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Rancor are emotionally complex creatures.
―Boba Fett's rancor keeper

Rancors are semi-sentient reptiles that appear in the Star Wars franchise, first appearing in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Measuring up to five meters (over 15 feet tall) or more, they were generally benign but could be driven to madness and violence if abused and mistreated.

Background

Rancors were originally native to the planet Dathomir, which is the home of the Nightsisters, the Force-sensitive witches who ruled the planet. The Nightsisters often tamed and trained rancors as mounts. There were many subspecies of rancor, and these were found on different worlds where they had been imported long ago; jungle rancors lived on Felucia, and the more common rancors were found on other worlds such as Tatooine, though they were rarer there due to the harsher desert conditions. Two rare variants besides these existed: the rage rancor, and the shadow rancor. Both were extremely dangerous and more belligerent than the normal and jungle rancors. Baby rancors were referred to as calves.

Personality

Rancors when wild were generally dangerous only when startled or hungry. When tamed, they could bond easily with people, and could even love their keepers. However, if mistreated or starved, rancors could be driven to viciousness, as was the case of Pateesa, a rancor owned by Jabba the Hutt. Jabba preferred to feed people who displeased him to Pateesa, but the rancor suffered needlessly due to Jabba often starving him so as to encourage the rancor to eat his enemies. This forced Luke Skywalker to reluctantly kill the rancor out of self-preservation and needing to put the mistreated animal out of his misery. The rage rancor and shadow rancor were naturally aggressive by comparison, and were avoided at all costs when possible. In Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett, it is revealed that rancor calves are generally blinded by trainers so as to make them imprint on their owners as the first creature they see and the ones they form the strongest bonds with. When depressed, rancors were prone to lazing about in grief. It took consoling and affection to ensure they would not remain in such a state. They were also clever enough to improvise in a fight, as Boba Fet's rancor used a Scorponek droid's dismembered blaster as a shield and a makeshift spear when fighting.

Physical appearance

Rancors had tough, leathery skin, long arms and sharp claws on 4-fingered clawed hands. The skin of a rancor was so tough that it was highly resistant against even heavy blaster fire; as an example, Boba Fett's rancor was able to take hits from the heavy blasters of Scorponek droids without much damage, and the droid's clawed legs only created shallow cuts in the rancor's skin. Rancors had short snouts filled with sharp teeth for eating meat, and their eyes were small in relation to their body size, while their nostrils were large. Rancors also had different skin color depending on the subspecies; the jungle rancor had the brighter coloring on its skin; orange spikes over a shell of blue and grey skin with red eyes, and a noticeable beak. In many respects, its proportions were more turtle-like than a normal rancor's. It was also the largest and fastest rancor subspecies, able to move surprisingly fast for a creature its size (over 40 feet tall). Normal rancors were greenish brown in color. The rage and shadow rancors were generally gray and drab, but where the shadow rancor resembled a darker version of a normal rancor, the much larger rage rancor was even bigger and more extreme; it had massive spikes on its body and tusks coming out of its cheeks.

Appearances

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

Pateesa, Jabba's rancor, appeared in the film when Jabba dropped the twi-lek slave Oola into his lair. Pateesa quickly ate her, causing the onlooking Jabba and his minions to cheer the rancor on in entertainment. Jabba later would drop Luke Skywalker into the rancor's pit, along with an unfortunate Gamorrean named Jubnuk. Pateesa ate Jubnuk before attacking Luke, who held off the rancor long enough to send the door to Pateesa's small holding pen crashing down on the rancor, killing him and putting Pateesa out of his misery, as he had been mistreated too long to ever be retrained.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

A small herd of jungle rancors appears in the second season of the series, specifically episode 17: "Bounty Hunters". Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, and Ahsoka Tano watched the rancors pass them by after crash-landing on Felucia, and left the area quickly afterwards, making sure not to startle the enormous beasts.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch

Clone Force 99 is hired by former Jedi informant, Cid to rescue a young rancor named Muchi from Zygerrian slave traders. They do not realize Muchi is a rancor until they free and liberate the Zygerrian's slaves. Once they tame Muchi, they take the young rancor to Cid who then gives Muchi to her employer, Bib Fortuna, the advisor of Jabba the Hutt.

Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett

Boba Fett is given a young male rancor by the Hutt twins as an apology for sending the Wookie bounty hunter Black Krrsantan after him after being tricked into attacking him by Mayor Mok Shaiz. The rancor's handler was given to Fett as part of the gift as well, with the handler stating that the creature was born to parents who were powerful fighting rancors. The rancor's handler informed him that the young rancor was depressed and refused to move, and that it was only dangerous when threatened, instead being quite gentle, so Fett decided to bond with the creature and learn to ride it. The handler replied that such a feat would require great discipline, but Boba was more than willing to accept the challenge.

As the handler removed the rancor's blindfolds, the creature bonded with Fett, and he treated the creature with genuine affection to earn its trust. As Boba continued bonding with his new pet, he was interrupted by his protocol droid, who informed him Mok Shaiz was unavailable, so Fett was forced to leave. The young rancor, disappointed, looked over its shoulder to see if Boba Fett would return, with its handler reassuring the young beast that his new master would return.

The young rancor later reached through the grates of its pen with its claws during Boba Fett's meeting with Mos Espa's crime families. Boba fed the creature some scraps from the table to console his anxious pet.

Later, when the Pykes and the crime families attacked Fett and his allies in an all-out war, Boba rode his rancor into battle to turn the tide in their favor, successfully tearing apart the gigantic Scorponek droids that the Pykes used to attack his men. The rancor also ate many of the Pyke soldiers, causing them to retreat, before Cad Bane used his flamethrower to startle the rancor into throwing Boba off its back, and retreating, where it began to rampage in anger and disorientation. Din Djarin tried to calm the creature, but was nearly killed; saved only by his Beskar armor. Grogu, who arrived in Mos Espa mid-battle, calmed the beast down and made it go to sleep, whereupon Grogu calmly lay down to take a nap next to it to everyone's amazement.

Trivia

  • It is never specified who designed the rancor for Return of the Jedi.
  • The rancor's sounds were created using dachshund and elephant sounds.
  • A jungle rancor also appears in a deleted scene of the film "Star Wars: The Clone Wars", in which Anakin fights Asajj Ventress atop its back.
  • The rancor was supposedly deigned after one of the design team "mixed a bear with a potato".
  • In Star Wars: The Bad Batch, most fans believed that Muchi would be the rancor that Luke Skywalker would end up killing in self-defense in Return of the Jedi, but this has proven to be false.
  • In Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett, the young rancor given to Boba is brought to life through animatronics and CGI, with a full size animatronic used for the close-up shots of Boba bonding with and riding the beast.

Gallery


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See Also
The ForceStar Wars: Star Tours (toy line)
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