Friday, June 14, 2013

Invid's Guide to the Star Wars Universe: Alien Species (#89)

(I decided to exclude the entry "Quill-heads" because 1) it may well have been a nickname applied by Greedo to something he didn't recognize, and 2) excluding it lets me cover something significantly more interesting than a nearly empty entry.)

881. Quesoth. The Quesoth apparently are insectoids with an odd caste-based society. There are three cities, the White City, the Red City, and the Black City, and they have alternating rulership between the respective queens born in those cities, bred somehow by local members of a caste called Circlings. The Circlings are apparently highly intelligent and serve as advisors to the queens, and whenever their queen dies, another city's Circlings will breed a new one while the then-current group of Circlings go into hibernation; the rest of Quesoth society travels between the three cities instead.

The main plot involving them was someone's attempt to interfere with the cycle.

Rating: 3/5. They feel more like an exotic, odd fantasy race than a science fiction/space opera race, but they're still interesting.

882. Quints. The Quints have the unfortunate problem of making me think of something very different, that being the bizarre and hilarious five-faced race of villains from Transformers, properly known as Quintessons but often colloquially called Quints, especially in fan circles.

Enough of that. These Quints are apparently known for their speed and agility (a lot of speed and agility? not very much speed and agility? perfectly average speed and agility?) and apparently are tall, covered in "delicate" fur (whatever that means), and have small heads and triangular eyes.

Rating: 1/5. I'm judging them unfairly. (Whoops, that's another Transformers Quint reference!)

883. Quockrans. The Quockrans are xenophobic slug creatures that, when faced with the potential loss of their isolationism, built an entire society of droids to hide behind so that they wouldn't be found.

That is awesome.

Incidentally, the Quockrans are actually based on unused concept art for Jabba the Hutt, and are thus ugly as... ugly... things. I'm not even going to discuss it, because I don't trust myself to keep well-behaved.

Rating: 4/5. The concept of an alien race hiding their existence with robots is kind of awesome, and I'm not sure I've seen it anywhere else. I kinda want to, now.

884. Quor'sav(s). Quor'sav are huge ostrich-y bird people, many towering at over ten feet tall, though some smaller individuals were closer to eight feet tall. We can actually see the legs of one briefly in A New Hope wandering in front of the camera, or something.

Their wings are vestigial, even though they're drawn by some artists as arms, and can barely do anything, though at least one carried a specially designed blaster that fit under his wing and was fired by his wing's motions. Despite their huge size and considerable strength, they are extremely delicate, particularly to environmental hazards like pollution (Lando Calrissian explicitly compares them to canaries in the part of the Lando Calrissian Adventures where one appears).

They are noted as disliking mammals and having strong protective instincts related to their parenting instincts, which they often extend to things that are by no stretch of the imagination related to them in any way.

Rating: 3/5. It's rather true to life to have a huge creature that's fragile, really. (Why do you think horses are so hard to raise and take care of? They're big, powerful, and remarkably fragile.)

885. Quorks. Quorks are creatures that have bear-shaped bodies, rather gorilla-like hands and feet, heads which look rather peculiarly humanlike with big, shaggy white lion manes, and horns. They're bigger than Ewoks and are probably physically stronger, and as that comparison suggests, they're among the many, many hostile races that the Ewoks must coexist with on Endor.

Their main shtick is that they wanted the Ewoks' more advanced technology, such as hang gliders, and also hate the Ewoks a lot.

Rating: 2/5. They're among the smallest beings that the Ewoks must deal with, but they have a modestly interesting look to them.

886. Quohog. The Quohog, also known as Wavedancers, are amphibious humanoids, who can only be properly amphibious in fresh water; in salt water they need protection to filter out the mineral content. Which is an amazingly science-accurate sort of thing to have in a world like this-the vast majority of fish are restricted to only salt or fresh water, and basically all modern amphibians are freshwater animals.

Anyway, apparently their spoken language only sounds right underwater and their voices are weak out of water, so they communicate on land through sign language. That's... a little backwards, probably, but interesting nonetheless.

Rating: 3/5. A reasonably interesting group of amphibious people.

887. Radnorans. All we know about the Radnorans is that they're short, intimidating humanoids who had to evacuate their planet after a bioweapon manufacturing accident.

