- "This tracker is unpredictable. Is this partnership wise?"
"His intentions are extraordinarily professional. He hides much, but beneath the heaviest stone lies the richest soil…"
- ―4-LOM and Zuckuss discuss Sardu Sallowe
Sardu Sallowe was a Tusken Raider from Tatooine who eventually left his home planet to search for his fortune off-world as a bounty hunter. Due to the excellent tracking skills he had developed during his early life, he became a very successful bounty hunter, coming to the attention of Embra the Hutt. Sallowe worked with the likes of 4-LOM and Zuckuss, as well as a group of Jawas who regularly assisted him.
His most famous achievement came shortly before the Battle of Yavin, when Sallowe, 4-LOM and Zuckuss were hired by Embra to retrieve the fabled Yavin Vassilika. The group found themselves competing with teams working for the rival Hutts Jabba and Malta, yet were able to keep up with the competition as the search led them to Kalkovak, Mon Calamari, and deep into Wild Space. The Vassilika eventually fell into the hands of Malta's handmaiden, Jozzel Moffet, who planned to sell it to the Rebel Alliance on Yavin 4. Sallowe was among those who pursued her there and, after Moffet was killed by Embra's assistant Farquil Ban'n, the Bith handmaiden took Moffet's payment for herself and provided Sallowe and Zuckuss with a replica to return to Embra. Though they had won the race, most of their reward was spent repairing the damage that 4-LOM sustained during the treasure hunt.
Most beings were unaware of Sardu Sallowe's true identity and past. Local Tatooine legend told that he was a Human child of moisture farmers orphaned by a Tusken Raider attack and adopted by a clan of Jawas. In truth, Sallowe was himself a Tusken Raider, born on Tatooine and raised among his people in the harsh deserts of his homeworld. During his early years, Sallowe's desert life allowed him to develop his senses and tracking skills, until he became an accomplished hunter. However, at some point and for reasons that he chose not to share, Sallowe made the unusual decision to leave his home planet and seek his fortune in the galaxy.
Sallowe put the skills he had learned from his people to good use, quickly becoming an excellent tracker and an exceptional bounty hunter. Sallowe worked primarily on his homeworld of Tatooine, though he could be drawn off-world by a suitably lucrative bounty. When on Tatooine, he operated either out of a small dwelling among the alleyways of Mos Eisley or his mobile headquarters—a scaled-down sandcrawler, about one third the size of those typically used by the Jawas.
As Sallowe's reputation grew, he attracted the attention of Embra the Hutt. Sallowe soon became one of Embra's usual stable of bounty hunters, along with the Gand Zuckuss and the droid 4-LOM. Sallowe performed well for the Hutt on numerous occasions, sometimes in collaboration with his fellow hunters. He also frequently worked with an entourage of Jawa assistants, who performed several duties for the Tusken, including following targets and setting explosives.
Search for the Yavin Vassilika
- "…Sardu, let the fish go. Gently. That's a good fellow."
- ―Zuckuss, to Sallowe
Shortly after the Battle of Ylesia in 0 BBY, Sallowe was called to see Embra on Tatooine. The Hutt had entered into a bet with fellow Hutts Jabba and Malta to locate the fabled Yavin Vassilika—the prize being both the ancient artifact and the knowledge that the winner's "management style" was superior. Each Hutt was allowed to hire three contractors for the search and Embra had chosen Sallowe, along with Zuckuss and 4-LOM. Embra prepared a detailed briefing for the bounty hunters, informing them that Illyan Webble, the president of Seraphan Industries who had been missing since his ship had crashed on an uncharted planet in Wild Space on which he found the Vassilika, had turned up on Kalkovak and had told traders of his discovery. The group was to locate Webble, learn where they could find the Vassilika, and return it to Embra on Nar Shaddaa. If they required any assistance, the Hutt promised to put his assistant Farquil Ban'n at their disposal.
