Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Species of the week #1 - Yuuzhan Vong

Well here I am, venturing out on a new weekly article covering the different alien species that inhabit the myriad worlds of Science Fiction, we'll see where it takes us eh? First to answer a question post by a comenter concerning doctor who:

Sam, I'm not exactly sure of the answer since I can't remember the incident exactly, but I'll try my best to answer. In general it seems that seeing yourself, or anyone who you shouldn't really see, doesn't actually mess about with the timeline too much. If you remember Rose was able to see her younger self and family, it was only when she touched them and changed their story that things got messed up. I think that because seeing something only impacts one of you it doesn't distort the timeline - if you see yourself in the past then that doesn't affect you in the past only you in the present, the only thing it changes is that you now know what you looked like in the past. However if you had a conversation with yourself that would really mess things up because it would then mean that you should already know about that conversation because you'd heard it in the past - which would really mess things up. Time travel is generally messy and probably shouldn't be attempted under any circumstances, but a general rule would be "look but don't touch" and that would seem to keep you alive and stop you destroying the universe in most cases. Anyway - back to the matter at hand eh?

Oh by the way if you're a bit behind on Star Wars literature there are major spoilers here!!

Yuuzhan Vong

Designation: Sentient
Homeworld: Yuuzhan'tar
Average Height: 1.9 metres

I guess a sensible thing to do would be to pick a species that appeared in the Star Wars films and that everyone would know about and could relate to - however this is my blog and this blog is about getting downright geeky so if you've never heard of this species prepare to learn!! The Yuuzhan Vong were the main focus of the groundbreaking New Jedi Order book series. With the Empire defeated and now at peace with the New Republic and superweapons, rogue Imperials and dark Jedi becoming old news, something new was needed to shake the Star Wars galaxy up - that something was the Yuuzhan Vong. As a species this race had more impact on the galaxy than any other, with the possible exeption of humans! As worlds fell, along with troops, ships and even Jedi, the galaxy suddenly became a whole lot darker.

Yuuzhan Vong was a strange alien name that soon burned itself permanantly into the minds of all galactic citizens. This terrifying race from another galaxy stormed across the galaxy wiping out everything in it's path. The 'Vong (an abbreviation that was in fact highly offensive to the species) were a species that in general frame were not too different from humans. They were taller and bulkier with sloping foreheads that had bony ridges - they also had sacks under their eyes and were generally terrifying to behold. They also pierced and mutliated themselves as part of a religion of pain and they clothed themselves in armour that was in fact a living creature known as a Vonduun crab. In fact all of their "equipment", from clothing to starships, was living in some way or other. Because of this they despised the artificial technologies that populated the galaxy they sought to conquer - nothing more so than droids, a mockery of life in their eyes.
Perhaps the most intriguing thing about them was that they were completely absent from the force all that could be sensed of them was an absence. This coupled with the fact that their armour and weapons were resistant to lightsabers gave them and edge of their most fearome opnonents - what they termed as Jeedai. Many Jedi fell to the Yuuzhan Vong and many of the galaxy's inhabitants turned on the Jedi in the hope that they would be spared. The invasion carried itself all the way to Coruscant, erradicating whole worlds such as Ithor that stood in it's way. They devastated Coruscant and remodeled it after their former homeworld and began to push further outward to secure the galaxy as their own. But, regrouping at Mon Calamari and securing alliances with Hapes and the Empire, the New Republic reformed into the Galactic Alliance and started to strike back. While they did Luke Skywalker led a mission to find an alternative solution to the war - the sentient world of Zonama Sekot who was connected to the Yuuzhan Vong's ancient homeworld, which was also a living world. After defeating the Yuuzhan Vong forces in orbit of Coruscant with a final push the Vong who surrendered were relocated to this mysterious world where they began the slow process of learning to live in peace.

OK, you may have caught up on the NJO, but if you haven't read the Star Wars Legacy comics you'll still find spoilers here.

Even a century after the invasion, the Vong were still not ready for reintergration, though they did make a valiant effort that might eventually have succeeded had it not been for the Sith. They mostly remained in seclusion, but a few were brought to the new Jedi Academy on Ossus, where they were accepted despite the painful memories still harbored by Jedi. They began work on a project to use the biotechnology of the vong to reinvigorate barren worlds. This was eagerly approved by the galaxy, but sabotage produced terrible results, causing the galaxy to despise the Vong once more and ultimately plunged the galaxy again into war, with the Sith and Empire coming out as victors.

Well there we go - more to come I hope, I'm getting quite excited by the new program Heroes (BBC2 Wednesdays @ 9pm) it certainly looks promising though I haven't quite made up my mind yet. Anyhow - enough from me for now i think.

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