Saturday, August 30, 2008


I have seen many lists featuring the 'Best Songs' from one band or another, and they typically, if not always, feature the particular band's prominent hits and number 1's. Well, that's all fine and dandy, if you're a raving lunatic! Nothing screams 'cop-out' faster and more overtly than a list featuring a band that only focuses on the overly-radio played best-of's. So, as I jumped feet-first into this Beatles list, I took into consideration each and every one of their albums, and I chose accordingly, often times only picking one from said album leaving a few behind. You will NOT hear, for instance: Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds, I Am the Walrus, or Hey Jude. This list does NOT include Yesterday, The Long and Winding Road, or The Taxman. So, with those six bigger hits out of the way, read on and realize quite a few of this amazing bands far better musical masterpieces. And if you're not an especially huge Beatles fan, well, take this list and consider it a great downloading playlist.



The song was a conscious homage to the emerging reggae movement (lyrical reference: "life goes on bra"), possibly related to the growing Jamaican population in Britain, although it is heavily blended with honky tonk. Aside from the syncopated beat, the song also employed metre schemes and devices not used in the Beatles' previous works and demonstrated the group's highly experimental nature at the time of its recording.

The song is in the key of Bb major. The structure of the song is as follows:

Intro, Verse, Chorus, Verse, Chorus, Bridge, Verse, Chorus, Bridge, Verse, Chorus, Outro

Though The Beatles album itself (aka: The White Album) is chock full of bizarre and musically different tunes, this one stands out as a sort of new direction for the band that was touched on, though not fully explored, on later attempts.


The song was written primarily by John Lennon (credited to Lennon/McCartney), with Paul McCartney's contributions in dispute. Lennon said that McCartney's contribution was limited to "the way Ringo played the drums". McCartney said that was an incomplete response, and that "we sat down and wrote it together... give him 60 percent of it... we sat down together and worked on that for a full three-hour songwriting session." Lennon said the double-time ending section (with the lyric "My baby don't care") was one of his "favorite bits" in the song.

This song's downbeat straying into the chords and chorus is just amazing. Oh, and anyone who ever disbeloeved in Paul's ability to harmonize is about to be schooled.


"Any Time at All" is a Beatles song credited to Lennon & McCartney and mainly composed by John Lennon. It first appeared on The Beatles' A Hard Day's Night album.

Incomplete when first brought into Abbey Road Studios on Tuesday 2 June 1964, Paul McCartney suggested an idea for the middle eight section based solely on chords, which was recorded with the intention of adding lyrics later. But by the time it was needed to be mixed however, the middle eight was still without words, and that is how it appears on the LP.

What did get added at the mixing stage was the snare drum "crack" that opens the track (and side two of the album) edited from an unused take.

Whether or not John was unable to hit the higher, 'any time at all' in the second part of the verse remains to be seen, but having Paul do it not only added to the genius but incorporated both vastly different voices.


The song, one of Harrison's best-known Beatles contributions alongside "Something", originated from a songwriting collaboration between Harrison and close friend Eric Clapton called "Badge," recorded by Clapton's group Cream, and featuring an arpeggiated guitar riff that is similar to the one that forms the bridge of "Here Comes the Sun". 1969 was a difficult year for Harrison: he was arrested for marijuana possession, he had his tonsils removed, and he had temporarily quit the band. The song was written while Harrison was away from all of these troubles. Harrison sang lead vocals and played acoustic guitar, moog, and handclaps. Paul McCartney sang backing vocals, played bass guitar, and handclaps. Ringo Starr played drums and handclaps. John Lennon did not contribute to the song as he was recovering from a recent car crash.

Cementing once and for all -as if there were any doubt to the contrary- that George Harrison is, was, and will forever be a guitar genius.


Alistair Taylor, in the book Yesterday, reports a mysterious incident involving a man who inexplicably appeared near him and McCartney during a walk on Primrose Hill and then disappeared again, soon after McCartney and Taylor had conversed about the existence of God; this allegedly prompted the writing of the song.

McCartney played the song for John Lennon during a writing session for "With a Little Help from My Friends," and Lennon told him to write it down. McCartney didn't; he was sure he wouldn't forget it. In his 1980 interview with Playboy, Lennon said, "Now that's Paul. Another good lyric. Shows he's capable of writing complete songs."

This is such a creepy and ethereal song. Just try to imagine someone appearing and disappearing right in front of you prompting a song! So amazing.


