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Aiwhas, also called air whales, were a non-sentient species of winged cetaceans native to the planet Kamino. They were used as mounts by the Kaminoans. Kaminoans were derogatorily referred to as "aiwha-bait" by the clone troopers.

Biology and appearance[]

"That uniform suits you about as well as a hat on an aiwha."
Kan Be to Terex[4]

An aiwha fitted with a riding saddle

Massive, winged cetaceans,[2] aiwhas were a species of whale[3] native to both the oceans and skies of the planet Kamino, capable of both swimming and flying,[2] using their wingtips to propel them through either substance. Their long, beak-like mouths featured a baleen used for filtering krill from seawater.[3] The non-sentient species,[1] one of a wide variety of aquatic life on Kamino,[5] was also known as the "air whale," and was a peaceful and majestic species.[6] Aiwhas gave out bleating cries when dying.[7]

History[]

"We've got to stop meeting like this, my friend."
―Obi-Wan Kenobi, saved by an Aiwha for the second time[8]

Aiwhas during the Clone Wars

When the climate of Kamino changed drastically, leading to planet-wide flooding when the ice caps melted, the native Kaminoans adapted both themselves and some of their fellow creatures to their new environment. The aiwhas were among those who were adapted using the Kaminoans' advanced cloning technologies, and became biological curiosities used as mounts to traverse Kamino's[9] endless ocean.[6] The Kaminoans used aiwhas as mounts,[2] although aiwha riders traveled beneath the waters during the lashing tempests of the severe electrical storms which raged for much of the planet's year.[10]

During the Battle of Kamino, Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi hitched a ride on an aiwha while investigating the planet's Separatist attackers,[2] and was rescued twice during the battle by the creatures.[6][8] During the search for the rogue clone trooper CT-5555 "Fives," teams rode atop aiwhas to track down the fugitive.[11][9]

Behind the scenes[]

"The air whale ("aiwha") was something George Lucas was trying to get into Star Wars as far back as Empire, where they would have flown over Bespin. In ROTJ, they would have flown over Sicemon, a grassland planet. For Episode I, the Gungans would have flown them on Naboo."
Pablo Hidalgo[12]

Concept art for The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi

The aiwha first appeared in Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones. The concept of an "air whale" was first created by Ralph McQuarrie, for use on the planet Bespin in Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back, although budget limitations saw their use postponed.[9] They were later intended to serve as flying whale taxis for the world of Sicemon in Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, and though they likewise didn't appear in that film, Star Wars Legends material utilized the concept as the thranta. Terryl Whitlatch redesigned the creatures as Gungan mounts for Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace, calling them "aiwha" as a derivation of "air whale." The creatures were again cut from the movie, and ultimately appeared on Kamino in Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones.[13]

Appearances[]

Non-canon appearances[]

Sources[]

Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 StarWars-DatabankII.png Aiwha in the Databank (backup link)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Star Wars: The Visual Encyclopedia
  4. Poe Dameron 5
  5. Ultimate Star Wars
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
  7. Aftermath: Empire's End
  8. 8.0 8.1 TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "ARC Troopers"
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 StarWars.com Monsters of The Clone Wars: A Season Six Bestiary on StarWars.com (backup link)
  10. Star Wars: Complete Locations (2016)
  11. TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Fugitive"
  12. TwitterLogo.svg Pablo Hidalgo (@pabl0hidalgo) on Twitter. "The air whale ("aiwha") was something George Lucas was trying to get into Star Wars as far back as Empire, where they would have flown over Bespin. In ROTJ, they would have flown over Sicemon, a grassland planet. For Episode I, the Gungans would have flown them on Naboo." (backup link)
  13. StarWars.com From Concept to Screen: Kamino on StarWars.com (backup link)

External links[]

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