Maker defend the droid that has wandered away from its masters on the desert world of Tatooine. Of the many dangers that travel the dunes and crags of the arid world, few can send a droid's behavioral matrix circuitry into a tizzy like the Jawas.
They are hardly monstrous, appearing as meter-tall humanoids completely hidden behind rough, hand-woven robes. Their faces are concealed within the dark folds of a cowl, from which peer their sickly glowing yellow eyes.
The Jawas are a scavenger species. They comb the deserts of Tatooine in search of discarded scrap and wayward mechanicals. Using their cobbled-together weaponry, they can incapacitate droids and drag them to their treaded fortress-homes, immense sand-scarred vehicles known as sandcrawlers.
Jawas form an important link in the circle of trade that connects the distant Tatooine communities. They sell their hastily refurbished junk to moisture farmers who are hard-pressed to find a better selection elsewhere. For their shoddy work and vagabond ways, they have a well-earned reputation as hucksters out to hoodwink the outlander colonists on Tatooine.
Few have ever seen the ugliness that lies beneath a Jawa mask. Jawa faces are obscured by a cloud of insects that gather in the recesses of their hoods, attracted by their foul odors. Their particular stench is a combination of poor hygiene and a mysterious solution into which Jawas dip their clothes to retain moisture. To Jawas, the odor is packed with information about each other, such as clan lineage, health, emotional state, even the last meal eaten.
Jawas have evolved several important survival traits, such as exceptional night vision, a strong immune system, and an efficient digestive system that draws all the needed nutrients from the Jawa staple diet of hubba gourd.
Jawas have long been scavengers, as the Dune Sea provides a bounty of refuse. It is littered with derelict spacecraft wreckage from millennia of star travel. The Jawas have built homes and tools from these ancient scraps, and travel the dunes in sandcrawlers, cast-off mobile smelters from failed outlander mining attempts.
Jawas live in familial clans, each with distinct territories for living and scavenging. While half the clan is crammed into the warren-like compartments of a sandcrawler, scouring the deserts for usable salvage, the other half resides within a thick-walled fortress. These desert homes were built to protect the Jawas from Sand People or roaming krayt dragons.
A chief leads each clan. Jawa leadership is usually conferred upon males -- females are viewed upon as second-class citizens at best, property at worst. The few females afforded respect in Jawa culture are the shamans. A Jawa becomes a shaman when she is overcome by an illness accompanied by a hallucinatory vision. Depending on the outcome of the vision, and indeed if the Jawa survives the illness, she is usually decreed a shaman, and her words are given the respect that such wisdom dictates.
Once a year, the scattered Jawa clans gather for the great swap meet. Here, numerous sandcrawlers converge and the Jawas meet to exchange salvage. Marriages are arranged and Jawa children and females are exchanged among clans.