The Disappearance of Lak Sivrak, the Werewolf of STAR WARS
Did you know there was a werewolf in the original STAR WARS? It’s true. The character’s name was Lak Sivrak, although it didn’t receive this handle until later. It, or he, even had his own action figure. Fans and other creators gave him an elaborate backstory, but his beginnings were humble. Special Effects god-man Rick Baker used one of his previously created werewolf masks for a creature dubbed “Hyena-man,” who appeared in the background in the Mos Eisley Cantina scene in EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE. However, Lak Sivrak was digitally replaced when George Lucas revamped the movie for its late 1990s rerelease. The new creature who took his place, dubbed Ketwol, was cool-looking and decidedly alien, probably a better fit for the Sci-Fi universe of STAR WARS, but a lot of fans were sorry to see Lak Sivrak go, as they were disappointed to see all the newfangled FX used in the “special edition” of EPISODE IV.
Overall I thought the inclusion of the new digital FX made EPISODE IV an even better movie. It gave us Jabba the Hut, after all, when the original Jabba was just some fat guy. I wish they’d left LAK SIVRAK in there, though. It’s a nice touchstone, seeing him; takes one back to the late 70s and the waxing golden age of Rick Baker’s work. Live long and prosper, Lak Sivrak! (Wait, that’s from a different Sci-Fi universe, isn’t it? Eh, live long and prosper, anyway!)