Friday, June 27, 2014

Invid's Guide to the Star Wars Universe: Alien Species (#126)

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

(I excluded xenomorphs despite apparent canonical mentions of them because, well, they're another case of mostly being easter eggs; the actual "information" on them comes from outside [that is, non-Star Wars] sources. For a humorous example of a wiki absolutely refusing to draw upon the immense amount of material that could fill in the blanks, see the ever-entertaining Transformers Wiki, which has a page [on the subject of Star Wars, no less] which takes this idea and runs with it. ...It's among my favorite pages on the whole wiki, and that wiki is among my favorite websites on the entire Internet.)

1251. Xan. Xan are quite humanoid, looking a fair bit like typical saucer aliens, and are described as mammalian.

They must be awfully far from having what most consider primary mammalian traits, though, because if their environmental temperature hits freezing, they apparently immediately conk out, and if it gets much colder, they quickly die.

So are they just used to warmer temperatures, or are they actually ectothermic mammals and more vulnerable to changes?

Rating: 2/5. Kind of an interesting mix of odd features, considering how little there is to go on. They'd hardly need anything to hit 3/5.

1252. Xaxax. The Xaxax were inhabitants of the Unknown Regions, that big ol' mass of supposedly uncharted space that provides occasional allies and frequent antagonists. They were super-advanced, leaving behind all sorts of neat technological tidbits, including an artificial planet.

A group called the Guardians was formed to collect this technology and keep it from falling into the wrong hands, but over time, the organization, well, became the wrong hands, and they looted the artificial planet and started hoarding the technology for their own vague and sinister uses.

Rating: 3/5. Simple idea, but cool beans.

1253. Xexto. Xexto are short, long-necked four-armed guys, and the genetic base from which the Quermians were derived by the Arkanians. Since the Quermians are quite tall, the tiny size of the Xexto comes across as rather comical.

Xexto have two brains that perform different functions; one is in their head and one is in their chest. Considering how tiny and gangly they are (their entire torsos can't be more than half again as large as their heads, and must support their six very proportionately long arms plus an equally long neck which is topped by said head), I'm trying to figure out where they keep their internal organs. There wasn't room for what's supposed to be in there in the first place much less something extra, and you're telling me their higher cognitive functions are linked to something in there? Wow.

Xexto lead high-risk lifestyles because on their homeworld they're pretty low on the food chain thanks to their size and needed to rely on speed and reflexes to avoid danger; in other words, their natural state is supposedly running around dodging things.

Rating: 2/5. ...These guys kind of lose points for that whole stupid tiny body thing. It doesn't always bother me, but right this minute it's infuriating.

1254. Xi Charrians. Xi Charrians are known to be insectoid and to have founded and follow a religious order called Xi Char.

Hilariously, the dedication of this religious order is to precision manufacturing. It takes all kinds, I suppose.

Anyway, they're mostly known for their droids, starships, and droid starships, and most of their known work is seen being used by the Trade Federation and often notable for looking somewhat insectoid in design.

Rating: 3/5. I do find it a bit screwy that in Star Wars, all droids with unusual body designs were designed by aliens with similar body designs, though; would that mean that IG-88, who was built using a weird junk lamppost, was built by lamppost-shaped aliens? That'd be dumb.

1255. Xi'Dec. The Xi'Dec are a sort-of insectoid species known for being highly variable in appearance for the purpose of being adapted to a wide range of environments and presumably other reasons.

"Presumably" other reasons because one of the Xi'Dec's most distinctive features is a whopping 180-plus known sexes, so variable they could easily be mistaken for different species. In fact, one known issue with the Xi'Dec interacting with the galaxy at large is their apparent tendency to mistake non-Xi'Dec for rare Xi'Dec sexes, and they're prone to randomly proposing marriage to such individuals. (Xi'Dec families with a diverse array of sexes in their membership tend to be wealthier and more influential for whatever reason, and rare sexes are highly valued because of this. Also, one Xi'Dec apparently once used the stereotype of proposing to random aliens as part of a ruse to rescue a fellow Rebel agent. A human Rebel agent.)

