Desert and caverns
- "The sand demon is the fiercest creature on this planet. You don't just walk into its lair and return without a scratch."
- ―Sharack Breev
The sand demon was a species of semi-sentient six-legged insectoids that was native to the planet Tatooine. Feared by all other life on the desert world, sand demons preyed on a wide variety of creatures, including the legendary krayt dragon. Sand demons often lived for centuries, gliding beneath the surface of the desert as though the sand was an ocean and boring through rock with its razor-sharp legs, and Tatooine's native Tusken Raiders believed that sand demons devoured their victims' life essences to grow stronger with each kill. Physically similar to the tentacled lyleks native to the planet Ryloth, sand demons were often tracked by members of the Jedi Order as part of the Tusken Raiders' Demon's Blood ritual, and while brave hunters occasionally sought to bring down one of the beasts, the creatures' ferocity and rarity left them shrouded in legends and myths.
Biology and appearanceEdit
- "Remarkable. The beast appears to have gone into hibernation and shed its shin. The amount of blood it's letting is astounding."
- ―Malavai Quinn
Sand demons were large, six-legged insectoids that ranged in size from the average height of a Human to more than twice that amount. Native to the desert planet Tatooine, sand demons possessed red eyes that were situated on tall stalks on either side of their powerful, tooth-filled mouth. The bottom and top of each eye stalks was protected by chitin, while the eye itself was covered with a sand-resistant membrane, and the sand demon's jaws allowed the creature to latch onto prey with a nearly unshakable grip. Each of the sand demon's six talon-like legs were armored in chitin that ranged in color from brown to black, matching the wide shell that protected the sand demon's upper body. The creature's underbelly was soft and relatively unprotected, and the unarmored parts of the sand demon's body ranged in color from gold to a greenish-tan. Sand demons experienced periods of hibernation, but each sand demon underwent a process of shedding its skin and profuse bleeding before doing so. After awakening from hibernation, the sand demon's new skin was coated in a kind of glistening gel, similar to the kind that covered newly-born sand demons. The sand demon was very similar to the lylek, a six-legged predator native to the desert world of Ryloth, though the two creatures differed in that the sand demon lacked the two thick tentacles possessed by the lylek.
Behavior and intelligenceEdit
- "That beastly predator is the only thing that hunts krayt dragons—and those are massive. "
A semi-sentient species with moderate intelligence, sand demons traveled beneath the desert sands in a way that natives described as "sand swimming", gliding underneath the desert's surface like it was an ocean. They were also capable of digging through rock and sand with their talons, leaving behind tunnels and caves beneath Tatooine's surface, and the creatures would erupt from beneath the desert to consume its prey. Sand demons occupied the highest point of Tatooine's food chain, as they were the only known predator of Tatooine's enormous krayt dragons—massive lizards that averaged thirty meters in length and ten in height.
- "Now I ain't no coward; I've hunted Sand Demons on Tatooine, fought Sith during the war on Coruscant. Clearing the wildlife on Taris seemed like an easy gig."
- ―Kord Murdok
By the time of the Cold War between the Galactic Republic and the Sith Empire, sand demons were well-known among the natives of their homeworld Tatooine, though they were largely shrouded in myths and legends. Grainy satellite images and the stories of Tatooine's nomads prevented the rest of the galaxy from dispelling sand demons as an outright myth, and almost all attempts to learn more about the creatures ended in disaster. The Tusken Radiers believed the sand demons absorbed their victims' life essence in order to strengthen themselves, and the Raiders made cave paintings of ancient sand demons that had supposedly survived for centuries through this process—sand demons who were believed to be immune to any injury. The mercenary Kord Murdok hunted sand demons for a time on Tatooine, and the Demon's Blood ritual was a tradition that had existed for generations, though by the time of the Cold War it was no longer well-known. For the ritual, members of the Jedi Order who were seeking enlightenment would track a sand demon out into the deserts in order to anoint themselves with its blood, and those Jedi who successfully returned then visited the Tusken Raiders in order to learn their own unique path to self-discovery.
