The universe of Star Wars is filled with all manner of exotic creatures. Even ignoring the Extended Universe novels, the plethora of video games, and all of the other miscellaneous media it has inspired, there are many strange animals out there among the stars. Some of them possess equally strange abilities that make them far more dangerous than they look.
With Star Wars: The Last Jedi poised to introduce even more alien animals into our popular culture, it's only natural to wonder how what is coming stacks up against what came before.
Understand that power, in this case, is not merely a measure of physical strength or size. Power is subjective by its very nature and, to quote Yoda himself, "size matters not." Power, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder and finesse, cunning, and pure evolution can overcome much. This list takes that into account; many of the most powerful beings on this list are given their high ranking because of the unique abilities they possess that, while not offering much in the way of physical prowess, do much to level the playing field.
With that in mind, we've compiled this list of 20 Star Wars Creatures, Ranked Least To Most Powerful.
We know little of Porgs save what we've seen in the trailers for The Last Jedi and what limited information has been leaked by the film makers. Reportedly their appearance was inspired by the puffins on Skelling Michael - the island and nature preserve where part of The Force Awakens was filmed - and they were brought to life using both CGI and puppets.
Wookieepedia says that Porgs are native to Ahch-To - the planet where Luke Skywalker lived in exile. They build nests and are capable of flight. Male porgs stand slightly taller than female porgs. Young porgs are called porglets and a group of porgs is called a murder.
No information is available on if their meat is edible but all available data indicates that porgs are better at inspiring memes than fighting.
Native to the savage planet Vaal, the Hyenax first appeared in the story This Savage Heart in Star Wars: Empire #14. The comic detailed Darth Vader's adventures following the destruction of the first Death Star as he struggled to get back to civilization. After a crash landing in the wilderness of Vaal, Vader was attacked by a pack of the canine Hyenax while making his way to a remote Imperial outpost.
Unsurprisingly given their obvious inspiration (their name is "hyena" with an "x" added to the end), hyenax are cowardly and hunt in groups in order to overwhelm their prey. They'll slavishly follow any being who kills their leader and gladly eat their own.A dozen of them were no match for even a tired, weakened Darth Vader.
18 Saber Cat
Created by Archie Goodwin and Carmine Infantino for the original Star Wars comic series published by Marvel, the Saber Cat can be found on many planets in The Star Wars Universe. Resembling a cross between a panther and a unicorn, the sabre cat combines the stealth and fury of any large hunting cat with the strength and ferocity of a charging rhino.
Another saber cat species unique to the planet of Binaros is even more fearsome. This sabre cat has eight legs rather than the usual four, as well as a coat that provides the perfect natural camouflage among the grasses of the Kathol Outback. It also possess a tail with a spiny bone tip, but it is used only for mating ritual displays - not combat.
17 Brain Worm
First appearing in The Clone Wars animated series, brain worms are native to the planet of Geonosis. As their name suggests, they are parasitic worms that attach themselves to the brains of a host organism, turning the host into a zombie.
The brain worms can even attach themselves to a dead organism, reanimating it and giving it some semblance of life. The Genosian Queen Karina The Great used brain worms to build armies of undead soldiers that were completely loyal to her and plotted to use them to take control of The Jedi Council.
Horrific as brain worms are, they are also incredibly limited. A soldier wearing a helmet is relatively safe from being infected by a brain worm. They are also incredibly vulnerable to cold, requiring warm temperatures to thrive.
Measuring roughly 2.5 meters long and weighing 15 kilograms, fyrnocks as surprisingly stealthy despite their size. First appearing in the animated series Star Wars: Rebels, the fyrnock is a fierce, nocturnal predator found in the caves of various asteroids and remote planets.
Resembling a cross between a bat and a frog, fyrnocks live in hives deep underground. Fyrnocks hunt in packs and swarm their prey en masse, overpowering them through sheer numbers. They are fantastic jumpers and can run incredibly fast. Their jaws and claws are also powerful enough to break through Stormtrooper armor.
Ironically, it is the traits which make them the perfect subterranean predator that also make them entirely ineffective outside of their natural environments. Fyrnocks are incredibly invulnerable to bright starlight and any source of natural light will keep them at bay.
Created by writer Timothy Zhan for his Thrawn Trilogy of Star Wars novels, the vornskr is a fearsome canine animal. Native to the world of Myrkr, the vornskr possess both sharp fangs and a whip-like tail, which delivers a venomous sting to its victims.
What makes the vornskr so famous and feared is its amazing tracking abilities, which exceed those of a bloodhound. This is because vornskr are one of the few non-sentient species capable of tapping into the Force - an ability they use to augment their already impressive sense of smell.
