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Hyperspace Beacon: Holocron Files -- Trandoshans


Usually when I talk about lore in the Hyperspace Beacon, I am not always sure whether it will make a huge impact on the games itself, and a lot of the time, my lore topics revolve around well-known pieces of lore. Admittedly over the last year and a half, I did hit a couple of subjects pretty hard, like Jedi, Mandalorians, Jedi, Imperials, Jedi, and Jedi. However, with these Holocron Files, I want to draw on pieces of lore that even devout Star Wars enthusiasts might not know about but that are still important to Star Wars: The Old Republic directly. In the last Holocron File, I talked about the Sith Pureblood because if you play a Sith Warrior, you will be able to choose that species for your character, and they play an important part in Imperial lore. This week, Trandoshans take center stage.

It's an amusing coincidence that Rubi asked about the lore of non-playable races in today's Daily Grind because that's what I'm talking about here. Trandoshans are not playable in SWTOR, but they do play an important role in the story in the game, particularly the Jedi Consular's story, and particularly one Trandoshan: Qyzen Fess.

Beyond the break, let's explore a bit the history of this species, its homeworld, its religion, and its relationship with the rest of the galaxy.

Hyperspace Beacon: The Basics
For those of you not in the know, let me explain the basics of what a Trandoshan is. Trandoshans (Dosh for short, not Trando or Tranny) hail from the planet Trandosha in the Kashyyyk system. These bipeds are covered in a thick, scaly skin, which ranges in color from a bright golden yellow to a dark green to everything in between. Qyzen has medium-green scales. Because their scales are thick and protective, most Dosh do not wear gloves nor shoes on their three-clawed appendages.

Most Trandoshans who travel off Trandosha become mercenaries or bounty hunters. Their culture is merciless, so these professions fit rather well. Like some other reptilian species (even those on Earth), Dosh newborns sometimes literally eat their siblings just after they're hatched. The Trandoshan bounty hunter from The Empire Strikes Back, Bossk, was famous for having done this. Those who did not become mercenaries or bounty hunters usually became big-game hunters, like the Jedi Consular companion Qyzen.

Hyperspace Beacon: Hsskhor
In the Mid-Rim of the galaxy sits the Kashyyyk System. According to the Essentials Atlas, this star system contains four inhabitable worlds. Kashyyyk is the Wookiee world seen in Revenge of the Sith and other various video games, comic books, and television shows. Alaris Prime is the first moon of the gas giant Alaris; Wookiees use this world as an outpost. Trandosha, as I mentioned, is home to the Trandoshans, as is Trandosha's moon Wasskah. Between the planet of Kashyyyk and Trandosha lies an asteroid field called the Gryyyl.

Natives to Trandosha call the planet Hsskhor; it's not very different from a standard inhabited world. The terrain varies from high mountains to low grasslands and luscious oceans to arid deserts. Even though Dosh are on par with most of the galaxy technologically, the population of Trandosha is quite a bit lower. That said, Trandoshan cities do thrive because of their societal need to be the best.

Hyperspace Beacon: The Scorekeeper
Where does the Trandoshans' violent tradition stem from? Believe it or not, Trandoshan religion plays a huge role in why the Dosh believe individually and collectively that they have to be the best. On the surface, the religion is simple. Great hunts merit individual Trandoshans jagannath points from their deity, the Scorekeeper. Life for a Trandoshan revolves around pleasing this goddess, which in the eyes for most of the civilized galaxy appears to be an excuse to pick a fight. In fact, some sects of Trandoshans do hunt other species for sport. In their mind, they're impressing the Scorekeeper. Unfortunately, these are Trandoshans who are most likely to become famous.

However, individuals like Qyzen Fess find a different outlet for religious expression. Qyzen's biography on the official SWTOR website states that most Trandoshans become guns-for-hire, but Qyzen chooses a "traditional path." He enjoys stalking monstrous beasts around the galaxy and dislikes hunting anything not worthy of his skills. In other words, he will not prey on the weak. He considers it a grave dishonor to the Scorekeeper if he kills the defenseless. Not unlike the Wookiee life-debt, once Qyzen makes a friend, it's for life. Others of his species can learn from him, it seems.

Hyperspace Beacon: Dosh vs. Wookiees
The lore doesn't quite explain when or how it started, but there has always been a feud between the Trandoshans of Hsskhor and the Wookiees of Kashyyyk. Being planetary neighbors certainly didn't help. First off, the star system is called Kashyyyk; obviously the rest of the galaxy favors the hairy ones over the scaly ones. On top of that, Kashyyyk was invited into the Republic before Hsskhor was. Even then, the star system representative was a Wookiee. How could one of those "beasts" reflect the needs of the Trandoshan people? To the delight of the Dosh, the Czerka Corporation saw their value as hunters and allowed them to rule over Kashyyyk 300 years before the Treaty of Coruscant. In the SWTOR timeline, it's uncertain what has happened between Kashyyyk and Hsskhor, but we do know that even three thousand years later, during the time of the Star Wars movies, the societies are still fighting.

I am not sure whether this information will be in the in-game codex at launch. If not, anyone planning on playing a Jedi Consular should bookmark this article. Story plays a major part in the gameplay of TOR, and Qyzen will be your companion for the longest amount of time, so you'd better know how to make him happy and get him a lot of jagannath points!

Star Wars: The Old Republic is finally here, and the Force is with Massively! We've prepared a Hutt-sized feast of class introductions, gameplay guides, lore roundups, and hands-on previews to help you navigate the launch period and beyond. And don't forget our weekly SWTOR column, the Hyperspace Beacon!

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