What is the creature that grabs Luke by the leg and pulls him under the water in the garbage compactor on the detention level of the first Death Star?

All we see is one eye and one tentacle, which is not much to identify it by.


2 Answers 2


It was a Dianoga:

Dianoga were large cephalopods, capable of growing up to ten meters in length, though most specimens grew to approximately five or six meters. They had a single eyestalk protruding from their mollusk-like bodies, and seven suckered tentacles surrounding a fanged maw containing a sharp serrated probe.

And the reference of the creature attacking Luke on the Death Star trash compactor:

One dianoga was known to have boarded the first Death Star, and made its home in one of the space station's garbage compactors. When Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Chewbacca were forced into the trash compactor during the rescue of Leia Organa, the dianoga attacked Skywalker. It pulled the young farmboy under the murky, polluted water, but was scared away when the compactor walls activated. The dianoga itself had managed to burrow into the wall, and so was relatively safe inside the compactor; that is, until the Death Star was destroyed.

  • 58
    Happens everytime. Stormtroopers buy them when they are little cutie puppets and then they throw them away into the first trash compactor they find... Wait until PETA heards of this. :-p
    – SJuan76
    Sep 3, 2014 at 11:33
  • 13
    Serious plot hole IMO that a cephalopod that could burrow through several inches of hardened steel couldn't instantly impale those puny humans, or make otherwise short work of them.
    – TylerH
    Sep 3, 2014 at 14:33
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    You know what Luke was thinking when he fired those proton torpedoes? It wasn't about saving the Rebel Alliance, or getting it on with his sister later. It was payback... for that garbage-eating squid that dragged him down into that filthy water. IT HAD IT COMING!!!!
    – Ellesedil
    Sep 3, 2014 at 14:33
  • @TylerH The wiki says "They were primarily scavengers, and only posed a threat to living creatures when starving or threatened," which sort of explains it. (But it's not a completely satisfactory explanation, I agree.)
    – David Z
    Sep 3, 2014 at 21:43
  • 1
    This is all extended universe...which is basically a huge mess..but I read somewhere the dianoga was purposely added to the trash compactor in order to aid the breaking up of the junk rather than it "boarding" the death star (Errol Flynn style) and making itself a little nest.
    – Starkers
    Sep 3, 2014 at 22:49

From Wookieepedia:

Unfortunately, no one thought to plan for their escape, and Leia takes charge, blasting a hole in a nearby grate and jumping through while Han and Luke hold off a squad of stormtroopers. Chewbacca, Luke and Han all dive after the princess into the unknown.

Unfortunately, the grate covers a chute that leads to a garbage compactor that is also home to a resident dianoga.

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