The Koboks were sentient insectoids native to the planet Koboth. Strong and nimble despite a skeleton-like frame, a Kobok was a formidable opponent in combat due to spikes that projected from each limb; the natural weapons delivered a potent venom capable of knocking out Human-sized targets for several hours. Each member of the species possessed three eyes, two at the front of the head and one at the back, which provided a 360-degree field of vision. The fuzzy carapace that covered the face was mutable and allowed a Kobok to convey expressions with the mouth and eyes.
Their homeworld, located in the Outer Rim Territories, on the fringe of the Tingel Arm, was ruled by the Koboth Union, and their control extended over an area known as Kobothi Space. Although the species brokered trade agreements with neighbors such as the Trianii and the Hiitians, they clashed with their neighbors from the Corporate Alliance and warred for years. The rivalry lead to such conflagrations as the violent Mavvan Conflict, which gave rise to the elite Kobok unit known as the Kobothi S-Corps. The Koboks became known for their militarism due to such wars, and outside their sphere of influence, the Koboks had a reputation as violent and sneaky. Few representatives of the species migrated to worlds outside Kobothi Space—with the exception of the planet Roon, which had a sizable Kobok population—but those who did emigrate tended to work as assassins, mercenaries, and soldiers, and thus reinforced their species' martial reputation.
Biology and appearance
The Koboks were a species of thin, sentient insectoids. The Kobok body was roughly humanoid, with a bipedal stance and a slight, almost skeletal frame. A typical member of the species stood between 1.3 and 1.8 meters tall, but due to the body's thinness, rarely weighed more than sixty kilograms. Nevertheless, Koboks were quite strong despite the slight frame, and some could jump as high as half their body length. In general, their constitution was not particularly robust. Nevertheless, they were immune to the more deadly effects of an ailment known as Rooze Disease—the medicine for the illness did cause them to laugh uncontrollably, though. A Kobok reached adolescence at age nine, adulthood at age seventeen, and had a life expectancy of seventy-six years.
Although yellow Koboks were most common, the coloration of a Kobok's carapace depended on the region of the species' homeworld, Koboth, from which the individual came. For example, the Koboks from the Kuurok Peninsula tended to sport a dark green to black carapace. Other Koboks had crème, beige, brown, orange, or green colorations. The carapace featured several spikes and protrusions, and it was rigid and fairly durable. This covering afforded the Koboks resistance to the harmful effects of exposure to radiation.
Claws, also referred to as foreclaws and stingers, grew from each of a Kobok's limbs, four on each forearm and three on each shin. Kobok combatants were able to extend these natural weapons somewhat in preparation for combat to allow for a slashing attack against enemies. Such natural weapons delivered a potent venom that was capable of rendering a victim unconscious for several hours. Not even Koboks were immune to such effects; it was possible for careless individuals to knock themselves out. Koboks possessed four-fingered hands and three-toed feet. Members of the species walked with the torso angled slightly forward.
Each Kobok possessed three compound eyes set into spiked sockets and covered by lids. Alhough the carapace was tough and chitinous like that of many insectoid species, their spiky brows were also able to move to create expressions. Two of these organs were positioned at the front of the head roughly where a Human's eyes were located, and one was at the center of the back of the head. Each eye had a wide field of vision, so in tandem, the three visual organs provided the Kobok with a 360-degree view of his or her surroundings. These visual organs were red or orange in color. Although the Kobok mouth featured insectoid mandibles, it opened to reveal a humanoid interior, including sharp, white teeth and a red tongue. This physiology allowed the Kobok to create humanoid facial expressions, such as a smile. Two small, flat nostrils perforated the front of the face. Koboks were covered in a thin fuzz, and they were able to grow the hair on their faces long, with some individuals even gathering their facial fuzz into a sort of ponytail beard.
Society and culture
The Koboks hailed from the planet Koboth, where they were governed by the united body of the Koboth Union. A history of violence and warfare, coupled with the harsh and unforgiving nature of their homeworld, made the Koboks a hardy and calculating species. This temperament made them particularly suited for military and mercenary work. Non-Koboks in the galaxy at large saw them as crafty killing machines, a perception only solidified by the Koboks' proclivity for violent professions.
