We’ve seen some horrifying creatures in George Lucas’ Star Wars universe, but hardly any of them are as terrifying as the Sarlacc. The colossal creature with razor-sharp rows of teeth and tentacles that pull the victims inside the huge gaping mouth known as the Sarlacc pit is only the beginning.
The huge pit you see is just a tiny part of the Sarlacc’s colossal body. But, the way that the creatures mate, spawn, reproduce, grow, and digest their prey is so much more terrifying than its hideous appearance. Without further ado, here are 11+ important things you need to know about the notorious Star Wars creature.
What Exactly Is A Sarlacc?
I’ll start with the most obvious question – what is that thing? The Sarlacc is a semi-sentient creature that resembles a sandworm at first but is actually more of a plant-like creature that eats everything that ever gets close enough to its gaping mouth and teeth.
The mouth, known as the Sarlacc pit, is embedded with several circular rows of razor-sharp teeth and tentacles to help catch nearby prey and pull it inside the Sarlacc’s mouth.
In the earlier stages of life, the Sarlacc is much smaller and can move throughout space before growing large enough to burrow and create the Sarlacc pit. The teeth are used only until the Sarlacc’s digestive system is completely formed, which takes thousands of years.
A Sarlacc is colossal, with its body going as far as 100 meters below the ground and only the mouth staying on the surface to prey. After it catches its prey and pulls it inside the huge body, there’s almost no way of escaping. The digestion lasts for centuries, and it’s incredibly hurtful for the victim.
When I said the Sarlacc is semi-sentient, it means that the plant-like organism isn’t fully aware of itself nor its functions – it acts instinctively, attacking anything close to its mouth. However, it can become sentient if it forms a mental connection with a conscious victim.
For instance, Boba Fett formed a mental connection to the beast in a non-canon version where he managed to activate his jetpack from the inside of the beast and get out, burning it in the process.
Is The Sarlacc An Animal Or A Plant?
Xenobiologists across the galaxy are unsure what a Sarlacc actually is. Due to its reproductive strategies – which we’ll get into a bit later – there’s no way of telling where the creature originated.
A Sarlacc has the traits of both an animal and a plant. When younger, the specimens can move around, catching prey much faster, but as they grow older and larger, the Sarlacc burrow and act as a plant, relying on the prey accidentally falling into its colossal mouth.
The Sarlacc is more of an animal than a plant, as it has a mouth, teeth, throat, stomachs, digestive system, needs to breathe, and much more. Also, it can move around and even be held as a pet while younger.
The only thing that makes the creature appear to be a plant is that it doesn’t move around and even grows roots. However, one could attribute that to their colossal size, not their nature.
Does The Sarlacc Keep You Alive?
One of the scariest things about the Sarlacc is that it doesn’t kill you after you get eaten. Instead, it keeps you alive for as long as a millennium before you die.
The Sarlacc’s stomach is coated with tentacle-like vessels that attach to the victim, keeping it in place and unable to escape. Then, it slowly injects neurotoxins inside the victim that cause incredible boiling pain the entire time. However, it doesn’t kill the prey.
Instead, it carries some nourishment into the victim while pulling out nutrients for the Sarlacc to feed upon. That way, you’re kept alive for centuries while the creature slowly feasts upon you.
What Creature Can Eat A Sarlacc?
The Sarlacc is a colossal creature, and it almost has no natural enemies, meaning it’s an apex predator. However, there are a few creatures that can even devour a Sarlacc.
As the Sarlacc can live on different planets, they have different natural enemies, depending on the planet. However, only two creatures are known to be able to prey upon the Sarlacc – the krayt dragon on the planet of Tatooine and the even larger gouka dragon on the planet of Aargonar.
How Many Stomachs Does A Sarlacc Have?
Like cows on Earth, the Sarlacc has more than one stomach. The one main stomach is the largest, but that main stomach sometimes runs out of room due to its incredibly slow digestion. That’s when the Sarlacc stores the prey in one of the many smaller stomachs for later digestion.
Sometimes, the creature will completely embed the prey into the walls of its stomach, making the stomach walls much stronger while making room for more prey.
It’s unclear how many smaller stomachs a Sarlacc has, as it depends on how much they eat, how old they are, what planet they’re on, and how big they get.
How Long Does It Take For A Sarlacc To Digest?
It takes an insanely long time for a Sarlacc to digest its prey. The acid within its stomach is much weaker than other species, and the digestive system is completely different. It takes a Sarlacc up to a thousand years to digest a single prey – keeping the prey alive throughout all that time.
