- "You knew them all as children, forgot them as adults. Legend is fiction, myth unreal; it is easier to set aside childish things in the false illumination of adulthood, because the fears of childhood are always formed as truths. Some truths are harder than others. Some folktales far more frightening."
- ―Dannik Jerriko
The Anzati (singular: Anzat) were a dangerous and mysterious Force-sensitive near-Human species with two tentacle-like proboscises that curled out and extended from their cheeks, which the Anzati used to feed upon their prey. This included sentient beings of every shape, size and species. Due to their predatory nature, they excelled as bounty hunters and assassins, though only the truly wealthy could afford their services.
They were extremely long-lived, and possessed physical capabilities significantly beyond those of the average humanoid. They were also naturally telepathic to some degree, and grew more adept with the talent as they aged, able to dominate potential prey's mind for short periods of time.
According to the Jedi Master Zao, the "luck" that Anzati drank from their victims was their life energy, and was linked to the Force. Because of this, Anzati who drank the luck of another Force-sensitive would strengthen their own connection to the Force.
Biology and appearanceEdit
The Anzati were generally Human in appearance, with differences minor enough to be overlooked by casual observation. To feed, they possessed two long, prehensile proboscises similar in appearance to tentacles. They kept these proboscises coiled in twin cheek pockets; when their proboscises were retracted, most were practically indistinguishable from Humans. Occasionally they had bulbous noses, flared nostrils, or grayish-hued skin. Often those with these overtly distinctive characteristics would undergo surgery to look more human and disguise their heritage. Scientists and xenobiologists had little opportunity to study the Anzati, but medical reports found on the species indicated that they had no natural biorhythm; that is to say, no pulse, and as a result, no body heat. Therefore, it was a total mystery as to how their circulatory system functioned. This trait also appeared to allow Anzati to be perfectly comfortable in any temperature or climate ranging from scorching deserts to frigid tundras. 
The eldest of the Anzati were quite ancient, their ages measured in millennia. They roamed the galaxy when the Galactic Republic was just a dream of the Core Worlds. The Anzati could in theory live indefinitely, sustained by the life essence they drew from others.
Because the Anzati preyed upon those whose life force was strong, they must be stronger. The powerful among them were estimated have a strength three times that of the pinnacle of human ability, and equally superhuman reflexes and coordination; even the weakest among them still had the attributes of an elite human athlete. However, physical strength was only a small part of the equation. Their physiology and regenerative capabilities allowed them to survive wounds that would kill most humanoids, and recover completely in a matter of days. Their hearing and olfactory senses were much more acute than a human's, and their visual spectrum included both infrared and ultraviolet light allowing for exceptional night vision. To sense the presence of a strong life essence in others, they had developed unique sensory organs unknown in any other sentient species.
They also possessed a natural ability which Jedi who had encountered them claimed was akin to a Jedi mind trick. This appeared to be a form of telepathic hypnosis, effective against the weak-willed or unwary. This hypnotic control strengthened at close range and was honed with age and practice.
They fed in a unique way that was described as grotesque. This action, however, required time and could not be rushed. This is why Anzati preferred telepathic control to physically restraining their prey.
Once a victim was within their power, the Anzati would uncoil their thin proboscises from their cheek pouches located on either side of its nose and usually inserted them into the subject's nostrils and into the cranium, where the brain was sucked out of the organism. Although the Anzati fed by drawing soup out of wherever it resided in a victim, and this varied by species. In most humanoid races, it lay within the brain cavity. This behavior led to the nickname of "space vampires."
If their telepathic hypnosis failed, the victim could struggle, but the Anzat's strength and speed typically allowed them to simply overpower their prey. They had been known to grasp the victim's head to hold it in place close to them as they fed.
They called this meal "luck", "soup", or the "Sea of Memory." The term "luck" referred to the non-physical aspects of it: the life essence or spiritual power of the victim. The actual physical substance they drained out of living beings—the gelid, mucoid medium for the luck or life essence—they referred to as "soup".
The Anzati believed that this life essence governed a living being's personal presence. Thus, the more presence a victim had, the more potent the luck was likely to be. Particularly charismatic individuals were tasty meals for the Anzati.
The life essence upon which Anzati fed was related of the Force, and beings who were gifted in the Force were also extremely appetizing to an Anzat. Experienced Jedi were of course exceptionally dangerous prey, even for Anzati, but they had a tempting combination of vibrant life energy, powerful personal presence, and a strong connection to the Force. The Anzat who made a meal of such a Jedi was a rare and terrible creature indeed, as they gain a share of their victim's Force-sensitivity, adding it to their own innate abilities.
