PDA

View Full Version : Twi'elks & other mistreated species



Corr Terek
8 January 2002, 04:08 PM
I don't know about you all, but it seems to me that some species in SW get a real bum wrap. Take Twi'leks, for instance. They have a lot of great potential in any SW story, but most people just use them as slaves or eye-candy.

Twi'leks are my fave species (as well as Ryn), and I guess I don't see why EU authors have never used these wonderful creatures to their full extent. Anyone else agree?

Corsair
8 January 2002, 04:34 PM
Actually, I thought Twi'leks are given quite a broad treatment over the course of the EU (right up to currently going NJO series).

The Ryn have only come in at the NJO series, but their alienation is explained. Not all races are always loved by all ... I mean ... look at Earth in real life.

Master Dao Rin
8 January 2002, 04:45 PM
Well, if by what you mean is why authors have used the same canon species over and over again, instead of simply creating new ones, I'm in complete agreement with you. Originality seems to have been lost on the the majority of novel stories ... and when they have introduced new species, its always in be in some one-up-manship to make the next new uber species, like the Noghri.

Sabre
8 January 2002, 08:37 PM
I hear you, Corr Tekk. Every time I play a game that has Twi'Lekks in it, they're always portrayed as the lieutenants of Hutts, con artists, or some other form of criminal. The same thing goes for Toydarians. They can't ALL own junk shops. Hutts are a little more understandable, but there HAS to be at least one or two black sheep hutts who AREN'T galactic mobsters. And Ithorians! They're either total pacifists, or raving psychopathic killers. And Wookies... I've never seen one that didn't have one of the following: A history as a slave, a bowcaster, or a high brawling code. Aren't wookie's supposed to be one of the better TECHNICAL races? Isn't that what the Empire was using them for as slaves? And of course before any new campaign I have to tell people, if you're a Jedi wannabe from Tatooine or a Corellian smuggler, you're going to die horribly in the first five minutes.

It's extreme, but they've gotta learn somehow.

Sithspawn
9 January 2002, 02:30 AM
I'm not against having stereotypical aliens, it only makes the odd one out more interesting, like my Twi'lek PC who is a nun and minor Jedi.

There have been instances of non-stereotype aliens. The thin entrepeneur Gammorean in the 'Wretched Hives' sourcebook, the thin Hutt in 'Darksabre' (I think).


I do think that aliens are treated poorly in the novels though. It's as if none of the authors can write for aliens characters. How often do Wookiees speak in the novels? I don't remember Chewbacca saying a word, it's just Chewbacca grunts and Han says that Chewie says, or you get the conversation from just one side hearing only Han. WHY? It not just wookiees, the Star Wars universe is littered with aliens that speak wierd languages. A novel can't make the grunts & roars. When Greedo goes "Oota goota Solo" we get the translation at the bottom of the screen. The beauty of the novels is that we 'should' get to hear these aliens speaking, but we don't.

Then when aliens do get written for, like the Vong, they are given no verbal characteristics. Maybe a species that has no adjectives in their language. Okay it makes it a bit more tricky for the author, but it would make the alien more... alien.

Corsair
9 January 2002, 06:25 PM
Well actually, I am starting to see some the Yuuzhan Vong native tongue come out in the NJO series. The Yuuzhan Vong also use a twizyworm(?) in order to understand and speak basic (to a point .. words like PEACE have a different meaning to them).

But yes, I would have to say that the lack of interaction with alien species can also be attributed to the fact that its harder to have conversation in a book. It easy in the movies .. coz you got subtitles. Thats why, more often than not, when a characters converse they usually speak with a member of the species that speaks basic. Remember, there is also a Wookie that speaks basic ... because he has a deformity or something.

Wade Trenor
10 January 2002, 05:40 AM
The reason some writers have it so hard is because aliens have alien minds. For example, religious beliefs would vary between species as they do here on Earth. One example would be the Transdoshan Score Keeper, who tallys the number of Wookie kills the Transdoshan had made, before determining what their afterlife would be like.

Also, some authors feel the need to introduce new species to keep their stories fresh, while others need it as a plot device. Alternatively, some authors would perceive the Star Wars EU as adopting too many new species too quickly, and so would rely on species commonly known to the readers.

