Friday, September 20, 2013

Invid's Guide to the Star Wars Universe: Alien Species (#93)

(It's been way too long since I've done one of these; for some reason, the nice new computer I got a while back actually threw me off my blogging rhythm, and then my sister got a Tumblr account, which didn't help. I'm amazed I actually got this done tonight, because the weather's supposed to be quite bad, but I've not actually heard any thunder in hours, so I'm pretty happy with things at this point.)

921. Rutanians. Rutanians look like some other aliens called Riorians, because they're based on them. The Rutanians are essentially humanoid creatures with Riorian heads.

Incidentally, I recently saw a post by a blogger complaining that the Riorians were changed from worm creatures to humanoids by the artist who drew cover art featuring a Rutanian. Rest easy, guy, that's not actually what happened.

As for the Rutanians themselves, they didn't like some of their neighbors, and the Yuuzhan Vong duped them and these neighbors into war, letting the Yuuzhan Vong easily conquer them.

Rating: 2/5. The Yuuzhan Vong victim pity-point rules apply.

922. Ruurians. Ruurians are caterpillar/butterfly-like beings. Their larval caterpillar/centipede-like stage is the primary active member of society; the butterfly-like adult stage is obsessed with mating and then dies. The total lifespan of a Ruurian is fairly short. This is an accurate reflection of how most insects live their lives, so kudos to the author who created them.

Ruurians are small compared to humans, and are generally cautious and timid, but also very observant (though there apparently has been at least one Ruurian bounty hunter). The most notable Ruurian is probably the historian Skynx, who along with several others hired Han Solo and Chewbacca to help them find the lost treasure of Xim the Despot, long-dead awesome evil dictator. (Spoiler: It turned out the treasure was mostly pretty worthless. Also, despite being tiny and nonviolent, Skynx saved Han from his archnemesis through sheer awesomeness.)

Rating: 5/5. I like the Ruurians rather a lot. They've seen a decent amount of use otherwise.

923. Ruusanians. Ruusanians are/were a tiny population (20,000 individuals or so) of "inbred" humans from the planet Ruusan.

Ruusan is notable, incidentally, as the site where the Sith were seemingly wiped out a thousand years before the movie by a devastating Force technique (it was a thing involving Darth Bane tricking the other Sith into destroying themselves). Later on, it would turn out to be an important site of Jedi/Force/something something MacGuffin blah blah fishcakes.

Rating: N/A. Not really an alien species, guys.

924. Ry'coz. The Ry'coz are inhabitants of the Novor system, relatively recently "liberated" from Hutt Space by the Galactic Empire, and they basically turned the system into a high-end tourist trap.

Rating: 2/5. Good for you, guys.

925. Rybets. Rybets are, as the name horribly suggests, basically froggish people, although they're really more amphibian dinosauroids by appearance.

Apparently, male and female Rybets despise each other to the point where they only come together to mate and tend to murder each other if they hang out for too long. (Usually, apparently, the females murder the males; also, there is a known but highly abnormal instance of a wealthy male keeping a sequestered harem of females.) They apparently are essentially adults at just five years of age, and their mothers kick them out around then, giving them property of their dead father if it's available (heh). (The male Rybet who kept a harem did so, incidentally, so that he could use the large number of children so-produced as a slave labor force. Yes, really.)

Significantly less squickily and more amusingly,the Rybets claim to be natives of the planet Varl, the original homeworld of the Hutts, and that Varl's destruction was the result of a war they'd waged with the Hutts, but nobody else in the galaxy finds this plausible (the Hutts reportedly find it "mildly amusing"). They also claim that they'll eventually reclaim Varl.

Yeah, no, Varl was destroyed either by a cataclysmic solar event (what the Hutts say happened) or by the Hutts' own excesses (what everybody else believes), and while the Hutts now see themselves as their own gods, they still hold the dead planet sacred, and they're still a major power even after the Yuuzhan Vong invasion (which may or may not have done yet more harm to Varl somehow). You're outta luck, guys.

Rating: 3/5. I really like their probably delusional history.

926. Ryn. The Ryn are basically space Romani (what less informed people would call by the slur "gypsies").

Entirely sympathetic and quite positively portrayed space Romani. (In fact, after Chewbacca died [blipping Yuuzhan Vong], a Ryn traveled with Han Solo for a little while and actually helped him heal a little.)

They are said to have invented sabacc, which is basically as I understand it like blackjack if you played with the major Arcana as well as the "traditional" suit cards, and use the game's cards the same way the Tarot is often used, for divination.

Rating: 4/5. I rather like the Ryn, and the fact that they were essentially actually deliberately created to bring attention to the Romani people's historical plights is a positive.

927. S'krrr. The S'krrr are insect people, although there's only two illustrations of them and neither of them really look much like insects. (The one I'm more familiar with actually makes the individual look like a reptile creature with a bug face, in fact.) They're apparently relatively well known for a warrior tradition involving vibroweapons (basically just technologically augmented bladed weapons), but in the present are mostly pacifistic; present day practitioners of their martial arts also are usually poets.

I myself know them best from the Galaxy of Fear kiddie horror series, wherein there was a mad scientist of their species who wanted to turn a type of local beetle into an ecology-destroying swarm because of crazy reasons. This story had one of them restrain the swarm via wing song, the mad scientist being devoured at some point, and also was the most ignominious incident in the entire career of then-Captain Thrawn, as he had a Star Destroyer nearby that could have handled the incident, but due to plot contrivance dropped his only communicator.

I kind of both love and despise that book.

Rating: 3/5. There's a solid core of interesting ideas there.

928. S'kytri. S'kytri apparently means "windborn" and you would be correct if you guessed that means they fly. Of course they fly. There's no chance that it's just a poetic thing.

Anyway, apparently all their men are blue-skinned and all their women are green-skinned; if a baby is born that contradicts this "natural order," it's killed as an abomination (though somewhere there's reportedly a red-skinned woman).

Despite being essentially hollow-boned humans with bat wings, though, they lay eggs.

Apparently, a S'kytri woman met Anakin Skywalker, who figured out she was Force-sensitive, and he promised to train her; surprisingly enough, after he became Darth Vader he kept that promise.

That makes me think of this:

Because it's the best version of Darth Vader ever, that's why.

Anyway, said woman then, because she'd been taught by Darth Vader, ruled her planet with an iron fist and enslaved her people for the Empire. ...Whoops. (Presumably that was pretty much on purpose, but still. Whoops.)

Rating: 2/5, mostly because the story of that one individual amuses me somehow.

929. Saadul. The Saadul are known only for their role in the Yuuzhan Vong crisis, wherein a number of refugees displaced by an attack on some world or another found themselves lumped in with Rybets and Ryn (huh) as "other" rather than being categorized by their own species. As both Rybets and Ryn are nomadic species with low galaxy-wide populations, this suggests it's possible that Saadul themselves aren't terribly populous, but that's only speculation.

Now, this will sound bad, but... in a galaxy with twenty million known sapient species, "other" is probably going to be a necessary part of any database's categorization system.

Rating: 2/5, because that level of cross-reference in a single post is worth a point by itself.

930. Saffa. Saffa apparently created an art form, Saffa paintings, after coming into contact with another species. Who knows why? Who knows what the paintings are actually like?

Nobody, that's who. Ah well.

Rating: 1/5.

-Signing off.

No comments: