The Talz (pronounced /tælz/) were a large furry species with two distinct sets of eyes: one for day vision, and one for night vision. Their homeworld was Alzoc III, a frozen world with much mineral wealth. They also established a colony on the world of Orto Plutonia. Talz were rarely seen in the galaxy away from their homeworld.
Biology and culture
- "We watch Sith kill. We see power and strength. Everything that is lost to the Talz clan. They are too passive. Our claws do not exist to sign treaties. They exist to maim, to slash, to kill!"
- ―The Talz Broonmark describes his species
Talz were large, bipedal creatures, averaging 2 to 2.5 meters tall. Bulky creatures, they were covered head to toe in thick white fur, which provided exceptional insulation against their frozen world. Talz had four eyes, which were also adaptations to their native environment. The larger set of eyes were shut during the day, when sunlight reflected off the snow with dazzling brightness —able to blind sensitive optical organs, leaving the smaller set to navigate with. Alternatively, during the deep darkness of their homeworld's moonless night, the larger pair were utilized to provide the Talz with adequate vision.
Talz had extremely large hands, sporting a set of sharp-clawed talons, which tended to make others think twice before getting into a brawl with a Talz. Despite these fierce claws, most Talz were gentle and kind-hearted creatures. They were diligent and tireless workers. As a society, Talz were still a primitive species who had barely evolved sentience by the time the Galactic Empire discovered them. Talz were limited users of tools, constructing primitive shelters to further protect them from the icy cold climate though they still understood basic technological concepts like blaster fire and speeders. Their psychology and societal relationships, however, were very complex—based on clans and extended families—with sophisticated mechanisms for redistribution of resources to provide the greatest benefit for the species. The Talz had no concept of ownership, and instead "borrowed" objects from neighbors if needed, or gave away objects they did not own. Many non-Talz deemed them to be thieves as a result. For this reason, non-Talz who worked with them kept all objects and tools under lock and key. Many people who worked with Talz thought that trying to teach them the meaning of ownership was a wasted effort.
Broonmark, an outcast among the Talz species, believed the Talz were not always so peaceful or pleasant; instead, the ancient Talz were violent and warlike, and more than a match for the predators of Alzoc III. It was Broonmark's opinion that the Talz of his kind had lost their forebears strength and instincts. Seeming to demonstrate this, Broonmark's father was killed by one of their homeworld's predators, to Broonmark's unending shame, and when a village elder denounced him, Broonmark killed him without hesitation.
Further proving this, in Broonmark's mind, was when the Talz Commando unit under his command mutinied against him over his violent methods and harsh leadership. Seeing that the Talz would rather be peaceful than regain their supposed parentage, Broonmark blamed the Republic for this. However, there is no way to definitively confirm or deny Broonmark's opinion, as no accounts of the Talz' full history exist.
At some point prior to the Battle of Coruscant, a Talz named Foul Moudama became a member of the Jedi Order. He lost his life protecting Supreme Chancellor Palpatine during that battle. Obi-Wan Kenobi already had knowledge of the Talz species, including their name, when he came across their colony on Orto Plutonia. After a very brief war with the Pantorans, the Talz of Orto Plutonia were once again left alone, being recognized as rightful rulers of that planet.
Imperial scouts found the Talz around 15 BBY as Emperor Palpatine's New Order was finishing off what remained of the Galactic Republic. The Empire recognized a species well built for manual labor and enslaved the Talz of Alzoc III, forcing them to work in the Empire's mining operations. The Imperial authorities decided to leave these events out of official records since it was easier for them to enslave a species that was not generally known to exist. As a result, very few Talz were seen outside of the Alzoc system. Those that were found offworld were considered escaped slaves, with a 5000 credit Imperial bounty payable for their recapture or termination.
Prior to his tour of duty on Bakura, Pter Thanas served as the commanding officer of a mining operation on Alzoc III which utilized the labor of enslaved Talz natives. Thanas gained the gratitude of the Talz workforce when he increased their food rations, claiming that better nutrition would increase work output. The Talz repaid him when they saved Thanas from falling down a mineshaft. When a less sympathetic Imperial colonel arrived six months later to replace Thanas, he immediately returned the Talz's food rations to their previous levels. A Talz leader protested the change and the colonel ordered Thanas to destroy the Talz village as a demonstration of Imperial will. Thanas refused and was summarily reassigned to Bakura in 1 ABY.
A Talz named Muftak and his inseparable companion, a Chadra-Fan named Kabe, were in Chalmun's Spaceport Cantina in Mos Eisley when Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker hired Han Solo. Talz were also seen on such diverse planets as Feriae Junction and Phaeda, with a decent population on Vlemoth Port as well.
Throughout the Galactic Civil War, the Talz hoped in vain that the Empire would leave Alzoc III and allow their life to return to normal. The New Order never officially recognized the Talz as a sentient species, not wanting to be burdened by the Rights of Sentience. The fall of the Empire meant freedom for the Talz. Mining on the planet continued under New Republic supervision, allowing the Talz to trade and mingle with other species.
Even after the fall of the Empire, various warlords (most notably Warlord Zsinj) used Talz captives for scientific experimentation. When Zsinj invaded Alzoc III, his scientists tried to mutate the species into more "Human" beings. Among the projects that Warlord Zsinj may have used Talz for were Project Chubar and Project Minefield, headed by Dr. Edda Gast. When Wraith Squadron was invited aboard Zsinj's Executor-class Star Dreadnought Iron Fist, flight officer Castin Donn infiltrated a biomedical laboratory and released a Talz captive. Donn died in the process, though the Talz slaughtered several of Zsinj's personnel before finally being killed by a stormtrooper.
Also during the Galactic Civil War, a Talz attempted to join Wraith Squadron, after previously only flying freighters. While he proved himself a competent pilot in the simulator, his biological readings showed that he was under a great deal of stress the entire time, going against his species' nature by killing even simulated Imperial pilots. He was rejected, with Wedge Antilles recommending he stick to freighters.
Behind the scenes
In X-Wing: Iron Fist, a Talz prisoner is described as "opening its mouth and roaring." According to other sources, however, Talz do not have mouths, and thus, cannot roar.
In Play It Again, Figrin D'an: The Tale of Muftak and Kabe, a sentence regarding Muftak, a Talz, reads "When he'd awakened that day long ago, standing beside his shredded cocoon, he'd figured that his people had originated on another world-which one, he had no idea." This may be artistic license on the part of the author since no other source mentions cocoons.
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- "Skippy the Jedi Droid" — Star Wars Tales 1
- '"The Emperor's Court" — Star Wars Tales 14
- The Return of Tag & Bink: Special Edition
- LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars (PSP & Nintendo DS versions only)
Notes and references
- The Essential Guide to Alien Species
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Force Unleashed Campaign Guide
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Trespass"
- Star Wars: The Old Republic
- The New Essential Guide to Alien Species
- Star Wars: Clone Wars – "Chapter 23"
- The Truce at Bakura
- Reckonings"—Star Wars Gamer 7 "
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
- Play It Again, Figrin D'an: The Tale of Muftak and Kabe
- X-Wing: Iron Fist
- X-Wing: Solo Command
- X-Wing: Wraith Squadron
- Young Jedi Knights: Heirs of the Force
- Legacy Era Campaign Guide