Sullustans were a species of Near-Humans from Sullust. As skilled pilots and navigators, Sullustans, also known as Bomewrights, were common sights for spacers and at busy spaceports. The Sullustans played an important role in the Galactic Civil War and were charter members of the New Republic. Notable members of the species include Nien Nunb, Ten Numb and Dllr Nep.
Biology and appearance
A diminutive species of near-Humans, Sullustans ranged from 1 to 1.8 meters in height and bore round, tapered skulls. Sullustans were distinguishable for their almond-shaped black eyes, facial jowls called dewflaps and large, round ears.
Having evolved in the underground of their planet, their wide earlobes provided excellent hearing and a sense of directional sound, and their large eyes provided exceptional low-light vision and excellent peripheral vision. Sullustans could see up to 20 meters in the dark without being sensitive to infra-red, meaning they could effectively read and see normally with no light at all. Perhaps due to their relative lack of exposure to natural light, Sullustans began to suffer from corneal defects after 30 standard years. After significant deterioration, many chose to wear special visors to prevent further damage. Some Sullustans tattooed their heads as a form of individual expression.
Like humans, Sullustans had only a single heart and one stomach. It was very difficult to get a Sullustan drunk, and Sullustans who did get drunk did not suffer hangovers.
Sullustans were pink-skinned and generally hairless, although facial hair was known to occur in some cases in males, as it did with pilot Dllr Nep and his white goatee. Cranial hair was rare for males, but females of the species often grew it; it was considered a symbol of individuality and was worn in a manner helping to express this.
Sullustans possessed an exceptional innate sense of direction and intuition since their civilization grew in underground tunnels; many were able to navigate a path after seeing a map only once. This ability extended to sublight and hyperspace navigation, as well as patrol work, so much so that Sullustans made excellent scouts, pilots and navigators; Sullustan pilots scouted the Rimma Trade Route and those who joined the Rebel Alliance were put to use foiling Imperial covert operations.
Society and culture
Sullustans were outgoing and mercantile, friendly and pragmatic. As a species they were altogether lacking in xenophobia. Though fond of practical jokes and extremely shrewd in their business dealings, they were eager to explore and travel the galaxy. Inquisitive by nature, some have described Sullustans as reckless, especially for their preference to learn and discover whenever possible through personal experience.
Sullustans organized themselves into familial units known as Warren-clans. Each clan consisted of one polyandrous female, several husbands and their young. Unmated females, known as "Fems", were active members of their communities until they reached the status of "Ready" which marked their breeding years. At the outset of Ready, "Fems" chose their mates and founded their own Warren-clans.
Few Sullustans left their homeworld, but those that did often found employment as pilots or merchants. Inspired by legends like Mayjeln, Sullustan spacers put their skills as navigators to use and were prized crewers across the galaxy. Because of this, their flowing, staccato language of Sullustese was known to many smugglers. Sullustan names were often direct translations from Sullustese words and typically consisted of a given name and surname of four letters each.
Burial rites were given particular focus in Sullustan culture, with vast crypts and vaults maintained by crypt masters. Death, known as "Eternal Sleep", was viewed with great reverence. The most important of these rites as the Tomb-walling ceremony, an elaborate funeral procedure. Important leaders and famous Sullustans were entombed in the Gallery of Ancestors and the Catacomb of Eminents.
Sullustan religion included a pantheon of gods like Triakk. Governmentally, Sullustan names referencing nobility is evidence of some form of monarchy, but all recorded history demonstrates the use of democracy, excluding the brief authoritarian takeover by SoroSuub during the Galactic Civil War.
Sullustans were also dedicated to the principles of capitalism and open markets, but were primarily motivated by the possibility of bettering their people, not greed. Sullust's technologically advanced underground cities bristled with shops and markets attractive to tourists from across the galaxy.
Oddly enough, Sullustans eventually replaced Wookiees as the galactic experts of the hairstyling business—in spite of the fact that they were almost devoid of hair. The Barbers of Sullust were renowned for their skill with the cosmetic arts.
Early in their history, the Sullustans dug extensive networks of underground caves to avoid the inhospitable atmosphere of Sullust, perhaps contributing to the development of their diminutive stature. The caves would eventually develop into beautiful underground cities, such as Piringiisi. The skills developed in engineering their large underground civilization and navigating its tunnels, would later earn them galactic renown as civil engineers, scouts and pilots.
Sullustan interaction with the galaxy began early in recorded history, as they were known as lightsaber scientists for the young Jedi Order. Some records indicate that their developments were crucial in the evolution of the lightsaber to its final form and in the instruction of Jedi in the creation process.