Choice of species used can also be based on their expansion policies. Humans are everywhere because they are curious explorers and conquerers. Ruurians are just the opposite, staying at home and not getting too involved with other species. Duros are everywhere because of their starship technology. Wealth is also important. Without cash, you can't get off planet, and as far as I know, Ryloth isn't a poor world.

You could say that this is all stereotypical, but there has to be some kind of basis from which the stereotype evolved.

Superdog
13 January 2002, 02:28 PM
Originally posted by Sabre
And Ithorians! They're either total pacifists, or raving psychopathic killers.

Actually a raving psyco Ithorian is as far against steroetype as species could get. You act like you've seen a million of these wacked-out Ithorians. Where, I ask? I have never really heard of such a thing.

Wade Trenor
13 January 2002, 05:00 PM
I think there's a dangerous Ithorian in the Galaxy of Fear series, and there's one in Driods #5-8. There is probably one or two in the novels (I think I saw it in a synopsis), but I haven't read them yet.

Sabre
13 January 2002, 06:55 PM
I didn't even know about the ones Wade posted, but I think in the bounty hunter's guide there was an Ithorian bounty hunter, in the guide with the Alliance Intelligence reports there's a duo of Ithorians who go around in their ship killing rebels, and in Mysteries of the Sith (hardly a canon source I know) one of the enemies is the Ithorian bounty hunter. Yeah, I know it's completely against what the stated Ithorian belief system is, but I'm not the one who made this stuff up!

ALFRED_THE_EWOK
14 January 2002, 04:45 PM
If your looking for a stereotyped species, try Gungans. Jar-Jar has pretty much given them a bad rap in most everyone's eyes.

FatGnome
22 January 2002, 11:30 PM
As for Twi'leks I love my Twi'lek female linguest expert. She can pick up and speak a new language after only 2-4 weeks of total imersion and can read and write them almost as fast. She doesn't realy fight all that well but she does hang out with a couple of young Jedi and some other interesting company. She does like to use her 20 charisma as often as posible especialy since she got Frightful Presence. And since she is a nobel/scoundrell she inspires confidence all the time thus making the rest of the party love her. I mean who wouldn't love a Twi'lek that inspires confidence and then turns around and scares the bejesus out of the enemy?

VixenofVenus
24 January 2002, 03:44 PM
Why did I ever let him create that Twi'lek?!!!


No . . . Just Kidding.

I actually like the fact that some of my players don't create uber-jedi all the time. I like that my players can create a character that breaks the mold of what their race is usually associated with.

While FatGnome's background (his parents) involves Organized Crime, his twi'lek chose to leave that life for a life of adventure.

Characters that I think would be fun to try (some after the new Core RB comes out for d20)
1. Wookiee Technician/Scoundrel
2. Gamorrean Jedi (come on, it would be hilarious!)
3. Any new race from Episode 2
4. Twi'lek Soldier

BrianDavion
25 January 2002, 12:52 PM
how about a gungan with high intelligence and wisdom?:)

dragonseye
25 January 2002, 07:48 PM
Corr Terek

Well, at least in respect to Twi' Leks, Stackpole portrayed the Twi'leks in his Rogue Sqaudron: X Wing books with a great amount of dignity as well as respect. In fact, he says that the Bib Fiortuna was an "outcast" of sorts becasue of his aliingment with the Hutts and the fact that he sold other Twi' lek as slaves. Along with this, Stackpole also has a well developed Twi'lek character who joined Rogue Squadron after being a lawyer (and he's not the vermin, scum sucking type of lawyer either.)

Paladin
21 February 2002, 08:36 AM
lol Bryan. Actually, as ironic as it may sound, I've done that. Most people are like "HUH?!" when I tell them, but then again, they've also got this stereotypic view of Gungans a la Jar Jar Binks, which is completely untrue; Binks is the odd "man" out. I, myself, was once playing in the Old Republic era fairly soon after Episode I's events, and was actually playing a Gungan Padawan.

FatGnome
26 February 2002, 10:05 AM
VoV

Heh heh you have to remember that my father wanted out but was in too deep that is why my charecter was not into the crime scene. And she went adventuring to learn new languages. She is about the coolest charecter I have created so far. Not to mention she is a hottie. =-) That is ok because in another game I am a Rhodian scout with a Bad "A" sniper rifle.

