When it comes to extraterrestrial life-forms, there’s more to science fiction’s most famous galaxy than just Jawas, Wookiees, Ewoks, and Hutts. From the skylanes of Coruscant to the worlds of the Outer Rim, an untold number of species populate those planets far, far away. And if you confuse Gungans with Gamorreans, or don’t know a bantha from a tauntaun, you definitely need the in-depth data that only this revised, expanded, and updated guide can deliver.
This comprehensive overview includes beings from all six of the classic movies–plus the novels, cartoon series, comics, and video games. It’s an even bigger cross section of species than what you’ll find in the Mos Eisley cantina. And each entry, from acklay to Zabrak, from amphibians to vacuum-breathers, features everything you need to know, including
• complete physical description and official designation, so you can tell your sentients from your non-sentients, and your humanoids from your insectoids
• homeworld: from dry and dusty Tatooine, stormy and waterlogged Kamino, to arctic Hoth, and countless other strange and varied worlds
• phonetic pronunciation: Askajian, H’nemthe, Iktotchi, Ssi-ruu, and Xexto/Quermian aren’t as easy to say as they are to, er, spell
• notable appearance: a listing of one of the more significant appearances of each species in the teeming Star Wars storyline
Plus, this brand-new edition includes a glossary of crucial descriptive terms and a completely original, full color illustration for each of more than one hundred individual species. It’s a big galaxy, and someone has to organize it. Count on Star Wars®: The New Essential Guide to Alien Species–and don’t leave your homeworld without it.
Read an Excerpt
“A Vurk, a Gungan, and a Chevin walk into a bar. The bartender says …”
In this New Essential Guide to Alien Species, we cover the species that make the watering holes of scum and villainy come to life in that great “galaxy far, far away.” We also give you in-depth dossiers of the many alien players that populate George Lucas’s ever-expanding universe. Whether they were invented by the designers of the ILM Monster Shop, the novelists, comic-book writers and illustrators, or game developers, this book provides you with the details on the most pivotal species in the Star Wars galaxy.
The species in this book were selected because they met one or more of the following criteria: they appeared in at least one of the films, they were important to a major story line, or they were members of a species that begged for further exploration. While we’ve done our best to select as many as possible of the species fans would like to see, as a second edition there are many that were not included that may have been in the first edition. As with all of the Essential Guides, the goal was to provide a valuable and representative overview of the vastness of the Star Wars universe, taking into account all the favorites and introducing you to a few new faces you may not have met before.
While our perceptions of a given species are often based on only a few of its members, the truth is not all members of a given species are truly identical—even the clones and animals. Among creatures and persons, there is a great deal of variety in values, traditions, and appearance. So while each entry herein may note the shared characteristics exhibited by a given species, there will come events that lead any individual from that group to “break the rules.” As our inspiration Senior Anthropologist Hoole once said, “In this galaxy, when you’ve seen one, don’t assume you’ve seen them all.” Words to the wise as you set off on your journey to meet the players in this colorful, sometimes frightening, but always thrilling galaxy of our dreams.
In the course of your own visits to the cantinas, spaceports, and gambling clubs of the Galaxy Far, Far Away, may the Force be with you, and with all creatures great, small, wild, and wonderful.
ABOUT THE ENTRIES
In our last edition, Senior Anthropologist Hoole provided much of the observational material for the species he studied. Following the good senior anthropologist’s recent retirement, he left his notes and volumes of research materials for us to use for this new guide. These detailed texts, along with our own observational notes, have helped us put together our entries and provide the following information. Please note that survey teams have not been able to reach all the worlds affected by the Yuuzhan Vong invasion, so the status of some species in the wake of that event has not yet been determined. If the present status of a species is known, it will be given in the body of the entry.
Each species is designated as sentient, semi-sentient, or nonsentient. Usually this is based on a species’ ability to reason, use tools, and communicate. A panel of multicultural scientists determines the designations only after a government-approved research team has conducted a field study or has made some significant finding regarding the sentience of any given species. The designations are defined as follows:
Sentient: When a species is given the sentient designation, it is considered able to reason and understand abstract concepts and ideas, make and use tools, and communicate with written or spoken language. Most primitive tribal species have this designation; it does not imply that a species is civilized to the point of space travel.
Semi-sentient: The semi-sentient designation implies that a race has some reasoning ability, but cannot grasp elevated or abstract concepts. In many cases, it has not yet formed a written or spoken language. These species are considered to be in evolutionary stages—on their way to achieving sentience. Under the Empire, these species were not entitled to landownership, but this has been undergoing reconsideration in the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances.
