink that could stimulate him and give him confidence. In there, he spotted the old man who had encouraged him earlier and took it as a good omen. While in the cantina, he sat with another Jawa, at least briefly.
While sitting at a table, he was approached by the Ranat trader Reegesk. Ranats often traded with Jawas, and thus, Reegesk was eager to deal with Nkik. The Jawa only half-listened until Reegesk offered to trade him a Tusken battle talisman. Believing that it could make him strong and fearless like a Tusken Raider, Nkik was eager to trade for it, offering to pay part of the price now and the rest later, fully aware that he would likely be unable to pay the other installment. While examining the talisman, Nkik let Reegesk hold his blaster. Unbeknownst to the Jawa, Reegesk, seeking a power supply for his tribe's moisture vaporator, removed the blaster's power pack.
After a moment, Nkik took his blaster back and headed outside with the DL-44 and the talisman. Noticing a group of stormtroopers approaching, Nkik quickly hid in the nearby wreckage of the Dowager Queen, a crashed starship. As the stormtroopers walked towards the ship, Nkik thought over his plan. Though he knew that he would most likely die, he had accepted death in the hope that his passing would give the Jawas confidence and lead them to rebel against the Tusken Raiders and the Empire. Finally, the stormtroopers walked by the ship. Nkik leaped out from his hiding place, firing his blaster frantically. However, he noticed too late that the power pak was missing, and stormtrooper 1047 shot the Jawa dead. Despite his sacrifice, Het Nkik's dreams of dying as a martyr and inspiring his species did not come to fruition.
Personality and traits
- "We can't simply run and hide all the time, especially now that the Imperials are growing more aggressive."
- ―Het Nkik
Het Nkik had very unusual ideas for a Jawa. He believed that Jawas did not have to be the weak creatures everyone believed and needed only to stand up for themselves. Though most Jawas believed that they were naturally weak and no match for Tusken Raiders or stormtroopers, Nkik disagreed with this perspective. Unlike most members of his species, he did not cower in fear or run and hide when confronted by danger, choosing instead to fight back. This courage was shown in several instances, such as when he successfully repelled the Tusken Raiders while scavenging the skyhopper.
Nkik was tenacious, refusing to let the doubts of others stop him from trying new things, such as when he successfully repaired and sold an assassin droid, refusing to listen to the doubts of other Jawas. Nkik wanted to make a difference for his species and was willing to die in hopes that he would become a martyr and finally give his species the confidence they needed to stop being so timid.
Behind the scenes
Het Nkik first appeared in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, where he was briefly shown in Chalmun's cantina. He was played by an uncredited actor. It was not until the short story Swap Meet: The Jawa's Tale—written by Kevin J. Anderson, included in Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina, and published in 1995—that he was given a name and a backstory. He would later be mentioned in reference guides such as The Essential Guide to Characters and The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia.
One Last Night in the Mos Eisley Cantina: The Tale of the Wolfman and the Lamproid, another story in Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina, mentions a Jawa walking into Chalmun's cantina around the time when Nkik enters, but this Jawa is never identified.
Wizards of the Coast's Star Wars Trading Card Game identifies a Jawa on this card as Het Nkik. However, the image is from Return of the Jedi, which is evidenced by the presence of an Ugnaught on the original image. As that film takes place in 4 ABY, long after Nkik was killed, this is an error on Wizards of the Coast's part.
- When the Desert Wind Turns: The Stormtrooper's Tale
- The Mos Eisley Cantina Pop-Up Book
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope (First appearance)
- Swap Meet: The Jawa's Tale (First identified as Het Nkik)
- Trade Wins: The Ranat's Tale
- At the Crossroads: The Spacer's Tale
- "Spare Parts"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 11 (Mentioned only)
- "Star Wars 101"—Star Wars Galaxy Magazine 5
- The Essential Guide to Characters
- Star Wars Customizable Card Game – A New Hope Limited (Card: Het Nkik) (backup link)
- Mos Eisley Adventure Set
- Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Star Wars Customizable Card Game – Special Edition Limited (Card: Uutkik) (backup link)
- Star Wars: Behind the Magic
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 22 (CAN6, Mos Eisley Cantina Characters)
- Ultimate Alien Anthology
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 79 (JAW11, Jawas)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 140 (NKI1-2, Het Nkik)
- Inside the Worlds of Star Wars Trilogy
- Star Wars: Complete Locations
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Reader's Companion