Terras Jadeonar & Raven
5 March 2002, 12:43 PM
here's a character I'm enjoying playing alongside my main char.

Female Twilek Theif (scoundrel class) lvl6 ... why???

her hot female looks, sexy non shy persona, and low light vision, light & agile frame ... those natural abilities working for her is a good reason just on it's own...

without going into great char specs & details, here's a breif description:

She was born into slavery and escaped in mid / late teens. Her best skills are dancing, pick pocketing / theft, and at last resort fighting. She's got a charisma of 17 to compliment her hot body, which she's able to talk, conive, tease & charm her way in and out of most situations... extra bonuses when there are twi'lek males present as she's got lekku and knows how to use them :D . Her feats include martial arts and dance skill emphasis (when used in conjunction, is cumulative bonuses). her equipment is a security device and a grapple spike launcher with extra liquid rope dispensers & grapple hooks.

Her best uses:

As going solo, she's self supporting by dancing at clubs, which she uses as a cover to buy time til she finds the "rich" customers and their residences to break into... should the planatary enforcement get suspicius, she uses her aquired credits to pay passage to another planet under disguise... or in a jiffy, hacking into the computers to get herself onboard...

In a group of heroes, she's great at getting into tight spots and into buildings so she can let her party in. drawing on her dancing talents she's great at distracting gaurds and using her martial arts combined with her dancing, to deliver some crafty & silent knock-out moves. If the party needs the gaurd alive, she's equally good at sneaking up and fingering their blasters and key cards...

she's not a fighter in any other sense, and only has a hold-out blaster and a knife for personal defense. (not much room in her outfit to conceal them either :p ) Wearing tight fitting fabrics when she's wanting to be noticed (or use her body to her advantage), or drab baggy outfits ontop when she's trying to elude people or get purchase passage to another planet. At most, she'd carry a small purse or satchel with her when traveling.

She dosn't steal on purpose to hurt or harm others, just to make a living for herself outside of crime organizations and the filth she escaped from. She hopes to aquire enough money to start buying her sisters in slavery into freedom... As she levels up more, she'll lean more towards nobility...

Darth Fierce
27 September 2003, 06:34 PM
Let's none of us forget one of my favorite species from the SW galaxy (albeit in the EU), those poor Herglics! It seems like everytime I see a Herglic in the SW storyline, he or she is either an alcoholic or a gambling addict. You just have to think that there's at least one Herglic that drinks responsibly, and only plays sabacc with a .05 credit ante, and 1 credit maximum raise with his/her friends for a few hours on a weekend night. :P


Darth Fierce :vader:

Dr_Worm
27 September 2003, 09:30 PM
I kinda feel like it is not the fault of unimaginative players as much as it is kinda the nature of SW. All planets have one or two ecosystem, and all members of a species fit in to a stereotype. Instead of haveing a variety of personalities in one species, we have one species for every personality. Look at all the threads that guess at stats for yoda's species. 9 out of 10 of them assume that all memebers are innately force sensitive.

Rogue Janson
28 September 2003, 02:36 AM
9 out of 10 of them assume that all memebers are innately force sensitive.
lol, when we know from adjusting Yoda's stats for the effects of aging, the distinctive feature of his species is more likely to be an immense constitution (since Yoda's used to be something like 20).

Zanus
25 October 2003, 08:34 PM
You know, I can say I agree with the problems with stereotyping, but at the same time some are founded of sorts. Although I did like stockpoles portrayol of Twi'leks, I have seen more material in the EU and in other sourcebooks that shows they are a race that know their females are usually beautifal in the eyes of other races, and make a good profit off selling them as slaves, and selling their other 'undesirables' as slaves to get rid of their dead weight, freeing up resources for the more useful and powerful members of their society.

As far as wookies having bowcasters...that is sorta their thing. it is one of their honor weapons. Why wouldn't a wookie have a bow caster?

Plus, I have heard of many people comment on how several characters and races are representitive of stereotypes in the real world. seeing some of this in SW is to be more or less expected, really.

Coarse, I do like to indulge in characters that break the norm myself. I had a Twi'lek female that hunted slavers for their death marks in the appropriate sectors.

