The madclaw Tojjevvuk

«Our claws are tools, not weapons. To use them in battle is to become an animal. It is madness without honor.»

Madclaw was a term used by the Wookiees of Kashyyyk to mark a dishonored member of their community.

Wookiee culture placed a high value on the use of their claws for peaceful, productive reasons only. Thus, any Wookiee who lashed out against another Wookiee (or any other living being) with their claws was deemed to be a madclaw. The title was a grave dishonor, since the Wookiees viewed the use of claws for anything other than tools as feral, and madclaws were usually sent into exile.

The Wookiees were not the only species that believed in this philosophy. The Selkath of Manaan also had retractable claws and strictly forbade the use of them in battle.

Famous madclawsEdit

«"Dishonorable," they say! But is it really dishonorable or merely reasonable? Look at them, look at these fine instruments nature gave us! And why? to forever scratch tree bark with them? To pick an occasional morsel of food from between our fangs? You can't be serious! These are meant for one thing and one thing only—for gut-spilling!»

To date, the only madclaw to become famous throughout the galaxy was Zaalbar, one of the companions of the Jedi Revan. He lashed out at his brother, Chuundar, after discovering he'd been cutting deals with Czerka Corporation slavers. His father, the chieftain Freyyr, didn't believe him, and he was exiled. He was later pardoned after Chuundar's crimes were exposed.

The albino Wookiee Tojjevvuk also dishonored himself by using his claws to attack Chewbacca when they fought over Mallatobuck, but since that battle ended with Chewbacca hurling Tojjevvuk to his death in the Shadowlands, Tojjevvuk was never brought to justice by his people and formally dishonored with the title madclaw.

The Wookiee bounty hunter Snoova was deemed a madclaw for using his claws in his work.

Behind the scenesEdit

"Fortunately, the West End Games folks also spotted the lapse and came to my rescue."
―Timothy Zahn[src]

The concept of madclaws was, indirectly, created by Timothy Zahn, author of "The Thrawn Trilogy." In his 1991 novel Heir to the Empire, Zahn introduced the protractible claws of the Wookiees in order to make their tree-climbing more realistic. However, he realized that his new addition to canon caused a discrepancy: if the Wookiees had indeed claws, Chewbacca would have used them in the original Star Wars movies.[1] Five years later, Shadows of the Empire Sourcebook resolved the discrepancy, explaining that it was a matter of honor that Wookiees never used their claws in combat, but kept them strictly for climbing.[2] In Star Wars canon, a similar Wookiee honor code appears in Star Wars: The Force Awakens: A Junior Novel.[3]



Notes and referencesEdit

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