Biology and appearanceEdit
Marasans were descended from large, herbivorous marsupials. They had small eyes, which were supplemented by the pair of sensory stalks growing from near the corners of their large mouths. They had long, thin arms, short, thick legs, and stubby tails. They were most easily recognized by the thin silver band of cybernetic hardware which wrapped around the back of their heads.
Society and cultureEdit
Highly sophisticated navigation computers were required to chart courses between the Marasa Nebula's thirteen systems. Marasan navigators linked their brains directly to their navigation computers, finding "anchorpoints" in the nebula to guide their way. The use of these implants spread throughout Marasan society, until almost all Marasans used implanted computers in their daily lives. Aside from astrogation, these computers allowed them to solve complex problems twice as fast as other species, control mindless machines which performed a variety of tasks, and communicate silently with one another over a one hundred meter range.
The Marasan government consisted of elected officials, known as Electnodes, whose implanted computers linked with their constituents and one another in a network called the Mindnet. Their leader, the Grand Daern, collected and collated information from each Electnode to make decisions. As each Electnode had instant access to communication and could process data swiftly, their government was very efficient.
The speed at which these implants operated did lead to certain negative side effects: their tendency to think faster than they could move made them clumsy. Their reliance on cybernetic communication meant that their speech was often garbled, especially since they thought much faster than they could speak. When speaking with non-Marasans, they sometimes came off as tactless, or at least quirky, since they would begin to speak before fully considering what they were saying.
Their home in the Marasa Nebula shrouded them from the rest of the galaxy, as the nebula's energized gas forced the Trellen Trade Route to avoid the region entirely. Isolated, the Marasans developed a peaceful society on their homeworld, developing advanced mathematics in order to understand the sometimes bizarre weather of a planet in the midst of a cosmic storm. Mathematics soon led to advanced technology, including hyperdrives which allowed their starships to travel through the surrounding nebula.
The isolation of the Marasans ended when the Galactic Empire sent probe droids into the nebula, searching for mineral resources and a possible shortcut for the Trellen Trade Route. When they found an advanced civilization, the Empire decided to force the Marasans to help them. Ordinary methods of coercion led to mixed results, and the protein-based bio-memory systems in their computers made it hard for Imperial scientists to simply duplicate Marasan astrogational technology. Instead, the Imperial engineer Umak Leth developed devices called "resonators" which disrupted the Marasans' implanted computers, causing them immense pain. These weapons ranged in size from hand-held devices which would incapacitate a single Marasan to siege weapons which could torture an entire Marasan planet. The Marasan Mindnet was forced to capitulate, and was stripped of power.
Of the pre-Imperial conquest population of twelve billion Marasans, only a few hundred managed to escape Imperial custody to seek help for their people. Grand Daern Derra'makin stayed in the Marasa Nebula, but went into hiding on one of the colony worlds. The Alliance to Restore the Republic was aware of their plight early in the Galactic Civil War, but they were uncertain how they could help without exposing the entire Marasan species to collective punishment.