- "You are trespassers—intruders, spies. Worse of all, you are Human. Humans have always tried to destroy what alien species have built."
- ―Nolaa Tarkona
Humans, taxonomically referred to as Homo sapiens, were the galaxy's most numerous and politically dominant sentient species with millions of major and minor colonies galaxywide. Believed to have originated on the galactic capital of Coruscant, they could be found anywhere, engaged in many different pursuits: spacers, mercenaries, smugglers, merchants, soldiers, assassins, farmers, crime lords, laborers, slaves, slavers, and many others, including Jedi and Sith. Since Humans were the most common sentient species, they were often considered to be a standard or average to which the biology, psychology, and culture of other species were compared.
Biology and appearance
The Humans were a sentient species that belonged to the simians, a subgroup of the primate order of mammals. As such, they were similar to a number of other species variously designated as apes, including the sentient Ma'alkerrite ape-man, the non-sentient Ferijian apes and a number of mammalian humanoids with a similar physiology. They were taxonomically referred to as Homo sapiens.
Humans were bipedal beings with a bilateral symmetry, having a front and a back end, as well as an upside and downside. Their body comprised a head, neck, torso, and four limbs. The upper limbs, called arms, ended in hands which had five fingers each; the lower ones, called legs, ended in feet with also five digits. The Human fingers had multiple points of articulation, and one of them was an opposable thumb that allowed for fine manipulation. Finally, they had one head perched atop a torso. Other sentient species that had a body type roughly similar to Humans and walked upright were often referred to as humanoids, since Humans were the most common example. Unlike other mammalian species such as Wookiees or Ewoks, they had only a light covering of body hair. Most of it was concentrated on the head and, in the case of adult males, face.
Humans were endotherms, or "warm-blooded" animals, meaning they maintained a constant body temperature independent of the environment using the energy from their food. While some mistakenly described themselves as carnivores, Humans were in fact omnivores, subsisting on both animal tissue and plant-based foods. For that reason, their gastrointestinal system was much longer than that of true carnivores such as the Devaronians. Many Humans were partial to food products that were unhealthy for them because of their high fat or sugar content.
The Human genome was considered to be remarkably elastic. In reaction to environmental changes, selection pressures only needed few millennia to engage new genes and reshape the Human bodies. A consequence of that exceptional adaptability was the existence of many Near-Human species—that is offshoots of the baseline Humans who had followed their own evolution. Such offshoots included the shapechanging Stennes Shifters, the scaly-skinned Zisians, the blue-skinned Chiss and the gaunt Pau'ans.
As was common to many humanoid species, Humans had two sexes: male and female, with the latter being distinguished by their pronounced breasts, overall smaller stature and lesser quantity of body hair. Members of the Human race could interbreed naturally with many other species, including the Epicanthix, Echani, the Ferroan, Hamadryas, the Kiffar, the Miraluka, the Nagai, and the Theelin. Most of the aforementioned species were in fact Near-Humans. In some cases, Humans could only produce offsprings with members of other species with the help of genetic manipulation or alchemy. Examples of those include the Red Sith, the Qiraash or the Umbarans.
- "Selection pressures need a few millennia at most to engage new genes and reshape their bodies in response to environmental changes, as the galaxy's countless near-human populations attest."
- ―Hali Ke
Despite overall physiological uniformity, baseline Humans varied greatly in appearance, and no two Humans looked exactly alike. One of the diversity factors was height. Humans averaged 1.80 meters in height, although males were usually taller and heavier than females. Some individuals affected by giantism could grow up to 2.30 meters. On the contrary, those afflicted with nanism could be as small-sized as 1.3 meters.
Their hair was grown, cut, and styled for aesthetic or ritualistic reasons—as with the elaborate hairstyles of the Royal Naboo and the traditional braids of Human Jedi Padawans. The facial hair grown by adult males could be grown, styled, or shaved completely. Their hair color ranged from blond to black, sometimes with hues of red or brown, changing to gray or white as years passed. It could be straight, wavy, or curly. In addition to those varied hair colors, their eyes came in shades of blue, green, gray, or brown. Gradiation of skin tone was also seen among baseline Humans, usually limited to various shades of brown, ranging from dark brown, through lighter shades, to pale skin.. Diversity in appearance was seen on many Human populations, and no particular features seemed to have been traceable to specific isolated communities on any locations. The planet Socorro could have conceivably been an exception, as most of its known Human inhabitants seemed to possess dark skin and hair.[source?]
