- "I told you what I'd do! Time to party!"
The ZeHethbra were furry, anthropomorphic sentients with vestigial tail, claws and fangs. They possessed an acute sense of smell that they could use to detect their fellow ZeHethbra's pheromones and thus gather information about them. They could secrete a natural biochemical spray to blind and stun foes in a fight, although other ZeHethbra were immune to its effects. ZeHethbra were moody and bad-tempered, and valued honesty and social status. As they were aggressive and strong, they commonly found employment in security forces, military organizations, or related fields, such as bounty hunting.
The ZeHethbra evolved on the Mid Rim world of ZeHeth, joining the Galactic Republic millennia before the rise of the Galactic Empire. The species founded settlements on several planets, giving rise to autonomous ZeHethbra cultural groups. While trying to establish a colony on Malastare, they waged a war against the Dugs.
Biology and appearance
- "That son of a bantha has more warrants for his arrest than I got fur on my face."
The ZeHethbra were a species of sentient, robust, strong humanoids who reached the considerable height of 1.90 to 2.30 meters in adulthood. Their athletic constitution provided them with a great physical power. They retained vestigial fangs in their mouths and small claws on their paw-like hands; although these were ineffective in combat, they were useful when threatening members of other species. Each of the hands had three fingers plus one opposable thumb. A ZeHethbra had raised, triangular ears. Some ZeHethbra pierced these organs to attach one or more earrings to them. ZeHethbra retained a short tail from their evolutionary past. In the time of the Galactic Republic, the species was fully bipedal and had no need for a tail; indeed, they could run as fast as a Human.
ZeHethbra were mammals, and each was covered in short fur with one predominant color that depended on the place of birth: ZeHethbra from the south pole of their planet, ZeHeth, had white-blue fur, while those from the mountains in the northern hemisphere were brown or red. Crossbreeds could show spots or mottling. Coat colors ranged from black to mottled brown. No matter the main color, a ZeHethbra always had a stripe of white fur that started at the snout, passed over the top of the head, thickened as it went down the back, until it reached the tail. This stripe was narrower in females, and males' stripes branched while females' did not. ZeHethbra also commonly had three long whiskers at each side of the snout.
The ZeHethbra snout gave the species an acute sense of smell. They were known to produce sophisticated, natural pheromones that identified the individual's origins, although only another ZeHethbra could interpret that information from such a smell. Thus, the cocktail of biochemical pheromones secreted by a ZeHethbra served as a unique identifier of that individual.
In moments of danger or rage, a ZeHethbra was able to generate a powerful biochemical spray that could be used to disorient, sting, stun, and blind any opponent hit by it. This spray affected any organic being—except for other ZeHethbra—in a three- to four-meter radius. Weaker victims were known to suffer from a severe nausea that prevented them from counter-attacking, and some targets even collapsed temporarily.
With a life expectancy of eighty-five standard years, the ZeHethbra started their adolescence at ten years of age. Reaching biological maturity at sixteen, they did not suffer the ill effects of age before forty-five. Even then they rarely had to retire before sixty-five.
Society and culture
- "I don't like competition. I don't like you. The Devaronian girl is mine. The bounty is mine. Stay out of my way. If I see you again, I shoot you on sight!"
The ZeHethbra grouped themselves into clans and used pheromones as the basis for most of their cultural identity. A person's pheromones identified unambiguously that individual's clan and, as a consequence, his or her family history. The ZeHethbra were known to value honesty and social status, and they showed a great deal of respect for people with leadership qualities.
When on their homeworld, ZeHeth, the ZeHethbra lived either in sprawling urban complexes or in rural lairs that they built among the roots of humungous trees. The ZeHethbra disliked violators of personal space, so they fiercely protected their living areas, families, clans and territories from trespassers. Although they were covered in fur, ZeHethbra donned clothing to cover their hairy bodies.
