Star Wars month continues here at ScreenAge Wasteland! If you’ve missed it over the last week there’s been (checks archives) a metric ton of Star Wars related material. Check it out – and if you’re so inclined you can help us Rank the Star Wars Films!
My contribution this week happens to be my favorite Star Wars creature. There are many (MANY) to choose from, but nothing quite hit me the first time like the Rancor. As a kid I needed a lot of things from Return of the Jedi when it was released – Luke to be a Jedi and use his powers (check), Han to be freed from carbonite (check), and epic space battles (check!). I didn’t know that I also needed an enormous, stop motion monster with giant claws and a smushed up face. Did I want the rancor toy badly after seeing the film? Yes, yes I did.
While Jedi is full of great creatures – the Sarlac, Gamoreans, Bib Fortuna, Max Rebo, Jabba the Hut, Admiral Ackbar and, yeah, even the Ewoks – nothing made the same impression on me as the rancor (who I understand even has a backstory and name now). I’m not even sure why, though it may have been the stop-motion, which made me nostalgic for Ray Harryhausen epics of old. I also loved seeing Luke go up against it and win, with what amounts to a comic book trick. I was sad to see the last of the rancor though (and I do love that cartoon where the bereaved rancor keeper nurses the wounded rancor back to health). Even now that scene is one of my favorites from the film.
So if you’re thinking that the rancor pup in The Book of Bobba Fett must have been my favorite part – you would be right.
What do you think of the rancor – in Jedi and elsewhere (I need to watch The Bad Batch, as I understand there’s a baby rancor in it)? And hell – what’s your favorite (non-rancor) creature from Return of the Jedi?