This may be a stretch, but is it meant as some sort of slur or just a slang/informal word ?
What I'm getting at is that in ANH Luke calls them sandpeople and that's all we know them as, yet in TPM Greg Proops calls them Tusken Raiders and then in AOTC Anakin's mother's husband calls them Tusken Raiders. On top of that he calls them vicious mindless monsters which is why I thought that MAYBE "sandpeople" could be used as a derogatory term since they live out in the desert with the other "animals" - obviously EVERYBODY on Tatooine lives in the desert but there seems to be a definite distinction as far as civilization goes.
Sooooooooo there's my question. When Luke calls them sandpeople he doesn't seem to be saying it with any malice so I don't want to read too far into it.
We can't really call this a prequel invention because the vintage figure went back and forth with both names, "Tusken Raider" and "Sandpeople."
Well, at least "we" as in those of us familiar with the toy collection. If someone saw every Star Wars film in theaters but had no knowledge of the action figures then they might be confused by the term "Tusken Raider" in the prequels and "Sandpeople" in ANH.
Personally I never thought much about it because I had that figure from early on so it was always just a given to me that the terms were interchangeable with the same meaning. Given the way the characters have been used in episodes 1, 2, and 4, I'm now wondering if there isn't more to it ?