The Anzati, generally, considered such discussions academic. "The Force" was a concept developed by younger species. It was a concept Anzati did not recognize as any more correct than any of a dozen theories before. They knew only that weak-willed beings were as unsatisfying as table scraps. To subsist on average sentients, an Anzat would have to feed every few days; and since the meal rarely survived the feast, the Anzat would leave a trail of corpses. In contrast, feeing on a particularly satisfying or powerful being could sate the Anzati for months.
Despite myths to the contrary, victims of the Anzati did not become Anzati themselves.
Society and cultureEdit
The Anzati lived the nomadic existence of solitary hunters, tracking their quarries silently, invisibly and efficiently. An Anzat used his or her sense of personal presence to hunt—to detect prey's soup. The stronger the target's soup, the more the target stood out to the Anzat's senses.
Their abilities served them well in avoiding notice, as well.Their long years gave them plenty of time to study cultures and languages, allowing them to blend in almost anywhere. Despite occasional noticeable individuals, most Anzati diligently maintained as low a profile as possible, disappearing into the galaxy's crowds as soon as anyone appeared to notice their activities, abilities, or longevity. The Anzati simply dwelled among the sentient species of the galaxy, blending into the dizzying myriad of cultures—invisible because, until one revealed its true nature to a victim, an Anzat was just another alien; and, of course, once the victim saw the Anzat, it was too late to warn anyone else.
Because of their secrecy, hunting skills, abilities, and training, Anzati were often employed by governments and organized crime factions as spies or assassins. Their anonymity was frequently their most treasured advantage, so they rarely worked in groups. It was only in the capacity of a bounty hunter or mercenary, with a particularly hard target, that they would abandon their solitary tendencies and band together to form a corporation or guild. On these rare occasions, they would share prey and the financial rewards of their hunts. These corporations were generally informal and temporary, occasionally existing for only one hunt, if they ended up killing each other to eliminate competition for a very "soupy" victim.
Anzati reproduced very infrequently. Parents did not typically give their children names, instead allowing them to seek names that best blended in with their chosen prey. Youthful Anzati reached puberty at approximately one hundred standard years of age, and, when that time came, they left Anzat to hunt for "soup" and continue their eternal existence.
Though it is easy to picture the Anzati as heartless predators, that was no more true of them than it was of any species that ate another species to live. With their long lives, Anzati had plenty of time to develop and pursue all manner of interests; many were devoted patrons of the arts and sciences. A few had even produced works of art of their own: books, music, paintings, sculpture, films, and holos. A common subject for Anzati art were the Silent Voices, beautiful luminescent bands of gases that glowed in the Anzat atmosphere at night. Ancient Anzati believed that these were the life essences of their ancestors. A common perception among those who studied the works of Anzati was that they were hyper-developed scholars, experts in fields of knowledge and craft long since forgotten by younger species.
But while this is true for the many Anzati who enjoyed academic or artistic pursuits, who could remember things that happened centuries or millennia earlier, some truly did have no interest in pursuing mastery of any given area of expertise or knowledge other than hunting. To some Anzati, the important skills to pass on to their offspring were the arts of stealth and the kill; everything else was just amusing diversion. Those Anzati, because the hunger grew as they aged and indulged to a greater degree, ended up becoming more and more isolated. The older the Anzati, the more obsessive they potentially became, sometimes to the point of insanity. They could lose focus on the world around them and in many cases would make a crucial mistake, leading to their ultimate destruction.
Because Anzati were roamers, they were often considered mythical and to be nothing but the things of dark legends and folktales. Thousands of worlds across the galaxy had legends of the Anzati, yet no culture's myths included their origin.To some, this implied that the Anzati had been around longer than any other species. For a long period of time the true location of their homeworld, Anzat, was a mystery. Scientists and explorers who traveled to the world reputed to be Anzat simply disappeared without a trace. There were some reports that placed it in the Mid Rim, near the Perlemian Trade Route.
The Anzati were believed to be one of the first spacefaring races. According to anecdotal evidence offered by sentients fortunate enough to survive their encounters with Anzati, the race roamed and wandered the galaxy, returning to Anzat only to find a mate and reproduce and, in some cases, train with Anzati master assassins.
It was believed that the Anzati encountered the ancient Sith species during the pre-Republic era, and it was from the Anzati that the Sith drew such practices as dining on bloodsoup on their homeworld of Korriban.
Although the Anzati as a species were isolationists, there were several instances in which they were propelled into the galactic spotlight. The earliest known instance was the anomaly of the Jedi Anzat Volfe Karkko. It was rare for an Anzat to become a Jedi because it was believed that Anzati were of too violent a nature to be entrusted with such power as the Jedi wielded, and would not be able to resist using their power to drink the "soup" of those around them.
With Karkko, this belief proved true, as he had been so well trained that he believed himself above the instinct shared by his species, having never tasted "soup." Unfortunately, this same arrogance led Karkko to think that he could control his inbred nature, and he fed. This mistake in turn resulted in Karkko succumbing to the dark side of the Force.
