Although each customer was given the opportunity to individualize their ship, Sekot—the "planetwide mind"—had the ultimate say. Therefore, each ship shared similar qualities, despite varying designs.
A standard ship had three lobes, a central lobe comprising the bulk of the ship and flanking lobes that housed the engines. Most ships also had a long, squared-off wingspan tipped with sensors. However, the standard could vary.
Due to Zonama Sekot's distant location, the only way to reach the planet was by a specially chartered (and sanctioned) voyage. Upon arrival, the customer, almost always an extremely wealthy individual, was shown to his accommodations.
After paying Sekot's exceptionally high price, sometimes exceeding 4 billion credits, the customer was led to a large chamber. Its walls were covered with little spiked balls—bora seeds—that the Ferroans called seed-partners. The seed-partners would then choose whether or not to join the customer and become their ship. However, this choosing normally involved every single seed-partner breaking loose from the chamber walls to literally bury the customer in a spectacular cascade.
Once the dust cleared, the customer would find that a select few seed-partners had chosen them, usually expressed by clinging irremovably to their bodes. After a day or two, the Ferroans would remove the seed-partners and the customer would be taken before the designer, to visualize the designs for their ship. After a few more days, the customer would be led to a massive ravine filled with "forging pits"—a natural cathedral, kilometers wide, bordered and canopied by colossal boras—where the ship would be made. In this "factory valley," Langhesi forgers would use fire and lightning to cook and "pop" the seeds, forming them next into disk-like shapes.
The seeds, still perfectly well in their new transmutations as "seed-disks", were collected and transported via carapods to a shaping warehouse constructed of lamina. Special translucent fruits containing thick "sparkling" fluids (churned by a screw-like organ at the core) would be harvested, their globular substances used to mold the seed-disks into the flesh and structure of the ship by Jentari shapers. Customers were required to sit within pre-made frames as the Jentari placed into position the seed-disks and pre-manufactured (expensive, state-of-the-art) engines, molding the ships around them: organoform circuits; engines (of Haor Chall design, ideally "type-seven" engines from its line of Silver-class light starships); and hyperdrive core units were merged with the living ship. Globs of fruit juice were used as connection fluid to merge the seed-disks (which now sprouted "sinuous, questing pseudopods") and organoform circuitry together. While the Jentari shaped and merged the seed-disks around the customer, the seeds telepathically asked the customer about final design decisions. The customer, in turn, was required to shape the ship's final design, acquiescing to Sekot's whispered will as well, while directing the seeds' input in these last stages of design and production. The customer was also asked to stay with the ship for at least a few days after her birth—as she was being fitted and finished with "non-Sekotan instrumentation" to align her with Republic standards—to comfort her in her early life.
Finished with transponders, communication and control panels, couches and miscellaneous accoutrements, the living ship's interior boasted smooth, iridescent lines of "green and blue and red, gleaming like a coat of ruby and emerald mineral enamel, yet not just dead brilliance, but a pulsing quality of light that signified youth and life." The starship "glowed faintly from within, and pools of deep-sea luminosity seemed to come and go under its shiny green skin."
With the sentient ship now ready to fly, however, the pilot(s), upon departure, had to swear an oath of utmost secrecy toward Zonama Sekot. If the oath was ever broken, the bond between the owner and ship would break and the ship would quickly die.
Most Sekotan ships were high-speed shuttles, designed to ferry passengers quickly and efficiently. However, the ships were capable of independent thought, and there was a near-telepathic link between owner and ship. Sekot, the planet's intelligent essence, was also capable of taking complete control of a ship—usually in times of crisis, as a last resort, for planetary defense; the planet's bulk reserve of native defensive ships had no pilots and were directly controlled by Sekot.
After the planet, utilizing its massive hyperdrive engines with 300-kilometer-high field guides, broke from its Gardaji Rift orbit in the galaxy's Tingel Arm in 29 BBY, all remaining ships off-world perished.
Because of the death of all off-world ships, the planet drew on Yuuzhan Vong technology to grow its own fighters during the Yuuzhan Vong War. However, once Zonama Sekot helped resolve that war, the planet began to once more manufacture and sell living ships.
- Rogue Planet (First appearance)
- The New Jedi Order: Force Heretic III: Reunion
- The New Jedi Order: The Final Prophecy
- The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force
- Dark Nest I: The Joiner King