A Galaxy of Fear: Creepy Creatures of the Expanded Universe
By Brian Borq
Greetings everyone! It has been a while, but when I was asked to write a few more articles for the website this month, I could not pass up the opportunity! However, to keep in line with the ultimate theme of the month of October, you will not be hearing a positive upbeat article from me today. No, instead I will delve alongside you all into a creepier side of the Expanded Universe in Part 1 of a 2 part series! Without further ado, let’s begin!
You are alone in a deep, dark cave. You feel relief, however, as you have escaped the ferocious creatures on the jungle moon Duxn for the moment by finding this refuge. You suddenly hear something above you. You move your glowrod to examine the ceiling and see nothing….at first. Then you realize that ceiling consists of multiple moving creatures. Just as you realize this they start dropping down, some nearby start crawling your direction. You turn to leave right back for that jungle but stop as you suddenly feel something hit your head….
There are few things in the Star Wars Expanded Universe that would be more terrible to find in a dark cave than the orbalisk like in the encounter described above. Made a prominent point of the story in Drew Karpyshyn’s Rule of Two, these creatures are venomous to common beings of the galaxy and, if you happen to be more than a common being, still quite deadly. Parasites, they attach to a being’s body, feeding on their life energy. These orbalisks grow and multiply until they ultimately suffocate their host and go on to lay in wait for their next victim.
Not a good way to go! Then again, there could be worse ways like our next entry!
The year is 27 ABY. Your platoon is holding a defensive position on a mid-rim planet. The war against the Yuuzhan Vong is unending. Horror upon horror has been unleashed by these extragalactic invaders. But you are not without hope. Alongside your platoon of the New Republic’s finest fights none other than a legendary Jedi Knight. Lightsaber ignited they seem confident in their ability to lead you to victory. That is until they suddenly freeze and start looking off through some smoke in the distance. You takeout your macrobinoculars and toggle the heat readings. You see some Yuuzhan Vong warriors moving towards you, yes, but what catches your attention is the odd six-legged creatures rapidly approaching your position.
You turn to warn your allies just as a sonic scream pierces the smoke staggering all of you. You recover in time to see the Jedi Knight with evident terror on their face as three more of these creatures burst through the smoke, shrugging off blaster rounds and spewing some sort of acidic liquid from their gaping maws….
These creatures are known as Voxyn. They were bread by the Yuuzhan Vong to counter the Jedi Knights and other Force Sensitives that stood in the way of their conquest of the galaxy. Their screams, acidic spittle, venomous tail and disease-ridden claws spelt doom for many across the galaxy throughout the middle and ending years of the war. Even their blood was toxic when exposed to the atmosphere! These creatures had the ability to sense Force sensitive beings and used this ability to great effect, killing more than a handful of Jedi before the end of the war.
Certainly seems like a terrifying creature to run into no matter who you had on your side!
But not everything in the galaxy which was terrifying came from beyond the outer rim! No, our next specimen is actually a native species to the galaxy.
You find yourself on a night out on the town! Or rather, the city as you realize the grey and heavily populated walls of Coruscant surround you as do many beings from all corners of the galaxy. That four piece band comprised of Bith is jamming out on the stage as you and a companion of yours dance along to the music.
Suddenly you feel the need for a break and your companion, who you have been hitting it off with all night, decides to join you for some quieter atmosphere. You leave the club and find yourself on a private balcony, chatting about nothing in particular, with your companion who is smiling widely and clearly enjoying your company.
The first hint you have that something is wrong is when their hand brushes your arm.
It is cold. Unnaturally so. This sensation proves distracting enough that you realize you are absolutely alone with this person you have never met before. Sensing you may be a bit exposed and that this isn’t necessarily that wise, you look back to your companion and start to suggest you rejoin the dancefloor inside. Instead you stop and suddenly realize you forgot what you were so concerned about.
The last hint you had of something wrong was the strange tendrils coming out of your companion’s face before all goes black.
You have just felt a bit of the terror that comes from encountering the fabled Anzati, a species within the galaxy that feeds on life force, somewhat like the orbalisks mentioned earlier. However, unlike the orbalisks, Anzati were a humanoid species that were highly intelligent. They had telepathic powers and could often compel their victims to do as they wished. To feed on their victims, the Anzati had tendrils hidden within pockets in their cheeks. These pockets were completely unidentifiable when the tendrils were retracted, allowing the Anzati to pass themselves off as just another human being!
The Anzati always reminded me a bit of vampires. Their superhuman strength, need to feed on sentient beings and lack of a biorhythm feels like the perfect fit for the perfect hunter….
But not all terrifying species within the galaxy had to hide behind peaceful facades. No, some were so terrifying that their size itself was debilitating to their prey….
For our final entry today you find yourself within a forest. At your side is what could only be an Ewok. This Ewok found you, a victim of a starship crash, not too far from where you are now. You can only assume that it is guiding you to its village. Afterall, that is where these little guys lived according to the guide you read on the Forest Moon of Endor before you left. The Ewok is clearly concerned for you as you struggle through the forest’s difficult terrain. Obviously the crash was not the smoothest of landings! You have a small limp but are somehow managing.
Suddenly the forest grows quiet. Your guide stops to sniff the air, clearly on guard and frightened. You glance around, nothing catching your attention until you suddenly realize that the sunny sky is no longer shining on you. You look up to see what is blocking out the sun and staring back down at you is a massive hairy humanoid creature. Its hand slowly descends towards you…..
You have just encountered perhaps the most terrifying creature on the Forest Moon of Endor, a member of the Gorax species. These giant humanoids were covered in hair and could range anywhere from six to a massive thirty meters in height! Though they were only considered semi-sentient, they were fully capable of wiping out Ewok villages entirely, even if those villages were high above the forest floor… There truly were few places to hide from the these mighty creatures!
So, how do you feel about that Galaxy Far, Far Away now? Still ready and rearing to head out into the stars? Well my fellow Star Wars fans, our journey today may be over, but be sure to check back on TheExpandedUniverse.com in the future as more of these articles release!
Until then, may The Force be with you and I hope you join me for Part II: Dreadful Denizens of the Galaxy.