As they continue to grow, Sarlacci develop into mature adults and burrow down into the ground, forming a pit in the process. Regardless of size, all Sarlacci follow the same, biological commands, and become immobile with the advancement of age. Deep beneath the surface, thick roots spread out, with a main anchoring limb keeping the body of the Sarlacc in place. Stabilizing limbs reach out also, offering further stability and security. Females are significantly larger than their male counterparts, and while most are small and sold on the black market, illegally, as pets, there are some specimens that are of gigantic proportion, such as the Felucian Sarlacc, which spreads a kilometer across at the surface, and three times the distance below ground.
An omnivorous invertebrate, the Sarlacc is visible above-ground only by its mouth, as well as its long, sucker-lined tentacles used for removing falling debris and ensnaring prey. A chitinous, beaked-tongue - often mistaken for the creature’s head - blindly explores its surroundings. Even without the use of eyes, the Sarlacc can detect prey by means of its vast network of roots that pick up minute vibrations, pinpointing the exact whereabouts of potential prey. The mouth was fleshy, exposed, covered in microscopic openings that closed to protect the Sarlacc from infection, and falling debris. Long, recurved teeth pointed downwards towards the beaked-tongue, preventing escape. Highly prized on the black market for their rarity and medicinal potential, they were made up of chemicals derived from the broken-down bodies of its prey, but also a green, caustic liquid the Sarlacc produced to protect itself from its own stomach acid.
Although highly dangerous, Sarlacc rarely encountered prey, and as a result, digested them very slowly. For example, the specimen on Tatooine in the Pit of Carkoon can be found in the remote region of the Dune Sea, an area mainly devoid of wildlife and settlers. Above the surface, the Sarlacc has a number of tentacles, but two of which served as primary feeding apparatus, stretching significantly longer than the smaller tentacles surrounding the mouth. Touch-sensitive receptors on the tips pick up changes in scents, gathering further information about potential prey, environmental changes and temperature variations. There has been a great case for the Sarlacc being classified as a plant-based organism, as it shares features akin to species of plants, with an intricate root system used for collecting moisture and other minerals from the soil. However, it also possesses features observed in ancient species of invertebrates long extinct, and some clinging onto existence in remote regions, such as Raftars (A. raftari) and Space Slugs (X. garrus). It is clear, as recent studies highlight, that the Sarlacc is the last of a prehistoric species - a missing link between fauna and flora, making it a unique species that, in the opinion of many, should be destroyed, rather than studied for scientific purposes.
The Sarlacc has a complex digestive system, with many stomachs that are connected by vessels carrying oxygenated and de-oxygenated blood to one another. With the vast majority of the creature lying beneath the ground, its internal organs were protected from surface threats, although, unusually, the hearts are kept close to the creature’s mouth. The Sarlacc has multiple means of capturing prey, such as; tentacles, vocalizations to attract passerby's, and also pheromones that were discharged from pores along the outer-layers of the mouth. These pheromones are potent, and can travel for hundreds of meters in every direction, further if aided by a strong, prevalent wind. Depending on the size of the Sarlacc, its diet varies. Giant Sarlaccs, such as the Felucian specimen, are capable of consuming rancors and other large creatures. If the mouth is large enough, and the prey a sufficient size, the Sarlacc will almost certainly display a great degree of interest in feeding. Smaller individuals were limited to small invertebrates and other organisms.
Its primary means of capturing prey are its massive tentacles, some long enough to pull prey from the edge of the pit and beyond if it strays too close, pulling them down towards the fearsome mouth to be swallowed by the beak. During adolescence, the rows of recurved teeth would chew victims, long before the digestive system was fully formed. Upon reaching maturity, the Sarlacc grew a beaked-tongue that doubled as a mouth. After being swallowed, prey would be dropped down into a sand-trap, as the Sarlacc determined its size and nutritional value, deciding which stomach it would be placed in. Long, whip-like tentacles oozed a strange, green liquid, that - upon contact with the prey’s skin - would inject them with a paralyzing toxin, rendering them inert for transportation throughout the ghoulish interior of the creature. The internals of the Sarlacc were vulnerable and soft, with its major organs such as its pairs of lungs visible above the secondary stomachs.
