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Max and the Waiting Ones

The Lost Tribe, also called "the waiting ones," are a tribe comprised of young adults, teens, tweens, and toddlers who survive on their own in a desert oasis. They appear in Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.


The concept of The Lost Tribe of children was originally Terry Hayes' idea. It was conceived for Mad Max 2, but due to budget constrains, a whole tribe of children was reduced to only one child - The Feral Kid.[1]

We were asked to come up with a story on how we thought we became The Feral Kid out in this Wasteland and, you know, my short story was we were flying with my parents in a plane. Landed, no fuel, dad went to find fuel (and) never came back. Mum went to find dad, never came back and I was left to fend for myself and ... well that's how it all began!

– Emil Minty "The Feral Kid"

That same idea was pivotal for the creation of Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. George Miller and Terry Hayes discussed the concept of mythology and how lack of knowledge leads to belief, which in turn drives primitive societies.[2]

Terry was saying if you had a tribe of kids after the apocalypse who had only a few fragments of knowledge, [they would construct] a mythological belief as to what was before.

– George Miller

Eventually the idea of Max stumbling upon such misguided belief ridden tribe formed into a central part of the next installment of Mad Max. Early on the children were to be found near a derelict school bus, but that was replaced with a crashed 747 - an idea almost identical to the one written for The Feral Kid.


The Lost Tribe is lead by an alpha male -- Slake -- and an alpha female -- Savannah Nix. Years prior to the arrival of Max, the parents and other adults from the plane crash, left in search of civilisation, but none ever returned. When Max appears, they believe him to be the mythologised Captain Walker, finally returning, as they were told he would. Under Slake and Savannah, the tribe is a cohesive group of hunters, gatherers, guardians, and little ones. However, once Max hears their story and reveals to the tribe that he isn't Captain Walker a division in the tribe emerges. It then splinters into two distinct groups: those lead by Savannah, who want to leave and find civilisation, which they call Tomorrow-Morrow Land, and those who want to stay with Max in the oasis.

The Tribe Who Left

Savannah Nix, obviously stubborn and hard-headed, leads her group into the wastelands despite what Max tells her. Her group consisted of:

  • Mr. Skyfish
  • Gekko
  • Scrooloose
  • Anna Goanna
  • Eddie
  • Cusha, the pregnant girl
  • Tubba Tintye
  • Finn McCoo

When Max finds them in the desert they are being swallowed alive by the shifting sands. In fact one of Savannah's tribe, Finn McCoo, is lost, before Max can rescue them.

From this point on their best hope of survival is to return to the rotting cesspool that is Bartertown. Max leads the little tribe to the town where the kids sneak in through waste tunnels. Therein they set Master free, because of his intellect they feel he could help re-build civilization. They also set Pig Killer free and together the gang commandeers a train and escapes Bartertown.

Pursued by Aunty Entity, Ironbar, and the rest of her minions, Max and the kid-tribe fend off the barbarians long enough to meet up with Jedediah, jalopy pilot and man who robbed Max in the beginning. Max essentially intimidates Jedediah into piloting them out of harm's way. However, the plane is over-loaded and must jettison items of junk in order to take off . . . including Max, who actually sacrifices himself in order for the plane to take off.

Jedediah then flies Master and the younglings into the heart of a devastated Sydney, where, presumably, the tribe re-builds society.

Tribal Life

Like many survivors of the Pox-eclipse, the Lost Tribe have scavenged bits and pieces from the old life. They wear rags as clothing, enhanced by natural materials such as furs. Many of their tools and weapons are made of spears and sticks. Some peculiar examples of their salvaging include a Bugs Bunny doll and a vinyl record containing French lessons, which they believe is some kind of communication device.

An important part of tribal life is that of The Tell, a story-circle activity that attempts to explain the recent past and their destined future -- notably the return of the mythologised figure - Captain Walker.

The Tribe represent the lost and abandoned innocence of the world, neglected by the leaders and heroes who have destroyed it. This tribe, although of mixed sexes, bears a strong resemblance to the Lost Boys of Peter Pan and their never-dying quest to live in NeverLand.


Like their mismatched physical appearance, their social world, including their language, is derived from bits and pieces from their former pre-apocalypse lives. Presumably, Savannah and Slake, being the oldest, have passed on what scraps of linguistic information they can remember. The word "pox-eclipse," for example, is a corruption of the word: "Apocalypse", a word they may have heard as children. Much of their English has evolved in this manner forming a new, distinct post-apocalyptic dialect.


  • One of the tribe members, Skyfish, uses a kite made from a dead bird. The same concept called "skyfishing" was present in Mad Max: Fury Road and was used by Crow Fishers. Skyfishing would involve luring birds in with a kite and capturing them with nets.
  • Scrooloose's appearance is quite similar to the appearance of lower-rank War Boys. The similarity in appearance might stem from the fact that both were obsessed with death, as seen in the War Boys' religion and Scrooloose's skull painting on the rock.