What Is Spice in Star Wars & Why Is It Dangerous?

spice star wars

The entire Star Wars universe may have revolved around battles between the Jedi and the Sith and the Rebels and the Empire for a while, but this franchise is still continuing to build itself up as we speak, especially when it comes to the tiny details. One detail that you may have caught was when Boba Fett stopped a spice train owned by the Pykes in episode 2 of The Book of Boba Fett. Even though it wasn’t explained what it was, what exactly is Spice in Star Wars, and why is it dangerous?

Spice is a catch-all term for dangerous drugs. There is no specific type of “spice” in the Star Wars universe because this is a catch-all term for several illegal substances in the galaxy. In short, spices are actually dangerous drugs. Some of the more popular spices that have been introduced include ryll, glitterstim, and sansanna. 

In simple terms, spice is merely the term used by Star Wars to reference illegal drugs. They probably decided to use spice instead of drugs, considering that kids also tend to watch Star Wars. In that sense, it becomes easier to understand what spice is, especially if we simply look at spices as illegal and dangerous drugs.

What Exactly Is Spice In Star Wars?

Spice in Star Wars is simply a catch-all term that is used to describe illegal and dangerous substances. One of the things that make the Star Wars universe so fascinating and amazing is that it still continues to build on what is already a great story.

Even though we all know that the main Star Wars films focus heavily on the battle between good and evil in the form of groups such as the Jedi, Sith, Rebels, Empire, Resistance, and the First Order, there are plenty of things that happen right under the noses of the main protagonists and antagonist, similar to how plenty of underground things happen in the real world.

In the underground universe of the Star Wars galaxy, we see personalities and characters involved with crime syndicates, bounty hunters, smugglers, and space pirates. And when we are watching a Star Wars movie or series about the underground side of the galaxy, one of the terms we often hear is spice.


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We have heard the term “spice” before in the main Star Wars films, in Solo: A Star Wars Story, and, recently, in The Book of Boba Fett. Spice has always been mentioned in passing and was hardly ever the main focus of any discussion or issue in the Star Wars franchise. And the fact that spice has almost always been just an afterthought makes it so ambiguous to regular Star Wars fans. So, what exactly is Spice in Star Wars?

In the simplest way we can explain, spice in Star Wars is simply a catch-all term that is used to describe illegal and dangerous substances that are usually passed around the universe by underground groups such as spice runners, smugglers, and criminal syndicates.

As such, Star Wars spice is not the same kind of spice that you are probably thinking of, as our real-world spice is a term used to describe substances that are usually used as food additives to improve flavor. While the spices in our real world and the Star Wars universe are all valuable, they are entirely different.

Is Star Wars Spice Drug?

The word spice does refer to drugs in Star Wars. At this point, you probably already guessed what Star Wars spice is when we said that this is a term that is used to describe illegal and dangerous substances in the galaxy. So, yes, Star Wars spice is, in fact, pertaining to drugs or narcotics.

Even though the term used in Star Wars is different when compared to the term we use for illegal and dangerous substances in the real world, the motif is generally the same. Spices are narcotics that are highly valued in the underground market in the Star Wars galaxy because of how different people are addicted to them.

It is also worthy to note that spice is similar to real-world opiates in the sense that they can be used for a wide variety of medicinal purposes. However, depending on how it is processed, spice can turn into an addictive and dangerous substance that is often used as currency in the underground world of the Star Wars franchise.

So, if spice and drugs are the same, why is it that Star Wars just doesn’t use the term “drugs” to pertain to illegal and dangerous substances?

Well, for one thing, Star Wars has always been marketed as a kid-friendly franchise. Even though there are some mature themes in the Star Wars movies and shows, kids have always been some of the biggest members of the franchise’s target market, especially when it comes to the animated Star Wars shows. 

So, to make sure that kids don’t get too exposed to the underground world of narcotics, Star Wars uses “spice” as the term used to describe dangerous substances. This also explains why the Star Wars films and shows never truly explore what spice is.

But the thing is that Star Wars does reference how troublesome and dangerous spice is by connecting the backstories of some of the characters to spice and how troubled their pasts were. Poe Dameron, for example, said that his past life was something related to spice while also giving us an idea that he had a troubled past without revealing what spice exactly is.

Is Spice Illegal In Star Wars?

Spice is illegal in Star Wars. Considering that spices are similar to drugs in the Star Wars universe, it goes without saying that these substances are illegal. Of course, if spice wasn’t illegal, then there would be no reason for the crime syndicates and the smugglers to go through a lot of lengths just to keep their transactions hidden. This seems kind of weird, especially if you think about the fact that the people behind the Empire are evil. 

Still, the fact remains that spice is illegal because those who are running the many different governments in the Star Wars galaxy want to maintain order, regardless of what it takes to do so. And spice, because of its effects, can disrupt peace and order.

What Does Spice Runner Mean In Star Wars?

Spice Runner

Spice runner is a member of a smuggling gang called the Spice Runners. One of the main characters of the new Star Wars trilogy is Poe Dameron, who is the best pilot in the entire Resistance. However, one of the things that made people aware that spice was illegal and dangerous is the fact that Poe used to be a spice runner, which is something he said when he mentioned his troubled past. But what exactly is a spice runner?


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A spice runner is simply a member of the smuggling gang called the Spice Runners of Kijimi. The simplest way to put it is that these people were smuggling spice all over the galaxy and are considered criminals because of that very fact. 

Going back to Poe Dameron, the fact that he used to be a spice runner might be one of the reasons why he is such a good pilot. Like Han Solo, who is a great pilot as well, it takes a lot of skill to be able to maneuver your way through the galaxy whenever you are smuggling illegal substances for a living.

Types Of Spice In Star Wars

Three types of Spice have been named in Star Wars these are ryll, glitterstim, sansanna. Although spice is usually used as a catch-all term that covers all of the different illegal and dangerous substances throughout the entire Star Wars galaxy, there are different types of spices.

Why Is Spice Dangerous In Star Wars?

Why Is Spice Dangerous In Star Wars?

The reason why spice is so dangerous in the Star Wars universe is the same reason why drugs are banned and illegal in the real world. And that is due to the fact that spices tend to produce different types of effects that are unpredictable and cause severe addiction.

For one, glitterstim is said to have mind-altering effects that can cause hallucinations. However, if you have telepathic abilities, glitterstim can also cause your abilities to improve for as long as the drug is still in effect.

Meanwhile, ryll is said to be quite similar to morphine in the sense that it is heavily addictive and can be used as a painkiller. However, the fact that it is quite addictive and can cause mood swings in those who are addicted to it is what makes it illegal.

In short, spice is dangerous because of how unpredictable its effects are. Such effects can cause serious problems in relation to the peace and order of the galaxy, and that is why it has always been illegal.

Is Spice The Same In Star Wars And Dune?

While Star Wars and Dune happen in entirely different universes, the one thing you should know is that their spices are quite similar. The spice in Star Wars is similar to the spice in Dune in the sense that they are both narcotics.


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However, the biggest difference here is that the spice in Star Wars is illegal. Meanwhile, Dune spices are legal and actually form part of the fundamental block of commerce and technological development in the known universe. This means that, while spice in Star Wars is just the same as the illegal drugs we have in the real world, the spice in Dune is much more important because of how it has a lot of different uses and purposes other than being a narcotic.

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