Sandswimmers were spider-like creatures that dwelled on Tatooine. They were among the planet's most deadly predators, as they would "swim" underneath the arid sands of the desert before moving up to the surface to drain all fluids from their prey. The Sandswimmer exoskeleton provided a natural resistance to Tatooine's harsh conditions.
Biology and appearance
The Sandswimmer was a non-sentient creature that was spider-like in appearance and had a row of brightly-colored leg fins which it would use to move through the sand. The fins also served another purpose—they could fold when the Sandswimmer was above the surface of the sand, reducing their surface area, allowing the legs to support the creature's body. Their pale exoskeleton provided both a form of camouflage and protected them from potential moisture loss in hot and dry environments. The Sandswimmers had six legs and a sucker-like mouth. Their exoskeletons held a yellow-brown color.
Dwelling on Tatooine, the Sandswimmers were among the most feared predators on that world. They spent most of their time under the sand, with only their eyes and the ridge of their back visible to onlookers above the surface. In order to attract mates, they had to move up to the surface and flare their leg fins. With their front legs, Sandswimmers could latch onto prey and affix their sucker-like mouths to their victims. The Sandswimmer then sucked all fluid from its victim with such rapidity that it did not require the use of paralyzing poisons or other methods of demobilization. When the draining process was complete, the Sandswimmer returned to dwell under the sand, where they digested the harvested fluids. Among their prey were the native Jawa scavengers.
Behind the scenes
The Sandswimmer was created by Tara E. Murphy, through Star Wars Galaxy's "Design An Alien" competition. The competition, which was launched in Star Wars Galaxy Magazine 3 (1995), asked entrants to create entirely new aliens inspired by the original trilogy of Star Wars films. Murphy, 24 years of age at the time, entered her drawing of the Sandswimmer into the "16 and over" category. Although her entry did not win, it was published in Star Wars Galaxy Magazine 7 (1996) under the "honorable mentions" section. Leland Chee, the Star Wars continuity editor, later stated that the published "Design an Alien" material was in fact to be considered canon. The Sandswimmers, however, have not been referenced in any post–"Design an Alien" materials.