Nightmare demon was the name of a near-mythical species from the planet of Droxine. They were small-sized primates with two tails, suction cup-tipped fingers and a bare head that resembled the Human skull. Nightmare demons had strong telepathic abilities that allowed them to drive other beings mad with nightmarish hallucinations. While they were believed to have been exterminated some time before the Clone Wars, some nightmare demons had survived the slaughter and fallen under Imperial control. In 3 ABY, a surviving demon named Reist attempted to murder the Rebel hero Luke Skywalker, only to be slain himself.

Biology and appearanceEdit

Nightmare monkey

The nightmare demons were small-sized primates with a bare skull

Nightmare demons were a species of small sentient primates,[2] thus belonging to the same order of mammals[3] as Humans.[4] As such, they were anthropoid in shape, characterized by a torso with four limbs and a single head attached to it. They had a fur-covered body and two tails. Their arms ended with four-fingered hands, while their feet only had three toes. Those fingers and toes were all very flexible and ended with suction cups. The nightmare demons' cranium, unlike the rest of their body, was hairless, exposing their apparent exoskeleton. Their skull looked very similar to that of the Humans, only much smaller, and their deep-set eyes flashed with eerie bursts of light. They were small enough to fit on a Human's forearm without discomfort.[1]

In addition to being supple and nimble, the nightmare demons demonstrated powerful telepathic abilities. They were able to enter a being's mind and immobilize them with their worst fears—hence their name. However, their telepathy had its limits, as it could be blocked by lead.[1]


"No… It can't be… I thought they'd all been eradicted before the Clone Wars…"
―Luke Skywalker[src]
Esstran sector

The Esstran sector, home of the demons

Nightmare demons evolved on the planet of Droxine,[1] located within the Esstran sector of the Outer Rim region of the galaxy. Although not part of it, their home planet was close to the Sith Worlds, the crib of the dreaded Sith civilization.[5] Between 3959 and 3956 BBY, the demons' home planet was part of the territory assimilated by Darth Revan's Sith Empire.[6] The nightmare demons were thought to have been completely wiped out at some point before the Clone Wars,[1] a pan-galactic conflict that raged from 22 to 19 BBY and ended with the proclamation of the Galactic Empire.[7] However, a few nightmare demons did survive the slaughter and went on to live during the ensuing Imperial Period.[1]

Nightmare demons in the galaxyEdit


The nightmare demon Reist partnered with Altin Wuho

The nightmare demons who had survived their speciecide were eventually recovered by the Empire, who partenered them with high-level assassins chosen by Palpatine, the Galactic Emperor himself. Those who were tasked with exploiting the demons' skills would make them wear a lead-lined hood, just to shield themselves from a potentially treacherous attempt. Because of the terrible mental powers they wielded, members of other species often displayed hate and fear when meeting a nightmare demon, and the creature, in return, could feel those ill emotions.[1]

One of the surviving demons, a male named Reist, was paired up with Altin Wuho, a Human replica droid who was, by his very nature, immune to Reist's telepathic powers. Around 3 ABY, shortly after the Battle of Hoth, Wuho unleashed his nightmare demon partner on Luke Skywalker, a hero and ace pilot of the Rebel Alliance. After experiencing a series of hope-draining visions, Skywalker was able to use the Force to overcome the powers of Reist. Reaching his lightsaber, the pilot struck the demon in the chest, mortally wounding him.[1]

Behind the scenesEdit

"Fans missed Luke battling Reist, 'a telepathic killer from the planet Droxine.' Sounds scary, but Reist was a monkey with a skull for a head."
―Jason Fry, in Comic Marvels[src]

The nightmare demons were created by Steve Moore and first appeared in his comic the Empire Strikes Back Monthly 149: Death Masque, published in 1981.



Notes and referencesEdit

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Stream the best stories.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Get Disney+