In ‘The Book of Boba Fett,’ the rancors are mentioned in the second episode. Fennec brings the lone surviving assassin to Boba. 8D8 states that the assassin belongs to the Order of the Night Wind, and hence, it will be impossible to make him talk. And indeed, he refuses to reveal who hired him and his comrades to kill Boba, even while one of Boba’s Gamorrean guards puts his blade against the man’s throat. Fennec, who is an assassin herself, comes up with a solution and promptly drops the man into a cell that is supposed to hold a rancor. The assassin becomes so terrified that he claims that the Mayor of Mos Espa hired him. If that has made you wonder about the rancors, we got you covered. SPOILERS AHEAD.
What Is the Rancor?
The rancors are a semi-sentient carnivore species from Planet Dathomir. The reptilian beings are fierce in appearance. They grow up to five meters in height and have skin that even blaster fire can’t penetrate. They have long hands, which they use to grab their prey. The cell underneath Boba’s hall indeed once housed a rancor named Pateesa. It was one of the animals that Jabba the Hutt collected for his menagerie. In ‘Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi’ (1983), Luke Skywalker and a Gamorrean guard fall into the rancor’s cell. The creature eats the guard first before coming after Luke, who initially tries to get out of the cell. When that plan fails, he kills the animal by trapping it underneath a door.
There are a few subspecies of rancors. Jungle rancors are found on Planet Felucia. Rage rancors are a bigger and more ill-tempered version of the original rancors. There are also shadow rancors. Distinguished by their darker hide, they are known to attack everything in their vicinity.
The rancors are apparently social animals that are often led by an alpha. In Dathomir, the rancors form a symbiotic relationship with the Nightsisters several hundred years before the Clone Wars to drive off a snake-like species called the Fromprath from their planet. While in Felucia, Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Ahsoka Tano encounter a crash (the correct galactic basic term for a group of rancors) of jungle rancors. These creatures and the native Felucian farmers peacefully live alongside each other.
Pateesa, the rancor, was originally conceptualized as an amalgamation of a bear and a potato. Initially, an actor was supposed to portray the creature using a suit. However, the producers eventually decided to go with a rod-operated puppet.