C-3PO: “You will therefore be taken to the Dune Sea and cast into the pit of Carkoon, the nesting place of the all-powerful sarlacc.”
C-3PO: “In his belly, you will find a new definition of pain and suffering, as you are slowly digested over a thousand years.”
It was twenty years ago that I came into possession of that protocol droid. I was its fourteenth owner, although it would not disclose any information on the thirteen previous ones. By the time it entered my possession its body’s brass plating was almost as thin and timid as its AI. For the first year after I purchased this tarnished, golden droid from the district auction, this memory recall occurred without warning, at first daily, then weekly, then, for some reason, scarcely at all.
Owing to this unpredictable glitch, I was never able to make use of the C-3PO unit as a translator or a cultural mediator, not that I ever really needed it considering the advancement of modern neural AI embeds. But C-3PO’s terror, its obsession stuck with me.
It’s a fool’s errand to project free will or desire upon even the most sentient of droids, but there was something about this recall, its intensity, its pain… its fear, so unlike anything I had ever heard uttered in digital voice, that called like a Siren to my curiosity. Never could I have imagined how a droid so distressed would guide my journeys.
What did it mean? What is the “sarlacc” this droid spoke of?
Historic records from the time of the Galactic Rebellion are sadly incomplete thanks to the Great Cyberwar, but even a child would turn rapt at the mention of the legendary Han Solo, and from that very first mention I knew I must uncover more.
What I, an interplanetary naturalist, have observed in my lifetime of exploration and study, may top the list of “horrible ways to die in the known universe”, this thousand-year psychotorture, this eon of agony. I present here my natural observations of the sarlacc.
Oh, hello there!
Friendly skeleton from Natural History for the use of schools and families (1864)
The Fennec Fox, also known as the desert fox, is the smallest fox, weighing only just over 2 pounds. Fennecs have very acute hearing and can pick up the movements of their prey or enemies at a considerable distance, even underground. Their large ears, helps them regulate body heat, blood running near the skin in the ear dissipates heat allowing them to stay cool and not overheat on the hot desert sun.
Though cute, furry, and non-stinky, fennecs are very avid diggers. In the wild they build dens by tunneling in the sand, and are capable of digging 20 feet in one night.
Sooty Falcon (Falco concolor)
…a medium-sized species of hobby (subgenus Hypotriorchis) which breeds from northeastern Africa to the southern Persian Gulf and winters in east Africa and Madagascar. Like other falcons sooty falcons specialize in chasing down and eating small birds, but will take large insects like dragonflies as well.
Image: Frank Vassen
Flippity Flappity Floop!
Stamp art; Albanian; 1958; Russian Sputnik Dog Laika