Star Wars Tattoos Part II
As we continue to follow the little footsteps, adorable ears and the floating crib of Baby Yoda around the galaxy, we also continue our foray into the world of all things Star Wars and tattoos. The Mandalorian and the Child may be quite new additions to the Lucas’ (now Disney’s) universe, but ink has had a long-standing part to play both with fans and in the world itself.
Tattoos in the Lucas-verse
There are tattoos in the actual Star Wars universe. Sometimes they signify belonging to a certain group, ownership, or an expression of individuality where otherwise there would be none. For instance, slaves traded on the Outer Rim planet known as Orvax IV were branded with ink, communicating their station. Much like prisoners were given markings in many places in our world. During the Clone Wars, clone troopers that came under the control of the Jedi were encouraged to get individual tattoos to set them apart.
Darth Maul and other characters’ tattoos
Notable characters also have tattoos. Some of the most widely recognisable are those of Darth Maul, the Force-sensitive Dathomirian Zabrak with red skin and facial and full-body tattoos. The tattoos are common to the warriors of the Zabrak, often earned during combat, and worn by both women (Nightsisters) and men (Nightbrothers).
The tattoos could reportedly be applied by using venomous slugs, different forms of needles, acids, chemicals, lasers, or Force lightning. Darth Maul’s were applied by his master, Darth Sidious (also known as the Emperor), with a myriad of needles while he hung from the ceiling in chains. Something akin to acupuncture, they were also supposed to enhance Maul’s energy channels to make him more powerful. However, his facial tattoos were applied by none other than himself, with lasers. Now that takes some willpower.
Many other cultures and creeds also sported body art, either to signify community or to set them apart. Everyone’s nightmare date, the slug-like Jabba the Hutt, carried a forearm tattoo that told of his affiliation with the Desilijic clan. They were notorious for being gangsters and slavers, and others under his control also wore it. It was not unlike tattoos in our earthly realms where members of gangs or organised crime ink their loyalty onto their skin.
Meanwhile, even Mandalorians have been described with tattoos such as runes on their knuckles and elaborate blue lacework pieces on their hands, although these seem to have been purely decorative.
The Mythosaur skull of the Mandalorians
One of the most popular tattoos to come out of Disney+’s new Star Wars show is a skull-like blackwork piece. The source of the symbol known as ‘Ky’rbes’ was previously a topic of much contention. However, in the Mandalorian, which is considered canon, Kuiil notes that the ancestors of ‘Mando’ rode the great Mythosaur. While there is no evidence to that specific fact in legend, the side that was propagating that the symbol, often found on Mandalorian armour and now many a human arm, is that of a Mythosaur skull, seems to have won.