"The Rancor is one of the most hideous beasts I have ever encountered, best described as a walking collection of fangs and claws, with no thought other than to kill and eat."
- Mammon HOOLE
Rancors are 16 and a half to 32 foot tall carnivorous reptomammals which originate on the planet of Dathomir. They are always born brown, but in special circumstances, such as the mutant Rancor, their color may differ.
A Tatooine Rancor.A Rancor Depicted In The Kresch.
General Information:
Planet of OriginUnknown.
Height of Average Adult16.5-32' (198-396")
DistinctionsLong arms, claws
A Rancor With Young.The Released Mutated Rancor On A Rampage.
An Adult Male Rancor.A Rancor Poster From Nar Kreeta.
Although found on other worlds such as Ottethan, Corulag, and Lehon (where they were brought by crashed starships), those from Dathomir are more intelligent and usually stronger than others.
Warm-blooded Rancors fall into the reptomammal category, along with other creatures such as the wampa. Rancors are attracted to other Rancor mates by a smell, or a pheromone. While it is known that Rancors care for their young (usually born two at a time) they do not suckle. Unlike most reptiles, Rancor Cubs are born live (not uncommon among retomamloids). The young ride the mother, one dorsal, one ventral, until reaching maturity. Despite their nurturing nature, it was not entirely unheard of for a mother to eat her young.
Rancors walk on two relatively stubby legs, with longer forelimbs utilized for catching prey. They also walk on all fours at times. A Rancor's flat face is dominated by a large mouth full of razor sharp teeth. The skin of a Rancor is tough enough to deflect blaster bolts, making it an efficient killing machine- And an excellent source of leather for expensive vests and boots. At least on dark worlds such as Dathomir, Rancors have excellent night vision, but their eyesight is not as sharp as a Human's in daylight.
"My Rancor seeks flesh!"
- A Nightsister
Though they are usually considered unintelligent beasts, the Rancors of Dathomir are at least semi-sentient, caring creatures who mourn their family members when they died, and who passed on oral histories of the matriarchal herds into which these were organized. Their native way of life seems to be very primitive, using their strength and size to hunt live prey across the planet's savannahs- With the planet's Human population at one point becoming their primary prey species; But in the last centuries of the Galactic Republic, the Rancor was "domesticated" by the Witches of Dathomir (though Force-sensitivity was apparently necessary to accomplish the difficult task) and the symbiosis of Rancor sow and female mount seems to have played a major role in dictating the subsequent structure of Dathomiri society. According to the Rancors' own traditions, the symbiosis began when a warrior-woman met and healed an injured female; By mounting the Rancor's back, her sharper eyesight enabled it to hunt better prey during the day, so that it grew in size and status to become a mighty herd-mother.
By the time of the New Republic, most of Dathomir's Rancor population lived in symbiosis with the planet's Human clans, being used as mounts, and learning to make and use armor and bladed weapons with the help of the Witches. In the first years of the New Republic, Tosh the herd leader of the Singing Mountain Clan's Rancors, learned to read and write, and began to pass on this skill to other Rancors in her group.
Around the years of the Galactic Empire, the last herds of untamed mountain Rancors were driven into the plains and destroyed; But a few decades later, a wild herd wandered into the Great Canyon, indicating that a population had survived in the vast tracts of Dathomir's surface area that remained unexplored, beyond the knowledge of the planet's Human population.
The Wider Galaxy
The Rancor is well-known in the wider galaxy, having spread through the galaxy with early spacefaring civilizations even before the rise of the Old Republic; But the Rancor's true homeworld has been forgotten; As a reuslt, for many centuries, even eons, their sapience was not recognized. Offworld breeds are generally weaker and less intelligent than those of Dathomir, and had evolved into distinct species, such as the amphibious Tra'cor of Socorro or the Bull Rancor of Felucia. The exception to this rule are bred and bio-engineered Rancors, such as the Fantoman Rancors.
On a few worlds like Ottethan, Rancors were used as mounts by warrior clans as they were on Dathomir. Herds of young Rancors roamed wild on Lehon, descended from those brought by the Infinite Empire, and some were domesticated as beasts of war by the Black Rakata under The One. The Black Rakata used their domesticated Rancors to attack Revan when he didn't kill the Elder Rakata (their enemy tribe) after they "asked" Revan to. Revan also had to fight his way to the Ancient Temple and to the Elder Rakata's enclave through Rancors who surrounded the former and guarded the latter.
However, Rancors were perhaps most closely associated with the criminal underworld, where individual creatures were kept as pets, guards and status-symbols. Perhaps the most famous such Rancor was the one owned by Jabba Desilijic Tiure, who kept it in a pit beneath his palace courts, dropping in victims who displeased him in some way to feedit in a gruesome spectacle, with gambling by some members of his "court" on how long they would last- Or which exact body part(s) would be eaten first.
His Rancor was cared for by Malakili, a famous beast tamer who had traveled with the Circus Horrificus. Malakili formed an unlikely bond with the animal, even going so far as to sneak the Rancor out of Jabba's palace for a run in the desert, and wept when the beast was killed by Luke SKYWALKER.
The Zann Consortium used many Rancors with Nightsisters astride them in their campaign to corrupt the galaxy, most notably Nightsister Silri's pet, Cuddles.
While stranded on Taris, the reformed Revan had to pass a Rancor in order to infiltrate the Black Vulkars base. He did this by placing a synthetic odor that made the Rancor think that its prey was nearby within a pile of corpses (its food), where he had placed a grenade. The Rancor, grabbing what it thought was food, ate the grenade, which exploded in its mouth and killed the beast.
The Galactic Empire attempted to exploit the combat potential of the Rancor- Not a great surprise given that a fully grown Dathomiri Rancor was capable of single-handedly destroying an entire AT-ST unit. The reborn Emperor Palpatine also kept several alchemically altered Chrysalide Rancors at his Citadel on Byss.
Years later, a mutant Rancor that was immune to conventional weapons and could spew out toxic fumes capable of killing a Human near-instantly was discovered in captivity on Taanab. Released by the Disciples of Ragnos as a diversion, it was slain by Jedi Knight Jaden KORR (see below).
Long prior to the rise of the Galactic Empire, the Jedi Order named the Form VI: Niman style of lightsaber combat after the Rancor. This was a style that was known for being well rounded, with no particular offensive or defensive attributes (and therefore no particular vulnerabilities). This might have suggested something about the Rancor's predatory style.
Known Owners Of Rancors:
Planets On Which Rancors Are Found: Note that each planet with Rancors more than 2 generations are considered a sub-species in its own right.
  • Witches of Dathomir;
  • Nightsisters;
  • Hlisk SQUIN

