- "Mayday! Mayday! This is the combine–reaper Gevion. We require immediate assistance. A Sauvax army has besieged us, surrounding our harvester and blocking our path. Although they've taken no hostile action, we fear they might swarm the harvester and slaughter our crew. Please send assistance immediately. Mayday!"
- ―The captain of the Gevion
The Sauvax were a sentient species native to the planet Leritor. They were amphibious crustaceans with great physical strength, distinguished by big pincers on their arms and six crab-like legs. While fearsome looking to Humans, the Sauvax were actually peaceful beings who preferred negotiation over war to settle disputes. They had a rich, complex culture that was not completely understood by outsiders. The planet Leritor held little attraction for most alien entrepreneurs and settlers, making the Sauvax species little known and affording them few chances to leave their planet. They had little contact with aliens and no tradition of Force users.
At some point in Leritor's history, the Sith tried to take over the Sauvax, but the offworlders eventually disappeared, leaving a hidden Sith artifact. Later, the planet was sparsely settled by Human farmers from the Core Worlds who agreed to share the planet with the Sauvax, although they reduced the specific contact to a minimum. Centuries later, a Sith adept looking for Sith relics tried to unleash a war among the Sauvax and the Humans to distract the locals while she performed archaeological activities, exploiting Sauvax prisoners as underwater miners. However, some offworlders discovered the situation, and the Sith and her minions were defeated and peace was restored to Leritor.
Biology and appearance
The Sauvax were crustacean sentients who stood roughly the same height as Humans. Their heads and torsos were almost entirely covered by a chitinous carapace that, while malleable, was strong enough to protect them from damage. The face was at the top of this natural armor, with the eyes protruding to increase the field of vision. Each Sauvax had two tiny, fine antennae that increased their spatial perception.
The Sauvax's arms ended in oversized pincers that made them stand out. These two large digits could be used as an effective slashing weapon in melee combat and even to handle simple objects such as a spear, but they were useless for holding smaller items designed for Human-like fingers, such as blasters or datapads. Nevertheless, the big claw concealed three less-obvious fingers, including an opposable thumb that allowed for more precise manipulation.
A Sauvax moved on land using six long, segmented legs, which allowed the same land speed as a Human. The Sauvax were equally comfortable in water, where the bristles on their bellies and their rudder-like twin tails helped them achieve a water speed comparable to other species with underwater civilizations. They were naturally better swimmers than non-amphibious species. Sauvax were stronger and sturdier than typical Human beings, but were less nimble, and their appearance betrayed this to onlookers. Humans living on Leritor found the Sauvax threatening based only on their external aspect.
Society and culture
The Sauvax had a primitive civilization in comparison to much of the rest of the galaxy. Although they regularly employed handcrafted weapons like spears, the Sauvax were able to use technological items without the cultural limitations that hindered more primitive species.
The Sauvax tribes, known as kuuvan in their language, built their settlements, also known as kuuvan, on the coast of the planet's oceans, preferring tidal pools, escarpments, and seashores. The kuuvan included crude lodgings made of stone and underpinned with sand and wreckage.
In at least one instance, the kuuvan leader, or tevelor, had the right to live in the biggest house. Commonly, the kuuvan also included non-residential structures, such as drying racks to hang fish, an open meeting area with a stone platform for a speaker, a well-closed with a dome to store food, and tidal pools to grow seaweed and crustaceans. The whole kuuvan was built only meters from the line of the high shore.
The Sauvax used hand-made tools, which they commonly carried in a bag of woven algae. The most important of those utensils was the gruush, a multi-purpose spear with a spiked end and a curved hook that was mostly used to fish in the continental shelves. The Sauvax grew their own crops of algae and slime for food, also using the gruush to do so. They were known to use their technology to cook game and fish before eating.
Sauvax culture was complex, and non-Sauvax were commonly unfamiliar with its details. Members of other species commonly saw Sauvax as an aggressive and hasty people, albeit one without imperialistic tendencies. While Sauvax did indeed show ferocity at times, this commonly happened only if they felt some threat to their way of life. The Sauvax had a different concept of good manners from that of Humans, and members of the species were less gregarious than Humans.
In Sauvax culture, diplomatic negotiations did not start with a simple tète-á-tète between the two parties, particularly if one of the parties was at a disadvantage. The defendants were supposed to show their worth before their claims could be believed. This could be done by offering a gift, possibly with a formal disquisition explaining the use of the offering; in this case, a valuable present, a token of technological nature and a visible demonstration of the use of the item could improve the prospects of the party. While doing so, however, a non-Sauvax defendant could easily break a cultural taboo and unwittingly insult the Sauvax.
Another way to engage in diplomacy was the sharing of food; eating the food of the other party demonstrated that one trusted them. Non-Sauvax often found Sauvax cuisine difficult to stomach, but while dining, Sauvax were more prone to mock the alien instead of taking offense. The defendants were expected to offer their own food as a gift.