Nonsentient: A nonsentient species is one that does not reason at all, surviving only on its natural instincts.
Most alien species have a homeworld or system. Some, like the bantha, are found in many systems, and still others, such as the Hutts, have transplanted themselves to a new home. The primary locations of a given species within the galaxy will be listed here, and its present home will be likewise indicated.
The average size of adult members of a given species is provided in meters.
The pronunciation of the species’ name is provided in Basic. For the pronunciation key, please see this page.
We provide one of the noteworthy appearances of each species in book, film, or comics.
GLOSSARY OF DESCRIPTIVE TERMS
The following terms are used to describe the species in this book. Many of the varieties covered in this volume belong to one or more of these classifications. Given the unique evolutionary conditions found on each planet, it is impossible to fit every species into a neat classification. These are broad terms useful in describing an unfamiliar species to one’s colleagues.
Amphibious: A creature that can live both in water and on land, or has two stages of life, one that is completely water-based, the other land-based. Some are born as tadpoles possessing gills, and develop lungs to breathe air, while others have compound lungs that allow them to breathe underwater and on land.
Arboreal: A species that lives among forests and trees, and is specially adapted to tree living.
Avian: A species bearing the characteristics of birds or flying mammals.
Canine: A species that possesses some characteristics of the dog family, including a pronounced muzzle, sharp teeth, advanced hunting and tracking instincts, heightened hearing, sight, and smell, sharp teeth, claws, padded feet, and a tail.
Cephalopod: A species that bears the traits inherent in most squid and octopi, namely water-based or amphibious creatures with tentacles.
Cetacean: Any species of aquatic or marine mammals, usually typified by a predominance of the following: a hairless or nearly hairless body, anterior flipper-like limbs, vestigial posterior limbs, and a flat, notched tail.
Crustacean: Aquatic lobster-like arthropods or shellfish that usually have a segmented body, a chitinous exoskeleton, and paired, jointed limbs.
Cyborg: Any species that has been enhanced with technological implants.
Feline: A species that carries some characteristics of the cat family, such as extremely flexible body, sharp teeth, slit-pupiled eyes, a tail, hunting and tracking instincts, heightened hearing, sight, and smell, and padded, clawed hands and feet.
Gastropod: A species that has no true skeletal frame and moves by means of a wide muscular foot, or whose whole body acts as one large foot.
Humanoid: Those species that, while not related genetically to humans, possess characteristics similar to humans, such as two arms with hands, fingers, and an opposable thumb, two legs, a torso, and a single head.
Insectoid: Any species that has the characteristics of insects, which may include a chitinous shell, multiple legs, antennae, and multifaceted eyes.
Mammal: This classification usually refers to warm-blooded vertebrates that grow fur and usually bear live young (although not always, as some have been known to lay eggs). Regardless of the birth process, a female mammal nurses her young.
Near-human: These species are genetically related to humans, and are usually classified as humans. Only four near-human species are represented in this book.
Pachydermoid: A species with characteristics attributed to pachyderms, usually including baggy, leathery skin, a trunk, and steady, thick legs and feet.
Plant-based: A species that reproduces itself and roots like most plant life, usually feeding through photosynthesis. Some plant-based species resemble animal species, depending on evolution.
Porcine: A species bearing the characteristic of a pig, sometimes including a blunt-ended nose, tusks, hooves, and large physical size.
Primate: Mammalian species exhibiting the characteristics of monkeys or apes, including fur, fingers, and opposable thumbs. They are often referred to as humanoids because of their similarity to human physiology, but this depends on their sentience designation.
Proboscidian: A species that has a long trunk or feeds through a proboscis, such as the Anzati. Some proboscidians are also pachydermoids (see Pachydermoid).
Reptavian: A flying reptile.
Reptilian: A species with the characteristics of a reptile or snake, usually including leather-like skin, claws, slit-pupiled eyes, and a forked tongue. They reproduce by laying fertilized eggs. Some can change color to match their environment. Trandoshans, Barabels, Yevetha, and Falleen are all reptilian races.
Reptomammal: A reptile that reproduces through live birth rather than laying eggs.
Rodent: A species that carries characteristics of mice or rats, or gnawing or nibbling mammals that have continuously growing incisors.
Saurian: See Reptilian.
Ungulate: A species that has hooves, or whose claws evolved from hooves, and sometimes chews its cud.
Vacuumbreather: A species that can survive in a vacuum, including that of outer space, often consuming nutrients from space dust and mineral matter. Mynocks are vacuumbreathers.