Friday, May 23, 2014

Invid's Guide to the Star Wars Universe: Alien Species (#121)

The Massive Index (Posts #1-#100)
The Less Massive Index (Posts #101-#110)
The Second Less Massive Index (Posts #111-#120)

1201. Vernols. The Vernols are frog-faced mammalians whose homeworld was devastated by various natural disasters. Most Vernols now live on the homeworld of the Balinaka, who are basically stupid-looking skinny polar bears. The Vernols find them intimidating, but the Balinaka are very accepting of them.

They're supposedly known for taking advantage of the fact that others regard them as cheerful and harmless to scam people, and for adapting their foraging instincts for the purpose of detective work.

Rating: 3/5. Mostly because they're mammalian frogs.

1202. Verpine. Verpine are tall, gangly insectoids. While they have sharp senses, telepathy-like radio transmission capabilities, and flexible carahide (somewhere between skin and an exoskeleton) that protects them from weaponry extremely well, they are industrious and friendly insect people, which at this point are gratifyingly feeling much more like the Star Wars galaxy's norm than killer hiveminded monsters. In fact, thanks to their microscopic vision, they are known as some of the galaxy's greatest technicians and maintenance workers, since they can spot microfractures and other forms of damage on spacecraft more easily than most species, and they are generally seen as specialized shipwrights, perhaps the very best such.

While the majority of Verpine are well-behaved and the society apparently uses their long-range radio communications abilities to maintain consensus democracies in their colonies, if their antennae, which are necessary to radio communication, are damaged, they apparently become prone to insane or criminal behavior. For whatever reason, Verpine don't talk about this to outsiders, and also just seem to let their "crazies" be, which strikes me as a crazy stupid irresponsible thing to do when you potentially have access to the medical technology of the Star Wars galaxy and have to occasionally worry that someone might start murdering your people and selling the bodies to Kubaz to eat if you upset them (this happened at least once when a crazy Verpine broke treaty with some Barabels [see earlier Balinaka link]). Also, consensus democracy? Really? That's just asking for trouble.

The Verpine traditionally were divided into sterile, "unintelligent" worker drones and intelligent hermaphroditic individuals, the drones making up 95% of the traditional society. Upon Verpine entry into galactic society, maintenance of a technologically advanced infrastructure and such required that the majority of Verpine be intelligent, so they adjusted the ratios of developmental enzymes they applied to their eggs to ensure all hatched Verpine would be intelligent, and met their drudge work needs by cloning drones instead. ...Another slightly disturbing element, I see.

Anyway, while Verpine are hermaphroditic, some are said to identify as male or female, and thus it is suggested that they may have multiple genders even though they have only one reproductively active sex. This is probably because of different authors not paying attention to each other, but it's a detail I like-the idea that they identify based on preferences or possibly societal roles even though there's absolutely no differences between them.

The Verpine "homeworld" is an asteroid belt called the Roche asteroids, which is rather cute (and maybe disturbing), all things considered. The name "Roche" is also used as an abbreviation for a droid manufacturing company run by the Verpine, whose proper name is Roche Hive Mechanical Apparatus Design and Construction Activity for Those Who Need the Hive's Machines (RHMADCATWNHM for the dyslexic short). Verpine are also known for making personal railgun-type firearms and various other quality weapons.

Notable Verpine include Beyghor Sahdett, who has an awesome name and was a Jedi of the Old Republic who escaped Order 66, leading to this rather metal image. Unfortunately, later Sahdett would be captured, tortured, and offered a chance by the Emperor to turn to the dark side by killing fellow Jedi prisoners; he didn't accept at first, but when Palpatine casually cut down three of the other four, Sahdett unhesitatingly killed the last and became one of Palpatine's apprentices. Like a lot of Palpatine's other apprentices, he would ultimately be killed by Darth Vader.

The Verpine would prove fiercely independent from oppressive groups and strong allies of the New Republic, having close ties to the New Republic military and providing it with many technicians, standing against the "bad New Republic" (read: ham-handed analogue to the Bush administration) with help from the Mandalorians, and later providing battle droids and other weaponry to those who resisted the later Sith Empire built by Darth Krayt even in the face of some of their population centers being wiped out, though they had a lapse when the Killik hives subverted them.

Anyway, I love these guys.

