Tulvarees were a species of semi-sentient avian hunters native to the planet of Pochi. Each of their wings was tipped with three razor-sharp talons, and their small mouths were filled with sharp teeth. There were a number of different Tulvaree tribes, which engaged in intense warfare with each other. When the Human pirate Faarl the Conqueror took control of their homeworld, the Tulvarees quickly learned how to take orders from the warlord. Faarl, recognizing a source of soldiers, provided a constant food supply to the Tulvarees in exchange for their allegiance.
Biology and appearance
The Tulvarees were semi-sentient avians who grew from 1.5 to 1.8 meters in height. Each member of the species had a small, flat body, with a whip-like tail and four long, wispy limbs. Both the arms and legs ended in digits capped by razor-sharp talons. The hands featured three fingers each, while the feet had four toes, three pointing forward and a fourth pointing back. Thin skin ran from the joint of each knee up along the sides of the body and the outside edge of each arm. A series of bony struts spread out from each elbow. That formed a membranous wing that allowed the Tulvarees to fly. Nevertheless, the Tulvarees could also move about on the ground, albeit at a slower speed than when airborne. The Tulvaree head was made up of a rounded skull and a short muzzle full of sharp fangs. The mandible was flat and pointed. The Tulvarees hatched from eggs.
Society and culture
The Tulvarees lived in the mountainous regions of their homeworld, Pochi, where they hunted grazing herbivores in groups. They were divided into large groups whose members were all part of a single extended family, also referred to as a tribe. Those groups lived together in caverns and other naturally occurring shelters. They laid their eggs in special hatching caves, where the eggs were kept until the young emerged.
Combat was also a group vocation. Tribes considered all other Tulvaree groups their competitors: enemies to be attacked on sight. Due to the species' natural talons and fangs, Tulvaree wars could be quite deadly. The only instance in which Tulvarees from different tribes would ignore their animosity was in the face of a mutual threat.
The species was considered only semi-sentient, possessing no obvious art, construction, music, or tools of indigenous design. Nevertheless, the Tulvarees were capable of learning foreign languages and of following orders from a master. After the arrival of offworlders on Pochi, the Tulvarees quickly learned to use the weapons and tools that were introduced to them. With such foreign materials, the Tulvarees reached a feudal state of technology during the Galactic Civil War.
The Tulvarees evolved on Pochi, a dry world of scrub-covered plains punctuated by stunted copses of trees and small mountains. The species developed a tribal society characterized by almost constant intertribal warfare.
At some point, explorers from afar charted Pochi, and the world became part of the Parthovian Cluster of Wild Space. During the Galactic Civil War, a teenage Human who called himself Faarl the Conqueror reached the world, which still lay beyond the borders of the Galactic Empire at the time. Faarl brought with him a band of pirates who were helping their captain to systematically conquer worlds in Wild Space in order to set up his own private fiefdom.
From the strangers, the Tulvarees learned to use tools and to fight with weapons. The offworlders gave the avians plenty of food, medicines, and other items from afar. The Tulvarees also learned to understand the strangers' language and to follow Faarl's commands. They were eager to help him as long as he continued to keep their bellies full.
At first, Faarl tried to force members of rival Tulvaree tribes to join together in armies, but the avians were unable to ignore their ages-old rivalries. Thereafter, Faarl only formed regiments composed of members of the same tribe. The Tulvarees became Faarl's main fighting force, doing his bidding as mercenaries in exchange for food and offworld merchandise.
Meanwhile, Faarl decided to make his headquarters on Pochi in an abandoned tower he found there, which he dubbed Fortress Baarlos. There, he ordered large camps built for military training as well as camps constructed to house slave laborers. The warlord also constructed the city of Vindru, which had its own spaceport. In the end, Pochi saw an influx of offworlders, either traders or slaves, but all lured to the world by Faarl. He named the star system after himself: the Faarlsun system.
The new power structure on Pochi lasted through the Galactic Civil War and into the rise of the New Republic, when General Airen Cracken placed a bounty of 50,000 on Faarl's head. The Tulvarees' service to Faarl came to an end when the Human bounty hunter Boba Fett stormed Fortress Baarlos, bested the Tulvaree guards in combat, and seized Faarl to collect the New Republic bounty.
Behind the scenes
- "If you go out at night—Beware. I am there. Everywhere. Between the stars. Under the clouds. Watching you."
- ―Unidentified member of this species
The Tulvarees are described in Wanted by Cracken, a sourcebook written by Louis J. Prosperi for Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game and published by West End Games in 1993. The book presents statistics to allow players to portray a Tulvaree character; these make them significantly weaker than most other species since Tulvaree characters begin play with a smaller pool from which the player may distribute the character's attribute scores. Prosperi presents the Tulvarees as quite agile in comparison to Humans, yet slightly worse off in perception, and highly handicapped in intelligence, and aptitude for machines and other technical matters. The species receives bonuses for fighting with their talons and teeth. The image used to illustrate the Tulvarees for Wanted by Cracken is a concept sketch by Ralph McQuarrie for the mynocks of Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back. An image derived from the concept sketch is used in both the second and third editions of A Guide to the Star Wars Universe to illustrate the entry on mynocks. The Tulvarees are mentioned in The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, which was published in 2008; the book does not capitalize their name.
A mirrored version of the same concept image used for the Tulvarees appears in Monsters and Aliens from George Lucas, a book of art of aliens coupled with poems, jokes, and fiction written by Bob Carrau and published in 1993; the book does not provide a name for the species. The Tulvaree image accompanies a poem about a member of the species stalking, killing, and eating a victim before preying on another target. Lucasfilm employee Leland Chee, who maintains the Holocron continuity database, has indicated that information contained in the book is non-canonical.
As depicted in Monsters and Aliens from George Lucas, the species was nocturnal and capable of surviving the vacuum of space. Each Tulvaree hunter planned surprise strikes in advance, choosing prey detached from a crowd and attacking when least expected with taunts as the hunter drew near—thus creating the most amount of fear in the victim. The Tulvaree then flew away with the prey and sometimes impaled it on an asteroid. According to an original painting in Monsters and Aliens from George Lucas, at least some Tulvarees possessed large, erect ears, a prominent snout, small eyes on the side of the head, and short fur.
- The Art of Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (Picture only)
- Wanted by Cracken (First mentioned)
- Star Wars: Behind the Magic (Picture only)
- "The History of the Mandalorians"—Star Wars Insider 80
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
Notes and references
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. III, p. 267 ("tulvarees")
- Wanted by Cracken
- "The History of the Mandalorians"—Star Wars Insider 80
- Star Wars: Behind the Magic
- The Art of Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
- A Guide to the Star Wars Universe, Second Edition, Revised and Expanded
- A Guide to the Star Wars Universe, Third Edition, Revised and Expanded
- Monsters and Aliens from George Lucas