As a result, vornskrs are feared by Jedi - both because vornskrs are resistant to Force effects that mask a Jedi's presence and because vornskrs prefer the taste of Force-sensitive creatures above any other prey.
There is an old adage in a galaxy far, far away, similar to the Earth saying about someone being "as strong as an ox" - "strong enough to pull the ears off a gundark." Despite being relatively small (a mere two meters tall), the ape-like gundarks have a well-deserved reputation for being short of temper and fierce in combat.
While found on several worlds, the most infamous species of gundarks are found on the planet Vanquor. This breed is bipedal with four arms, each hand topped with four razor-sharp claws. Though not sentient in any traditional sense, gundarks do use simple tools in the wild and live together in tribes. They hunt in groups and are also capable of group tactics in combat. Lone gundarks are popular attractions in gladiatorial games on worlds that allow such sport.
13 Kell Dragon
One of the many species of dragon found across the galaxy, the Kell Dragon is among the smallest. What it lacks in size, however, it more than makes up in ferocity. A popular pet among gangsters and Dark Jedi alike, ownership of a Kell Dragon is seen as a status symbol and proof of personal strength. They are frequently used as guards for sacred Sith sites or as a means of disposing of enemies.
Despite their sharp fangs and vicious temperament, Kell Dragons are not nearly as strong as one would suspect. Indeed, the smuggler Kyle Katarn was able to beat one to death with his bare hands, after being thrown to Jabba The Hutt's favorite Kell Dragon pet following a business arrangement gone bad.
Popular in gladiator exhibitions, the nexu is a fearsome beast indeed. Measuring almost five meters long and standing almost two meters high at the shoulder, this feline creature is native to both the worlds of Cholganna and Zhanox. Possessing dagger-sharp fangs, razor-like talons and infrared vision, the nexu is rightly feared as a nocturnal predator.
Despite its great speed and mobility, the nexu is still something of a paper tiger. While skilled in ambush attacks and stick-and-move combat, the nexu still has something of a glass jaw and its light-weight skeletal structure, while aiding it in movement, is something of a hindrance when it comes to absorbing damage. Indeed, Padme Amidala was able to stun a nexu with one kick in the arena of Geonosis.
The greatest of the predators on the ice world of Hoth, Wampas are deceptively powerful. Standing over three meters tall and weighing about 150 kilograms on average, their white fur provides the perfect cover for blending in among the snowy plains and ambushing their chosen prey. Though not technically sentient, the wampa is intelligent enough not to waste food and will often take its victims back to its cave so that they may be enjoyed later.
Despite their great strength, Wampa are almost entirely dependent upon stealth to take down a meal. They are little match for a well-prepared and well-armed adversary. For all the protection a wampa's hide offers from the cold, blaster fire burns them just as easily as it does most creatures.
While in the middle of pre-production for Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of The Clones, George Lucas asked his design team to create a monster that crossed a praying mantis with a velociraptor. The end result was the acklay - easily the most fearsome of the monsters introduced during the arena sequence on Geonosis.
Native to the planet Vendaxa, the acklay is actually a giant crustacean despite its reptilian appearance. Measuring over three meters tall and weighing in at over 1,200 kilograms, the average acklay is a near-invincible juggernaut thanks to its tough, leathery skin and the bony crest protecting its neck.
Though naturally aquatic, the acklay can survive just as easily on land and indeed they frequently emerge from the ocean to hunt. One of the rare non-sentient species capable of channeling the Force, some acklays have mastered the trick of breathing Force Lightning!
Hailing from the swamp world of Dathomir, rancors are one of the most fearsome predators in the galaxy. Weighing in at over 1,600 kilograms with an average height just over five meters, they are also one of the largest naturally occurring creatures in the Star Wars Universe.
For many, the high point of Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of The Jedi comes when Luke Skywalker is forced to fight Jabba the Hut's pet rancor, Patessa, without any weapons. Even if Luke had been armed, it might not have helped him that much. The scaly hide of a rancor is impervious to blaster fire and even several blows from a lightsaber are required to put one down in various Star Wars video games. Not bad for a beast described by its creators as "a cross between a bear and a potato."
8 Krayt Dragon
The apex predator of the desert world of Tatooine, the Kryat Dragon would be a worthy enemy for a Jedi Knight. Ignoring the dragon's massive size (45 meters long, on average, with a weight of twenty-thousand kilograms), the dragons also secrete a deadly venom through their teeth and spines.
Despite the dangers involved, dragon hunting is a serious business on Tatooine. The rites of worthiness for an aspiring warrior among the Tusken Raiders require the slaying of a Kryat dragon. The venom of a Kryat dragon, though difficult to harvest, is highly prized among assassins. The pearls which form in the stomach of a Kryat dragon are also highly sought after - both by jewelers and by Jedi Knights, who can use a properly carved pearl as a focusing crystal for their lightsaber.