The elite of the Kobok military was known as the Kobothi S-Corps, a body that had been created less than a decade before the Battle of Yavin. The S-Corps were charged with the duty of protecting Kobothi space and interests. The organization used its own "code" languages, known only to members of the unit. The species had access to standard galactic technology, although some Koboks modified their starships to take advantage of their 360-degree field of vision; for example, a Kobok might place radar screens directly behind the pilot. The species spread to the surrounding systems and engaged in trade with their galactic neighbors, such as the Trianii and the Hiitian species. They also came into frequent conflict with the power-hungry Corporate Alliance, as their territories bordered one another.
The species spoke and wrote Kobothi, their native language, which was composed of tonal hisses. The word chsthiss was a farewell greeting in Kobothi. Kobothi was difficult to translate into Basic, although the Koboks were able to speak that language. Examples of Kobok names included Kasj, Koas, Slis, and Tiska. Koboks wore very little clothing other than small scraps of cloth or leather straps.
The Koboks evolved on the Outer Rim Territories planet of Koboth, on the border of the Tingel Arm. As they spread across the six continents and numerous island chains of their homeworld, a planet scorched by solar flares, they diverged into several races distinguished by the color of their carapaces. Although the Koboks had no contact with the greater galaxy for millennia, they developed sub-light space travel on their own. The species spread to surrounding systems and established a sphere of influence known as Kobothi Space. Over thousands of years, they warred constantly with one another. However, with the rise of the Koboth Union several centuries before the fall of the Galactic Republic, the Koboks were united under a single government and began to encounter other sentient species.
Although they never joined the Old Republic, the Koboks brokered trade agreements with both the Trianii and the Hiitians centuries before the rise of the Galactic Empire. Corellian and Duros explorers eventually came across the Koboks and found the insectoids already engaged in intra-system flight. These contacts resulted in the blazing of trade routes to Kobothi Space and brought the planet Koboth into contact with the greater galaxy via the Hydian Way hyperlane.
Because of their proximity to the Corporate Alliance and its planetary holdings, the Koboks became engaged in territorial disputes with their neighbor. One such altercation erupted circa 15 BBY, a dispute that turned more violent than past conflicts. This caused the Koboks to increase the degree of militarization in their society to become even more combat-ready. The Koboks became heavily involved in what became known as the Mavvan Conflict, which in turn led to the creation of the Kobothi S-Corps. Those Koboks who earned distinction in these conflicts were awarded the Koboth Insurgent Mantle, a blue cape. The events further defined the Koboks' galaxy-wide image as capable soldiers.
Koboks in the galaxy
- "I must say, Master Mungo, it's a little late now to realize the error of your ways!"
"Don't worry; he'll have plenty of time to regret it!"
- ―C-3PO and Gaff discuss Mungo Baobab's fate
After their homeworld was opened to trade, some Koboks spread across the galaxy, working as soldiers and mercenaries. Outside Kobothi Space, however, they remained fairly rare. Due to their martial prowess and warrior-like nature, Koboks quickly became associated with mercenary and assassin work. Although they were not a malicious species, these assignments earned them a reputation for being vicious, not unlike another species, the Rodians. Some Force-using Koboks were known, but these were exceedingly rare. Other Koboks found work as scouts.
The planet Roon was a destination for many Koboks who traveled offworld. When the population of Roon had reached 665,000, Koboks made up three percent of the populace. Koboks raised away from their homeworld, such as those on Roon, often were raised to speak Basic rather than Kobothi.
A notable Roon-born Kobok was the mercenary and Imperial collaborator, Gaff. At some point, Gaff visited his species' homeworld and joined the Kobothi S-Corp, but during the reign of Galactic Emperor Palpatine, he returned to Roon. He often wore a Koboth Insurgent Mantle, although it was not known if he actually participated in the Mavvan Conflict. After his return to Roon, Gaff allied himself with Governor Koong, an employment he considered the nadir of his career. During his work for Koong, at a time which he was referred to by some as the governor's “henchman,” he came into conflict with the Human merchant Mungo Baobab and his droids, C-3PO and R2-D2. Gaff assaulted and captured them on several occasions, but the Human and his droids ultimately escaped and defeated Gaff in each instance. Gaff was thought to have escaped Roon after Koong's demise, likely fleeing along the Roon–Ryloth corridor to search for new employment.
