From desert wastelands to ice worlds, these are the best ways to travel.
The Star Wars universe is filled with all kinds of beasts and animals, from the fantastical to the frightening to the adorable. Some, however, are helpful to humans and other species as modes of transport. Here are eight most impressive Star Wars creatures that we want to hitch a ride on.
Tatooine is full of creatures that can get you from here to there, though dewbacks are perhaps the most well-known. More imposing than eopies, less likely to startle than rontos, these strong and sturdy, large reptiles are unbothered by the heat and dust of the desert. Imperials used dewbacks during their patrols on and searches over large areas of Tatooine wasteland. Dewbacks usually lumber along slowly but can, if needed, move at high speeds for short periods of time.
Where to See It: Dewbacks made a brief appearance in the original version of A New Hope and then were featured in some of the new footage shot for the 1995 Special Edition. Dewbacks can also be spotted in The Phantom Menace and episodes of The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels.
The Naboo-native kaadus are reptavian, showing attributes of both reptiles and birds. Gungans used the swift and strong kaadus for a variety of transport needs and held these creatures in extremely high regard. The kaadu’s bill is shaped like a platypus and allows it to breathe underwater for hours at a time. Taming a kaadu is a rite of passage for Gungans and commanders such as Captain Tarpals led their warriors into battle riding kaadu.
While the two-legged kaadu is fast and agile, the larger four-legged fambaa was used by the Gungans in battle to haul deflector shield generators on their backs.
Where to See It: The kaadu and fambaa debuted in The Phantom Menace and can also be spotted in episodes of The Clone Wars.
Blurrgs are squat, two-legged creatures that live on many planets across the galaxy, able to run at high speeds and a very skilled jumper. The bi-peds also have powerful jaws that have been known to do damage to speeder bikes.
Blurrgs are used by Twi’leks both as a means of regular transportation and as beasts to ride during battle. Their small size allows it to make their way through crowded war zones while remaining calm even in the midst of a firefight.
Where to See It: Blurrgs appeared in episodes of The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels.
Getting around the ice world of Hoth is a very dangerous proposition. Enter the tauntaun. When rebels chose the sub-freezing Hoth to build their hidden base, they relied on domesticated tauntauns for transportation during patrols. While the tauntauns' skin was thick enough to withstand frigid temperatures far longer than similar beasts of burden in the Star Wars universe, even they could not always survive a full night in the elements without adequate shelter.
Tauntauns are nine-feet tall and have thick scales and fur.
Where to See It: In The Empire Strikes Back Han Solo reported that tauntauns didn’t smell very well on the outside OR the inside. However, luckily for Luke Skywalker, this creature’s opened carcass was large enough to warm him while Solo built them a shelter after Luke’s wampa attack.
Part animal, part machine, the luggabeasts -- which resemble an armored elephant-- are true beasts of burden. These mighty creatures are at the mercy of the sentients that control them and outfit them with armor plating and optical instruments.
The luggabeasts' armor significantly enhances the endurance of the animal and their masks can also include purified air and water recycling tanks. Riding a luggabeast isn’t a very fast way to move around, but is a reliable form of transport in harsh environments.
Where to See It: In The Force Awakens, a luggabeast serves as a form of transport for Teedo on Jakku as he searches for droids and other treasures in the desert.
Varactyls are four-legged repativan herbivores that seemingly have no fear. Varactyls are muscular, fast, and are known for their loyalty to their riders -- assuming you can get on one and stay on. These bird-like creatures with bright blue and green feathers can climb steep walls and handle themselves in a variety of rough terrains.
Where to See It: Obi-Wan Kenobi famously rode a varactyl in Revenge of the Sith on the Outer Rim planet of Utapau during his battle with General Grievous.
Banthas are large (reaching as high as eight-feet-tall) four-legged beasts that somewhat resemble a furry elephant or wooly mammoth, though the male bantha can be identified by its large spiraled horns. Banthas thrive in desert environments and are used by Tusken Raiders and moisture farmers as modes of transport. Tusken Raiders are known to ride on banthas single file to hide their numbers, while others use banthas for their milk (which is blue in color), meat, and hides.
Where to See It: Banthas appeared in A New Hope, Return of the Jedi, The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and were mentioned in episodes of The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels. Banthas are one of the first creatures introduced in the Star Wars universe and, fittingly, the newsletter for one of the first versions of the Star Wars Fan Club was named Bantha Tracks.
Some creatures spend most of their time lugging equipment or life forms around from point A to point B, while other creatures only give rides during emergencies. In the purrgils' case, these emergencies are in deep space. In the Star Wars Rebels episode “The Call,” Ezra hitches a ride on a purrgil after falling onto it during battle. Purrgills resemble large whales with tentacles and travel through space without much regard to the ships they encounter. Hera referred to purrgills as “big lumbering menaces” when explaining to her crew how dangerous these elegant creatures can be to pilots.
Where to See It: As mentioned, check out the Star Wars Rebels episode "The Call"!
The creatures above are just a few examples of animals that have been used as a form of transportation during routine and extreme circumstances. Which Star Wars creature would you like to hitch a ride on if given the chance? Let us know in the comments!
Amy Richau is a writer, lifelong Star Wars geek, and diehard Denver Broncos fan. You can find her on twitter @amyrichau and more of her writing on FANgirl Blog.