Friday, November 1, 2013

Invid's Guide to the Star Wars Universe: Alien Species (#96)

951. Schizodes. Schizodes are ambiguously canonical four-armed, pincher-handed insectoid/humanoid beings. They're apparently known for being quite capable in skilled physical tasks such as combat and craftsmanship.

They apparently also have minimal senses of self, and rather than having clear personal goals, every new day they start mimicking a different person that they see as admirable (never mind that admiration is one of those things that's probably tied to self identity).

That's pretty great.

Rating: 4/5. I waffled between a 3 and a 4, and settled on a 4 despite having reservations about the fact that you could interpret them as a bit (or potentially very) racist. I think they're a great concept, but I also think they should be handled carefully.

952. Sea people. The sea people are the third of three tribes of a world called Gala. They're not really a species, and they're all basically just humans with varying skin color and uninteresting cultures.

Rating: 1/5.

953. Sea-dragons, or waterworms. Sea-dragons start their lives as small, lizard-like beings. Despite being small enough to fit in a human hand, they apparently are quite intelligent even at this age, able to serve as incognito spies (like the Covallons or the frog-dogs, only as cute little gator-lizard things instead of good-sized awesome dog/lizard/lions or ugly good-sized frog/dog things). Their adult forms are much more plesiosauroid, as one might expect of creatures called sea-dragons (though not of creatures called waterworms).

As near as I can tell, they communicate via underwater sonic emissions, and so they seem to need translation devices to communicate with other species (though presumably they can understand the languages of other species quite well). Despite this, they apparently formed an alliance with a human group of criminals/pirates.

Rating: 5/5. The Covallons are pretty awesome. These guys are Covallons as babies and have the potential to be similar to the Swimming People of Dellalt (plesiosauroid people from the Han Solo Adventures that I'll get to sooner or later, who will probably get a good rating when that happens) as adults.

954. Sebiri. The Sebiri of Sebiris (that's never fun for trying to keep pluralization usage straight) are relatively typical local noble savage type aliens-expert hunters, warriors, and trackers; can be friendly if you bring gifts but will kill your backside for trodding on sacred ground; have sign language and a spoken language made of "staccato phrases and phrases" (an actual quote from the wiki); all that stereotypical junk.

There are two things of actual note about them: First, they're reptilian people with shaggy manes of hair who have wonky proportions that make them all look like they're made to wear Urkel pants; and second, their home planet is in the Kathol Sector and they claim that their home region was created by "those who came before," who may actually have existed.

Rating: 3/5. This is primarily for their appearance and presence in the Kathol sector, as that other stuff is either standard fare or offensive, depending on how it gets portrayed.

955. Sedrians. They're basically merfolk-shaped seal people. That is, they're human-shaped above the waist (except for seal heads) and seal-shaped below the waist. Despite being mammalian in general appearance, they have gills in addition to lungs.

They're the civilization that used the Golden Sun, a sapient, Force-using coral reef, as a power source for their industry, but were killing it in their efforts to protect it, despite the fact that they also straight-up worshiped the thing. (It had been the center of their civilization since well before industrialization, for the Golden Sun nurtured and protected them with its Force healing powers.) There's still no indication on Wookieepedia what happened to the Golden Sun at this point.

Anyway, there's also the fact that the Sedrians were attacked by the Empire, helped by the Rebel Alliance, and then later provided weapons, specifically hoverboats, to the New Republic.

Rating: 4/5. They're fairly interesting in their interactions with the Golden Sun.

956. Segmi. The Segmi are more inhabitants of the Kathol sector, in fact the planet Kathol itself. Specifically, they were created by the DarkStryder (see the Kathol entry) as a replacement for the Charr Ontee after it banished them for rebelling against it. The Segmi would build a fortress for the DarkStryder, and when the fortress was finished, they wandered off and formed a civilization. Later, the DarkStryder would recapture a number of them to force them to do more construction work for it. Like many Kathol Rift inhabitants, they were masters of the Ta-Ree life energy, a form of Force powers exclusive to the region.

What I haven't mentioned is that the Segmi are apparently giant worms that excrete slime that turns into a sort of hard resin, and that's why they're so good at building.

Rating: 5/5. I love the Kathol Rift so darned much.

957. Seikoshans. The Seikoshans are modestly interesting in appearance, with green skin, red eyes, and funky T. rex-hand toes. They are also described as "very tall." Other than that (heck, even with that), they're basically just vanilla almost-humans.

