The Expanded Universe Explains, Vol. IV – Rebels Edition

I’m going to do this round a tiny bit differently—while question 9 was indeed directly submitted to me for this series (by my co-worker Peter Zappas), question 8 is more about addressing what I see as a common misconception. Both relate, either directly or indirectly, to topics that will be (or at least appear to be) raised by the forthcoming Star Wars Rebels TV series, so I thought it would be handy to pair them up in one shot.

8. Why would the Inquisitor in Rebels be an alien if the Empire is xenophobic?

This is something that comes up every so often when someone like Thrawn, or Mas Amedda, or the Pau’an Inquisitor previewed a few weeks back, is shown to be flourishing, or even vital, within Palpatine’s Empire.

While I’ll admit it’s not quite as black and white as I’d like it to be, the fact is there’s no direct evidence whatsoever that Palpatine himself had any anti-alien bias, and a lot of circumstantial evidence to suggest that he didn’t.

Ultimately, Palpatine was a Sith Lord first, a politician second. When one seriously examines his plans and worldviews as related in the books and reference material, you get the distinct impression that Palpatine viewed essentially all living beings as slaves waiting to happen. Per the last volume of The EU Explains, Palpatine’s endgame was to personally rule the galaxy for eternity, and his efforts to stamp out free will and individual autonomy and initiative were a big part of the reason that things fell apart so completely after he died. To suggest that he had special animus for nonhumans, then, is to believe that humans would’ve been in any way better off in his ideal society—when in reality all beings would have been equal in their total subservience and submission to his will.

So why the clear anti-alien bias in the Empire? Well, humans were by a wide margin the dominant race in the galaxy, and exploiting their baser prejudices was a convenient means to an end. Palpatine’s slew of nonhuman attendants in the prequels demonstrates that even if he did find other species distasteful on some level, he was perfectly happy to use them when handy—and in the case of Mas Amedda, even bring them into the fold regarding his true plans for the galaxy.

Palpatine’s real genius, after all, was in using whatever materials were available to his maximum advantage. On one side he had entrenched and influential human families in the Core like the Tarkins and the Tagges, and on the other he had overgrown corporate powers like the Trade Federation and the Techno Union, all owned and populated by aliens. The former were only too happy to help him bring the latter under heel on the assumption that that was all he really wanted—which, of course, was far from the truth.

And then there’s the Inquisitor. The Inquisitorius was conceived as something like Palpatine’s NSA; their existence was known, but their operational details—hunting down the remaining Jedi—were in the dark to almost everybody. If a Pau’an Inquisitor was forced to interact with some bigoted Admiral or Moff during the course of a mission, there’s half a chance he’d have done so without even revealing his status as an Imperial agent. And even if knowledge of a Pau’an Inquisitor somehow got into the hands of an Imperial highly-placed enough to cause Palpatine some degree of embarrassment (though that’s a vanishingly small list, especially by the time period of Rebels), like with the NSA, he’d still have plausible deniability—“Pau’an? What Pau’an? I would never!”

Further Reading: Darth Plagueis, The Dark Lord Trilogy, The Dark Empire Sourcebook

9. Are the stormtroopers in the Original Trilogy still Jango clones, or a mix of clones and recruits?

Well, for one, when the Original Trilogy was coming out, it didn’t really occur to anyone that stormtroopers might have been clones. While evidence can be found if one wants to find it (“a little short for a stormtrooper”, after all, implies a certain biological uniformity), and, hilariously, a low-rent magazine called the Star Wars Poster Monthly published an article about that very subject around the time of A New Hope‘s release, no one officially knew about it. The Marvel comics of the time even had a handful of one-off stormtrooper characters with distinct names and personalities, on the assumption that they were normal recruits similar to those seen in the Rebellion.

This assumption carried on into the “modern” EU of the nineties, with the notable exception of the Thrawn Trilogy—which addressed the subject of clone armies head-on, while not quite lining up with the picture painted by the prequels. Clone soldiers in those books were distinctly not run-of-the-mill stormtroopers; they had different Force presences from regular people, and were largely blank mental slates, if not outright unstable.

Once Attack of the Clones introduced the Grand Army of the Republic, the EU began making slow, deliberate steps toward reconciling the recruit idea (to say nothing of that “Academy” Luke was so keen on joining) with the strong implication that these were the people who eventually became stormtroopers.

