- "The silooth are mutated from beetles. Long ago, the Sith scattered them across the world of Kalsunor. The click of their mandible became a dire drumbeat. These tank-sized scavengers can still be found on the planet, melting its ruined cities with sprays of acid. The Sith keep swarms of them in reserve for another campaign."
- ―Sorzus Syn, Chronicle of Sorzus Syn
The silooth was a large Sithspawn beetle bred by the Sith Empire for use as a warbeast. Silooth were ferocious creatures that relentlessly attacked anyone or anything that strayed into their paths, spraying acid and using their powerful mandibles to crush their victims. The only deployment of the silooth in combat en masse was during the Battle of Kalsunor, when the Sith released the creatures on the planet Kalsunor and subsequently laid waste to the world. Afterward, the Sith continued to use the beetles on a smaller scale, and descendants of silooth transported to Kalsunor continued to inhabit the world thousands of years later.
Biology and appearance
The silooth was a large, armored Sithspawn beetle that was bred by the Sith Empire, an interstellar fiefdom located within the Stygian Caldera. In their natural state, the silooth were no bigger than a womp rat, but as a result of mutation via Sith alchemy, they were enlarged to the size of a bantha, a common desert herd beast. A silooth had six legs, and its body was covered in a set of brown-colored, segmented chitin plates that served as a form of armor and were artificially thickened as a result of the Sith's manipulations. The carapace was covered by a set of chitinous points, and the creature's head was situated at the front of the carapace. The head featured two yellow eyes and a large jaw containing a set of yellowish, jagged teeth, with mandibles strong enough to crush most sentient beings.
The silooth was adapted for battle, and each leg of the creature ended in a set of razor-sharp claws. The beetle was also capable of spewing acid from its mouth, spraying the substance at targets up to ten meters away. The acid was produced by a series of sacs contained within the creature's maw; when it felt enraged or threatened, the silooth flexed its muscles to empty the contents of two internal sacs containing inert liquids into a third sac, where the two liquids combined to form a powerful acid. The third sac then contracted to spray the acid, and the beetle then could not spew the substance again for a short time until the sacs refueled. While they possessed excellent low-light vision, a silooth was not capable of seeing further than ten meters in front of itself, even during daytime.
The silooth were non-sentient creatures. Though in their natural state the creatures were docile swamp beetles, the Sith altered them to make them predatory and ferocious, with the dark side of the Force fueling their rage. A silooth relentlessly attacked anyone and anything that crossed its path and did not stop until whatever it was that had disturbed it was dead or destroyed. The creatures clacked their mandibles loudly before attacking and commonly fought by spraying acid and crushing enemies with their jaws. Silooth were difficult to control, and even their Sith creators found it hard to restrain the giant beetles.
- "During the same war that birthed the silooth, the Sith introduced the warbird and the war behemoth."
- ―Sorzus Syn, Chronicle of Sorzus Syn
Created from a smaller species of beetle via the means of Sith alchemy, the silooth were bred by the Kissai Ninûshwodzakut—a group of Sith tasked with the creation of warbeasts—for use during a conflict in which the Empire had became embroiled. The silooth subsequently received their combat debut during the Battle of Kalsunor, when they were released en masse on the planet Kalsunor to breach the defenses of the world's cities and to wreak havoc and destruction. The plan was a success, with the silooth causing chaos and laying waste to the planet, allowing a force of Sith warriors sent in behind them to bring the battle to a conclusion and complete the victory for the Sith. However, in the aftermath of the battle, the Sith forces struggled to control the marauding silooth, and the Sith abandoned the world, leaving the beetles behind.
By the time of the arrival of the Dark Jedi Exiles to the Empire in around 6900 BBY, the Sith held swarms of silooth in reserve in case they were needed during a future conflict. Furthermore, the Dark Jedi alchemist Sorzus Syn mentioned the creatures in her chronicle of her encounters with the Sith. However, the creatures ultimately ceased to see mainstream use by the Sith military, and the Battle of Kalsunor remained their only mass deployment. Records of the secret of silooth manipulation were kept within certain Sith holocrons, and, for the remainder of the history of the Sith Empire, it was not uncommon for one or two silooth to be in existence at any one time.
Silooth in the galaxy
An army of silooth was left behind on the planet Kalsunor following the battle there, and for millennia afterward their descendants continued to prey upon whatever other creatures and beings they encountered. Kalsunor was not in the databases of the Galactic Republic, and the exact location of the planet was unknown to the majority of the population of the galaxy, though rumors circulated among fringers of a world overrun by creatures that matched the description of the silooth. During the reign of the Galactic Empire, a Star Destroyer named Silooth saw service within the Imperial Navy, under the command of Grand Admiral Peccati Syn.
Behind the scenes
The silooth was first mentioned in the 2001 roleplaying supplement The Dark Side Sourcebook, by Bill Slavicsek and J.D. Wiker, and it later received an entry within the compendium The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia in 2008. The creature was subsequently expanded upon in the 2009 Jedi Academy Training Manual sourcebook, which became the first source to visually depict the beetle, in an image by artist Adam Gillespie. The creature was also mentioned in the 2010 reference book Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side.
The silooth was originally set to be mentioned within the 2003 Star Wars Insider article Who's Who: Imperial Grand Admirals, by Abel G. Peña and Daniel Wallace, but the article was condensed prior to publication, and the reference to the silooth did not make the final cut. The original draft of the article revealed that Grand Admiral Syn symbolically named his flagship after the silooth following his conversion to the Church of the Dark Side, a phony religion established shortly after the Battle of Endor, in honor of his new faith. The naming of Syn's Star Destroyer as the Silooth was later canonized by the 2012 reference book The Essential Guide to Warfare.
A conflict exists regarding the number of limbs that the silooth possessed. While The Dark Side Sourcebook states that the creatures had eight legs, the images of silooth that appear in the Jedi Academy Training Manual and Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side depict them as having just six. This article assumes that the beetles had six legs, because the latter two sources are the most recently published of the three books.
- The Dark Side Sourcebook (First mentioned)
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Jedi Academy Training Manual (First pictured)
- Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 The Dark Side Sourcebook
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Jedi Academy Training Manual
- ↑ The Essential Atlas
- ↑ The Wildlife of Star Wars: A Field Guide
- ↑ The New Essential Chronology
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 The Essential Guide to Warfare
- ↑ The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. III, p. 152 ("silooth")
- ↑ 9.0 9.1
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Dirty Dozen: The Imperial Grand Admirals