• Mattie Stu

Star Wars Lore – The Creatures of The Force Awakens

The galaxy far, far away boasts not only exciting duels between the forces of good and evil, but also a wide array of utterly unique characters and creatures. And with every cinematic instalment, such diversity and imagination only increases. So, with that in mind, let's take a detailed look at each and every creature introduced in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens.

All Shapes And Sizes

Other than Hoth or perhaps Mustafar, Jakku was one of the harshest planets on which to live. Not only was it a remote desert world populated by some rather unsavoury characters, but its scorching bursts of heat and graveyards of doomed starships made for brutally harsh living conditions. This left transplanted creatures and parasites in an ever-evolving state to stubbornly exist among Jakku's desert ecology. Take the aptly named steelpeckers, for example: without knowing their name, one would assume their diet consisted of small mammals, such as rats - or even fellow birds. However, these tough, ill-tempered and iron-beaked creatures chose to feast upon metal. No joke, they were drawn to the magnetic signature of starships and pieces of metallic scrap alike, and would collect vanadium, osmiridium and corundum in their gizzards to break down each meal.

If you thought a metal-devouring bird was strange, then prepare to be shocked by luggabeasts. These cybernetically-enhanced beasts of burden hid behind armour plating and purified air and water recycling tanks. In fact, their many invasive mechanical systems enhanced the endurance of each creature to unnatural levels, all while ensuring they were fed at all times. They essentially became nothing more than tools for Teedos to scavenge amidst Jakku's golden sands. Happabores, on the other hand – well, they were far more “natural”. For one, they simply utilised thick skin and an ability to consume and store large reservoirs of water to resist the planet's deadly heat. And while happabores obediently carried supplies dozens of kilometres at a time, akin to the aforementioned luggabeasts, they were strong enough to do so without the use of any synthetic plating.

But Jakku wasn't the only planet introduced in The Force Awakens to conjure imaginative species and creatures. For example, Maz Kanata's castle on Takodana spawned the likes of the barghest: a small, dark skinned pet whose mouth of razor sharp teeth made it the perfect bodyguard of Onodone forger Gwelis Bagnoro. Oh, and before I forget, its name was Izby... Yeah, real menacing.

More Than Meets The Eye

Aside from rathtars, which you can learn all about in my separate lore video linked on-screen now, the largest creatures introduced in The Force Awakens have to be the nocturnal nightwatcher worms. These colossal beasts exceeded twenty-metres in length and possessed huge maws with multiple blue tongues and rows of deadly teeth. Yet their true nature was rarely seen. In fact, nightwatcher worms spent the majority of their time underneath the surface of Jakku, with their long necks and glowing red eyes being used as some kind of periscope. This very appearance is what lent them the title of Arconan night terrors. I mean, the resemblance between the two is uncanny. But aside from providing nicknames, locals speculated as to the sandborers' method of catching prey – claiming that they detected vibrations from the sands above, before erupting upward like a leaping sarlacc. Such characteristics often drove scavengers away from the Sinking Fields and Goazon Badlands, although their diet primarily consisted of metal objects and other forms of “junk”.

Now it's time for this week's question: of all the creatures mentioned in today's video, which do you find the most unique or compelling? Let us know in the comments below!

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