5 classic Halloween monsters that have appeared in Star Wars

Ghosts of Mortis. Image courtesy StarWars.com
Ghosts of Mortis. Image courtesy StarWars.com /

The Star Wars galaxy is one that features creatures of all shapes and sizes. We’ve seen aliens that are only three feet tall, as well as aliens that can tower over even the largest human. We’ve seen creatures with two legs, four legs, no legs, or eight legs.

We’ve seen aliens with two heads, and we’ve seen creatures that more closely resemble massive kaiju monsters than anything else. But in all that, there are some creatures that can’t help look familiar to anybody who’s seen a scary movie or two around Halloween. These are five times that classic Halloween monsters manage to sneak into Star wars canon.

1. Vampires

In the Star Wars universe, there is a race of aliens known as the Anzati. They are tall, with pale skin. They have an unusually long lifespan.

They also notably have no natural biorhythm, meaning no pulse, no heartbeat and seemingly nothing to keep blood pumping through them. It is unknown how they are able to live without it, but the absence of a functioning circulatory system means that their skin is often cold to the touch. You add in the ability to change into a bat, and not showing up in mirrors, and what we have here is a pretty classic description of vampires. Of course the Anzati don’t feed off of the blood of other species, but they do survive by takin the life essence from other beings. A member of the Anzati race has to feed every few days on the life force of another in order to stay healthy.

When an Anzati has a victim in their grasp they attack the victim with hidden proboscis, and begin to suck out the life essence, referred to by the Anzati, as the victim’s luck, Sea of Memory, or Soup. While these feedings could kill the victim, it was equally as possible that an Anzati could keep a captive victim alive for several feedings as it slowly drained the victim’s life force over a series of multiple feedings.

2. Witches

Jedi Knights were based on the classical archetype of ancient wizards, mysterious figures who seemed to possess untold magical power. It’s easy to see the line that can be traced from Obi-Wan Kenobi in Episode IV, all the way back to Merlin of King Arthur fame. But of course, if you have wizards, that also means that you’re going to have witches. The most famous witches in the Star Wars universe are the Nightsisters of Dathomir.

This clan of female Dathomirians would tap into the magic and the dark energies that existed on their planet. While one story of the origin of the witches suggests that they were first taught the ways of the Force by an exiled Jedi named Allya, their powers don’t exclusively come from The Force. On the planet of Dathomir, a magical ichor exists deep in the planet, and the Nightsisters are able to tap into that energy to harness a power they refer to as magick.

This power allowed the Nightsisters to have unimaginable control over the planet, creating items out of thin air, and even taming the rancors that existed on the planet. While the powers of the Nighsisters reside in the dark side of the Force, their existence marks a distinct type of magick wielder, different from the Sith Lords. Although there is some overlapping. Darth Maul was the son of Talzin, the Clan Mother, who was kidnapped by Darth Sidious to train as a Sith apprentice.

3. Werewolves

While the first Star Wars movie was revolutionary in terms of special effects, the movie was still an unknown property at the time and because of that, some decisions had to be made for budgetary reasons. For example, while some of the alien designs in the cantina on Mos Eisley were painstakingly designed and handcrafted, for others, it was just a matter of filling up the set with as many characters as possible that weren’t human.

To achieve this cheaply, instead of making new costumes for everyone on set, several of the extras were put into costumes that already existed. One such extra was put into a wolfman costume that can be seen for a split second in the original movie. But then, Star Wars became a global phenomenon, and suddenly every character needed a detailed backstory even if they only appeared in the movie for a moment. And that included the Wolf Man.  It turns out that character you saw was named Lak Sivrak, and he is a member of the Shistavanen race.

Shistavanen are a species of wolf life people who come from the planet Uvena Prime. While the don’t seem to be affected by the cycle of the moon in any way (a good thing if you travel to all kinds of different planets with different moons and different cycles) they do have many wolf like qualities, including the ability to run just as well on all fours as on two feet as the occasion may call for. They also have many predator traits, including a keen sense of smell and hearing, as well as excellent night vision.

4. Zombies

There have been multiple instances of Zombie like creatures that have cropped up in Star Wars from time to time. The most popular instance is likely in the novel Death Troopers. The story is set about a year before A New Hope, and features an Imperial bio weapon that once infecting people would transform them into undead mounters, complete with cabalistic tendencies. The idea behind the story was to set a genuine horror story in the Star Wars universe, and these are the most literal translations of zombies that we see in Star Wars. However, there are several other instances where we see zombie-like creatures appear. In The Clone Wars, it’s revealed a supply of Genosian brain worms was able to take over a republic ship. These worms would enter through the nostrils and take control of someone’s brain.

It turns out that the victim didn’t necessarily have to be alive for the brain worms to be able to successfully reanimate the corpse of the characters, giving them a very zombie-like appearance. Also speaking of the Nightsisters, they also had the ability to reanimate corpses to do their bidding, creating an army of the dead to defend their home world.

5. Ghosts

This of course is the most obvious “traditional” Halloween monster to show up in Star Wars. Even from the very beginning of the franchise, the spirits of those who had died could still be seen, could be heard, and could communicate with those who had not yet passed on. We even refer to them as ghosts when talking about them.

Of course we are talking about Force Ghosts, the spirit version of Jedi Knights or other force sensitive beings that can exist after they have died. Exactly what a force ghost is, is still something of a mystery. We know that traditional ghosts are usually the souls of people who have unfinished business from their mortal lives, that must be completed before they can move on. It’s possible that the Force Ghosts of Star Wars have similar agendas, needing to see something finished or accomplished before their spirits can rest. Like traditional ghosts, Force Ghosts don’t interact with physical entities, usually able to pass through physical barriers, and appear or disappear as they please.

However, also like traditional ghosts, Force Ghosts can, on occasion, interact with the physical world, whether that means physically pushing someone, or catching a lightsaber being thrown through the air. It is also possible that once their purpose for becoming a Force Ghost is complete, the spirits of these fallen Jedi do move on, though to where, we still have no idea.