Science of Star Wars: Domesticated Animals

One of the more random elements of the Star Wars Saga are the use of domesticated animals. 

One of the more unique qualities to the Star Wars films has been the persistent use of animals for transportation.  It’s really in every film (Save for EpVI): Dewbacks (IV), Banthas (IV,II), Tauntauns (V), Kaadu (I), Orray (II), Boga (III), Luggabeast (VII).

So what makes for a good domesticated animal?  There’s a lot of research on the subject, but a good outline is provided by LiveScience.

  • Cannot be picky eaters
  • Reach maturity quickly
  • Willing to breed in captivity
  • Docile by nature
  • Cannot have a strong tendency to panic and flee
  • Conform to a social hierarchy

It’s really not clear that all of these elements could be seen within the scenes afforded in the films.  But there’s some consistencies here.

The Luggabeast we see in The Force Awakens wasn’t scared or running away from BB-8 when we run along with Rey to see that encounter.   The Dewback tied up outside the Mos Eisley Cantina wasn’t trying to run away when Luke, Obi-wan, et al were walking up.   The Kaadu that the Gungans took into battle seemed no different than horses and camels which were used in war for millennia. It’s fascinating to see this still be the case in a Universe where technology is so ubiquitous.

What does seem a bit strange that large animals would exist in the environments in which we see.  Dewbacks, Bantha’s, Happabore, and Luggabeast would require a significant amount of food (meat or vegetation) in order to survive.  Cows, for example, eat about 25 lbs/day.

Copyright Lucasfilm

Jakku and Tatooine are dry places without much vegetation.  How do these animals survive?  I could believe the water part given how many moisture vaporators there are around.  But what about the food sources?

These animals are, if nothing else, fun.