In The Force Awakens, Han Solo complains that "some moof milker" put a compressor on the hyperdrive." He said it in a derogatory way.

A moof is an agricultural work animal like a cow and is indigenous to the planet Cerea, whose inhabitants reject technology and live in harmony with nature. Han seems to be saying that some uneducated rural farmer made ignorant modifications to the Millennium Falcon.

But moofs and Cereans are rather obscure references. What is Han's personal experience with moofs or Cereans that would lead him to mention them so casually? Does he interact with them in another movie or book?


I found this link to starwars.fandom.com, which states that Han Solo interacted with Cereans in a novella published in 2009. The link shows that there IS an answer to this question. I was just hoping for something more artistic than one link. The quote was a memorable moment in the movie. Context on it would enrich this site.

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    Couldn't it just be a common expression? Like, in our galaxy, lots of people use words like "horseshit" and "bullshit" and "chickenshit" in a way that is not necessarily based on personal experience with farm animals. – user14111 Jan 1 '16 at 7:03
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    They sound like the Amish of the galaxy. So I'd gather Han knows about Cerea and stereotypes about them in much the same way that Americans know about the Amish and stereotypes about them. – zibadawa timmy Jan 1 '16 at 7:05
  • @user14111 Almost all earthlings live within 100 miles of a farm and have farmer ancestors who dealt with horse shit. But how many of us refer to mongooses or armadillos or other obscure animals from distant lands? – CodeMed Jan 1 '16 at 7:09
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    @codemef moongooses: anyone who read Kipling ;) – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 1 '16 at 8:18
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    Despite the history in expanded universe or marvel comics, I have to say I've seen the Force Awakens 5 times & Han pretty clearly says 'Boof Milker' Now this could be another mess up of a line, like him saying 'Adios Sopito' in the beginning of Raiders (characters name is Satipo) but I really don't think he says Moof onscreen – user62142 Feb 17 '16 at 14:26

Given this, the derision of Luke as a farm boy, the nerf herder insult, the Galaxy seems to take a dim view of agricultural producers and those in similar professions as perhaps well intentioned but ignorant to the extreme. Thus it becomes an insult to refer to someone in such a fashion.

"Moron" among others was once a specific description for someone with an IQ between a particular low range (I am on my phone and am currently unable to look up the exact numbers but I think it was between 75-100). If someone is complaining about "that moron who fixed my car" it doesn't mean that they have a psychiatric background or one in a non-profit organization treating the differently abled. It just means they are using a terms in derision as an insult.

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  • Han Solo met ay least one Cerean in the novella linked from my OP. He may also have come across moofs in his smuggling, given that we see him smuggling raptars in TFA. But you might also be right. So thank you and +1 for taking the time to reply. – CodeMed Jan 2 '16 at 2:41
  • First of all, I'd like to point out that perhaps Han is the Master of All Galactic Farming, but if so, he's not the only one. Princess/General Leia Organa did some farming as well, apparently, between Princessing, Senatoring and Rebelling:

    "Why, you stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf-herder!"
    "Who's scruffy-looking?"

    In other words, the insults like this very clearly seem to be absolutely a normal part of Galactic Basic slang, known to anyone from random outlaw scoundrel to a Princess and a Senator.

  • Second of all, from Star Wars: Prelude to Rebellion #4/#5 (part of Vow of Justice Ark), we know they are native to Ki-Adi-Mundi's Cerea (they aren't named in the comic, but the image in your question and Wookieepedia page comes from the comic, we see a warlord riding one in #4, and a farmer plowing using a couple in #5. Don't think anyone milks any, in any canon I'm aware of before Episode VII, but clearly they are patterened on Earth bovines, so that makes a certain amount of sense, even if only in a "ducks" context.

  • They are actually named in Star Wars: Force and Destiny Core Rulebook, on page 368 which describes Cerea in detail and mentions that it's a largely agricultural planet and describes farmers purchasing "Plowing Moofs" - as witnessed in the picture.

    One major feature of the planet is its refusal to use technology (think American Pennsylvania Dutch, aka Amish):

    Cerea is a small, backwater agriworld and home to the cone-headed Cereans. Its endless hills and forests provide ample farmland for all Cereans, who prefer to maintain a simple, rustic existence. Cereans usually build their houses from local materials, and they run their farms without any industrialization. The fact that Cereans have two hearts is well known, and most say the first is for the family, but the second is for Cerea itself. For fear of pollution and industrialization of their verdant homeworld, Cereans have outlawed most technology. However, the policy does not apply to the local Imperial garrison and those in Outsider Citadels, as long as they keep their tech on the premises.

    This local specifics clearly explains why someone who makes a bone-headed technical decision - like installing a compressor on the ignition line - would be called a Moof-Milker.

  • Digging further, Cerea was not a major event place around Han's time (it was nearly destroyed in Clone Wars), and I couldn't find any evidence of Han being there (including no plausible mentions on Cerea's Wookieepedia "appearances" list which is dominated by Old Republic or Clone War timelines).

  • However, on Cerean Wookieepedia page for Legends has this interesting hit in Appearances section: Star Wars Adventures: Han Solo and the Hollow Moon of Khorya

    However, in that comic, the only Cerean I'm aware of is a butler/majordomo/gofer/bookie type for gangster Sollima; and I really don't see Han discussing farming with him at all - Solima is the only one who talks to him, when ordering Chewie to be put into Arena Games.

    enter image description here

    As such, absent evidence of Han knowing any other Cereans that I can discover, I can only conclude that he has about the same knowledge of Moof Milking as both Leia and he have of Nerf Herding - that is, being conversant with Galactic Slang.

    And Han chose that specific expression with great precision, given Cerean anti-technology centiment and backwardness explained above.

  • Please note that this is common in Earth cultures. We have people calling each other "Jackals" or "Cowboys" in pejorative way, despite never having been around a live Jackal, or been on a ranch (or frequently even knowing what it is that an actual cowboy does).

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  • For those not getting the Amish irony - PLEASE click on the answer's very first link. Make sure to put your drink down. Han Solo seems to have intimate first hand experience with cow milking, so I'm half-betting this line was Ford's ad-lib. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 1 '16 at 9:14

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