For starters, you have to keep in mind the Jango clones’ accelerated aging—by Revenge of the Sith, the original batch was biologically twenty-six; by ANH, they’d have been sixty-four. Hardly fighting trim, right? AotC mentions the Kaminoans keeping Jango around, because they needed fresh samples in order to keep producing high-quality clones; once Jango died at Geonosis, that ship had sailed. So even assuming they started a fresh batch right before the Clone Wars broke out, those clones still would’ve been forty-four by ANH, and probably not fit for the front lines. That’s not to say these guys didn’t stick around (official word is that about a third of the stormtrooper corps were Fetts as of ANH), but it’s likely that they took on more and more leadership roles at time went on—or at least training positions, in the likely event of anti-clone prejudice.

Where Rebels may play into this topic is the possibility of including A) regular recruits, and B) other clone templates. Offhand statements from George Lucas suggest that in his view, once the war was over and the clones were needed less for active combat and more for general peacekeeping, the process of selecting clone templates became politicized, with individuals being selected less for their aptitude and more for knowing the right people. The EU has gotten into this a little bit, but only in the immediate aftermath of RotS, so what exactly things were like fourteen years later (when the show starts) is hard to say. What we can say is that this circumstance, combined with the decreasing effectiveness of the Jango clones and the introduction of the first genuine recuits to the stormtrooper ranks, serves to make the overall lousiness of the Original Trilogy stormies a lot more understandable.

Further reading: Order 66In His Image, When the Desert Wind Turns: The Stormtrooper’s Tale, the Thrawn Trilogy

That First Abandonment – When Star Wars Gets Next-Level


Let’s face it: Star Wars is a simple story. The first movie, I mean—though where the franchise as a whole is concerned, “simple” is probably charitable compared to the words some people would use. The Empire Strikes Back and, perhaps to a lesser extent, Return of the Jedi worked as well as they did by upping the stakes not just practically, but also philosophically; they took an age-old story with the thematic complexity of Super Mario Bros and made it About Things. Not huge things, granted, but the simple act of making Luke Darth Vader’s son took the OT from a black and white story of pure hearts and wicked ones and introduced a universe of ambiguity, calling into question fans’ assumptions about how bad Vader was, and how good Obi-Wan was, and just what exactly they all wanted to happen at the end of the story.

One of my favorite things about Star Wars is how well it supports these abrupt shifts—changeovers, as Fight Club might call them—where suddenly there’s more going on in the story than you’d realized, thanks in part to that superficial simplicity. At its best, Star Wars is simply a broad, brightly-colored palette with which a writer can paint some surprisingly complicated stories; and while I’d be lying if I said it was common, you never know when someone’s going to really tap into some next-level shit. Allow me to highlight some examples.

Knights of the Old Republic

I don’t mean to suggest that “next-level” moments are by definition plot twists; quite the opposite, in fact. But KOTOR has the distinction not only of providing the only twist in the entire Expanded Universe on the level of “I am your father”, but of also, in my opinion, taking the thematic underpinnings of that moment and elevating them even further. Darth Revan, you are told at the game’s outset, is the Big Bad of this story—you barely escaped your last confrontation with him, alongside your Jedi companion Bastila Shan, and lost many of your memories in the process.

Anyone who’s played role-playing games (most video games, really) is very familiar with that kind of conceit—there’s always a learning curve at the start of a game, so the story will account for that by making the player character either a rookie learning the ropes, or an old veteran who’s taken some time off and needs a refresher course. Lost memories are just par for the course.
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The Expanded Universe Explains, Vol. III


I received one last question from my friend Pearl (she of EU Explains Vol’s I and II). This was easily the meatiest bone she’d thrown my way thus far, so I thought I’d tackle it all on its lonesome. Remember that you can still submit questions of your own to me via e-mail or as a comment below.

7. With the Death Star about to blow up, would it have mattered if Luke destroyed Vader and joined the Emperor or if Vader let the Emperor destroy Luke?

One thing that happens a lot in the Expanded Universe is that persons and events that aren’t necessarily all that remarkable are given abnormal weight in the larger continuity because of their appearance, or even simply a mention, in the films. The more people are aware of a certain element of the canon—Greedo, for example—the more demand there is for that element to be reflected and expanded upon in other sources—and so Greedo’s species, the Rodians, are now known primarily for being hunters. Kessel is nothing but spice mines, Han ran into two or three bounty hunters on Ord Mantell, and the shuttle Tydirium was stolen two or three times.

And those are pretty minor details. So what happens to major ones?

