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Selkath

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Selkath
Selkath
Physical characteristics
Average height

1.5 meters [1]

Skin color

Blue, green or pink[2]

Distinctions

Venom-tipped claws[2]

Average lifespan

Up to 100 standard years[1]

Sociocultural characteristics
Homeworld

Manaan[2]

Language

Selkatha

Members
"They hide their true numbers in great cities beneath the ocean that no off-worlder will ever see. They guard the secret of Kolto—where it is made, how it is made. [...] The Selkath are a great mystery. To the Sith, to the Republic, to me…their secrets are what makes them strong."
Hulas[src]

The Selkath were a sentient aquatic species, native to the ocean-covered planet of Manaan. Since Manaan was the only naturally occurring source of kolto, the Selkath held great diplomatic sway during the Jedi Civil War. At that time, they held tightly to their neutrality; however, a few farsighted Selkath occasionally broke their neutrality in secret, and arranged deals to help their preferred side. Eventually, the kolto market disappeared and the galaxy abandoned the Selkath. It was not until the rise of the Galactic Empire that the Selkath would have interaction with the galaxy again. They were later conquered by the Galactic Empire.

Biology and appearanceEdit

"When the Selkath went insane and started killing everybody, I locked myself in here! I'm safe in here. Nothing can hurt me in here! No fishy food for me. Bye-bye. Go look for fishy people. They'll chomp and bite and chomp and bite. Food for fishy - that's you."
―An unidentified Republic soldier that shut himself in a locker.[src]
Selkath female
A female Selkath and her distinctive head-tendrils.

As an aquatic species, the Selkath were skilled swimmers. They resembled anthropomorphic sting rays and had blue-,pink- or green-colored skin, which was patterned for underwater camouflage, and their mouths were bracketed by cephalic lobes. They tended to stroke these during conversation, analogous to the Human habit of stroking facial hair, such as mustaches.[2]

All members of the Selkath race had retractable, venom-tipped claws. Similar to the Wookiees, the use of these claws in any form of combat or attack was considered dishonorable and a sign of madness; to do this was to give in to animal instincts unbecoming of a sentient species. When the Selkath at Hrakert Station were driven insane by the Progenitor, they reacted primitively and used their claws to strike down Republic technicians.[2] The females Selkath differed from males by the presence of a various number of tendrils at the back of their heads.[3]

Progenitor
The Progenitor, ancestor to the Selkath species.

The Progenitor was a large female firaxan shark, who was seen as a deity-like figure to the Selkath and believed her to be their evolutionary ancestor. If that origin were true, then the smaller, non-sentient firaxan sharks were also related to the Selkath. The Progenitor had the ability to let out a sonic wailing, causing both firaxan sharks and Selkath to go insane; she used this ability to turn Selkath scientists against Republic forces at the Hrakert Rift. This was an attempt to disable the kolto Harvester used by the Republic to gain the upper hand against the Sith.[2]

Society and cultureEdit

"I'm sick of hearing about Manaan's neutrality! It sounds like a coward's excuse not to fight, if you ask me!"
―Republic officer[src]
Kolto tank
A kolto tank.

With the formation of the Republic, the Selkath did not join, but adopted a policy of strict neutrality. Many millennia later, their planet was allowed to keep this neutrality intact due to the advantageous position granted to them by their monopoly on the supply of kolto. Kolto, produced solely on Manaan, was a liquid that contained unique healing properties. When the liquid was applied to wounds it increased the healing rate, and patients could even be immersed in it in special tanks for greater effect. During conflicts, the Selkath threatened to cut off the supply of kolto, unless both sides respected their neutrality.[2]

This was maintained during the Jedi Civil War. The Selkath treated to the needs of the Republic and the Sith, throughout the war. This neutral zone was maintained through strict security laws, enforced by the Ahto City Civil Authority. If either side were to break even the least of their laws, harsh sanctions were imposed, including withholding kolto or huge fines to the offending side. Individuals who disturbed the peace were often executed or imprisoned. As such, the Sith often goaded Republic soldiers into street fights, causing the Selkath to fine the Republic.[2]

The Selkath manufactured distinctive vibroblades, one of which was owned by the Hutt Dreddon many decades after the Selkath withdrew from society.[4]

The native language of the Selkath was Selkatha, which despite its gurgling sound, could be learned by non-Selkath such as Revan[2] and Dreddon.[4]

HistoryEdit

Old RepublicEdit

Selkath
A Selkath during the Jedi Civil War.