In 1966, McCartney recalled how he got the idea for his song:
“I was sitting at the piano when I thought of it. The first few bars just came to me, and I got this name in my head... 'Daisy Hawkins picks up the rice in the church'. I don't know why. I couldn't think of much more so I put it away for a day. Then the name Father McCartney came to me, and all the lonely people. But I thought that people would think it was supposed to be about my Dad sitting knitting his socks. Dad's a happy lad. So I went through the telephone book and I got the name McKenzie."

Undeniably haunting.


At the time of the release of Help!, Lennon was infatuated with the American singer Bob Dylan. Dylan's 1964 song "I Don't Believe You [She Acts Like We Have Never Met]" opens in strikingly similar fashion: "I can't understand, she let go of my hand, and left me here facing the wall". Lennon seems to mimic Dylan's gruff vocal style, and uses a Dylanesque, all-acoustic accompaniment with very little percussion. The song "is just basically John doing Dylan", McCartney later said.

This clip from the film is so strangly perfect for the song itself. I just love how uninvloved Ringo looks through the whole thing. Oh, and the slightly hidden battle for the woman's afection between George and Paul is great.


The song was recorded 11 June 1968 in Abbey Road studios, with George Martin as the producer and Geoff Emerick as the audio engineer. McCartney played a Martin D 28 acoustic guitar. The track includes recordings of a blackbird singing in the background.

The structure of the song is quite uneven, featuring a good amount of free verse phrasing, with the timing varying between 3/4, 4/4 and 2/4 metres. It is in the key of G, with the bass and melody lines on the guitar progressing mostly in parallel tenths, all the while maintaining an open G-drone on the third string. The song is played with a unique combination of fingerpicking and (a kind of) finger-strumming, though the bass notes are always played by the thumb on the downbeat.


The Beatles recorded three versions of the song in October and November, 1965. The last version was included on Rubber Soul. The original version recorded on 24 October was slower than the released version, had a significantly different rhythm, and lacked the "Why, tell me why..." middle eighth of the final version. It was eventually released in 1996 on the Anthology 2 compilation.

The stereo US version of the song contains a false guitar start.

The mono version on the US Capitol Versions Vol. 2 CD also contains the false start.


One night in 1967, the phrase "words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup" came to Lennon after hearing his then-wife Cynthia, according to Lennon, "going on and on about something". Later, after "she'd gone to sleep—and I kept hearing these words over and over, flowing like an endless stream", Lennon went downstairs and it turned into a sort of cosmic song. He began to write the rest of the lyrics and when he was done, he went to bed and forgot about them.

In the morning, Lennon found the paper on which he had written the lyrics and took them down to his piano, where he began to play chords, and find pitches to match the words. The flavor of the song was heavily influenced by Lennon's and The Beatles' short-lived interest in Transcendental Meditation in late 1967–early 1968, when the song was composed.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


What's 'Cryptozoology' you might be asking yourself? Well, sir or ma'am, it's the study of mystery critters that either: a) haven't fully been categorized yet, b) have only managed to show up in mountain folk's backyards, c) appear in fuzzy, out-of-focus pictures, or, d) all of the above. Many people take this particular science very seriously and spend endless hours attempting to prove that there are man-eating rat-monsters living deep within the sewers of New York City. So, without further hesitation, here are the top ten of such creatures. Forward, Ho!


THE MYSTERY: From Wikipedia: The Mothman is the name given to a creature reported in the Charleston and Point Pleasant areas of West Virginia between November 12, 1966 (near Clendenin), and December 1967. Most observers describe the Mothman as a winged man-sized creature with large reflective red eyes and large moth-like wings. The creature often appeared to have no head, with its eyes set into its chest. A number of hypotheses have been presented to explain eyewitness accounts, ranging from misidentification and coincidence, to paranormal phenomena and conspiracy theories.

MY 2 CENTS: I don't find much of these mystery critters especially difficult to believe, mostly because, as a firm believer in ghosts, it's not that difficult. That being said: this Mothman deal is wacky.