Welcome to the climax of the entire saga—the second Death Star.

First, a little extra context. At this point, Emperor Palpatine is as powerful as he has ever been, and he is the cog at the center of the entire Imperial machine; without him, the Empire largely falls apart. This is true not only bureaucratically but militarily, as Palpatine has in his bag of tricks a Force ability called battle meditation.

Battle meditation is something that roleplayers might call a force amplifier—when engaged, Palpatine’s presence enhances his troops’ focus, instincts, response times, and so on. While it is known that the Imperial forces at the Battle of Endor were quickly routed and sent running following the Death Star’s destruction, it’s open to interpretation to what extent Palpatine himself was influencing the course of the battle. An argument could be made, though, that things went so badly for him largely because his attention was occupied by Luke and Vader. Without those distractions, even a tiny increase in the resilience and effectiveness of the Imperial fleet, and of the ground troops on the forest moon, could have changed the outcome of the battle. So for Luke, being in that room at all was already a victory.

darkempirelukeNow then—we actually have a decent roadmap for the first scenario (Luke goes dark and kills Vader) in the comic series Dark Empire, wherein the Emperor comes back in a cloned body and Luke does indeed become his apprentice for a short time. Luke is still genuinely a different kinda dude from his father, though—rather than “falling” for the selfish reason of trying to save a loved one, Luke turns with the intention of studying the Dark Side so that he can better understand why Vader did the things he did, and so he can ultimately defeat the Emperor more completely. It’s still pretty shaky as justifications go, but it at least suggests that he wouldn’t have been quite as docile an apprentice as Vader was—and without Vader’s injuries, he would quickly have become powerful enough to indeed destroy Palpatine…just in time to take his place and be all evil and omnipotent and stuff.

But first they’d both have had to survive the Battle of Endor. While the editing of Return of the Jedi intercuts the throne room, the space battle, and the ground battle pretty evenly, there’s a lot of wiggle room in there for what is actually happening when. Even according to said editing, Luke’s most likely turning point (hacking away at Vader and taking off his hand) comes before the shield generator is destroyed, which leaves about eight minutes of screen time before Lando and Wedge hit the reactor—for two powerful guys like Luke and Palpatine, even that is probably enough time for an escape. But when you really think about the chain of events that unfolds (Luke refuses to turn, Palps fries him for a while, Vader tosses him down the pit, Luke drags him all the way to a hangar bay, they have a leisurely conversation, Luke drags the armor into the shuttle, powers it up, flies away just as the explosion reaches him), you’re probably talking about at least twice that much time—20-30 minutes, I’d guess. Certainly enough time to escape, but more importantly, probably well before the shield even went down; meaning that there’d still be a renewal of battle meditation to consider, to say nothing of Luke just jumping into a TIE and shooting the Falcon down.

Of course, even if the two most powerful beings in the galaxy were unable to save the Death Star, don’t forget that unlike the first one, number two was still a secret. Without any of the political fallout coming from such an enormous military loss, Palpatine still had the bulk of the Imperial fleet, and all of its infrastructure, to support his continuing war against the Rebellion—and a shiny new apprentice, to boot.

All that, of course, is just scenario one. As for scenario two—Palpatine fries Luke to death? Well, for my part, I have a hard time thinking he’d have kept Vader around after getting taken down by his punk kid. As a Darth Maul-style attack dog, maybe, but any shot Vader ever had of defeating and replacing Palpatine rested in Luke.


So what happens then? Well, Palpatine’s bag of tricks isn’t empty yet—remember that cloned body I mentioned in Dark Empire? Let me tell you about a little thing called essence transfer.

Thousands of years earlier, the ancient Sith discovered a creepy dark-side version of the quasi-immortality Obi-Wan and Yoda demonstrate in the films, wherein they could transplant their consciousness into a new body, and thus effectively live forever. Thankfully, this technique was lost for a long time (though Darth Bane, who began the Rule of Two one thousand years ago, came pretty close to figuring it out), but sometime after his apprentice got turned into hamburger in Revenge of the Sith, Palpatine once again figured it out—hence a big, handy facility full of backup bodies on his hidden throne world Byss. Having given up on Vader as a worthwhile successor, Palpatine figured he’d finally outgrown the Rule of Two, and planned to rule personally for eternity by transferring his essence into clone after clone until the end of time. So really, with those pesky Skywalkers no longer a concern, I imagine that he’d have just cut his losses and stopped bothering with apprentices at that point.

