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Rishii

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"That's it, this is impossible! How do you communicate with these things?"
"That's it, this is impossible! How do you communicate with these things?"
"Shut up!"
"Shut up!"
"
―A student attempts to communicate with a Rishii[src]

The Rishii were a sentient, carnivorous, avian species native to the planet Rishi. With a generally Humanoid body structure, the species possessed hand-tipped wings which allowed them to both fly and manipulate tools, although the Rishii were incredibly primitive in terms of technological advancement. Friendly and accepting of others, the avians lived in small groups known as nests which existed in harmony with each other and non-Rishii neighbours they encountered, including members of the H'kig religion who settled on their homeworld.

Rishii were extremely capable when it came to learning new languages, as they could perfectly mimic anything said to them. This mimicry did sometimes cause misunderstandings when off-worlders first encountered Rishii, as it appeared as though the avians were mocking the new arrivals. The predatory Maungur species also native to Rishii held a position of extreme importance in Rishii folklore, and killing them was banned despite the fact the predators preyed upon the Rishii whenever they encountered them.

During the Clone Wars, the Confederacy of Independent Systems invaded Rishii in an attempt to capture exonium mines used by the Rishii, who needed the mineral to heat food during winter. After Galactic Republic reinforcements arrived the Rishii fought alongside clone troopers and Jedi Master Kit Fisto to defeat the Separatists and reclaim the mines.

Biology and appearanceEdit

"Why you want to live in hot, humid lowlands? Mountains are much better."
―A Rishii questions non-Rishii settlers' choice of home location[src]

The Rishii were a sentient, avian species[2] of carnivores[4] which possessed a brown and white-feathered[3] humanoid form, with two legs ending in four-toed feet, two arms, a tail, and a head. The species' two arms consisted of feathered wings ending in[1] nimble[4] three-fingered humanoid hands, capable of manipulating tools. The wings allowed the Rishii to fly[1] at great speeds,[4] which was their method of travel equivalent to running in land-based species. A Rishii's head contained a beak between two yellow eyes framed by a large brow. Rishii were capable of mimicking anything said to them perfectly, and also possessed extremely strong senses, particularly hearing and sight. Rishii on average stood 1.6 meters tall[1] and had yellow skin.[3]

Society and cultureEdit

Rishii EGTA

Rishii had forearms with both feathered wings and hands, which allowed them to fly and manipulate tools.

"Energy from stones within mountain is needed for my kind to prepare food in the frost time."
―Chieftain Gwarrk speaks about the Rishii's use of exonium[src]

Native to the planet Rishi, the Rishii lived in loose primitive tribes,[2] known as nests,[1] clustered high upon the planet's mountains, away from the hot and humid lowland[2] swamps. Each nest consisted of a small number of family units[1] lead by a chieftain,[3] with neighbouring nests respecting each others territories and living in harmony. This peaceful and accepting attitude went beyond just other Rishii and was extended to all neighbours of a nest, including the many other species who eventually arrived from off-world to colonise the lowlands of Rishi. Due to the unfavorable conditions found in the lowlands, the native avians did not understand the off-worlders' choice to live there, but were not opposed to their presence.[1]

Despite their Human-like hands allowing tools use, the Rishii only reached the point of using[1] bone,[4] stone and wood, being less technologically advanced even than the Ewok species of the moon of Endor. Some nests however, did begin to trade with their non-Rishii neighbours in the lowlands, paying particular attention to the starships the off-worlders used to fly, which the avians believed were shiny rocks. These trading Rishii had no interest in using the technology they gained however, and used the various pieces they acquired to line the open-air nests and perches they dwelt in, which could be either natural or artificial. All Rishii naturally excelled at learning new languages, as they were able to perfectly mimic sounds they heard, and did so when hearing new words as a way of learning them. This repetition was often misinterpreted by non-Rishii as mockery, which could lead to trouble when individuals encountered Rishii for the first time.[1]

The predatory Maungur creatures which inhabited the polar regions of Rishi held a position of extreme importance in Rishii belief and folklore. The creatures' name was the Rishii word for a "spirit of violent, senseless conflict that cannot be reasoned with", and the beasts were often used as characters in Rishii legend, being personified as conflict incarnate, a force of evil that had to be respected, acknowledged and feared. Not seen as evil, the Maungur appeared to be practically worshipped by the Rishii from an outsider's perspective, and killing them was strictly forbidden, despite the fact that the animals preyed upon Rishii, along with anything else they encountered. The Rishii maintained that Maungur mainly ate khi'rs, a herbivorous species also native to Rishi, and as Maungur were rare and only dwelt in some of the low valleys, this was true for most of the year, but in the warmest season the Maungur would sometimes venture higher up the mountains and cause the Rishii to flee their homes to avoid conflict with the "spirit of Rishii". The Rishii avoided the valleys where Maungur could be found at all costs, and even avoided speaking about the predators if possible as though the beasts could hear them.[7]

