Acklays have sharp claws, thick skin, and average 305 cm tall. Due to these attributes, as well as the species' ferociousness, acklays were often exported from Vendaxa to be used in gladiatorial combat. The creatures could be found on Geonosis, where they were commonly brought in to fight other creatures—and sentients—in the Petranaki arena. In addition to Geonosis, the creatures could also be found on worlds such as Lehon and Felucia.
Anatomy and appearanceEdit
The acklay is a three-eyed amphibious crustacean that lives underwater, though they can go on land to hunt. As they reside in the oceans of Vendaxa, their eyes enable them to see in darkness, although they are near-sighted. Despite their crustacean-like nature, acklays also possess some reptilian characteristics, such as their powerful jaws filled with sharp teeth.
The acklay has a tough, leathery skin that ranges in color from green to brown, another trait from its reptilian heritage. Its belly is more vulnerable than other parts of its body, as the skin is not as tough here as it is elsewhere. Acklays have a bony crest around their neck, used for both intimidation and protection.
Acklays have small stomachs, but are capable of expanding them when necessary. They have a high metabolism, which gives them substantial amounts of energy, but also causes them to starve quickly.
Each acklay has six deadly claws, used for both pinning an opponent in combat or slicing them. Their limbs are long, allowing them to strike at enemies from a distance. While their claws—actually fingertips covered by hardened skin—themselves have no feeling, hairs on their bodies allow the creatures the sensation of feeling. These cilia also enable an acklay to sense the body electricity of other creatures.
Acklays can also be Force-sensitive, although this is an extremely rare trait. Such creatures could teach themselves to use the Force and could fire Force lightning from their mouths.
Acklays are highly dangerous and will attack just about any creature on sight.
The mutant acklay is a variety of amphibious acklay native to Vendaxa that had been mutated by the toxins of Golbah's Pit. Many live under the waters of the Ebon Sea, where they hunt creatures within the sea and surface to attack prey on land. Mutant acklays are hardier than standard acklays, and have heavier claws. Their shells are a glossy black.
Relationship with other speciesEdit
The Geonosians—who traded droids and machinery for acklays—also took to breeding them, and the acklays soon found their way into the ecosystem of the barren planet, quickly carving out a niche for themselves. In some instances, acklays even destroyed entire hives by sneaking in through the lower tunnels and feasting on worker drones. The acklay also became the dominant predator of the stagnant Ebon Sea area.
The acklay's exoskeleton is strong enough to be used by some cultures as chitinous personal body armor. Although not high tech, acklay armor was occasionally worn as a trophy item.
- The design of the acklay originated when George Lucas requested the creation of an arena creature sharing the characteristics of praying mantises and Velociraptors.
- Later refinements added lobster features to the creature.
- Designers used dried fruits and vegetables to create the texture of the acklay's skin in Revenge of the Sith.
- The acklay's fight with Obi-Wan Kenobi was inspired in part by the Ray Harryhausen movie Mysterious Island, particularly the scene where a marooned sailor fights a giant crab with a spear.