Monday, October 1, 2012

Invid's Guide to the Star Wars Universe: Alien Species (#61)

601. Kurtzen. The Kurtzen are the natives of a planet named Bakura. (NOTE: I feel obligated to point out that the book which featured the planet was published in 1994, quite some time before a character named Bakura from some show or another that I've occasionally talked about would become known in the United States.) They only make up about five percent of the planet's population, though, because humans colonized it and pretty much took over. The Kurtzen found themselves put in a "reserve," which was created on an entire continent. (The article says something about the continent being "created as" a reserve, which is insane, although on the other hand probably not being beyond the technical capabilities of a civilization that can generate millions of times the momentary energy output of a star [which is what one would need to explode a planet as violently as the Death Star explodes planets].)

The thing is, though, that the Kurtzen are actually pretty grateful to the human colonists, because said colonists gave them use of their medical technology, and this was the only way for them to overcome a degenerative genetic disease which apparently killed a lot of them, to the point where even after they received this medical assistance it would be unusual for more than two children in a nuclear family to reach adulthood. So, yeah, I'd be grateful in that position, too.

They mostly look kinda human, but without hair and with the sort of top-of-the-head fakey alien skin bald caps ridging that you'd see on Star Trek. They're also apparently "pale," which means little without an additional descriptive term.

Rating: 3/5. Honestly, I like it when this kind of interaction turns out more happily than it does in almost anything (are most people even capable of writing happy for this kind of thing?).

602. Kushibans. The Kushibans are sapient bunny rabbit/squirrels with fluffy fur.

...Kushiban... Cushy bun... I C WUT U DID THAR.

Ahem. Anyway, they're covered in fur that changes colors with their moods, which is actually called mood fur. Mood fur: A phrase I honestly never needed to hear in my life. Apparently it's white when they're at peace.

Most Kushibans have bodies that are only about a foot and a half long (i.e. not much bigger than housecats), but one Kushiban who happened to be a Jedi Master was about three feet long.

They apparently aren't really members of the galactic community, and slightly pride themselves on living as a "simple civilization" with a "complex and peaceful society." ...Guys, those things are a bit contradictory. They apparently harvested a silk-like substance from plants and wove it into their own shed fur to make fabric, which is rather interesting.

They're primarily quadrupedal, but their front feet are plenty dextrous. They also use fire to scare off their enemies (them being a primitive society, that basically appears to mean dinosaurs, though the only detail is "three-meter long beasts").

The previously mentioned Jedi Master was one of the many victims of the Yuuzhan Vong storyline, and while I've razzed on a lot of the Star Wars children's books, I don't think killing off kidstuff characters for the sake of being edgy because the adult fans won't usually complain is nice at all.

Rating: 3/5. Eh, pretty average.

603. Kwa. The Kwa were one of the great powers of the ancient days of the galaxy. Rubbing elbows with the Gree of old, the Celestials, and the Infinite Empire, the Kwa were no slouches in the "making awesomely huge and insanely dangerous hand-me-down artifacts" department, making portal devices that could teleport stuff anywhere in the universe and, if misused, wipe out a sizable chunk of the galaxy. (I had long thought nothing like this had really shown up in Star Wars; turns out those lovable Gree made similar devices, though apparently without the "constantly threatening the very fabric of reality" bit.) Eventually, they got wiped out by the Infinite Empire, but not before genetically engineering monstrous giant worms to kill and eat anybody who tried to get at their gate devices. Their homeworld would become known as Dathomir ages later, and would come to be famous for its rancors and Force witches.

Rating: 4/5. But wait, there's more-

604. Kwi. The Kwi are a bunch of great big ol' blue dinosaurs. They're fairly harmless (other than a variation from a video game which spat poison and was predatory) and are good runners; the inhabitants of Dathomir aren't really aware of their intelligence because they can't speak, but they apparently are mildly telepathic and are vaguely aware of the great history of the planet, because they're the distant, distant descendants of the few Kwa survivors from the era of the Infinite Empire.

Oh, didn't I mention that the Kwa were basically big blue dinohumanoids?

Rating: 4/5. The rating above and this rating are the same because both parts take the other into account. Ancient super-advanced dinosaur civilization whose modern descendants are regular ol' dinosaurs = awesome.

605. Ky'lessans. Ky'lessans apparently are oily-skinned reptilians. One (the only one known, actually) was known as Snake-Eyes, and claimed to be friends with a woman named Scarlet Bloodhawk. Yes, a couple of G.I. Joe character names hanging out together for no apparent reason.

That individual, and perhaps the species as a whole, speaks with a rather bad lisp. Said individual also was an Imperial informant.

Rating: 1/5. I'll just note that most real-world reptiles have cool, dry skin, and also that associating lisps with reptilians is extremely unoriginal (and another thing seen in G.I. Joe, oddly enough).

606. Kynachi. On their native planet, Kynachi hair is gold in color, but elsewhere they usually have silver hair, because their hair color is affected by diet.

That's the only thing worth noting, as otherwise they're basically humans.

Rating: 2/5. One single interesting detail. The rest is pretty much literally nothing.

607. Kyuzo. Apparently, the Kyuzo are named after a character from the film The Seven Samurai, because the episode where the first known member of the species was introduced contains many references to that film.

At least some Kyuzo dress in a way reminiscent of feudal Japan and are really good at jumping.

Rating: 2/5. Most of what we know about them is connected to one individual.

608. Laboi. The Laboi are predatory mammalian serpents, a phrase that really ought to be applicable to more fictional species than it is. They place little value on the lives of other beings, and apparently have a reputation in the galaxy at large as eaters of sapient beings. They can be rather large, growing to a maximum of either eighteen or thirty feet (sources can't agree), and hunt an elephant-sized reptile which is also a predator of them when it can manage it (thus, they clearly don't mind living a dangerous sort of lifestyle).

They have a hard time in galactic society, what with not having those important things we call "hands" and the fact that people don't like being eaten, but nonetheless managed to build up enough of a power base that some of them competed with the Hutts (whose territory their home planet is fairly close to) in criminal activities.

Apparently, they grow even in adulthood, and small females give birth to only one infant (called a worm-yes, really) while older females might give birth to as many as twenty worms at once. Apparently, female Laboi sometimes possess telekinesis, which they often use for artistic expression of themselves (an activity that many Laboi apparently take part in-the society also apparently has many philosophers). Laboi also have color-changing fur that protects them from heat by being white in the day, while taking on bright camoflage colors at night.

Rating: 5/5. They're complex, interesting, and different.

609. Laerdocians. Apparently, at least one Laerdocian has a weird accent which puts a "j" in with the "th" sound.

Rating: 1/5. Yeah, that's... At least it's different, but it's a non-thing. Sheesh.

610. Lafrans. Apparently, the Lafrans are humanoid avians, whatever that means.

Rating: 1/5. While the phrase is somewhat interesting, it also doesn't mean very much.

-Signing off.

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