If the prey was sentient, the Sarlacc would, more often than not, place them in its secondary stomachs. Small, cramped, and filled with tentacles that would suspend and pin the prey in place - they served as a slower means of digestion, allowing the Sarlacc to assimilate their consciousness and bind it to its own. This was a slow process, taking - reportedly - thousands of years to accomplish. A strong network of vessels within the stomachs punctured the victims skin, secreting complex neurotoxins into them to further the paralysis, extending the prey’s suffering. The caustic blood, a dull-green colour, would then fill the prey’s body, beginning the slow process of absorbing nutrients and enzymes it produced, all for the Sarlacc’s benefit. When the prey eventually stopped producing these, the Sarlacc would then begin to increase the rate of digestion, all the while drip-feeding the victim minimal sustenance to keep them alive for a millennium. Victims that were in the stomach for long periods of time would eventually become embedded in the walls themselves, and - in rare cases - placed inside to make room for additional prey, should the Sarlacc feed substantially.
The chemicals that composed the stomach acids were weak, more alkaline-based than acidic, and specifically targeted muscle tissue and soft organs, targeting nutrient-rich deposits of flesh. However, the Sarlacc’s blood was highly acidic, and was employed in the digestion of prey it required more sustenance from. The rate of digestion was determined by the creature, whenever it required to grow its tentacles or beaked-tongue to ensnare larger prey, it would need additional nutrients in order to do so. Most of the Sarlacc’s prey was placed in the main stomach, or in larger individuals, multiple main stomachs, and digested at a fairly quick rate, depending on the complexity of the prey’s body. Primitive creatures could be found littering the bottom of the main stomach, half-immersed in the alkaline-fluids of the stomach acid, gradually digesting and forming a soup in the process. The smell was reported to be unimaginable, and the pain endured by victims stomach-churning.
A video feed collected from a survivor’s helmet revealed that the Sarlacc could psychologically torture its victims, providing them with stimuli that wasn’t there. During his time in the creature in the Pit of Carkoon, Boba Fett experienced the memories of the Sarlacc’s victims - some dead, some alive (Proxima, 8 ABY). He could hear their screams of torment, see their past lives, their hopes and ambitions all digested by the Sarlacc. This reveals that the Sarlacc has some degree of intelligence, although it has become apparent that the absorbed intellects of sentient beings is the only means it can be labelled as ‘semi-sentient’. In rare circumstances, when the Sarlacc ran out of room in its main stomach, prey would be stored in the secondary stomachs for later consumption. Sarlacci were evolved to digest prey over long periods of time, and excessive amounts of prey in the main stomach can lead to stress on the digestive system itself.
The Sarlacc male is much smaller in comparison to the female, though matures as an adult in similar fashion. Unlike a mature female, the male develops clasper-like teeth that are designed to attach to the female. Once attached, the male releases enzymes that crystallize and fuse to the hardened exterior of the female, granting the female a continuous supply of sperm to develop a Sarlacci spore. The process of creating a spore takes tens of thousands of years, and only develops upon the death of its parents. The male is granted a permanent source of nutrients from the female’s digested and digesting prey, though the sustenance is minimal, and more often than not the male will have a frail, malnourished appearance. Only one male has ever been observed, when an older Sarlacc on Tatooine was unearthed by a Greater Krayt Dragon in 898 BBY (Voss, 14 ABY), and fed upon it. The remains left behind by the colossal reptile revealed a second, far smaller Sarlacc, and upon dissection, was revealed to have a large store of sperm for fertilization. Another study carried out on a Sarlacc on Geonosis revealed that the male had digested its mate into oblivion, taking the female’s place as a result - though this may be a ‘freak’ occurrence as the male possesses no real digestive enzymes of its own for feeding purposes.