In ancient times, the Selkath's ancestors were conquered by the Rakata and were slaves in their Infinite Empire. With the collapse of the Infinite Empire, however, the Selkath regained their independence. As such, they refrained from joining the Galactic Republic, instead claiming neutrality.[2]

While they maintained official neutrality in the Jedi Civil War, many Selkath were sympathetic towards the Republic. Some officials, such as Shelkar, set up a deal with the Republic to mine extra kolto secretly from the Hrakert Rift. The plan went horribly wrong when the station disturbed the Progenitor, a giant firaxan shark, that drove the Selkath insane, causing them to kill anything that moved. Jedi Revan investigated the station and destroyed the kolto harvester in order to calm the Progenitor. The Selkath officials did their best to prevent the Sith from finding out about the deal.[2]

Ahto High Court
The members of the Ahto High Court enforced Manaan's neutrality.

At the same time though, the Sith kidnapped several Selkath youths and trained them in the ways of the Force, to bind them to the Sith and enable them to take over the government one day. The Jedi Revan was again asked to investigate, this time by a Selkath named Shaelas. Uncovering the plot, Revan raided on the Sith enclave and found Shaelas' daughter, Shasa, who was being trained as a Sith apprentice. Revan informed Shaelas of this, who brought the information to the Ahto High Court. As retribution, the Selkath banned the Sith from Manaan shortly before the war's end.[2]

Roughly a century after the Battle of Rakata Prime, the use of kolto dried up, and the influence of the Selkath waned as foreign groups abandoned Manaan. They tried to join the Galactic Republic at this point, but their petition was rebuffed. This caused the proud Selkath to withdraw from galactic affairs and to swear to never again seek to join with offworlders. Within another hundred years, the Selkath had reverted to primitive ways. Warlords with no recollection of Manaan's former prosperity fought amongst themselves, fragmenting the Selkath into tribal clans. Within another century, the Selkath had disappeared from the galactic consciousness.[5]

During the Great Galactic War, the Selkath again became embroiled in galactic affairs. Despite attempts to remain neutral, their surface cities were destroyed, and the species was forced underwater.[6] The kolto supply returned, however, and was known to be used as early as 1013 BBY. Since the supply was used during the Galactic Civil War, it can be assumed that the Selkath resumed the shipment of kolto offworld. However, it was less effective than bacta, and was used as a cheaper alternative, explaining why Manaan did not regain its old importance.[7]

At the time of the Cold War, a proxy conflict between the Sith Empire and Galactic Republic, the Selkath discovered an ancient pre-hyperdrive vessel and revived its captain from suspended animation. Eventually someone was sent to meet with the captain, resulting in a bond between the envoy and the captain—who was still confused by the revivification—discussing the officer's native era. Ultimately, the captain provided the envoy with a gift from the ship.[8]

"Mantu, your people were once a peaceful race. How far they have fallen..."
Dooku[src]
MantuDetail-SWE
Selkath bounty hunter, Mantu

During the Clone Wars, a Selkath Jedi fought on the side of the Republic against the Droid Army of the Confederacy of Independent Systems.[9] A Selkath bounty hunter called Chata Hyoki was hired by Count Dooku to aid Robonino to forcibly dissuade opposition Senators from voting to stop an increase in clone trooper production and an escalation to the war.[10] One Selkath named Morgo was captured by Trandoshan hunters and killed on the moon Wasskah.[11] Another Selkath bounty hunter named Mantu participated in a competition orchestrated by Dooku from which he planned to organize a team to kidnap Chancellor Palpatine.[12]

Galactic EmpireEdit

"Manaan and her people were considered so unimportant that the Empire was no longer bothering to send more than a single veteran per platoon with each troop rotation.…We struck on the first night of duty for those new guards."
Fewash Welko[src]

