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For other uses, see Bantha (disambiguation).

"Baby banthas are quite cute, you know. A terrible shame to see one cut in half.…"
Darth Vectivus[12]

Banthas were sturdy and easily domesticated mammals used as beasts of burden that were found all over the galaxy. The common bantha, or Bantha majorus, was the most commonly known species, with the other subspecies considered generally rare.


Bantha cow (female) and bull (male)

"Banthas are filthy animals. I don't eat filthy animals."
Mace Windu — (audio) Listen (file info)[13]

The bantha was one of the most adaptable herbivorous creatures in the galaxy and could be found on several worlds including Tatooine. They were able to survive in almost any extremes of environment and could go without food or water for several weeks.[8] Although bantha subspecies had diverged from their baseline ancestors, most shared similar characteristics. They were quadrupeds that were covered with long, shaggy fur and had large curved horns. A common bantha adult (Bantha majorus) was between two and three meters tall and could weigh up to 4,000 kilos. Their lifespan was between 80 and 100 years and they reached sexual maturity at the age of 20. Some sentient species had been known to ride banthas, such as Tusken Raiders.[3]

Bulls tended to be larger than the cows and both genders grew a pair of spiral horns. Most female banthas achieved just a single spiral during their lifetimes, while a male could achieve two full spirals before its death.[3]

The distinctive spiral horns of the bantha grew at the rate of a knob each year. Thickness and condition of the horns were an indication of the bantha's health and environment. Bulls fought each other by butting heads in ritual combat. The spirals on their horns could cause the pair to become entangled, which almost always meant death for both banthas, as the pair would soon collapse from exhaustion and eventually succumb to death by dehydration.[3]

Bantha tongue anatomy

Banthas used their dexterous, sensitive tongue, as a sort of hand used in pulling up grass and shrubs from the ground. Also located on the tongue were breathing and scent spiracles. Male banthas also raised their tongue as a way to signal their readiness to mate.[3]

Banthas traveled in herds of up to twenty-five individuals, led by the oldest, strongest female. A herd which grew too large was split, with the second oldest and strongest female taking the new herd. The gestation period was 30 months and the newborn's birth weight was about 50 kilograms.[3]

Female banthas produced blue milk[2] from mammary glands that was consumed by sentients as a drink.[11] Bantha dung was another useful byproduct of the species, as it smoldered for a significant amount of time, and was used by the Tuskens as cooking fuel.[14]

Banthas had three-nailed hooves that were typically trimmed by their owners.[14]

Banthas were harvested for their meat by workers or were put in animal nurseries for long-term sustained harvesting on multiple worlds.[15]


Feral bantha from Talasea

The bantha was domesticated on most worlds and were used for pulling heavy loads, transportation and even as war beasts. The meat and hide of the bantha were much sought-after.[16] While the origins of the bantha were unknown, every world on which it existed laid claim to it as being its homeworld.[17] There were at least three distinct subspecies found on the planet Tatooine: the common bantha, the dwarf bantha, and the dune bantha.[3] Noted for their docility, the dwarf race (also referred to as "miniature banthas") made amiable pets, as in the case of Ebenn Q3 Baobab's companion, Nuke.[18]

Another additional subspecies, the Kashyyyk bantha, was suitably adapted for life on the Wookiee homeworld[4] and the Kilian Bantha was adapted for living in the mountainous regions of Kilia IV.[5]

Feral banthas were also found on Talasea where they developed an aggressive personality and roamed the forested world at will, attacking anything that crossed its path.[16]

Swamp banthas were brought to Ohma-D'un to help colonize the moon.[6]

Banthas of Tatooine[]

A herd of banthas crossing the Dune Sea.

