10 Things You Didn’t Know About Rancors
The Monster Uncovered
The Rancor is the most iconic monster in the Star Wars Universe. Since its first appearance in Return of The Jedi, the behemoth captured the imaginations of fans. It appeared in episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars: The Bad Batch, and The Book of Boba Fett as well as countless books and computer games. In recent years we’ve had new species of Rancor such as shadow, rage, and jungle, but how much do you know about Jabba’s favorite leviathan?
1. ‘A Bear and A Potato’
Creators Phil Tippet and Ralph McQuarrie described the initial concept for the Rancor as ‘a cross between a bear and a potato’.
2. One Scary Sausage Dog Made All That Noise
Ben Burtt created the Rancor’s distinctive roar from a tiny Dachshund. He recorded his neighbor’s dog Max and moved the bark into a lower register to make it sound more menacing!
3. The Rancor Was Nearly A Guy In A Muppet Costume.
George Lucas was adamant the creature should be a man in a suit, Industrial Light and Magic worked hard to bring it to life without using the stop motion technique that had worked so well for the AT-AT in The Empire Strikes Back. They tried to add extensions to the arms and legs with various skins and tones in homage to Godzilla, but test versions looked more like Sweetums from The Muppets and never made it to screen. If Lucas had kept to his original vision the Rancor would be a very different monster. Thank God he changed his mind.
4. A Little Short For A Something That Eats Stormtroopers
The final version was a rod puppet (sculpted by Phil Tippett and Randy Dultra) but still used simple hand puppetry for the mouth and upper body. Three people were needed to operate it in its battle with Luke Skywalker in a tiny set the size of a cardboard box. The marionette was only 18 inches tall but gooey glycerine drool and artistry made it look vicious up close.
5. The Original Collectable
The Rancor had its own action figure in the original Return of the Jedi Kenner release. It was able to hold a Gamorrean Guard model in its claws, spring-loaded arms, and a jaw that could be operated from a lever on its back.
6. Disney Made Us Wait For Dathomiri Rancors
We first learn of the Rancor’s homeworld, Dathomir in David Farland’s book, The Courtship of Princess Leia. Dathomiri Rancors was heavily embedded in the Expanded Universe and a taming level quest included in the flagship MMORPG game Star Wars: Galaxies. In 2014 Disney relegated the EU to ‘legends’ the relationship between the mysterious planet and the Rancor has remained up in the air. This year, The Book of Boba Fett finally made it canon and we all breathed a sigh of relief.
7. Roxy The Rancor
At the 2015 Star Wars Celebration in Florida Erik Hollander, Rick Bohler, and Matt Paisley created a 14ft high 1000lb Rancor named Roxy as a photo op for fans. It was one of the most popular attractions that year. The trio later went on to create a life-size Luggabeast named Lemmy for MegaCon 2016.
8. Rancor Smash
The first appearance of a Rancor in a computer game was in Star Wars: Demolition released in November 2000 on the PlayStation and Dreamcast. The Rancor was a playable character as well as an opponent.
9. David Filoni Is Partly Responsible For The Jungle Rancor
The Jungle Rancor started life as a cartoon drawing of its standard counterpart until David Filoni suggested that Kilian Plunkett give it a horny shell. The likeness to the Japanese Gamara goes back to George Lucas’ original penchant for that era of movie monsters in the design for the Rancor.
10. The Name Of Jabba’s Rancor
Chuck Wendig’s 2016 novel Aftermath: Life Debt finally gave us the name Jabba’s Rancor. The young male was called Pateesa, which incidentally is Huttese for friend.
Now, hopefully, you are a Rancor specialist like Malakill, but if you still feel new to the universe and need more tutelage then Star Wars: The Bad Batch Season 1 Episode 5 is recommended viewing. Or watch it just for Muchi.
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Written By Louise Parnell
Syndicated from Culture Slate