Friday, September 24, 2010

Invid's Guide to the Star Wars Universe: Alien Species #1

(I decided that, since I enjoy wikiwalking, I might as well try doing some kind of regular feature here that exploits this fact.

When I call it a "guide to the Star Wars universe," I won't be talking about specific characters, at least not usually. Maybe I'll do a piece on the more exotically bizarre and inexplicable Sith Lords, because seriously speaking some of them are insanely weird and awesome and one of them is the hugest Mary Sue character in Star Wars [which deserves some kind of appreciation], or maybe I'll do something on Force powers that mentions them extensively instead. I dunno.)

Everybody remembers Star Wars IV: A New Hope as the film that essentially pioneered using weird aliens to add flavor to cinema. Let's take a look at some Star Wars alien species, and give them some basic ratings on creativity, interest, and coolness. For convenience, I'll be using Wookieepedia's alien category lists to compile these, which will allow me to move in alphabetical order. Oh, yes.

1. Aalagar. The Aalagar are "a subspecies of Bith." What this means is that they're similar to the aliens who were playing jazzy music in the Mos Eisley cantina. Their notable feature is that they tied together strings to communicate. No, seriously, they do that.

Rating: 3/5. The fact that they are a derivative of the Bith who do weird things with string makes me rank them lower than I'd probably rank the Bith.

2. Aar'aa. Large reptilians who "become sluggish in cold temperatures," the Aar'aa's greatest accomplishment seems to be coming up with a name that could be represented almost entirely by the letter A.

Rating: 2/5. For some reason, reading about "cold-blooded reptile" aliens always sets off my fantastic racism radar. Their species name is kind of epic, though.

3. Aaris. The Aaris were the inhabitants of a planet in the Kathol Rift, and were driven insane by a mysterious artifact that fell from the sky and caused them to fight a brutal civil war with each other, resulting in the collapse of their civilization.

Rating: 4/5. While they don't sound that interesting to look at (child-sized reptilians with warty skin) the Lovecraft references won me over.

4. Ab'Ugartte. The only information we have on this species comes from one individual, the unsavory Jak Sazz, who apparently didn't regularly clean himself and had a... suspicious relationship with his wrench. Yes, really.

Rating: 2/5. I can't judge the species properly from one ugly guy, but at least he looks ugly in an interesting way.

5. Abinyshi. These aliens look a bit like velociraptors with heads like the Greys. They were supposedly driven nearly to extinction by the Empire mining their homeworld excessively.

Rating: 4/5. They win points for looking excessively amusing.

6. Abominor. Are you ready for this? The Abominor are a race of sapient droids. They apparently originated outside the Star Wars galaxy. They were capable of consuming material and growing to near-planetary sizes.

All this to explain where the heck the Great Heep came from.

Rating: 5/5. I love the Droids cartoon (well, what little I've seen of it), and the fact that the Abominor graduated from being a crazy, somewhat rundown mining droid that wanted to eat R2-D2 to a species strikes me as the absolute height of incredible awesomeness.

7. Abyssin. The Abyssin are a race of cyclops who regenerate so well and so quickly that it caused diplomatic problems. Those problems relating to the fact that when they beat the living daylights out of visitors from other planets, they don't understand why they die instead of getting back up.

Rating: 4/5. The Abyssin amuse me, and whoever built their backstory gets points for naming their homeworld "Byss" rather than doing a more standard species name derivation, though that creates an issue with Star Wars' other planet named Byss... (More on that later, I'm sure.)

8. Adarian. Adarians are notable for being among those aliens who weren't merely run over roughshod by the Empire, for having some kind of nonsensical advanced technology, and for being stubborn. They're also notable because they have holes in their heads.

Rating: 3/5. They sound like they could be interesting, but the fact that they have the potential for a nickname that makes "Snaggletooth" sound like a polite compliment kinda takes away from them.

9. Adnerem. Adnerem come from the planet Adner. -snrt!- Excuse me. They have triangular heads with horn-like knobs on their foreheads. They don't have thumbs. They also have all sorts of really weird names for their family units and whatnot, and are prone to being criminals because they're not very social.

Rating: 1/5. A species prone to being criminals because they're not very social? FAIL.

10. Advozse. The plural is "Advosec," which is worthy of mention by itself. These guys are ugly dudes with forehead horns, who come from a planet which sounds like a pain to live on because of the constant volcanic eruptions blocking out the sun and the earthquakes everywhere. Also, "As a result, the Advozse people ended up having little attachment to material goods or long-term plans, and developed a pessimistic, selfish, and even paranoid outlook on life. This facet of their culture remained long after contact with the Galactic Republic gave them access to modern construction techniques allowing for more permanent buildings." Yeah, nice, backstory writers, nice.

Rating: 2/5. The odd culture and ugly (in an unappealing way) appearance leave me cold; on the other hand, at least they're different.

Ten down, only about a thousand more to go.

-Signing off.

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