Sauvax were hard workers, commonly specializing in manual labors but also excelling at academics. Although Sauvax rarely followed professional careers requiring advanced technology, such as slicing or piloting, they accepted high-tech weaponry and could become powerful soldiers.
The Sauvax had their own language, also known as Sauvax. Some individuals, who had infrequent contact with the Human farmers, achieved some ability with Galactic Basic Standard. As the Sauvax mouth could reproduce most of the sounds in Basic, a Sauvax could learn and speak Basic with no problems.
Known Sauvax names include Chuuvus, Gurruul, Juucsuur, Kruuvurn, Muurbux, Tchuul, Uukk and Vrujuun.
At some point in Leritor's history, a Sith starship crash-landed in the Bleaks, a mountain chain on the planet's main continent. The survivors used their dark side Force powers in an attempt to dominate the planet and its natives, but the Sith were unable to thrive on Leritor and eventually disappeared. Sauvax legend assimilated the event as an old catastrophe in which a city fell from the sky and "divine emissaries" tried to subjugate their species. Unbeknownst to the Sauvax, the wrecked ship remained half-buried in the Bleaks with a Sith artifact inside: the Bracers of Najus, which could be used to increase the power of a darksider.
Years later, Humans from the Core Worlds identified Leritor as a potential colony where they could live in peace as farmers in the fertile inland plains. Their survey team noticed the Sauvax and met with representatives of the main kuuvan to forge a formal Settlement Pact that decreed that the Humans and their machinery could not come within 100 kilometers of the coastline. The Sauvax, on the other hand, could visit the Human-inhabited lands for commerce and cultural interchange as they pleased. The Human settlers agreed to provide this wide area to the Sauvax in exchange for a peace treaty.
The Humans then used massive tracked vehicles known as combine-reapers to farm the prairies, avoiding the coastal areas. During the following years, Sauvax envoys contacted roaming combine-reapers/ The Settlement Pact was respected, and no violence erupted between the two peoples.
The quest for the Bracers
Centuries after Leritor's previous inhabitation by the Sith, the planet was secretly visited by a Sith adept and scholar named Profex Rynalla. She had discovered the location of the missing Bracers of Najus and flown to Leritor with a bulk freighter, two PTR-3 Vedette snubfighters, and two dozen Klatooinian soldiers. She found the semi-buried Sith starship in the Bleaks near a cliff bank and assembled a camp there using prefabricated buildings. She understood that she would need more labor to dig up the wreck and search inside it, and so decided to enslave the locals.
Rynalla's forces attacked a nearby combine-reaper, the Nellist, using laser weapons from her ships. After stopping the harvester, the Nellist was blasted open from the inside. Rynalla's forces kidnapped the healthier farmers to use them as miners, and killed the older and weaker settlers using the traditional gruush weapon of the Sauvax. Although the Sauvax did not have any weaponry that could damage the hull of a combine-reaper, the gruush Rynalla left behind were enough to cast aspersions on the native species.
Similarly, Rynalla's minions raided a kuuvan wielding blasters. The Klatooinians shot from their ships, ravaging the huts, and then fell upon and captured the most able-bodied individuals. As Rynalla's presence in Leritor was a well-kept secret, no one thought to blame a third party for the attacks, even though the Klatooinians left behind some incriminating clues—namely, a young female Sauvax who witnessed the events and hid in a shelter, fearing the return of the plunderers.
The Sauvax prisoners joined their Human counterparts at Rynalla's excavation site. Working in line, they dug minerals and dust from the Sith vehicle, placing the waste in a heap near the perimeter of the camp and throwing the dirt into a nearby stream. The Sauvax captives, being amphibious, were chosen to work in the deepest corridors of the ship, which were submerged. Five armed Klatooinians kept a constant watch on these fifty workers.
The laborers were sent to sleep in caves in the lowest part of a cliff, so that they could not easily dig a tunnel to escape; at the same time, they remained under the constant searchlight of Rynalla's watchtowers. Every two days, the miners, who did not know exactly what they were looking for, were evicted from the ship so that the Klatooinians could search for any sign of escape while Rynalla was looking for the Bracers.
Rynalla and the Klatooinians believed that they were well hidden, so they were more worried about escaping prisoners than about incoming intruders. As such, Rynalla organized a second camp near the edge of the Bleaks, where two soldiers stood guard. Three Humans and two Sauvax indeed tried to escape, but they were detained, tortured, and executed. Rynalla's constant activities, including the river pollution and increasing noise, were detected by a Sauvax hunter, a Sauvax farmer, and a Sauvax child, but none of them deduced the cause.
