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Acklays were amphibious reptilian crustaceans with six deadly claws and razor-sharp teeth native to the planet Vendaxa. They were used as execution beasts by the Geonosians, and one attempted to kill Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, and Padmé Amidala in the Petranaki Arena prior to the outbreak of the Clone Wars.

Biology and appearance[]

An acklay in the Petranaki Arena

The acklay was a non-sentient mix of crustacean and reptile[1] with amphibious traits that allowed it to inhabit the water and land of its homeworld of Vendaxa. The gigantic creature was protected by a hard, shell-like carapace[2] of bony nodules. They walked on six hardened, skin-covered claws, and had grappling hands. Its mouth was filled with razor-sharp teeth,[3] and used an organ beneath its chin to sense the body electricity given off by its prey, which it would then spear with its pointed legs.[2] The species had stretchy stomachs[3] and three eyes.[4]


Acklays were carnivorous,[6] predatory creatures, and though they typically lived underwater on Vendaxa, they came on land to hunt the planet's plains for lemnai.[3] Surprisingly agile,[7] acklays scuttled around on their six pointed legs, using an organ beneath their chins to sense the body electricity of their prey. They speared their prey with their claws,[2] biting through them with razor-sharp teeth[3] and snapping limbs[8] or swallowing them into their stretchy stomachs.[3] Vicious creatures possessing agile fury and bestial rage,[7] acklays were known for their bite,[9] and were strong enough to bite through a polearm and smash a stone pillar to the ground.[4]

Acklays were known to be used as killer beasts in execution arenas, such as the Petranaki Arena on Geonosis. There, Geonosian picadors kept the creatures under control with jabs from long-handled spears,[2] and at other times the beasts were chained.[10]

Acklays in the galaxy[]

Obi-Wan Kenobi facing an acklay

Acklays' ferocity and insatiable appetites made them popular creatures for arena fights on the planet Geonosis[8] and at least two were kept in the Petranaki Arena as of 22 BBY; the mated pair shared a pen under the stadium,[11] and were utilized as killer beasts by the Geonosians.[2] One of these acklays was unleashed during the attempted execution of Senator Padmé Amidala, Anakin Skywalker, and Obi-Wan Kenobi by the Confederacy of Independent Systems. The acklay was steered towards Kenobi by its picador,[4] and was a formidable opponent for the unnarmed Jedi,[8] although the Jedi Knight outmaneuvered the beast, causing one of its powerful claw strikes to shear the chain binding him to a pillar. The acklay pursued Kenobi, rending holes in the arena floor with vicious stabs of its claw-like legs. Kenobi armed himself with a picador's polearm, though the acklay shrugged off his strikes and bit the spear in two.[7] Ultimately, Kenobi bested the beast after obtaining a lightsaber once Mace Windu's Jedi assault team arrived to battle Count Dooku's battle droids. Kenobi sheared through the acklay's legs, and finished the dangerous beast off with a downward stab with his blade.[4]

Acklays were present in the Petranaki arena during celebrations for the Eve of Meckgin and Poggle the Lesser's homecoming, and were chained alongside reeks while Poggle announced the Stalgasin hive's involvement in the Death Star project. Even the execution beasts quieted as Poggle made his speech to the hushed arena.[10]

Acklay were considered rare during the Imperial Era. One acklay was contained on a Class four container transport, and it was meant to be transported to the Emperor's personal zoo before being released by the pirate Hondo Ohnaka.[12][13]

Behind the scenes[]

Obi-Wan Kenobi's fight with the acklay in Star Wars Episode II Attack of the Clones was inspired by the 1961 movie Mysterious Island, in which a shipwrecked sailor battles a giant crab.[1]

In the LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures episode "Crossing Paths," after the Battle of Hoth, Luke Skywalker and Rowan Freemaker distracted an acklay on Felucia in order to recover a part of their starship. Rowan used Force-sensitive flowers that attracted bugs that the acklay liked in order to distract it and recover the part.

Ultimate Star Wars states that acklay are amphibious crustaceans[2] while Star Wars: The Visual Encyclopedia states that they are reptiles.[8]


Non-canon appearances[]


Notes and references[]