This article covers the Canon version of this subject.  Click here for Wookieepedia's article on the Legends version of this subject. 
TPMCGYoda.jpg

Master Qui-Gon, more to say, have you?

It is requested that this article, or a section of this article, be expanded.

See the request on the listing or on this article's talk page. Once the improvements have been completed, you may remove this notice and the page's listing.

"The Bith see the poetry in the mathematics of music."
Djas Puhr[src]

The Bith were a peaceful and intelligent sentient species that were native to the planet Bith.[1] They had hairless, domed heads and black, glassy eyes[4] that lacked eyelids and could not shed tears.[10] Bith often found work as musicians, scientists, and engineers.[13] Bith also had very sensitive hearing, being able to separate and isolate sounds around them.[14] Loud sonic grenades could make their heads explode. Because Bith had no noses, they smelled through special organs beneath the skin flaps on their faces.[15]

Description[edit | edit source]

The Bith were a sentient humanoid species whose most distinguishing features were their large eyes, high cranial bone and lack of a prominent nasal organ. These features made them one of the most recognizable species in the galaxy, although they otherwise resembled other humanoids in possessing a torso with two arms, two legs and a single head. A Bith's two large eyes contained large black pupils that were capable of picking up a large range of wavelengths and so gave the species remarkable eyesight.[16]

Beneath a Bith's eyes were a series of olfactory facial folds, although these were not used for respiration by the species, which instead absorbed air through its skin. Along with their lack of a nose, Bith lacked any visually obvious auditory organs, but despite this the species had very sensitive hearing, with loud noises causing them a great deal of pain. Popular fiction went so far as to depict sonic attacks as causing Bith's heads to explode, although this was inaccurate.[16]

Society and culture[edit | edit source]

The cost of war[edit | edit source]

Bith society on their homeworld of Bith was divided into city-states, a governance system that functioned smoothly despite being so chaotic. Bith culture changed radically following the Nozho–Weogar War that devastated their homeworld, with the population split between those quarantined permanently on Bith, and those out in the galaxy who were unable to ever return.[16]

Following the terrible cost of the conflict, the species became pacifistic, not through any cultural tradition, but instead due to historical exhaustion with conflict. The offworld members of the species experienced losing a home without it physically being gone, and a cultural split formed between them and those still on the planet, who eventually managed to stabilize their culture and government. Despite this split, all Bith use their species civil war as an object lesson on the futility of violence.[16]

The Bith were a colonial species who had migrated and adapted to dominate many worlds,[17] but many of those unable to return to the quarantined world struggled to make a living after migrating to the Outer Rim. Due to species's strong history of adaptation, some of those struggling eventually became musicians. Those that did became well known in the field despite Bith possessing no greater innate talent for music than any other species. Never-the-less, through misconception and exaggeration by the galactic community, the species quickly gained a reputation for its musical skill[16] alongside its intelligence and peaceful ways.[1]

Cities and language[edit | edit source]

By the Galactic Civil War, those Bith still on Bith lived within domed cities that protected them from the rapidly mutating flora and fauna dwelling in the still ravaged environment. Most of the cities were located amongst the crags of mountain ranges and so were reliant on subterranean engineering and urban architectural advances to expand either deeper into the mountain beneath them or higher into the air above in order to alleviate the cramped conditions. While the cities were safe to live in and visit, most offworlders, including other Bith, found being on Bith harsh and depressing.[16]

The Bith language originally developed with a symbolic and numerical structure; however, but following the civil war it became divorced from the numerological aspects. Some Bith did continue to use the numerical words as part of coded communication with other Bith. All Bith also learned Galactic Basic at a young age due to the species dependence on offworld trade for basic necessities.[16]

History[edit | edit source]

Local wars[edit | edit source]

Bith was at one point a strong member of the Galactic Republic's Galactic Senate, with Bith travelling widely, taking part in scientific and philosophical debate, and helping both their homeworld and the galaxy prosper both intellectually and economically. On Bith itself, corruption became rampant, reaching levels similar to those that the Republic itself would come to have shortly prior to its collapse. This all changed around three hundred years before the Galactic Civil War, when a civil war broke out between the city-states of Nozho and Weogar. During the short-lived war, both sides launched biological, chemical, and mutgenic weapons against each other, causing immense damage to the planet's ecosystem and ultimately claiming the lives of the majority of Bith's population.[16]

The remaining Bith governments set up a planet-wide quarantine, preventing the return of the many off-world Bith who tried to rush home. Those who were unafflicted following the war scattered across the Outer Rim Territories, searching for work, but also aid for their home. With all of the species' finances focused on the repairing the damage to Bith, offworld Bith colonies and outposts dissolved or were absorbed into other communities. The quarantine caused other species to assume the Bith were plagued, and the planet Bith virtually disappeared from galactic life.[16]

Galactic wars[edit | edit source]

In the years that followed the civil war, the Bith maintained its voice in the Galactic Senate, but after spending centuries begging for financial support, they became disillusioned with the Republic, which by this time had grown corrupt. When the Separatist Crisis finally arose, the Confederacy of Independent Systems promised the Bith much needed supplies and aid, persuading them to secede from the corrupt Republic. The Bith did not provide military support for the Separatists during the following Clone Wars, but none-the-less were heavily persecuted by the wrathful Galactic Empire that was formed from the collapse of the Republic. This left the species no choice but to side with the Alliance to Restore the Republic, despite the Biths' general uneasiness at participating in another war.[16]

The Bith were reminded of the terrible cost of such wars when the Empire destroyed the planet Alderaan[16] in 0 BBY.[18] Some Bith within the Alliance made use of their species' musical reputation to go undercover as musicians, as few people would see anything out of the ordinary about a Bith band playing at a cantina. Rebel Bith engineers also designed special musical instruments such as digital flutes, that could be used by Alliance spies to conceal recording equipment as part of their cover.[16]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Non-canon appearances[edit | edit source]

Sources[edit | edit source]

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.