BrianDavion
25 October 2003, 10:15 PM
a wookie with a bowcaster is easy to udnerstand? sterotypical perhaps. but it's as sterotypical as a samuri with a katana

Vanger Chevane
26 October 2003, 06:40 AM
Originally posted by BrianDavion
a wookie with a bowcaster is easy to udnerstand? sterotypical perhaps. but it's as sterotypical as a samuri with a katana

Not quite. Making a working Bowcaster and the associated Hunt is a Wookiee Rite of Passage into adulthood. While each Wookiee would know how to build and use one on at least a rudimentary level, not all would prefer to use it or be able to craft one of significant qualtiy, unlike Chewbacca.

It is a fundamental part of their heritage & society, just like Diplomas and Driver's Licenses are in ours. A Wookie Tech may prefer to use a blaster or Hydrospanner :P in combat, but that Bowcaster's probably hung somewhere prominent in their quarters.

Sabre
26 October 2003, 09:41 AM
BrianDavion That's an interesting point... On the one hand everyone thinks Samurai used katanas as their primary weapon. On the other hand, samurai using bows were far more common.

Ris
29 October 2003, 05:15 AM
I just found this discussion & got to thinking about the off-type aliens I've seen (& not seen) in games. I don't have many since most of my PC's are human. (Why, I don't know)

--Gungans: Alas, none. Which is a shame. With all that cool technology (ie,habitats & bongos) in TPM this species cannot be idiotic &/or lacking sense. But people hate them. I confess that when I adapted a Living Force module for my home game, I changed the Dark Jedi's species to Mon Cal because I didn't want to listen to at least 1 players' whining or snide remarks.

--Twi'lek's: In an online game, another player just retired one Hades of a female Twi'lek JG/JWM. The PC did have the slave background--in fact was sold into slavery by her own mentor! But boy what she could do in a lightsaber duel. She was retired partly because she had more emotional baggage than the whole Wraith Squadron roster. (Note I love the Wraiths, but they need a Flight Shrink)
In my own game, one of the PC's is a Twi'lek noblewoman who won't do the skimpy clothing. Her take on sartorial seduction is, "If you want to drive 'em really, really mad--cover it all--barely. And make 'em use those testosterone-soaked imaginations!"

--Talon Razor's Clutches of Evil online game includes a cool Ryn Jedi Ace

Vanger Chevane
29 October 2003, 02:42 PM
Originally posted by Ris
I just found this discussion & got to thinking about the off-type aliens I've seen (& not seen) in games. I don't have many since most of my PC's are human. (Why, I don't know)

--Gungans: Alas, none. Which is a shame. With all that cool technology (ie,habitats & bongos) in TPM this species cannot be idiotic &/or lacking sense. But people hate them. I confess that when I adapted a Living Force module for my home game, I changed the Dark Jedi's species to Mon Cal because I didn't want to listen to at least 1 players' whining or snide remarks.

Well, it's generally not smart to have one's race almost totally represented by the Planetary Idiot.

I run a truer-to-the-novels Togorian than the UAA will <i>ever</i> allow. Odd thing is Sivar started out as a series of jokes, and out-of-character jokes are still a major part of his existence...

Zanus
29 October 2003, 05:31 PM
Originally posted by Vanger Chevane


Well, it's generally not smart to have one's race almost totally represented by the Planetary Idiot.

I think it really doesn't help to make the planetary idiot a general in your planetary army while trying to save said planet.

Aaron B'Aviv
2 November 2003, 04:24 PM
If you want good aliens, read David Brin. Read Vernor Vinge. Read James White. Don't read Star Wars novels.

The purpose of a Star Wars novel is not the same as a real Science-fiction novel. A Star Wars novel has to immerse you in the same quasi-mythological universe of the movies, or it won't work. The Star Wars movies create unusual aliens through interesting appearance, not by creating aliens that are psychologically interesting.

Chewbacca's life debt to Han is the only psychologically interesting thing about any alien in any Star Wars movie. Hmm... Maybe the Sand People are pretty interesting, too, but we barely see them. And the Ewoks, much as they're annoyingly cute, are at least different from humans.


