In this Star Wars Creature Profile, we learn all about the varactyl, a reptilian/avian creature introduced in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.
When I was younger, I plied the pages of Wookieepedia for information about the things, people and places that make up the galaxy far, far away. In this new installment of Star Wars Creature Profiles, I’m continuing the learning tradition by telling you all about the varactyl.
What is it?
Image Credit: Lucasfilm
The varactyl is a reptavian, which according to Star Wars: The Visual Encyclopedia is a cross between a reptile and a bird. You can see the amalgamation in the photo of the varactyl from Revenge of the Sith. Its body is lizard-like and scaly-skinned, but it also has feathers on its head and spine.
Where does it live?
The varactyl lives on Utupau, a planet pockmarked by massive sinkholes. This creature is perfectly suited to navigating the rough vertical terrain of the sinkholes, as it can jump as well as fall from great distances without hurting itself.
What Star Wars story does it appear in?
The varactyl appears in the Revenge of the Sith movie and novelization.
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How is it important to Star Wars storytelling?
Boga, the varactyl in Revenge of the Sith, is Obi-Wan Kenobi’s faithful mount on Utupau as he chases after General Grievous. Without Boga, Obi-Wan would not have been able to traverse the sinkholes nearly as easily. Moreover, it is possible that Boga saved Obi-Wan’s life. In the Revenge of the Sith novelization, the author, Matthew Stover, describes Boga taking the brunt of an explosion, thereby saving Obi-Wan from the onslaught of his traitorous clone troopers. It is unknown of the varactyl survived, though in the novelization Obi-Wan believes she died. This scene has not been confirmed in canon, however. It’s something to ask Star Wars guru Pablo Hidalgo about, perhaps.
It’s cool creatures like the varactyl that bring the Star Wars universe to life. I also love the idea that Boga sacrificed herself for Obi-Wan; it implies she made a conscious decision to do so as if she was intelligent. And perhaps she was. The Force runs strong in nature in the Star Wars universe.
What do you think of the varactyl? Tell us your opinion in the comments below.