Sullustan technological development flourished, eventually giving rise to the SoroSuub Corporation. While a diversified corporation, its major holdings in mining and refinement made it a charter member of the Commerce Guild. A Sullustan also sat on the Trade Federation Directorate in 33 BBY and another acted as the commander of the Techno Union's Bulwark Fleet, but is unknown if they acted as a representatives of Sullust, SoroSuub, or a third party. SoroSuub came to dominate the Sullustan economy, employing over half the Sullustan population. In 32 BBY, a constitutional amendment passed allowing SoroSuub shareholders to vote in Sullustan Council elections, effectively making the post of SoroSuub CEO and Council President the same. Ostensibly, SoroSuub sided with the Confederacy of Independent Systems during the Clone Wars, although it is unknown if the general Sullustan population supported the Confederacy.
SoroSuub was an early supporter of the Galactic Empire, forcing increasingly stringent measures on the Sullustans to secure lucrative Imperial contracts. In 2 BBY, SoroSuub Chairman Siin Suub approved Corporate Proclamation 137d, which declared a complete political, economic and military takeover of Sullust by the SoroSuub Corporation. The same proclamation formally aligned Sullust with the Empire and issued a strong denouncement of the growing Rebel Alliance.
With the transition to corporatocracy, crackdowns against dissidence came swiftly. Traditionally loyal to SoroSuub, many Sullustans began to question their new government's support of the Empire. The decreasing work conditions and open enslavement of Sullustans was the last straw for many. Notable Sullustans like Sian Tevv and Nien Nunb could take no more, with the former founding the Sullustan resistance and the latter beginning a series of raids against SoroSuub shipping.
The Sullustan resistance movement chose not to join the Alliance initially, fearing Imperial retribution, although Nunb's raids were sufficiently disruptive to merit the arrival of an Imperial-class Star Destroyer to support the Sullustan Home Guard. Despite the movement's decision, many Sullustans chose to join the Alliance independently, including Nunb and his raiders.
Before the Battle of Yavin, as a part of Operation Strike Fear, Sullust was assaulted and Sullustan tech staff and leaders were abducted. Red Squadron rescued them and the Sullustans were convinced to join the Alliance but the Galactic Empire responded by capturing the Sullustan leader (perhaps Sian Tevv) on the planet. However, he was freed before being delivered to the Emperor.
Although not a formal member of the Alliance, the numerous Sullustan sacrifices earned them a seat on the Rebel Alliance Advisory Council by 2 ABY—an honor reserved for the species who suffered the greatest loss of life in the Rebellion's struggle.
A few months before the Battle of Endor, Tevv's resistance fighters succeeded in overthrowing the Imperial-aligned SoroSuub leaders and formally joined the Alliance. Perhaps as a symbol of their victory, the Tevv convinced Mon Mothma to rally the Alliance Fleet at Sullust for their jump to Endor. Trouble quickly started to brew, however, as mercenaries claiming to be working for the Sullustans attacked Borsk Fey'lya, apparently due to an old grudge held against the Bothan people after the Bothans didn't inform them of an attack against the Sullustans that could have been avoided if they'd known. The attack nearly tore apart the Alliance. It turned out, however, that the mercenaries were being hired by Imperial agents. Thankfully, the crisis was resolved quickly, though the culprit was never caught. The Rebels massed at Sullust and carried out their plans for the Battle of Endor as intended. During the battle, Nunb served as Lando Calrissian's co-pilot aboard the Millennium Falcon, something which Sullustans considered a cause for pride.
Following the victory at Endor, SoroSuub was brought back under the control of Sullustans and the Council reinstated. Under Tevv, the Sullustans earned a seat on the Provisional Council and were initial signatories of the Declaration of a New Republic. Following suit, SoroSuub became a major supplier to the New Republic. The Sullustans were ardent supporters of the New Republic, particularly as officers in the New Republic Defense Fleet.
As of 25 ABY, the Council was responsible for all internal and foreign affairs, and shared civil responsibilities with SoroSuub. Through the Yuuzhan Vong War, Sullustan military officers under the leadership of Admiral Sien Sovv played major roles in the defense of key targets.
Sullustans in the galaxy
While Sullustans were known for remaining on their homeworld, small communities could be found scattered across the Outer Rim. Normally found in commercial ventures and on worlds along major trade routes, Sullustans were counted in notable populations on Aridus, Eloggi, Gelgelar, Roon, Thaere Privo, Trieron, and Vandelhelm.
Din Tinray was born deaf, and was helpless and ostracized because of it. She saw Doctor Rachael Tikaris for help, and the doctor provided her with a new ear, allowing her to be welcomed back into society.
Darrin Arkanian was a Jedi Master in the waning days of the Galactic Republic and an initial survivor of Order 66. Dllr Nep was a Force-sensitive member of Rogue Squadron. After his death, he manifested a Force ghost.