The thing about those cloned bodies, by the way, is that the kind of ludicrous dark side power Palpatine was exhibiting can burn through their cells at a faster-than-normal rate—so it’s possible that he’d have had to move onto other hosts eventually to keep himself going. This degradation was actually the EU’s original explanation for Palpatine’s appearance in RotJ; it was implied at the time that he’d already started swapping bodies by the OT—the Prequels changed that thanks to Ian McDiarmid playing his real age, but the essence transfer concept remained.

So that’s it, right? All the X-factors of the Battle of Endor have been accounted for?

Not. So. Fast.ig88

Let’s talk about IG-88. If you’re drawing a blank, he’s the spindly droid bounty hunter seen briefly in The Empire Strikes Back. In the short-story compilation Tales of the Bounty Hunters, we find out that IG-88 was actually one sociopathic droid consciousness spread across four different functionally-identical bodies. His goal? Nothing less than total droid domination of the galaxy.

Anyway, while on board the Executor in ESB, IG-88 hacked into top-secret Imperial files and discovered the existence of the second Death Star. Boy, he thought, that thing would sure be helpful for my droid revolution!

So naturally, IG-88 hijacked the shipment bearing the Death Star’s central computer, and downloaded his consciousness (the last instance of it, as the other three bodies had been destroyed by then) into the computer. It was eventually installed in the station, and IG-88 assumed total control of the Death Star, with the Empire none the wiser. He went so far as to tweak the accuracy of the station’s gunners when firing the superlaser at the Rebel fleet, and was preparing to signal his droid minions to unleash hell on the galaxy with a sentient Death Star as their leader when the station was destroyed…and thank god for that.

Naturally, not everyone is eager to take this story at face value, and it’s never really been mentioned since. Personally, I like to think that the Empire knew exactly what was going on, and had the ability to block IG-88 from assuming total control of the station, but someone figured that as long as he was improving their firing accuracy, they might as well run with it.

Further reading: Tales of the Jedi, Vol. 1Darth Bane: Dynasty of EvilTales of the Bounty Hunters

Escape Pod: Ania Solo

Show me a good Star Wars story, and I’ll show you a character who just plain does not want to be there.

As I sit here writing this, the fifteen-second teaser for Star Wars Rebels has just showed up online, and already people’s eyes are twitching over one particular phrase: “the Jedi will rise”. Let’s be realistic here: of course there will be Jedi in Rebels. As I mentioned in our chat on the show a while back, I’m personally hoping for more of a Yoda vibe than a Luke vibe—an old, retired Master the characters occasionally seek out for advice, and maybe a handy li’l slogan for the opening titles.

But really, I doubt Lucasfilm wants that—they want a Luke, someone learning the ways of the Force that young viewers can relate to; and in all likelihood, someone with a spunky twenty-something Togruta to show them the ropes.

But why? Does Force enhancement enhance a character’s gateway potential as well?

I don’t think so. Enter Exhibit A: Ania Solo. If you haven’t been reading the new Legacy comic series, Ania is the great, great (great?) granddaughter of Han and Leia, and while she shares that common ancestry with her contemporary Cade Skywalker, the protagonist of the original Legacy, Ania is everything Cade is not.

Far from being an aloof, landed figure struggling to shoulder the weight of her family history, Legacy creators Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman took Ania Solo from “elite”, cruised straight past “everyman”, and didn’t stop until they reached “works in a junkyard”. To what extent she knows or cares about her ancestry remains to be entirely illuminated, but what’s clear is that all Ania wants is to stay out of the way; the sad little queen of a sad little hill. The series’ drama begins when the old Solo luck comes knocking and deposits an errant lightsaber at her door—thrusting her into the center a series of events she could not give less of a crap about; at least, not at first.

In my earlier article What Star Wars Can Learn From The Avatar Franchise, I pointed out that while one of that series’ highlights was its tendency to empower “the Han Solo character type”, they were only, naturally, riffing on the role that Han Solo himself perfected. When I look back on the great tapestry of characters Star Wars has offered over the years, even I am surprised by how little people seem to have appreciated what Han brought to the Original Trilogy—ironic distance. The language of Star Wars—the first one, I mean—was one of broad, sweeping archetypes and mythological melodrama, but as much as it tapped into ideas that everyone can understand, I would argue that the secret ingredient in the Star Wars formula, the thing that keeps it from collapsing under the weight of its own artificial portent, was a simple eye-roll every once in a while.

