The Oku were a white-furred species of primitive alien sentients native to the frigid, mineral-rich planet Tokmia in the Outer Rim Territories. The Figg Excavations mining company exhausted Tokmia's mines and eventually abandoned the planet, leaving behind a cargo cult among the natives. Remembering the handouts that Figg employees gave them during each mining operation, the Oku lit huge fires to serve as landing lights in the hope that the offworlders would one day return.
Biology and appearance
The Oku were a species of white-furred, barely-sentient aliens. They survived among the vast, frozen flatlands of their homeworld of Tokmia, a tundra planet with 90 percent standard gravity and a Type I atmosphere.
Society and culture
The Oku evolved on the frozen terrestrial planet Tokmia, located in the remote Anoat sector of the Outer Rim Territories. Tokmia boasted plentiful crystal and ore deposits, which once attracted the interest of the Figg Excavations mining company. Figg Excavations earned a fortune from Tokmia's mineral bounty, and Figg employees left handouts for the Oku natives with each operation. When the mines ran dry, however, Figg Excavations pulled out and abandoned the planet. The Oku developed a bizarre cargo cult in response, burning huge fires in patterns reminiscent of landing lights and prophesying that the magical starships of their benevolent offworld visitors would someday return.
Behind the scenes
The 2004 Wizards of the Coast online article "Galactic Gazetteer: Hoth and the Greater Javin," a Star Wars Roleplaying Game supplement, first mentioned the Oku among its description of the planet Tokmia.
The Oku cargo cult closely resembles the real-world anthropological phenomenon of cargo cults, particularly those that developed among some indigenous Pacific Island cultures in the aftermath of World War II. Melanesians, for example, benefited from the vast amounts of war matériel that both American and Japanese forces introduced to their culture. Once the war ended, some Melanesians lit signal fires, among other acts designed to mimic soldiers, believing they could compel the return of the foreigners' material goods.
Notes and references
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. III, p. 252 ("Tokmia")