A different Sauvax kuuvan who had contact with the enslaved Sauvax mistakenly concluded that the Human settlers had performed the assault with the intent of exterminating the whole Sauvax species. At the same time, the Human settlers were wondering why the Sauvax had attacked the Nellist unprovoked, as the Nellist had not broken the Settlement Pact.
A crowd of Sauvax warriors from the offended kuuvan, led by their tevelor, surrounded the first combine-reaper they could find, the Gevion, and demanded an explanation. While the Sauvax did not attack, they prevented the Gevion from harvesting. The captain of the Gevion, in turn, had to avoid injuring the Sauvax with the reaper at pain of sparking a war—which was Rynalla's secret intention. The Gevion captain was too scared of the threatening army to send an envoy to parlay.
The Gevion sent a distress call that was answered by some offworlders passing by the planet. The newcomers first offered to mediate, then to investigate the situation. Eventually, they discovered Rynalla's plot and stopped her, although not before she could recover the Bracers of Najus. This ended the attacks and restored the peace to the planet.
Nevertheless, another kuuvan at the south of the continent remained unconvinced, choosing to believe that all the trouble had been secretly managed by the Human settlers in an attempt to harm the species. The kuuvan wanted to use their own complaint to pressure one of the offworld factions into a new commercial deal and to obtain access to technology that could make them economically or militarly stronger than the other kuuvan.
Sauvax in the galaxy
Sauvax were seen almost exclusively on their native planet, Leritor. They were commonly seen as citizens of a frontier region, even though they were in the Mid Rim. Nevertheless, certain Sauvax individuals felt an urge to explore different lands beyond that of their ancestors. A few Sauvax learned to pilot starships and handle blaster weapons. There were, however, no reports of Sauvax armies outside Leritor. Similarly, there were no reports of Force-using Sauvax. In 43 ABY, a Sauvax was present on the planet Taris, where she participated in Sok Brok's Fiftieth Annual Pet Show, held at Molpol's Traveling Circus. The Sauvax was showing her pet, a livestock creature used for its meat; nevertheless, from the stands, the Human smuggler Han Solo suspected the Sauvax would have tasted better to eat than the creature she was showing.
Behind the scenes
- "It looks like Sandpeople did this, all right. Look, here are Gaffi sticks, Bantha tracks. It's just…I never heard of them hitting anything this big before."
"They didn't. But we are meant to think they did. These tracks are side by side. Sandpeople always ride single file to hide their numbers."
"These are the same Jawas that sold us Artoo and Threepio."
"And these blast points, too accurate for Sandpeople. Only Imperial stormtroopers are so precise."
- ―Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, in a situation similar to the one in Standoff on Leritor
The Sauvax first appeared in the roleplaying adventure Standoff on Leritor, written by Peter Schweighofer and illustrated by Mikael Noguchi. The article was published in Star Wars Gamer #10, the last issue of the magazine, in 2002. The Sauvax were later included in the role-playing supplement Ultimate Alien Anthology in 2003, including a new illustration of a Sauvax by Raven Mimura. Their name was mentioned in the non-canonical comic book Tag & Bink: Revenge of the Clone Menace in 2006.
Ultimate Alien Anthology suggests that Rynalla was defeated during the events of the adventure "Standoff in Leritor," so this article makes the same assumption. Nonetheless, players of that scenario may take several different paths to reach that conclusion. For instance, they may choose to visit a kuuvan, becoming the first offworlders to do so with permission, and they may decide to recruit a Sauvax and/or a Human settler to accompany them. The adventure denies Rynalla the chance to escape with the Bracers, although it poses the possibility that she may have allies or rivals who later follow her trail to Leritor.
The non-canonical comic story Tag & Bink: Revenge of the Clone Menace mentions Sauvax as part of the cuisine on Coruscant. In the story, set in 22 BBY, the bounty hunter Jango Fett is said to enjoy Sauvax meat unless it is served scorched. Fett eats a dish of Sauvax while on a date with Kannen Doom.
- Standoff on Leritor"—Star Wars Gamer 10 (First appearance) "
- Tag & Bink: Revenge of the Clone Menace (Non-canonical appearance)
- Millennium Falcon
- Millennium Falcon audiobook
Notes and references
- Ultimate Alien Anthology
- Standoff on Leritor"—Star Wars Gamer 10 "
- The statistics for Sauvax water movement match those of the Quarren and Mon Calamarians, as provided in the Star Wars Roleplaying Game Revised Core Rulebook.
- Ultimate Alien Anthology gives the Sauvax a bonus to their Swim skill, one that is commonly shared by amphibious species.
- Following Ultimate Alien Anthology, the Sauvax (unlike, for example, Ewoks, Gamorreans, or Jawas) are not hindered with the trait "primitive", which penalizes the use of technology in the game.
- Millennium Falcon, chapter 18.
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
- Tag & Bink: Revenge of the Clone Menace