- "Maggot of metal, rust, and rot. Sith life draws breath, old life does not."
- ―Sith incantation of mechu-deru vitae, a technique used to create technobeasts
Technobeasts, also known as Metanecrons, were part machine, part organic Sithspawn mutants. They were created by infecting living organisms with the nanogene spore, a technovirus developed through a combination of Sith alchemy and a Force technique called mechu-deru. The virus grew metallic tumors over the bodies of its victims, ultimately lobotomizing their brains and transforming them into weaponized cyborgs. Beings from different species across the galaxy were infected by the virus, spawning mutated amalgamations of metal and flesh in a variety of shapes and sizes.
In the last quarter of the millennia-long Draggulch Period, a Sith Lord by the name of Belia Darzu devised a dark side ritual called mechu-deru vitae, using it to build her own army of technobeasts. Housing the creatures in a hidden stronghold on the planet Tython, Lord Darzu unleashed her technobeasts against the Galactic Republic and the Jedi during a sub-conflict known as the Sictis Wars. The subsequent assassination of Darzu ended the creation of new hybrids, leading to their disuse after the conclusion of the New Sith Wars—concurrent with the end of the Draggulch Period.
Technobeasts, sometimes referred to as Metanecrons, were characterized by an infection from the nanogene spore, a technovirus capable of transmuting living tissue into metallic parts. Consisting of microscopic nanogene droids, the technovirus instinctively moved towards the brain of the victim, lobotomizing their frontal lobe and rendering them incapable of higher thought. By this point, the subject's transformation into a Sithspawn hybrid was irreversible. Before the lobotomy took place, however, it was possible to halt the transformation through the power of the Force, or by purging the nanogene droids with intense heat. While they were initially deemed intelligent beings, technobeasts with long-term exposure to the nanogene spore would undergo severe mental degradation, limiting their motor functions and reducing the creatures to clumsy, shambling automata.
Once fully transformed, most remnants of living tissue on the creatures would have rotted away, leaving only small strands of skin and sinew surrounded by metallic scraps, rods and wires. The transformation also deteriorated the victim's vocal cords, rendering the technobeasts incapable of speech. Due to the innately experimental nature of the nanogene spore, the manner in which the subjects were transformed had varying results, making all technobeasts unique. Some of the creatures possessed zigzags of scarred tissue caused by the virus building upon its own metallic chunks. In other cases, victims ended up with multiple heads or crab-like pincers.
Designed primarily for destruction, most humanoid technobeasts had their arms replaced with skewers or saws, while others were known to have jagged blades extending from their elbows. Larger technobeast variants—specifically those created from rancors and banthas—were forged into war machines. In particular, the mutated rancors brandished a very large claw that resembled a club, though they were also known to bite their foes when given the opportunity. Along with the transformed banthas, the rancors bore spiked armor plating to replace their hides, in addition to having blaster cannons fused to their shoulders.
Infested with the nanogene spore, technobeasts were able to infect other living organisms with the virus, potentially transforming additional victims into the creatures themselves. The humanoid variants were capable of dispersing clouds of the technovirus from their mouths. In combat, the creatures became enraged while attacking their foes, relentlessly swarming against them in large numbers. Despite their aggressive nature, the technobeasts attacked in a slow, cumbersome manner. In addition, the creatures were vulnerable to heavy blasts of energy from the Force, as well as Sith lightning and lightsaber strikes.
- "She was a student of Sith alchemy; it was said she learned the secrets of mechu-deru, the ability to transform the flesh of living beings into metal and machinery. She used this power to create an army of technobeasts: organic-droid hybrids bound to her will."
- ―Hetton, regarding the creator of the technobeasts, Belia Darzu
Thousands of years before the Great Sith War, a small number of Sith magicians discovered mechu-deru, a Force technique granting them the ability to manipulate mechanical structures, allowing the creation of part-machine, part-organic hybrids. In a later period called the New Sith Wars, a Sith Lord by the name of Belia Darzu researched mechu-deru alongside the dark side art of Sith alchemy. With her knowledge of both, Lord Darzu derived a new technique known as mechu-deru vitae, using it to create fusions of metal and flesh—technobeasts—by means of a nanogene virus. Bound to Darzu's will and imbued with the power of the dark side, these Sithspawn cyborgs were created and housed inside a secret fortress on Tython, a planet located in the Deep Core of the galaxy. Within this stronghold, living beings from several different humanoid and non-humanoid races were transformed into technobeasts themselves.
