Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Invid's Guide to the Star Wars Universe: Alien Species (#92)

911. Rocanar. The Rocanar were the original natives of the planet Rocantor. (You can tell things are about to go bad when I use past tense.) About five hundred years before the movie era, humans colonized Rocantor. Unfortunately for them, the Rocanar gave them a disease that turned into a plague for them.

So once the survivors had reorganized, the human Rocantori had all the Rocanar rounded up and sold into slavery on other planets.


What makes it even worse is that they sent a huge population of individuals who were proven carriers of a plague out into the broader (and presumably non-immunized) galaxy. That could probably be considered an act of war.

Rating: 3/5, because there are implications there that the writer clearly didn't consider.

912. Rodians. Rodians are the green vaguely insect-like aliens of which Greedo, the bounty hunter gunned down by Han Solo (who was the only one to shoot), was a member.

Rodians reputedly smell very strongly, an odor that the majority of humans and members of some other species dislike. Their smell is apparently a complex pheromonal cocktail that Rodians find very meaningful. (Its scent also proved to be the "perfect ingredient" in a drink that the cantina's bartender was planning to sell to Jabba the Hutt, and so said bartender actually took Greedo's corpse to use for such purposes. ...Nice.)

For some reason, somebody decided that the Rodians ought to be mammalian enough that the lady Rodians look identifiably female. To retcon away any appearances of Rodians that don't match up with this idea, they noted that many Rodians decided to conceal their gender via loose clothing.

Rodian culture is very violent, apparently because they're straight out of hunting cultures (not sure it really works that way, but whatever), and they have a clannish murder thing they do. "Despite" this, they also produce very complex plays that are considered serious high art by people who decide that sort of thing.

Incidentally, Greedo wasn't very bright: He'd been hanging out with a guy who turned out to be taking money to kill members of Greedo's clan from other Rodians, and said guy told him he ought to pick a fight with Han Solo, knowing full well that Greedo wasn't sharp enough or vicious enough to take on Solo.

Naturally, Rodians were also victims of the Yuuzhan Vong, and at some point a substantial number of them were mutated into killer crab monsters.

Rating: 4/5. Eh, I just kinda like Rodians.

913. Rodisar. Rodisar are sapient crocodylomorphs.

Crocodile people are cool with me.

The only named Rodisar character we know of, by the way, was a famed general from their homeworld who was successful in battle because of his competent staff and also incredibly corrupt; he was kidnapped from his planet and eventually ended up in a gladiatorial arena, where he would ignomiously die in combat intended to select a warrior for the Separatists. (The winner was a dark Jedi; the runner up was a robot with flamethrowers for arms.)

Rating: 3/5. Crocodylomorphs are a good thing.

914. Romin. Romin are gold-skinned, short "humanoids" ([insert standard "that doesn't mean anything" rant here]) who have very flat noses.

They have a societal structure where there are people who are healthy and rich and people who are sick and poor. Shocking. They also had a dictator at one point who would accept lots of money from criminals to hide them from outsiders. Shocking. Again.

Rating: 1/5. Except for the relatively uninteresting appearance, all the descriptions are just ways of saying "they have a society with obvious flaws." There's nothing interesting or distinct about them at all.

915. Roonans. Roonans basically look like wrinkly greys. They apparently have trouble forgiving little bitty mistakes.

Rating: 3/5. Because frankly, greys who fly off the handle at the drop of a hat sound kind of great.

916. Roonat. Their language is squeaky. Or something.

Rating: 1/5.

917. Ropagu. The Ropagu are "near-humans" ([insert standard "that doesn't mean anything" rant here]) who look vaguely like they're supposed to be "oriental people aliens." (One of them was a Gengis Khan-inspired local warlord from the Droids cartoon; there was no indication whatsoever he wasn't supposed to be human.)

This is not the first time this has come up.

I am willing to ignore this horrible status and pretend they're really just humans because 1) they live with and peacefully coexist with the Kalduu, awesome floating telepathic jellyfish, and 2) they have a Great Library which has recorded history going back ten thousand years, and even though it focuses on their homeworld's history, that sounds like it could easily be handy in a story.

Rating: 2/5. It would be, like, 4/5 if it weren't for the whole racism thing.

918. Roshans. Apparently, they wanted to make a trade agreement with their neighbors at some point, but the Galactic Empire didn't let them.

Rating: 1/5. That wacky Empire...

919. Rseikharhls. The Rseikharhls (did I seriously type that twice with no problems?) are in charge of law enforcement in the Rseik sector (named for their home system, the Rseik system), and in order to perform the job efficiently, they designed a type of droid to do law enforcement work.

Ten years and 22,000 arrests later (the number feels much too small for a sizable chunk of the Star Wars galaxy, suggesting at least one writer is really bad at math or perhaps thought he was writing some Star Trek stuff), the droid model in question had done its work without incurring a single accidental fatality, and the galaxy at large became deeply interested in acquiring these droids. Even the Galactic Empire was impressed enough that, despite its pro-human/anti-non-human policies, it let them keep doing what they were doing.

Ironically enough, the law enforcement droids apparently fetch high prices on the black market.

Rating: 4/5. This is fantastic, even if the numbers are stupid. I like their snarly name, too.

920. Rughja. Rughja apparently have mauve skin, fifteen appendages, and a largish number of eyes. They apparently look like tangly and vaguely incomprehensible messes of limbs to members of most species.

Rughja can apparently play a very large number of instruments simultaneously, and so there is at least one well-known group of Rughja performers, Umjing Baab and His Swinging Trio (in this case, the Swinging Trio including Baab himself). However, they can't sing for human enjoyment because their voices are inaudibly high. In order to communicate with humans, they need some form of translator.

Rating: 3/5. A reasonably interesting little alien design, even if such a design is prone to making all characters of significance from the species musicians to the point of a daft cultural obsession.

-Signing off.

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