  • Black Vulkars swoop gang;
  • Nar Kreeta Hutt crimelord;
  • Nirama

  • Dathomir (planet of origin);
  • Byss;
  • Carida (destroyed 50 ABY);
  • Corulag;
  • Felucia;
  • Lehon;
  • Mon Calamari (controlled by the Amphi-Hydrus);
  • Nar Kreeta
  • Ohma-D'un;
  • Ottethan;
  • Taanab;
  • Taris;
  • Trinta;
  • Tatooine;
  • Terra (recent transplant)

Subspecies:Famous Rancors:
  • Bull Rancors;
  • Mutant Rancor
  • Tra'cors;
  • Chrysalides
  • Bender;
  • Cuddles
  • Tosh;
  • Smidge (Terra's Rancor)
Planet Of Origin
Dathomir is generally recognized as the planet of origin for the Rancor, but this is, technically, not correct. If it were, there would be an archeological record of such; There isn't. In fact, the archeological record of Dathomir suggests they were imported form elsewhere, well after the first identifiable settlement periods.
However, Dathomir is considered the Rancor's 'homeworld', for lack of a better word, as the oldest surviving archeological record shows Rancors on Dathomir and only on Dathomir.
Legal Status
Rancors show sufficient intelligence and self-awareness to qualify as "Semi-Sentient," essentially placing them in the same category as highly intelligent animals (pets). Therefore, while they have certain rights, such as to avoid cruelty, their rights are highly limited; They can be owned, and owned Rancors have greater rights, inherited from their owners. Unfortunately, they also may be slaughtered, either for meat or hide or other components, and in the event a Rancor kills a Sentient (Human or otherwise) it may be killed without trial nor hearing. (Owned Rancors are more difficult to kill without hearing, but rarely do they or their owners win the hearing, due to the Rancor's hue size and obvious killing abilities.)
Current 'Usage'
Many people around the galaxies use Rancors as living load lifters, security animals (these are the ones most likely to win in a hearing over the death of a sentient), and some as combat machines- Essentially, living Destroids/robots. While the REF owns no Rancors itself, many Andromeda RDF's and a few outside the system do. (These beasts are restricted to defense only- The REF will not transport Rancors under any circumstances.)
Rancors are occasionally used for gambling matches, pitting one beast against another or unleashing one upon slaves and seeing which one survived the longest. One such gambling ring existed on Nar Kreeta until it was shut down (and the beasts destroyed).
Another highly illegal gambling business involving Rancors is to put them in a pit with a full-sized T'sentrædi and bet on which will win the fight; While the T'sentrædi's usually win the bout, some do not, and with their long, sharp claws and vicious teeth, the fight is more fairly matched than some assume. Finally, a version of this same sport involving various non-flyer robots is fairly popular, and also, highly illegal. All such 'sports' carry the death penalty for those caught in the act.
Mutant Rancors
On Taanab there is a mutated Rancor species; The beast was much larger than normal, have strange green capsules on their back, could breathe a stream of a flammable green toxic gas and had an unnatural green hue to its skin.
The Disciples of Ragnos had planned on releasing the beast in Taanab cities so that during the chaos they could steal arms, credits, and other goods. The Rancor was released as Jaden arrived and ate the Cultist that set it loose. It chased Jaden around the facility (the location of its creation), destroying all obstacles in its path, and eating any disciples that it encountered. Finally, Jaden managed to kill the beast by pinning it between a force field and a large crate on a conveyor belt.
Other deliberate mutations of Rancors have occurred, including an attempt at a version only 40" tall, with significantly less predatory capabilities (and infinitely diminished intelligence), until it was discovered by UGC authorities, and the project closed at gunpoint, the creators incarcerated, and the beasts that did exist at that point destroyed.
Other mutated Rancors have been developed from time to time, some with UGC authorization, most without. Some include:
Retomammaloids (also written "repto-mammaloids") are creatures that begin the separation between 'true' reptiles and mammals. All reptomammaloids are warm blooded reptilians that posses one or more of the mammalian traits (lactation, live birth, fir, etc) but not all of them (otherwise, it would be a mammal). In the case of the Rancor, they are classified as reptomammaloids because they give live birth and are warm blooded.
It should be noted that all reptomammaloids are warm blooded, but not all warm-blooded reptiles are reptomammaloids; Only those possessing at least one other mammaloid characteristic.