- "We applaud the spirit of openness that this coalition embodies. As other worlds turn their back on the problem, these planets have instead embraced the people of the Republic with open arms."
- ―Kaysil Verwood, on Durkteel's membership in the Refugee Relief Movement
The Saurin were a Trandoshan subspecies who hailed from the planet Durkteel, in the Kastolar sector of the Kashyyyk Region. Reptilian like the mainline Trandoshans of Trandosha, the Saurin shared knobby, scaly skin; broad, flat noses; wide, gaping mouths; and sharp, jagged teeth with their cousins. In contrast, however, the Saurin had five-fingered hands instead of the Trandoshans' three digits (plus opposable thumb).
Durkteel was a member of the Galactic Republic and a supporter of the Refugee Relief Movement during the Separatist Crisis. Saurin spacers made their way to many worlds, and members of the species found work as thugs, combat trainers, bodyguards, and droid merchants. Other Saurin joined the Alliance to Restore the Republic in its war with the Galactic Empire.
Biology and appearance
The Saurin or Saurins were a subspecies of the Trandoshans and, as such, were sentient humanoid reptiles. They had much in common with both their cousins and with other reptilian species, such as the Barabels. Saurin had scaly skin that came of shades of brown, green, purple, and yellow. Five-fingered hands were the primary feature to set them apart from mainline Trandoshans; some Saurin had human-like hands, while others had clawed, reptilian hands like those of a Trandoshan. The typical Saurin had scaly, three-toed feet. They ranged in build from fairly short and thin to tall and muscular. The subspecies was divided into two sexes.
The typical Saurin had an elongated skull characterized by three spiky crests running down its length, one in the center and two on the sides. Smaller knobby patterns covered other portions of the head. Thick, bony ridges surrounded their dark, bulbous eyes. The snout sported a flat, stubby nose with two cavernous nostrils above a broad, gaping pink mouth brimming with sharp teeth. Their features were flexible, allowing a Saurin to smile and express emotion.
Society and culture
- "…This is Rus Kal Kin from Durkteel. Famous on his world for piloting refugee relief transports during the Separatist Crisis."
- ―Leia Organa
Saurin were not known for their senses of humor. Nevertheless, the most stoic members of the species could be amused by a joke from a gifted humorist like the Bimm smuggler Rycar Ryjerd. Saurin names were composed of three elements: a first name, such as Gauron, Hrchek, or Sai'torr, and a two-word surname, such as Kal Fas and Nas Tal.
Members of the species were capable of using standard-level technology, including the piloting of starfighters and transports, and some Saurin became familiar with the technical specifications of such craft. Saurin tended to wear clothing typical of other spacefaring cultures, although some members of the subspecies chose to forego footwear.
The Saurin shared a common ancestry with other Trandoshans. Nevertheless, they split off from their mainline cousins at some point in their genetic history. Physiological differences developed in the Saurin subspecies, included differently colored eyes and more digits on each hand.
The Saurin and mainline Trandoshans came to claim two different planets as their homeworlds: Trandosha, in the Kashyyyk system, for the standard Trandoshans, and Durkteel for the Saurin, a world situated a short distance from Trandosha along the Durkteel Loop hyperlane in the neighboring Kastolar sector. Sometime between 15,000 and 8000 BBY, Durkteel became part of the greater galaxy within the heavily explored region known as the Slice.
Durkteel eventually became a wealthy agriworld, and investments included the construction of an ever-increasing number of orbiting space stations. Saurin pioneers joined Borneck and Wookiee counterparts in the colonization of Yitabo, a world that lay at the junction of the Durkteel Loop and the Pabol Sleheyron. Yitabo eventually became a minor agriworld in its own right. Investors swelled Saurin coffers with billions of credits in agribusiness, and over time the Saurin became one of the three most powerful indigenous groups in the greater Kashyyyk Region, along with the Wookiees of Kashyyyk and the Bimms of Bimmisaari.
Durkteel did not avoid the influence of powerful neighbors beyond the region. By 5000 BBY, their world and the hyperlanes that connected it with the otherside had fallen into the control of the Hutts, making Durkteel part of Hutt Space. This influence had been broken by 4000 BBY, when the borders of Hutt Space retracted. Shortly thereafter, however, the Jedi Civil War erupted, and by 3959 BBY, Durkteel had fallen into a region of space controlled by Darth Revan as part of his Sith Empire, a situation that persisted until 3956 BBY. Hutt encroachment in the Kashyyyk Region brought Durkteel once more into the borders of Hutt Space by 1004 BBY, and again between 52 and 32 BBY.
Durkteel joined the Galactic Republic by 22 BBY. With the eruption of the Separatist Crisis that year, Durkteel sided with the Republic. The planet became a member of the Refugee Relief Movement, a group whose goal was to aid those fleeing conflict zones. The Saurin provided assistance to the relief movement in the form of skilled pilots who operated the transports carrying the refugees; at least one pilot, Rus Kal Kin, gained fame on his homeworld for his transport-flying missions during the crisis. Later that year, Durkteel joined nine other worlds to form the relief movement; members agreed to relax immigration laws and take in more refugees. Durkteel's population was 3.2 billion at this time.