ZeHethbra were temperamental beings, prone to attack verbally or physically anyone who caused them discomfort. The common ZeHethbra response to a perceived adversary was to growl and even spit. Should the target of such ire be another ZeHethbra, he or she joined the instigator in an aggressive snorting contest. Occasionally, agitated ZeHethbra violently attacked a perceived foe with what other species considered little provocation; in fact, a ZeHethbra might even pounce upon a physically superior opponent. Such attacks sometimes involved the ZeHethbra's natural spray as well. Although these outbursts rarely ended in death, many a young ZeHethbra met his or her match, and fate, in this way.
The ZeHethbra had an official language, known also as ZeHethbra, which most members of the species learned to speak and write. To a layperson's ear, this seemed to be formed of gurgles, gnarls and grunts uttered in a tantrum. Many ZeHethbra learned to speak Galactic Basic Standard as their second language. A ZeHethbra commonly had a single-word name, such as Fyntarr, Rygulan or Sarnizak. At least one galaxy-roaming individual added the epithet "the ZeHethbra" after his one-word moniker.
- "The alert's out. All our ships and ground stations, and I got word to Mazzic's and Clyngunn's people, too. If Lak Jit gets near any of them, we'll have him."
- ―Mara Jade mentioning Clyngunn the ZeHethbra
The ZeHethbra evolved on the temperate planet ZeHeth, in the Dustig sector of the Mid Rim. ZeHeth was between the nearby Pax system in the Expansion Region, and the Malastare system, also in the Mid Rim. In their past, the ZeHethbra developed a number of adaptative traits that eventually lost their original functions through evolutions, but remained in the civilized species in vestigial form. These phenotypes included the tail, fangs, and claws, although the latter were still used for intimidation.
The ZeHethbra first came into contact with the Galactic Republic at some point between 8000 BBY and 5500 BBY. From that moment on, the species began traveling through the galaxy and settling down on several planets, creating disparate racial, cultural and ethnic groups due to the differences in geography and history. Each group developed its own distinctions, including body language, skin markings, pheromones and linguistic accent. The ZeHethbra recognized no fewer than eighty such groups during the times of the Galactic Empire, but these sub-units were too similar for non-ZeHethbra to recognize more than six of them.
In 3700 BBY, the galaxy-crossing super-hyperroute known as the Hydian Way was created with ZeHeth falling along its path. This allowed the ZeHethbra to move more easily throughout the galaxy. At some point before 1000 BBY, the ZeHethbra founded several colonies in the Malastare system. The native Dugs, a species prone to anger and violence, disliked their new neighbors. This led to open war between the ZeHethbra and the Dugs. There was no clear winner in this conflict but, eventually, the Galactic Republic disarmed the Dugs; the conflict with the ZeHethbra was one contributing factor precipitating this sanction.
During the Clone Wars, the ZeHethbra homeworld was in the territory belonging to the Galactic Republic, as opposed to that controlled by the Confederacy of Independent Systems. Circa 25 ABY, during the first stages of the Yuuzhan Vong War, the population of ZeHeth was in the billions.
ZeHethbra in the galaxy
- "Now there's someone I wouldn't want to meet twice. Crazy as a dinko and twice as mean. His name is Raije and he's some kind of rogue ZeHethbra."
- ―Malric Blaene
The ZeHethbra were a technologically-advanced well-known species in the outer galaxy. Being muscled, quick, and intelligent, the ZeHethbra were in great demand as guards and soldiers. They worked for either governments or criminals, and members of the species were commonly found in military jobs. A few Force-sensitive ZeHethbra followed the path of the Jedi Order and became Jedi Knights.
The bounty hunter known as Raije traveled through the galaxy in search of suitable prey. At the beginning of his career, he used a Wookiee bowcaster, allegedly taken from the corpse of his first victim, as his weapon of choice. Raije was seen on Abregado-rae during the Galactic Civil War.