Sallowe was impressed with the briefing, and the lucrative reward for their participation, but inquired about the competition from the other Hutts. Embra's sources had been able to identify most of their competitors—Malta had hired the bounty hunters Bossk, IG-88B and Dengar, while Jabba had enlisted the gambler and treasure hunter Lando Calrissian and the smuggling team of Han Solo and Chewbacca—and the Hutt promised that dossiers on all would soon be available. Zuckuss and 4-LOM voiced concerns that Jabba's final contractor remained unknown, but Sallowe, realizing that time was of the essence, suggested that they begin the hunt immediately and attempt to determine the unknown hunter's identity along the way.
Setting out in Zuckuss's ship, the group began their search in Crevasse City on Kalkovak, Webble's last known location. Sallowe dispatched his Jawas to monitor the other teams' progress while he, Zuckuss, and 4-LOM searched for Webble in the city's market. Though Sallowe was unable to determine anything, his use of the Jawas soon paid off as they were able to locate Solo and follow him, soon learning that both of the opposing teams were leaving the planet. After Sallowe learned of this discovery, he told his partners to abandon their search and follow the other teams.
The group was able to determine that Solo's ship, the Millennium Falcon, was bound for Mon Calamari, and the quick hyperdrive on Zuckuss's vessel allowed them to get there first. From records at the Vagabond Registration Office, they were able to determine that Webble had indeed moved on to the ocean world and had headed out to sea. Zuckuss had an idea that Webble was traveling to the Knowledge Bank, a sentient cluster of mollusks that was aware of all events that happened on the ocean world, so the group hired a skiff to give chase. Meanwhile, one of Sallowe's Jawas located Jabba's team, along with Malta's handmaiden Jozzel Moffet and the Rodian Greedo, who had both joined the group along the way. As they boarded their own skiff to follow Webble, the Jawa planted an explosive in the craft's engine. Another of the Jawas spotted an unexpected presence on the planet—the infamous bounty hunter Boba Fett—and reported the news to Sallowe.
Sallowe's team reached the Knowledge Bank before any of the other participants. Though Webble was already dead—his skiff and partially devoured body beneath the surface of the water—the telepathic Knowledge Bank had absorbed Webble's memories before he died and Zuckuss was able to use the Bank to determine the coordinates of the world where he had discovered the Yavin Vassilika. As they were returning to their ship, a second skiff approached, carrying Jabba's team to the Bank. Sallowe quickly detonated the hidden explosive, leaving his rivals stranded on the ocean and guaranteeing that his team was the first to reach the location of the Vassilika and recover the priceless treasure.
The race concludes
- "So we won race?"
"Yes, Sardu. We won the race."
- ―Sardu Sallowe and Zuckuss
After arriving on the uncharted planet before their rivals, Sallowe was eager to make use of their advantage by finding Webble's crashed ship quickly. However, 4-LOM detected the presence of the native Barundi tribe and Zuckuss, recalling Webble's fear of the natives, advised caution. Sallowe's tracking skills led the group to the Barundi village Webble had recalled and 4-LOM went to investigate while the two sentients waited at a safe distance. The natives were initially unfazed by 4-LOM's presence but, when the droid located the Vassilika in the village and attempted to retrieve it, he came under attack. Though Sallowe wanted to go to 4-LOM's aid, Zuckuss instead suggested a retreat to plan their strategy.
The two bounty hunters returned to Zuckuss's ship and discussed their next move—Sallowe advocated an airborne attack on the village, while Zuckuss favored a more subtle approach. However, as they neared the ship, they were ambushed by Boba Fett. When the bounty hunter had been discovered by Sallowe's Jawa earlier, he had planted a homing beacon in the Jawa's robes and had used it to follow them to the world. Sallowe moved to attack Fett, but the bounty hunter quickly incapacitated Sallowe and the Jawas with a non-lethal gas.
