20 Scariest Monsters In Star Wars Canon & Legends

Summary

  • The Sarlacc, known for its appearance in
    Return of the Jedi
    , is a large cephalopod monster with a powerful stomach that eats anything that falls into it, including stormtroopers.
  • The Brain Worm, featured in
    Star Wars: The Clone Wars
    , is a Geonosian parasite that can take over a host’s body and control their actions, but cannot survive in cold temperatures.
  • The Rancor, famously seen in
    Return of the Jedi
    , is a deadly creature with claws and teeth. While often seen as a killer, it has been domesticated in the past and is weak to certain frequencies of sound.

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Although Star Wars is most well known for its mystical Jedi and galaxy spanning narratives, another thing the franchise thrives at is creating compelling monsters. With so many different alien species and planetary cultures scattered throughout the galaxy, there are countless dangerous creatures lurking in dark and unexpected corners. Some species can be cute and cuddly like loth-cats, but others are just as horrifying as they are deadly.

Many of the monsters found throughout the franchise are not only frightening in appearance, but they also pose a genuine threat to those around them. Some were used to strike fear into viewers for the films and television shows, while others were introduced in non-canon Legends media. Here are the 20 most recognizable and fear-inducing monsters in all of Star Wars.

20 Sarlacc

The Sarlacc pit in Star Wars

One of the most recognizable monsters in all of Star Wars, the Sarlacc appeared as the living in the Great Pit of Carkoon in Return of the Jedi. In the most simple of terms, the Sarlacc is a large cephalopod monster that lives for thousands of years. Utilizing its powerful stomach, it eats whatever happens to fall into its mouth, whether that happens to be stray banthas or even stormtroopers. It is best known as the monster whose stomach Boba Fett crawled out of in the desert of Tatooine, an incredible feat beating a creature that was once thought to have killed him.

19 Brain Worm

A clone Trooper about to be attacked by a brain worm in The Clone Wars

Appearing in the episodes “Legacy of Terror” and “Brain Invaders” of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, what these Geonosian parasites lack in size, they make up for with their frightening abilities. By entering a host’s body, the Brain Worm can take them over completely, controlling their actions and turning both the living and the dead into their servants. Despite this horrifying ability, they are completely unable to survive in cold temperatures.

18 Dianoga

Split Image of the Dianoga, the trash compacter monster from A New Hope

Typically living in sewers and trash compactors like the one seen on the Death Star in A New Hope, the octopus-like Dianoga is actually sentient. It may have a taste for any humans that might fall into its habitat, but despite this, the creature is confined to the water. Being one of the first monstrous creatures to appear in the Star Wars series, the Dianoga exists as an iconic, though rarely referenced piece of the franchise’s history.
Related: Original Star Wars Script Hints The Death Star’s Dianoga Was A Sith Creation

17 The Nameless

Nameless Creatures in Star Wars High Republic

These terrifying beasts are a Jedi’s worst enemy. Not only do they feed on the Force, but they also targeted people who are able to use the Force for their meals. The Nameless can induce terrifying visions in their victims, masking their true identity by controlling what someone attuned to the Force might see before they turned them into a husk. Walking on four legs and possessing sharp teeth and tentacled mouths, the Nameless were a scourge during the High Republic Era.

16 Mynock

Mynock in Star Wars Empire Strikes Back

The horrible bat-like Mynocks are parasitic creatures capable of living in the vacuum of space. The often live on asteroids and can even been found within the mouths of much larger creatures, and for food they drink the fuel and energy reserves from large starships as opposed to blood, like many other parasites. Their bodies are made up of silicone and are so well known that there is a lightsaber combat form named after them, the Way of the Mynock, which is Form III.

15 Rathtar

Star Wars Monster Rathtar

Another cephalopod creature, the Rathtar is actually a distant relative of the Sarlacc. Hunting in packs, they devour any living thing that gets in their way with their razor sharp teeth. This sort of behavior was seen during Star Wars: The Force Awakens, where Rey, Finn, and Han Solo were almost all consumed by Rathtars aboard the ship Eravana.

14 Knobby White Ice Spider

The knobby white ice spiders attack Din in The Mandalorian

There are many spider creatures in the world of Star Wars, but none so terrifying as the Knobby White Ice Spider that appeared in The Mandalorian “Chapter 10: The Passenger.” On the planet Maldo Kreis, these spiders live in caves and are capable of laying legions of eggs. Their heads are unique compared to other species of spiders, like those seen in Jedi: Fallen Order, with a circular tooth-filled mouth perfect for attacking their prey.

13 Wampa

The wampa in its cave in The Empire Strikes Back

Living in the unforgiving wilderness of the ice planet Hoth, the Wampa is as elusive as it is dangerous. With its white fur, it blends easily into its snowy surroundings while looking for its next hot-blooded meal. Luke Skywalker was once captured by one of these creatures in The Empire Strikes Back and just barely escaped with his life, nearly perishing in the cold. Like many Wampas’ prey, Luke was hung upside down inside the creature’s cave by his ankles.
Related: The Real Reason For The Wampa Attack In The Empire Strikes Back

12 Irling

A swarm of Irlings in The Bad Batch

The Irlings’ first and only appearance in the franchise was in the Star Wars: The Bad Batch episode “Infested,” in which these winged monsters covered the walls and built hives within the mining tunnels of Ord Mantell. Though these monsters normally are little issue, if their sleep is disturbed by any sound, they become highly aggressive. Despite this, Irlings are easily dealt with, as they are incredibly sensitive to light.