The Sarlacc exhibits a wide range of behaviour. Females release a series of vocalizations, which upon further study, provided by Rinko Voss, reveal that there is a pattern behind each set. For example, ‘squealing’ is the Sarlacc displaying excitement, whereas the deep, bellowing ‘gurgles’ is the anticipation of food and potential prey. The much more strained, ‘pitiful’ squeals are designed to attract prey from far and wide, and - partnered with the release of pheromones from pores along the rim of the mouth - more often than not lure creatures to the edge of the pit where they are then in reach of the long feeding tentacles. The Sarlacc appears to be primitive in most cases, with only the Felucian Sarlacc displaying higher intelligence, most likely from the staggering number of sentients it has digested over countless millennia. It seems that the older a Sarlacc, the more intelligent it is, as they use messenger-DNA-RNA to create a collective soup of consciousness, to the point where a Sarlacc can predict what its prey is going to do (Dolphe & Voss, 18 ABY). A choi named ‘Susejo’ bonded with the Sarlacc’s mind to the extent where he could ‘control’ and govern the creature’s actions, but - ultimately - he was unable to do so entirely, as the Sarlacc required sustenance from victims he shared stories with. To this degree, the Sarlacc can be classified as ‘semi-sentient’, though more often than not, most are unaware of their own existence. Almost entirely instinctual creatures, relying on the firing of neurons from sensitive receptors that stimulate the nervous system, and the utilization of extensive roots to detect prey, Sarlaccs can build a picture of potential prey in their primitive minds, allowing them to choose which stomach to place them in, should they prove sentient or not.
Many Sarlaccs appear to display ‘emotion’ to some degree, reacting to pain with miserable ‘chirps’ and ‘bubbling’ sounds as they shy their beaks down towards the slit-like opening in the mouth. Sarlaccs also show ‘happiness’ when certain stimuli arise, such as feeding on especially delectable prey, such as humanoids and other sentient beings, as they are digested far more slowly, and provide the creature with sustenance it seems to favor. Furthermore, when the Galactic Empire ripped the Felucian Sarlacc’s teeth out, cut off its mighty tentacles and invaded its insides, the fallen Jedi, Starkiller, reported that he could literally ‘feel’ the creature’s pain and misery, to the point where it made him physically sick. Although, despite exhibiting simple responses to such stimuli, including shyness and curiosity, Sarlaccs are ruthless in how they seem to relish psychologically torturing their prey, though this may well be a false claim by certain crime-lords in order to frighten their enemies. As the creature is far too dangerous to study close-up, it would seem impossible to confirm these suspicions.
All species, regardless of behaviour, serve a purpose: filling an ecological niche in an environment. In the case of the Sarlacc, it feeds primarily on herbivores, and although it can capture healthy individuals, sick, young and dying creatures are often easier for it to catch, therefore it can control a population to an extent. On Felucia, the Sarlacc is so massive that it supports a wide abundance of fungi and other plant life. The native Felucians also live amongst the giant, recurved teeth, as the enzymes the creature oozes can be used for hunting purposes, as well as ingredients in food (Dolphe, 18 ABY). A small ecosystem appears to have formed around the Sarlacc’s maw as a result of its size, and its roots - spreading for miles in every direction - have increased the health of the soil. Despite being a dense environment, with rich jungles covering the planet’s surface, the soil is generally nutrient-poor, however the Sarlacc feeds nutrients back into the soil from digested prey: a cycle of life and death, for the Felucian Sarlacc appears to both take away and give life (Vixia, 23, 354 BBY). Other Sarlaccs are less important in terms of ecology, as in the case of the Pit of Carkoon individual that clings to existence in the middle of the Dune Sea. Sarlaccs are more suited to wet, damp environments, and it seems apparent that they have more importance as such, compared to extreme environments like Argon-X3 and the Dune Sea.