As I mentioned, the Sarlacc’s stomach walls are full of tentacle-like vessels that grasp onto the prey, burrowing into its skin and muscles. The tentacles inject neurotoxins and the Sarlacc’s acidic blood into the victim, causing extreme pain while extracting nutrients from within its body. At the same time, it provides some sort of nourishment to keep the victims alive but immobile.
While the tentacles digest the prey from the inside, the weak acid digests the prey slowly from the outside as well. However, due to the digestion being so slow, sometimes, there’s not enough room for new food inside the stomach.
Therefore, if digestion takes too long, the Sarlacc sometimes uses the victim to coat its stomach walls instead of digesting them, making the stomach stronger.
How Many Sarlacc’s Are There On Tatooine?
The Pit of Carkoon is the only Sarlacc ever sighted on Tatooine. We can’t be sure if there are more, though, since the younger, smaller specimen can move around quickly. Still, without any confirmation, it’s believed that the Sarlacc who ate Boba Fett is the only specimen of the species on Tatooine.
There are several others sighted on other planets, but only four Sarlaccs have been canonically confirmed, and their whereabouts are known. One is on Tatooine – probably the one eaten by the krayt dragon seen in The Mandalorian TV show, one on Aargonar, one on Felucia, and one on Vodran.
Is There A Sarlacc On Felucia?
There is a Sarlacc on Felucia, and it’s one of the scariest specimens you’ll ever see. In fact, it’s the largest Sarlacc specimen ever registered. It was called the Ancient Abyss, and its colossal maw spanned over a radius of four kilometers.
It was so large that an entire city was built around its teeth, with the Felucian tribes living in synergy with the creature, using its huge mouth as a place of sacrifice. The Ancient Abyss’ tentacles were so strong they could drag something as big as a rancor into its mouth – a creature that can grow as tall as five meters and weigh several tons.
After the Starkiller came to Felucia to battle against the Jedi Master Shaak Ti, the Jedi tried to use the Sarlacc to defeat Darth Vader’s apprentice. Instead, she fell into the Sarlacc’s mouth herself while Starkiller survived.
Later, the Empire apprehended the creature and stabilized to hold the creature down while also ripping out its teeth, allowing safe passage in and out of its maw. When Starkiller returned to Felucia, he felt the Sarlacc’s pain, so he released the creature from the restraints but continued to search its inside before being ejected through the Sarlacc’s lung.
Can A Sarlacc Move?
While they are young and small, the Sarlacc’s can move around very quickly, allowing them to attack and eat their prey as it’s trying to run away. Also, when the male and female specimens mate, they spew out numerous spores that fly across the galaxy, hoping to find a planet to inhabit.
However, when the creature grows older and bigger, it becomes almost completely immobile, burrowing into the ground completely, with only its huge mouth remaining on the surface.
The Sarlacc has several big limb-like body parts used to burrow the parts of its body in case they get dug out. Also, they develop three root-like body parts on their bottom, used to absorb minerals from the ground, making the Sarlacc a hybrid between an animal and a plant.
Sometimes, even an adult Sarlacc can relocate, but it’s extremely rare and uncommon. It’s unknown after what age or size the Sarlacc is rendered completely immobile.
How Long Does It Take For A Sarlacc To Grow?
That would highly depend on what planet the Sarlacc is situated on, what the creature eats, and how much food it ingests. However, it’s safe to say that it takes several thousand years for a Sarlacc to grow to the size of the Sarlacc in the Great pit of Carkoon.
The Sarlacc lifespan is estimated to be anywhere between 20000 and 50000, depending on the planet. It’s unclear when they stop growing – or if they ever stop growing – but it takes at least 20-30 thousand years to reach the size of the Ancient Abyss.
How Does The Sarlacc Reproduce?
There are two main methods of reproduction for a Sarlacc. The first would be mating. However, their mating is quite parasitic in nature. The male is much smaller than the female, so he would attach to her body – similar to what an anglerfish would do.
The two would then produce many tiny larvae, but only a few of them would ever survive, let alone reach adulthood. That’s when the second part of the reproductive system takes place.
The male lives like a parasite on the female, absorbing her slowly. As the male grows larger, the female grows smaller until the male completely absorbs her, and he takes her place in the Sarlacc pit.
The male then injects sperm into the spore production sac, and the fertilized spores disperse through the planet, many of which leave the atmosphere and float around space until they stumble upon a suitable planed to inhabit.
When the spore finds a suitable planet, it attaches to a creature from the planet, sucking its blood like a parasite until it’s large enough to detach and move around hunting and consuming prey. The larva grew until it was big enough to burrow into the ground and keep growing into a full-size Sarlacc.