There existed a classification of Human beings in use at the Fusai library branch of the Celebratus Archive, which cataloged Humans by degrees. In that system, Luke Skywalker and Gyla Petro were referred to as "10th Degree" Humans.
- "Mother Rell is nearly three hundred years old, but her spirit is so strong that it will not let her body die."
- ―Augwynne Djo, about her centuries-old mother
Humans were sexually-reproduced animals, requiring the mating of an opposite sex couple to produce offsprings. While developing in their mother's womb, the child gave her a distinctive shape accompanied by a significant weight gain. Being mammals, the Human females gave birth to live young, either one or several at a time. Two children born at the same birth were referred to as twins, and three as triplets. The delivery itself normally took place after nine months of pregnancy. It was a painful process that could take as much as ten hours. In some circumstances, women could die during childbirth, although it rarely happened on worlds that had top-flight medical technologies. During their first months of existence, Human babies were usually fed with milk from their mother's breasts.
The period during which a young Human developed from a child into an adult was known as adolescence. According to the Equani therapist Klo Merit, that stage of development was hard to endure without support. Regardless of physiological and psychological changes, the legal transition from childhood to adulthood depended on culture. While some societies treated their members as adults as early as the age of 13, others considered that full adulthood was only attained at 21.
Typically, Humans had an average lifespan of 100 to 120 standard years. Those who were keenly atuned to the Force, a ubiquitous and binding power that suffused the whole Known Universe, could live up to 200. On worlds that possessed advanced technology, such as Bakura, individuals over the age of 160 who were still hale and hearty were not unheard of. By 5 ABY, the Human couple Eppie and Orn Belden were respectively 132 and 164, although the latter wore a voice amplifier on his chest and had gone through three hearts in his life. Thanks to countless medical treatments and organ transplants accessible to a financial elite, it was possible to extend Human lifetime to the age of 300, and at least one Forceful individual was known to have reached the age of 800. In spite of his age, that individual, the Jedi Master Shayoto, was still able to hike all the way up Mount Meru with a cane. At any rate, individuals past the age of 80 were considered old, and most Humans still died in their early hundreds unless they were wealthy enough to afford rejuvenation procedures of the sort available at Aurora Medical Facility on Obroa-skai. However, many older Humans were still healthy enough to pursue very active careers, as exemplified by Gilad Pellaeon, who still served as the supreme commander of the Galactic Alliance Defense Force in 40 ABY, at age 91. Natural signs of ageing in Humans included the whitening or fall of the hair, the loss of teeth, appearance of deep lines, wrinkles and dark blemishes on the skin. Old Humans would experience a decline in many cognitive processes, frequently losing track of time, misidentifying people or places, and, in extreme cases, momentarily forgetting about their own identity or state.
Society and culture
- "Humans are simultaneously capable of extraordinary viciousness and extraordinary acts of kindness and altruism."
- ―Hali Ke
Humans were noted for being naturally learning and extremely adaptable—not only in terms of physiology, but also mentality and society. Their societies were capable of transforming very quickly in response to a wide array of conditions, which explains why two Human populations could have next to nothing in common culturally speaking. As noted by the Kaminoan scientist Hali Ke, some Human peoples had more in common with neighbors of other species than with their own kind.
- "I was saying that, among the intelligent species of the galaxy, we humans are a most prolific, preternaturally protean people."
- ―Duttes Mer
Having a recorded and civilized history reaching back far beyond the beginning of space travel, the origin and early history of Humans was lost to their scientists in the depths of millennia. Whatever the original homeworld was, it was universally accepted that Humans evolved on one of the Core Worlds near the galaxy's center. Humans were among the few sentient species in the galaxy whose homeworld was unknown, the Ryn, Yoda's species and the Baragwins being some other examples.
According to an inscription found by archaeologists Dr. Ualp Xathan and Fem Nu-Ar on Seoul 5 around 4 ABY, Humans originated on the planet Notron, an archaic name for Coruscant. The ancient Zhell nations, who drove the Near-Human Taungs from Coruscant, may have been the progenitors of later Humans. Coruscant's ground had been several kilometers below its inhabitants' feet for millennia, with the lowest depths of its planet-wide city dating back to 100,000 BBY. Thus, it was impossible to carry out the historical study and archaeological research on the planet's prehistory necessary to prove or to disprove that theory. In addition, Coruscant's natural climate was said to be too cold to support Human life, a claim difficult to be reconciled with the theory that it was the original Human homeworld. Tarnese Bleyd believed that the ancestors of Humans favored trees and high ground based upon his observations of human hunting behavior.