Rating: 1/5.

888. Ragoons. Ragoons apparently are environmentalist elves of some sort, and they wanted to preserve their planet and protect it from outside interference, so when their population dwindled from some kind of illness, they asked the Old Republic to make their homeworld a protectorate so that it would be preserved.

No word what happened to them after the Old Republic was replaced by the Empire, who liked to run roughshod over everybody, sometimes just for the sake of it.

Rating: 2/5, essentially for the fridge horror effect.

889. Rakaans. Rakaans are awesome-looking giant monster spider-ish alien things.

As if that's not enough, they also have a bizarre life cycle wherein they may shift between one of four sexes-male, female, "andro," and neuter-at various times through their lifespans of about 160 years. "Andro" Rakaans apparently are designed to help nurture eggs while neuters are non-reproductive guards. On average, Rakaans apparently change between the sexes relatively randomly about three times (including the first time their sex changes-as children they have no sexes). They also spend an average of thirty years-but may spend as few as five or as many as sixty-as children. When they are in Transition between sexes, they are often violent and ravenous, presumably for the sake of feeding themselves as they go through huge metabolic changes (each sex has a different average size).

Rating: 4/5. The detail here is great, considering what a simple thing it is, and they're also wonderfully strange in both appearance and concept.

890. Rakata. The Rakata, also known as the Builders, were the creators and rulers of a group known as the Infinite Empire.

They were not very nice people.

Specifically, the Rakata were uplifted by the Kwa around 35,000 years before the movie era, and learned about the Force from them. They decided to embrace the dark side and built Force-based technology, and preceded humanity and many other old races into space. Apparently, their hyperdrives only can take them to worlds that have strong connections to the Force. (That's an interesting limitation.) The then-current Galactic power of the Celestials was in decline at the time, and their fall led to Rakata ascendancy, the Rakata defeating the other powers of the day, namely the Kwa and the Gree, and possibly also the Killiks and the Sharu (mentioned in the previously linked Lando Calrissian Adventures review, if you want to learn about them before I talk about them in the list here).

They would brutalize many other species, often doing such things as eating and otherwise defiling the remains of their enemies and slaughtering entire races, and could reshape worlds.

Among the other races they conquered were Wookiees, Noghri, Kumumgah, humans, Drall, and Duros; there were others.

The Rakata apparently at some point killed the majority of the Esh-kha race, a race so dangerous that a few thousand of them were a match for two space empires (the Old Republic and Sith Empire of about four thousand years before the movie era) and simultaneously imprisoned the remainder on a planet which they had also imprisoned something called the World Razer in. The World Razer is poorly defined, but was said to eat planets and stars, so obviously the Rakata knew their stuff, even if they did put a bunch of xenocidal maniacs on the same planet who had the knowledge and means to wake the thing up (those xenocidal maniacs being the Esh-kha, of course-though before they'd met the Rakata, the Esh-kha had apparently been peaceful).

They would also do crazy and sometimes hilarious things like build monuments on various worlds to their victories, such as crystal sculptures on some planet (which would later be named for the word for "crystal" in the language of the Muuns in reference to the sculptures) and an interactive holographic device somewhere on the planet Hoth.

At their empire's height, they controlled five hundred worlds; not a lot by the standards of the Star Wars galaxy, but big for the time and weighty because of their technology. Other races would manage to maintain civilizations by using other forms of hyperdrive and avoiding the Infinite Empire's worlds.

Their contact with the race known as the Sith would create a dark side legacy that reached across thousands of years. They taught the race whose name became a by-word for the dark side about the dark side.

Then, the unexpected happened: Ten thousand years after the beginning of their rise in the galaxy, the Rakata were affected by a plague that stripped them of their Force powers as a race. There would be handfuls of survivors over the many thousands of years since, but by a thousand years before the movie era, they were almost certainly completely extinct.

Not so extinct was all the technology they'd left behind, the majority of which, thanks to its unique Force-powered nature, would still be functional and powerful over twenty thousand years after the Infinite Empire fell.

Basically, the Rakata are awesome evil dead guys, and continuity porn incarnate.

Rating: 5/5. 'Nuff said. Well, no, not quite 'nuff said, they look interesting and unique as well.

-Signing off.

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