Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Invid's Guide to the Star Wars Universe: Alien Species (#102)

The Massive Index (Posts #1-#100)

(I've excluded Smoke Demons because there's no clear evidence that they're either sapient or even alive, much less a species, even if it deprives me of an interesting article this go-round.)

1011. Sloogarians. The Sloogarian homeworld is named Sloogaria. This is worth noting even though it's not that unusual for the names to match up, especially since this article has a disproportionate number of derpy names.

Anyway, Sloogarians are apparently some form of scavenger, as they apparently like to eat things such as bantha droppings. The picture of a Sloogarian I've seen looks like something between a worm person and a bedsheet ghost.

The only known Sloogarian is named Squishmael (drop the first three letters or say it aloud, and you'll catch the literary reference, even though the reference doesn't have to do with anything), and is known for telling tall tales to get others to buy him drinks.

Tall tales about major series characters that he's unlikely ever to have met (namely Han Solo and Darth Vader).

Rating: 3/5. I'm sufficiently entertained by that.

1012. Sludir. The Sludir are six-legged, two-armed creatures. They range from good-sized if low-slung to rather enormous; even a small Sludir is quite a bit larger than an average-sized human being by weight, and at least one known newborn weighed forty kilograms, or nearly ninety pounds. They're described as reptilian yet have manes of hair, and have somewhat dinosaur-like heads. (Notably, one Sludir basically looks like Dino-Fabio.)

They're also protected by armored skin, which protects significantly against physical blows though not against blasters, and take great pride in keeping this armor healthy and repairing it with a special soap (seriously).

Apparently, Sludir women naturally have the ability to delay their pregnancies once they're near full term so that they don't have to give birth in dangerous situations; they can maintain this for nearly a year. (This did not have anything to do with the huge birth weight of the known newborn; the delayed pregnancy halts growth.)

In traditional Sludir society, there was a strict caste system which put warriors above artisans (skilled workers) who were above regular workers. The legal system and method of promotion were built around combat, and honor in combat is basically the number one thing for any given Sludir, though dying without heirs is also considered great dishonor, because they're sorta ancestor worshipers and believe in making descendants to remember them. (One known Sludir let his brother-in-law kill him in a gladiatorial match because he knew his wife was pregnant, but that the brother-in-law was childless. Holy cheese. Said brother-in-law was later killed by said pregnant wife in a different gladiatorial match, which kinda makes that moot.) Sludir don't like ranged weapons, running, hiding, taking cover, or subterfuge. The society also had various caste-appropriate rites of passage.

They were, as all this suggests, a primitive culture when the Empire showed up. Because their honor code makes them terrible at actual warfare as opposed to ritualized combat, the Empire rolled right over them and made the lot of them into slaves. (Thus we see the value of the Ewok lesson: It doesn't really matter how fancy or advanced your weapons or armor are if somebody sneaky drops a big darned rock on your fool head. Another lesson applies, of course: It doesn't matter how big and awesome a dinosaur-centaur-man you are if the other guy's got a gun.)

Slavery was pretty hard on Sludir society. Most of the Sludir who managed to thrive turned out to be those who were willing to do what it took to survive until such time as they became ranking criminals, often slavers, themselves. The aforementioned Dino-Fabio was one of the more successful ones. Sludir in general didn't get along with the Rebellion, since they were expected not to kill their superiors in ritual combat while seeking promotion there, though apparently those who did join the Rebellion were very devoted to it.

We don't know much about the Sludir after the fall of the Empire, except that their homeworld Sluudren was apparently a nasty mess and many returning Sludir threw up their hands in disgust and returned to the galaxy at large when they saw it.

Rating: 5/5. Eh, I was waffling a bit, but they've got so many interesting quirks, and when I thought about it I realized that they're more realistic than most of the dumb warrior races you see.

1013. Slughs. The Slughs are ambiguously canonical humanoid gastropods (!) that apparently all have some form of "evolutive muscular illness," whatever the heck that is supposed to mean, that kills them over time. They also can't move without mechanical exoskeletons, and apparently can't live for more than a few days without one. They apparently are hunting for a cure.