Chemicals produced by the parasitic male Sarlacc have been known to seep into the ground, crystallizing into diamond-like gems that fetch a high price on the black market. One such gem, black-purple in coloration, was discovered in the Ancient Abyss of Felucia, the ancient male - concealed hundreds of meters below ground - having produced an enormous gem. The Hutt crime-lord, Artulia, claimed the gem and stored it in his palace for safe-keeping, displayed as a symbol of his power. Around the edge of the Ancient Abyss, plant life is highly abundant, and despite the presence of death and the Sarlacc’s endlessly gaping, teeth-lined maw, Felucian flora dominates the rim, with rare species of orchid such as Yagalia haraxia (Voss, 14 ABY) possessing chemicals that have been used in the creation of many pharmaceutical products across the Republic.
The Sarlacc feeds on anything that falls into its midst, or it can ensnare on the edge of its pit with its feeding tentacles. However, there are certain limitations to what a Sarlacc can and won’t attempt to devour. The size of the beaked-tongue plays an important role, as well as the touch-receptors on the tips of the tentacles, analyzing scent-trails left by prey to determine size and weight. The Felucian Sarlacc’s mouth is massive, and has been observed devouring Rancors and other large, jungle creatures. Most Sarlaccs are small and ‘pet-sized’, however, only reaching some two feet in size - a popular choice for enthusiastic collectors (Siltrax, 34 BBY). The limitations of size can impact the choice of prey for a Sarlacc. However, given the chance, they will eat almost anything, including sentient creatures such as humans - as observed recently in a new study on the Pit of Carkoon individual. Primitive creatures that stumble easily into the Sarlacc’s midst contribute to the creature’s primary source of food - herbivores easily drawn in by the smell of false, green pastures. Furthermore,
In the middle of the Dune Sea, some two hundred miles from Mos-Eisley spaceport, a great depression can be found - a deep, sandy pit with descending slopes. At the bottom lies an ancient Sarlacc, some 25,000 years old. It is unknown how this Sarlacc has managed to survive in such a dry, desolate environment, considering the species is more suited to wet, damp conditions where the availability of moisture is significant. The sand-people gave birth to the legend that another Sarlacc erupted when the twin suns split apart, giving birth to the legendary Pit of Carkoon. Not much is known about this Sarlacc, however its ‘caretaker’ - a human male by the name of Rinko Voss - has generously shared data collected on the creature; its feeding habits, health, anatomy, size and behaviour, providing a vital insight into the nature of Sarlacci. Judging from the analysed data, the Sarlacc at the bottom of the Pit of Carkoon is roughly 80 m deep, comprising of two hearts, four lungs, two secondary stomachs, one main stomach and various other organs. The tentacles, seven in total, are each over five meters long, with the giant feeding tentacles stretching well over 8 m in length, and 45 cm in width. The feeding tentacles, two in total, are lined with giant suction cups, used for gripping onto struggling prey, and beige-pink tips that are sensitive to atmospheric changes. The mouth stretches 6 m in width, and 12 m in diameter, with over 30 recurved teeth, each approximately 60 cm in length (Voss, 18 ABY).
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Dolphe, K. N. (18 ABY) The Pit Of Carkoon: Sentient Prey. Republic Institute of Science. Coruscant. 17: 37-43.
Dolphe, K. N., Voss, R. (18 ABY) The Sarlacc: Biology, Behaviour and Ecology. Republic Institute of Science. Coruscant & Naboo. 12: 134-137.
Proxima, A. M. (8 ABY) Indigestible. Department of Xenobiology. Coruscant Grand Library Archives. Coruscant. 5: 3-15.
Voss, R. (14 ABY) Flora & Fauna Of Felucia. Republic Institute of Science. Coruscant. 4: 10-11.
Siltrax, E. G. H. (34 BBY) The Outer-Rim Black Market. Siltrax Publishing. Jakku. 2: 19-23.