Several sand demons made their nest in an abandoned mining complex in the Dune Sea region, around 3,643 BBY when they were drawn to seismic vibrations generated by the Shock Drum superweapon. These sand demons were killed by a young Jedi Knight who was seeking to shut down the Shock Drum and also rescue the Jedi Master Bela Kiwiiks, who had been left to die in front of the weapon by the Sith Lord Praven.
Around the same time, the Padawan Jaesa Willsaam underwent the Demon's Blood ritual by seeking out an ancient sand demon within a cave in the Shattered Basin region. With the help of an explorer named Sharack Breev, a Sith apprentice later retraced Willsaam's steps and also completed the ritual during the Sith's search for Willsaam. The Sith Warrior either killed the sand demon or subdued it, allowing it to undergo the bleeding process before hibernation. In 3,640 BBY, a sand demon was affected by a Seed of Rage, a Sith alchemical artifact planted in the northern reaches of the Dune Sea, and it underwent significant physical changes. The sand demon developed grey-black growths on its body, while the beast's eyes turned red and its skin became covered in red energy.
Behind the scenesEdit
The sand demon was first introduced in Star Wars: The Old Republic, a video game released by BioWare and LucasArts in 2011. The creatures appear in the Jedi Knight class mission "The Sand Demon's Lair", where the player must fight through several sand demons to reach the Shock Drum in the next chamber. Players can also choose to sacrifice the family of the Jawa Brrik in order to eliminate some of the sand demons, which results in dark side alignment points. However, as a Republic character, the Jedi Knight is assumed to only choose the light side options, so this article likewise assumes that the Knight did not sacrifice Brrik's family.
The sand demon's appearance is virtually identical to the lylek, a predator from Ryloth, though the lylek features a number of tentacles. However, two lylek mini-pets were introduced to The Old Republic in March and April 2013, and the pets utilize recolored sand demon model to represent a lylek—though both lack the tentacles that distinguish the lylek from the sand demon.
Another sand demon appears in the Sith Warrior class mission "Demon's Blood," where the player performs the Demon's Blood ritual. Depending on the player's choices, they gain either light or dark alignment points, or none at all. If they outright attack the beast or subdue and then kill it, they will gain dark alignment points. If they subdue the beast and wait for it to shed, they will gain light alignment points. If they fail to subdue it, no alignment points are given. "Sand Demon" is capitalized within the game, though the 2012 reference guide Star Wars: The Old Republic Encyclopedia, which gives additional information on the creatures, does not. A sand demon also appears in the game's first digital expansion, Rise of the Hutt Cartel, where a sand demon is under the influence of a Seed of Rage on Tatooine.
- Star Wars: The Old Republic (First appearance)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Rise of the Hutt Cartel
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 Star Wars: The Old Republic Encyclopedia
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Star Wars: The Old Republic—Jedi Knight Mission: "The Sand Demon's Lair" on Tatooine
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Star Wars: The Old Republic—Sith Warrior Mission: "Demon's Blood" on Tatooine
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Star Wars: The Old Republic—Codex Entry: "Sand Demon"
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Ultimate Adversaries
- ↑ Star Wars: The Old Republic—Republic Mission: "Knight Fall" on Taris
- ↑ Using comments and information from Star Wars: The Old Republic 8: The Lost Suns, Part 2, The Last Battle of Colonel Jace Malcom, and Star Wars: The Old Republic: Annihilation, it is possible to place the events of the Prologue and Act I for the Jedi Knight, Smuggler, and Trooper classes in Star Wars: The Old Republic in 3,643 BBY, the general events of Act II in 3,642 BBY, and the events of Act III for all classes in 3,641 BBY.
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Star Wars: The Old Republic: Rise of the Hutt Cartel—Republic Mission: "Buried Evil" on Tatooine
- ↑ It is assumed that the Republic classes in Star Wars: The Old Republic choose the options that provide the most light side alignment points.