Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Invid's Guide to the Star Wars Universe: Alien Species #4

One of the "species" that would have entered the list this time 'round are the Amorphiians, one of whom was played by the late Harvey Korman in the Star Wars Holiday Special, but I'm not going to feature them here, by virtue of them striking me as not being "aliens" (even if they had a homeworld[?!]). This is nothing against the Holiday Special, though, which was often hilarious.

31. Amphi-Hydrus. Natives of Dac (the homeworld of the Mon Calamari and Admiral "It's a trap!" Ackbar), the Amphi-Hydrus are mind-controlling Dark Side force users who used imported rancors to wreak havoc for a while, until the Empire showed up and put a stop to them. They resemble semi-bipedal frogs.

If you're wondering about that bit of rampant weirdness, it's because the Amphi-Hydrus were created in a "Design an Alien" contest, and while they weren't the winning entry, they were given an honorable mention, and later canonized.

Yes, really.

Rating: 3/5. Their backstory is difficult to swallow and their name makes me cringe, but they're mind-controlling evil frogs. How cool is that?

32. Anarrian. The Anarrians are a near-human race at least somewhat similar to the previously mentioned Altiri, with whom they share a planet. Unlike the Altiri, they don't have any wacky internal contradictions culturally, but instead believe in honing fitness and strength, for which their eternal war with the Altiri is the perfect testing ground. They're also furry and have long ears and little ridges of horns.

Rating: 3/5. A nice strong backstory, a pleasantly internally consistent cultural framework, and what sounds like an interesting appearance. I like 'em.

33. Andalese. These "near-humans" have pointed horns and "symbiotic tissue grafts" but can still, if they're clever, pass for humans.

Rating: 1/5. If this is the whole of their characteristics that are worth mentioning, it's pretty pathetic.

34. Anguilla. The Anguilla are fish/eel creatures with arms. A whole bunch of them were slaughtered without provocation on first contact by Imperial troops. They then, after help from the Rebellion let them drive the Empire out, mediated a treaty with the Rebellion to aid mining operations there.

Rating: 3/5. They get most of this for looking cool and scary; I'd like to see them developed further.

35. Annoo-dat Blue. The Annoo-dat "Blue" are one of two species that inhabit the second planet called Annoo. (The first was abandoned after total ecological destruction; the second was renamed after it.) They were the original natives. The best-known members of the species were the Fromm gang, major antagonists of the Droids cartoon, who are notable for having been captured by Boba Fett and turned over to Jabba the Hutt, who presumably had them executed as rivals. (And, oyah, the gang also built a weapon that supposedly could have destroyed a planet. It was never used.) As a species, they're big, ugly chubbyish guys.

Rating: 3/5. While future appearances of the species would probably continue to be crime lords, they're interesting looking as extra-cartoony aliens go, and the fact that they apparently had access to enough resources to build something that might have had enough firepower to destroy a planet suggests that, at least at the time, they must have been successful and influential. This despite apparently being their planet's second class citizens. Who can claim to be the first-class citizens?

36. Annoo-dat Prime. The Annoo-dat "Prime" originally traveled from their homeworld, the first Annoo, to the homeworld of the Ret, later known as the "Annoo-dat 'Blue.'" The Annoo-dat Prime were called such because, while the natives made no distinction between the two species, off-world anthropologists labeled the two groups "blue" and "prime" to distinguish them.

Incidentally, while the Annoo-dat Blue are large, corpulent humanoids, the Annoo-dat Prime are four-eyed, scaly, monstrously frightening reptilians who sometimes have four arms.

Yeah, I'm sure they don't make any distinction at all.

Rating: 3/5. While the blue/prime designation is almost certainly intended to cover up some kind of continuity snarl, it creates a very interesting implication. The Annoo-dat Blue seen in story were wealthy crime lords, while the Annoo-dat Prime seen in story were bounty hunters, i.e. probably not so wealthy. Does this mean that the conquering Annoo-dat Prime were eventually overrun by the Annoo-dat Blue culturally? (It was noted that Annoo-dat Blue can live for hundreds of years, but there is no such note on Annoo-dat Prime; if there is a divide between the two, this might be the root cause.)

37. Anointed People. The Anointed People are rather big reptilian creatures who follow a feudal societal structure. They had been conned by a space-going con man at some point in the past, and thus were mistrustful of "space guys." Yes, they actually called them that. They apparently also had a tendency to talk in a way that was really silly.

Rating: 4/5. Goofy-talking feudalistic lizard men? Yes please.

38. Anomid. Anomids are humanoids who have six fingers per hand and wear what look like breath masks. They are actually voiceboxes, however, because Anomids have no vocal chords and are naturally mute; their six-fingered hands also make it impossible for others to learn their sign language. They apparently tend to be reclusive and pacifistic, and most of their trade with offworlders involves food and agriculture. They also have an oddball legal system which doesn't repeal laws (instead building an ever-increasing selection of counterlaws to get rid of bad ones), which sounds like a terrible idea.

Rating: 4/5. For a species about whom little is supposedly known, they're pretty well developed. I like the touch of their odd sign language, though I think that its effect is probably too exaggerated.

39. Anselmi. The Anselmi coexisted as natives of Glee Anselm with the Nautolans (i.e. Kit Fisto's species). The Anselmi were natives of the few land masses, while Nautolans developed under the oceans. Because the land was so limited, the Anselmi became very warlike. Then, the Nautolans came onto land with the intent of living there, and because they presumably outnumbered the Anselmi, and apparently were tougher than they were, the Nautolan pretty much took primary possession of the land then. The Anselmi apparently now fight amongst themselves, and are on the brink of extinction.

Rating: 2/5. While it's kind of annoying to get a summary like that but no visuals, it does put the jovial Nautolans in a very different light. Whether that's a good thing or not is questionable.

40. Ansionian. They're ugly.

Rating: 1/5. They sound annoying (e.g. supposedly they laugh loudly), and they look more humanish than they need to.

Hm, a rather sub-par lot this time, it seems.

-Signing off.

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