Even more amazing is that different Xi'Dec sexes may use different means of reproduction, such as laying eggs, bearing live young, budding, and more.

Rating: 4/5. This is amazing.

1256. Xylans. The (ambiguously licensed, which is in this case the proper replacement phrase for "ambiguously canonical") Xylans are largely unknown, except that they built a planet-sized droid called Kalonn and ordered it to exterminate "all life in this galaxy."

It is of course possible that they did this a long time ago, and it's also possible that they live(d) in a different galaxy.

All we really know for sure is that Kalonn was the 102nd droid in a series of "Exterminator" droids. Think about that.

Rating: 3/5. Yah, they're basically pretty close to the Builders from the Saberhagen Berserker novels. I fail to see the problem with that.

1257. Xyrass. These ambiguously licensed beings apparently resemble skeletons, have needle teeth, and have tough skin.

They're apparently primitives and use poisoned arrows for hunting tormenting (mutilating, killing, or driving mad) their enemies.

Rating: 3/5, for the jeebies I'll probably have later.

1258. Yagai. The Yagai (singular Yaga) are an odd-looking insectoid race with nine opposable digits on their hands, giving them considerable dexterity which they apply to technical pursuits.

After the rise of the Galactic Empire, genetic engineering was used to create a beefed up Yagai subspecies called Yaga drones. We don't know who exactly did this; by implication, it was the Imperials. Such drones weren't seen as citizens by the Yagai at large.

The Yagai were taken to be so friendly to the Empire that the main problems in policing them was controlling their overzealousness, but as it happens, they liked to use their technical skills for subtle sabotage despite overtly submitting entirely to Imperial rule. This submissive behavior was entirely to avoid provoking massive Imperial retaliation, as the Imperial occupation was pretty oppressive.

Rating: 3/5. Eh, I like 'em.

1259. Yahk-Tosh. Yahk-Tosh are basically Hutts with pointed teeth. They're believed to be somehow related to Hutts despite having too many arms (the entry says six, I don't see more than four [well, actually, I see three, but the guy in the picture might have one tucked back]); on the other hand, supposedly the t'landa Til are related to the Hutts and they have six limbs. Despite being big slug things, they are quite strong and fast (as is also true of Hutts that aren't feeling lazy.) I initially mistook them for having eyes on stalks, but they actually have sort of stick-shaped horns instead.

The Yahk-Tosh, like Hutts, are resistant to Jedi mind tricks, and at least one individual (the only known individual), Gar-Oth, was also a powerful telepath able to use his mental powers to control his droids.

Said Yahk-Tosh also was interested in marrying an almost-human princess of the land of Hyrule some primitive planet or another.

Rating: 4/5. Eh, they're kind of "Hutt-lite."

1260. Yaka. The Yaka are large, powerfully built near-humans. Traditionally, they supposedly were pretty dim, but the Arkanians (see the link above), the galaxy's most mad sciency mad scientists, gave basically all of them computer brain implants that put them at an essentially genius level. (Completely incidentally, it has been speculated that the implants found universally among the Ganks were some sort of beta testing for the Yaka implants.) While this has icky ethical implications and whatnot (and the Arkanians are said to debate it), Yaka society is highly advanced and they maintain the implant process themselves in the present.

Because they have fast-thinking computer brains, they tend to have twisted senses of humor coming from the boredom of their brains having less to do than their bodies can provide them, and Yaka apparently are prone to being practical jokers; supposedly their senses of humor can range into being dangerous.

Supposedly, their implants also are why they don't emote much. Which... is weird.

Rating: 4/5. There's a certain amount of unfortunate implications here, but at least it's somewhat acknowledged in-universe, and "genius bruiser with a sense of humor" is one of the best possible character types, so...

-Signing off.

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