Clyngunn, later known as Clyngunn the ZeHethbra, became a renowned athlete by winning the Multi-Sentient Unarmed Combat Rounds in the Stratis Games of Hallrin IV. After retiring from sports, he became a smuggler working for the veteran smuggler, Billey. Clyngunn eventually became a smuggling legend in his own right, with a justified reputation for working alone—indeed he was the only crewman of his starship, the Lady Sunfire. In 9 ABY, he was approached by Grand Admiral Thrawn, who wanted to ensure that Clyngunn would keep the neutral smuggler's stance of supporting neither the Empire nor the New Republic. Clyngunn later heard from Talon Karrde, who wanted important smugglers like the ZeHethbra to actively support the New Republic. Eventually, Clyngunn joined Karrde's Smugglers' Alliance, and he was still an active member ten years later, helping during the Caamas Document Crisis.
Behind the scenes
The ZeHethbra first appeared in Timothy Zahn's 1993 novel The Last Command, mostly through the character of Clyngunn. The species was given a background in the 1994 role-playing book The Last Command Sourcebook, written by Eric S. Trautmann, edited by Bill Smith and adapted to West End Games's Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game. That book's text about Clyngunn and the ZeHethbra was repeated verbatim in The Thrawn Trilogy Sourcebook (1996) and once more, with only slight variations ("three-meter" instead of "three meter" and "venom spray" instead of "spray"), in Alien Encounters (1998). While the first two books included a section about Clyngunn, Alien Encounters did not.
These roleplaying books specify that adult ZeHethbra can reach a height between 1.60 and 1.80 meters, describing them as "tall", but the later book, Ultimate Alien Anthology (2003), says that the common height for an adult ZeHethbra is 190 to 230 centimeters, which is more coherent with Clyngunn's height as seen in the comic adaptation of The Last Command.
The sources detailing the species, including The Last Command Sourcebook, The Thrawn Trilogy Sourcebook, Alien Encounters and Ultimate Alien Anthology, invariably mention the white streak in the ZeHethbra's fur. Curiously, the ZeHethbra illustration in Ultimate Alien Anthology lacks any visible white fur for unexplained reasons.
- (Form assumed by Clawdite)
- The Last Command (First appearance)
- The Last Command 2
- The Last Command 3
- The Last Command 4
- Specter of the Past
- The Last Command Sourcebook
- The Thrawn Trilogy Sourcebook
- Alien Encounters
- The Smuggler's Alliance"—Star Wars Gamer 3 "
- Ships of the Smuggler's Alliance"—Star Wars Gamer 4 (Indirect mention only) "
- Ultimate Alien Anthology
- "Underworld: A Galaxy of Scum and Villainy"—Star Wars Insider 89
- The New Essential Guide to Alien Species
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Atlas
Notes and references
- Information repeated in The Last Command Sourcebook, The Thrawn Trilogy Sourcebook, and Alien Encounters
- Alien Encounters, p. 182.
- Ultimate Alien Anthology
- As seen in the images from Alien Encounters, The Smuggler's Alliance, and Ultimate Alien Anthology
- The Last Command Sourcebook
- No Disintegrations
- The Smuggler's Alliance"—Star Wars Gamer 3 "
- As seen in the images from The Last Command Sourcebook, Alien Encounters, The Smuggler's Alliance, and Ultimate Alien Anthology.
- Information repeated in The Last Command Sourcebook and The Thrawn Trilogy Sourcebook
- The Last Command, Chapter 10
- The Essential Atlas
- The New Essential Guide to Alien Species (Under Dug)
- Clyngunn is featured in The Last Command and issues #2, #3, and #4 of its comic adaptation; The Last Command Sourcebook; The Thrawn Trilogy Sourcebook; Specter of the Past; The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia; "The Smuggler's Alliance"—Star Wars Gamer 3; "Ships of the Smuggler's Alliance"—Star Wars Gamer 4; and "Underworld: A Galaxy of Scum and Villainy"—Star Wars Insider 89