As I like to explain to anyone who will listen, the traditional sci-fi paradigm is to create aliens "as intelligent as humans, but different." David Brin, Vernor Vinge, and James White, the authors I mentioned above, operate under a slightly different paradigm. They create aliens "as stupid as humans, but different."

If Star Wars tried to delve into this area, it wouldn't be Star Wars anymore. But I encourage people to check out the real Science-fiction authors who deal with the issues inherent in aliens that truly are interesting.

MalakiTyrel
3 November 2003, 06:07 PM
I'll agree with that in a way. In many cases, using the aliens in stereotypical ways is a way to re-enforce the notion that this is Star Wars. A good way for players (and readers) to immerse themselves in it is to have things which are identifiable from the movies.

Want to emphasize the power of a Hutt? Throw in some Gammorean guards, a couple of Rodian Bounty Hunters, a Twi'lek major domo, and a couple of Twi'lek slave girls. Fans immediately identify that this Hutt is on par with Jabba as a crimelord.

It is no different than having a Jedi to wave his hand when using the Affect Mind skill. It isn't really necesary but it re-enforces the notion that this is Star Wars.

I like to take things in new directions in my campaign though. Rather than having every Twi'lek female a slave or "masseuse", I have them working as bartenders or waitresses. They are still in the "service" industry but in a different manner.

Rodians aren't always bounty hunters but will never be entirely trustworthy. Gammoreans are generally employed as muscle (really aren't smart enough, in general, for anything else) but are as likely to be a bouncer at a club as a Hutt enforcer.

Part of it is keeping the flavor of the setting. However, another part of it is that people tend to take jobs for which they have a natural skill. The same would probably hold true for aliens. A being from a race which is naturally very strong is going to be found in professions which strength is valued--laborer, bouncer, or enforcer.

Vash Knives
23 November 2003, 05:59 AM
Odd ideas for unique charactors:
-Gammorean Mistryl
-Togorian Jedi
-redneck whill

KnightStalker
29 November 2003, 11:30 AM
One other race that deserves onscreen or in-novel representation : Farghul. I've only seen references to the Farghul in the AA/UAA or the WEG RPG book Wretched Hives of Scum and Villiany.

As a species that's oriented towards games of chance, sleight of hand, and would make excellent con artists, there's been plenty of opportunity for them to get used in the novels, but nobody has ever bothered to make use of them.

Episode III is the only remaining chance for them to get an onscreen appearance, unless The Flanneled One does indeed do enhanced versions of the Special Editions, but I just don't think that's actually gonna happen.

Trigger
30 November 2003, 08:41 PM
If you want a stereotyped species, i'll give the daddy of them all: Jawas. Has anyone seen a jawa NOT on Tatooine and NOT a thief and "droid rebuilder"? I know of 2. One in the Tales comics and he carried a rocket launcher, and the other is the walking can of whoop-ass in my game group.

Vash Knives
7 December 2003, 04:23 AM
I saw another in the Furry Conflict-but yea they are kinda rare if they aren't tatooinian junk thieves-and the Furry Conflict pinched my style.

Terras Jadeonar & Raven
13 December 2003, 11:03 PM
Heres another Jawa for ya... Jawa Force Adept :) (loosely inspired from the Jawa Jedi Stu Cunningham drew at swag)

One of my new characters in Talon's game... and he's long since traveled offworld, to search for something even he is unsure off...

After all, there are B'omar monks in Jabba's palace... and I would think jawas are no less capable of being force sensetive than the other majority of alien species... So, here's the rare jawa who learns he's able to do extraordinary things, while not comprehending why or how while not knowing about the force... Does he stay with his clan to further their scavenging? or does he venture to the B'omar place in search of enlightment?

Dr_Worm
14 December 2003, 12:33 PM
I had a Jawa Spy (not too atypical), who worked as a private intel gatherer. However I ended up having a major trasformation in the fact that I used teh same character in another campaign only he became a Squib.

Darth Fierce
15 December 2003, 04:19 AM
I don't know why it took me so long to think of this, but yes, I have seen Jawas in non-traditional roles outside of what all ready has been mentioned. If you have a copy of WEG's Hives of Scum and Villiany, I believe there is a group of Jawa enforcers for the crimelord owner of the Bantha Traxx cantina. Still, poor Jawas, they never seem to get a fair shake.

Darth Fierce :vader: