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  1. Welcome to the new boards! Details here!

Resource The Fanon Thread | Announcing the GAMIEL GAMES Bonus Round! (noncompetitive; Dec. 7, p. 60, #1490)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by FanonSock, Nov 11, 2014.

  1. Mechalich

    Mechalich Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Thanks. One thing about the big spreadsheet. It doesn't add a lot of information compared to the post; the summary descriptions cover basically all the areas where people live or where there's interesting weird stuff, so the spreadsheet mostly documents lots of additional repeating patterns of 'structural support' and 'airflow' and 'hydroponics' and the like. What it does do is reinforce the completely bonkers scale of the Underworld. Actually scrolling through 5127 rows and absorbing how some 50-level thick zone is only 1% of the total really helps hit home the true size of the thing.
     
    Ewok Poet likes this.
  2. Seldes_Katne

    Seldes_Katne Jedi Grand Master star 2

    Registered:
    Mar 18, 2002
    Gungan Fanon Essay

    I know that Gungans are not a particularly popular topic in the Star Wars universe, but on first viewing of The Phantom Menace, I saw a lot of potential for them and their civilization. The following has been developed over the past 20 years.

    I took George Lucas’ “amphibious” description of them rather literally, so with that in mind:


    Physiology:

    Gungans have a limited ability to regulate their internal body temperature, which is one reason they tend to stay in the swampy areas of the planet – the air and water are warm all year round. Even before Human colonists came to Naboo, the Gungans only visited the more northern parts of the planet during summer months, when they might travel there to harvest various types of food or capture certain game animals. It’s possible that the Gungan language would not have a term for “snow” or other related winter concepts.

    As the Gungans move out into the galaxy, they will, of course, encounter environments that are very different from the warm climates of equatorial Naboo. On an ice planet like Hoth, for example, a Gungan would need not just the heavy outer clothing worn by Luke and Han in ESB, but some sort of heating unit underneath to keep the body temperature elevated.

    The Gungans have reproductive practices similar to those of Terrestrial frogs, toads and salamanders. The eggs from the female are fertilized by the male in the water, not inside the female’s body, as is the case with mammals. This means no pregnant females.

    One of the social ramifications of this is that Gungan society can’t use pregnancy as excuse to require the females to spend most of their time caring for the children, or to deny them the same opportunities and jobs as their male counterparts. This also means that males and females are equally responsible for childcare.

    Another ramification is there are no “illegitimate” children. No one knows for certain who their biological parents are. All children born into a Gungan clan (explained below) are official members and all adults are expected to treat them as such.

    Once the eggs are fertilized, they mature while clinging to the sides and bottom of the mating pool(s). The “tadpoles” don’t need to eat until the food in their egg yolk runs out and they hatch; they can then eat pretty much whatever the adults do. This would include fruit, insects, various kinds of meat, vegetables, etc. (Suitably pulped or mashed for the youngest children, until their teeth grown in.) Gungans, like Terrestrial amphibians, would not nurse their young, and the entire species may well be lactose intolerant, as they have no need to metabolize milk.

    In addition to getting too cold, Gungans can also overheat. Body heat can be dispersed through the haillu (the floppy ear-like appendages on the back of the Gungans’ heads). Notice how broad and flat they are – this provides a large surface that is exposed to air and water and which can dissipate heat. The haillu also provide camouflage; the broad “ears” resemble the floating leaves of water plants; a Gungan’s eyestalks mimic the stumps or stalks of water vegetation, allowing the Gungan to watch enemies or prey unobserved. Note that Gungan nostrils are on the upper part of their muzzles and therefore easily accessible to the surface of water while everything else is submerged.

    The haillu may also change colors, depending on the individual’s health. In The Wildlife of Star Wars, the section on kaadu notes that the male’s skin changes color during the mating season; it’s possible that Gungan skin or haillu might do the same.


    Social Structure:

    Gungan society is divided among eight clans, each represented by a different animal. Members of all eight clans are found in virtually every city and settlement in Gungan territory; individuals belonging to a particular clan have “relatives,” as well as a place to stay and food available, almost everywhere they go. Individuals are generally encouraged to take spouses from other clans, as this strengthens ties between clans.

    Clan totem animals include the Terazod, the Ikopi, the Zalaaca, and the Muudabok Clan members often wear some symbol of their affiliation, either jewelry or clothing colors, although this isn’t required.

    Gungans may have multiple spouses. There are about as many marriages in Gungan society as in Human society, and Gungans form life partnerships for most of the same reasons Humans do -- political or economic advantage, strengthening ties between clans, or because the individuals love each other. There might be negotiations made in cases of clans or families who are very small, or between individuals willing to switch affiliation. Someone might choose to marry into a clan for reasons of prestige. The clan affiliation goes to whomever initiates the marriage proposal.

    Just as with Humans, there are various levels of emotional commitment. Some spouses are very close, others view the relationship as a business arrangement, etc.

    Terrestrial amphibians tend to exist near the bottom of the local food chain, which means many other creatures eat them. Their survival strategy is to produce large numbers of offspring so that enough will survive to continue the species. However, the Gungans seem to have no natural enemies other than disease, accidents, and occasionally dangerous animals or other Gungans and/or Humans. Because of this, there is no need to Gungans to have large number of children.

    There are two possible ways their population can be controlled: through a naturally limited reproductive cycle, or through social selection. In Ryder Windham’s short novel Festival of Warriors, the Gungans hold a series of competitions testing strength, endurance and fighting ability. Of course, a society would want the best and brightest to produce the next generation, but there’s more to that definition than just people who fight well. There are also competitions for other skills, such as storytelling, artistic ability in various field, spiritual sensitivities, scientific and engineering aptitudes, and so on. Those who excel at these competitions may earn the “right” to mate.

    It’s also possible that Gungans have much briefer periods of fertility or mating cycles than Terrestrial amphibians, and will only mate a few times (or perhaps even once) in their lives.

    Gungans are fond of stories, and a skilled storyteller will hold a place of high esteem in most communities. Stories range from short poems to epics that can take an entire evening to tell. Many are rendered in song, which can make them easier to remember. Frequent topics include stories of the gods, legends of great deeds, cautionary tales, and straight-up history lessons.

    All Gungans are expected to serve at least some time in the militia, which in modern times exists mostly to protect the underwater cities from the dangerous aquatic creatures that lurk in the planet’s depths. Most Gungans don’t make a career of the military, but they are familiar with the weapons and practices in case of emergency.

    Gungans don’t lock their doors. The density of the bubble dwelling’s wall can be altered, depending on the manufacturing techniques and other factors, but inside the bubbles people generally just walk through arches or circular holes to move from one room to another. Some inhabitants may hang “curtains” of leather or suede or strings of beads or other ornamental objects. In some homes, there may be a curtain of water between certain rooms, courtesy of some fancy engineering that allows the outside water in through the hydrostatic skin of the bubble dwelling.

    In public areas, visitors are supposed to be able to walk freely through most of the building. There are generally guards or greeters in various locations to direct visitors to the appropriate location.

    While they can sleep on the ground or in outdoor dwellings or some form of bed, most Gungans will sleep in pools when at home and wherever else it’s possible. They will automatically submerge and resurface to breathe while they sleep.

    Gungans speak at least two, and in some cases, three languages. Their original language has been classified as “High Gungan” by linguists, and includes a number of sounds that Humans cannot imitate, lacking the vocal and physical means to do so. When communicating with Humans, the Gungans speak what’s now called “Gunganese;” this language came from the initial meetings with Humans and the subsequent passing of the speech patterns from one generation of the Gungans to the next without the input of Humans. This language has thus taken on a life of its own. As Gungans continue to interact with citizens of the wider galaxy, Gunganese will likely change to a form closer to standard Basic.

    A third language, “Hunter Speak,” is used by members of the military and Gungan hunters while operating in the Naboo wilderness. It consists entirely of sign language, using fingers and hands, and has the benefit of being silent.


    Spirituality:

    Gungans have an inclusive relationship with the natural world; they see themselves as part of nature, rather than above it or separate from it. This is illustrated in their spiritual practices. Most cities and settlements have a local Sacred Place, as we saw in TPM. Some of these areas include the fallen statuary shown in the movie; others are merely an area consisting of strictly natural features. Otoh Gunga has one Sacred Place that is perpetually under water, with another on land.

    In the Sacred Places, all nature is welcome, from the most harmless of plants and animals to the most dangerous of predators. Weaponry, with very few exceptions, is not allowed; only those weapons provided by nature (teeth, claws, sticks, stones, intelligence) may be used. Gungans often enter the Sacred Place in groups, which provides a greater element of protection.

    Most Sacred Places have a Shrine Keeper to oversee them. The Shrine Keeper leads whatever religious ceremonies are needed, including the naming of children, the performance of marriages, and death rituals. Shrine Keepers often enter the Sacred Place alone – it is believed that the gods choose who lives or dies there, and the Shrine Keeper’s faith will protect them.

    While Gungans overall have a strong survival drive, it is not unknown for some, particularly the elderly or terminally ill, to enter the Sacred Place for the purpose of (effectively) nature-assisted suicide. With the Shrine Keeper’s blessing, these individuals will take up residence in the Sacred Place until death, thereby “paying back” into the cycle of life. A similar ritual is sometimes applied to certain animals in Gungan culture, particularly the kaadu, the beloved riding beasts of the Gungan cavalry. In the case of these animals, weapons are permitted in the Sacred Place to allow a quick end to the animal’s suffering.

    Gungans often commemorate dead friends and family members by creating some kind of totem or small work of art, and then hanging the object on a “Memory Tree” within the local Sacred Place. The object may be made of and decorated with any suitable material (stone, gems, bone, carved wood, weavings, etc.) that the artist associates with the deceased.


    Relationship with the Humans of Naboo:

    In TPM, Queen Amidala comments to Boss Nass that there has always been peace between their two species, although there seems to have been some bloodshed early on when the Human colonists first arrived. However, it appears that the two societies naturally occupy two different environmental niches on Naboo, and have little need of anything in each other’s territory. Items of interest, such as food or medicinal plants, are more likely obtained through trade than violence.


    Misc.:

    Gungans have three fingers and an opposable thumb on each hand. Because of this, Gungans count in base eight instead of base ten the way Humans do. So Gungans would count one through seven the same way a human would, as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or symbols that stood for the numerals. However, the number eight would be represented as “10” because there’s one eight and no ones. Instead of ones, tens, hundreds, thousands, the Gungans would count in ones, eights, sixty-fourths, etc.
     
  3. gizkaspice

    gizkaspice Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 27, 2013
    I just adore your Gungan post @Seldes_Katne because I absolutely hate how TCW depicted them. You made them relatable yet alien--which is exactly how I remember them from TPM :D I also love the physiology section--spot on great stuff . (Some fancy words you can use relating to amphibians if you want to include: ecothermic (body temperature dependent on environment contrasting that with endothermic (such as mammals/birds); and external fertilization for their reproduction). Now I'm looking forward to more!
     
  4. Seldes_Katne

    Seldes_Katne Jedi Grand Master star 2

    Registered:
    Mar 18, 2002
    Thank you, gizkaspice. I hope folks find my essay useful. It's been a while (well, more than a while, actually) since I've written about or studied biology, so I'm a bit rusty on the vocabulary.

    I confess I'm not a big fan of TCW -- it's a bit too dark for my taste. And my opinion on the episode "Shadow Warrior" can't be repeated in company, polite or otherwise.

    ~*~*~*~​

    I don't have much to add to my fanon essay at the moment -- just a bit more on Gungan spirituality, and a question.

    The Gungans believe in a pantheon of gods. I have a passing familiarity with three of them: O’mas, the Creator God, who presents as female; U’daray, god of hunting, who generally presents as female; and A’Pensik, god of luck and chance, the trickster god, who usually presents as male (but like most tricksters, can take whatever form or gender seems the most useful). There’s a whole story of how O’mas creates Naboo (the Gungans have another name for it, which is actually a song) – it’s one of those lengthy epic pieces that takes an evening to tell, although I’ve heard General Tarpals tell an informal, abbreviated version of it to a Human audience. There are other gods, of course – a couple of posts above this is mention of Jug-Jug, the goddess of surfing, whom I have yet to meet. ;)

    Like the Gungans themselves, the gods have public names known to all, and private names known only to the individual and the Shrine Keepers (and presumably to the gods, or at least O’mas).


    My question is about the Ankurans, the minority race of the Gungan species. We see Rugor Nass in TPM (and a bit in RotS), and there’s an entry for them in the Episode One Visual Guide, and then the entire group just disappears. There’s no mention of them dying off or moving to another planet – they’re just never depicted again in canon. So where did they go? Granted they’re a small subset of the species, but I would expect to at least see or hear a mention of them.
     
    Ewok Poet, gizkaspice and Findswoman like this.
  5. FanonSock

    FanonSock Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Nov 11, 2014
    Hi all! It’s me, your friendly neighborhood FanonSock, with some wonderful update announcements for the first quarter of this year! :D

    @Seldes_Katne announces her new post on the Gungans.

    @Ewok Poet announces the following updates and changes to her posts:

    Hope everything looks accurate—if not, just let me know! :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2021
    Gamiel likes this.
  6. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    That is not my username. O_O
     
  7. FanonSock

    FanonSock Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Nov 11, 2014
    Easily fixed, and fixed now; sorry about that typo!
     
    Ewok Poet likes this.
  8. Mechalich

    Mechalich Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Fanon Entry for July 2021

    Flamesworn

    The semi-nomadic Vahla species possessed a society of large clans united by loose blood bonds and ruled over by their elders. Within these clans there was an extremely strong societal pressure to have many children, as the Vahla suffered from both low overall numbers due to the lack of stable territorial holdings and an extreme high rate of young adult death due to their high-risk and often violent lifestyles. Sustaining the species was therefore considered very important, especially among those who were strong in the Force, or in Vahla parlance, ‘much gifted by the Goddess.’ While Vahla partnership traditions were loose, with serial monogamy and polygamy quite common and formal monogamous relationships rare, childlessness carried significant social stigma. Most Vahla had at least one child prior to leaving their teens, though these children were often cared for by clan elders rather than their parents.

    The Flamesworn constituted the only significant exception to this societal norm.

    It was a path only open to young Vahla who had formally joined the dark side cult known as the Ember of Vahl. An enterprising young member of the cult could express a desire to prove their devotion to the Goddess by becoming Flamesworn. This choice had to be approved by the Chosen of Vahl cult leaders. Approval was not common, with only a handful of Vahla granted the privilege each generation. The Chosen would search the future extensively using the Force to decide whether this was the correct path for each would-be Flamesworn, and generally only the strongest and most fervent Vahla were granted the honor.

    To become Flamesworn meant total devotion to Vahl’s will, marking the prospective Vahla apart from the clan by forsaking lineage and love. Flamesworn were completely forbidden to have children. During their ceremonial adoption of the status, they actively sterilized themselves by burning their reproductive capabilities out of the body using the Force – the ovaries for females and the seminiferous tubules in males. They then swear that they will sacrifice all future lovers they may have to Vahl.

    A would be Flamesworn who failed during the ceremony faced immediate sacrifice to their Goddess.

    Flamesworn served as elite agents of the Vahla and the Chosen of Vahl. They were encouraged to take and sacrifice non-Vahla lovers for the benefit of the species and to undertake extremely high-risk tasks on behalf of their cult. They were extremely dangerous persons best known for their total absence of hesitation when it came to killing. Many worked as skilled infiltrators, often masquerading as humans and readily adopting new identities as they left a trail of immolated lovers across the galaxy.

    It was common for Flamesworn to use seduction as a weapon. They particularly sought to target Jedi in this way, as they were far more successful killing these hated enemies in moments of intimacy than during combat.

    Many of the galaxy’s most famous – or perhaps most infamous – Vahla were Flamesworn, a fact the colored the perception of Vahla throughout the galaxy. Tellingly, most Vahla were only too happy to have the Flamesworn as their cultural representatives.
     
    Gamiel likes this.
  9. FanonSock

    FanonSock Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Nov 11, 2014
    Hi, all! It’s been a little while, hasn’t it! Here’s a quick update:

    @Mechalich has a new post on the Vahla tradition of the Flamesworn (it’s the post right above thiis one).

    And since it’s been a little while, a quick reminder of the procedure: when you make your fanon post for the month, please send me its link via PM, and I’ll add it to both the index and my next updates post.

    Thanks, all, and let the fanon fun continue! :cool:
     
    Gamiel likes this.