14 Giant Creatures In 'Star Wars' That Are Way Cooler Than The Movies Tell You

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Vote up the coolest things you learned about giant creatures in 'Star Wars.'

If there's one thing the Star Wars universe isn't lacking, it's gigantic creatures. In the very beginning of the series, C-3PO is seen walking by a massive skeleton in the desert on Tatooine. From there, the audience is introduced to a giant sewer monster, huge space slugs, massive rancors, and the gaping maw of the Sarlacc pit. George Lucas had a propensity for putting gigantic creatures into his movies, and that trend continued into the prequel and sequel trilogies.

Huge beasts have always fascinated the fans, but the movies don't go into much detail about any of them. Other than characterizing them with lines like, "There's always a bigger fish," not much is said about the fact that nearly every creature in the Star Wars universe is gigantic! Fortunately, the franchise has been around for a long time, and even after the Disney acquisition, a lot of the details surrounding these big beasts and their ecosystems on the worlds they occupy have remained canon.

This list takes a look at the creatures that make up the many ecosystems of the Star Wars universe. Every species here has been covered in video games, comic books, tie-in novels, and more, so there's a lot that the movies don't tell you. Take a look down below, and if you see something you didn't already know about one of the many giant creatures of the Star Wars universe, be sure to give it an upvote to see which critter rises to the top!


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    114 VOTES

    Purrgils Are The Reason Hyperspace Travel Was Developed

    Purrgils are a species of massive space-whales that have evolved to live in deep space. The creatures live in the vacuum of space and can fly through hyperspace naturally. Large pods of purrgils travel from star system to star system. Their ability to travel through hyperspace via simu-tunnels inspired sentient species around the galaxy to develop a similar technology. Eventually, people found a way to do what the purrgils did naturally, opening up the galaxy for numerous species and cultures.

    Sadly, while the purrgils inspired people to create hyperspace travel, they were also preyed upon by them. Because they are so large and travel in groups, they can become hazardous to spacefaring people. As a result, they're seen as pests, and anytime someone comes upon a pod of purrgils, they typically open fire on them. Numerous fatal accidents have been attributed to slamming into pods of purrgils, so the retaliation against these majestic beasts has limited their numbers across the galaxy.

    114 votes
  • 2
    68 VOTES

    Rathtars Share A Common Ancestor With Sarlaccs And Reproduce Via Fission

    Love it or hate it, but the sequel trilogy introduced a whole bunch of awesome creatures to the Star Wars universe. The most interesting have to be the rathtars, which Han and Chewie were transporting aboard the Eravana. Moving these monsters was a high-paying gig, and that was entirely due to how insanely dangerous they were. Once they were let loose, they tore through the ship, destroying everything and eating anyone who got in their way.

    Their voracious appetite makes sense when you learn that they share a common ancestor with Sarlaccs. Both creatures evolve into giant beasts with massive mouths that dominate their heads. Rathtars are known throughout the galaxy as some of the most dangerous creatures around. They grow to about 1,433 pounds (650 kilograms), and with their tentacles, they measure about 20 feet (6 meters) in length, so they're not the biggest beasts in the galaxy. That said, they are some of the nastiest!

    Rathtars reproduce via fission, so if you have one, there's a good chance it will split into two, and so on until things get really bad. This makes them particularly dangerous if population control measures aren't taken, so there's nothing about a rathtar that isn't incredibly scary. Instead of "handling with care," it's probably best to blast away and get out of their reach (which is quite far, thanks to their tentacles).

    68 votes
  • 3
    100 VOTES

    The Sando Aqua Monster Is The Apex Predator Of Naboo's Oceans

    Naboo is an unusual planet because, unlike most worlds, its core isn't comprised of molten metal and rock. Instead, Naboo's core is cavernous and filled with ocean water. The many rivers, lakes, and oceans of Naboo are connected via intricate caves spread throughout the entire planet's crust and core, leaving a lot of room for a giant predator to evolve. The apex predator that calls the oceans of Naboo its hunting ground is the sando aqua monster, and they are huge.