The bantha was an integral part of Tusken culture on Tatooine. When a Tusken Raider child reached the age of seven he or she was ceremonially presented with a bantha of the same age as a companion-for-life. The youth learned to care for the creature, and the two built a mystical bond. When the bantha reached maturity, the male Tusken Raider would saddle his companion and ride it into the desert for adult initiation ceremonies.[3]

When Tuskens married, the couple's banthas would also mate. Often, the resulting calf would be of the same gender as the Tusken child.[3]

The banthas of Tatooine were known to form deep bonds with the Tusken Raiders of the planet and often committed suicide if their riders were to die first. Banthas that died naturally were placed in vast graveyards, which other banthas treated with a kind of ceremonial reverence.[3]

After the Battle of Yavin, Imperial sandtroopers began using banthas, in addition to the Dewbacks, as mounts. The Rebel Alliance officer Droma Ordo therefore led a mission to decrease the Bantha population around Anchorhead to reduce the number of Imperial patrols.[19] Ironically, the Rebels were using banthas to transport their supplies around the same time and Imperial Captain Jasha also tasked a spacer to hunt down banthas near Bestine.[20]

The bantha in culture[]

"Spare us the bantha droppings."
Wes Janson to Kapp Dendo[21]

Tusken Raiders riding their bantha mounts in single file.

Behind the scenes[]

CGI model for The Phantom Menace

In the original version of A New Hope, the bantha was played by a trained elephant named Mardji in a fur costume. In some cases, Mardji's trunk can be barely visible beneath the bantha costume. Re-releases and the prequel trilogy featured digital banthas. Their vocalizations were also done with a slowed-down bear's roar.[31]

In 1997, Galoob released the first-ever licensed toy bantha as part of its Action Fleet line of micro-sized toys. In 1998, Kenner made an action figure-scaled bantha. A reissue with different fur and figures came out in 2007. For The Star Wars Holiday Special, a toy bantha was created, although it was never released as a toy to the public.

Banthas appear in the video game LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy. The player cannot control the bantha directly, but by hopping onto one using any other humanoid character, the bantha can be put to their use. Banthas in the game are extremely slow, and if you hop on one in the level in which they appear, Tusken Raiders come and attack the player.

Star Wars: Battlefront and Star Wars: Battlefront II assign the rank "bantha fodder" to the player who dies the most on the battlefield.

The word "bantha" was capitalized in official publications up through at least the first edition of the Guide to the Star Wars Universe in 1984.


(audio) BanthaA-SWE1R.ogg (info · help)
Example of a bantha's cry

(audio) BanthaB-SWE1R.ogg (info · help)
Another example of a bantha's cry


Explore all of Wookieepedia's images for this article subject.

Non-canon appearances[]


Notes and references[]

  1. The New Essential Guide to Alien Species
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Stay on Target
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 The Wildlife of Star Wars: A Field Guide
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Republic 82
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 WizardsoftheCoast.png "Kilian Bantha" on Wizards.com (original article link, content now obsolete; backup link)
  6. 6.0 6.1 Star Wars Episode I: The Gungan Frontier
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Star Wars Character Encyclopedia
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 The Essential Guide to Alien Species
  9. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope script
  10. 10.0 10.1 The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. I, p. 59 ("bantha")
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
  12. 12.0 12.1 Legacy of the Force: Betrayal
  13. Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds: Clone Campaigns
  14. 14.0 14.1 Star Wars (1998) 10
  15. Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds
  16. 16.0 16.1 Databank title.png bantha in the Databank (content now obsolete; backup link)
  17. 17.0 17.1 Alien Anthology
  18. Galactic Phrase Book & Travel Guide
  19. SWG logo sm.png Star Wars Galaxies: Starter Kit—Rebel Quest: "Rebel Bantha Hunt" on Tatooine
  20. SWG logo sm.png Star Wars Galaxies: Starter Kit—Imperial Quest: "Imperial Bantha Hunt" on Tatooine
  21. Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron: Battleground: Tatooine
  22. The Black Sands of Socorro
  23. Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace
  24. Dark Apprentice
  25. Legacy of the Force: Tempest
  26. SWAJsmall.jpg "Death-Hunter" – Star Wars Adventure Journal 9, p.205
  27. Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided—Data Storage Unit: "ESSENTIAL COOKING SKILLS"
  28. Lando Calrissian and the Flamewind of Oseon
  29. Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
  30. SWGamer-icon.png "Bartyn's Landing"—Star Wars Gamer 7
  31. StarWars.com Drawing from the Present: Familiar Creatures in a Galaxy Far, Far Away on StarWars.com (backup link)

External links[]