To make a good Star Wars story, someone needs to be there to tell the protagonists how exasperating this all is. While overall, I think this was one of the biggest failings of the Prequel Trilogy, note that Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan came as close as it got to a Han figure. Who, after all, was the audience-identification figure in The Phantom Menace? Qui-Gon? Anakin? Or the one guy who wondered aloud why the hell Jar Jar was sticking around?

But this problem isn’t just with the Prequels—even the Expanded Universe, especially as the years after Return of the Jedi kept ticking along, became less and less about everymen and women and more about big kings of big hills, and lately has seemed to have, well—collapsed under the weight of its own artificial portent.

Of course, to shove Ania Solo into the Escape Pod is a smidge disingenuous, as there’s likely no way for the ST to really use her without reinterpreting her as a child or grandchild of Han and Leia. But if there’s one big mistake I’m willing to lose the New Republic Era in order to correct, it’s the lack of any non-Force-sensitive Skywalker or Solo offspring.

Ironically, if Han and Leia had had a child who couldn’t become a Jedi, that character would probably have been much safer—since Star Wars mostly seems interested in telling stories about Jedi, non-Jedi tend to run up against much less life-threatening peril. That bias worked out pretty well for Ania up until the still-ongoing events of her comic, but seeing a strong, young woman with so much of the smuggler and the princess in her, yet without all the baggage that comes with Jedi indoctrination—ah, excuse me, I mean training—makes me honestly excited at the prospect of someone like her in the Sequel Trilogy. Even three or four generations removed, she’s got all the tenacity and dignity of Leia, and all the honor and resourcefulness of Han; but all the courage and ideals in the world are no match for a good facepalm every now and then.

The Expanded Universe Explains, Vol. II

Last week, I began this series to answer some of the burning Star Wars questions my casual-fan friends were always asking me—if you missed it, click here to find out how lightsabers were invented, whether there are other galaxies outside of the main one, and how exactly Emperor Palpatine fell to the Dark Side. This entry finishes off my first batch of questions, but readers are encouraged to pose their own questions in the comments section below (or via e-mail) for use in further volumes.

Now with that out of the way, on to Volume II…



4. What is the origin of the Millennium Falcon?

Well, first, it should be pointed out that the Falcon, officially a Corellian Engineering Corporation YT-1300 light freighter, is the “windowless white van” of the Star Wars universe. It looks so cool to us in real life that it’s easy to overlook the fact that even farmboy yokel Luke Skywalker calls it a “piece of junk” at first glance. As Han is quick to point out, what sets it apart is a number of “special modifications”—though even Han can’t take credit for all of them.

The YT series was notable in the first place for being an extremely modular and reconfigurable freighter series, which allowed for lots of cosmetic variations from model to model (like this and this) without having to redesign the thing from the ground up. It also meant that a pilot who knew his stuff had a great deal of leeway to alter basic systems—shielding, weaponry, hyperdrive—based on his priorities. For the computer nerds among us, the way I always explain my love of PCs to people is that Macs are the Enterprise (easy to use, ready right out of the box), and PCs are the Falcon (temperamental, but extraordinarily customizable).

Anyway, the YT-1300 model was introduced in 72 BBY (Before the Battle of Yavin), and the Falcon was built in 60 BBY—in other words, almost thirty years before The Phantom Menace. Having been subject to a malfunction on the assembly line that contributed to the engines’ touchy nature, it was indeed a temperamental ship right from the get-go, and ironically, that probably had a lot to do with its superior performance by the time Han got a hold of it—it was known for breaking down at inopportune moments and stranding its pilots, forcing frequent replacements and upgrades just to stay operational.

After twelve years in service as a regular ol’ freighter, the Falcon finally ended up in the world of smuggling after Corell Industries Limited declared bankruptcy in 48 BBY. This only hastened its evolution into a lean, mean fighting machine, and eventually it was purchased—and operated as the Stellar Envoy—by the Republic Group, which was basically a clandestine but not-exactly-illegal group of Republic loyalists (including Jedi and Senators) hoping to restore the then-foundering Republic to its glory days. Like the Tea Party, but with an actual point. The Clone Wars erupted not too long afterward, so obviously things didn’t quite work out for them, either.

It was Republic Group business, by the way, that led to the Falcon being present on Coruscant during the abduction of Chancellor Palpatine in Revenge of the Sith, and the ship can actually be seen in the movie shortly after Anakin and Obi-Wan’s crash landing.

