A Blemmye in Star Wars

Just a quick update on my recent post on Blemmyes. I realized not long ago that there is a Blemmye in Star Wars: Sy Snootles.

For those who aren’t up on all the Star Wars trivia that is never spelled out on the screen, Sy Snootles is the name of the lead singer of the Max Rebo Band, which performs in Jabba the Hutt’s palace in Return of the Jedi.

According to Wookieepedia, Sy Snottles is a member of the Pa’lowick species. Pa’lowicks are “long-limbed reptilian humanoids that had spotted skin, eyes that protruded from the tops of their heads, and trunk-like mouths.” The trunk-like mouth is obviously not part of the standard description of Blemmyes, but it it is certainly the case that Sy Snootles does not possess a head—at least, not one that is easily distinguished from her body. Rather, her eyes and mouth protrude from the top of her thorax.

Is the Star Wars Universe Mostly Illiterate?

I don’t know, but this article by Ryan Britt made me think.

Not once in any Star Wars movie does someone pick up a book or newspaper, magazine, literary journal, or chapbook handmade by an aspiring Jawa poet. If something is read by someone in Star Wars, it’s almost certainly off of a screen (and even then, maybe being translated by a droid), and it’s definitely not for entertainment purposes. As early as the 1990s-era expanded Star Wars books and comic books, we’re introduced to ancient Jedi “texts” called holocrons, which are basically talking holographic video recordings. Just how long has the Star Wars universe been reliant on fancy technology to transfer information as opposed to the written word? Is it possible that a good number of people in Star Wars are completely illiterate?

He concludes,

Obi-Wan may have put a lightsaber in Luke’s hand, but really he and Qui-Gon should have been going around teaching people on poor planets to read years and years prior. After all, hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good book in your hands.

Indeed.