- "Big gooberfish! Huge-o teeth!"
- ―Jar Jar Binks
The opee sea killer, sometimes referred to as simply an opee, was a large meat-eating crustaceous sea creature of approximately twenty meters in length; a hybrid of crustacean and fish, that inhabited the watery planet core of Naboo. It was the third largest predator on Naboo, only smaller than the colo claw fish and the even larger Sando aqua monster, which both prey on it. Its also the largest creature on the planet to have a prehensile tongue. Another predatory enemy of it is the Titavian.
The opee was a predator often found clung to rocky outcroppings or hidden in caverns or under ledges awaiting its prey. When forced to move, the opee was perfectly adapted to swim—in its own unusual way—sucking water into its mouth and jet propelling it from pores beneath armored plates at the rear of its body. This unique technique, coupled with three pairs of powerful legs and a pair of pectoral guidance fins, allowed the opee to accelerate quickly underwater. Once in range of prey, the opee would extend its massive, gooey, purple prehensile tongue, successfully reeling in its prey to a vicious, gaping maw of multi-rowed teeth. If it's prey was small, the opee would simply use its prehensile tongue to pull it into its mouth and quickly devour it in one bite. If prey were large, then after grabbing it, the open would bite several times before eating it whole. The opee also used the long, antennas protruding from above its head as lures to draw prey towards its double rows of fangs. Their thick chitinous hide could deflect blasts from energy blasters.
Opees were known to be mouth breeders, with the male opee carrying fertilized eggs inside its mouth for three months—forcing the male to fast until the young were born. From birth, opees could sustain themselves instinctively (and gruesomely). It was not unknown for unhatched opee eggs to be swallowed by colo claw fish, creatures later killed in a grisly manner when the new-born young chewed their way out of the colo's stomach. This could also occur if the colo swallowed young opees alive.
During the time of the Invasion of Naboo, an opee sea killer spotted the tribubble bongo used by Obi-Wan Kenobi, Qui-Gon Jinn, and Jar Jar Binks (who referred to it as a "big gooberfish") to reach the city of Theed. It stealthily pursued the submersibe, and extended its purple prehensile tongue, grabbing it and jerking it into its mouth. As it was attempting to feast, the creature was attacked by an even larger underwater predator—the massive sando aqua monster, considered to be the opee's deep-sea rival. The monster bit down on the fish causing it to release its prey, before tearing it in half and devouring it.
During the events of the early Galactic Civil War roughly 30 years later, an opee sea killer spotted a Bongo vehicle that was traveling around the ocean floor. It fired its purple prehensile tongue at the sub and pulled it into its mouth, but it was quickly devoured by a sando aqua monster before it could have a chance to eat it, which a Star Tours-owned StarSpeeder 1000 witnessed.
One opee sea killer was housed inside the Royal Icqui Aquaria, a large, public aquarium that was situated on the planet Coruscant, and the sea killer was the largest living creature in the facility.
Behind the scenes
Early designs of the opee sea killer showed a creature that was little more than a tooth-filled jaw grafted onto a combination fish and crab body. Later sketches refined the look, though a possible design direction incorporating mammalian characteristics — a long body and a fin-like tail — were explored and abandoned. The opee stayed the fish/crab hybrid and the mammal traits were worked into the sando aqua monster designs.
In the first draft of the script, the opee sea killer was to attack the Bongo with "paralyzing spit balls" but they were replaced with a purple prehensile tongue.
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