The Most Strange and Disturbing Things in ‘Star Wars’
What Stands Out To You?
“I find your lack of faith disturbing.”
Lord Vader’s famous line from A New Hope shows the Sith Lord’s disdain for Admiral Motti’s unwillingness to believe in the power of the Force. However, this is by far not the only thing that was disturbing in the galaxy far, far away. For movies that are more or less modern fairy tales marketed primarily towards kids and young adults, they actually do contain quite a few things that are either strange or disturbing or both.
Of course, both terms are highly subjective and something that is upsetting for one person might not bother another at the slightest. Our perception of what is strange or disturbing changes not only with our age, but also with the time we live in. Characters, scenes or topics that were seen as “out there” or even unacceptable in the late 70s, might be absolutely normal in our current time. Today we are going to look at 10 things from Star Wars, that are strange and/or disturbing, or at least have been when the movies came out. We will also look at these things from the point of view of the target audience of Star Wars - young people in their teens. Finally, the focus will be on current lore. The former Expanded Universe has created such a vast number of things, creatures and events, that are strange and/or disturbing, that one article would never be enough to even mention them.
1. Burnt Anakin
After Obi-Wan cuts off Anakin’s legs and arms, what remains of the former Jedi goes up in flames. Staring out with red-yellow eyes he yells his “I hate you” at his former master, a scene that is one of the most intense of the whole saga. But maybe even more disturbing is Obi-Wan’s reaction to this. He just turns and walks away. If he really loved Anakin, as he had said moments earlier, he should have killed him, and put his former Padawan out of his misery.
2. The Slaughter Of The Younglings
This scene from Revenge of The Sith happens a little before the battle on Mustafar. Anakin arrives at the Jedi Temple, where he is met by frightened younglings and Padawans, who thought that he will lead them to safety. While the final movie does not actually show Anakin’s dark deeds after he ignites his lightsaber, there apparently was a scene that showed his killings, but was later cut for being too gruesome. The ignition of the blue blade is enough to start a disturbing inner cinema.
3. The Decraniated
This creation of Dr. Evazan is both strange and disturbing. These miserable beings whose upper half of the head is removed and the brain replaced with cyborg implants were essentially living droids and mindless slaves, unable to exercise any free will. Evazan did all this out of sadism and greed for money.
4. B'omarr Monks
Another strange lifeform from the galaxy far, far away, the B'omarr are an ancient order who believe that enlightenment would only come from separating themselves from all physical sensation. They have their brains transplanted into transparent globes filled with liquid that are moved around by droid spider legs. It is good that we cannot clearly see these strange beings in Jabba's Palace in Return of the Jedi, but thinking of the concept alone is creepy enough.
5. Burnt Skeletons
This is something that is probably more disturbing for a younger audience and also more upsetting in the 70s than it is today. The burnt skeletons of Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru surely look gruesome. Even stranger is the thought of how this happen. If the stormtroopers just shot Luke’s relatives with their blaster they would not be burnt like that. Maybe the Imperials caused a fire inside the homestead and Owen and Beru caught fire and collapsed outside their homes, and then their flesh completely burnt away.
6. Brain Worms
Star Wars Legends has ventured into the horror genre several time (like Joe Schreiber’s excellent but truly disturbing novels Death Troopers and Red Harvest) There is even a species that is able to suck the life force out of their victims by inserting tendrils into their brains. The closest thing we get to something like this in current cannon is the Geonosian brain worms from season two of The Clone Wars, something that was quite reminiscent of horror movies from the 70s and 80s. The Geonosians themselves are already a strange and disturbing species, living in underground caves in complete darkness.
7. Unnatural Abilities
The former Expanded Universe create quite a few teachings, methods, and abilities of Dark Side users that are both strange and disturbing, like Darth Bane’s thought bomb and various other Force powers that could cause weird hallucinations or inflict great pain from a vast distance. In current cannon Darth Sidious is almost constantly breaking down Darth Vader, either physically or mentally, keeping him in constant pain and agony, while at the same time proving to him time and time again, that staying with him is Vader's only option despite the fact that he will never be able to defeat his master. It is hard to imagine what a life that must have been for more than two decades.
8. Losing Limbs
From Ben Kenobi cutting off Ponda Baba’s arm, to Anakin losing an arm, to Luke losing a hand, to Jango Fett losing his head, to Darth Maul being chopped in half, taking off someone’s limb(s) seems to be quite a normal thing in the Star Wars universe. True, there is seldom blood involved, but for a story that is targeted towards a younger audience this is still both strange and disturbing.
9. Dr. Evazan
The creator of the Decraniated (see number 3) is strange and disturbing not only by his mad deeds, cruelty and sadism, but his outer appearance alone is enough to give the (young) audience nightmares.
10. Zombie Witches
Another detour into the world of horror, season 4 of The Clone Wars presented the Army of the Dead, a group of Nightsister zombies, that are raised from the dead by dark magic in order to defeat the Separatists when they arrived on Dathomir. While they seem unstoppable in the beginning, these reanimated corpses quickly become lifeless again, when General Grievous kills the Nightsister who controlled them.
This list can go on and on, as there are countless strange monstrosities both on land, in the seas, and even in space, like the Summa-verminoth from Solo: A Star Wars Story or more recently the Drengir from The High Republic. There are surely more strange and disturbing things to come in the future of Star Wars.
Written By Gerald Petschk
Syndicated From Culture Slate