Slis Tieeer Dualli was a yellow-hued Kobok mercenary. By 0 ABY, he was a veteran of more than twenty years of mercenary activity, having taken jobs smuggling, assassinating targets, and flying. He considered himself the greatest Kobok pilot in the galaxy—and the greatest pilot of any species in the Outer Rim. Dualli had a temper, though; if a boss crossed him, the Kobok's impulse was to kill the employer. Such disloyalty earned Dualli a reputation as a loose cannon and made jobs hard for him to secure by 0 ABY. That year, Dualli was hired along with nine other top-tier pilots by an anonymous party—unbeknownst to them, a Human assassin known as X-7. Dualli and the others flew to Iope, the third moon of Rinn, with vague promises of a huge payout if they accomplished their mission. However, once Dualli and his compatriots arrived, their employer began firing on them in an attempt to weed out the best among them. Dualli was killed in the skirmish.
Behind the scenes
The character Gaff was the first Kobok to appear in Star Wars continuity. Created for "Tail of the Roon Comets" by Ben Burtt and Michael Reaves, the character was included in each episode of the final story arc of the Droids animated television series, a group of episodes that aired in November 1985. In these episodes, Gaff serves as a crony to Governor Koong, who is himself a lackey to Imperial Admiral Terrinald Screed. Gaff has also featured in an adaptation of a Droids episode: Escape from the Monster Ship: A Droid Adventure, which was published in 1986 and written by Bonnie Bogart.
Kenner intended to sell an action figure version of the Kobok character. The toy company created a cardboard-cutout sketch of a Gaff action figure as a placeholder until a prototype could be created; it showed the character as having a lavender carapace and yellow eyes. The sculpted prototype of the character corrected these errors to show the Kobok with the same color scheme as that which he sports in the Droids cartoon series. Nevertheless, the Star Wars: Droids toy line was canceled before a Gaff toy could reach stores.
The sourcebook Geonosis and the Outer Rim Worlds, created for Wizards of the Coast's Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game by Craig R. Carey, Jason Fry, Jeff Quick, and Daniel Wallace, expanded greatly on the Koboks' history, society, and biology. The game presents the species as stronger than Humans, but less healthy and less charismatic. The 2009 novel Rebel Force: Firefight, written by Alex Wheeler, features another Kobok character, Slis Tieeer Dualli.
- Star Wars: Droids—"Tail of the Roon Comets" (First appearance)
- Escape from the Monster Ship: A Droid Adventure (Adaptation of "Tail of the Roon Comets")
- Star Wars: Droids—"The Roon Games"
- Star Wars: Droids—"Across the Roon Sea"
- Star Wars: Droids—"The Frozen Citadel" (First identified as Kobok)
- Treasure of the Hidden Planet (Collection of "Tail of the Roon Comets," "The Roon Games," "Across the Roon Sea," and "The Frozen Citadel")
- Rebel Force: Firefight
- Star Wars: Droids toy line (Cut)
- A Guide to the Star Wars Universe, Second Edition, Revised and Expanded
- Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Star Wars: Behind the Magic (Picture only)
- Star Wars: The Action Figure Archive (Picture only)
- Geonosis and the Outer Rim Worlds
- "The Toys That Never Were"—Star Wars Insider 92 (Picture only)
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. I; II ("Gaff"; "Koboth")
- (Picture only)
- "Proto Power!"—Star Wars Insider 128 (Picture only)
- Star Wars: The Ultimate Action Figure Collection
- Suns of Fortune
Notes and references
- Geonosis and the Outer Rim Worlds, p. 117.
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. II, p. 223 ("Koboth").
- A Guide to the Star Wars Universe, Second Edition, Revised and Expanded, p. 173.
- Escape from the Monster Ship: A Droid Adventure, p. 8.
- Geonosis and the Outer Rim Worlds, p. 118.
- Star Wars: Droids—"Tail of the Roon Comets".
- Star Wars: Droids—"The Frozen Citadel".
- Star Wars Encyclopedia, p. 109.
- Star Wars: Droids—"The Roon Games".
- Rebel Force: Firefight, Chapter 1.
- Geonosis and the Outer Rim Worlds, pp. 117–118.
- Geonosis and the Outer Rim Worlds, p. 113.
- Geonosis and the Outer Rim Worlds, p. 114.
- Star Wars: Droids—"Across the Roon Sea".
- "A Star Wars CELibration"—Star Wars Insider 27, p. 67.