Star Wars ComLINKS Creature Feature Or: My 5 Favorites from Far, Far Away

rancor

Alright ladies and germs, I came across this really cool idea via retweet (if I remember correctly) a while ago, and decided to do a little write-up because a) as I said, super cool idea, mad props to Jenmarie over at Anakin and His Angel for doing it, and b) it gives me a reason to talk about creatures in the Star Wars universe, which just so happens to be one of my favorite things (I say that a lot, I know…if you keep track, I’ll probably refer to every aspect of Star Wars as one of my favorite things eventually). I appreciate the fact that, though they do incorporate “real” animals into the mix as well (the snakes on Dagobah for example), most of the creatures in Star Wars are creatures that were created for the universe, and often play a crucial role in the telling of the stories…I mean, imagine the trap door in Jabba’s palace going to an empty dungeon where the victims are simply trapped and not about to be a snack…pretty lame, right? Even if you’ve never thought about it, and don’t really pay much attention to the creatures outside of their use to further the plot or as background, I bet you can probably rattle off five or six (or more) names of creatures without really putting much effort in it at all. That’s how seamlessly they fit in the story; they’re as much a part of Star Wars as Skywalkers and the Force, and I love them all…but I don’t have time to go over each one, so I picked my top five:

1) Rancors

I mean, c’mon, who doesn’t love these majestic, porcine-species-ingesting crab lizards? Losers, that’s who (sorry if that includes you). Anyway, unlike most super fans, Return of the Jedi is my favorite original trilogy film, and rancors are a big part of why. I really appreciate how we’re “introduced” to the creature through its savage roars and Oola’s death screams, making C-3PO’s warning to Luke that goes unnoticed all the more ominous…what’s he going to find down there? Then this massive, lumbering beast comes out from behind a huge door, quickly scoops up and eats the poor wrong-place-wrong-time Gamorrean, and sets about doing the same to Luke. Such a great scene. Alas, the poor creature that’s just trying to snatch up a free meal is unceremoniously smooshed thanks to a Force-guided rock…I have to say, I share Malakili’s sorrow over its passing. Thankfully, rancors are a crowd favorite, so they’ve been added to all kinds of Star Wars-related media, including legends stories, video games, the Clone Wars series, and even an Interlude in Aftermath. Hopefully we haven’t seen the last of them on screen…maybe not the big screen, but at least there’s a shot at seeing them on the small screen again in Rebels or whatever shows follow. Also, I maintain that Quiggold from The Force Awakens‘s species (Gabdorin) have rancors in their ancestry somewhere…just look at the nostrils and eye position:

2) Tauntauns

One of my life goals is to retire to Hoth and open a tauntuan ranch…waking up early every morning to hear those goofy sounds they make would be a treat. Okay, that’s not true, but as far as mounted beats go in Star Wars, only varactyls come close to being as cool as these hairy, horned velociraptors. And, I mean, think about it, one of them saved Luke’s life…granted, it wasn’t exactly its decision, it was already dead, but, still, turns out they’re pretty important to the saga, so, think about that the next time you’re giggling at their oddly-pitched “gopingopingopinguy” sound (but don’t hesitate to giggle because it’s pretty hilarious).

3) Anoobas

I’m a dog-person through and through, so anoobas have a special place in my heart, especially Marrok. I loved the relationship he and Embo had in Clone Wars; the fact that he had a dog-like pet definitely made Embo my favorite bounty hunter (and the fact that he’s awesome didn’t hurt either). I’ve had pets my whole life – it’s actually hard to image life without them – and I think if I were in the Star Wars universe an anooba would be really high on my list of top choices for a galaxy-wondering companion. I’d probably have two of them, actually, since I’ve found that, as pack animals, having two dogs is the way to go…I think I’d name them Scruffles and Underbite…man, the adventures we would have together…

4) Krayt Dragons

It’s hard to imagine anything that creates as much wonder in Star Wars as the short scene where C-3PO passes the greater krayt skeleton in A New Hope…you’re thinking to yourself, “oh snap, what did he get himself into?!?!” But it’s never mentioned, and you never see a living version of the skeleton or even hear what it’s called. A truly epic creature that has yet to have any screen time of any sort…I would kill to see one of these beasts, if only for as long as we see its skeleton, but I doubt that ever comes to pass…I mean, imagine if there were skeletal remains of unicorns, Bigfeet, and some Loch Ness Monsters, but still no one had ever seen them…it’d be maddening! People go crazy for those creatures already and there’s nothing but blurry video and hearsay to prove they’re even out there. We have actual physical evidence that krayts exist, but no living visual confirmation to speak of…it’s heartbreaking. Sure, I hunted the crap out of them in Star Wars Galaxies, but that’s different; there was a lot of iffy content in that game to begin with, and now it’s certainly not considered canon…*sigh* someday, krayt dragons, someday…

5) Zillo Beast

What happens when a tape worm sprouts limbs and an angry head and gets gigantic? ZILLO BEAST! That’s right, the Star Wars version of King Kong rounds out my list of favorite creatures, and, I mean, how could it not, right? This thing punches its ticket onto any list on size alone. It’s massively massive. I’m all about krayts and rancors because of their daunting size, but the Zillo Beast makes them look like small rodents barely worth a second glance. Now, I know it’s questionable whether or not the Zillo Beast is actually a beast or an ancient sentient life form, but since it has “beast” in its name and acts like an animal (for good reason), I’m going to keep it on the list (technically, rancors are semi-sentient, but I don’t think I’ll get any arguments for their inclusion). Honestly, just thinking about the Zillo Beast makes me want to fire up Clone Wars and see it in action…so maybe I will…but, don’t worry, I’ll finish the post first…

And that’s all she wrote! (Well, all “he” wrote, since, you know, I’m a guy, but that’s just how the phrase goes.) I want to give a few solid honorable mentions to, first and foremost, graul maulers from Star Wars Galaxies, wampas, narglatches, Kowakian monkey-lizards, and, of course, convorees, the weird owl creatures from Rebels. And, let’s not forget all the other great creatures that really help fill up this universe we all love so much and make it feel even more real. And let me give another shoutout to Jenmarie at Anakin and His Angel for the idea because this was fun and I probably wouldn’t have thought to write up something like this on my own. So, let me know what your top five favorite Star Wars creatures are…I’m interested to see if other people pick creatures that didn’t even cross my mind…and, as usual, while you have your thinking caps on, may the Force be with you…

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2 thoughts on “Star Wars ComLINKS Creature Feature Or: My 5 Favorites from Far, Far Away

  1. Hi there! I am so glad you decided to participate in Star Wars ComLINKS! I love that you created a Top 5 list, too!

    I've never been a big fan of rancors but I did enjoy battling them in The Force Unleashed game! Taun Tauns, however, are one of my favorites. Their noises crack me up! I'm excited to see the creatures that you mentioned from The Clone Wars. I've seen it of course but have forgotten a lot so I'm currently watching through them all again!

    Like

  2. Hey, you bet; it's a great idea that I wish I'd found out about sooner. And I do a lot of top 5s because it saves me from having to pick just one of anything.

    A nice thing about being a fan of rancors is they tend to show up often because they're so iconic (and awesome). And I know what you mean about Clone Wars, I've watched it straight through twice now, and I still forget things that happened…I might have to start from scratch again myself.

    Thanks for stopping by, and I'm already looking forward to next month's ComLINKS.

    Like

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