Gather ’round, younglings and grown-ups. It’s time for a story that takes place in a galaxy far, far away…because isn’t it always time for Star Wars? The answer to the question is yes, even on Halloween. The films are, of course, meant for all ages, but their broad appeal doesn’t mean they don’t have frightening moments. And if you dig into the animated series and novels in canon and Legends, you’ll find some tales that will give you chills. Enjoy these six haunting Star Wars stories on Halloween!
1. “Brain Invaders,” Star Wars: The Clone Wars
When I think about terrifying and Star Wars at the same time, I think of “Brain Invaders” first. The episode from Season Two of Star Wars: The Clone Wars features all the things you want in a horror story: suspense, grotesque bugs, action, and body-snatching. In the episode, Geonosian brain worms take control of a supply ship carrying clone troopers, Ahsoka Tano, and Barriss Offee. The idea of being stuck on a ship with brain worms that want to crawl up your nose and take control of your mind and body gives me goose bumps. The episode is part of a longer arc, but this installment can stand on its own, too.
2. Death Troopers and Red Harvest
Zombies are everywhere in fiction; not even Star Wars escapes the brain feeding frenzy. Joe Schreiber penned two Legends books featuring the undead: Death Troopers (2009) and Red Harvest (2010). The latter is a prequel dating back to the Old Republic and reveals the deadly origins of the virus that causes the zombie outbreak in Death Troopers. Mmm, hungry and decaying undead hordes being bossed around by a Sith? It’s ideal Halloween fare.
3. The Empire Strikes Back
Though it’s the darkest movie in the original trilogy, I know The Empire Strikes Back doesn’t technically fall into the terrifying film genre. However, I’d argue it has the most make-you-jump, give-you-the-willies scenes in any of the Star Wars films. There’s the chilling wampa attack — the chill has nothing to do with the frigid Hoth setting, by the way. There’s the Millennium Falcon narrowly escaping through the teeth of space slug they thought was a cave after the ship was attacked by sneaky mynocks. And I can’t leave out Luke’s foray into the cave on Dagobah. I still don’t like seeing Luke’s face under Darth Vader’s helmet.
4. Galaxy of Fear
Let’s open the door to the Legends vault again for a special, eerie treat: Galaxy of Fear by John Whitman. Galaxy of Fear is actually a series of 12 novels targeted at young readers, the same age group devouring R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series like it’s candy. The books starred new characters, but familiar faces such as Dengar, Darth Vader, and Thrawn dropped in now and again. Planets absorbing leaving creatures, dead Jedi hauntings, swarms of bugs — Galaxy of Fear covers a little bit of everything. Bonus: the cover designs are bold and fun.
5. “Rise of the Old Masters,” Star Wars Rebels
Star Wars Rebels hasn’t gone to the creepy level of “Brain Invaders” yet, but they dove headfirst into unsettling horror territory in “Rise of the Old Masters.” The team was lured to Stygeon Prime by the Empire with a tease about the presence of Jedi Master Luminara Unduli. Kanan wanted to rescue her, but when he and the rest of the Ghost crew arrived, they instead found her dead — used as bait to draw them into a trap. Kanan and Ezra came face to face with her desiccated, mummified corpse. It makes me shiver.
6. “A Barve Like That: The Tale of Boba Fett,” Tales from Jabba’s Palace
Getting digested by the Sarlacc in the Great Pit of Carkoon sounds like a nightmare, and a short story from the Legends era goes there. “A Barve Like That: The Tale of Boba Fett” from Tales from Jabba’s Palace by J.D. Montgomery picks up after Return of the Jedi and details what happens to those unfortunate individuals that become the Sarlacc’s victims. Boba Fett is the star, but he hears horrific anecdotes from Susejo, a former Jedi and tasty morsel for the Sarlacc. Ick.
Can you think of any spooky Star Wars stories to add to the list? Share them in the comments!
Amy Ratcliffe is a writer obsessed with Star Wars, Disney, and coffee. She’s scared of basically everything. Follow her on Twitter at @amy_geek.