Womp rats were first mentioned when Star Wars launched in 1977, but the small rodent creatures have never been directly shown in canon.
Womp rats were mentioned in the very first Star Wars movie in 1977, but the small creatures have never been directly shown in canon. The ambiguity of their appearance has remained a key mystery in the decades after Luke Skywalker referenced their existence in George Lucas’ A New Hope. More recently, the rodents have been mentioned in The Mandalorian season 1 and 2. While womp rats were also prominently mentioned in Legends material, canon descriptions and various concept art has given fans a better idea of what the species might look like in the fictional universe.
Native to Tatooine, womp rats are hairy four-legged rodents that have evolved to survive in a harsh desert climate. In canon, they’re viewed as pests, eating garbage left by local moisture farmers or chewing on wires. Luke mentioned the dark-haired rodents in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, claiming they were about no bigger than two meters. It’s later revealed that they hunt in packs, targeting prey with their clawed feet and sharp fangs. Due to their destructive behavior, many Tatooine locals were known to hunt womp rats for sport, including Luke. Tusken Raiders also have a history of using womp rat skins for their clothing.
Despite the mentions of womp rats in the Skywalker Saga as well as Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the franchise hasn’t made an effort to include their presence directly on-screen. Peli Motto compared Baby Yoda to a womp rat in The Mandalorian’s debut installment while Cobb Vanth brought up the creatures multiple times in season 2 of the Disney+ series. The perceptions of womp rats seem to be split, as their presence has had positive and negative connotations. For now, fans can only rely on descriptions and concept art, which varies with canon and non-canon.
Visual interpretations of womp rats from Star Wars canon go with their smaller physique. They are shown to have dark, lumpy skin with spikey black hair. In addition, they are said to have little ears, a long tail, and three-toed clawed feet. In Legends, womp rats were described as being larger creatures that were broken into three distinct species, including swamp womp rats. Though they were also classified as pesty omnivorous rodents, in concept art, they were commonly shown to have different colored fur with much more defined fangs and claws. Another difference with Legends womp rats was the fact that they could be domesticated as pets.
Since womp rats have been rarely seen in the Star Wars franchise, some fans have mixed them up with fellow Tatooine natives, scurriers. Like the rodents, scurriers are small non-sentient species that hail from the desert. They are known for bipedal ability, long upright ears, and long snouts. Though they roam settlements, they aren’t troublesome like womp rats. In addition to appearing in A New Hope and Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, scurriers are seen in The Mandalorian episode 9 when Din Djarin arrives in Mos Pelgo. For now, it looks like Star Wars fans will have to remain patient for a live-action version of womp rats.
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