Krayt dragons are large carnivorous reptiles native to the deserts of Tatooine. Several species and subspecies are known to exist. They grow continuously throughout their lives, and do not weaken appreciably with age. Average individuals can grow up to 45 meters long and weigh up to 200 tonnes. Some could even live to be a century old.
A fierce hunter, the krayt dragon became an important part of indigenous cultures on Tatooine.The Sandpeople of Tatooine revered the krayt dragon as a powerful hunter and centered their primary maturity ritual on it. Adolescent males were abandoned in the Tatooine dune and only accepted back into their tribes as adults when they had slain a krayt dragon. Both the Sandpeople and Jawas placed the krayt dragon in the position of a powerful spirit, and believed that their bones possessed magic. Jawas brave enough to risk the acquisition of krayt dragon bones were held in high regard among their people. Even the Jedi were impressed by the strength and ferocity of these beasts, naming the Shien and Djem So form of lightsaber combat "The Way of the Krayt Dragon."
The krayt dragon had a set of sharp teeth used for capturing prey, but relied on ingesting stones to grind the food through a series of gizzards into a digestible state. Food would be crushed by the stones tumbled in the gizzards by stomach muscles, grinding food into pulp and turning boulders into smooth stones. The resulting stones, known as dragon pearls, were a valuable commodity among jewelers. The pearls could also be shaped and tuned by Jedi to be used as focusing crystals in their lightsabers. Krayt dragons instinctively go to the Krayt Graveyard when they are about to die. Gardulla the Hutt had a Krayt dragon in her palace, to whom she would feed with her enemies or those who failed her. However, she did not have control over the dragon and just used it as - as shown when Jango Fett pushed her towards her dragon, which swallowed her. In the battle that followed, Jango fought against Gardulla's guards as well as the Dragon. Due to its enormous size, the creature's movement was restricted - allowing Jango to easily dodge its attacks and hit it with volleys of laser fire from his blasters as well as hitting it with thermal grenades and missiles from his jetpack. Gardulla's guards, in their attempts to kill Jango, also
ended up unitentionally hitting the dragon as they fired their own missile launchers. Eventually, the fatally wounded dragon left off a final roar before falling to the ground, dead - Jango leaving its corpse behind. Sometime afterward, Gardulla narrowly managed to escape from the inside of her dead dragon after crawling out of the creature's mouth, although the lack of oxygen inside the dead beast had caused her voice to become higher pitched.
Canyon Krayt Dragon
These are the smallest variant of krayt dragons. Average individuals measure 10 meters in height and 30 in length. The canyon krayt are a common species of krayt dragon that lived in the rocky caves and canyons of Tatooine's desert ranges. An evolved hunter, the four-legged canyon krayt possessed a yellow-brown camouflage skin pattern, a five-horned crown ridge and a spike-studded tail. They usually fed on womp rats, eopies, and lone banthas. Though it was not nearly as big as the greater krayt, it was big enough to cause destruction, yet small enough for one Sandperson and his bantha to take down. Like other species of krayts, they produced pearls, although theirs were typically a deep crimson color. Canyon krayt pearls were quite valuable often fetching upwards of one million credits each.
Greater Krayt Dragon
The greater krayt was a subspecies of krayt dragon that was both rarer and larger than the canyon krayt and its relatives.They are massive, growing to 100 meters or more. They require ten legs to support their bulk. Despite their size, greater krayts are rarely encountered because they spent long stretches of time literally swimming through the sand. Greater krayts are known to actually prey upon sarlaccs, though they more commonly hunt banthas. Similar to their smaller kin, the greater krayt dragon develop pearls inside their gizzard. However, these pearls are much larger and more valuable than standard krayt dragon pearls.
It is likely that this is not a true Krayt Dragon, as it has a much greater number of legs than other Krayts. Thus perhaps a more reasonable name for the species would be False Krayt Dragon.
Behind the scenes
- The artificial skeleton used for A New Hope was left in the Tunisian desert after filming and still lies there. During filming of Attack of the Clones, the site was visited by the crew and the skeleton was still found there.
- The Mandalorian Chapter 9: The Marshall
- Star Wars IV: A New Hope (First Appearance, Skeleton)
- Star Wars Galaxies
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
- The Wildlife of Star Wars: A Field Guide, by Terryl Whitlach & Bod Carrau
- Wookiepedia: The Star Wars Wiki