Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Invid's Guide to the Star Wars Universe: Alien Species (#68)

671. Marasans. Marasans are uniquely ugly, with oddly jointed arms and kangaroo-like body shapes (including pouches) coupled with a rather reptilian head and skin. They apparently have essentially universal cybernetic implants in the form of computers linked to their brains, and use them to augment their navigational skills, as silent walky-talkies, and to control appliances and things.

These computers turned out to be their weakness when they were found in their isolated home nebula by the Galactic Empire, and one Imperial devised a way to attack their minds through their implants, forcing a rapid surrender of power. It looks rather like their status is in something of a limbo, because, well, there's no information on them past that point.


Rating: 4/5. They're interesting in appearance and they have a cultural trait that indirectly explains why cyborgs are pretty rare in Star Wars. That they've been forgotten is no fault of their own.

672. Marits. Marits are basically frilled lizard people, though only some of them apparently have frills. They apparently have mildly iridescent scales and have the custom of eating their own dead to "recycle" them.

Their planet was ruled for a time by a human government, but the Old Republic decided to help overthrow said government, and gave the Marits arms and other assistance; they are said to have taken naturally to the assembly and maintenance of high-tech weapons.

Rating: 4/5. There's no indication that anyone sees the Marits as evil or savage, even if their habit of eating their dead might be seen as a bit creepy by some. This is to the credit of any series creators who worked with them.

673. Markul. They don't look like Kowakian monkey-lizards.

Rating: 1/5. They don't look interesting, either, even if the only known individual of the species was eaten by Jabba for helping someone write an insulting book about him (Torture Observed: An Interview with Jabba's Cook-and yes, this is a thing that happened within the framework of the Star Wars universe).

674. Mavinians. The Mavinians created the cluster-wedding organ, which sounds intriguing and vaguely dirty. Unfortunately, all we know about the instrument is that it was considered trendy and innovative during the Clone Wars.

Rating: 2/5 for the odd and slightly disturbing name of their instrument.

675. Mawan. The Mawan apparently have pale, near-translucent skin which often shows their veins; to have visible veins is considered refined.

I have a joke (or at least the germ of one) that involves varicose veins, but I'm not going there.

They also apparently have two hearts.

Rating: 2/5. A simple act of turning something cultural on its head is not enough to get a good rating by itself, but it's not too bad a start.

676. Meeks. They're three-eyed little orange lumps with antennae, making them remarkably like various cartoon aliens from over the years, though I'd be hard-pressed to name any specific ones.

Apparently, Lando Calrissian and a cheap droid he'd purchased named Flek once inadvertently saved a village of Meeks from a rancor after falsely trying to convince the Meeks that they'd saved the Meeks' village from a rancor. (He was trying to scam them into thinking they'd been saved from a rancor that he didn't believe existed, but then accidentally caused the rancor that was really there to go running off and probably drown itself trying to find other rancors with a rancor call. [Rancors are apparently frequent victims of the galaxy's exotic animal trade, hence their randomly showing up on disparate planets, which is awful because they're intelligent enough to have a language. But I'll talk about that more some other time.])

The Meeks then gave him an artifact or artifacts he was after in exchange for saving their village, but it turned out that these were fake. Lando could appreciate a good swindle, though, and was pretty good-natured about it.

Rating: 3/5. That's an amusing little story.

677. Meerians. Meerians are basically human, but have pale skin and silvery hair (oh, wait, can't some humans at least have those things?), can be helpful and nice or bitter and selfish (oh, wait, don't humans have significant variations in temperament too?), and apparently adapted a way of keeping from dying in their atmosphere rendered toxic by pollution with some kind of adaptation involving their tongues and noses (...I didn't really need to know that).

Rating: 1/5. Not really that interesting.

678. Melodies. Melodies hatch out of eggs looking suspiciously human. They are cared for by other, older Melodies, but the adults are nowhere to be seen, because the adults are basically mermaids (and mermen), and at some point they metamorphose into them.

Apparently, sometimes their metamorphoses are interrupted by giant predatory water spiders, who eat them if they're undefended.

They're native to Yavin 8, a different moon of the gas giant that the Death Star had to clear to fire on the Rebel base in Episode IV, and that world was later taken by the Yuuzhan Vong, who probably killed rather a lot of those poor mermaids (and mermen) and humanlike children of mermaids (and mermen).

Rating: 3/5. I have to admit, the actual reason for this rating is the thought of mermaids (and mermen) having to worry about being attacked by giant spiders.

679. Melters. I'm trying to figure out what the heck the article on Melters is trying to tell me. Apparently, the Melters are energy beings who use a mineral called "meltmassif" as a physical body, and try to absorb other beings into the meltmassif to "gain access to their energy."

So, they're energy, and they live in rock and use it as a body, and they eat people?

Their minds are supposedly more alien than even other mineral beings. (The article gives a specific example, but I'm not of a mind to say anything about it because I haven't had a chance to talk about them yet.)

Rating: 3/5. I guess being people-eating rock monsters can get you surprisingly far, even if it's really obliquely described.

680. Menahuun. The Menahuun are basically lemur-people according to their description, but they look a lot more like something mildly demonic. Apparently, they were driven from their ancestral lands and even to the brink of extinction by outsiders, and seemed to disappear, but they continued to cause trouble to outsiders as nigh-mythical "gremlins" or something.

Rating: 4/5. That's kind of interesting, even if their article has stupid junk in it like "they [have] sexual dimorphism, meaning that males [are] different from females." NO DUH GUYS, that's the textbook definition of sexual dimorphism, and if you want to make sure people understand it, just link Wikipedia like you already darned well did. Gr.

-Signing off.

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