10 meters long
What type of creature makes even the mighty Chewbacca tremble? The resemblance of the dianoga to other fearsome creatures of the depths is not lost on cautious Wookiees. The dianoga is a disgusting garbage parasite that infests the refuse systems of large Imperial installations and warships. They can grow up to ten meters in size. The muddy-colored squid-like creature thrives in dank environments, patiently waiting for morsels big enough to satisfy its appetite. The seven-tentacled creature ensnares its prey and attempts to drag it into its hungry mouth.
A disgusting parasite that has spread across the galaxy, dianogas have proliferated on many worlds. They originate on the planet Vodran, an ancient planet whose discovery by the Hutts predates even the Republic. Over the course of millennia, dianogas have propagated to distant worlds in their microscopic larval forms.
Though almost universally reviled, dianogas are not always hunted since they do provide a service, ridding waste of biological materials and leaving salvageable minerals and metals behind. Upon discovery, a dianoga is allowed to continue feeding until it becomes big enough to pose a threat. Since there is no shortage of garbage in the galaxy, giant dianogas are a frighteningly common threat in the depths of large metropolitan areas.
Dianogas are not instinctively aggressive, since they are predominantly scavengers. They possess a fascinating evolutionary adaptation -- dianogas divert small portions of digested meals into a series of ducts near the surface of the skin. This provides dianogas with remarkable color-changing camouflage abilities. Starving dianogas -- the most dangerous since they are the ones most likely to lash out -- are nearly transparent.
The name "dianoga" has a curious etymology, being one of the oldest terms in Star Wars lore. In the early drafts of A New Hope, the Jedi were called Dai Nogas, or occasionally just "Dai." This evolved into Jedi, and dianoga (or variations thereof) came to describe a nasty creature lurking about in the garbage -- the early scripts didn't always have the trash compactor aboard the Death Star. In the final film, Director George Lucas was reportedly less than impressed with the delivered dianoga effect, having envisioned something bigger and more ominous.