Nevertheless, Durkteel's proximity to Hutt Space once again placed its Saurin population in Hutt Space. As the Clone Wars erupted, the Saurin found their world in Separatist Space as well. Hutt Space had once again retracted, leaving the Saurin outside its grasp, by 4 BBY. By 137 ABY, however, Durkteel and its population fell within the region of space controlled by Darth Krayt as part of his Sith Empire.
Saurin in the galaxy
- "Spies? I'm no intelligence operative. I'm a pilot!"
- ―Rus Kal Kin upon being named a member of Stealth Squadron
Saurin had spread beyond their homeworld as early as 32 BBY. That year, a Saurin thug was working for the criminal Green Hair as part of the Raptors gang on the planet Coruscant. When the group confronted the Padawan Darsha Assant and the information broker Lorn Pavan, Assant used the Force to relieve the Saurin of his blaster, and Pavan stunned the gang member. Another member of the species patronized the Seko Cantina on Ryloth in 31 BBY. Years later, a Saurin was among those plagued by dianogas in Coruscant's Desrini District in 22 BBY. In 1 ABY, a Saurin was gambling at a casino in Cloud City on the planet Bespin where Lando Calrissian beat Barpotomous Drebble in a game of Sabacc.
Two Saurin were at the Mos Eisley Cantina on Tatooine in 0 BBY when Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi came to charter passage off the world. One of the Saurin was Hrchek Kal Fas, a droid trader always on the lookout for cheap droids for sale, even if they were only available on the "invisible market." Although he had come to the desert planet to investigate a possible business relationship with Tatooine's Jawas, he heard news of a reward for two stolen droids, supposedly "close companions" of an Imperial officer. He saw through this cover story, but when he witnessed C-3PO and R2-D2 wander into the cantina, he suspected they might be the droids in question. He tailed them out into the streets of Mos Eisley, but they were nowhere to be seen. The droid trader hired the tall Ranat Nevar Yalnal to do unskilled labor for him. Hrchek Kal Fas also retained the services of his cousin, Sai'torr Kal Fas. She was a savvy warrior and combat instructor who took on students she deemed to have the right potential.
Also in 0 BBY, a Saurin was present in the streets of Mos Eisley as the spy Garindan shadowed Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi on their way to Docking Bay 94. Later that year, a Saurin was captured on holofilm in the streets of Mos Eisley and broadcast as part of the Imperial program "Life on Tatooine."
During the Rebellion of the Alliance to Restore the Republic against the rule of the Galactic Empire, the famed transport pilot Rus Kal Kin proved himself as an ace starfighter pilot and a trusted member of the Alliance. Shortly after the Battle of Yavin, the Saurin was hand-picked by the Alderaanian Princess Leia Organa to serve in a top-secret X-wing squadron, its mission to clandestinely seek out a new base of operations for the Alliance while simultaneously rooting out an Imperial spy. Rus Kal Kin flew several missions with this Stealth Squadron, and once its mission had been completed, he stayed on as an inaugural member of the squadron's successor, Rogue Squadron.
Combat trainer Gauron Nas Tal also plied his trade on Tatooine. He worked for Jabba the Hutt as a combat instructor for the gangster's Gamorrean guards. The Saurin came to hate both his employment and his employer, and by 4 ABY, he was plotting to kill the Hutt. When the Jedi Luke Skywalker and one of Nas Tal's Gamorrean trainees fell into Jabba's rancor pit, the Saurin joined the other members of the Hutt's entourage in watching the battle below. The Gamorrean stood little chance against the rancor, although the Human managed to kill the beast. Gauron Nas Tal later accompanied Jabba on his sail barge the Khetanna. He died when the vessel exploded during the Battle of the Great Pit of Carkoon.
Behind the scenes
The Saurin were one of the many alien species designed for the cantina sequence of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, released in 1977. They were known as Crocs, Crockers, and Gila-Men during production and principal photography in England. One of the two characters was supposed to be given the proper name Gilaass. The Marvel Comics adaptation of the film shows a Saurin informing Imperial stormtroopers of the presence of Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Mos Eisley Cantina, a task performed by the Human Garouf Lafoe in the original film.
The production team of Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back altered one of the Saurin masks from A New Hope for use for the Trandoshan bounty hunter Bossk. Modifications for the Bossk design included repainting the mask, changing the eyes, and creating new, less Humanlike arms and legs. An unmodified Saurin mask was used for a member of Jabba the Hutt's entourage in Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi in 1983.
In 1995, Decipher dubbed the species the Saurin as part of its Premiere Limited and A New Hope Limited sets of cards for the Star Wars Customizable Card Game. The company also named the Saurin characters seen in the films and gave them simple backstories. The cards have game effects related to the characters' personalities and skills. For example, the Sai'torr Kal Fas card can be used to "train" and improve the combat skills of another character, while the Gauron Nas Tal (here spelled "Garon Nas Tal") card increases the power of any Saurin characters that have already been improved by Sai'torr Kal Fas. The article "50 Factoids about the Original Star Wars Trilogy" mistakenly says that a Saurin character was added to the cantina scene of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope: Special Editon; the character in question is actually a Sarkan, a different reptilian species.
