Acklays are non-sentient crustacean predators found in the Star Wars universe, first appearing in the 2002 Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones film.
Acklay are amphibious crustaceans, with reptilian characteristics. Acklay average 3.05 metres in height, and weigh around 1.3 tons. Their three eyes enable them to see in underwater darkness, although near-sighted.
Their natural defenses are formidable - powerful jaws lined with sharp teeth, six long limbs tipped with elongated, pincer-like claws, and a tough exoskeleton partnered with a leathery hide. Its underside is softer and hence more vulnerable. Acklays have a bony crest around their neck. Colouration ranges from green to brown.
Acklay claws are actually fingertips covered by hardened skin, without any feeling. Instead, hair-like cilia over their bodies allow feeling, and these cilia also enable an acklay to sense the body electricity of other creatures.
These creatures have small, but expandable, stomachs. A high metabolism gives acklays substantial amounts of energy, but also requires them to eat constantly.
Very rarely, acklay could be Force-sensitive, and could develop the ability to project Force lightning from their mouths.
In the Wild
Acklays are native to Vendaxa, a planet with an expansive and dense ecosystem, where they are apex predators. Although they are primarily marine, they can go onto land to hunt, preying on the leathery-shelled lemnai as they slept in their dens by day.
Aggressive and dangerous by nature, an acklay's long limbs allow it to strike from a distance, both slashing and attempting to pin an opponent with them.
Acklays exported to Geonosis have found their way into the wild and prospered, becoming apex predators in a number of aquatic environments. There have been reported cases of acklays destroying entire Genosian hives, infiltrating them through the lower tunnels and feasting on worker drones.
The acklay's naturally aggressive nature and impressive natural weaponry have led to them being exported off-world extensively to fight in arena combat, with Geonosis being a noted destination.
An acklay's exoskeleton is used by some cultures as chitinous personal body armor, and often valued as a trophy item.
In Episode II
Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker and Padmé Amidala face an acklay in the Geonosian Execution Arena. The acklay attacks Kenobi as he is chained to a pillar, and the Jedi dodges in such a way that the creature's attack breaks the chain holding him. A Jedi task force intervenes to rescue the trio, and Kenobi uses a lightsaber to kill the acklay.