It is possible that some ancient civilization, such as the Celestials or even the Rakata, transported early Humans from their original home planet to others. It was, in fact, alleged that they had once been a slave race of the Infinite Empire; however, any knowledge of Human enslavement was absent from Rakatan records as of 3956 BBY. Some of the far-flung 'colonies' eventually diverged genetically from the Human baseline, giving rise to various Near-Human races and species.
During the Jedi Civil War, the Jedi Revan discovered evidence in the oral traditions of the Sand People on Tatooine that the human species may have originated as slaves taken from that planet by the Rakata, the Sand People being the genetically distinct species that evolved from those who were left behind. The fact that the Sand People's legends indicated that the planet had once been far more temperate and habitable before an ancient war with the Rakata adds credence to this possibility. However, millennia of distortion introduced into the historical record combined with the Sand People's extreme hostility to the idea of introducing new interpretations into their oral tradition made it impossible for Revan to investigate this further.
Humans discovered space travel themselves, early in their history; in fact, they were already present on a few scattered colony planets of the Core Worlds even before the development of hyperdrive, thanks to the use of sleeper ships. Coruscant had grown to a planet-wide city and from there, they spread to such Core Worlds as Alderaan, Corellia, Corulag, and Chandrila.
During their early history, Humans seem to have been subjugated by the Rakatan Infinite Empire. Though some sources indicate that they were enslaved workers on Rakatan projects such as the Star Forge, the fact that the droids and computers Rakatan ruins on Dantooine dating from that era did not recognize the Human species points to the contrary.
After the fall of the Infinite Empire circa 25,200 BBY, the Humans of the Core used Rakatan technology to set up a true interstellar civilization. At first, a network of hyperspace cannons linked Coruscant with other Human-populated worlds, as well as the Duros civilization. Corellian Humans were one of the first societies to develop hyperdrive starships sometime before 25,053 BBY, spreading the technology to other Core Worlds. With the hyperdrive, their scouts and explorers traveled and met with other species, in a time known as the Expansionist Era.
The Human colonies, which had expanded through the Core Worlds through slower-than-light travel, later established daughter colonies of their own in what became the Colonies region. During the last pre-Republic years, Humans reached the Outer Rim and populated planets as far away as the Tion Cluster. The Tionese warlord Xim the Despot, whose conquests reached from the Cronese Sweeps to the Si'Klaata Cluster at the edge of Hutt Space, was one of the most prominent Humans of the pre-Republic period.
During the Expansionist Era, Humans began to play a dominant role in the development of the galaxy and in galactic politics. These Humans were eventually responsible for the Unification Wars, which resulted from their expansionistic views. The wars themselves led to the formation of the Galactic Republic, a galaxy-spanning affiliation of worlds and species. Though the Republic had many member species, most of the Republic's political, military, and economic leaders were Humans. Humans also made up a large proportion of the Jedi Order, and eventually came to dominate the Jedi's constant enemies, the Sith Order. By the end of the Old Sith Wars, Humans also made up the majority of the Mandalorian warrior culture.
Most Humans under the Republic lived on predominantly Human worlds, although many Humans lived alongside aliens on their homeworlds, or together with several other species. Humans were more likely to live among nonhumans on the cosmopolitan Core Worlds, or on frontier worlds at the Outer Rim of the galaxy such as Tatooine. Predominantly Human worlds outside of the Core included Eriadu, Naboo, Socorro, and Bakura.
Human population levels and significance inevitably led to a Humanocentric galaxy. Humanocentrism was pervasive and in many cases, subconscious. Humanocentrism was the source for the Human use of the term "alien" to describe nonhuman species. In some cases, this led to overt and even violent outbreaks of speciesism. Although explicit Humanocentrism was outlawed by the Rights of Sentience clause of the Galactic Constitution, Human-led companies such as Czerka enslaved entire nonhuman species, while planets such as Taris reserved the best sections of the world for Humans and forced nonhumans into ghettos. The majority of slaves in the galaxy were nonhumans.
At the end of the Galactic Republic's history, the Clone Wars worsened relationships between Humans and aliens, since the Republic was led by Humans while the Confederacy of Independent Systems was led by aliens. This was evident by the formation of several pro-Human groups within the Republic, including the Commission for the Protection of the Republic (COMPOR) and its chapter SAGroup. COMPOR pressured the First Minister of the Coruscant Ministry of Ingress, Tannon Praji, into deporting all members of species whose homeworld had joined the CIS, thus decreasing the nonhuman presence in the Galactic capital.
