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For other uses, see Rancor (disambiguation).

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"Rancor are emotionally complex creatures."
―Boba Fett's rancor keeper[9]

Rancors were large semi-sentient reptilian carnivores native to the planet Dathomir, although they were also present on Felucia, Tatooine, and Koboh. Rancors were often seen as mindless, violent creatures due to their extensive use as fighters across the galaxy.

Biology and appearance[]


Muchi, an adolescent female rancor

Standing around five meters tall,[1] with their long arms, immense jaws, and armored hides that could withstand blaster fire, they were formidable predators[2] but most were not inherently vicious to sentient life,[3] despite the often aggressive-seeming outbursts that made the species well-known.[4] A subspecies known as the jungle rancor populated the planet Felucia.[3] Rage rancors were taller and had an even nastier temperament than an average rancor.[4] Shadow rancors were notorious for their penchant for destruction, gaining their name from their black skin.[4] The proper term for a group of rancors in Galactic Basic Standard was a crash of rancors.[12] Rancors had red blood. When the Sith Lord Darth Vader cut into a rancor enhanced via the cyberanimate program, blood from the creature flowed out instead of cauterizing.[13]


"The Rancor is a truly marvelous opponent. They're not very bright, but they more than make up for that with their ferociousss strength."
―The Trandoshan hunter Charr[14]

Rancors responded to a social hierarchy where an alpha was dominant over other rancors unless defeated.[15] Despite their extremely intimidating appearance, the creatures were inherently benign and were even domesticated by the Witches of Dathomir, but could be provoked over time into a violent nature.[16] Rancor younglings tended to be very energetic and would not always understand their own strength. They could be placated with a bone or a favorite toy, and once they were taught how to settle down, baby rancors could be very gentle.[17] The dirty teeth of the rancor were cleaned by birds. Rancors would eat anything that they were capable of getting their hands on.[8] Rancors were often bred for fighting. However, when domesticated, they could be very loving to their owners.[9]


Pre-Clone Wars[]

"The Force protects me, Terec."
«A pity the same cannot be said for your rancor. The beast is corrupted.»
«Myarga! That was a living being!»
«Bleeding hearts rarely win wars, Marshal. You would do well to remember that.»"
―Avar Kriss and Myarga Anjiliac Atirue[18]

In response to the Drengir threat, Jedi rode rancors into battle alongside the Hutt Clan's forces.

When the Fromprath[19] came to Dathomir, they exploited the natural resources of the planet, which caused the Nightsisters to form a symbiotic alliance with rancors in order to drive out the colonizers.[20] The Hutt Clan used rancors as mounts for its enforcers, such as Gamorrean Warriors.[21] During the High Republic Era, when the Jedi Order and the Hutts were forced to make an alliance against the Drengir, the Jedi of the Galactic Frontier would ride rancors into battle alongside Hutt forces. In response to the slaughter on Daivak, Jedi Master Avar Kriss and Jedi Knight Terec road rancors into battle against the Drengir, while Terec's bond-twin and fellow Knight Ceret and the Hutt leader Myarga Anjiliac Atirue road beside them on speeders. The Drengir would begin to overwhelm their enemies over the course of the battle, with one managing to extend its tenacle-like vines into the mouth and nostrils of Kriss's rancor, forcing her to jump off the beast as it succumbed to the Drengir infection.[18]

To Kriss's horror, Myarga quickly executed the rancor when it began to rise against them. After the Drengir suddenly began to scream out, as the Jedi Knight Keeve Trennis managed to infiltrate their root-mind and find the location of the Great Progenitor on the planet Mulita, the battle resumed, with Terec's rancor reaching out and grabbing one of the plant monsters.[18] The Jedi and Hutts would launch a massive strike against the Drengir in the assault on Mulita,[22] in which the Trandoshan Jedi Master Sskeer rode a rancor into battle. Although Sskeer tried to cut through the vines, his rancor was brought down by Drengir vines. In the end, however, the battle would end in a victory for the Jedi and Hutts when the Great Progenitor was forced back into slumber.[23]

Clone Wars era[]

Jungle rancors

The jungle rancors lived on the planet Felucia.

The jungle rancor subspecies lived on the world of Felucia; after the destruction of the Felucia Medical Station HCTFF2, Jedi General Obi-Wan Kenobi, Jedi General Anakin Skywalker, and Jedi Commander Ahsoka Tano saw a group of such rancors on planet. While they were careful to not scare the creatures,[7] the jungle rancors lived a relatively peaceful co-existence with the native Felucian farmers.[24]

Imperial Era[]

"A rampaging adolescent rancor is not the distraction I was anticipating."
―Tech, on Muchi[15]

After the rise of the Galactic Empire, Clone Force 99 was hired by Cid to rescue Muchi, an adolescent rancor on Ord Mantell, though they were not informed she was a rancor. Muchi was released by Omega in order to help the squad and some slaves escape from a group of Zygerrian enslavers, and Echo expressed surprise upon discovering that Muchi was the rancor, not one of the slaves.[15]


On Koboh, Jedi Knight Cal Kestis killed a rancor after the beast attacked him during his search for the missing prospectors.