Eventually the Envoy got into a pretty bad accident and was sold as scrap to an idiosyncratic engineer, who largely rebuilt it and ultimately put it back to work in illegal activities (and at one point, as the home base for a travelling circus). Things continued like this until Lando won the ship in 5 BBY, by which point it’d been named the Millennium Falcon, in honor of its speed and longevity. Lando then made the mistake of asking his friend Han Solo to teach him how to fly it, at which point Han promptly fell in love with the old girl. Lando had a couple solid years of adventures in the ship alongside his copilot Vuffi Raa, one of the best EU characters ever, before ultimately losing it to Han the same way he’d won it—in a game of sabacc.

Further reading: Millennium FalconThe Millennium Falcon Owner’s Workshop Manual

5. Are there Jedi doing other things with the Force? Agriculture? Medicine?

Short answer: yes, yes, and yes.

It should go without saying, of course, that even regular Jedi are adept at Force healing, especially in combat situations—and lots of material has been written about Jedi healing practices during the Clone Wars and later in Luke’s new Jedi Order.

But hey, funny story—did you know that in the time of the Prequels, there are actually four Jedi Councils? That’s right—what did you think those other towers were for?

So in addition to the High Council that we see a hundred times, there’s also the Council of First Knowledge (youngling wranglers), the Council of Reconciliation (saying “nice gundark” until they can find a rock), and the Council of Reassignment.

The Council of Reassignment’s job was to, well, the name says it all. They oversaw the four branches of the Jedi Service Corps—Agricultural, Medical, Educational, and Exploration. When up-and-coming Jedi students proved to not have the temperament, or raw Force potential, for the standard Knight lifestyle, the Council would place them where what talents they did possess could still be put to use in service of the Republic, while allowing them to sleep in once in a while. This system led to the Service Corps being seen by many as a polite way of flunking out, but in truth a lot of younglings (and even older Jedi who lost their taste for the big-ticket work) elected to join the Service Corps as a way to more directly serve the common folk of the galaxy. At least until that whole Empire thing…they didn’t take well to that.

Further reading: The Jedi Path, the Jedi Apprentice series

6. Are some species unable to be Force-sensitive? What species is best at it?

This is a tricky topic, as some species very much seem abnormally suited to Force use purely because they’re species that authors feel like making Jedi—Yoda’s species being the prime example. You can count the number of characters of Yoda’s species on your fingers, and sure enough, they’re all Jedi—and mostly important, powerful ones at that. But given how few we’re talking about, it’s hard to take that as definitive evidence that the species itself is unusually Force-inclined; though their longevity could certainly factor into that.

Moving on, another thing that’s come up now and then is the evolutionary benefit of Force-sensitivity—a population composed solely of Jedi will not necessarily produce only Force-sensitive children, but over time, in particularly harsh conditions, sensitives can indeed become more common through natural selection regardless of a species’ normal rate of sensitivity. Mace Windu, notably, is from the human population of a jungle planet called Haruun Kal—which was originally settled by Jedi and did indeed evolve such that the entire human population is Force-sensitive. This seems to be the exception, though; not the rule.

One species, the Miraluka, is so Force-sensitive that they don’t even have eyes; they “see” only what the Force shows them. Gotals (like the goat guy in the Mos Eisley cantina) have limited ESP through their horns that is understood to involve the Force, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they can be Jedi. The nonsentient wolf-like vornskr species actually evolved to hunt with the Force, which led to their natural prey, the ysalamiri, evolving the ability to repel the Force away from them like a little bubble—something that became a huge MacGuffin in New Republic-era EU stories.

On the other end of the spectrum, there’s the Khommites, who decided long ago that their species had reached its ideal evolutionary state and then proceeded to ban natural reproduction in favor of perpetually cloning everyone in existence so that they could continue their historic role in society indefinitely. That worked out okay until Dorsk 81, the first Force-sensitive Khommite ever…or at least in 81 generations.

Last but not least are the Yuuzhan Vong, detailed further in Volume I, who originally existed in a state of Force-sensitive symbiosis with Yuuzhan’tar, their homeworld. When their warring ways led to the death of Yuuzhan’tar’s Gaia-like living consciousness, the species lost its Force connection entirely, and remained that way for so long that upon encountering Jedi they had utterly no frame of reference for what they were seeing.

Further reading: Shatterpoint, Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, Heir to the Empirethe New Jedi Order series