This Halloween season, StarWars.com pays tribute to our favorite galactic monstrosities.
The Star Wars galaxy is home to a vast range of creatures, many of which are very cute. But for every porg there’s an acklay. And for every tauntaun there’s a wampa.
It’s officially scary season, and there’s no better way to ring in these terrifying times than with a list of 20 creepy creatures that occupy every dark corner of the galaxy. (Before we get started, let’s give an honorable mention to Bor Gullet, who does not make the list. Truth is, we’re still not sure what exactly it is. Also, while terrifying, its name is too fun to say.)
Sometimes a cave is not a cave. Popularly known as a “space slug,” the exogorth carries the rare ability to swallow starships whole. The Millennium Falcon crew mistakenly flies into an exogorth named Sy-O in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, narrowly escaping its enormous bite. Aside from the obviously scary prospects of exogorths being giant worms with teeth, their patience and ancient nature make them truly terrifying.
Imagine if a shark could do a bench press, and that that shark was 100 times bigger than normal. That’s the sando aqua monster. Native to the lakes and oceans of Naboo, this muscle-bound aquatic creature can reach up to 200 meters in length. While the one we see in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace technically saves Qui-Gon, Jar Jar, and Obi-Wan during their deep sea dive, it’s undoubtedly a major force to be reckoned with. There’s always a bigger fish. And this is it.
When Neeku Vozo adopts a young rokkna in Star Wars Resistance, it’s anything but scary. Neeku names his new friend “Bibo,” and he’s actually very cute and cuddly. But when Bibo’s mother appears, we’re treated to a massive sea beast that rivals the size of the Colossus platform. With four eyes, six tentacles, and a lot of power -- it’s probably smart to stay on this creature’s good side.
Found in frigid temperatures, the wampa is a tall and powerful humanoid being, covered in white fur and sporting horns, teeth, and sharp claws. The wampa we meet in The Empire Strikes Back puts Luke Skywalker through some significant ordeals, and the young Jedi barely survives the encounter. You only have to take one look at a wampa’s imposing figure to get the idea of how scary this creature can be. And unlike Luke, most who meet one won’t have a nifty lightsaber on hand.
While Han Solo easily dispatches a mynock when the Millennium Falcon crew encounters them inside an exogorth, the true scariness of this creature comes from its swarming nature and parasitic face. Mynocks love to chew on power cables, and any ship that misfortunes across a swarm of these bat-like creatures face the risk of being stranded. In a dangerous galaxy, this can spell disaster for any crew. Note: The mynock/Leia jump scare is maybe the best in all of Star Wars.
6. Krayt Dragon
A true force of nature, it takes the combined efforts of Din Djarin, Cobb Vanth, a group of Tuskens, and the citizens of Mos Pelgo to fell the krayt dragon that appears in The Mandalorian episode “Chapter 9: The Marshal.” This species of serpentine dragon burrows beneath the surface and generates enough force for surrounding areas to experience groundquakes. It is not a creature to take lightly; did we mention that it can spit acid?
First seen in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, the acklay is a mean-looking, praying mantis-like animal with powerful, sharp legs. While all the execution beasts used on Geonosis were formidable in their own right, we don’t envy Obi-Wan for having to go against this one. And it’s hard to forget the acklay’s chilling screeches.
A grim fate awaits anyone who falls into the sharp maw of a sarlacc. Notorious crime lord Jabba the Hut kept one as a pet in the Great Pit of Carkoon on Tatooine, sending his most hated enemies into its belly. A sarlacc’s unique biology makes it so that its prey faces a slow digestion over a thousand years. (Doesn’t sound fun.)
In Star Wars: A New Hope, Luke and friends find themselves in too close of company with a dianoga, a creature that is equal parts tentacle and giant eye. It wraps one of its tentacles around Luke like an anaconda and pulls him into murky trash water, nearly killing him. While it’s terrifying to stare down a giant beast face-to-face, there’s arguably something more unsettling about a threat you can’t fully see. (And if you’re visiting Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, keep your eyes AND ears open for one of these slithery creatures. You never know where it’ll pop up.).
There are few creatures in the Star Wars galaxy more iconic than the rancor. It has massive teeth and even bigger claws, with a temper and appetite to match. Even when it’s on the side of our heroes, like in The Book of Boba Fett, a rancor can be highly destructive. You’ll need a skilled bounty hunter like Cad Bane to scare one off, or a sensitive heart like Grogu to calm one down. Ultimately though, rancors can be friendly. So be kind to your local rancor.