Under Lord Darzu, the technobeasts were unleashed upon the Galactic Republic and the Jedi Order, becoming recognized as the signature horror of a two-decade conflict known as the Sictis Wars. In combat, the technobeasts were known to infect other living beings with the nanogene virus, assimilating Darzu's fallen enemies into her cyborg army. On one occasion, however, a Jedi Knight prevented the virus from fully transforming him into a Sithspawn mutant, preserving his identity and becoming known as the "technobeast Jedi". By the end of the Sictis Wars in 1230 BBY, the production of new technobeasts came to a halt after Darzu was assassinated, sabotaging her army. Despite this, the Sith Lords who succeeded Darzu continued to make use of the creatures, though in smaller numbers than before. This continued until the Sith were finally defeated at the end of the Draggulch Period in 1000 BBY.
- "I need a new Master—one with the power to penetrate the defenses of Belia's stronghold and lay claim to her secrets."
Over two-hundred years after the fall of Lord Darzu, some of her technobeasts remained active inside her strongold on Tython. Lacking any purpose or direction from their deceased mistress, these technobeasts merely wandered aimlessly throughout the halls of the fortress. Years of disuse had also left the creatures in a dilapidated, rusted state, causing some of their weapons to malfunction.
Prior to her death, Darzu constructed a holocron containing her knowledge of the techniques she used to create the Sithspawn creatures. The surviving technobeasts became drawn to the dark side energy radiating from the holocron, the last surviving vestige of their creator. Driven by a primal instinct to obey their mistress, the technobeasts were compelled to congregate around Lord Darzu's holocron within the inner sanctum of her fortress.
In 990 BBY, Darth Bane, a Sith Lord who survived the New Sith Wars, encountered the remaining technobeasts on Tython while seeking Belia Darzu's holocron. After Bane infiltrated the inner sanctum of the fortress, the technobeasts initially ignored him, focusing their attention on the holocron of their creator. When Bane attempted to seize the holocron, however, the creatures immediately turned against the Sith Lord, attacking him in waves.
Despite their efforts to kill Bane, the technobeasts were unable to penetrate the defences of his orbalisk armor. At various points throughout the skirmish, the technobeasts managed to infect Bane with the nanogene spore by spewing clouds of technovirus in his vicinity. Nonetheless, the orbalisk parasites on Bane's armor were able to purge the technovirus from his body, preventing the transformation. Although they persisted with their attacks, the technobeasts inside the fortress were ultimately destroyed at the hands of Bane, littering the stronghold with severed limbs, torsos, and heads from the creatures.
Centuries later, a number of Sith scrolls containing Belia Darzu's knowledge of mechu-deru were acquired by Roganda Ismaren, an agent of the Galactic Empire. In addition, the son of Roganda—the cyborg known as Irek Ismaren—possessed an accelerated mastery of mechu-deru by means of a brain transplant. With their combined abilities, the pair had the potential to unleash a new horde of technobeasts upon the inhabitants of the galaxy.
Behind the scenesEdit
The technobeasts were first mentioned—albeit unnamed—in Tales of the Jedi Companion, a roleplaying supplement published by West End Games in 1996. In 2001, an article called The Emperor's Pawns also mentioned the technobeasts, though the creatures still remained unnamed at the time. Both of these references were later retconned as technobeasts by Abel G. Peña, an author who officially named the creatures in the 2005 Hyperspace fan club article entitled Droids, Technology and the Force. A subsequent article called Evil Never Dies: The Sith Dynasties divulged additional backstory regarding the technobeasts, in one instance naming them Metanecrons. The New Essential Guide to Droids provided more detailed information in 2006, along with the first actual images of the creatures by artist Ian Fullwood. The technobeasts made their debut appearance in the 2007 novel entitled Rule of Two, the second adaption of Drew Karpyshyn's Bane trilogy. An article on StarWars.com once referred to the Junk Golem figurine from The Force Unleashed miniatures set as a "technobeast". In the third part of the Star Wars Blog series titled The Imperial Warlords: Despoilers of an Empire, the alchemical creations of a character named Cronal were also dubbed "technobeasts".
- Tales of the Jedi Companion (First mentioned) (Retcon)
- The Emperor's Pawns"—Star Wars Gamer 5 (Retcon) "
- (First identified as Technobeasts)
- (First identified as Metanecrons)
- The New Essential Guide to Droids
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Atlas
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Tales of the Jedi Companion
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 The New Essential Guide to Droids
- ↑ 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 Darth Bane: Rule of Two
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. III, p. 227 ("Technobeast")
- ↑ The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. I, p. 172 ("Darzu, Belia")
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 The Essential Atlas
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 The Emperor's Pawns"—Star Wars Gamer 5 "