At the time of the foundation of the Galactic Empire in 19 BBY, there were several large populist groups active on Coruscant that advocated concepts of Human supremacy, or Human High Culture. These were quickly assimilated into the nascent Commission for the Preservation of the New Order (COMPNOR).
The tenets of Human High Culture were that Humans were the only truly intelligent and productive members of any society. Believers in this ideology pointed out that it was almost exclusively Humans who had formed and led the Old Republic, and that the Human worlds of the Core were some of the oldest, richest, and most advanced in the galaxy. The contributions of nonhumans were overlooked, with later Imperial propaganda spreading misinformation which claimed such ancient civilizations as the Columi and the Mon Calamari were insignificant, recent additions to the Galactic community.
As such, through the repealing of such laws as the Rights of Sentience and the creation of new acts, most nonhumans were made second-class citizens. Slavery was re-legalized, with the majority of slaves being nonhumans. Only "pure" works of art (such as operas, holovids, books, etc) were allowed to be produced, viewed, and spread, since only Human culture was worthy enough to be allowed to prosper in the New Order. Non-Humans were "actively discouraged" from participating in government or joining the Imperial military, and Human governors and moffs were placed in command of nonhuman worlds and sectors.
Later in the Imperial era, an anti-Human organization known as the Alien Combine was formed as a result of the injustices inflicted. However, since the Alien Combine was unwilling to take drastic actions (terrorism), it was wiped out by the Empire.
Despite this, there were many Humans who opposed the Empire's policies, most notably Mon Mothma, Bail Prestor Organa, his adopted daughter Princess Leia, Jan Dodonna and Garm Bel Iblis. These individuals, along with notable nonhumans like Admiral Gial Ackbar, and Borsk Fey'lya, founded and led the Alliance to Restore the Republic, or Rebel Alliance. One of the main principles of the Alliance was the reversal of the Empire's discriminatory policies, and the liberation of enslaved species.
New Republic and Galactic Alliance
- "We have one true enemy: the New Republic, the humans...those who would deny us our rights as sentient beings."
- ―Nolaa Tarkona
Following the Battle of Endor in 4 ABY, the Empire splintered into various warring states. The Rebel Alliance became known as the Alliance of Free Planets and eventually the New Republic, the new dominant Galactic government. However, the outbreak of the deadly Krytos virus, which affected only nonhumans, following the liberation of Coruscant in 7 ABY drove a wedge between the New Republic's Human and alien populations. This would be resolved when the New Republic acquired bacta from Thyferra following the Bacta War. Though the New Republic reversed the Empire's discriminatory policies and gave power to oppressed nonhuman species, three of the six Chiefs of State who led the New Republic were Human: Mon Mothma, Leia Organa Solo, and Cal Omas.
The views of Human High Culture were still kept alive in the New Republic for years after the Empire's defeat, by fringe groups such as the Human League which initiated the First Corellian Insurrection in 18 ABY. Slavery of aliens also continued in remote parts of the galaxy and some Imperial fortress worlds. In 12 ABY, Admiral Daala strongly weakened this concept within the United Warlord Fleets by allowing aliens of all kinds to join the Imperial military.
After the signing of the Bastion Accords in 19 ABY which ended the war between the New Republic and the Imperial Remnant, the fanatical anti-Human Diversity Alliance attempted to destroy all Humans in retaliation for the oppression inflicted by the Empire. However, their uprising was stopped as soon as it had begun by the Jedi and the New Republic in 24 ABY. Following the collapse of the Diversity Alliance, the Cooperative Council of Independent Planetary Governments was formed to promote cooperation between the species of the New Republic.
During the Yuuzhan Vong War (25 ABY–30 ABY), the various species and governments of the galaxy were forced to unite to defeat the invasion of the extragalactic Yuuzhan Vong. In the war's aftermath, the New Republic was reorganized into the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances. Under Cal Omas, the former government's policies of cooperation between Humans and nonhumans continued.
The Second Galactic Civil War which started in 40 ABY created an upsurge of anti-Corellian feeling even amongst their fellow Humans. On Coruscant, Corellians were regarded with suspicion by fellow citizens and many were interned including those who had fought for the Galactic Alliance and its predecessors.
New Empire and Sith Order
Throughout the Legacy era, Humans would dominate much of galactic society though the Galactic Alliance's policies of interspecies cooperation would presumably continue. Between 130 ABY and 137 ABY, the Galactic Alliance, the Jedi Order and the Yuuzhan Vong shaper caste initiated a successful terraforming of the war-devastated world of Ossus which had been a great Jedi center of learning in the distant past.
