Star Wars Lore – Krayt Dragons (Legends)
Located in the Outer Rim Territories as part of a binary star system, Tatooine truly was a wretched hive of scum and villainy. However, its dangers extended far beyond the bounty hunters and guns for hire who frequented Mos Eisley. Whether it be rogue bandits, pesky little scavengers, or giant creatures in the ground that could swallow anyone and anything whole, the desert world was definitely not for the faint-hearted. Dragon slayers, on the other hand – well, Tatooine was nothing short of their second home. But if they weren't careful, it quickly became their final resting place...
If rumour was to be believed, then krayt dragons could live for hundreds of years, grow up to a length of 45 metres, and weigh anywhere from 10-30,000 kilograms. And while this information was entirely unverified, no one could deny how dangerous and formidable they truly were. In fact, krayt dragons became an integral part in Tatooinian culture – with many, including the native sand people, using them as a sort of spiritual compass for their cardinal maturity ritual. This often saw young Tusken Raiders cast out into the vast desert oceans, where they had to slay a krayt dragon so to gain acceptance back into their tribes. On a similar note, Jawas believed the creatures' bones to possess magical properties, meaning those daring enough to acquire them were held in high regard among their people. An obvious location to search for the various skulls and spines was a sea of sand dunes, in which the dragons instinctively travelled to when nearing the point of death. Unfortunately, of all the adventurers who trekked into the “Krayt Graveyard”, none were said to have returned.
Despite the latter part of their name, krayt dragons were incapable of breathing fire. Instead, they utilised razor sharp teeth, bone-crushing claws, impaling horns, and incurable venom to decimate nearby prey. But by no means were they without their problems and weaknesses. First of all, krayt dragons had trouble discerning two-dimensional images, and would therefore attack shadows. Second of all, an incredibly accurate blaster bolt could tear right through their sinus cavity and brain, resulting in their immediate death.
When it came to variations of krayt dragons, only two species appeared to exist – those being the canyon krayt dragon and the greater krayt dragon. The first of which was the most common, as well as the smallest – for obvious reasons. They also possessed four legs, as opposed to ten, and used their yellow-brown hide as camouflage to hunt womp rats and banthas alike. Greater krayt dragons, on the other hand, were 100-metre-long beasts who chose to dwell not in caves and canyons, rather underneath the golden sands of Tatooine. In fact, so much of their time was spent either submerged in or traversing through the dunes, that the greater dragons were very rarely encountered.
As bizarre as it may sound, krayt dragons were integrally linked to the Jedi Order. Firstly, the fifth form of lightsaber combat was often referred to as “The Way of the Krayt Dragon”, in tribute to their sheer power and ferocity. Secondly, the rocks they utilised to grind carcasses into edible chunks became so smooth and precious, that Jedi often shaped and tuned them into focussing crystals for their trusty weapons. And thirdly, A'Sharad Hett adopted the name Darth Krayt upon defecting to the dark side of the Force. So whether it be in their natural forms, or as part of a self-anointed monicker, krayt dragons were majestic, invaluable and legendary, yet savage, feral and – of course – incredibly dangerous...
Now it's time for this week's question: which Star Wars creature would you want as backup in a fight? Let us know in the comments below!