Seeing the situation turn against him, Zuckuss made a deal to assist Fett. The bounty hunter was not seeking the Vassilika, but had been hired by Jabba to protect his treasure hunters from their rivals. Like 4-LOM before them, Solo, Calrissian, Chewbacca and Greedo had reached the Barundi village, only to be captured by the natives, and Fett enlisted Zuckuss and Sallowe to assist in his rescue attempt. Sallowe was reluctant to go along with Fett's plan, instead suggesting that they retrieve the Vassilika while he was distracted, but Zuckuss convinced him of the dangers of crossing Fett and that aiding him was their only option. With Sallowe agreeing to help, the two bounty hunters watched from a distance, providing cover while Fett entered the Barundi village to rescue Jabba's party. Fett was successful in freeing Solo and the others, but as they left the prison hut, Dengar, Bossk, IG-88B and Jozzel Moffet arrived, pursued by some of the forest's predators. As the newly arrived bounty hunters opened fire on both their pursuers and the villagers, the situation quickly deteriorated into chaos. Moffet used the distraction to take both the Vassilika and the keys to Solo's Millennium Falcon, before escaping into the forest. When the predators and natives withdrew, Malta's bounty hunters found themselves in a face-off with Fett, Sallowe and Zuckuss.
The stalemate was broken when Solo and Calrissian noticed that Moffet had left the village. One of Sallowe's Jawas shed some light on the situation, having learned that Moffet was not acting on behalf of Malta, but instead planned to sell the Vassilika to a buyer on the fourth moon of Yavin, and the rivals went their separate ways to give chase. Sallowe and Zuckuss arrived at the jungle moon with Jabba's team and interrupted Moffet as she completed the sale to her mysterious buyer—General Jan Dodonna of the Alliance to Restore the Republic. When Malta's team arrived moments later, the teams resumed fighting among themselves. Again, Moffet was able to use the distraction to slip away, this time with her four million credit reward and a forgery of the Vassilika, provided by the Rebels so her master would not uncover her deception. Sallowe and Zuckuss broke away and followed her into the jungle but, by the time the caught up with her, Moffet was already dead. Standing over her body was Embra's assistant, Farquil Ban'n. The Bith had uncovered Moffet's plan and followed her to Yavin 4 with the intention of killing Moffet and taking the money for herself.
Confronted by Sallowe and Zuckuss, Ban'n congratulated the bounty hunters on their work for her master and gave them the fake Vassilika to deliver to him on Nar Shaddaa. To ensure they did not reveal her deception, Ban'n offered 200,000 credits, in addition to the reward from Embra, to cover the cost of repairing the damage 4-LOM had sustained during his confrontation with the Barundi. Their victory was short-lived, however, as the repairs to the badly damaged 4-LOM required most of the money they won.
Personality and traits
- "Firestart their town. Burn their bones. Take crown and then win race."
"Such wanton destruction seems excessive. Perhaps a more surgical approach would be more efficient…"
- ―Sallowe and Zuckuss discuss strategy
Sallowe had a number of characteristics that aided him during his career as a bounty hunter. He was cautious to potential dangers, yet alert and sharp-eyed, demonstrating an interest in what was happening around him and investigating everything. These traits not only served him well as a bounty hunter, but also in his tendency to scavenge. He was a cunning hunter who was nimble, streetwise, and relentless in his pursuit of a target. Sallowe did not reveal much about himself and 4-LOM considered him somewhat unpredictable, though Zuckuss admired the professional manner in which he operated.
That Sallowe became a bounty hunter at all was quite unusual for a member of the insular Tusken Raiders. Yet, even when Sallowe left his people to pursue his career, he did not abandon his heritage and kept both the traditional clothing worn by his people as well as the face apparatus, even though they were not necessary on most of the worlds he visited in his travels.
Sallowe's tendency to work with Jawas was unusual for a member of his species, as the relationship between Tusken Raiders and Jawas had rarely been amicable. The Tuskens were not alone in having a dim view of Jawas, and most settlers on Tatooine regarded them as little more than vermin. Sallowe, however, preferred their company and made good use of them—since most beings dismissed Jawas as unimportant, they rarely suspected their involvement with Sallowe. One of Sallowe's regular Jawa associates was more independent minded than the others, and Sallowe allowed him the leeway to act independently toward their mutual goals.