During the Galactic Civil War, many Sullustans were used as slave soldiers by the Zann Consortium. Futor's Network was an office ran by Futor, a Sullustan infochant on Omze's Incredible Traveling Starport. Habbala Brupt was a spy for the Empire, and was stationed on the Yevethan world N'zoth, were he wound up exiled to the Valley of Rejection. Jalus Nebl served as a freighter pilot for the Besadii kajidic on Ylesia, however he was allergic to the glitterstim spice he was supposed to transport. Jilaa San was a female Sullustan who worked as a technician at the Dented Droid on the Wheel. Dr'uun Unnh was the Rebel scout who surveyed Yavin 4.
Aubro Ahntanda was a Sullustan slaver who had business with Sibarra the Hutt, and the Sullustan Dawn Arkanian was known throughout the galaxy as "Thila", a ruthless slaver, however the "Thila" identity was simply a ruse so she could free all the slaves she purchased, with the help of the Rebel Alliance. The demolitions expert and smuggler Zenn Bien stole the Second Chance from an Imperial impound lot over Nilash III, and used it to steal parts from a new Interdictor-class Star Destroyer for the Rebel Alliance. She fully joined the Rebel Alliance after the Battle of Yavin]], and her fellow Sullustan Rebel Nien Nunb flew in the Second Chance during the Battle of Endor with Lando Calrissian, although it had been rechristened the Millennium Falcon. Another demolitions expert and member of the Rebel Alliance, Ten Numb, piloted a A/SF-01 B-wing starfighter during the Battle of Endor, and after the battle he used it to help put out fires on the forest moon. T'nun Bdu was intercepted in his ship, the Sullustan, by Natasi Daala, but when her men found heavy weapons, communications equipment, and prefabricated building material that could be used to aid the rebellion, she had his ship destroyed after he sent a message. Kiara Schmong sold technology derived from the Separatist ship Malevolence, as well as E-wing escort starfighters, to the Kaarenth Dissension.
During the Yuuzhan Vong War, the female Sullustan pilot Leth Liav was captured by the Yuuzhan Vong, and launched at the planet Borleias. She was saved by Twin Suns Squadron, and later joined Rogue Squadron. Sien Sovv was the supreme commander of the New Republic and later Galactic Alliance Defense Force during the Yuuzhan Vong War. Jae Juun was a smuggler whose copilot was an Ewok named Tarfang during the Dark Nest Crisis. The Bothan admiral Nek Bwua'tu offered them contracts to work for the Galactic Alliance, and they later met Han and Leia Organa Solo on Kashyyyk before the Battle of Kashyyyk. Another Sullustan, Fiav Fenn, served as a colonel aboard the Dodonna under the command of Matric Klauskin, and later Tarla Limpan, during the Second Galactic Civil War. Jaius Yorub was the captain of the Indomitable, Gar Stazi's flagship, during the Second Imperial Civil War.
Behind the scenes
In his Return of the Jedi novelization (1983), which contains the first published description of a Sullustan, James Kahn uses the phrase "a jowled, mouse-eyed creature." This exact phrase is repeated in the first edition (1984) of A Guide to the Star Wars Universe's Nien Nunb entry. Curiously, the first Star Wars Sourcebook (1987) changes this phrase to "jowled, mouse-eared" in its description of Sullustans. One can only assume this is a transcription error from one of those earlier texts, as there's nothing mouse-like about Sullustan ears, which the accompanying photo in the Sourcebook makes plain. (Sullustan ears are basically an oversized variant of human ears.) But this exact, erroneous phrase was propagated in numerous subsequent reference works, including the 1998 Star Wars Encyclopedia and the 2010 Sullustan Databank entry. In 2011, the Nien Nunb entry in the online Encyclopedia, which replaced the Databank, restored the original "mouse-eyed" wording.
- "The Princess Leia Diaries"—Star Wars Tales 11
- LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy
- LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga
Notes and references
- The Essential Atlas
- Star Wars: Behind the Magic
- The New Essential Guide to Characters
- Millennium Falcon
- The Essential Guide to Alien Species
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
- The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance
- Star Wars: The Old Republic
- Darth Maul (2000) 2
- The Clone Wars: No Prisoners
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Missing in Action"
- MedStar I: Battle Surgeons
- Desert Cries
- Republic 56
- Galaxy Guide 9: Fragments from the Rim
- The Force Unleashed Campaign Guide
- X-Wing Rogue Squadron 19
- X-Wing Rogue Squadron 20
- Platt's Starport Guide
- Coruscant and the Core Worlds
- The Paradise Snare
- Beyond the Rim
- I, Jedi
- Wretched Hives of Scum & Villainy
- X-Wing: Rogue Leader 3
- Dark Apprentice
- The Imperial Warlords: Despoilers of an Empire
- The New Jedi Order: Enemy Lines II: Rebel Stand
- The New Jedi Order: Force Heretic I: Remnant
- Dark Nest III: The Swarm War
- Legacy of the Force: Inferno
- Legacy of the Force: Betrayal
- Legacy (2006) 20
- The September 26, 2011 snapshot of the Nien Nunb Encyclopedia entry is the earliest one available on archive.org, and it has the "mouse-eyed" text