Ponda Baba, also known by the alias "Sawkee" was an Aqualish pirate and the partner of Cornelius Evazan. He fulfilled the Aqualish stereotype of being an ill-tempered thug.
Ponda Baba became Evazan's partner after rescuing him from the bounty hunter Jodo Kast on Corellia. For a time, he considered betraying Evazan and collecting the sizable bounty being offered. He decided against betraying the Doctor, and they began smuggling spice for Jabba Desilijic Tiure.
One fateful day on Tatooine, Luke Skywalker entered Chalmun's Cantina and sat down at the bar. After Baba, who was apparently drunk, growled a few words at Luke, Dr. Evazan informed Skywalker that his partner, Ponda Baba, did not like him. Despite Luke's efforts to avoid a confrontation, Ponda attacked him. The scuffle was ended when Obi-Wan Kenobi severed Baba's arm with his lightsaber.
Evazan tried to use his medical knowledge to replace Baba's arm, but the surgery was a failure, almost resulting in Baba's death. The two parted ways, with Baba swearing to impart vengeance on his former partner.
Ponda Baba was later wanted by the CorSec for attacking various locations on Corellia's neighboring planet Talus, with the help of his Aqualish gang The Followers of Baba. However, CorSec could not take him in themselves, so they hired a spacer who was successful in capturing Ponda Baba and dispersing the rest of his gang
After a partial reconciliation, they reunited and set up a base in a castle on Ando. Evazan had created a mind-transferring machine, which Baba hoped would give him a new body. Evazan lured an Andoan senator to the castle, then trapped him in his machine. When Baba was in place, Evazan started the machine. Their bodies switched, Ponda Baba had the senator's body, but the senator , now in Baba's body, escaped the machine and chased them to the rooftop. He tried to kill the doctor and Baba with a thermal detonator, but, they jumped off the roof just before the detonator exploded, which killed the senator. Ponda Baba and Evazan swore vengeance on each other, as previously before.