The Rishii's weapon of choice was the sling, and each Rishii would build their own personal weapon to use.[1] This was because the avians were able to use the projectile weapons for hunting while in flight or on the ground. Rishii would also hunt by diving from great heights and grabbing their prey in their talons. Some Rishii also carried staffs.[4] In battle some Rishii also used spears or axes instead of slings. Rishii also made use of the mineral exonium, which they mined from the mountains they lived in. The stones were used by the avians to prepare food during winter, which the Rishii knew as the "frost time".[3]

HistoryEdit

At some point in the Rishiis' history, Humans and other off-world species belonging to the H'kig religion arrived on Rishi and began building settlements and spaceports in the lowlands, the only areas suitable for them to live. The Rishii made contact with these aliens, and after initial misunderstandings about the Rishii method of learning new languages, the two groups quickly came to peacefully co-exist, with some Rishii nests even starting to trade with the newcomers. Some attempts were made by the H'kig practioners to convert the natives, but all met with failure and the return of the Rishii to their mountain-top homes.

When questioned by off-worlders on the Maungur, the natives were cryptic and unhelpful, with all non-Rishii understanding of the predators being pieced together from a large number of minor references and idle speculation, as no non-Rishii had ever definitely encountered a Maungur, although some possible run-ins were reported. When questioned as to the reason the Maungar had not reached the H'kig settlements also located in the lowlands the Rishii had few answered, only stating that the beasts had not found those areas yet. This lead some non-Rishii to question the existence of Maungurs all together, while those scientists who believed the natives theorized some form of pathogen may have prevented the maungur entering the inhabited valleys. As the Rishii showed no opposition to the settlement of the lowlands, off-worlders assumed Maungur territory was not sacred, or that the Rishii believed the settlers should learn of the dangers the predators posed the hard way.[7]

In the year 22 BBY a study conducted by the Rhinnal State Medical Academy on the planet Coruscant was published which listed Rishii as one of ten species most at risk due to air pollution. The test was carried out in middle class areas, and concluded that pollution from government industrial centers and traffic was causing the problem, causing Rishii to develop diseases such as silicalung and lungrot.[8]

Rishi mines attack

The Rishii fought alongside the Republic against the Separatists during the Clone Wars

The Confederacy of Independent Systems sent forces to invade Rishi during the Clone Wars against the Galactic Republic, as exonium could be used to power their sonic weapons and so they hoped to seize the Rishiis' mines. In order to aid the primitive Rishii, the Republic and the Jedi Order sent Green Company, a group of clone troopers, to help the natives in retaking the mines; however, when the troopers first arrived no Jedi General was available to command them and so they were ordered to wait until one arrived. Gwarrk, a Rishii chieftain, took command of the troops in the Jedis' absence, and ignoring the command to wait, sent the clones in to attack the Geonosian warriors holding the mines.[3]

Due to the tactical advantage the Geonosians' position gave the Separatists, the troopers were unable to defeat them and the attack was eventually called off when Jedi Master Kit Fisto arrived. Fisto then lead an attack on the Separatist position alone, being covered by a clone sniper designated 2242. Once the Geonosians in the valley leading up to the mine were despatched, the remaining Republic and Rishii forces moved in to back up the Jedi, and the mine was quickly reclaimed, leading Gwarrk to greatly respect Fisto.[3]

Rishii in the galaxyEdit

In his travels of the galaxy the Shi'ido sentientologist Mammon Hoole encountered members of the Rishii species and memorized their form, later shapeshifting into a Rishii to escape from a number of Hutt-employed Ganks.[9] A Rishii known as Nazish became a member of the group known as the Zulirian Swordmasters, and mastered the combat style of Trispzest, which was developed by the S'kytri Force-sensitive Kharys. The form focused on the use of flight against an opponent, and following Kharys death[5] in 0 BBY[10] Nazish was left as one of only two beings who knew the style, the other being the Dark Jedi Maw.[5]

Behind the scenesEdit

Rishii were first mentioned in Dark Force Rising, a book written by Timothy Zahn and published in 1992. The species were then depicted for the first time and given a more detailed description in the Dark Force Rising Sourcebook written by Bill Slavicsek for West End Games' Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game in 1993. The first Rishii character to be named in a source was Nazish in 2005 in the fourth entry in the The Dark Forces Saga, a supplement written for Wizards of the Coast's Star Wars Roleplaying Game by Abel G. Peña and Jason Fry. The first appearance of the species was not until Free Comic Book Day in 2009 when the comic book The Clone Wars: The Gauntlet of Death was released, with illustration by Ramón Pérez and writing by Henry Gilroy.

In their first appearance the species name was spelt as "Rishi", the same as the name of their homeworld, but in all subsequent sources it was spelt "Rishii" apart from the 1998 video game Star Wars: Rebellion which also used the Rishi spelling.

AppearancesEdit

SourcesEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

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