11 Rakghoul

Star Wars KOTOR Horror Rakghoul

Genetically engineered by the Sith in an attempt to create an army, the Rakghoul first appeared as an enemy in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Regardless of their claws and generally monstrous nature, Rakghouls reproduce more like a plague than a monster. One scratch from a Rakghoul can turn a human or other sentient creature into one of them, painfully warping and contorting their bodies.

10 Terentatek

Star Wars Terentatek

Native to the planet Kashyyyk, these hulking beasts share a striking similarity to the Rancor in looks, but they were generally smaller. Possessing venomous tusks and claws, Terentateks would often hunt down Jedi to feed on their blood. However, the creatures are not very smart and often find themselves outwitted by their would-be meals. They first appeared in the video game Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, where they were located on the Sith planet of Korriban.

9 Skriton

Star Wars Jedi Survivor Cal Kestis Preparing To Fight The Skriton Boss In Jedha Cavern

Though relatively small compared to many of Star Wars’ other monsters, this scorpion crab makes for a horrifying combination between the two animals. Appearing in Jedi: Survivor and living on the moon Jedha, Skritons use their massive claws both to attack and to crush prey. They possess a long scorpion’s stinger as well as the ability to bury themselves within the sand in order to get the jump on their prey.

8 Oggdo

Jedi Fallen Order's Oggdo Bogdo monster roaring with a large open mouth full of sharp teeth.

Dwelling in the wetlands of the planet Bogano, the Oggdo is a frog-like creature with a tough outer hide. In fact, their hide is so tough that it can even resist the blade of a lightsaber. Dangerous though they may be, an Oggdo’s diet consists of smaller creatures such as bog rats. Their fearsome fighting abilities should not be discounted, however. Cal Kestis fought these creatures during their appearance in the video game Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, in which Oggdos serve as difficult enemies for the player to overcome.

7 Sando Aqua Monster

Sando Aqua Monster in Star Wars The Phantom Menace

Located deep in the waters of the planet Naboo, the Sando Aqua Monster is so fearsome a creature that it’s title even refers to its monstrous nature. Though there are so few of them left on Naboo, they are considered the planet’s apex predators, able to kill any other creature in the sea with their almost feline bodies. Because they need a constant source of food, the Sando Aqua Monster is often violent, attacking anything in its path in order to satiate its hunger.

6 Exogorth

Exogorth Star Wars Monster

Capable of surviving even in the vacuum of space, the slug-like Exogorth lives by burying into asteroids and waiting for prey to rest in their mouths. Because of their massive size, this prey can easily include not only other spacefaring creatures such as Mynocks, but entire spaceships as well. In The Empire Strikes Back, the Millennium Falcon makes a stop to unknowingly hide inside the mouth of an Exogorth before needing to make a hasty escape from its mouth.

5 Roggwart

A pair of Jedi fighting a Roggwart

Originating on the planet Mustafar, these beasts boast powerful muscles and intimidating horns. Their tough skin can survive against blasters and even lightsabers, but despite their fearsome appearance, they are often taken as pets. One such pet Roggwart is that of General Grievous as seen in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode “Lair of Grievous,” in which his pet Gor attacks Jedi Master Kit Fisto.

4 Acklay

Acklay Star Wars

With rows of razor-sharp teeth and a bony outer shell, the Acklay is a hardy and difficult to kill creature that was used on Geonosis for executions. Despite this fact, they are built for life underwater and are even more deadly in a marine environment. The most recognizable example of an Acklay is the one that appeared in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, where an Acklay is used in an attempt to kill Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Padmé Amidala.

3 Summa-Verminoth

A Summa-Verminoth in Star Wars

Making a memorable appearance in the film Solo: A Star Wars Story, the Summa-Verminoth is a gigantic creature with many tentacles, one of which lived inside a dangerous maelstrom of gas and debris located around the planet Kessel before its demise. The monster is so big that it dwarfs ships in size, and it is known for its incredibly massive appetite. With electric stingers on their tentacles and a tendency to hunt, encountering a Summa-Verminoth often spelled death for any ships unlucky enough to come across one.

2 Krayt Dragon

A Krayt Dragon from Star Wars looking terrifying

Although the bones of a Krayt Dragon could be seen as far back as A New Hope, a living one did not grace the screen until The Mandalorian. These massive beasts live up to their name as dragons with their massive size and rows of deadly teeth. The reptiles live deep beneath the sands of Tatooine, and not only can these monsters move at incredible speeds, but they can also spit acid from their mouths as well.

1 Rancor

The rancor in Jabba's dungeon in Return of the Jedi

Recognizable to all, the Rancor is a bipedal creature with deadly claws and teeth. Best known as the deadly monster that Jabba the Hutt fed people to for sport in Return of the Jedi, the Rancor has also made appearances in a variety of different shows and games, including The Book of Boba Fett and Jedi: Survivor. Even though they are often seen as deadly killers, the Rancor has been domesticated in the past by the Witches of Dathomir, and Rancors are even weak to certain frequencies of sound. With so much staying power and a long history in the franchise’s films, the Rancor remains one of the most fearsome beasts in all of Star Wars.

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