7 Akk Dog
Originally hailing from the dead world of Anoat, the reptilian Akk Dogs spread across the galaxy upon being domesticated. Though fearsome when allowed to roam free in the wild, an akk dog trained properly when young can be a boon companion and loyal pet for many years. Indeed, Akk dogs are popular pets among Jedi Knights and are often used as guardians at Jedi temples. Jedi Council Master Mace Windu was particularly fond of the beasts.
What makes Akk Dogs so impressive in combat is their scaly hide, which is naturally resistant to the energy blades of lightsabers. Their jaws are also super-strong, capable of breaking through durasteel - the same material used to make Darth Vader's armor as well as Jango Fett's.
6 Zillo Beast
First appearing in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series, The Zillo Beast is a prehistoric reptilian creature native to the world of Malastare. Towering over 97 stories tall, "The Beast" - as it was commonly called because there was no other creature like it - was apparently awoken after being unearthed by heavy bombing during the Clone Wars.
A colossal creature, the Zillo Beast destroyed whole settlements completely unaware of the smaller creatures that it was crushing under its feet. What made the Zillo Beast truly dangerous, however, was its armor-plated hide. The Zillo Beast's skin was resistant to bombs, blasters, fire - even the strikes of a lightsaber! It was eventually brought down by targeted shots from a stun tank, aimed at the spaces between the armored plates on the beast's body.
Two creatures called Terentateks have been described in the lore of Star Wars and both of them are trouble. The first is a giant creature, reportedly native to the Wookiee homeworld of Kashyyyk. These possess sharp spines on their heads and large tusks on the sides of their mouths.
The second Terentatek has a similar appearance, but is also venomous and believed to be a product of genetic engineering by The Sith, who infused rancors with the power of the dark side and began breeding the first terentaeks. It is also possible that rancors in areas that were strong in the dark side of the Force were naturally corrupted and transformed into terentateks. Either way, terentateks are naturally resistant to the effects of the Force and the Sith were all too happy to employ them as guardians for their temples.
Genetically engineered by the race known as Yuuzhan Vong, the voxyn was created to be the ultimate weapon against the Jedi when the Yuuzhan Vong invaded The New Republic. Crossbred from both the vornskr and a poison-spitting creature from the Yuuzhan Vong's home galaxy called the fero xyn, the voxyn combined the most lethal traits of both species.
Like their vornskr forebears, the vonyx could track beings using the Force and shared the vornskr's fondness for Force-sensitive beings as prey. Like the fero xyn, the voxyn was able to spit poison. The vonyx also possessed poisonous claws, acidic blood, and had the ability to emit a deadly sonic blast from its mouth. Only two factors prevented them from overrunning the galaxy - voxyns have incredibly short life spans and are incapable of reproducing.
3 The Gorog
Created for the video game Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II, very little is known about the gargantuan creature known as The Gorog. We don't know what planet it comes from or if it is a naturally occurring organism. We don't know if it is the product of genetic engineering or the only creature of its kind in existence.
In fact, there are only three things that can be said about the Gorog with any degree of certainty. It is big. It is mean. And it is strong.
However, big, mean, and strong doesn't even begin to describe just how colossal the Gorog is. The fact that it can easily clutch and restrain a rancor in a single hand just about manages to convey a sense of how massive and dangerous this creature truly is.
At first glance, the ysalamir seem to be one of the most benign and harmless creatures in the galaxy. In fact, the creatures are dependent upon the nutrients they absorb from the Olbio trees on their home world of Myrkr and forcibly removing them from the trees will kill them quickly.
What makes the ysalamir so powerful is the ability they developed to thwart their natural predator, the vornskr. Ysalamir have a unique power that allows them to create the Force equivalent of an anti-magic field in a ten-meter sphere around their bodies. Several ysalamir working together can extend this field to blanket an area several kilometers long. This ability confounds the Force-empowered tracking abilities of the vornskr. It also makes ysalamir attractive pets to those who frequently come into conflict with Jedi.
Native to many desert worlds, sarlaccs are plant-like predators who live for thousands of years. The Sarlacc housed in the Great Pit of Carkoon on Tatooine was perhaps the most famous example of the species and was claimed as a pet by Jabba The Hut, who used it to execute his enemies.
What makes the sarlacc so powerful is the same ability that makes it so feared - it can extend the life of its victims, regardless of the usual maximum lifespan of their species, so that they remain alive and conscious as they are slowly digested over the course of several millenniums. Precisely how it manages this is unclear but the rare few who managed to escape from a sarlacc's stomach have vouched for the experience being so painful that it seemed like it had lasted for thousands of years.
Is there some powerful Star Wars creature we missed? Let us know in the comments!