The reek was a large thick-skinned, horned, rhino-esque quadruped, native to Ylesia. Subspecies could be found on Iridonia, Kashyyyk and Ithor. They could also be found in ranches on the Codian Moon, Tatooine, and Saleucami.
Biology and appearance
Reeks were even-toed ungulates, herbivores by nature, but they were often fed meat for exhibition sport and executions. This turned their leathery skin crimson and made the reeks much more aggressive. Reeks were unable to survive on only meat, so they were given just enough plant matter to keep them healthy. This method was used by the Geonosians for their Execution Arena reeks. One in particular was about to execute Jedi Anakin Skywalker, but was briefly tamed by the Jedi with the help of the Force and was shot to death by Jango Fett. Yet another reek was tamed for General Grievous to ride after his ship was shot down and crashed on the planet Saleucami.
All reeks, including subspecies, were normally brown in color and only changed depending on their diet.
Reeks were usually found in herds and resided in the mossy grasslands of Ylesia. They were very protective of their herds, fighting violently with intruders using their horns.
Reek were commonly exported to other worlds, causing them to adapt and become subspecies.
Another subspecies was the Iridonian reek. Reeks attracted the attention of the Zabrak when they developed interstellar travel. They saw reeks as excellent candidates for war mounts. Soon after, they were exported to Iridonia to be bred. Instead of giving them a meat diet, the Iridonian reeks were given a natural diet consisting of plant matter to keep them fierce and strong with natural vigor, which also turned a reek's skin gray. Adapted to Iridonia, their skin could resist sharp and blunt weapon attacks during battle. The Iridonian reek's horns were much sharper and longer than those of other reeks and were also decorated with tattoos similar to the tattoos a Zabrak was adorned with. Iridonian reeks were encouraged to fight for mates, making them less likely to buck or bolt in battle.
As the Zabrak advanced, the use of reeks in war declined. However, riding war mounts was still taught in most Iridonian military schools.
One subspecies, the Ithorian reek, was exported to Ithor. Their yellow skin color was attributed to their diet consisting of yellow flora and bafforr trees. They were used as plow animals by the Ithorians and were larger and stronger than those found on Ylesia. Their horns were also smaller because of the lack of hostility between reeks. Males and females were separated to reduce competition and to isolate mating periods.
The Ithorian reeks were wiped out during the Yuuzhan Vong War.
A highly uncommon subspecies was the Kashyyykian reek, also known as a ryyk to the Wookiees. The majority of reeks on Kashyyyk died off due to the climate change and the predators, but a select few did survive and learned to thrive. The adaptations required to do so made the Kashyyykian reeks much larger than their cousins. Their horns became narrower, but longer and stronger, and there were one or two examples of the development of poisons beginning to be secreted at the tips.
Behind the scenes
The initial designs of the reek were inspired by Placerias, a stout, four-legged tusked species from the Triassic era. As the design evolved, it began to take on more rhino-like characteristics. Concept sculptor Michael Patrick Murnane was most responsible for developing the reek's final look in a very detailed concept maquette.
They are very similar to real-life rhinoceroses, sharing many traits: they live in herds, they are herbivores but aggressive if provoked, they are massive animals with heavy skin and horns used as weapons, and their main tactic is charging their adversaries. They are also approximately the size of white rhinoceroses, although rhinos are much heavier.
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