- "My people are most commonly thought of as spies and assassins, able to disguise themselves and blend in with any group of sentients."
- ―Mammon Hoole
The Shi'ido were a sentient species of shapeshifters from the planet of Lao-mon. Senior Anthropologist Mammon Hoole was a Shi'ido, and used his abilities to infiltrate and monitor other alien species.
Biology and appearance
Little was actually known of the biology of the mysterious Shi'ido. In their natural forms, they were humanoids with pale skin, wide mouths, and deep set eyes. Their entire physiology was extremely pliable, and their skeletons were made of very thin, yet dense, bone. Their tendons were detachable, and could be moved about their body at will.
Due to their pliable structure, Shi'ido were able to mimic nearly any object or being, such as Humans or Rodians. They were also able to drastically increase their mass, and were known to have hidden flesh within their bodies that assisted in such transformations. In addition to this, Shi'ido were also able to change the texture of their skin to mimic rocks, trees, scales or fur. Senior Anthropologist Mammon Hoole, a member of the species, claimed to have taken the shape of a Hutt and a Whaladon at different times. It was known, however, that if a Shi'ido attempted to increase their size in such a manner, they could end up stuck in that form for several weeks to a few months. Unlike Clawdites, Shi'ido were not limited to taking the form of only humanoid species and did not feel pain or discomfort when they changed shape. Also, Shi'ido did not immediately revert back to their true form when they were fatigued or incapacitated as Clawdites did.
Shi'ido had very long life spans and could live to be 500 years old, and were considered adults at 61 years of age. Their ability to change shape improved with age, as well as the ease in which they changed forms. Young Shi'ido could only change the color of their skin and imitate similarly-shaped species, while individuals past the age of 150 could change into any small to large alien species or creature.
In order to complete the image that they sought, Shi'ido also possessed a form of telepathy. They used this ability to project false impressions upon those of other species, allowing them to cover up any inconsistencies with their transformations. This was extremely useful when studying species that identified each other through smell as well as sight, as a Shi'ido could project the feeling that they had the same exact scent as that particular species. Their telepathy required great concentration, and they would lose control of it if they were distracted. As with their shapeshifting abilities, this telepathy also grew more powerful with age.
Society and culture
The Shi'ido evolved on the planet of Lao-mon, which they called Sh'shuun, located in the Unknown Regions. Though they possessed a native language, and learned other languages such as Basic very easily, some xenobiologists were still discussing if there was a written form of Shi'idese as of 0 BBY. They referred to their natural shapeshifting abilities as "skinshifting".
Shi'ido were known to be a shy yet curious species. They preferred to avoid confrontations with other species, especially on their homeworld. Despite their secretive nature, some Shi'ido—especially those of great age—could not resist the urge to travel the galaxy and study other cultures. Though due to their secretive nature and their natural abilities they were known to most as thieves, assassins, and spies, these types of Shi'ido were actually very rare.
The Shi'ido possessed a democratic government, which decided to remain isolated from any galactic powers.
They believed that all their relatives were part of their close family. That is why Mammon Hoole felt that he had to take care of the young Humans Tash and Zak Arranda when their parents died—in reality, Hoole was only related to the children because his brother had married their aunt Beryl.
The Shi'ido lived on the planet of Lao-mon, located in the Unknown Regions. Mammon Hoole stated at one point that whenever scout ships arrived on the planet, the Shi'ido populace would take the forms of rocks or trees to hide, or monstrous animals to scare the colonists away. Their government, a democracy, had decided to remain isolated from galactic affairs, and this decision remained in place at least until the time of the New Republic.
Belia Darzu was a Shi'ido who ventured out into the galaxy and became Dark Lord of the Sith, during the Sictis Wars. She reigned in this position from 1250 to 1230 BBY. Though she was powerful in the ways of the Force, and created monsters known as Technobeasts, she was killed by her fellow Sith Lords, poisoned by the Mecrosa Order.
Circa 1000 BBY, the Jedi textbook The Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force mentioned Shi'ido within its pages, warning students that using the Force to influence Shi'ido was a difficult task at best, and not to underestimate them as opponents.
In 67 BBY, a Force-sensitive Shi'ido used his Force abilities to cheat in a string of casinos across the galaxy in order to provide funds for the heavily indebted Kerred Santhe the Second. His Force-sensetivity drew the attention of the Bith would-be Sith Lord Darth Venamis, who marked this Shi'ido as a potential apprentice. After Venamis' defeat and incapacitation by Darth Plagueis, the Muun Sith Lord tracked down this Shi'ido to a casino in Lianna City. Plagueis managed to chase down the Shi'ido and threatened him into disappearing to a place where neither the Galactic Gaming Commission nor Plagueis would be able to find him.
By the time of the Clone Wars, two Shi'ido were working on the side of the Galactic Republic—Mammon Hoole and Borborygmus Gog. Both worked to counter the biological weapons of the Confederacy of Independent Systems. After the rise of the Galactic Empire, both Shi'ido remained in their positions, though their divergent beliefs would take them in vastly different directions. Another Shi'ido, Vandolae, also worked for the New Order, but he was killed by smugglers while impersonating one of their kind.
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Rise of the Hutt Cartel (Mentioned only)
- Darth Bane: Rule of Two (Appears in holocron)
- Darth Plagueis
- Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace
- The Bounty Hunters: Aurra Sing
- Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
- Star Wars Galaxies (Mentioned only)
- Galaxy of Fear: Eaten Alive (First appearance)
- Galaxy of Fear: City of the Dead
- Galaxy of Fear: Planet Plague
- Galaxy of Fear: The Nightmare Machine
- Galaxy of Fear: Ghost of the Jedi
- Galaxy of Fear: Army of Terror
- Death in the Slave Pits of Lorrd
- Galaxy of Fear: The Brain Spiders
- Galaxy of Fear: The Swarm
- Galaxy of Fear: Spore
- Galaxy of Fear: The Doomsday Ship
- Galaxy of Fear: Clones
- Galaxy of Fear: The Hunger
- The Illustrated Star Wars Universe (First mentioned)
- Alien Encounters
- The Essential Guide to Alien Species
- The University of Sanbra Guide to Intelligent Life: The Clawdites"—Star Wars Gamer 10 "
- Star Wars: Attack of the Clones: The Visual Dictionary
- Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith: The Visual Dictionary
- Ultimate Alien Anthology
- "Shape-shifters"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 12 (Vignette)
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force
- Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side
- The Essential Reader's Companion