9

I was distracted by my kids at the time, so maybe I missed something....

Han Solo was about to be shot by his angry employers, when suddenly these gigantic slavering tentacled monsters appeared and started eating people.

Where did THEY come from? Were they already on the ship?

  • 1
    I edited in a spoiler tag since (I assume) this question concerns events in The Force Awakens, which many people don't want to know about until they've seen it. Feel free to rollback if I was mistaken. – Rand al'Thor Dec 18 '15 at 0:50
  • @randal'thor - Thanks, this is my first question posted on the site, so I'm still learning the protocol. – Andrew Shepherd Dec 18 '15 at 0:58
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    “I was distracted by my kids at the time” — this is why you don’t have kids. – Paul D. Waite Dec 18 '15 at 10:43
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    You truly were distracted by your kids, since there are several minutes of exposition in the movie both talking about these beasts and setting up an obvious Chekhov's... Monster :P – Andres F. Dec 19 '15 at 5:20
  • Got a canon answer for you. Fresh from the novelization, for both questions. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Dec 19 '15 at 23:45
25

They were being smuggled by Han and Chewie.

The creatures are

Rathtars, monsters with tentacles and a circular mouth with teeth all the way round. They are considered deadly - Finn mentions the "Rathtar massacre".

The creatures were sought by some third party. Han captured them and was then smuggling them for the third party. I presumed they were for use by someone like Jabba in the way that he had a Rancor.

Since Episode VI Han has gone back to his smuggling past to make his money.

They are set loose accidentally by Finn and Rey when Rey is trying to trap the Mercenary groups by sealing the doors.

  • 2
    Tentacle monster = something Jabba had in his dungeon. – Wad Cheber Dec 18 '15 at 1:22
  • Can soemone please post their name (with a spoiler tag, would be better)? We can't remember all things on the movie. – jsbueno Dec 18 '15 at 4:05
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    As for the purpose of the creatures - it was more to be used as weapons in war than to be kept in a dungeon. And one can't forget the part that goes "the crew was more than we two when we took off". – jsbueno Dec 18 '15 at 4:06
  • I don't remember them mentioning it will be used in a war but I do remember the mention of the past battle of something where the tentacle monsters featured – CandiedMango Dec 18 '15 at 4:08
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    @jsbueno I added the creature name, hope that helps. – Luna Dec 18 '15 at 9:35
5

Alan Dean Foster's novelization clarifies what those creatures were:

“What’s a rathtar?” Rey asked Finn. ...
It was Han who replied first. “You want the scientific description? They’re big and dangerous and ugly.” “O-kaaay,” she responded. “Why would anyone want something big, dangerous, and ugly? Who would want something big, dangerous, and ugly? And be willing to pay for it?”
Where the hell was that accessway? Han wondered. Girl sure had a lot of questions. “People have funny hobbies,” he explained as he kept moving fast. “Some are collectors. There are those who collect different kinds of galactic currencies, some who collect old liquor containers, a few who like to accumulate holos of famous entertainers. Seems like the more money they have, the bigger the things they like to collect. There are even a handful who like to collect biological specimens. Those with money collect live ones. Those without money become scientists.” He gestured and they turned a corner.
Finn moved closer to Rey. “I know of a perfect example that explains everything you’d ever want to know about rathtars.” She eyed him expectantly. “Ever hear of the Trillia Massacre?
She shook her head. “No.”

and to explain them on board:

“So,” she continued, turning her attention back to Han, who at least seemed willing to explicate a little, “you’re carrying these rathtars to a collector?
He nodded. “I got three going to King Prana. Kings not only like to collect, they like to boast about their collections. Seems Prana’s in competition with the regent of the Mol’leaj system. The regent doesn’t have a rathtar in his private zoo. Neither does anybody else.
“There’s a reason for that,” Finn muttered.
So I got this contract to get some for Prana. Three. It was difficult work. I’m expecting a bonus, and I’m not ready to give it all up just because of the Guavian Death Gang.”
“Three!” Finn could hardly believe what he was hearing. “How’d you get them on board?
Han looked over at him. “I could tell you that Chewie and I got a bunch of their favorite food, tied it to a stick, and led them into the holding bay. But that would be a lie. Let’s just say I used to have a bigger crew.”

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