Rating: 5/5. The Verpine are one of my all-time favorite aliens from basically anything; while there are others that I like comparably, the Verpine have the advantage of having been presented to me before a lot of those, and for that they'll always have a special place for me.

1203. Vestaari. The Vestaari share a homeworld with the Icarii. We don't know squat about them elsewise; in fact, I had to dig a little to find that much out, because their own article only mentions the homeworld.

Rating: 1/5.

1204. Veubgri. The Veubgri (singular Veubg) come from Gbu, which is a hilarious way to (literally) invert the usual relationship between a species' name and their homeworld's name.

They are presumably pretty strong, at least in their six legs, because Gbu's gravity is apparently such that humans can't survive on it. (This is relevant because this meant that delegations to Gbu generally met on Gbu's moon.) They have some form of tentacles or tendrils they use as manipulators. It's a bit ambiguous as to how they're built, but I recall my impression being that they're tall and probably physically powerful, because the lone known individual of the species, Grake, was beaning a bunch of probably big burly men with a spatula (she was an angry cook and a slave), and the men in question, despite being Force sensitive and significantly outnumbering her, apparently didn't think they could take her without their lightsabers.

Grake retreated back into the kitchens and apparently went unpunished thanks to massive sassiness, and she would later be freed.

Incidentally, her owner was the supreme butthole Lord Hethrir, AKA the guy responsible for the near-extinction of the Firrerreos, who were his own race.

Rating: 3/5. ...Gbu is super-fun to type and read. Gbu. Gbu Gbu Gbu. Apparently, I'm actually a small child.

1205. Vicon. Vicon are short and have long, potentially twitchy noses.

Rating: 1/5.

1206. Viidaav. The Viidaav of Viidaav look pretty cartoony.

They were involved in a battle for their homeworld during the Clone Wars; Count Dooku was going to throw them under the bus by detonating some nasty explosives that would probably have resulted in some pretty major damage in order to take care of the Republic forces, but an unnamed Viidaav soldier managed to stop him at the cost of his own life, stopping the countdown even though he probably knew that the clone trooper he'd been in a standoff with would probably (and did) kill him.

Rating: 2/5. I've occasionally talked about giving points based on awesome unnamed characters. This is a case of that, even if this guy wasn't quite as awesome as the random mayor who kept a nuclear grenade in his pocket.

1207. Vilosorians. Apparently, Vilosorians metamorphose with the passage of their seasons. During the winter, they're calm and docile, but in the warm months they're ferocious predators. A couple of Rebel agents were able to help them break from Imperial control by delaying the Empire's reinforcements from arriving until said warm months, and implicitly the end result was a rout for the Empire.

One of said agents was a droid nicknamed Toozy; while the Rebels gave the other agent credit, she gave her medal to Toozy instead.

Rating: 3/5. That's a neat little story.

1208. Vindalians. Vindalians are supposedly human-looking, but with "vulpine" (i.e. foxlike) facial features of some sort. Female Vindalians are bigger than male Vindalians, and apparently "bigger" females are considered more desirable.

There's probably a joke involving the phrase "foxy lady" in there somewhere; I leave it to you to figure out what it is.

Rating: 2/5.

1209. Vindar. The Vindar are the ambiguously canonical (well, that phrase isn't very relevant anymore) race that oppressed the "Squidges."

While they seem to be nasty bastards (pardon the language), they look kinda neat.

Rating: 3/5. Just because they look kinda neat; there's not really much else to judge them by.

1210. Vippits. Vippits are supposedly cephalopods, although their description indicates they have quite a few gastropod features. (Both groups are mollusks, of course, but there's a pretty substantial difference between them. Mixing the two up is kind of like confusing fish with birds of prey, only technically any given fish and birds of prey are actually probably technically more closely related than gastropods are to cephalopods. But I digress.)

They apparently don't process information well until they've had time to sleep on it; supposedly this integrates sensory information from "both sides" of their brains.

All this is irrelevant, however, because there was a Vippit barrister who was a friend of Obi-Wan Kenobi's named Doolb Snoil.

That's right: Obi-Wan had a lawyer friend who was a snail named Snoil.

You. Are. Welcome.

Rating: 3/5, mostly for the existence of Doolb Snoil.

-Signing off.

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