May 4, 2015
No, we don’t mean Chewy -although we wholeheartedly agree that he got ripped off at the Ceremony and should have absolutely gotten a medal. That is just one example of type of Wookie discrimination that seems rampant in the Federation.
But today we focus on that hardy, resilient breed of galactic e-waste recyclers, the Jawas of Tatooine.
Though often unthanked, largely unacknowledged, often ignored by the Human inhabitants of the desert planet, the Jawas as an wonderful example of adaptation, ingenuity and Earth-Friendly Tatooine-friendly enterprise.
Long before assimilation by the Federation, Tatooine was once a pristine island of desert solitude. One could get lost in its sunsets, its rock formations and its wide expanses (provided of course one did not fall prey to Tusken Raiders).
With the advent of “civilization,” this quiet, noble planet became a backwater waystation for travelers and traders. Tatooine’s mining efforts did not result in major wealth, but did bring enough population to start a local colony.
Centuries of neglect and carelessness left tatooine riddled with the husks of broken spaceships, all sorts of broken gadgets, and millions of half-disassembled droids.
Originally a trader people, the Jawas transitioned briefly ito miners to provide cheap labor for the expanding Tatooine colony. Their excellent vision and spelunking disposition made them naturals for this type of work. Sadly, the mining efforts did not yield great results, and most mines were eventually abandoned. The Jawas made many of these their new homes – but they were in need of a new occupation.
As it turned out, the answer was right in front of them. The mines were chockful of decommissioned droids – forgotten and unattended. The Jawas created their first electronic waste recycling centers.
They soon discovered they were REALLY good at it.
Fast forward a few centuries later, and we found in the first Star Wars movie that the Jawas had a full-scale operation, with mobile e-waste recycling stations, each equipped with droid remanufacturing facilities.
Thanks to these ingenious little entrepreneurs, the once-polluted planet began its slow journey back to a more sustainable ecology. Sure, it’ll never be a hot tourist destination. But next time you’re in Tatooine, we invite you to rent a landspeeder and take a long ride across the desert – you’ll go miles and miles without seeing one single broken-down droid.
And you’ll have the Jawas to thank for it.