Vurks were the predominant sentient species of the planet Sembla. They were tall, reptilian humanoids with bulbous dark eyes and sweeping head crests. Their hands and feet had three digits each, one of which was opposable. They had distinguishing gray-green, leathery skin.
Biology and appearance
A reptilian species, the Vurk species were distinguished by their dark, bulbous eyes and their sloping head crests. Vurks were cold-blooded, and benefited greatly from the tropical climate of Sembla. When offworld in colder climates, or aboard spacecraft, Vurk had adapted to survive, but still felt some level of discomfort. To alleviate this, Vurks were often seen garbed in heavy fabrics on cooler worlds, drinking hot beverages, and utilizing meditation and warm baths. As amphibious reptiles, Vurks were able to breathe both water and air.
Society and culture
Like their ancient predecessors, Vurks maintained a semi-nomadic existence on Sembla, avoiding the establishment of permanent settlements. Vurks formed communities based on a shared set of philosophical values, as well as selected homes based on the world's seasons. Unique to the Vurk way of life was the system of dividing the community based on needs and desires of the mind, more so than competition for resources. When it came time for a village to move on, individuals would abandon family more times than not, to join a new village or start their own alongside friends and acquaintances to form a more perfect society. This process was repeated often, making it highly likely that an adult Vurk would come to live among several successful communities over a lifetime.
While much of the galaxy considered the Vurk a primitive culture, the species was actually guided by an advanced meritocratic social structure. They were very intelligent and believed in a highly developed philosophical tradition that emphasized personal integrity and individual freedom and encouraged personal honesty. Their compassionate and calm manner made them better than average diplomats. An individual's status was determined by their own accomplishments and reputation, and discussion of one's deeds was a vital part of community engagement. While non-Vurk often interpreted this practice as gossip or bragging, Vurks encouraged heated debate and admired differing opinions. Out of these discussions arose a set of loose rules and laws which governed the temporary community; those who could not abide would move on to find a village which was more compatible with their worldview. This constant debate over morality and philosophy was not indicative of ill-tempered savages. Instead, the Vurks viewed their culture as one in which the constant interrogation of their own beliefs made them more in tune with ethics then other cultures who did not encourage introspection.
The debate over the acceptability of violence was one that was negotiated case-by-case. Across Vurk society, however, almost all individuals agreed that murder in all forms except euthanasia, was wrong. Out of this belief came the Stricture of Violence, which encouraged continuous debate of views, rather then the cessation of disagreement through the ending of a life. Young Vurk males were married off by their parents; those who failed to marry before reaching adulthood remained bachelors for the rest of their lives.
Vurk in the galaxy
Vurk were not a species particularly known to be exceptionally Force-sensitive, though when they could feel the Force, they often described it like water. Prone to the more mystical aspects of the Force, Vurks struggled to assimilate into the Jedi Order due to the discipline required by the monastic religion. While many failed to find a place in the Order, Vurks who did not become Jedi simply saw their time at the academy as part of their life's migration and rarely were discouraged. The Vurk Coleman Trebor defied the cultural norm and went on to become a Jedi Master and Jedi High Council member who fought and died during the First Battle of Geonosis after being shot by bounty hunter Jango Fett. Another Vurk, Senator Sweitt Concorkill, accompanied Supreme Chancellor Palpatine to a performance of Squid Lake at the Galaxies Opera House during the Clone Wars.
Behind the scenes
The Vurk's protruding head crest is similar in appearance to the head crest of the hadrosaurid Parasaurolophus.
MAD Magazine satirically referred to the Vurk as "shoehorns".
- Jedi Quest: The False Peace
- (First appearance)
- Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
- "Death in the Catacombs"—Star Wars Insider 79 (Mentioned only)
- Labyrinth of Evil
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
- Crimson Empire III: Empire Lost 1
- "Who's Who in the Jedi Order"—Star Wars Insider 62
- "Who's Who in the Delegation of 2000"—Star Wars Insider 85
- The New Essential Guide to Alien Species
- Star Wars: The Official Figurine Collection 54
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Clone Wars Campaign Guide
- The Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force
- Unlimited Power