A Brief History Of Womp Rats In Star Wars

This article contains spoilers for the new episode of "The Book of Boba Fett."

The residents of Tatooine might not agree on much, but they all sure seem to share a mutual disdain for womp rats. In fact, it feels like just about everyone in the "Star Wars" universe hates them, going back to Luke Skywalker casually boasting about bulls-eyeing womp rats from his T-16 skyhopper in 1977's "Star Wars: A New Hope." Even the Jedi, for all their talk about living in balance with the Force and nature, are apparently on board with using violence against the four-legged creatures. As Obi-Wan Kenobi once put it on the animated "Clone Wars" series, there's "more than one way to skin a womp rat."

For those who are wondering what the heck a womp rat is, they're a type of rodent that spans about two meters and has evolved to survive in desert climates like the one on Tatooine. These gray-skinned creatures have spiky black hairs running down their backs and tend to attack in swarms as a way of overpowering their prey. Far from living in fear of womp rats, Tatooine's other inhabitants have long hunted them for either sport or food or, in the case of the Tusken Raiders, used them as decorations for their clothing. They appeared in the 2017 video game "Star Wars Battlefront II" and have been mentioned by name in various "Star Wars" novels, comic books, and animated TV shows over the decades. Now, thanks to "The Book of Boba Fett," we've gotten a clear look at the critters in live-action.

Din Djarin 1, Womp Rats 0

"The Book of Boba Fett" episode 5, "Return of the Mandalorian," saw Din Djarin return to his old stomping grounds on Tatooine, once again bringing him face-to-face with Amy Sedaris' scrappy mechanic Peli Motto. However, their reunion was anything but a quiet one thanks to an uninvited guest that made its way into Motto's spaceport on Mos Eisley.

Prior to Din's arrival, one of Motto's adorable-if-helpless BD units found itself being attacked by a womp rat before its boss came racing in, laser gun a-blazing. Things didn't go to plan, though, and Motto (in an unfortunate but comical turn of events) found herself being dragged away by the creature to who knows where, just as Din showed up in the nick of blast it. Din also passed by another womp rat while testing the new (and by "new," I mean "old and defunct") N-1 starfighter that Motto provided him with on the very same race track where a young Anakin Skywalker once competed in the Boonta Eve Classic in 1999's "Star Wars: The Phantom Menace." And while he avoided shooting it, Din flew close enough to the creature to suggest there's no love lost between him and the desert rodents.

New episodes of "The Book of Boba Fett" premiere Wednesdays on Disney+.