- "Can we shoot it?"
"Yes. But it is notoriously difficult to get off a lethal shot before a ghest bites you in half."
- ―Luke Skywalker and Taneetch Soonta
Ghests were a predatory serpentine species native to the jungle swamps of the planet Rodia. With long, green bodies; claws; and sharp teeth, they preferred to ambush prey on swamp shorelines by pouncing on them from the water, rarely if ever hunting on land. Ghests were occasionally hunted by teams of the sentient Rodian species native to their homeworld, although the hunting parties usually sustained casualties, and the practice had become less common by the time of the Galactic Civil War. The Jedi Luke Skywalker and the Rodian Taneetch Soonta encountered and killed a ghest on Rodia while trying to visit the mausoleum of the Jedi Knight Huulik.
Biology and appearance
- "They're large creatures that like to move quietly in the water before erupting to pluck food off the shorelines, especially herbivores and birds, and we just flew down from the sky to land at the shore—"
- ―Taneetch Soonta describes ghests, before being cut off as one attacks
Ghests were a large species of predator native to the planet Rodia. They were capable of movement on land and in water, though their speed was far greater in the latter. Ghests possessed a long serpentine body covered in green scales and had powerful arms ending in clawed hands with four digits. Their heads included a mouth full of sharp teeth and two pale, round eyes. Ghests were strong enough to toss speeder bikes short distances with their arms. They were capable of roaring and hissing.
- "It's technically possible but highly doubtful. Ghests are much slower on land and perceive that as a weakness. They prefer the quick strike."
- ―Taneetch Soonta expresses her doubt about being attacked by a ghest on land
Ghests' prey usually consisted of birds and herbivores. The creatures lived in the jungle swamps of their homeworld, Rodia. When hunting, ghests preferred to ambush their prey by moving quietly through the murky swamp water before striking at creatures on the shore. They rarely hunted on land, as they were far slower out of water and perceived such slowness as a weakness, preferring to strike quickly. Ghests were intelligent enough to learn from their mistakes, knowing not to attack targets that they had already found inedible. When frustrated, ghests would roar. They were capable of hibernating for extended periods of time.
A dangerous prey
- "They are not hunted so often as they used to be, but when they are, they are hunted in teams, and those teams often return with a dead ghest and at least one dead Rodian."
- ―Taneetch Soonta
The sentient Rodian species of Rodia hunted ghests in teams, although by the time of the Galactic Civil War between the Galactic Empire and the Alliance to Restore the Republic, ghest hunts had become less frequent. Hunters faced notorious difficulty in getting a kill shot on a ghest before the creature bit them in half, resulting in many ghest-hunting parties sustaining at least one casualty.
At least one ghest ended up as a specimen in the Shadow Stacks collection of the Graf Archive on the moon Orchis 2. One student hoping to become an archivist examined the ghest under the belief that it was mummified but realized he was in danger when it turned out to have simply been hibernating.
Hunting at Huulik's mausoleum
- "Your odds of ensuring the ghest has to eat a lightsaber before it eats you are pretty good."
- ―Taneetch Soonta encourages Luke Skywalker to slay a ghest
Shortly after the Battle of Yavin, in 0 ABY, the Jedi Luke Skywalker and the Rodian Taneetch Soonta encountered a ghest in the jungles of Rodia while trying to visit the mausoleum of Soonta's uncle Huulik, who had served as a Jedi Knight during the Clone Wars. The pair landed on a swamp shoreline near the mausoleum on a pair of speeder bikes, one of which the ghest pounced upon after the travelers had dismounted. The beast lifted the vehicle and bit down upon its steering vanes before realizing it could not eat the bike, which caused it to roar in anger and hurl the speeder into a nearby rock shelf. With the bike destroyed, the ghest stared and hissed at Skywalker and Soonta before retreating to the water.
The two then made their way to the mausoleum, where Soonta recovered Huulik's lightsaber from her uncle's sarcophagus and gifted it to Skywalker, who had revealed he wished to become a Jedi Knight. Upon Soonta's encouragement, Skywalker returned as bait to the water's edge with both his own and Huulik's lightsaber drawn. After a moment of waiting, Skywalker questioned if the beast had simply left, but the ghest pounced immediately after from the Jedi's left. Skywalker swung one of his sabers at the predator and decapitated it, but not before its teeth had sunk into his shoulder. After the separated head was removed from Skywalker's shoulder, Soonta captured images of its corpse and the destroyed bike before the pair left the jungle so that Skywalker could get to an infirmary.
Behind the scenes
Ghests were originally created by Peter Venters and Chuck Truett for Creatures of the Galaxy, a Star Wars Legends sourcebook released in 1994 for West End Games' Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game. The species entered the new Star Wars canon through its appearance in Heir to the Jedi, a 2015 novel written by Kevin Hearne.
- Age of Republic - Jango Fett 1 (Mentioned only)
- Heir to the Jedi (First appearance, simultaneous with Heir to the Jedi audiobook)
- Heir to the Jedi audiobook
- Star Wars: Galactic Atlas (First pictured)
Notes and references
- Heir to the Jedi
- Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
- In Heir to the Jedi, Luke Skywalker states that he has not heard from Obi-Wan Kenobi since the Battle of Yavin, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas establishes as the starting point of 0 ABY. Since Skywalker hears from Kenobi in the first issue of the 2015 Star Wars comic series, Heir to the Jedi must take place between the battle and Star Wars 1. Additionally, that comic takes place before the fourth issue of the 2015 Star Wars: Darth Vader comic series, the events of which are dated to 0 ABY by Galactic Atlas. Therefore, Heir to the Jedi must also take place in 0 ABY.
- Creatures of the Galaxy