• Mattie Stu

Tattoos of the Star Wars Galaxy

Covering parts of the body of sentient lifeforms across the galaxy, tattoos not only came in many shapes and forms, but they also represented the culture of various species. For example, the thin monochrome lines on the skin of Zabraks resembled cracked soil – perhaps as a reminder of their close connection to the environment – whilst important life events and nods to their lineages were also represented by such facial patterns. Likewise, males of one of their subspecies – the Dathomirians – used tattoos to enhance and embellish their natural striping, as well as represent their tribal heritage. As for their female counterparts – well, they generally donned more subtle tattoos so to contrast their pale complexions.

Maintaining an aristocratic society and sophisticated culture, the blue-skinned Pantorans combined tailored clothing and elegant jewellery with golden facial tattoos. Whether it be simple symbology or ancient Pantoran text, each marking reflected their status. Similarly, the Huttese showed off their many gang and syndicate allegiances through tattoos, all thanks to a culture entrenched in criminality. To literally illustrate this, Ziro the Hutt made his position as the leader of the Black Sun abundantly clear. On the contrary, with a flourishing spiritual culture, Mirialans decorated their yellow and green skin tones with geometric patterns to symbolise personal achievements, skills gained and tasks completed. Both Luminara Unduli and her Jedi Padawan, Barriss Offee, sported such decorative tattoos on their faces and hands.

Of course, not every single tattoo represented one's lineage or affiliation. Clone troopers of the Grand Army of the Republic, for example, whilst genetically identical, all possessed creative thought. This afforded them unique personalities, custom-marked armour, differing haircuts, and – most importantly – characteristic tattoos. Some were more subtle than others. The likes of Jesse, Dogma and Hardcase all embraced enormous facial tattoos when compared to those belonging to Fives, Hevy and Jek. But perhaps the greatest tattoo of them all, at least for boosting morale, was that of Kix's. In Aurebesh, the text on the side of his scalp stated: “A good droid is a dead one”.

Whether it was intended to represent someone's background or personality, either way you look at it, tattoos were merely an extension of one's self. Now I know many of you watching this right will old enough to have your very own, and given the subject matter, there's a good chance you have some kind of Star Wars ink. So, if that's the case, I'd be really interested to hear all about it in the comments below. Better yet, my Twitter is always open to any cool images you guys feel like sharing.

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