Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Invid's Guide to the Star Wars Universe: Alien Species (#91)

901. Revwiens. Revwiens are sorta jellyfish-like plant creatures. They were originally intended to be cantina aliens, but the costume would have been too technically difficult to make. (Little wonder; there'd have been no room for a person's arms or legs unless the costume extended to whatever it was sitting on, and they have flat "leaves" that they use as tentacles for moving around and grabbing things. There's no way you could call that a "costume" if you put it on somebody. It'd be a puppet.) Their production sketches inspired the Parwans.

They have between six and eleven "leaves" that they use to get about, needing four to stand or walk on. Their bodies look something like peppers or squashes, and their "heads" look like mushrooms, but with a bunch of little orbs on them that serve as eyes. Revwiens can also vary greatly in coloration. Thus, they're very alien in appearance.

Many Revwiens practice a Force-based philosophy called Tyia, which is a word meaning "breathe." Tyia practitioners, called Thuwisten, form magic la-la circles of unity also called Thuwisten. More relevant to our interests is that the Revwiens' isolation meant that Tyia was very poorly known before the rise of the Galactic Empire. Apparently out of altruism, a number of Thuwisten traveled the galaxy searching out refugee Jedi and other Force users subject to the Empire's purge, seeking to aid them; apparently the Thuwisten never came under attack from the Empire, despite exhibiting many Jedi characteristics. Darksider Thuwisten apparently shrivel up physically and try to break up unity and harmony in others, and Revwien society strips such individuals of their names.

Only one Revwien is known to have used a lightsaber (lightsabers being one of those Jedi things they generally didn't do), and he went by the name of Wuwuhuul, which is both a cool name and a silly one, which is possibly the best kind of name.

Rating: 5/5. Revwiens 1) have an interestingly alien design which is among my all-time favorites, and 2) have an interesting background history.

902. Rhen Varites. The Rhen Varites built beautiful cathedralesque buildings, but were wiped out by an ice age.

Rating: 2/5. "Extinct builders of pretty buildings" feels like a surprisingly common alien archetype, all things considered.

903. Ri'Dar. The Ri'Dar are primitive bat/monkeys from a low-gravity planet with such high metabolisms that they eat half their body weight each day. They're excellent flyers (on their homeworld) and gliders (anywhere else) and have keen eyesight, such that a mercenary group considers a Ri'Dar sniper recruit a catch. Ri'Dar live for the present because they are preyed on not only by the indola, which is essentially a giant thick-hided saber-toothed sloth (yes) but by predatory pack-hunting birds called elix put on the planet by the Empire as a game preserve, who were originally from a higher-gravity world and thus are even deadlier than they would be elsewhere.

Now, the entry would have it that this was a horrible, horrible thing that had happened to the Ri'Dar. However, I'll just point out: They give birth to litters of five or more and reach maturity within weeks.

I'm not saying I have no sympathy for the bat/monkeys, but I am saying that if they didn't have a healthy predatory population to deal with, they'd completely overrun their planet with their absurd reproductive capacity. Those kinds of birth and growth rates belong on small rodents, not moderately good-sized sapient creatures.

Rating: 3/5 for the unintended implications of their descriptions. If somebody wrote a story with this idea in mind and basically presented them as sapient tribbles when a group of them were accidentally transplanted somewhere (individual ones end up taking rides into space all the time, according to the article), it'd probably be worth another point. Free story idea, Lucasfilm licensees!

904. Rigellians. Rigellians are big ambiguously reptilian green guys whose physiology is adapted for a high-gravity world. Just like the ones from Bravestarr.

Except quite a bit uglier and probably quite a bit bigger.

Incredibly hilariously and awesomely, the only known Rigellian is part of a trio of "super-powered" (presumably actually relatively normal for their species) assassins who collectively posed as Darth Vader's porter, Darth Vader's valet, and Darth Vader's secretary. (They weren't after Darth Vader, though. I'm not clear on why they were "posing" as his porter, valet, and secretary.) "Darth Vader's porter," "Darth Vader's valet," and "Darth Vader's secretary" are the only names these characters are known by, and I hope dearly and truly that this never changes.

Rating: 3/5. The Rigellian was the porter, by the way.

905. Riilebs. Riilebs are "humanoid insectoids," which is once again a statement that could mean a whole lot of different things. In this case, it means "beings shaped a lot like really skinny humans who are extremely distant descendants of insects." Eh, could be worse, I guess; it could mean "shaped just like humans but have wasp heads" or something.

Their antennae let them detect the biorhythms of other species, which gives them a natural talent for being affable and disarming, and so they are generally well-liked because they know how to keep people at ease.

They have four nostrils, two for inhaling and two for exhaling. Hilarious.

Apparently they are one of the only species native to Hutt space who have managed to maintain their independence, and entirely through their own merit-they apparently simply fought hard enough that the Hutts decided to leave them alone in favor of easier pickings.

Riilebs apparently are traditionally ruled by a Riileb from a special clan who holds a special ring said to have belonged to the "first Riileb." I suppose there are worse ways to pick your leaders... Though I can't think of any off the top of my head.

Rating: 3/5. A sorta insect-based species that's inherently likeable? BLASPHEMY (BUT THE GOOD KIND).

906. Rikyam. Rikyam are related to dhuryam, but not as culturally significant as dhuryam, which have considerable religious significance, being things that master over planets and all. However, rikyam are the brains for worldships rather than planets, and maintain and protect them from various problems, such as ship-wide muscle spasms (Yuuzhan Vong ships being organic and all, this was a bit of an issue, apparently).

Rating: 3/5. The rikyam aren't really quite as neat as dhuryam (if only because none of them ever made insects bite all the Yuuzhan Vong), but the difference is pretty infinitesimal.

907. Rindians. Rindians are apparently small, have eight fingers per hand, and have "melodious" voices.

Rating: 2/5. Meh.

908. Riorians. Riorians are odd-but-neat-looking "aquatic insectoids." Despite being "aquatic insectoids," they're descended from cool-looking creatures called "cliffborer worms."

Rating: 4/5. Mainly because they look neat and are descended from something outright cool-looking.

909. Ripoblus. The Ripoblus (that name is surprisingly difficult to type) fought with the Dimoks (see earlier link to the dhuryam) until the Empire showed up. At first, the Dimoks fought alongside the Empire (a detail not in the Dimoks' own article when I wrote the previous entry), but eventually the Empire turned on them, and the Ripoblus and Dimoks teamed up... and got stomped.

Apparently, the two groups were still fighting hundreds of years later.

Rating: 2/5. You've got to love the details of old blood feuds that just won't go away.

910. Rishii. The Rishii are owl-like except when they aren't.

In all seriousness, they do resemble some kind of predatory avians, with the addition of rather reptilian tails. They're naturals at mimicking voices. They're also generally friendly with outsiders.

They're primitive and have little interest in most technology other than the "shiny rocks" that outsiders use to come and go, i.e. spacecraft; when invaded by the Confederacy of Independent Systems, they fought back with spears and axes. (Seeing as how they would have been fighting battle droids, which can be defeated by swarms of insects or being tipped over, they probably did pretty well for themselves.)

Rating: 3/5. I like the less owly Rishii design better than the owly Rishii design, but I do like both designs.

-Signing off.

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