Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Invid's Guide to the Star Wars Universe: Alien Species (#71)

701. Mnggal-Mnggal. Mnggal-Mnggal's status as an alien species is a bit questionable by many measures, as all indications are that it has only a single intelligence; however, it exists in many physical pieces, so I'd say that qualifies it on a technical level.

The Mnggal-Mnggal is a being that is essentially a sapient ooze on a near-impossible scale. It has essentially engulfed a planet with the amusing name of Mugg Fallow, apparently consuming all available biomass for its own use, and apparently has less prominently done the same to other worlds. Pieces of it can separate off and still are part of the being's single consciousness, and are fully mobile and very dangerous. Bits of it lurk in sewers and other dark wet places on numerous worlds.

If a piece of the Mnggal-Mnggal comes in contact with a sapient being, it will attempt to infiltrate that being through any available orifices or pores. Once inside, it will consume the victim's brain and over the period of about a day will convert the entirety of the being's insides into more of itself. For about a week, Mnggal-Mnggal can control and animate the body as a sort of squishier than average zombie (after that, it just falls apart into a mess).

Mnggal-Mnggal is ancient, claiming to remember the Celestials and that the Celestials made the Unknown Regions difficult to navigate just to contain it, has wiped out empires, and has been suspected of being an extradimensional invader by the Chiss (the primary power in the Unknown Regions). It's so big and so dangerous that some cultures worship it as the "rot god."

While it proves knowledgeable on numerous subjects both current and ancient, some claim that every word it speaks is false, probably because of its habit of speaking in riddles and poetry. It's also a jerk and likes and even thrives on torturing people.

It's also speculated that Mnggal-Mnggal is somehow related to the sapient zombification virus that was created by the Sith in ancient times and later experimented upon further in an attempt to weaponize it by the Galactic Empire, though this is probably a dubious claim.

Rating: 5/5. There are two reasons I almost didn't give it a 5/5-first, it seems like these things are getting more common in fiction (the Flood from Halo, the Invaders from Getter Robo Armageddon, and I'm sure there are other examples), and second, it's really darned hard to type Mnggal-Mnggal. I mean, there wasn't a single time I didn't accidentally type two "n"s instead of one per "Mnggal" in at least one of the Mnggals. The poetry thing pushed it back over the top, though.

702. Moappa. The Moappa are hive-minded jellyfish who can combine into huge masses in self defense. They fought for the Separatists during the Clone Wars because they disliked the Mon Calamari's arrogance for claiming their homeworld, which happened to be the same-named world Mon Calamari (obviously the Mon Cal's homeworld as well), and fought alongside the Quarren (the best-known of the races who coexist with the Mon Calamari). However, the Mon Cal would eventually come to a peaceful agreement with the Moappa.

The Moappa would later (hopefully, at least) be evacuated from Mon Calamari (also known as Dac, particularly in the era in question) for the sake of getting them away from a planetary depopulation virus that the Legacy-era Galactic Empire (originally united under Darth Krayt) unleashed on the planet.

Rating: 4/5. They're sapient hive-minded jellyfish. That kind of stuff always does well in my ratings. (It's also an interesting if possibly unintentional nod to siphonophores, which are jellyfish relatives that are generally multiple animals fused together into a mobile colony with specialized sections.)

703. Modbreks. Modbreks are humanoids with sharp facial features, small mouths and noses, large eyes, pale skin, and blue hair, and are often considered attractive by humans. ...Nearly every anime character ever, is that you?

In all seriousness, exactly what the Modbreks look like is slightly questionable because they were described by a Gotal, and Gotals are hairy and mildly demonic beings with huge horns on their heads. (He thought they were strange and repulsive, of course.) Presumably they must be rather humanlike for the most part, though.

Rating: 2/5, because I like writing sentences like the second one in the introductory paragraph a little too much.

704. Moggonites. Moggonites are small (less than two feet tall), and are supposedly known for being treacherous and obnoxious. One of them wore a fez.

Rating: 3/5. Guys who are that tiny have potential for some kind of story shenanigans.

705. Molavarans. Molavarans (who may not be called that) look rather unfortunately like the stereotyped persons of African descent that you see in those really old cartoons and comic strips. You know, the ones who essentially have whistles and bells and junk for heads.

Rating: 0/5. Ugh.

706. Mole creatures. The mole creatures, as C-3PO dubbed them, apparently are sapient moles who feed people to giant carnivorous lizards as offerings.

This seems not to have ended well for the lizard that they tried to feed C-3PO and R2-D2 to.

Rating: 2/5. Heh, I needed that laugh.

707. Molemen. They have white skin and are blind, and as such presumably live underground. Some were someplace when stuff happened.

Rating: 2/5. Eh, I don't know, there's just not much to say there.

708. Moloskians. They've got eyes in the backs of their heads, which supposedly gives them an edge in piloting. On the other hand, it presumably makes finding standardized helmets rather tricky, and I'm not really sure what advantages it would give in space combat piloting unless they were in custom-built ships with extra screens put in back.

Rating: 3/5, because the logistics of figuring out how they'll apply their eyes to piloting amuses me.

709. Mon Calamari. The Mon Calamari are also known as Calamari, Calamarians, Mon Cal, Mon Calamarians, and Mon Cala. This may qualify them as the sapient species with the most variations on their regular names, but I don't know.

Their best known member is Admiral Gial "IT'S A TRAP!!" Ackbar, who is famous in our world for shouting "IT'S A TRAP!!" He's known in their world, though, as a philosopher-general who basically saved the galaxy, leading the Rebel fleet against the Empire in many crucial battles and even in his old-age retirement commanding in a decisive battle that helped break the Yuuzhan Vong forces (he would die of age-related illness within months, though he will live forever in our traps hearts).

As a group, I think the most interesting thing about the Mon Cal (other than the fact that their homeworld is inhabited by a huge horde of sapient species compared to most planets-heck, one of said species is in this very article) is that they were deeply pacifistic in the days of the Old Republic, but then became one of the major military forces for the Rebellion, even building and manning the majority of the heavy capital ships that the Rebels used decades after the death of the Emperor. They were sufficiently obscure before the Empire rose to power that the Empire felt comfortable claiming that it had discovered them (presumably, this was some kind of retcon to cover up some goofs somewhere or another), even though their homeworld was a hotly contested territory during the Clone Wars.

The main thing to like about the Mon Calamari overall, I think, is that they're a prominent amphibious species in a setting largely dominated by nearly exclusively terrestrial ones. That, and their planet is one of the most fascinating sub-settings in the setting.

Rating: 5/5. It's a trap.

710. Monduths. The Monduths are sensitive to the Bogan, have many eyes, and possess sufficient strength to hurl a man across a room. One was killed by Luke Starkiller in the Mos Eisley Cantina when...

Wait a minute, no, these guys are from back when the Dark Side was called the Bogan and "Skywalker" was "Starkiller." Ha ha, whatever.

Rating: 1/5. On the other hand, it's interesting to read the old drafts and stuff. (I'm enough of a nerd that I actually read pretty much all the early drafts of A New Hope. All of them. It also makes me feel old to realize that it's been probably over a decade since I did so, though.)

-Signing off.

1 comment:

Alerich Süßkoch said...

Mnggal-Mnggal is awesome.