The species has since played little role in Star Wars fiction, and their society, culture, and history remain largely unexplored. Inside the Worlds of Star Wars Trilogy is one exception and reveals that Saurin are a Trandoshan subspecies, and The Essential Atlas is another, as it reveals some details about Durkteel and its economy. Nevertheless, their history remains sketchy and questions remain, such as whether they split from their Trandoshan cousins before or after they moved to Durkteel. Other Saurin have largely been background characters. For example, the A New Hope Saurin appear in the background of the A Hunter's Fate: Greedo's Tale webstrip, Star Wars Manga: A New Hope, "The Emperor's Court," and the Star Wars: A New Hope - The Special Edition comic book. In October 2002, artist Derek Thompson sketched a group of aliens as possible participants in the Clone Wars for Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith. Among the characters, all representatives of species from the cantina sequence of A New Hope, is one Saurin. In the end, George Lucas rejected the concept.
In 2009, Hasbro released an action figure of Hrchek Kal Fas as part of its Star Wars: The Legacy Collection line of toys. The action figure differs from the on-screen depiction of the Saurin in that it wears no gloves, has more reptilian hands, and wears no boots. Hasbro calls this a "creative decision" taken to make the character seem more alien; they argue that had the Saurin featured more prominently in A New Hope, George Lucas would have given them more non-human characteristics. The Saurin action figure also features gold eyes with black pupils, another discrepancy from the original film. Hasbro blames this on a production error among the Chinese production staff; they ordered the toys corrected to have black eyes.
- Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter
- Star Wars (1998) 21
- (Picture only)
- (Indirect mention only)
- A Hunter's Fate: Greedo's Tale (webstrip)
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope (First appearance)
- Star Wars (1977) 2
- Star Wars: A New Hope - The Special Edition
- Star Wars Manga: A New Hope
- Star Wars: A New Hope (Cine-Manga)
- Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (PhotoComic)
- Star Wars (2013) 2
- Star Wars (2013) 3
- Star Wars (2013) 4
- Star Wars (2013) 11
- Star Wars (2013) 12
- Star Wars (2013) 15
- The Star Wars Holiday Special
- "Lady Luck"—Star Wars Tales 3
- Secrets of the Sisar Run (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
- Star Wars Manga: Return of the Jedi 1
Non canonical appearances
- Darth Vader and Son (Non-canonical appearance)
- "The Emperor's Court"—Star Wars Tales 14 (Non-canonical appearance)
Notes and references
- Star Wars: Chronicles, p. 75.
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. III, p. 128.
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope.
- Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi.
- Star Wars (1977) 2, p. 15.
- Star Wars (1977) 2, p. 16.
- Inside the Worlds of Star Wars Trilogy, p. 14.
- The Essential Atlas, p. 57.
- Star Wars (2013) 2
- Star Wars: The Legacy Collection.
- Star Wars (2013) 11
- Star Wars (2013) 15
- Secrets of the Sisar Run, p. 32.
- Star Wars: Behind the Magic.
- Star Wars (2013) 3
- The Essential Atlas, p.156.
- The Essential Atlas, p.157.
- The Essential Atlas, p. 153.
- The Essential Atlas, p. 120.
- The Essential Atlas, p. 36.
- The Essential Atlas, p. 127.
- The Essential Atlas, 129.
- The Essential Atlas, p. 130.
- The Essential Atlas, p. 133.
- The Essential Atlas, p. 141.
- The Essential Atlas, p. 151.
- The Essential Atlas, p. 159.
- The Essential Atlas, p. 226.
- Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter, p. 232.
- Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter, p. 233.
- Star Wars (1998) 21
- "Lady Luck"—Star Wars Tales 3.
- Star Wars Customizable Card Game – A New Hope Limited (Card: Saurin) (backup link).
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 22 (CAN4, "Mos Eisley Cantina Characters").
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. II, p. 195.
- Star Wars Customizable Card Game – Premiere Limited (Card: Nevar Yalnal) (backup link).
- Star Wars Encyclopedia, p. 156.
- Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary, p. 258.
- Star Wars Customizable Card Game – Premiere Limited (Card: Sai'torr Kal Fas) (backup link).
- The Star Wars Holiday Special.
- Star Wars (2013) 4
- Star Wars Customizable Card Game – Jabba's Palace Limited (Card: Garon Nas Tal) (backup link).
- "Who's Who in Jabba's Palace"—Star Wars Insider 60, p. 85.
- Star Wars: The Action Figure Archive, p. 97.
- , p. 3.
- "50 Factoids about the Original Star Wars Trilogy"—Star Wars Insider 78, p. 38.
- The Art of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, p. 55.
- Star Wars Q&A, Rebelscum.com.
- Hasbro Q&A, CollectionStation.com.