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Bantha

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This article is about the bantha species. You may be looking for other uses of the term.
Bantha-ST
Bantha
Biological classification
Races
Physical characteristics
Average height

2.5 meters[1]

Average mass

1,000 kilograms[2]

Eye color

Red[3]

Average lifespan

80-100 years[1]

Sociocultural characteristics
Homeworld

Found on multiple worlds including Tatooine

Diet

Herbivorous[1]

"Baby banthas are quite cute…"
Darth Vectivus[src]

Banthas were sturdy and easily domesticated beasts of burden that were found all over the galaxy.

AnatomyEdit

Bantha Bull and Cow

Bantha cow (female) and bull (male)

"Banthas are filthy animals. I don't eat filthy animals."
Mace Windu[src]

The bantha was one of the most adaptable herbivorous creatures in the galaxy and could be found on several worlds. They were able to survive in almost any extremes of environment and could go without food or water for several weeks. Although bantha subspecies had diverged from their baseline ancestors, most shared similar characteristics. They were quadrupeds that were covered with long, shaggy fur and had large curved horns. A common bantha adult (Bantha majorus) was between two and three meters tall and could weigh up to 4,000 kilos. Their lifespan was between 80 and 100 years and they reached sexual maturity at the age of 20. Some sentient species had been known to ride banthas, such as Tusken Raiders.

Bulls tended to be larger than the cows and both genders grew a pair of spiral horns. Most female banthas achieved just a single spiral during their lifetimes, while a male could achieve two full spirals before its death.

The distinctive spiral horns of the bantha grew at the rate of a knob each year. Thickness and condition of the horns were an indication of the bantha's health and environment. Bulls fought each other by butting heads in ritual combat. The spirals on their horns could cause the pair to become entangled, which almost always meant death for both banthas, as the pair would soon collapse from exhaustion and eventually succumb to death by dehydration.

Bantha tongue

Bantha tongue anatomy

Banthas used their dexterous, sensitive tongue, as a sort of hand used in pulling up grass and shrubs from the ground. Also located on the tongue were breathing and scent spiracles which allowed the bantha to determine if an object was edible without stooping or reaching awkwardly. Male banthas also raised their tongue as a way to signal their readiness to mate.

Banthas traveled in herds of up to twenty-five individuals, led by the oldest, strongest female. A herd which grew too large was split, with the second oldest and strongest female taking the new herd. The gestation period was 30 months and the newborn's birth weight was about 50 kilos.

Female banthas produced blue milk from mammary glands that was consumed by sentients as a drink. Bantha dung was another useful byproduct of the species, as it smoldered for a significant amount of time, and was used by the Tuskens as cooking fuel.[4]

Banthas had three-nailed hooves that were typically trimmed by their owners.[4]

Banthas were harvested for their meat by workers or were put in animal nurseries for long-term sustained harvesting on multiple worlds.[5]

SubspeciesEdit

Feral bantha

Feral bantha from Talasea

The bantha was domesticated on most worlds and were used for pulling heavy loads, transportation and even as war beasts. The meat and hide of the bantha were much sought-after. While the origins of the bantha were unknown, every world on which it existed laid claim to it as being its homeworld. Most banthas bred in captivity were trained as beasts of burden, and most of those were bred for desert environments. There were at least three distinct subspecies found on the planet Tatooine: the common bantha, the dwarf bantha, and the dune bantha. Noted for their docility, the dwarf race (also referred to as "miniature banthas") made amiable pets, as in the case of Ebenn Q3 Baobab's companion, Nuke.

Another additional subspecies, the Kashyyyk bantha, was suitably adapted for life on the Wookiee homeworld and the Kilian Bantha was adapted for living in the mountainous regions of Kilia IV.

Feral banthas were also found on Talasea where they developed an aggressive personality and roamed the forested world at will, attacking anything that crossed its path.

Swamp banthas were brought to Ohma-D'un to help colonize the moon.

Banthas of TatooineEdit

Bantha herd

A herd of banthas crossing the Dune Sea.

The bantha was an integral part of Tusken culture on Tatooine. When a Tusken Raider child reached the age of seven he or she was ceremonially presented with a bantha of the same age as a companion-for-life. The youth learned to care for the creature, and the two built a mystical bond. When the bantha reached maturity, the male Tusken Raider would saddle his companion and ride it into the desert for adult initiation ceremonies.

When Tuskens married, the couple's banthas would also mate. Often, the resulting calf would be of the same sex as the Tusken child.

The banthas of Tatooine were known to form deep bonds with the Tusken Raiders of the planet and often committed suicide if their riders were to die first. Banthas that died naturally were placed in vast graveyards, which other banthas treated with a kind of ceremonial reverence.

The bantha in cultureEdit

"Spare us the bantha droppings."
Wes Janson to Kapp Dendo[src]
Bantha NEGAS

A bantha

Behind the scenesEdit

BanthaCGI2

CGI model for The Phantom Menace

The name of the bantha may have come from the Banth, a similar large mammal from Edgar Rice Burroughs's Barsoom novels.

In the original version of A New Hope, the bantha was played by a trained elephant named Mardji in a fur costume. In some cases, Mardji's trunk can be barely visible beneath the bantha costume. Re-releases and the prequel trilogy featured digital banthas. Their vocalizations were also done with a slowed-down bear's roar.[8]

In 1997, Galoob released the first-ever licensed toy bantha as part of its Action Fleet line of micro-sized toys. In 1998, Kenner made an action figure-scaled bantha. A reissue with different fur and figures came out in 2007. For The Star Wars Holiday Special, a toy bantha was created, although it was never released as a toy to the public.

Banthas appear in the video game LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy. The player cannot control the bantha directly, but by hopping onto one using any other humanoid character, the bantha can be put to their use. Banthas in the game are extremely slow, and if you hop on one in the level in which they appear, Tusken Raiders come and attack the player.

Star Wars: Battlefront and Star Wars: Battlefront II assign the rank "bantha fodder" to the person who dies the most on the battlefield.

The word "bantha" was capitalized in official publications up through at least the first edition of the Guide to the Star Wars Universe in 1984.

AudioEdit

Gnome-speakernotes BanthaA-SWE1R.ogg (info)
Example of a Bantha's cry
Problems listening to the file? See media help.


Gnome-speakernotes BanthaB-SWE1R.ogg (info)
Another example of a Bantha's cry
Problems listening to the file? See media help.


AppearancesEdit

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Wookieepedia has 42 images related to Bantha.

Non-canon appearancesEdit

SourcesEdit

Bantha procession TCG Edge of Darkness

Tusken Raiders riding banthas

Notes and referencesEdit

External linksEdit

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