In 9 BBY, a rancor killed some prospectors on the planet Koboh. The rancor was eventually killed by Cal Kestis when the Jedi Knight was sent to investigate the prospectors' disappearance. Later on, the latter discovered another rancor in the aptly-named Phon'Qi Caverns, that had apparently lived there for some time, feeding upon those unfortunate enough to incur its wrath, including the Bedlam Raiders. Cal reacted with noticeable disbelief upon killing the second rancor.[25]

After the Sith Lord Darth Vader killed a Trandoshan enhanced via the Cylo Directive's cyberanimate program, the Cylo Directive instead implanted the cyberanimate into a rancor.[26] The system connected directly to the creature's brain to try and circumvent any weakness it could be faced by. In particular, the rancor was equipped with neural dampeners to prevent it from feeling pain, adrenal stimulants, and a plate-reinforced thorax.[13] In the lead up to the hijacking of the Executor, by which point the rancor was the most recent creation of the labs, the cyborg creature was unleashed against Vader by Doctor Tulon Voidgazer[26] in what she dubbed experiment 428. The rancor approached Vader via vector e on her order and did not react when Vader cut off some of the creature's hand, as per its neural dampeners, before rushing Vader in a rage upon being shocked by its adrenal stimulants. While Voidgazer regarded that as an unsipirising response, she was pleased by the thorax resisting Vader's Force choke attack. All the same, once she explained the system, Vader bested the beast by throwing his lightsaber into its brain, killing it.[13]


Jabba owned a pet rancor named Pateesa.

A massive rancor named Pateesa[27] was kept as a pet by Jabba the Hutt in a shadowy chamber beneath his palace court, to which he fed his enemies or any who displeased him. During the mission to rescue Han Solo, Jabba dispatched the young Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker into the pit. After the terrifying creature ate one of Jabba's Gamorrean guards, the young Jedi defeated the rancor to the shock of all watching. Pateesa's human handler, Malakili, mourned the rancor's death, while an outraged Jabba ordered the public execution of the Jedi and his friends.[6]

Post-Imperial Era[]

In 9 ABY,[28] the Hutts known as The Twins presented a rancor to Daimyo Boba Fett on Tatooine as tribute and an apology for sending the Wookiee gladiator Krrsantan to assassinate Fett. The rancor was equipped with blinders, which its keeper explained was because a rancor would "imprint" on the first human it saw. Boba removed the rancor's blinders and began to bond with his new creature, asking the rancor keeper to teach him to ride the rancor as the Witches of Dathomir had.[9] When the Pyke Syndicate began using Tatooine as part of their spice trade, Fett met with Mos Espa's criminal leaders at his palace to try to convince them to join him against the Pykes. During the meeting, Fett's guests were surprised at the rancor that was just below them.[29]


Boba Fett rides his rancor as it tears apart a scorpenek droid.

During the battle that took place in Mos Espa, Fett and his allies were being outnumbered by the Pykes, which was made worse when the Pykes brought in Scorpenek droids equipped with deflector shields, against which their weapons were nearly useless. To balance the fight, Fett withdrew from the battle and returned riding his rancor,[30] using his bond with the creature and its species' legacy to instill fear into the Pyke forces.[31] The rancor's appearance changed the course of the battle,[30] with the creature, interestingly, showcasing a superior combat style to the Scorpenek units.[31]

When bounty hunter Cad Bane, Fett's former mentor and rival who was working for the Pykes, arrived, rancor was scared away by Bane's flamethrower, what made Fett fall and the animal run away. Without Fett to keep the beast under control, the rancor began to destroy the city. Mandalorian bounty hunter Din Djarin, who had been recruited by Fett, faced the rancor and was nearly killed, but before the rancor could kill him, Grogu, a Force-sensitive child of Yoda's race who was in Djarin's care, placed himself between the two and used the Force to calm the beast and put it to sleep, which Grogu also did alongside the rancor due to the tiredness caused by the act.[30]

Sometime between 9 ABY and 34 ABY,[32] the Trandoshan Hunter Charr owned an outfit of rancor bones, which he wore during the Hunters of the Outer Rim tournament at the Grand Arena on the planet Vespaara.[14]

Behind the scenes[]

Rancor suit btm

The rancor was originally to be portrayed by a man in a suit.

The concept for the rancor in Return of the Jedi was described by its creators as "a cross between a bear and a potato."[33] George Lucas requested the rancor be "the best" Godzilla-like monster to ever be created, as recalled by Phil Tippett. Much like Godzilla,[34] the rancor was first to be played by an actor in a suit.[33] Specifically, the costume called for two actors: one actor controlled an arm, whereas the other controlled the other arm and the rancor's body. After costume tests,[35] no one was satisfied with the results[33] even though shooting was scheduled to begin in several days. Visual effects supervisor Dennis Muren had believed the team was on route to a good end product with the suit, especially after lighting, cutting, and camera angles were factored in. However, it was George Lucas himself who decreed the design was not working and would not in the final film.[35]

