You’d think that if giant lizards being ridden by soldiers were going to appear in a film for less than a minute, one toy based on them would be enough. Well, you’d be wrong. In 1977’s Star Wars, special Stormtroopers called (wrap yer head around this) Sandtroopers are seen riding huge reptiles that are called Dewbacks. Despite their short time on-screen, a toy version soon followed. While those of us who played with ‘em couldn’t imagine anything cooler, even we thought it a little odd that in order for a Stormptrooper (yeah, just a plain old Stormtrooper – pfffft!) to ride it, you had to stick his legs thru a trap door in the lizard’s back. Uh, okay.
When George Lucas re-released the film with additional *shudder* computer-enhanced footage, there was more to be seen of the Dewbacks – more than just one now appeared in the scene, and rather than a bobbing head of what had been a giant puppet (see awesome photo below), we were “treated” to a full view of a walking Dewback. Judge for yourself in the clip below how well that went. Regardless, new footage equals new toy. This one wasn’t even green! What the heck kinda lizard is that?! Well, at least we got a ‘trooper who could spread his legs and sit astride the thing properly. Finally, with the release of Episode I: the Phantom Menace in 1999, a herd of Dewbacks appear in the background. THE BACKGROUND! No machine has been invented that could measure how short their onscreen time was. Doesn’t matter. New toy. Even tho’ no Sandtroopers were riding them this time, this was now considered the official version, so Kermit gets a new look. The upside is that this third version’s scale is more accurate and the rider looks great.
Now please… NO. MORE. DEWBACKS. My collection can’t handle it.

Part of the face-stuffing fest that was this past holiday weekend included a heaping helping of vegan nachos and cheez. What hard-working Sandtrooper hasn’t ended a day of shoveling
Dewback-doo with a pile of this awesomeness? Well, we found a new spin to put on it. The first layer on top of the nachos is a mixture using TVP (textured vegetable protein – Whole Foods sells Bob’s Red Mill brand, our fav, way better than Morningstar crumblers), fried onions, garlic salt, and crushed tomatoes. Rehydrate the TVP according to the package instructions, chop up an onion and throw the other goodies in there. Then spread that over the chips, adding whatever else you desire. We went with Daiya mozzarella style shreds, salsa, green chiles, and refried beans before tossing it in the oven to bake. Top it off with some Tofutti sour cream.
Dewbacks are a major asset in the desert because they can go days without water. But they can’t go more than 2 hours without sitting down to a pile of Mama Johnston’s son’s vegan nachos!