THE MYSTERY: From Wikipedia: The Jersey Devil, sometimes called the Leeds Devil, is a legendary creature or cryptid said to inhabit the Pine Barrens in southern New Jersey. Many different descriptions have been offered by alleged witnesses of the creature, which are as follows:

* "It was three feet high... long black hair over its entire body, arms and hands like a monkey, face like a dog, split hooves [...] and a tail a foot long". — George Snyder, Moorestown, NJ. Sighted on January 20, 1909.[1]
* "In general appearance it resembled a giraffe... It has a long neck and from what glimpse I got of its head its features are hideous. It has wings of a fairly good size and of course in the darkness looked black. Its legs are long and somewhat slender and were held in just such a position as a swan's when it is flying...It looked to be about four feet high". — Lewis Boeger, Haddon Heights, NJ. Sighted on January 21, 1909.[1]

While the descriptions vary, several aspects remain fairly constant, such as the devil's long neck, wings and hooves. The creature is often said to have a horselike head and tail. Its reputed height varies from about three feet to more than seven feet. Many sightings report the creature to have glowing red eyes that can paralyze a man, and that it utters a high-pitched, humanlike scream.

MY 2 CENTS: Holy mother of Jeebus! Look at that thing! If I ever saw that mess I'd one AND two in my Jockeys!


THE MYSTERY: From Wikipedia: The Yeti or Abominable Snowman is an apelike animal cryptid said to inhabit the Himalaya region of Nepal and Tibet. The names Yeti and Meh-Teh are commonly used by the people indigenous to the region, and are part of their history and mythology. Nepalese have various names for Yeti like "Bonmanche" which means "wild man" or "Kangchenjunga rachyyas" which means "Kanchanjunga's demon."

The scientific community largely dismisses the Yeti as a fraud supported by legend and weak evidence, yet it remains one of the most famous creatures of cryptozoology. The Yeti can be considered a Himalayan parallel to Bigfoot (Sasquatch).

MY 2 CENTS: There is an awful lot of unexplored frozen tundra all about, so, it stands to some sort of reason that this giant, bi-pedal ape thing could exist. Besides, hundreds of bat-shit crazy observers can't be wrong, right?


From Wikipedia: A mermaid is a fictional aquatic creature that is half human, half aquatic creature (e.g. a fish or dolphin). Various cultures throughout the world have similar figures. The word is a compound of mere, the Old English word for "sea," and maid, which has retained its original sense.

Much like sirens, mermaids would sometimes sing to sailors and enchant them, distracting them from their work and causing them to walk off the deck or cause shipwrecks. Other stories would have them squeeze the life out of drowning men while trying to rescue them. They are also said to take them down to their underwater kingdoms. In Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid it is said that they forget that humans cannot breathe underwater, while others say they drown men out of spite.

Unfortunately, very few mermaid encounters of late resemble anything anywhere near a Daryl Hannah or an Ariel, which is too bad since, well, that's the kind of mermaid I'd get into a fish-human relationship with. For real!


THE MYSTERY: From Wikipedia: Mokèlé-mbèmbé: meaning "one who stops the flow of rivers" in the Lingala language, is the name given to a large water dwelling cryptid found in the legends and folklore of the Congo River basin.It is sometimes described as being a living creature and sometimes as being a spirit. It is analogous to the Loch Ness Monster in Western culture.

Several expeditions have been mounted in the hope of finding evidence of the Mokele-mbembe, though without success. Efforts have been covered in a number of books and by a number of television documentaries. The Mokele-mbembe and its associated folklore also appears in several works of fiction and popular culture.

MY 2 CENTS: Remember that movie, 'Baby' where that american couple who were also scientists went to Africa and discovered that Brontosaurus infant? Yeah, that was pretty cool.


THE MYSTERY: From Wikipedia: A long held hypothesis suggested the possibility that alien big cats at large in the United Kingdom could have been imported as part of private collections or zoos, later escaped or set free. An escaped big cat could not be reported to the authorities due to the illegality of owning and importing the animals.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food decided to conduct an official investigation in 1995. The study's findings decided there was "no verifiable evidence" of exotic felines loose in Britain, and that the mauled farm animals could have been attacked by common indigenous species. The report stated that "the investigation could not prove that a 'big cat' is not present."
MY 2 CENTS: Yeah, I do so love how investigators always say, 'There was no significant evidence to blah blah blah...' What, so the better part of the town's population isn't significant enough for you? Nay-saying bastards!


