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Rancorous Rancor Terrorizes Comic-Con

by John Thomas

One of the Star Wars saga’s most storied creatures is the Rancor – a giant, fanged, clawed carnivorous beast. In Return of the Jedi, Jabba the Hutt had one in a cave under his throne, and Luke Skywalker famously did him in. Because they are so huge, it’s not something you expect someone to be able to design a compelling costume for and then wear at San Diego Comic-Con. But that’s just what amazing special effects maestro Frank Ippolito did, with help from some talented folks at Tested.com. And they created it in only about three and a half weeks!

If you didn’t know, when you see a giant character walking around at Disney World or some such park, it’s not a giant person inside. They are regular size folks, and most of the time they see you through a mesh screen that’s over the character’s mouth – sorry to spoil your fantasy. But this giant Rancor had no such appropriate slit available, so in order for the person inside to see, the designers inserted a video camera in one of the Rancor’s nasty nose holes that connected to a pair of goggles worn by the person inside.

AnĀ 8-minute video explains the origins of the project and how the giant foam suit was constructed. It also shows Ippolito suiting up in San Diego to cruise around Comic-Con. Putting it on ain’t easy, and you’ll be amazed at how Velcro was integrated into the project.

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