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The massiff was a reptilian species of dangerous hunters found on desert planets including Tatooine and Geonosis. Massiffs were domesticated for sentry and guard tasks, and were used by the Tusken Raiders of Tatooine.

Biology and appearance[]

A pack of massiffs on Tatooine

A massiff was a squat quadruped with a row of spines along their humped backs.[3] The size of the spines, which the reptiles used for defense, indicated a massiff's age.[1] As well as the spines giving them an extra level of defense,[2] the creatures also had armored hides.[1] Native to desert environments, massiffs were snarling hunters with powerful and dangerous bites.[2] Their mouths could open very wide and were filled with long dagger-like teeth.[5] The creature's large eyes allowed it to see well at night[2] and in the dark in general.[1] An average massiff stood at roughly one meter high, and the species was found on a variety of worlds, typically in desert habitats such as Tatooine, Geonosis,[2] and Florrum.[4]


Many massiffs were domesticated and trained for sentry and guard duty. Tusken Raiders, Weequay pirates, and even clone troopers of the Grand Army of the Republic utilized massiffs as guard beasts.[2] During the Clone Wars, ARF troopers trained massiffs as trackers.[6] At least one, named Grizzer, was used by the clone trooper sergeant accordingly nicknamed "Hound." Grizzer was used to track Jedi Ahsoka Tano on Coruscant after she escaped from the Republic military base.[7]

Tusken younglings sitting with their pet massiffs.

Massiffs were used by the Imperial Military after the end of the Clone Wars as well. On the planet Daro, which housed a secret Imperial base devoted to training the first recruited stormtroopers, massiffs were used to track the clone commando Gregor after he deserted and attempted to escape. At one point during the pursuit, Gregor was cornered by the creatures as he covertly planted a rescue beacon in the woods, but escaped them, although he was later captured and imprisoned. More of the creatures were deployed when Gregor was rescued by the deserters of Clone Force 99, and accompanied the soldiers who captured squad leader Hunter after he was separated from the group and fell down the side of the mountain concealing the base.[8]

After Boba Fett escaped from the belly of the sarlacc in the Great Pit of Carkoon, a Tusken Raider tribe took the bounty hunter captive. They used a massiff to guard Fett and another prisoner. Fett attempted to escape and in the process knocked the massiff out and used its teeth to cut the ropes restraining him. The massiff regained consciousness and chased after the bounty hunter, knocking him to the ground and allowing him to be recaptured. The massiff later accompanied one of the tribe's younglings as he led Fett and the Rodian to dig up black melons. In the process, they woke a Tatooine sand ape buried beneath the sand. In defense of the youngling, the massiff attacked the creature and was subsequently struck and knocked unconscious.[9]

Din Djarin tames a massiff

In 9 ABY,[10] the Mandalorian bounty hunter Din Djarin ran into a pack of massiffs on Tatooine. As his companion Cobb Vanth grew nervous, Djarin began to communicate with the massiffs and calmly let one approach him before petting it and meeting with the accompanying tribe of Tusken Raiders.[5]

Behind the scenes[]

The massiff originated from a concept design of the orray.[11] In particular, the massiff adapted the aggressive and menacing appearance of early orray concepts.[12] The massiff was deemed too vicious-looking for a simple pack animal, so it became a dog-sized lizard that was to attack Obi-Wan Kenobi on Geonosis in a scene cut from Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones. After this scene was cut, the massiffs were transported to Tatooine to serve as guard dogs for Tusken Raiders, replacing a creature design originally known as a faybo.[11]



Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Star Wars: The Visual Encyclopedia
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Ultimate Star Wars
  3. 3.0 3.1 Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
  4. 4.0 4.1 TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Tipping Points"
  5. 5.0 5.1 The-Mandalorian-logo.png The Mandalorian – "Chapter 9: The Marshal"
  6. Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know
  7. TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Jedi Who Knew Too Much"
  8. TBBtemplate.png Star Wars: The Bad Batch – "War-Mantle"
  9. The Book of Boba Fett logo.png The Book of Boba Fett – "Chapter 1: Stranger in a Strange Land"
  10. StarWars.com SWCC 2019: 9 Things We Learned from The Mandalorian Panel on StarWars.com (backup link) establishes that The Mandalorian is set around five years after the events of Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates to 4 ABY. Furthermore, SWInsider.png "A Certain Point of View" – Star Wars Insider 202 dates the skirmish on Nevarro and the second rescue of Grogu—which are depicted in the The Mandalorian episodes "Chapter 7: The Reckoning" and "Chapter 16: The Rescue," respectively—to "9 ASW4," or nine years after the events of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, which corresponds to 9 ABY according to Galactic Atlas. Therefore, the events of "Chapter 1: The Mandalorian" through "Chapter 6: The Prisoner" must have taken place around 9 ABY, while the events of "Chapter 7: The Reckoning" through "Chapter 16: The Rescue" took place in 9 ABY.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Databank title.png massiff in the Databank (content now obsolete; backup link)
  12. Databank title.png orray in the Databank (content now obsolete; backup link)