Not mentioned on their page is the fact that their homeworld apparently was neutral during the time of the Galactic Empire's war against the Rebel Alliance.

Rating: 2/5, mostly because of their homeworld thing.

958. Sekct. The Sekct (that reversed k/c arrangement is deceptively hard to type) are basically lizard people.

Now, usually, I don't care for that phrase being used casually, for various reasons having to do with the fact that a "lizard" is actually a very specific type of animal but people use the word as a generic label for all reptiles. Many modern "reptiles" are no more closely related to each other than they are to us; crocodiles are more closely related to birds than other living reptiles, lizards and snakes are actually closely related to each other and little else (it would not be inappropriate to label them "true reptiles"), and turtles and tuataras are each part of only distantly related families. (It has to do with their skulls and such, which is more fundamental and more easily tracked in fossils than silly measures like whether something has scales. But that's far beyond the scope of this post.)

But the Sekct are basically drawn as lizards with incongruously almost human hands and legs. You don't get much more "lizard people" than that.

They're all primitive and tribal and junk, and rely on oral tradition; their bands are led by individuals called "She-Who-Speaks" who supposedly is the physically strongest and also responsible for remembering their oral traditions.

Incidentally, they're also a race of female lizard people, like a few real-world lizards able to reproduce parthenogenically.

Rating: 4/5. Their unusual features make me like them.

959. Selkath. The Selkath were once, about four thousand years before the era of the movies, quite important politically, as their homeworld was and apparently still is the source of a substance called kolto, which is valuable in medical procedures. Remember the tank that Luke was floating in for a bit in Empire Strikes Back? Kolto was/is used much the same way as bacta, the substance in that tank. Kolto apparently was used this way for a long time, while bacta wasn't really widely seen in the market yet. In the years between then and the movie era, apparently due to bacta being cheaper and possibly more effective, kolto virtually disappeared from the market, putting the Selkath into a sorry economic position. It is unclear, but possible that kolto's effectiveness might have changed over time, going from comparable to bacta to much less effective. (Note that differing sources probably portray kolto rather inconsistently.)

At any rate, the Selkath are an amphibious species with large, rather fisheating-oriented mouths and large barbel-like flaps on their faces. They look very interesting, and would probably do well enough as interesting just based on their appearance and their geopolitics. But it goes a little further:

The Selkath were apparently somehow related to a species of sharklike creature called firaxan sharks. One of these animals, known as the Progenitor, was a female of prodigious size, and could somehow actually control Selkath and other firaxan sharks, driving them into mad frenzies with its cries. The Selkath worshiped the Progenitor and believed it to be their ancestor and the source of the kolto. Incidentally, the Progenitor was a video game boss that was killed by the protagonist of that particular game in order to disrupt kolto production.

Rating: 5/5. That's a lower five than some fives, but not by a lot.

960. Selonians. Out of a given hundred Selonians, only one is male and five will be fertile females. The remaining 94 would be sterile females. That alone says a lot about what Selonians should probably be like; they sequester the males and fertile females to protect them.

Selonians are basically supposed to be huge, mildly anthropomorphic weasel-like people with long tails. That is, their bodies are long, their limbs are a bit stumpy, and they on average stand taller than humans. (The males are notably smaller than the females of either type; while sterile females are slender, fertile females, I am led to believe, are rather more heavyset.) This description is lost on a lot of people, and so they're more likely to be depicted with the wrong proportions and often with human-like breasts (actually, now that I'm thinking about it, they're also often depicted as looking like human/kangaroo hybrids, which isn't really much better). Guys, that doesn't make sense, even if one was good-looking enough to a human to get his attention. (Yes, this happened. They broke up because they turned out to be allergic to each other.) That's not even going into problems with the presence of male Selonians in the wider galaxy, at least one of whom was drawn as a bear/wolf/wolverine person.

Anyway, all that aside, the Selonians are pretty interesting for another reason: Their homeworld is one of five heavily inhabited planets in the Corellia system, along with the Drall's homeworld, Corellia itself, and two other planets that orbit a big space station (wacky as that sounds).

Rating: 3/5. They lose a point for the inconsistency with which they get portrayed visually.

-Signing off.

1 comment:

liminalD said...

Fun :)

I hope you eventually do a 'Best and Worst' post where you list all your 5s and all your 1s to contrast good character/species/worldbuilding with bad character/species/worldbuilding :)