The deadliest creatures in the entire Star Wars expanded universe are here, ranked for their aggressive nature, biological weaponry, and legendary status in the movies, games, and novels. Many hardcore Star Wars fans have played games like Knights of the Old Republic, Star Wars Galaxies, and are planning to play the new MMORPG from Bioware, Star Wars: The Old Republic. But there is a part of the literature that is heavily read by fans, such as the New Jedi Order series and other novels that feature exotic and deadly monsters. These names are not easily forgotten by fans.
5. Rancor – Expanded Universe
The apex predator of the planet of Dathomir is the Rancor. Fearsome in appearance, with two bulky arms with three sharp claws that can cut through durasteel and a typically disgruntled personality, the Rancor is considered by many to be the most popular monster in the Star Wars universe. In Star Wars Galaxies, players skilled in the creature handler profession had a team of two or three Rancors to fight monsters and other players in PvP. Nightsisters, Force sensitive matriarchal ‘residents’ of Dathomir also had Rancors as trained killers.
In Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, you had to sneak past a gangster’s pet Rancor to get to the next level of a stage. They were seen as status symbols to criminals – symbols of power. Many species of Rancor exist in the universe and some were mutated and larger in size. The Nightsisters are a culture testament to the fact that the true Dathomir-born Rancors can only be controlled through those adept in the Force.
Here is a screenshot of the Rancor from the Star Wars movie series, set loose to eat the captive Luke Skywalker.
4. Akk Dogs of Haruun Kal – Clone Wars Saga: Shatterpoint
Haruun Kal was Mace Windu’s home planet. His race, the Korunnai, had lived generations herding their domesticated creatures. But over time they have learned to fear the Akk Dogs, one of the deadliest predators in the Star Wars jungle.
In the novel Star Wars: Shatterpoint, the main antagonist forms a deadly Force connection to tame these beasts and use them as weapons of destruction in the Summertime War, a long guerilla war fought between the Korunnai and the Balawai, during the very Clone Wars itself. Mace Windu recorded detailed descriptions of the nature of these beasts.
Akk Dogs were unnatural in appearance, with dark bulbous eyes, triangular teeth, and enough jaw power to crush durasteel like it was a piece of wood. They had the power to predate Jedi with armored hide strong enough to deflect strikes from lightsabers. Their claws were the size of limbs, their bodies were long, and in the novel by Matthew Stover, the Akk Dogs were used to herd the herbivorous Akk species by the Korunnai but were responsible for much blood and violence in the climactic battle in the story.
Mace Windu, as a Master Jedi, had occasional nightmares of fighting (alongside his student Depa Billaba) biologically enhanced Akk Dogs in Circus Horrificus. They were driven psychologically insane so they can participate in gladiator death struggles. The two barely escaped with their lives.
3. Terentatek of the Old Republic – KotOR and the Old Republic Novels
What if there was a predator of nature specifically designed by evolution to hunt and kill Force-sensitive organisms – including Jedi? There are few monsters as formidable and deranged as the Terentatek, for it was strong with the Dark side. It fed on the blood of Jedi and was trained by many Sith during the war.
Scientists in the Star Wars expanded universe speculated that these creatures were the abominations created as a result of experimentation with Rancors – genetic and for warfare purposes. Over time they became their own species and became completely impervious to the Force, except for a few effects. They have spines growing out of their backs, piercing tusk-like horns, and the ability to hibernate and wake during times when the Dark side of the Force is strong.
In Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, players had to fight quite a few of these beasts. They were very powerful in melee combat so great strategies to defeat them include keeping on a personal barrier shield. Dubbed the Jedi Killers, the Jedi tried to hunt these animals to extinction but the Sith have made sure that the Terentatek will keep repopulating and coming back in times of escalated war.
2. The Ancient (Greater) Krayt Dragon – Star Wars Galaxies, KotOR, and the Star Wars EU
This is one of the largest beasts in the Star Wars expanded universe in physical size, and even deadlier in its disposition. In Tatooine, it’s merest roar scared away the bravest Tusken raiders, and it was so large in volume that it was able to sweep across the desert of sand with ease.
They grew to over 100 meters, which is the equivalent of nearly four football fields in length. With up to 10 bulky legs, they were able to literally swim through the sand and swallow Banthas whole from underneath, similar to the way Great White Sharks blast vertically out of the ocean to grab seals in their jaws.
In Star Wars Galaxies, the Ancient Krayt Dragon was the hardest thing to kill in the entire game and took multiple parties of players to even have a chance. They were rare to find in the Krayt Dragon Graveyard in Tatooine. Here is a great illustration of this giant predator. There are also many explosive battles in my pre-CU SWG slideshow collection with me and my party of hunters fighting Krayt Dragons.
1. The Sarlacc – Expanded Universe
Infamous and widely held as hellish execution for the worst offenses, the Sarlacc was a monster that should be considered the most disturbing of the Star Wars franchise. It was first seen in the movies when Jabba the Hutt sentenced Luke Skywalker to death by this organism.
What makes this such a feared animal? The Sarlacc had thick blindingly fast tentacles that pulled in humans and entire creatures to be devoured by its gigantic beak. They are able to live up to 50,000 years old and in younger ages, can move and hunt down prey. In old age, they ambush to feed, and some have been able to kill Banthas and crush Rancors to death. Debate rages on in the Star Wars universe on whether or not it was considered an animal or plant organism – some decided both.
But the reason why the Sarlacc ranks as the most deadly creature is because it is incredibly evil in its sentience. After it swallows its victims, it readies them for a thousand years of telepathic torture as they are slowly digested in their stomach acids – while their essential vital functions are kept alive. The pain is said to be unendurable – because it could communicate with the victims on conscious levels, fed off their fears, and systematically removed all hopes of escape for its prisoners. All swallowed victims were simply kept alive to be digested by caustic digestive acid while being endlessly tortured. A thousand years can be manipulated to feel like an eternity in its stomach. That is why this is ranked as the number one in the entire Star Wars expanded universe.
Only a few have ever survived after being swallowed by the Sarlacc. Boba Fett is one of those lucky enough to resist, with his Mandalorian armor and strong will to live.
Perhaps these creatures are why the Star Wars franchise is so much different from Disney, and for good reason.