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C-3PO: "You will therefore be taken to the Dune Sea and cast into the Pit of Carkoon, the nesting place of the all-powerful Sarlacc."
Han Solo: "Doesn't sound so bad."
C-3PO: "In its belly, you will find a new definition of pain and suffering, as you are slowly digested over a thousand years."
Chewbacca: "Aaarrrr!"
Han Solo: "On second thought, let's pass on that, huh?"
―C-3PO, translating for Jabba the Hutt, delivers a death sentence to Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Chewbacca[4]

Sarlaccs were dangerous, carnivorous creatures located on Tatooine and several other planets throughout the galaxy. It shared common ancestry with other species, including the rathtar, blixus, and vixus.[5] One sarlacc identified as the "almighty Sarlacc"[4] lived in the Great Pit of Carkoon, a depression of sand within Tatooine's Dune Sea, and served as one of Jabba the Hutt's favorite pets and a means of execution.[2]

Biology and appearance[]

"I've heard tell there's an enzyme in sarlacc stomach acid that gives some species unnaturally long life. Probably just a rumor. But if it's true? One's likely to be alive for a good chunk of the thousand years it takes to be digested."
―Bane Malar[6]

Han Solo fleeing a pair of infant sarlaccs on I'vorcia Prime

Sarlaccs were found on Felucia,[7] I'vorcia Prime,[8] Pasaana,[9] Tatooine,[10] Vodran.[11] and began their lives as spores and were able to travel great distances. When a male and female encountered one another, the smaller male would parasitically feed off the female, diminishing her size while increasing his own. Once the male reached the female's original size, he would burst, releasing millions of spores into the air and atmosphere.[12]

Once sarlaccs reached their maturity after 30,000 years, they would burrow themselves nearly 100 meters below the surface, feeding on creatures and humanoids unfortunate enough to fall into their mouths. Victims of the sarlacc would be overcome with toxic fumes and would either die from suffocation, the acid or both. According to Jabba the Hutt, prey were allegedly digested for millennia[12] due to the creature's weak stomach acid.[13] However, it is unknown if this was a fabrication by Jabba to intimidate those who were to be executed, as it would seem that the creature did have a slow digestive system. During Boba Fett's escape, he spotted the body of a stormtrooper that was likely part of a search party years before. Despite this, the stomach acid of the sarlacc was still potent enough to have dissolved holes in the stormtrooper's armor and scar Boba Fett after only hours of exposure. Likewise, the stormtrooper was seemingly dead by the time Fett found their body, meaning regardless of how slow the digestion is, prey would likely not survive long before either suffocating or being dissolved.


The sarlacc's tongue

A hundred meters in height, its entire body was buried in sand, save its massive mouth and beaked tongue.[3] The sarlacc had several appendages that branched off from its buried body, and many stomachs.[14] The creature swallowed its prey whole, and its mouth contained rows of hundreds of spear-like teeth, which kept the victim from climbing back out.[2]

There was some debate among xenobiologists as to whether the creature was an animal or an unusual carnivorous plant, though most found the creature far too dangerous to merit an extended study of the question.[15] The sarlacc shared a common ancestor with the rathtar, blixus, and vixus, and all possessed a large maw, tentacles, and a voracious appetite. Each was native to different worlds and had adapted differently to become a great hunter in its specific environment, with the sarlacc becoming the largest and least mobile of its relatives.[13]

Sarlaccs were fairly durable, with the "almighty Sarlacc" surviving internal damage caused by Boba Fett tearing and burning his way out of its stomach. This specimen would survive for at least five more years before being killed by Fennec Shand with a seismic charge dropped from Slave I.

A predator to the sarlacc was the krayt dragon. According to Tusken Raiders, krayt dragons could eat sarlaccs alive, then burrowed in the cavity left behind, only coming out when hungry or provoked.[16]


Clone Wars[]

A sarlacc was mentioned on a bill seen in the Power Sliders diner during the Clone Wars.[17]

Jabba's sentence[]

"Victims of the almighty Sarlacc, His Excellency hopes that you will die honorably."
―C-3PO speaks on behalf of Jabba[4]

After Luke Skywalker killed Jabba's rancor Pateesa as part of his rescue of Leia Organa, Han Solo, and Chewbacca, Jabba became outraged and ordered that they all be fed to the almighty sarlacc. Luke described this as being the last mistake that he would ever make, but Jabba was unimpressed and had the group escorted out. Upon arrival at the Great Pit of Carkoon, Skywalker, using his recently developed skills as a Jedi Knight, rescued the group, and led to a number of Jabba's guards becoming victims of the sarlacc instead. The bounty hunter Boba Fett was also knocked into the mouth of the sarlacc by Han Solo.[4] Unable to move quickly, the creature was wounded when Jabba's sail barge, Khetanna, exploded.[13]

Boba Fett Escapes Sarlacc

Boba Fett escapes the sarlacc

Sometime after, Boba Fett awoke within the creature's stomach. Suffocating on its gases, he noticed the remains of a stormtrooper and attached the armor's oxygen tube to his own helmet. Regaining his breath, Fett punched through the sarlacc's stomach and burned his way out using his armor's flamethrower, exhaustingly digging his way up to the surface.[18] The creature survived, however, until it was later killed in 9 ABY[19] by Fennec Shand when the Master Assassin dropped one of Slave I's seismic charges into the sarlacc's maw.[20]

New Republic Era[]

When the junk dealer Unkar Plutt informed Dathan that the planet Pasaana would be a good place to lose Ochi of Bestoon, he noted the Sarlaccs that called the world home to be one of its many dangers.[9] During the Cold War, a squad of Resistance members known as J-Squadron landed on the planet Vodran, and encountered a Sarlacc that tried to ingest them.[11]

Behind the scenes[]

The sound of the sarlacc in Return of the Jedi was created from sounds of alligator hisses, as well as the sounds of some of the Jedi crew's stomachs after eating pizza.[21]

Although 2020's The Star Wars Book designated them as non-sentient,[22] the 2023 short story "My Mouth Never Closes" portrayed them as sentient.[1]


Non-canon appearances[]


Non-canon sources[]

Notes and references[]

External links[]