A lumbering, mechanical hulk used by Tatooines Jawas to travel the desert wastes in search of lost droids, crashed starships, and other treasures. Sandcrawlers can house several hundred Jawas, who live in a maze of discarded machinery, minimally functional droids, and other assorted junk. Originally brought to Tatooine by early miners, the sandcrawlers are outdated and require continual repairs, but they provide Jawas with protection from sandstorms, the desert heat, krayt dragons, Tusken Raiders, and other dangers.
The sandcrawlers transported to Tatooine by the first settlers, and now used almost exclusively by Jawas, utilize large steam-powered nuclear fusion engines and giant treads to move across the Dune Sea and other wastelands on the desert world. Initially intended to haul ore, the sandcrawlers were abandoned when the mining venture on Tatooine completely failed. Almost immediately, the scavenging Jawas took control of the sandcrawlers, modifying and repairing the vehicles to suit their needs.
Within each sandcrawler, the Jawas have created a vast labyrinth of alcoves, where the small humanoids eat, sleep, and store machinery, spare parts, and captured droids. Almost everything Jawas find in the desert can be loaded into the sandcrawler through an extendable magnetic suction tube originally used for loading ore, or via a retractable front-loading hatch.
The vehicle's bridge, located on top of the sandcrawler, was surrounded by a series of tiny windows. The clan's chief could often be found in this command center, which provided an excellent view of the desert. Scouts also kept watch for glints of metal that might indicate hidden treasure, aided by scanners and metal detectors. Only a small amount of the sandcrawler was used for the crew, and Jawas often slept six in a cabin the size of an average humanoid's closet.
If needed, an entire Jawa clan, numbering in the hundreds of individuals, can live inside a sandcrawler. Their custom, though, is for half the clan to reside within rock-walled fortresses out in the desert while the other half forms the scavenging sandcrawler crew.
Because the sandcrawler possesses a dense, steel hull and is virtually unstoppable, the Jawas are completely protected from their natural enemies, the Tusken Raiders, and other dangers. However, Imperial stormtroopers have shown that the sandcrawlers cannot withstand precise laser blasts from handheld weapons.
Aside from the Jawas themselves, no one is certain exactly how many sandcrawlers still remain in working order. The vehicles are rarely seen traveling together, although hey do convene once a year at a secret location in the Dune Sea. At this gathering, the Jawas open their sandcrawlers and trade their finds with one another.