By the time the Galactic Empire came to power, few citizens considered Manaan a predominantly important planet. However, Emperor Palpatine knew of its importance and sent an expeditionary force to the planet. They attacked the Selkath and used aquatic stormtroopers to raid underwater cities. Having fallen into a much more primitive society, the Selkath were frightened by the advanced weapons and many surrendered. The Imperials then revived Ahto City for use as a resort complex. The Empire drew all Selkath from the depths, and forced them to live in floating villages around Ahto City. They were enslaved and used to clean Ahto City and serve food to pampered guests. The Empire even killed some Selkath to use in special gourmet meals, targeted at Hutt palettes. As in many other instances of planetary exploitation, the Empire polluted the oceans of Manaan and wrecked the environment.[5] They also made some use of the limited kolto available, which was used as a less effective alternative to bacta.[13]

Using artful manipulation, Darth Vader journeyed to the planet disguised, and started a "shadow revolt" among the Selkath. He found the Order of Shasa and supplied them with precise information on the Imperial patrols. The Adepts struck Ahto City with two hundred warriors, slaying stormtroopers everywhere. Because the Empire thought of Manaan as safe and did not need much protection the stormtroopers were fresh recruits. Once the Selkath drove the Empire off-planet, a rage gripped the Selkath, and they killed all the tourists. When they calmed down and realized what they had done, Darth Vader came out and explained that revenge would guide them, and that they served the same master, Palpatine.[5]

Selkath in the galaxyEdit

"So nice to meet an impartial judge, for a change."
Jolee Bindo, commenting on the Sith-biased judge, Duula[src]
Qual
Qual, a Jedi Master on the Dantooine Jedi Enclave Council.

The importance of Manaan catapulted the Selkath into galactic importance. However, most Selkath seemed to remain on their homeworld. One significant Selkath to travel offworld was the Jedi Master Qual, who served on the Jedi High Council some few decades before the Jedi Civil War[14]. Other prestigious Selkath were the members of the Ahto High Court, who fulfilled an important function in civil life. These judges also played political roles, although they were often divided in their beliefs. Judges such as Duula, thought the Republic was a stagnating government that needed to be destroyed by the powerful Sith. Naleshekan, thought similarly, and believed that the weak Republic would be replaced by the stronger Sith. Other members of the Ahto High Court, such as Jhosa and Kota believed that the Republic had morals and integrity. Similarly, Chief Justice Shelkar, believed that only the Republic would properly respect the laws of his people. This led him to break from the official neutrality policy, and set up secret operations to give the Republic the upper hand in the war.[2]

Slktt
A Selkath on Asation, shortly before the outbreak of the Clone Wars.

In the end, most Selkath grew hostile towards the Sith when Revan revealed that the Sith were using Force-sensitive children to overthrow the government.[2] One such child, Shasa, was redeemed and likely started the Order of Shasa.[5] This Order secretly sought out and trained some Force-sensitive Selkath. The members of the Order acted as seers, advisers, and elite military leaders in times of war. Their main weapon was the fira, a curved sword similar to a scimitar. It was constructed of cortosis as part of initiation into the Order of Shasa. During the reign of the Galactic Empire, this group was manipulated by Darth Vader to embrace the dark side, so as to become a tool for the Emperor.[5]

However, not all Force-sensitive Selkath joined the Order of Shasa. A number joined the Jedi Order and fought against Lord Kaan and his Brotherhood of Darkness during the New Sith Wars.[7]

Eventually, however, all contact was lost with the Selkath when the kolto supply disappeared, and the Republic abandoned Manaan. Major contact was only re-established with the arrival of the Galactic Empire. However, in the years prior to this, some Selkath did venture offworld, such as that glimpsed in the Gree Enclave in 22 BBY during a HoloNet News item on the Separatist leader Count Dooku.[15] Another off-world Selkath was the bounty hunter Chata Hyoki, who was hired to force a group of Senators to back down from an anti-troop increase position during the Clone Wars.[16]

AppearancesEdit

SourcesEdit

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Notes and referencesEdit

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