Dewbacks are non-sentient creatures.
Found on the desert planet Tatooine, dewbacks are large lizards used by the locals as mounts and beasts of burden. These flat-toothed creatures can be found hauling goods for merchants or moisture farmers, pulling Podracer parts to starting grids, or serving stormtrooper patrols assigned to the planet's Imperial garrison. A dewback is able to withstand the heat and dust that often leads to mechanical breakdown in modern high-tech conveyances.
From the Expanded Universe
During the blistering Tatooine day, the well-suited dewback forages for shrubs and small desert animals, like young womp rats and scurriers. When the suns set and the temperatures plunge, dewbacks become lethargic and very rarely move about.
Dewbacks normally are solitary animals that gather once a year in the Jundland Wastes to mate. As mating season closes, females lay many eggs which hatch six months later. Baby dewbacks must fend for themselves and many do not survive. This ritual is so ingrained in their nature that even domesticated dewbacks cannot breed in captivity.
Most dewbacks have green scales, but there is variation in their colors. Some dewbacks are gray, brown, red and a few rare ones are even blue. Mottled areas and camouflage patterns are common.
Aside from natural predators such as full-grown womp rats and krayt dragons, the dewback must also fear the Tusken Raiders. Sand People use dewback hides for their boots, belts, pouches, tents and other survival gear.
Behind the Scenes
For the original filming of Star Wars, the dewback was a mechanized lifesize puppet featuring limited articulation. On location in Tunisia, the dewback would not work properly, so it was tucked away in the background of shots rather than seen close-up. A single dewback could be seen during the Imperial search for the droids. The same puppet was placed outside the Mos Eisley Cantina.
When George Lucas revisited A New Hope for 1997's Special Edition release, one of the first changes he had planned was making the dewback considerably more mobile. Computer-generated dewbacks filled the frame, complete with CG stormtrooper riders.
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