Ah, sarlaccs. The terrifying beaky creature first introduced to us in Return of the Jedi has horrified generations of Star Wars fans for years. C-3PO doesn’t help us or the rebel crew stay very calm when he remarks that “In its belly, you will find a new definition of pain and suffering as you are slowly digested over a…thousand years”, and it’s hard not to be worried at the sight of all those tentacles and teeth!
Though you probably wouldn’t want to meet a sarlacc in-person, they’re interesting creatures to read up on and discover more about — so here are five facts that you may not already know about those pit-dwelling sarlaccs:
1. They don’t become adults until they reach their 30,000th birthday.
The Star Wars Card Trader app gives us some pretty interesting info on sarlaccs, including the knowledge that they don’t even reach maturity until they’re 30,000 years old! I guess taking a thousand years to digest a snack probably doesn’t seem so bad when you age that slowly, though I still think I’d much rather be the sarlacc than the snack.
2. They burrow really far down into the ground for lunch.
More info from the Card Trader app reveals that Sarlaccs actually burrow over a hundred meters into the ground with their mouths sticking up out of the top of the hole they create, feasting on creatures that fall into their beaks. Lando nearly met his fate a hundred meters above ground, but luckily Han was on hand to help him out, even if he was somewhat vision impaired.
3. They’re actually super tall.
According to Ultimate Star Wars, the sarlacc that Jabba employs for “entertainment” measures 100 meters, or 328 feet long. That’s taller than the Statue of Liberty! Though they only poke their fearsome mouths out of the ground, there’s a good chunk of mysterious sarlacc left underground, in the hole it already burrowed. What’s beneath the surface? I don’t think I want to find out…
4. Their scary sounds actually come from pizza and gators.
Behind the scenes, we found out from the hungry crew that the sarlacc’s noises in Return of the Jedi were actually created from “a crew member’s stomach after eating pizza and the hiss of alligators, all blended to show the constant hunger of the creature that inhabited the Pit of Carkoon.” Though I still probably wouldn’t want to face off against an alligator, knowing that some of the sarlacc’s terror comes from a few slices of pepperoni helps take the edge off.
5. Sarlaccs have pretty terrifying anatomy.
The Ultimate Factivity Collection let us know some more of what was going on beneath the sand. Like cows here on Earth, sarlaccs reportedly have more than one stomach — which makes sense if they’re going to be digesting their food for a thousand years at a time! We can also see all of their sharp teeth in the Pit of Carkoon in Return of the Jedi: several rows of large fangs which must cost a fortune in dentist bills. The sprawling tentacles aren’t just there for effect, either — they help to drag victims down into the sarlacc’s beak. Eep!
So, are you still scared of sarlaccs, or, like Jabba, do you think they’d make a pretty good pet? Let us know in the comments below!
Cassie is a writer and journalist from the UK who loves films, food, and fuzzy critters. She contributes her words to a whole bunch of pop culture publications including Cultured Vultures, Big Wonder Comics, and more, and she’s always happy to chat about anything and everything geeky. Baze and Chirrut have a special place in her heart, and she’s probably in denial about what happened on Scarif. Follow her on Twitter @CassieParkes.