Star Wars Top 10: Deadly Diseases and Vicious Viruses
Given its title, you'd expect the majority of those within the Star Wars galaxy to perish at the blade of a lightsaber or the barrel of a blaster. However, over the millennia, billions of citizens succumbed to excruciating and downright awful afflictions. So, with that in mind, let's take a look at the top 10 deadly diseases and vicious viruses.
Number 10. Cancer (Legends)
You don't need me to tell you how devastating cancer is. It sadly kills around 8 million people every year right here on Earth, so you can imagine the disease's mortality rate in a galaxy 120,000 lightyears in scale. One rare, yet extremely deadly form of cancer was Colu's syndrome, which came into existence following the Destruction of Taris, affecting the descendants of its survivors.
Number 09. Gray Rot (Legends)
Gray Rot was a plague which caused its infected victims' skin to turn grey and scabrous until it eventually cracked and ulcerated, leading to an excruciating death only a few days later. The disease was curable if treated to, in its early stages, with bacta treatment. However, in 1 ABY, a much-needed vaccine was delivered to moisture farmers across Tatooine, who were infected by the bite of womp rats.
Number 08. Pyroliosis (Legends)
If you thought Gray Rot was awful, then prepare to be shocked. Induced by inhaling the dust of the mineral zenium, Pyroliosis ate the body from within, destroying the respiratory systems of humanoids like acid. To no surprise, the aptly nicknamed Firelung was extremely painful.
Number 07. Wasp Fever (Legends)
Unlike the aforementioned plagues and illnesses, the larvae of a fever wasp bite or sting would grow within its host, feeding on their brain cells. Over the course of three to four days, the victim experienced dementia, as well as severe seizures and spasms. Those bitten were already considered dead. As a result, their bodies were burned to prevent the larvae from hatching and spreading further.
Number 06. Death Seed (Legends)
Not too dissimilar from fever wasp larvae, the Death Seed plague was spread by parasitic drochs, which attached themselves to a host to feed off their life force, all while remaining undetected. They done so by mimicking the host's electrochemical fields and tissue composition. What's more, drochs grew and became more intelligent with each host they consumed. If a victim somehow managed to survive the plague's initial symptoms, so basically thirty minutes, their skin rapidly decayed. Even bacta therapy couldn't halt the deadly disease. In fact, the healing provided a renewed source of energy for the droch. The first recorded outbreak of Death Seed occurred several centuries before the Battle of Yavin, and quickly tore through the populace of many worlds. Thanks to Supreme Chancellor Anwis Eddicus, the disease eventually burned out. Unfortunately, the final death toll was estimated to be in the billions.
Number 05. Smashbone fever (Legends)
Smashbone fever was a disease that acted exactly as it sounds. That's right, a being's ligaments would tear violently, smashing the bones when they ruptured. Caused by a microorganism that was neither bacteria nor a virus, Smashbone fever proved fatal around fifty percent of the time, even when treated with muscle relaxants. There was no cure for the disease, meaning it could reappear after remission later in life.
Number 04. The Krytos virus (Legends)
Designed in 7 ABY by General Evir Derricote, under orders from Director of Imperial Intelligence Ysanne Isard, the Krytos virus killed millions of aliens on Coruscant. It done so by destroying the victim's body one cell at a time until their flesh fell apart completely. The virus did not destroy pain receptors, however, resulting in an agonising death. Following a twelve-day incubation period, the Krytos virus entered into a one-week debilitating process, which consisted of seven stages. Firstly, the subject began to feel slightly ill. Then, the victim become more fatigued, and would often stare into space. In the third stage, their skin began to sag and weaken. This was followed by the appearance of black boils all over their body, including the tongue. The black boils began to break open during the fifth stage, exposing cracked flesh. Dementia then settled in, as the pain neared its peak. Finally, in the seventh and final stage, the victim’s skin either liquefied or fell off completely, depending on their race.
Number 03. Rooze Disease (Legends)
Rooze Disease was one of the deadliest afflictions in the galaxy far, far away. I mean, it had to be to top the Krytos virus. But what made it so deadly? Well, once infected by the rooze germ agent, the Human's health would deteriorate until three days later. If not cured within that time frame, the body would disintegrate within seconds. To no surprise, the disease was first tested as a biological weapon by the Galactic Empire during the Mavvan Conflict. However, it eliminated the Imperial troops as well as the targeted Rebels, and so was never used again. Such a mistake never stopped Governor Koong of Tawntoom on Roon, who unleashed the disease on the pastoral Umboo province, inflicting himself in the process. Thankfully, a cure was later developed by Nilz Yomm.
Number 02. The Blue Shadow Virus (Canon)
In its natural form, the Blue Shadow Virus was a waterborne virus which spread like a plague in the galaxy for many years. Though it was eradicated prior to the Clone Wars, Doctor Nuvo Vindi of the Confederacy of Independent Systems re-engineered the Blue Shadow Virus on Naboo in an airborne form. The affliction proved fatal only forty-eight hours following infection, and was considered incurable. That was until a rare plant only found on Iego, the reeksa root, was synthesised to form an antidote.
Before we uncover the deadliest disease or virus, let's take a look at some honourable mentions.
Honourable Mention 01. Affliceria (Legends)
Spread through airborne bacterium, Affliceria was a disease which began with a head cold, only to mutate into raging fevers and severe dehydration, which could kill if left untreated. It was pronounced extinct after a cure was found hundreds of years before the Galactic Civil War. However, Affliceria resurfaced to decimate Coruscant. Man, the Coruscanti had it pretty rough!
Honourable Mention 02. Brainrot Plague (Legends)
Brainrot Plague, also known as Loedorvian Brain Plague and Brainworm rot, was an extremely deadly affliction found in the bloodstreams of Humans, Neimoidians, Anomids, and Wol Cabasshites. Brainrot Plague attacked the brain and central nervous system to kill its victim in a short period of time. The disease was unleashed during the height of the Clone Wars, at the behest of General Grievous. The biological weapon quickly wiped out the Weemell sector, destroying the entire Human population and clone troopers of the Republic's Grand Army.
Honourable Mention 03. Bloodburn (Canon)
The precise cause of Bloodburn was unknown. However, as a result of space travel, the rare, incurable, chronic, and often terminal illness infected starship pilots. Particularly young pilots would experience intense fevers that resulted in overheating to the point of death.
Honourable Mention 04. The Candorian Plague (Legends)
The Candorian Plague was yet another airborne affliction which was extremely contagious to Humans, leading to a swift and agonising death. It wiped out as much as two-thirds of city populations during the Republic Dark Age. What's more, in a mere few hours, the Candorian Plague killed hundreds of thousands in Calif City.
Number 01. Aorth-6 (Legends)
To me, the prospect of melting from the inside out doesn't sound fun, in any capacity. That's right, Aorth-6 was a biologically-engineered necrotic virus that, when inhaled, liquefied the lungs, before spreading throughout the rest of the body. The gas was ineffective against those who possessed artificial respirators. But that didn't stop the horrific deaths of numerous Humans and aliens across the galaxy. In fact, Emperor Palpatine became infected with Aorth-6, though he managed to survive through his connection to the dark side of the Force. Lord Vader, of course, was A-OK!
So, there we have it; the top 10 deadly diseases and vicious viruses. Were there any that I missed? Let me know in the comments below.