What is spice in Star Wars?

Brianna Reeves
Star Wars spice

Star Wars lore is expansive beyond measure, its myriad tales spread across movies, animation, comics, novels, and video games.

The franchise’s stewards have, thus, enjoyed no shortage of ways in which to explore its many facets. The Star Wars timeline is filled with stories on everything from the Jedi Order’s origins to the history of the Force.

Yet, some of Star Wars’ most compelling elements remain shrouded in mystery. Such is the case with spice, a substance that often garners mention but seldom receives its time in the limelight.

So far, spice has played an ancillary part in the saga, with Star Wars characters like Boba Fett sitting front and center. Usually, though, the substance gets relegated to throwaway lines that leave fans craving additional insight. But there’s still plenty to glean from this information, so here’s how spice fits into the Star Wars mythos.

Is spice a drug in Star Wars?

Yes, spice can be a drug. It has medicinal applications but is most notably used as an illicit drug, an addictive narcotic that brings riches to the heavy hitters of many underworlds.

Star Wars spice

When has spice been mentioned in Star Wars?

Han Solo referenced spice when recalling past jobs with Jabba the Hutt in A New Hope. The drug also played an integral role in the Disney Plus series, The Book of Boba Fett.

One of the show’s major plot points saw the substance appear in live-action for the first time, with the eponymous character working against the Pyke Syndicate to rid Tatooine of spice trading.

Modern Star Wars movies have explored the seedier side of the spice trade, albeit in vague terms. The Rise of Skywalker, for example, briefly highlighted spice runners, a criminal group with whom Poe Dameron is closely tied.

Star Wars spice
Hondo Ohnaka in Clone Wars

Animated Star Wars fiction has referenced spice on occasion, as well. In the Clone Wars Season 1 episode, Mystery of a Thousand Moons, Jaybo stated the planet Iego “dried up” when spice convoys stopped running.

Additionally, after his gang captured Count Dooku in Clone Wars, Hondo Ohnaka ransomed the captive by requesting spice in exchange.

Other storylines in the show featured Lom Pyke, the Pyke Syndicate leader, whose spice-stained skin and teeth indicated he frequently used his own supply.

Star Wars Rebels also highlighted the danger of spice as a drug, a point hammered home by the appearance of the spice mines of Kessel.

What are spice runners?

Spice runners play the same role as drug smugglers in the real world, illegally transporting the substance across the galaxy.

Planets like the snow-covered Kijimi featured in The Rise of Skywalker have provided refuge for some of Star Wars’ biggest spice-smuggling operations. The Spice Runners of Kijimi ran drugs during the New Republic Era, having been briefly joined by a young Poe Dameron until he betrayed them.

spice star wars
Spice Runners of Kijimi leader Zorii Bliss in TROS

What is the Spice Terminus?

The Spice Terminus is a space station situated in the Outer Rim. However, its significance to the criminal underworld rests in its occupation at the end of the Llanic Spice Run.

An Outer Rim trade route, the Llanic Spice Run intersects with the lawful Triellus Trade Route and provides runners with a hyperspace smuggling passage for processing and transporting spice.

Is Star Wars spice the same as Dune spice?

Given the pervasive influence of Frank Herbert’s story it should come as no surprise that Dune and Star Wars use spice for similar purposes.

In the Dune books and movies, spice melange can only be harvested on the planet of Arrakis, making it an exceedingly rare commodity. For some, the substance is an addictive escape; others find themselves drawn to the riches it brings.

Meanwhile, Arrakis natives — the Fremen — consider it holy, often resulting in conflicts with those who seek it to increase their wealth.

That’s the rundown on spice in the Star Wars universe. For more from the galaxy far, far away check out details on James Mangold’s Dawn of the Jedi movie. We’ve also got you covered for Andor Season 2 and what to expect from The Acolyte. Or, for more from Dune, here’s what we know about Dune 3.

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