One of the largest creatures in the galaxy, the summa-verminoth can survive in the cold vacuum of space. A mass of eyes and tentacles, these octopus-like beasts are ancient, and massive on a scale not normally seen. A young Han Solo and crew encountered one while they fled Kessel; were it not for some clever piloting and a nearby gravity well, the summa-verminoth could have easily swatted the future rebel leader’s ship like a fly.
In the Star Wars galaxy, smaller doesn’t mean safer. The kouhun is a plump and deadly insect with powerful venom, and can be used as a weapon. Famously, the assassin Zam Wesell sent a pair after Padmé Amidala in Attack of the Clones, inserting them into her room in the dark of night. Smart enough to evade detection from R2-D2’s watchful photoreceptors, they inched all the way up to the sleeping senator; these creepy crawlies made it so close to their target, Anakin Skywalker’s last-minute lightsaber save was all the more impressive.
Terror comes in many forms; tiny worms going into your brain and controlling your body is definitely one of them. The Geonosian brain worm is a troubling parasite, as many are capable of creating a zombie army. Reanimating dead bodies and controlling living ones, these creatures, as seen in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars two-parter, “Legacy of Terror” and “Brain Invaders,” bring a potent shade of terror to the galaxy.
14. Zillo Beast
The Zillo Beast we meet in The Clone Wars was perfectly content to sleep underground. But the waging battle on Malastare awoke this deadly, skyscraper-sized creature, which features rows of teeth, whip-like arms, and a spike-covered tail. Blaster bolts hardly even seemed like an annoyance to it, lightsaber strikes bounced off its armor with ease, and the creature easily knocked Anakin Skywalker’s fighter out of the sky. While terrifying for its power, the Zillo Beast is ultimately a tragic creature, brought into a conflict it wanted no part of, and suffering a fate it didn’t deserve.
If you’re not a fan of giant, fast-moving meatballs with dozens of eyes and just as many tentacles, then you probably won’t like rathars. When we meet Han Solo in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, he’s back to his smuggling ways -- only this time, the product is of the monster variety. In an attempt to help Han out of a negotiation gone wrong, Rey and friends accidentally release three of these death balls on the ship. They bounce around and snatch their victims up with intense ferocity. Some quick thinking and a well-timed door shut are the only things that keep soon-to-be Resistance leader Finn from becoming a rathar meal.
16. Ice Spider
While Grogu may think ice spider eggs are a delicious snack, others may find less to enjoy about being around these creatures. The scattering swarm we see in Chapter 10 of The Mandalorian is enough to send shivers down your spine. But the mama or papa ice spider that gives chase to Din Djarin, Grogu, and Frog Lady is straight out of a nightmare. The protruding mouth and bone-white appearance add an extra fear factor to this horrific creatures, and its ability to fire webs make it a more than formidable hunter.
Native to the jungles of Anaxes, the fyrnock is a ferocious creature that moves under cover of darkness, about as big as a person and can grow even larger. When we first meet fyrnocks in the Star Wars Rebels episode “Out of Darkness,” the Ghost crew must pull out all the stops to keep from being overwhelmed by these aggressive beasts. It’s wise not to let your guard down around a fyrnock.
18. Rishi Eel
The batch of shinies (inexperienced clone troopers) we meet in the Clone Wars episode “Rookies” have to deal with more than their fair share of obstacles, including the terrifying creature sort. While fending off a surprise Separatist attack on the Rishi Moon listening outpost, they also misfortune across a Rishi eel: a massive animal that burrows in mountainsides waiting for prey. Rishi eels have piercing red eyes and are surprisingly agile for their size, able to swallow a human whole -- as an unlucky trooper would find out.
An armor-plated, huge snake with beady black eyes, a pale mouth, and large teeth, the vexis makes for a terrifying sight; it’s not surprising that our heroes were on edge when coming face-to-face with one in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Before Rey realized the creature was injured and was only baring its teeth out of self-preservation, the young Jedi and her friends were treated to an incredibly tense stare down. The situation shakes out peacefully, but the natural prey of the vexis probably wouldn’t have walked away from the encounter.
A subterranean creature native to Ord Mantell, the irling gives good reason to be afraid of the dark. First seen in the Star Wars: The Bad Batch episode “Infested,” these insectoids are only active in the dark and are, in fact, sensitive to light. The hive does not care to be woken up, so when the Bad Batch accidentally make noise, the mass quickly becomes aggressive and launches a full-on assault. In addition to being giant bugs with arms, the scare factor here comes from the overwhelming size of their swarms.