THE MYSTERY: From Wikipedia: Chupacabra (also Chupacabras /tʃupa'kabɾas/, from Spanish chupar: to suck, cabra: goat; goat sucker) is a legendary cryptid rumored to inhabit parts of the Americas. It is associated more recently with sightings of an allegedly unknown animal in Puerto Rico (where these sightings were first reported), Mexico, and the United States, especially in the latter's Latin American communities. The name comes from the animal's reported habit of attacking and drinking the blood of livestock, especially goats. Physical descriptions of the creature vary. Eyewitness sightings have been claimed as early as 1990 in Puerto Rico, and have since been reported as far north as Maine, and as far south as Chile. It is supposedly a heavy creature, the size of a small bear, with a row of spines reaching from the neck to the base of the tail. Most biologists and wildlife management officials view the chupacabra as an urban legend.

My 2 CENTS: Hee hee... Goat Sucker.... he he... Ahem. Sorry. Anyway, new recent evidence suggests that the chupacabra is more like a canine with a giant, triangular head with pinted ears and snout. Either way: gross.


THE MYSTERY: From Wikipedia: The legendary animal Bigfoot or Sasquatch is alleged to be an ape-like creature inhabiting remote forests, mainly in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States and Canada. Bigfoot is usually described as a large, hairy, bipedal ape. Believers in its existence contend that such an animal, or close relatives of it, may be found around the world under different regional names, such as the Yeti of Tibet and Nepal, the Yeren of mainland China, the Orang Pendek of Indonesia, and the Yowie of Australia.

Bigfoot is one of the more famous examples of cryptozoology. The scientific community considers the Bigfoot legend to be a combination of folklore, misidentified animals, and hoaxes.

MY 2 CENTS: So, I was walking in the woods this one time and as I was busily scraping bigfoot poo off my shoe, this ginat, furry beast ambled by. I was freaked out! But then I remembered it was that homeless guy, Ed.


From Wikipedia: The giant squid (genus: Architeuthis) is a deep-ocean dwelling squid in the family Architeuthidae, represented by as many as eight species. Giant squid can grow to a tremendous size: recent estimates put the maximum size at 13 metres (43 ft) for females and 10 metres (33 ft) for males from caudal fin to the tip of the two long tentacles (second only to the colossal squid at an estimated 14 metres (46 ft), one of the largest living organisms). The mantle is about 2 metres (7 ft) long (more for females, less for males), and the length of the squid excluding its tentacles is about 5 metres (16 ft). There have been claims reported of specimens of up to 20 metres (66 ft), but no animals of such size have been scientifically documented.

MY 2 CENTS: Most recently, the giant squid have become more and more feasable and, on any given night on any one of the Discovery Networks (tonight, 9pm!) will be a show about giant squid. CALAMARI!


THE MYSTERY: From Wikipedia: The Loch Ness Monster (Nessiteras rhombopteryx) is an alleged animal, identified neither as to a family or species, purportedly inhabiting Scotland's Loch Ness. The Loch Ness Monster is one of the best-known cryptids studied by cryptozoology. Popular belief and interest in the animal have waxed and waned over the years since it came to the world's attention in 1933. Evidence of its existence is largely anecdotal, with minimal, and much disputed, photographic material and sonar readings: there has not been any physical evidence (skeletal remains, capture of a live animal, definitive tissue samples or spoor) uncovered as of 2008. Local people, and later many around the world, have affectionately referred to the animal by the diminutive Nessie (Scottish Gaelic: "Niseag") since the 1950s.

MY 2 CENTS: Here are s few of Nessies pals: The Lake Champlain monster, 'Champ', and the Lac Decaire Monster, 'Lizzie'. I'd be willing to bet that everyone seeing dino-relatives from different lakes are all just seeing the same one and they can time travel. Just about as solid a concept as anything else, right?

Thursday, August 21, 2008


The final list in my Star Wars Trilogy (Ha! It's funny cuz it's true... Ah ha ha!) focuses entirely on the many cool space ships found throughout the Original Trilogy. Look, it's not that I have anything against the newest Trilogy, per se, it's just that I'm, how shall I say, far happier and less completely embarrassed and ashamed by the first, and far superior, three films. There, I said it. Well, don't despair that I only used ships from the flicks, I did choose a couple from the Expanded Universe that includes books, comics, games, and the like. So, follow along with baited breath as I present the 10 Coolest Star Wars Space Ships: perhaps some of the most recognizable items from the movies aside from the characters themselves. Enjoy!



