The original 1977 Star Wars created a world that we were just thrown into. The details added to this world made it come to life with mind-blowing settings and environments. It was a lived-in world fully populated by differing civilizations and cultures. Being a sci-fi film, of course, there would be alien creatures involved. There was no explanation to what these creatures were. It was assumed and accepted that they just belonged in this world. The Dewback is one such creature.
These reptile-like creatures were first seen in the distance as a mount for Imperial Sandtroopers as they searched the Tatooine wastelands for R2 and 3PO. There is no explanation to what they were or what they were called. It was just accepted that Imperial Troops rode these beasts. It was seemingly throw-away creatures in Star Wars, like the Dewback, that sparked people’s imaginations. We wanted to know more about these unnamed beasts. We imagined whole stories about their background and why they were on Tatooine and why the Imperials used them.
Now we have official zoological descriptions, official stories and pages and pages of fan fiction regarding Dewbacks. But before all that, it wasn’t until Kenner released a toy of the creature that it finally received a name, “Patrol Dewback”. Still, that’s all we got, a name. No explanation. No back story. But it didn’t matter. It was still a cool background creature that fleshed out the Star Wars universe. It made us feel like we were part of a fully realized, immersive world. A world we love to come back to again and again… Even 40 years later.