    Sando aqua monsters can grow to about 656 feet (200 meters) in length, making them large enough to swallow everything else swimming through the oceans. This includes any stray Gungan submarines that happen to get too close. Because they prefer to remain in or near the planet's core, they are rarely seen. Granted, most who manage see one don't live to tell the tale. For most people living on Naboo, the sando aqua monster is viewed as a myth, though some do occasionally wash up on the shore every now and again.

    100 votes
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    94 VOTES

    Rancors Were Domesticated By The Nightsisters Of Dathomir

    Rancors Were Domesticated By The Nightsisters Of Dathomir
    Photo: Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi / 20th Century Fox

    Long ago in the Nightsisters' history, the clan came together via the Book of Law as they learned to use the magical ichor of the planet to become adept dark side users of the Force. Eventually, the planet was attacked by the Fromprath, a snakelike alien species that exploited Dathomir's natural resources. This pushed the Nightsisters into an unusual alliance, which they formed with the planet's rancors.

    The Dathomiri rancors were more intelligent and stronger than their counterparts spread across the galaxy. Their intelligence was key to the Nightsisters' ability to tame them, though it was less of a taming and more of an alliance of mutual benefit for both species. The Nightsisters mounted their Dathomiri rancors and drove the Fromprath from the planet. Interestingly, the Dathomiri rancors are matriarchial, just like the Nightsisters, and the largest female guides the pack as its herd mother.

    94 votes
  • 5
    87 VOTES

    There Are Many Different Types Of Rancors Spread Across The Galaxy

    The rancor is probably one of the most recognizable beasts from the Star Wars universe, and that's entirely due to its depiction in Return of the Jedi. In the movie, Luke Skywalker finds himself without a lightsaber, trapped in a rancor's lair. Using the Force (and a big rock), he manages to call down the gate, pinning and slaying the beast. That was the first rancor seen on film, but it was hardly the last. Because of their popularity, rancors have appeared all over the expanded universe, and as it happens, there are tons of different kinds of rancors.

    Rancors are semi-sentient creatures native to the planet Dathomir. On their home world, they formed a semi-symbiotic relationship with the Nightsisters, but that was a long time in the ancient past. More recently, rancors have been exported all across the galaxy, where they're prized possessions in various menageries like Jabba the Hutt's. They're often seen as mindless monsters because of their size and fierce appearance, but they're much more than that. Many rancors are passive creatures who only tear people apart because they're thrown into pits with them.

    Because they've been exported to different planets across the galaxy, different types of rancors have emerged over time. While they're all large, some are smaller and more agile. They come in a variety of colors, and some are more violent than others. They're formidable creatures, and their armored hide is strong enough to withstand blaster fire. In canon, there have been several subspecies introduced, including jungle, shadow, and rage rancors.

    When they're young, rancors are given blinders so they cannot look upon a person. This is done because they imprint on the first person they see. This creates a strong bond between the rancor and their "person," such that they might one day be able to ride them into battle.

    87 votes
  • 6
    84 VOTES

    The Acklay Hunt Using A Special Organ That Senses Bioelectricity

    Star Wars fans first met the acklay when the Geonoshians attempted to execute Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, and Padmé Amidala in the Petranaki Arena. The large amphibious reptilian crustaceans originally came from the planet Vendaxa, where they spend most of their time in the water. Their unique physiology makes them adept hunters, as they have six legs sharpened into points and razor-sharp teeth, and grow to a formidable size, standing at about 10 feet (3.05 meters) tall.

    One of the most interesting aspects of the acklay's physiology is the special organ that sits just beneath its chin. It uses this organ to sense the bioelectric charges emitted by other living things in its environment. Acklays evolved to use this primarily while underwater, but it also proves effective on land. In their native habitat, acklays come on land to hunt the plains for lemnai, a species equipped with leathery shells that are no match for the acklay.

    Acklays are feared throughout the galaxy for their ferocity. They thrust one of their legs into their prey when they hunt, skewering them for easy transport and consumption. Because of this, they were often removed from Vendaxa and placed in gladiatorial or execution pits so crowds could watch the beasts slay and devour the galaxy's less desirable citizens.

    84 votes