As a result, about one hundred devastated worlds turned to the Yuuzhan Vong and Jedi for help. The results proved beneficial for the inhabitants and it seemed that there would be peace in the galaxy. Alas, the new Sith Order under the leadership of Darth Krayt sabotaged the project by causing mutations and diseases in life forms. The Sith had successfully used the galaxy's dormant prejudice towards the Yuuzhan Vong.
An enraged galaxy turned their fury on the Yuuzhan Vong, Jedi and the Alliance, just as the Sith had wanted. The Galactic Alliance had supported this beneficial terraforming under the encouragement of the New Jedi Order, and found itself facing a secession movement with this deadly new development. This movement was led by the former Imperial Remnant which had by then become the new Galactic Empire. Unlike the Humanocentric Galactic Empire of Palpatine, this new Empire treated Humans and aliens more equally. This was evident by its military forces including the legendary 501st Legion having specialized armor created for nonhumanoid species. But command positions in the Empire were still apparently reserved for Humans and Near-Humans like the Chiss. The Sith, on the other hand, had only few Humans among the Sith Lords of their Order.
Eventually, the Moff Council (which controlled the Empire) invoked the Treaty of Anaxes and declared war on the Galactic Alliance. Many of the dissatisfied worlds defected from the Alliance to the Empire, with others declaring their neutrality. It was at this time the new Sith Order made itself known, proposing an alliance with the Empire after contacting Moff Nyna Calixte, Director of Imperial Intelligence.
The resulting Sith–Imperial War lasted three years, during which Imperial forces reconquered Coruscant and absorbed the remainder of the Alliance into the Empire. The Jedi were forced to retreat to their temple on Ossus, which was later the focus of an attack by Sith forces led by Darth Krayt and Imperial forces led by Moff Rulf Yage. Shortly after, the Sith turned against Emperor Roan Fel and his Imperial Knights.
Many species in the galaxy appeared to be very closely related to Humans, as they shared many physical traits. These were described as being near-Human, and were believed to have descended from Humans that evolved along distinct lines on other worlds. Among the most prominent near-Human races were the Chalactans, the Chiss, the Hapans, the Kiffar, the Miraluka, the Mirialans,the Zeltrons, and the Umbarans. All of these were mostly Human in appearance, but had unique and distinct defining characteristics. Often, the biological differences were small enough that Humans and near-Humans could interbreed. In many cases, it was difficult to tell whether a given population represented a distinct species, or merely a race or ethnic group of baseline Humans.
The term near-Human was more specific than humanoid. While near-Humans were biologically related to Humans, other humanoid species merely shared broad external similarities such as an upright bipedal posture.
Behind the scenes
The origin of Humans in Star Wars is unknown (though many in the galaxy believe that they originated on Coruscant). Since they appear to be identical to Humans on Earth, some fans have created theories about a species of extragalactic aliens who transported early Humans from Earth to the "Galaxy Far, Far Away". Other fans suggest that parallel evolution could have produced Humans in the Star Wars galaxy as well as in the Milky Way. A canceled, and therefore non-canon, novel known as Alien Exodus would have explained the origins of Humanity and their connection with Earth, but it was never published for a variety of reasons. The storyline in this novel involved both space travel and time travel, which would have explained the line "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away."
Though Humans have been portrayed in film mostly by actors of European descent, Humans in the Star Wars galaxy appear to be ethnically diverse. Specific physical features are rarely associated with specific Human groups; however, most known Serrocoans appear to possess epicanthal folds, while Socorroans have generally dark skin.
Humans have appeared in all six Star Wars films, as well as in nearly every Expanded Universe story. Notable exceptions include every episode of Ewoks except for the final episode (Battle for the Sunstar) and the Star Wars Tales comic "George R. Binks".
The word "Human" is not capitalized in most sources, but it was decided to capitalize it on Wookieepedia for consistency, since all other sentient species have their names capitalized.
Leland Chee indicated that during the Legends Expanded Universe, the humans lived longer largely because they didn't have to take into account the actors getting older, although by the time of the Canon Expanded Universe, he stated that humans lived the same average lifespan as humans in the real world, which is estimated to be 71 years of age.
Notes and references
- Humans & humanoids, on Star Wars Technical Commentaries
- Human on Wikipedia
- Human (Star Wars) on Wikipedia
- Human on the SWG Wiki