After plans for suit actors to portray the rancor fell through,[35] Tippett and company—as recalled by puppeteer Tim Rose to Star Wars Insider—had intended for the rancor to be portrayed by go-motion,[36] a form of stop motion animation[37] that creates smoother results than traditional stop motion, until Tippett saw what Rose's work on Ackbar.[36] Additionally, as noted by Insider in an interview with Muren and fellow Return of the Jedi visual effects supervisor Ken Ralston, there was not enough time in production to film the rancor as a go-motion or stop motion character. In the end, turning to a puppet was a simpler solution that worked with the time constraints.[35] Both interviews were published in Star Wars Insider 222 as "Inside the Mind of the Puppetmaster" and "Together Again, Huh?," respectively.[36][35] In his interview, Muren recalled that the team had looked for other ways to perform the rancor before finally settling on rod puppetry.[35] According to the Rose, seeing Rose's work on Admiral Gial Ackbar—whose head Rose puppeteered in close-up shots for the film—and enjoying it so much "influenced" Tippett's decision to change course for puppetry.[36]

In the end, the rancor was made as a rod-operated puppet.[33] The puppet was operated by Rose, who specifically described the rancor as an act of Bunraku rod puppetry.[36] It was filmed with a high-speed camera to slow its movements down to give the illusion of a much larger creature.[33] Trying to experiment with anything that could to make the rancor, in Muren's words, "more real" and authentic, the team hoped to get the scale and fluidity of the creature across on screen. To those ends, the crew, in addition to shooting it at high speeds, filmed the puppet in reverse—with Tippett himself being the one to move the rancor puppet backwards—and at extremely low speeds. One shot was done in at least ninety takes over the course of what Muren estimated to be around ninety minutes in order to secure all the "little sequences of frames." During the process, the crew knew what the cuts in the scene would be and just had to fit them into the overall edit. Overall, Muren recalled the experience as them "just [shaking] it up."[35]

Had the puppet not worked, Muren reflected that the crew would have been forced to rely on the lengthy process that is stop motion. While Muren did give Tippett credit for the rancor's strong design, he confessed to Insider that, whenever he sees the rancor pit sequence, all he sees is the effort put into it. As such, he was surprised by how much the scene grabs the attention of fans.[35]


Non-canon appearances[]


Non-canon sources[]

Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Ultimate Star Wars
  2. 2.0 2.1 StarWars rancor in the Encyclopedia (content now obsolete; backup link)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 StarWars-DatabankII Rancor in the Databank (backup link)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Star Wars: Commander
  5. Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
  7. 7.0 7.1 TCW mini logo Star Wars: The Clone Wars — "Bounty Hunters"
  8. 8.0 8.1 Galaxy of Creatures small logo Star Wars Galaxy of Creatures — "Rancor"
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 The Book of Boba Fett logo The Book of Boba Fett — "Chapter 3: The Streets of Mos Espa"
  10. Star Wars Character Encyclopedia: Updated and Expanded
  11. 11.0 11.1 Star Wars: Creatures vs. Aliens
  12. Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Expanded Edition
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Darth Vader (2015) 22
  14. 14.0 14.1 Star Wars: Hunters
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 TBBtemplate Star Wars: The Bad Batch — "Rampage"
  16. Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary, New Edition
  17. Galactic Pals logo Star Wars Galactic Pals — "Rancor"
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 The High Republic (2021) 6
  19. Last Shot
  20. Star Wars: The Dark Side
  21. The High Republic (2021) 4
  22. The High Republic: The Rising Storm
  23. The High Republic (2021) 8
  24. StarWars-DatabankII Rancor in the Databank (backup link)
  25. Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
  26. 26.0 26.1 Darth Vader (2015) 21
  27. Aftermath: Life Debt
  28. Star Wars: Timelines places the present day events of The Book of Boba Fett in 9 ABY.
  29. The Book of Boba Fett logo The Book of Boba Fett — "Chapter 4: The Gathering Storm"
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 The Book of Boba Fett logo The Book of Boba Fett — "Chapter 7: In the Name of Honor"
  31. 31.0 31.1 SWInsider "A Certain Point of View" — Star Wars Insider 221
  32. Star Wars: Hunters features Aran Tal, who joined the Hunters of the Outer Rim in 9 ABY per Star Wars: Timelines. Also YouTube Nintendo Direct - 2.17.2021 on the Nintendo YouTube channel (backup link) states that Hunters takes place prior to Star Wars: Episode VII, which Timelines dates to 34 ABY. Therefore Hunters must take place between 9 ABY and 34 ABY.
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 33.3 33.4 Empire of Dreams: The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy
  34. From Star Wars to Indiana Jones: The Best of the Lucasfilm Archives
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 35.3 35.4 35.5 35.6 35.7 SWInsider "Together Again, Huh?" — Star Wars Insider 222
  36. 36.0 36.1 36.2 36.3 36.4 SWInsider "Inside the Mind of the Puppetmaster" — Star Wars Insider 222
  37. Sawicki, Mark. "Chapter 7: Animate Monsters". Animating with Stop Motion Pro. CRC Press, 2012. ISBN 9781136135897.