All members of their society are capable of tinkering with and repairing their exoskeletons, which strikes me as a pretty necessary talent, and apparently they frequently upgrade their exoskeletons with combat modifications. This makes it a little clearer that they were created for an RPG supplement.

Rating: 4/5. They're power-armored slug people. Simple but fun. My only problem, ironically, is their disease thing, which is clearly intended to be their primary notable feature.

1014. Sluissi. Sluissi are one of those humanoid-above-waist-snake-below-waist reptilian species. They also have cobra-ish hoods. Unusually for reptilians, they are apparently incapable of what we would call anger, or at least impulsive anger, and are exceptionally patient.

The Sluissi are known as excellent technicians. This is mainly because they're extremely methodical. They don't work quickly, but they do exceedingly thorough work, and usually improve on things in the process. They're mainly known as shipwrights, building and improving on ships, and while the Empire occupied their homeworld for its support of the Separatists, they apparently didn't treat them too badly, mainly because mistreating them to get more work out of them apparently just doesn't work.

Rating: 4/5. They're reptile people primarily known as shipbuilders.

1015. Slyte. Nubblyk the Slyte was, presumably, a Slyte.

Rating: 1/5. Sometimes, I'll boost a rating if a character is interesting, but we don't know significantly more about Nubblyk than we do about Slyte.

1016. Smotls. A Smotl worked for a Hutt.

Rating: 1/5.

1017. Sneevels. The Sneevels of Sneeve (, usually you don't expect that sort of name to be derived from the planet's name... and their language is named Snee!) are monkey guys with too-large anthropomorphic pig heads. They have quick reflexes, love danger, and emit strong musky smells linked to their emotions. They apparently are also known for being omnivorous to the point where they may eat plates as well as the food served on them.

Their dedication to thrillseeking might serve higher causes, but often is just an adrenaline addiction. Among the endeavors they've been known to undertake are hyperspace exploration, extreme sports (such as podracing), and high-energy physics experiments. (Consider the scale of the Star Wars galaxy and particularly the Death Star, and then one must wonder just what a high-energy physics experiment looks like in that setting. It's probably not a good idea to be in the same galactic quadrant as one of those.)

They're known for being abrasive and unpleasant, and are even compared in personality to Dashades, whose hat is that they're hired killers.

Rating: 3/5. I got distracted by thinking about the implications of physics research in Star Wars.

1018. Snivvians. The old unpleasant nickname given to Snivvians in the toy-based material is "snaggletooth." Nice. Not that "Snivvian" is that much better, because it sounds like "snivel."

Anyway, the Snivvians have thick skin that provides insulation in place of heavy fur, have big snouts and good senses of smell (well, one presumes a good sense of smell, but it never mentions that part explicitly-it just says they "make good scouts" because of their large snouts). In the early days of their space exploration, slavers found them and caused them trouble, but the Old Republic brought that under control.

Their society is known for its artistic pursuits, stemming from their homeworld's long, brutal winters; supposedly, this eventually ingrained a biological need to be involved in the production of some form of art. Many have abandoned their native language, though others retain it "for symbolic, subtextual, or fashionable reasons" (emphasis mine).

Snivvians are supposedly known for having "sociopathic tendencies," and are apparently trying to breed it out of their population. Notably and bizarrely, apparently when twin male Snivvians are born, one always turns out to be a "psychotic genius."

Rating: 3/5. There's quite a few really... strange details here.

1019. Snogars. Snogars apparently had a revolution at some point where they rejected all technology; this wasn't a bright move, because their world was and is in the throes of a deep ice age, and they kinda needed that stuff. The one story featuring them involved them trying to force offworlders to repair the heating units in their deteriorating cities.

They're basically human, but may be bigger and have lion's-mane facial hair (which is misleadingly described as them being "furry").

Rating: 1/5. Pretty big meh there.

1020. Snutib. The Snutib resemble praying mantids. Like many insectoid species, they allied with the Killiks when the Killiks were causing trouble by being Killiks.

Rating: 2/5. They get a point because I like mantids.

-Signing off.

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