- Kneesaa a Jari Kintaka: "That noise!"
- Wicket W. Warrick: "Beechawawa! Let's get out of here! Yub yub!"
- Paploo: "Skandits!"
- ―A party of Ewok travelers is ambushed by Skandits[src]
Skandits were a species of small, sentient bipeds with furred bodies, gangly limbs, and squat, compact torsos. Although the black fur around their eyes looked like a mask, the rest of the body was a bluish gray. A large group of Skandits lived in the forests of Endor, where they used slingshots, whips, and batons to ambush unsuspecting caravans of Ewoks and other species. Skandits spoke a noisy, chittering language.
In 3 ABY, a group of Skandits ambushed a party of Ewoks from Bright Tree Village, separating them from their wagon of goods, and imprisoning the travelers. That same day, a band of wandering entertainers known as the Travelling Jindas arrived in the Skandits' home and arranged to perform for the masked marauders. When the Skandits discovered that a few Jindas had helped the Ewok prisoners break out, the show came to a close as the Skandits attacked the strangers. Nevertheless, the Jindas and Ewoks were able to escape into the forest.
Biology and appearance
The Skandits were a species of sentient, furry bipeds with squat, pudgy bodies and thin, lanky limbs. Their two legs were wide-set, giving them a bowlegged gait. They had three fingers on each hand, but they had no toes. Each Skandit had a long, bushy tail that narrowed to a pointed tip. With the exception of the fur around the eyes, Skandits were covered in blue-gray fur. This was short on most areas of the body, but it grew longer on the cheeks and the top of the head. Skandits stood about 0.4 to 0.5 meters tall.
Each Skandit had two white eyes under an expressive brow. These contrasted the mask-like band of black fur that grew around each eye and across the back of the head. A long, narrow muzzle jutted out below this mask, ending in a dark, round nose. The snout contained a red tongue and a few sharp teeth, some of which poked outside the mouth even when it was closed. Two pointed ears stood at either side of the head; these sometimes stood erect, although they often flopped over as well.
Society and culture
- "Welcome, Skandits! Welcome to the greatest show this side of Endor. You like nuts? Well, we are nuts!"
- ―Bondo, introducing the Travelling Jindas' stage show
Skandits inhabited the forests of Endor, at least one large band lived in a forest clearing on the moon. They tied brown capes around their necks but otherwise wore no clothing. The species' weaponry included a type of wooden baton with a single, white, round head tied onto one end; this was wielded two-handed in the manner of a spear or thrown as a projectile. Skandits also fought with whips and slingshots. Their diet included nuts.
Members of the species formed raiding parties to ambush caravans of unwary travelers. The Skandits first got into position by hiding in the treetops of their targets' projected path. Then, in one of their species' favorite pursuits, the raiders dropped from their elevated positions with their capes acting as ad hoc gliders. The Skandits initially overwhelmed the surprised target with their sheer numbers. Raiders grappled and bit their victims en masse, keeping the targets isolated from one another. Once their victims surrendered, the brigands marched them back to the Skandit settlement and interned them in cells dug out of the earth within the root system of trees in the area. These prisons were secured with carved, oval-shaped wooden doors on hinges, which allowed the prisoners to see out through vertical wooden cross bars. Despite their fierce demeanor, Skandits could be frightened; they tended to freeze up in such conditions.
Although they had a propensity to attack non-Skandits, communities of the species did receive certain visitors peaceably. They allowed a troop of itinerant entertainers called the Travelling Jindas to perform for them in 3 ABY, for example. The Skandits were noisy creatures, and they spoke a fast-paced language of chitters, growls, and screeches in their high-pitched voices.
- "What are you doing? You led us right on stage!"
"It's OK. The Skandits are afraid of us. See? Let's have some fun!"
- ―Kneesaa and Wicket try to escape from a Skandit prison
Raids and aggression earned the Skandits of Endor a negative reputation among the Ewoks of the Forest Moon. One group of Skandits eventually took up residence in a forest clearing, where they maintained dugout prisons beneath giant trees.
In 3 ABY, members of this Skandit band detected a bordok-pulled Ewok cart being driven through the forest. The Skandits took their positions in the trees above the cart's path and waited for it to come within striking distance. When it did, they dropped from their perches using their capes to glide onto the cart and its Ewok riders. They overwhelmed their targets and captured them, scaring the Ewoks' bordok off in the process. The Skandits marched their quarries back to the Skandit's hideout in the woods. The captured Ewoks—Latara, Paploo, Teebo, Kneesaa a Jari Kintaka, and the Warrick brothers Weechee, Widdle, and Wicket—were thrown into one of the Skandits' root-cellar prisons.
Soon thereafter, a group of wandering Jindas arrived. Their leader, Bondo, announced the group as the Travelling Jindas and asked to perform for "the Skanditos" that evening in exchange for food and lodging. The Skandits agreed. During the performance, the assembled Skandits watched transfixed, leaving only a pair of guards to supervise the Ewok prisoners. Little did the forest raiders know that the Jindas had met the young Ewok named Latara before and even considered her a member of their tribe. With the show in progress, a female Jinda dancer and a magician named Trebla charmed the guards, causing them to fall asleep. The Jindas then smuggled the Ewoks past the Skandit audience in a long costume designed to be worn by several beings at once. This monstrosity mounted the stage, appearing to the audience as a frightening sight. The Ewok Wicket W. Warrick took pleasure in the fear he could strike in his former captors, but his antics made the costume fall apart and revealed the Ewoks hiding inside it. The Skandits became enraged and pursued the escapees, but the Jindas and Ewoks loaded their things quickly and fled into the forest.
Behind the scenes
Writer Bob Carrau created the Skandits for "The Curse of the Jindas," an episode of the Nelvana Ewoks animated cartoon. Their only appearance, the episode originally aired on October 19, 1985. In the cartoon, the high-pitched, chittering voices of the Skandits are vocalized by an uncredited voice artist.
Several sources describe the Skandits as "squirrellike." The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia does not capitalize the species' name, but this is inconsistent with other sources. Beginning with A Guide to the Star Wars Universe, Second Edition, Revised and Expanded, sources describe the Skandits' preferred weaponry as whips and slingshots. However, in "The Curse of the Jindas", no such armaments appear, and the Skandits use only spear-like batons.
- A Guide to the Star Wars Universe, Second Edition, Revised and Expanded
- Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
Notes and references
- Ewoks—"The Curse of the Jindas"
- The Skandits stand half the height of the Ewoks Kneesaa, Latara, Teebo, and Wicket W. Warrick.
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. III, p. 157
- A Guide to the Star Wars Universe, Second Edition, Revised and Expanded, p. 400
- "Star Wars Publications Timeline"—Star Wars Insider 23 dates the events of the Ewoks television series, which include the appearance of Skandits in "The Curse of the Jindas," to three years after the events of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, which corresponds to 3 ABY, according to The New Essential Chronology.
- Ewoks—"The Travelling Jindas"
- "A Star Wars CELibration"—Star Wars Insider 27, p. 66
- Star Wars Encyclopedia, p. 269