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"Finally, by dissecting one of the knobby spiders, our arachnid specialist discovered that the creature's body core was made primarily of calcified wood, the same as the trees. The knobby spiders are part of gnarltrees' life cycle!"
Halka Four-Den speaks about a knobby white spider on Dagobah[5]

The Knobby white spider was a large landspeeder-sized[5] arachnid-like immature spore form of the gnarltree native to the swamp world of Dagobah.[1] In addition to the very large ones, there were also some smaller, knee-height ones; Luke Skywalker ended up facing a number of these in his training.[6]

Biology and appearance

Luke Skywalker faces a knobby white spider.

One of the most bizarre organisms on Dagobah, the knobby white spider was in fact a mobile root that was part of the gnarltree's life cycle,[7] that developed in bud colonies on their roots.[1] Composed primarily of calcified wood,[5] during the period of active adolescence[1] it would break free of its parent tree to roam the swamps and devour animals[7] for five to seven years.[3] During this period it was vulnerable to bogwings, jubba birds,[7] and others.[1] After gathering enough nutrients,[5] the spider would find a clear spot to anchor its legs, and if it survived that period, eventually it would be gradually enveloped by chrysalis-like bark[7] and its legs would transform into roots[5] that allow the spider to grow into a towering tree[7] within three months.[3]

The spiders had a large, lumpy body with a bloated, bulbous head, eight gnarled legs,[5] and eight eyes that could see in all directions at once.[3] They had one large stinger on the underbelly used to capture and sedate its prey,[8] and smaller stingers near the end of each leg to immobilize the target.[3]

Behind the scenes

The knobby white spiders first appeared in the Star Wars Legends continuity in the 1995 novel Darksaber, written by Kevin J. Anderson,[9] and were first pictured in the 1995 reference book The Illustrated Star Wars Universe, written by Kevin J. Anderson and illustrated by Ralph McQuarrie.[5] The artwork was based on a sketch made in February 1979 for the The Empire Strikes Back.[10] In the Star Wars canon continuity, the artwork of the knobby white spider inspired three other creatures:[11] the spice spider of Taul,[12] the krykna, a spider-like creature found on Atollon,[13] and the knobby white ice spider of Maldo Kreis.[14]



Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 The Wildlife of Star Wars: A Field Guide
  2. Galaxy Guide 3: The Empire Strikes Back, Second Edition
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Threats of the Galaxy
  4. 4.0 4.1 The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. II, p. 222 ("knobby white spider")
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 The Illustrated Star Wars Universe
  6. Star Wars: Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Inside the Worlds of Star Wars Trilogy
  8. Junior Jedi Knights: Anakin's Quest
  9. Darksaber
  10. TwitterLogo.svg Phil Szostak (@PhilSzostak) on Twitter: "Initially sketched in February 1979 for #TheEmpireStrikesBack, Ralph McQuarrie completed his "bog planet tree creature" painting in 1993 for The Illustrated #StarWars Universe, later inspiring both the krykna for #StarWarsRebels and the spiders for Chapter 10 of #TheMandalorian." (backup link)
  11. TwitterLogo.svg Phil Szostak (@PhilSzostak) on Twitter: "@Aviriia They are new! Both inspired by the same design." (backup link) (In response to "Can you confirm if the creatures were Krykna or that it are completely new creatures inspired by the ralph mcquarrie art?")
  12. Star Wars Special: C-3PO 1
  13. Rebels-mini-logo.png Star Wars Rebels – "The Mystery of Chopper Base"
  14. The-Mandalorian-logo.png The Mandalorian – "Chapter 10: The Passenger"