- "Aren't Arkanians fascinating, Squint? So loving of science—and so willing to use it."
Biology and appearance
Arkanians considered themselves the pinnacle of evolution, and as such many were distinctly arrogant. Arkanian scientists had been experts in genetic manipulation for millennia, and by the time of the Mandalorian Wars the species had been split into many sub-species, making it hard to determine exactly what a baseline Arkanian was. Most could pass for Human, though the most pure of blood had pure white eyes and four clawed digits on each hand.
Arkanians were capable of seeing into the infrared spectrum, and their eyes were sensitive to sources of extreme heat. This was helpful on their dark and frigid homeworld, but when traveling offworld, many were forced to wear blinders on planets with hotter, younger suns. It was also not unusual for an Arkanian to enhance themselves with internal and/or external cybernetics. It was also standard practice for Arkanians to undergo genetic manipulation of their own bodies, enhancing themselves so as to be better than "lesser" species because of this, even the slowest Arkanian was able to memorize entire libraries of knowledge and calculate problems that even the Galactic Empire's most advanced supercomputers struggled with.
Society and culture
The most defining trait of the Arkanian species was their arrogance which stemmed from their belief that they were the pinnacle of evolution. This led to them often appearing arrogant and aloof to others as they saw themselves as being superior to all other species. Even those with a more moderate viewpoint tended to see themselves as being amongst the most intelligent beings in the galaxy. As such, they were highly confident of their abilities.
Visitors to their homeworld often faced unpleasant and arrogant Arkanians—despite this, Arkanians were deeply offended by impoliteness and when this occurred, the offending individual needed to make amends quickly or risk being ostracized. When offended, an Arkanian typically spoke badly of the other party once they were gone and when no apology was given—the Arkanians were known to lock up the person or detain their starship from leaving the planet with overt threats. Even at this point, however, it was possible to redeem themselves in the eyes of an Arkanian though failure meant that they became even more offended and storm away. But, if successful, the individual needed to also offer a gift to the offended Arkanian as a sign of their sincerity.
Knowledge and research were highly prized within Arkanian society which meant that many of the species were highly skilled scientists as well as academics. Their near boundless arrogance and great wealth as well as dedication was unmatched by others with their scientific community creating research projects that easily matched those of the Galactic Republic and later the Galactic Empire. Imperial researchers often struggled to match the dedication of the Arkanians as their projects often took generations to unfold. In addition, they were not above using their intelligence and research to gain profit with their corporations massing great wealth due to medical treatments entering the market at opportune moments. Arkanian scientists were well known explorers and they were also famous for their skills in genetic manipulation which resulted from their fascination in the genetic make-up of other races. This had led to frequent experimentation on alien species, much to the subjects' detriment as a result of Arkanian involvement.
The Arkanians themselves were not above genetic experimentation with this avenue of research leading to the creation of the Arkanian Offshoots that were engineered to perform specific tasks. Occasionally, a number of racist pure blood Arkanians were known to conduct purges of the Offshoot population. Reactions to the Offshoots varied as some Arkanians viewed them as little more than tools or even as slaves but many believed that they were an example of the cruel consequences of Arkanian corporate greed.
Results of their scientific work had led to great advances in medical techniques throughout the galaxy whilst others were considered some of the greatest atrocities known. They were known to have made significant contributions in the fields of cybernetic medical technology and micro-circuitry. Their actions had, however, led to many races holding a negative view of their kind which resulted from the actions of their scientists. However, many Arkanians were either embarrassed or even horrified at the acts their kind had gone to in the name of science. The more conscientious of their kind tended to be favored as allies of the Jedi Order and the Republic through their darkest hours.
- "The only thing more dangerous than a foolish Arkanian is a smart one."
- ―Arca Jeth
The Arkanians were native to the Colonies planet, Arkania, a world of frozen tundra and intense cold. The rich gem mines on their planet led to its great development and the construction of elaborate trade cities established by offworlders from the Galactic Republic. This influx of commerce allowed Arkanian culture to flourish and the species quickly became well known throughout the galaxy for their extremely reclusive scientists. It was believed for generations that the Arkanians, because of their tampering, had been involved in the creation of new species.
In fact, their reputation for experiments on other species were largely accurate. One of their earliest known endeavors was the creation of the Quermian species from the Xexto around 17,000 BBY. Though they abandoned their clandestine experiments, fearing legal action from the Republic, the Quermians resurfaced millennium later. During the Mandalorian Wars when The Adasca BioMechanical Corporation of Arkania implemented Project Black Harvest that was launched by Lord Arkoh Adasca who intended to use it as a means of gaining further power for himself through the use of the ancient exogorths which floated through space.
In 490 BBY, the Arkanians began experiments on their dim-witted Yaka neighbors in order to uplift the species, bestowing intelligence upon the previously simple-minded race. Much criticism was leveled at the Arkanians for their actions toward the Yaka and protests were made against their government, the Arkanian Dominion, by their own people. Though they dramatically increased the intelligence of the Yaka species with cybernetic enhancements, they also removed all traces of emotion from them. The controversy culminated in 50 BBY with the Arkanian Revolution. A group of renegade scientists on Arkania, disapproving of the systematic alteration of the Yaka, built an army of cyborg knights to overthrow the Arkanian Dominion, the dominant government. The rebels were defeated when the Jedi intervened in the war.
Following the revolution, the typical Arkanian mindset continued to dominate their culture and they proved to be among the most vocal members of the Galactic Senate. Time and again, investigations were conducted by the Senate into the activity of Arkanian scientists. This state of affairs continued into the emergence of the Galactic Empire, when it was known that many Arkanians worked in the secret laboratories of Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin and Grand Admiral Demetrius Zaarin. Throughout the Galactic Civil War, many Rebel sympathizers blamed the Arkanians for unleashing bio-weapons during the war and upon the emergence of the New Republic, the species were not permitted to join the fledgling government. This further incriminated Arkanian scientists for their complicity with the previous Imperial government as information regarding their role during the New Order came to light.
Arkanians in the galaxy
Among the most well known Arkanians was the Jedi Master Arca Jeth who rose to fame during the Great Sith War. Fighting in numerous campaigns ranging from the defeat of the Lorell Raiders and the Freedon Nadd Uprising, his final mission involved defending the galaxy against the rise of the Krath cult. Master Jeth was highly regarded both within the Jedi Order and in Arkanian society, training many students at his praxeum in the snow fields of Arkania.