Karkko was captured and held in a stasis field for a millennium on the prison world of Kiffex. During his imprisonment, however, his mind remained active, originally so he could contemplate his actions. Unfortunately, he used this to his advantage, using it to draw numerous followers.
Over time, his legend grew among the Anzati on Kiffex, who worshiped him as "the Dreamer," converting his resting place into a sacred temple. Karkko fed his follower's baser instincts, turning them feral and causing them to prey on the residents of inmates of Kiffex with a ferocity that was striking even for an Anzat. Karkko was eventually killed by Quinlan Vos, thus ending his reign there.
Nikkos Tyris was another fallen Anzat Jedi who was trained as one of Count Dooku's Dark Acolytes. It was he who founded a competing order of Force-users during the Clone Wars as the first Saarai-kaar of the Jensaarai. Fortunately, the Jensaarai did not pose significant harm to others, never rising to influence much beyond their homeworld and only seeking to serve as protectors. Because the first Jensaarai disciples had not yet been corrupted by the dark side and Sith training, those who followed in fact served the light side of the Force, despite their reverence for Sith traditions.
Sajé Tasha, Akku Seii, and Rath Kelkko were three Anzati assassins who were involved with the Jedi in some way during the Clone Wars. Tasha, a female Anzat, was responsible for the death of Finis Valorum, and she and Kelkko were hired by Sora Bulq to train Morgukai warriors on Saleucami. Oppo Rancisis was later assassinated with the help of Rath Kelkko.
When Bulq hired the Anzati to train the Morgukai clones, it left a shortage of assassin masters on Anzat, forcing Akku Seii to break tradition and train many Anzati at once. Because Akku was an acquaintance of Jedi Master Tholme, he aided the Jedi in finding the other Anzati masters. These masters were working with Bok, a Morgukai, to train the growing secret faction. Upon learning of them, Tholme sabotaged their efforts, causing them great displeasure before he killed them in the catacombs of Saleucami.
Around 0 BBY, Dannik Jerriko, a male Anzat bounty hunter known as the Eater of Luck, came to prominence. He was paid handsomely for killing failed assassins, along with murderers, thieves and thugs for his own feeding, calculating that they would not be missed. He was irritable, being unable to tolerate clients who did not appreciate the value of his thorough work; as such, it was not uncommon for him to feed on an unhappy client.
While searching for the "soup" of thieves on Tatooine, he encountered Obi-Wan Kenobi, whose life force he craved. However, he was unable to gain this and instead targeted the much more valuable Han Solo, in lieu of Jabba Desilijic Tiure's bounty on him. He was again unable to feed on his prey, and was later assigned to protect Tash Arranda, Zak Arranda, and Mammon Hoole.
After that assignment, Jerriko returned to Tatooine to spy on Jabba. Still desirous of Solo's soup, the Anzati became excited upon the arrival of a carbonite slab containing Solo. However, Jerriko was deprived of his chance to drink Solo's soup when his Alliance to Restore the Republic comrades saved him. Frustrated at the loss of this opportunity, Jerriko accepted the option of feeding on Jabba, only to be foiled by the Hutt's death at the Great Pit of Carkoon. Mad with vampiric hunger and rage, Jerriko killed a number of unfortunate survivors at Jabba's Palace and then fled Tatooine to continue his endless search for beings on which to feed, with a large bounty on his own head by this time due to his actions.
There appeared to be a feral species of Anzati who were capable of shooting a ropy webbing out of their torso to trap their prey, though this was only seen among the Anzati drawn to Volfe Karkko. They were believed to have been Anzati who went to Kiffex in reverence to Karkko during his imprisonment. Somehow he leeched their vitality, causing them to become degenerate and feral. They retained the ability to speak, but this was usually limited to single words and small phrases.
Behind the scenesEdit
In The Essential Guide to Characters, it is stated that Anzati only consumed a victim's luck, and that a victim could survive. This, however, is contradicted by almost every other source in which an Anzati appears. Nonetheless, the The New Essential Guide to Alien Species does state that the Anzati had a range of names for their meals, among them "Soup", "Luck", and "Sea of Memory".
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 Ultimate Alien Anthology
- ↑ 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 2.21 2.22 2.23 The New Essential Guide to Alien Species
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Star Wars: Republic: Trackdown
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Soup's On: The Pipe Smoker's Tale
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Star Wars: Republic: Darkness
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 I, Jedi
- ↑ 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 Star Wars Gamer 1
- ↑ Evil Never Dies: The Sith Dynasties
- ↑ The Official Star Wars Fact File 135
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Star Wars: Republic: Siege of Saleucami
- ↑ Out of the Closet: The Assassin's Tale
- ↑ The Essential Guide to Characters