From A New Hope onwards, spice has been vaguely mentioned in Star Wars canon. Small bits of dialogue like Luke saying “my father didn’t fight in the Clone Wars, he was a navigator on a spice Freighter”, or C3P0 fretting over being possibly “sent to the spice mines of Kessel, smashed into who knows what!” – are easy to pass off as generic sci-fi speak as part of the Star Wars universe.
In recent years however, the various Star Wars series, like The Clone Wars or The Book of Boba Fett, have been featuring the illicit substance more and more. To an extent, it’s even become a plot point in more than one episode across the Disney-helmed TV shows. So, let’s get into exactly what is spice in Star Wars.
What is spice in Star Wars?
What many fans might not know, is that Spice isn’t just the same for one illegal substance – actually being overall slang for various drugs altogether.
Spice is an illicit substance – many of which are harvested from the dangerous mines of Kessel. Based in the Outer Rim, the Kessel’s Spice trade had been ran by the Pyke Syndicate, the criminal organisation we’ve seen, or at least mentioned, in Disney Star Wars shows. As also seen in these shows, and Solo: A Star Wars Story, the mines on Kessel are operated by slave labour, particularly using strength-heavy races like Wookies.
As the Pykes have been the major supplier to the Spice trade, we’ve seen them through major run-ins with heroes and other villains causing clashes in their business. Those include the Republic in the Prequel era like the Jedi, the rebels in the age of the Empire, and Maul’s also-criminal Shadow Collective.
Star Wars spice – What Kinds aRE THERE?
Naming what’s essentially a full on narcotic “spice” is a way of giving what’s normally an adult plot element a family-friendly cover. Still, the substance is still fascinating as part of Star Wars canon and its multi-faceted use. For example, raw Spice can be used in medical practices, while processing it makes the drug a mind-altering addictive substance – earning its true value in the criminal world.
With mind-altering properties, spices come in versions varied by the strength of their effects and value. For example, Ryll, while usable as a drug when refined, was also used for applications in science and the military.
Sansanna spice, is the type we’ve mainly seen in the current Star Wars canon. Usually shipped pure in large crates, this is typically the most valuable type of spice, but also the most addictive. Along with Sansanna, typical profitable spice trafficked by smugglers also includes Carsunum and Andris – the latter of which was also used for food preservation and to help cure hibernation sickness.
That’s all we know on Star Wars spice for now! Whilst you’re here, have you played the latest Star Wars games? You can buy LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga from £28.95 at the GameByte Shop.
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Featured Image Credit: Disney Platform Distribution
Source: Star Wars: Smuggler’s Guide, Daniel Wallace, 2018/Disney Platform Distribution