Biology and appearanceEdit
Physically, a battle hydra was a sinuous reptile with leathery wings. It should be noted that no two of these animals were identical though all shared the same general description. Typically, they were known to hold two heads that sat atop long, fluid necks. The heads held a pair of yellow slitted eyes. Whilst this was usually the case, there were some varieties of these beasts that had more than two heads. At the back was a long wicked, whip-like tail that held a hooked stinger. The stinger glistened with a strong and acidic crystallized poison that dripped from the tail. Four powerful legs were tipped with hooked claws that were both tough and sharp as well as easily capable of ripping the flesh from the beasts victims. The body of the beast contained muscular torsos that were sheathed in iridescent scales. This was forever altered at a molecular level by the Sith alchemy that had altered their physiology. The skin was infused with ancient Sith alloys that reduced the damage sustained by the beast. The armor alloy introduced into their basic physiology even reduced the damage from a lightsaber attack.
When left to their own devices, these beasts were mindless and shy creatures that was a contrast to their fearsome appearance. When searching for food, battle hydras were known to be solitary animals that hunted alone. Much of their existence involved them being aloft where they rode thermal currents in search of prey or threats. When these were spotted, the battle hydra dove through the air where they snapped with multiple jaws as well as attacked with their teeth, claws and poisoned stinger. Once prey succumbed to either the attack or poison, the beast took the corpse back to its lair where it was torn apart and devoured. They only ever attacked with their claws once they landed and were beginning to feed.
These animals were, however, susceptible to influence or commands from Force-sensitive dark side users. Normally, they did not attack an individual unless cornered or spurned by the will of a Sith Lord. Many of them used their battle hydra as their own personal shocktroopers and it was only on such commands did they ever attack in numbers. Battle hydras were known to be particularly attracted to sites that were strong in the dark side of the Force. It was believed that perhaps these beasts perhaps drew some form of nourishment from these locations.
Many centuries ago, the Sith Lord Exar Kun studied the dark Sith sciences within the depths of the planet Yavin 4. His experimentation in the arts of Sith alchemy resulted in the creation of the battle hydra. This alchemical creation was formed as a fierce guardian creature to test his theories. After Kun's death in the Great Sith War, the battle hydras retreated into deep mountain caverns where they dwelt in the shadows. They became a rare sight on Yavin 4. In time, the beasts regressed to typical predator behavior where their small population only emerged from the mountain caves in order to hunt. Normally, they prowled the skies of the steamy jungle moon, though their creator's travels did leave the possibility that some were located on other planets so long as there was an abundant supply of food.
Battle hydras were forgotten for millennia until the early days of Jedi Master Luke Skywalker's Jedi Academy. In this time, the dark shade of Exar Kun's spirit summoned the mutated hydras to attack the comatose body of Skywalker. His Jedi students had encountered a variant of the creature that had three heads and possessed no forelegs. The beasts would have succeeded in their goal had Master Skywalker not acted through his nephew Jacen Solo to fight off the animal with a lightsaber. Another swarm of hydras were summoned to complete their master's will but were destroyed when Rogue Squadron pilot Corran Horn borrowed a Z-95 Headhunter. After this event, the New Jedi Order only rarely encountered battle hydras. Without Exar Kun's will to control them, the animals avoided all contact with sentient beings, except for rare attacks on those who seemed to threaten them.
With Exar Kun destroyed, the creatures were believed to either have reverted to their more natural forms or simply to have died out.
- Light and Dark
- Champions of the Force (First appearance)
- I, Jedi
- Jedi Academy: Leviathan
- Young Jedi Knights: Heirs of the Force
- The Jedi Academy Sourcebook
- The Dark Side Sourcebook
- The New Essential Chronology (Indirect mention only)
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Jedi Academy Training Manual
- Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side