Skills and abilities
- Zuckuss: "Eh, Sardu, I can assure you, this tank of brine contains no clues…"
- Sallowe: "Brrr—arh-arh-rok-arrrrh…"
- Zuckuss: "What is he saying?"
- 4-LOM: "It was a hybrid dialect of Tusken and Jawa. Grammatically, he has asked to be pummeled with knowledge…or meat. Same pronunciation."
- ―Zuckuss, Sallowe and 4-LOM, during the search for the Yavin Vassilika[src]
The skills Sallowe learned during his early years served him well as a bounty hunter. He was an expert tracker with keen senses, even behind his wrappings. His senses could detect data from an organic target better than even 4-LOM's sensors, and it was consequently difficult for anyone to take him by surprise. Sallowe could move almost silently when trailing a target and gathering information, and was proficient in escapology and sleight of hand. He was skilled in the use of both blaster pistols and rifles, as well as a variety of explosives.
Sallowe was able to speak his native Tusken, along with Jawaese and the Jawa Trade language. He generally used a mixture of his own language and Jawaese, which contributed to speculation that he had perhaps been adopted by a Jawa tribe after he was separated from his own people. He was also capable of reading, writing and speaking Imperial Basic, though he often struggled with the syntax of the Galactic Empire's official language.
Sallowe was a distinctive figure due to his traditional Tusken attire. He wore a shabby, rough-woven cloak, with the hood pulled low over his head. Combined with the ever present breath mask, which filtered out the sand in the deserts of his homeworld, Sallowe's face was obscured except for his glowing yellow eyes. In an article detailing individuals in the galactic underworld, The Republic Journal of Law-Enforcement and Low-Intensity Conflict described Sallowe's clothing as leaving him looking and smelling "like an over-sized Jawa." Sallowe was typically armed with two charges of Synthech explosives, which he could activate with a remote detonator, along with a blaster pistol and knife. Also concealed within his robes were his comlink and electrobinoculars.
Perhaps Sallowe's most formidable equipment was the sandcrawler that acted as his mobile headquarters. A modified Tagge Company Survey-class crawler, the sandcrawler was originally a scouting vessel used by a mining company to survey the desert world until the company went bankrupt long before Sallowe acquired it. The sandcrawler required a crew of two, but Sallowe used a complement of droids to make it fully automated while the advanced sensors and communications equipment, along with ten holding cells and room for sixteen Jawa passengers, were features that assisted in his hunts.
Behind the scenes
Sardu Sallowe was created by Mike Kennedy for the Dark Horse Comics series Underworld: The Yavin Vassilika, in which he was drawn by Carlos Meglia and first appeared in Underworld: The Yavin Vassilika 1, published on December 13, 2000. The character was later included in the Star Wars Gamer 6 article Unusual Suspects, by Andrew Hind, and in The Official Star Wars Fact File 76. Sallowe's species was left unclear in Unusual Suspects, which described only the common belief that he was Human. The Official Star Wars Fact File 76 later confirmed that the character was a Tusken Raider.
- Underworld: The Yavin Vassilika 1 (First appearance)
- Underworld: The Yavin Vassilika 2
- Underworld: The Yavin Vassilika 3
- Underworld: The Yavin Vassilika 4
- Underworld: The Yavin Vassilika 5
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 76 (BOU21-22, Bounty Hunters)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 121 (VAS1-2, The Yavin Vassilika)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 132 (VAS3-4, The Yavin Vassilika)
- Unusual Suspects"—Star Wars Gamer 6 "
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Official Star Wars Fact File Part 20 (1 BBY 11-14, Hunting the Yavin Vassilika)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File Part 53 (ZUC1-2, Zuckuss) (Picture only)