- "Mainstays among the Massassi infantry even today, the warbirds are used as mounted assault avians that can carry a rider into battle and rip apart enemy soldiers with their beaks."
- ―Sorzus Syn
The Sith warbird was a species of flightless bird from the planet Khar Delba that was commonly used as an artillery mount by the Sith, a Force-sensitive species from the world Korriban. By the time of the arrival of Dark Jedi Exiles on the planet Korriban around 6900 BBY, warbirds were a mainstay of the Massassi infantry of the Sith Empire, and the birds were later used by the Sith Empire of the fallen Jedi Exar Kun during the Great Sith War. Sith warbirds were notorious for their bad temper, and they typically used their large size to ram and trample down their prey.
Biology and appearance
Sith warbirds were large, flightless birds from the icy planet Khar Delba. When fully grown, they stood at approximately six meters in height from ground to top of the head, and ten meters long from head to tail. In place of wings, warbirds had two short dual-clawed arms, and the birds also sported two legs and a large, blunt beak, which was used for devouring prey. Their feathers ranged from yellow to yellowish-green in color, and they had two eyes, with iris colors ranging from black to blue. The creatures also had extremely thick hides, which allowed hooks and spikes to be embedded into the sides of domesticated warbirds without causing the creatures to come to harm.
Sith warbirds were predators and were notorious for their bad tempered nature, attacking anything that they saw as a threat. Though lacking in power, warbirds could move with great speed and maneuverability; they typically used their large size to ram and trample their prey, and they were also known to use their large beaks to gore their enemies.
- "During the same war that birthed the silooth, the Sith introduced the warbird and the war behemoth."
- ―Sorzus Syn
Warbirds originated on the planet Khar Delba in the Stygian Caldera, where they inhabited the world's frozen mountains. Khar Delba lay within the bounds of the Sith Empire, a civilization established by the Force-sensitive Sith species, and, during the early history of the Empire, the birds were discovered and subsequently domesticated by the Sith.
In the midst of an ancient conflict in which the Empire became embroiled, the domesticated warbirds were pressed into military service to be used as artillery mounts, as was common practice for tamed animals within the Empire at the time. By the time of the arrival of Dark Jedi Exiles on Korriban around 6900 BBY following their banishment from the Galactic Republic, warbird mounts were mainstays of the Massassi infantry forces employed by the Sith, and the Dark Jedi alchemist Sorzus Syn mentioned the creatures in a chronicle of her encounters with the Sith.
Sith warbirds in the galaxy
Sith warbirds saw common usage among the military forces of the Sith Empire as battle mounts, and when employed for combat purposes, the birds were fitted to carry battle harnesses, which contained a cockpit to house the rider and a mounted blaster cannon supported by a fusion generator. The Sith used the birds as mobile platforms that were deployed in front of infantry columns to weaken enemy ground-based troops. During the Great Sith War, the creatures were also commonly used for scouting and reconnaissance assignments because, as living creatures, they were less likely to be spotted by enemy detection devices.
After the end of the Great Sith War, Sith warbirds continued to be found throughout the galaxy, with survivors of the conflict breeding on worlds where battles had been fought by the Sith. These wild-once-more warbirds were prone to terrorizing local forms of wildlife that posed little threat to them.
Behind the scenes
The Sith warbirds were created by Michael Mikaelian and were first mentioned in The Sith Compendium, an article that appeared in the 2001 Wizards of the Coast magazine Star Wars Gamer 5. The warbirds later received a further mention in the 2004 roleplaying sourcebook Ultimate Adversaries, which became the first source to provide a visual depiction of the creatures, in an image by the artist Matt Hatton. Subsequently, the birds received an entry in the 2008 compendium The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, and were referenced within the Jedi Academy Training Manual of 2009 and the 2012 reference book Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side, both of which expanded upon the history and usage of the birds among the Sith.
- The Sith Compendium"—Star Wars Gamer 5 (First mentioned) "
- Ultimate Adversaries (First pictured)
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Jedi Academy Training Manual
- Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side