Unknown, possibly Dathomir
5-10 meters (Dathomirian rancors are taller)
The rancor was a terrible creature hidden in a shadowy chamber beneath Jabba the Hutt's throne room. A five-meter tall towering hulk of muscle and reptilian flesh, the rancor walked on two stubby legs and had disproportionately long arms to capture prey. Dominating its flat face was a salivating tooth-filled maw. Its armored skin was so tough that the beast could slough off blaster bolts as little more than annoyances.
The rancor served the dual purpose of not only amusing Jabba, but also disposing of unwanted servants, musicians, or anyone else the Hutt would want to get rid of. With a shout of "Boska!" Jabba would activate a secret trap door in front of his throne. The victim would tumble into the underground chamber as a viewing grate opened to allow Jabba and his depraved audience a glimpse of the gruesome proceedings. A creaky retaining gate would unleash the beast. The rancor would make short work of any unfortunate soul dropped into the pit.
Luke Skywalker reversed the typical fate of a rancor victim when Jabba sent the young Jedi tumbling into the monster's lair. Skywalker was able to escape the beast's clutches, and lure it back into its pen. When the rancor stood beneath the retaining gate, Luke hurled the skull of a previous victim into the control mechanism. The gate came crashing down on the rancor, killing Jabba's pet.
Rancors are rare creatures, found only on scattered worlds such as Dathomir and the Ottethan system. The rancors of Dathomir are stronger and much more intelligent than others. They have even been domesticated by the Witches of Dathomir, though it is likely that only beings as powerful in the Force could ever hope to successfully tame a rancor.
No one is quite sure where Jabba's rancor came from, since the planet Dathomir is under a strict quarantine that prevents anything from leaving the planet. The rancor was discovered in a starship that had crashed in the Tatooine wastes. The ship belonged to a Captain Grizzid, a trader of some notoriety that had dealt with Jabba in the past. Jawas approached one of Jabba the Hutt's many lieutenants, Bidlo Kwerve, with information of a new salvage site containing a deadly predator. Intrigued, and trying to curry favor with the Hutt, Kwerve organized an inspection party to visit the site.
Kwerve and his Gamorrean crew reached the wreck, and after much bloodshed, managed to incapacitate the creature inside. Bib Fortuna, Kwerve's main rival, arrived at the site, demanding to know what was going on. Three days later, Fortuna and Kwerve presented the rancor as a gift to Jabba. Fortuna was promoted to chief lieutenant of all of Jabba's operation while Kwerve was honored as being the rancor's first meal at Jabba's palace. Jabba entrusted the care of the rancor to a Corellian named Malakili, who loved the beast as a cherished pet.
Creature Designer Phil Tippett describes the rancor as a cross between a gorilla and a potato. Based on the original maquette, Industrial Light & Magic first sought to create the rancor as a person in a creature suit. After viewing some video tests, the end results weren't satisfactory: it looked too much like a man in a rancor costume.
The rancor was then redesigned as an 18-inch tall puppet made of foam latex. Rather than use stop-motion animation, wherein a puppet would be manipulated one frame at a time, the rancor was instead filmed in slow motion while being operated by three puppeteers. When projected at normal speed, the rancor would appear as a slow and ponderous creature of great bulk.