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Rodian

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3rodians
Rodian
Designation Sentient
Height of average adult 1.5 - 1.7 meters
Planet of origin Rodia
Language Rodese

Rodians were a humanoid species native to Rodia in the Tyrius system. They had green skin, multifaceted eyes, trumpet-like ears, and a ridge of spines along their skulls. Their long, flexible fingers ended in suction cups. Adult Rodians stood about 1.5 to 1.7 meters tall. Rodian pheromones had a distinctive, pungent odor which many humans found unpleasant.

Culture and history

Rodian culture was obsessed with violence and death. Their jungle-covered homeworld was ill-suited to agriculture, requiring Rodians to compete with vicious predators for most of their food. Some of these predators, such as ghests, could wipe out entire Rodian villages. As the Rodians developed cunning hunting tactics to survive, the hunt became central to their culture. Eventually, having driven most of the other predators on the planet to near-extinction, they began to hunt each other in various wars and gladiatorial contests. Millennia later, all of Rodia was dominated by a handful of large, powerful clans which had eliminated or enslaved their smaller neighbors. The leader of the most powerful clan, the Soammei clan, eventually proclaimed himself Inta'si'rin'na, or Grand Protector of the Rodians. Through the rest of Rodian history, the title of Grand Protector shifted from clan to clan as loyalties and power shifted. Some Grand Protectors were able to rule all of Rodia as dictators, while others were limited to domination of one or two major clans.

When scouts from the Galactic Republic arrived on Rodia, they too were hunted, until a clever Grand Protector realized the advantages of contact with galactic society. The hunts were called off, and a new policy was implemented. The Grand Protector declared that the best hunters, as proven by success in various gladiatorial contests and hunts on Rodia, would be allowed to leave the planet for work as bounty hunters, mercenaries, slavers, or similar occupations. The Grand Protector's Hunters' Guild, or Goa-Ato, instituted annual awards (or Atiang) for the best hunters, with such categories as "Best Shot", "Longest Trail", or "Most Notorious Capture."

Rodians were also famous for their drama. Rodian theater began as a simple series of staged fights, encouraged by Grand Protector Harido Kavila as a way for Rodians to burn off their aggression. Over time, it developed into a vibrant - though violent - theatrical tradition. Though not as honored a profession as hunting, each clan had at least one company of actors which performed clan legends. Though actors were barred from directly seeking political power at home, drama also became an acceptable way for dissident elements to challenge established ideas.

Of course, not all Rodians found off-world were bounty hunters or artists. Some were refugees from clan feuds who illegally left Rodia in search of refuge. Illegal emigrants and their descendants born off-world could travel the galaxy freely and work in a variety of professions, from peaceful merchants and technicians to arms dealers and criminal henchmen. While the Rodian authorities treated off-world born Rodians as though they were alien galactic citizens, illegal emigrants were generally not allowed to return to Rodia (though some used forged or legitimate documents to claim off-world status.) Rodian politicians, such as the Clone Wars era Senator Onaconda Farr and Palpatine's aide Dar Wac, were often seen on Coruscant.

During the time of the Galactic Empire, the Rodians were ruled by the Grand Protector Navik the Red, of the Chattza clan. After instigating an interclan war and seizing power, Navik tightened restrictions on emigration and built ties with Black Sun and the Galactic Empire. Navik ruthlessly persecuted his rivals, sentencing the entire Tetsu clan to death. Even Tetsu refugees outside Rodia, such as Greedo the Elder and his family, were pursued by Chattza hunters.

The Yuuzhan Vong invaded Rodia on their march to the Galactic Core, enslaving the population. The alien invaders planned to forge their Rodian captives into deadly warbeasts, under the direction of Master Shaper Taug Molou. He took his Rodian experimental subjects apart on a cellular level, reassembling their genetic code with bits from other creatures. This experiment resulted in the creation of the Vagh Rodiek, mindless warbeasts that movied on crab-like legs with sharp half-meter long scythes of bone in place of arms. The Rodian natural head-spines were mutated into razor-sharp quills. Again, the Rodians that managed to flee Rodia found themselves refugees from persecution.

The Rodians managed to return to Rodia after the war, and were represented in the Galactic Alliance Senate by Moog Ulur.

Famous Rodians

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Behind the scenes

File:Rodian.jpg
  • The Rodians in the Mos Eisley Cantina were referred to during production as Martians, and in 1978 were identified in a memo as "Graffties", a reference to the George Lucas film American Grafitti. It was not until the publication of West End Games' Galaxy Guide 1 that the term Rodian appeared.
  • The Rodian mask used for Greedo in A New Hope was originally to be used for the four-armed Morseerians.
  • In the original versions of A New Hope and Return of the Jedi, all the Rodian background characters wore the same costume as Greedo. The Rodians added to the Max Rebo Band in the Special Edition of Return of the Jedi were the first Rodians to have their own costumes, not to mention the first Rodians to appear on screen who were not bounty hunters.

Appearances

Sources

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