The 5 Deadliest Star Wars Creatures of the Expanded Universe

The deadliest creatures in the entire Star Wars expanded universe are here, ranked for their aggressive nature, biological weaponry, and legendary status in the movies, games, and novels. Many hardcore Star Wars fans have played games like Knights of the Old Republic, Star Wars Galaxies, and Star Wars: The Old Republic. But there is a part of the literature that is heavily read by fans, such as the New Jedi Order series and other novels that portray these deadly monsters in a way we’ve never seen before. These names are not easily forgotten by fans.

5. Rancor – Expanded Universe


The apex predator of the planet of Dathomir is the Rancor. Fearsome in appearance, with two bulky arms with three sharp claws each that can cut through durasteel, and a typically disgruntled personality, the Rancor is considered by many to be the most popular monster in the Star Wars universe. In Star Wars Galaxies, players skilled in the creature handler profession could have a team of two or three Rancors at once to fight monsters and other players in PvP. Nightsisters, Force sensitive matriarchal ‘residents’ of Dathomir, also used Rancors as trained killers.

In Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, there was a segment in which you had to sneak past a gangster’s pet Rancor to get to the next level of a stage. They were seen as status symbols to criminals – symbols of power. Many species of Rancor exist in the galaxy and some were mutated and much larger in size than normal. The Nightsisters are a testament to the fact that the true Dathomir-born Rancors can only be controlled by those adept in the Force.

Here is a classic screenshot of the Rancor from the original Star Wars movie films, set loose by Jabba the Hutt to feast on the captive Luke Skywalker.

Rancor from Jabba's Palace

4. Akk Dogs of Haruun Kal – Clone Wars Saga: Shatterpoint

Haruun Kal was Mace Windu’s home planet. His race, the Korunnai, had lived for generations herding their domesticated creatures. But over time they have learned to fear the Akk Dogs, one of the deadliest predators in the Star Wars jungle.

In the novel Star Wars: Shatterpoint, the main antagonist, Kar Vastor, forms a deadly Force connection to control these beasts and use them as weapons of destruction in the Summertime War, a long guerilla war fought between the Korunnai and the Balawai. Mace Windu recorded detailed descriptions of the nature of these beasts during his undercover campaign on Haruun Kal.

Akk Dogs were unnatural in appearance, with dark bulbous eyes, triangular teeth, and enough jaw power to crush durasteel like it was a piece of wood. They had the power to predate on Jedi with armored hide strong enough to deflect strikes from lightsabers. Their claws were as thick as limbs, their bodies were long, and their primary role was to herd the herbivorous Akk species by the Korunnai. To no one’s surprise, they became responsible for much blood and violence in the climactic battle in the story, but was it their fault?

Akk Dog

Mace Windu, as a Master Jedi, had occasional nightmares of fighting (alongside his student Depa Billaba) biologically enhanced Akk Dogs in Circus Horrificus. They were driven psychologically insane so they can participate in gladiator death struggles. The two barely escaped with their lives.

3. Terentatek of The Old Republic KotOR and The Old Republic Novels

What if there was a predator of nature specifically designed by evolution to hunt and kill Force-sensitive organisms – including Jedi? There are few monsters as formidable and deranged as the Terentatek, for it was strong with the Dark side. It fed on the blood of Jedi and was trained by the highest-ranked Sith during the war.

Scientists in the Star Wars Expanded Universe speculated that these creatures were abominations created as a result of experimentation with Rancors – for genetic and military purposes. Over time they diverged into their own species and became completely impervious to the effects of the Force, with a few exceptions. They have spines growing out of their backs, piercing tusk-like horns, and the ability to hibernate and wake up during prevalence of the Dark side of the Force.


In Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, players had to fight quite a few of these beasts. They were very powerful to face in melee combat, so strategies included using a barrier shield and avoiding them until a competent level of progression is reached. Dubbed the “Jedi Killers”, the Jedi tried to hunt these animals to extinction themselves but the Sith have made sure that the Terentatek will keep re-populating and emerge in times of war escalations.

2. The Krayt Dragon – Star Wars Galaxies, KotOR, and the Star Wars EU

The Krayt Dragon is one of the largest beasts in the Star Wars expanded universe in sheer mass, and even deadlier in its disposition. On Tatooine, its merest roar can scare away the bravest Tusken raiders, and it was so large that it was able to sweep and displace itself across the desert with ease.

They grew to over 100 meters long, which is the equivalent of more than three football fields in length. With up to 10 bulky legs, they were able to literally swim through the sand and swallow Banthas whole from underneath, similar to the way Great White Sharks blast vertically out of the ocean to grab seals in their jaws.

Krayt Dragon

In Star Wars Galaxies, the Ancient Krayt Dragon was the hardest thing to kill in the entire game and required multiple squads of players to even have a chance. They were rare to find in the Krayt Dragon Graveyard in Tatooine.

1. The Sarlacc – Expanded Universe

Infamous and widely used as a hellish execution method for the worst offenses, the Sarlacc was a creature that should be considered the most disturbing of the Star Wars franchise. It was first seen in the movies when Jabba the Hutt sentenced Luke Skywalker to death.

What makes this such a feared animal? The Sarlacc had thick, blindingly fast tentacles that pulled humans and creatures in to be devoured by its gigantic beak. They are able to live up to 50,000 years old, and in younger age, can move and hunt down prey. In old age, they conserve energy and use ambush tactics to feed. Some have been able to kill full-grown Banthas and crush Rancors to death. Debate rages on in the Star Wars universe on whether or not this species was considered an animal or a plant organism – or both.

Sarlacc Anatomy

The reason why the Sarlacc ranks as the most deadly creature on this list is because it is incredibly evil in its sentience. After it swallows its victims, it prepares them for a thousand years of telepathic torture as they are slowly digested in its stomach acids – while their essential vital functions are kept barely alive. The pain is said to be unendurable because it could communicate with the victims on conscious levels, feeding off their fears and systematically removing all hopes of escape.

All swallowed victims were kept alive to be digested by caustic digestive (peptic) acids while being endlessly tortured, as a safety measure to simply keep them from having enough willpower to attempt escape. A thousand years can be manipulated to feel like an eternity longer in the Sarlacc’s stomach. That is why this is ranked as number one in the entire Star Wars expanded universe. It is a fate one could consider worse than death.

Only a few have ever survived being swallowed by the Sarlacc. Boba Fett is one of those lucky enough to resist, with his Mandalorian armor and sheer will to live.

By Anthony Petrie

If Boba Fett did not escape? An illustration by Anthony Petrie.