Star Wars has all kinds of terrifying monsters, but nothing is more disgusting or mysterious than the Sarlacc.
According to Behind the scenes of Star wars: Return of the Jedi, designing the fight scene on Jabba the Hutt’s sailing barge was one of the most difficult things for George Lucas to do. He had to find a way to show that a lot of different things were happening at the same time. Leia was to kill Jabba and Lando was to free Han and Chewbacca. Meanwhile, Luke was busy taking on more than a dozen Jabba mercenaries, including the infamous Boba Fett. Of course, this was all happening under the threat of falling into one of the most terrifying and mysterious creatures in the galaxy.
The difficulties of this scene meant that some things hadn’t received as much attention as they might have had. This was actually one of the reasons Boba Fett ended up inside the sarlacc – because nothing else could be added to the already complicated streak. Another thing that didn’t get a lot of detail was the sarlacc itself. Other than a few lines of dialogue, no one knew much about the monster that lived inside Carkoon’s pit. With nearly four decades of additional hardware and the recent release of Boba Fett’s book, fans now know a lot more about the creature. So here’s a look at some of the weirder parts of the sarlacc’s anatomy.
Sarlaccs torture their victims physically and mentally
Sarlacc was introduced in Return of the Jedi as one of Jabba’s preferred execution methods. The sadistic and disgusting slug loved to deposit its captives in the depths of the sarlacc as it was not a quick and painless death. C-3PO said Han Solo would be “slowly digested over a thousand years”. It might have sounded like hyperbole at the moment, but it was actually pretty accurate. According to Star Wars Visual Dictionary, the Sarlacc would absorb “the intellect of its victims, and [was] able to endure their torment for thousands of years. This means that the sarlacc would not only kill its food. This would give its victims an unusually long lifespan so that they could endure physical and mental torment while being digested with hot and corrosive acids.
Sarlaccs don’t have a head – Just a really strong tongue
In the original version of Return of the Jedi, the Sarlacc was just a pit with teeth. However, Lucas must have thought he didn’t look alive enough as he added tentacles and a mouth to the monster in the Special Edition. This has led to some confusion. The newer part of the sarlacc sticking out of Carkoon’s pit is not the monster’s head – it is an extremely strong tongue surrounded by a beak. Sarlaccs don’t have a humanoid head at all, just a mouth at the end of a body.
Sarlaccs don’t always live in holes in the ground
Fully mature Sarlacques find a place to retreat, but they do not reach maturity until they are 30,000 years old and nearly 100 meters long. Until then, Sarlaccs roam and hunt like any other tentacled carnivorous creature. This makes sense because Sarlaccs share a common ancestry with creatures such as the Rathtar, Blixus, and Vixus. Notably, Han Solo and Chewbacca met a group of rathtars in the force awakens.
Sarlaccs’ breeding process is explosive – literally
In order for Sarlaccs to survive for millennia, they must have a way to reproduce. This happens before mature sarlaccs burrow into the ground, and it is a particularly explosive event. When a male sarlacc encounters a larger female, it feeds on the female like a parasite. During this process, the size of the female decreases and the male grows until he can no longer do so. At this point, the male bursts, sending thousands of spores into the air. Han and Chewbacca met a baby Sarlacc named Simpi in the comic Galaxy Edge # 1.
Sarlaccs entrails can be militarized
One of the reasons that a Sarlacc can torment its victims is its low stomach acid. Additionally, this acid can be harvested and turned into a weapon. In the canon comic Life Day # 1, Jabba sent Han and Chewbacca to buy explosives from a group of Trandoshans. They weren’t just explosives, however. They were corrosive chemical weapons – acid-filled bombs from the intestines of a sedated sarlacc.
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