Ithorians: Star Wars’ Strangest Aliens, Explained

The Star Wars universe has lot of wacky and weird aliens running around. While the designs for some of these creatures look mostly human with some rubber appendages stuck on, others are decidedly more bizarre creatures. But one of the first “weird” aliens audiences ever see, an Ithorian, shows up in the Cantina on Tatooine in Star Wars: A New Hope.

The Ithorians were one of our first glimpse at a galaxy filled with strange creatures. At first, the species didn’t even have a name, only identified as “Hammerhead” in the merchandise hat accompanied A New Hope. After the species was eventually identified as Ithorians and the individual in the Cantina was named Momaw Nadon, Ithorians would go on to play major roles in Star Wars cartoons, novels, and games like Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords, where the Ithorian Enclave work to restore the surface of  Telos and aid the Jedi Exile in reawakening their Force connection.

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Now, CBR is taking a closer look at the Ithorians and some of the most noteworthy members of this strange alien species.

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Since Disney essentially rebooted the Star Wars universe after acquiring Lucasfilm, not a lot is known about the Ithorians, but fortunately they still share several elements with their Legends incarnation. Native to the planet Ithor, the Ithorians are a largely peaceful species, concerned primarily with revering nature. Ithor is a jungle planet, similar to Endor and Kashyyyk. Their distinctive heads carry two mouths and throats, which in turn produce a very distinctive language.

This unique throat and mouth structure prevents them from speaking Galactic Basic, although there are numerous devices that allow for simultaneous translation. They regard their planet as sacred, and in Legends, held it in such high esteem that as a species they evacuated the surface to live in massive herdships, to maintain a completely pristine environment. The species also had a strong connection to the Force and has produced several powerful Jedi. Ithorians are also represented in the Galactic Senate.


The very first Ithorian ever seen on screen in A New Hope is Momaw Nadon. Originally only known as “Hammerhead,” he received a name and backstory in a sourcebook for Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game in 1989. Nadon was an exile from his home planet, cast out due to sharing agricultural secrets with the Empire.

While the Ithorians initially refused the Empire’s requests, Nadon shared the secrets to prevent the Empire from bombarding the jungle surface of his homeworld. Although he saved the planet, he was still cast out, finding his way to Tatooine. While there, he kept a small garden where he cultivated Ithorian plants to survive in the Tatooine desert. Beyond that, he also used the garden to hide Rebel operatives from the Empire. In Legends, his exile eventually ended and he was made a herd leader.


Star Wars Bulduga Onca

While most Ithorians are peace-loving pacifists, some take a different path. Bulduga and Onca are a pair of Ithorian bounty hunters, who operated during the Clone Wars. Together, their talents gained the attention of Count Dooku, who invited the pair to compete in the Box for the bounty to kidnap Chancellor Palpatine. However, Bulduga was killed in a confrontation with Cad Bane after Bane took a fancy to Bulduga’s wide-brimmed hat. Onca later died within the Box to an electrified laser blade.

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Interestingly, the pair can trace their origins to another pair of Ithorian bounty hunters from the Legends canon. Del and Dob Moomo operated during the Mandalorian Wars, the events that served as a precursor to the Knights of the Old Republic video game. The pair were recurring minor antagonists in the Knights of the Old Republic comic series by John Jackson Miller. There, they hunted main character Zayne Carrick, although they were fairly incompetent and failed frequently.

While they might not be the most famous characters in the Star Wars canon, the Ithorians remain a deep-seeded part of the Star Wars universe.

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