SPECS: Slave I was a modified prototype Firespray-31-class patrol and attack craft used by famed bounty hunters Jango Fett and his cloned "son", Boba Fett. It was greatly modified with advanced weapons systems by both Fetts during their respective use. Originating from Oovo IV, the ship was stolen by Jango Fett, replacing his previous ship, Jaster's Legacy. After Jango's death on Geonosis in 22 BBY, the ship was inherited by Boba Fett and used on several missions during and after the Clone Wars. It was subsequently replaced by the Slave II, Slave III, and Slave IV.

QUOTE: "There's no star system Slave I can't reach, and there's no planet I can't find. There's nowhere in the galaxy for you to run. Might as well give up now."
Boba Fett

NOTES: Everyone knew Boba Fett was destined to be a bad-ass from the very moment he was glimpsed among the 'slime' as the myriad bounty hunters stood aboard the Star Destroyer waiting for instructions from Darth Vader. Then, as a quick-witted Han dropped off the giant ship as it dumped it's garbage, Fett followed in the Slave 1 unnoticed and finally cornered his prey on Bespin.


SPECS: The T-47 was an atmospheric vehicle designed for industrial cargo handling. Its cockpit featured positions for a forward-facing pilot and a rear-facing cargo manager. The cargo manager used the airspeeder's magnetic harpoon and tow cable to control repulsorlift cargo modules.

QUOTE: "We had seen our snowspeeder pilots perform maneuvers every day in the simulators, before the speeders had been adapted to the cold. But we had never seen the full squadron in flight, and it was a heartening sight."
Voren Na'al, regarding the Battle of Hoth

NOTES: Unfortunately, these ships proved to be basically useless against the heavily-armed AT-AT Walkers. Sure, the tripping maneuver provided by the tow-cable was a pretty slick plan, however, only one crew managed to pull it off. In the LEGO Star Wars video game, these ships are far cooler and can be used in a variety of battles.


SPECS: The TIE Advanced x1, or TIE/x1 was an advanced prototype starfighter touted as a replacement for the standard TIE Fighter and tested by Darth Vader at the Battle of Yavin. While it never made it into production, many of its best design features were later incorporated into the TIE/sa bomber and TIE/In interceptor. Further development of the Advanced continued, eventually leading to the TIE Avenger and TIE Defender.

QUOTE: "They're coming in too fast!"
Luke Skywalker

NOTES: As imposing as Darth Vader was, and as good of a pilot as he evidently was (see: Crappy New Trilogy), he sure wasn't bright enough to watch out behind his dumb ass when Han Solo snuck up on him in the Death Star trench. Yes, it was a kick-ass TIE Fighter, however, without a rear view mirror, it may as well have been a flying rock.


SPECS: The Dreadnaught-class heavy cruiser, or simply the Dreadnaught, was a capital ship built for planetary occupation and space combat used by the Galactic Republic, Galactic Empire, New Republic, local governments and various other organizations.

QUOTE: "These are built from Mandalorian design. Not the most modern, but very strong."
Supreme Chancellor Palpatine

NOTES: Though Dreadnaught-class starships were first shown in action in Dark Force Rising, they are mentioned earlier in Heir to the Empire as providing the main hull of Nomad City. Like many of the ships and vehicles in the Thrawn Trilogy, the Dreadnaught originated in the Imperial Sourcebook.


SPECS: Super Star Destroyer (SSD) was a term used by Imperial and Rebel/New Republic personnel for many warship classes larger than Star Destroyers, ranging from Star Cruisers up to Star Dreadnaughts. It was used concurrently with the term Super-class Star Destroyer.
Darth Vader's command ship, the Executor, was one such vessel and one of the most famous Super Star Destroyers fielded, as was the even deadlier Eclipse, which served as one of Galactic Emperor Palpatine's flagships.

QUOTE: "Concentrate all fire on that Super Star Destroyer!"
Admiral Ackbar, referring to the Executor, during the Battle of Endor

NOTES: Though many bits and pieces of both major space battles (Yavin and Endor) stick in my mind, one of the very coolest was when one of the Super Star Destroyers lost use of its engines and lift capabilities and speared itself right into the Death Star. So cool.


SPECS: The Outrider started life as a stock Corellian Engineering Corporation YT-2400. Like all the ships in the YT series, the Outrider featured the trademark saucer-shaped hull, which Rendar reinforced with titanium armor and gave a dark, chrome gleam. The cockpit and main escape pod were attached to the starboard side of the saucer with two bracing arms. The docking hatch and another escape pod were on the port side.

QUOTE: "I owe the Outrider the best. She's brought me home when any other ship would have scattered me across space."
Dash Rendar

NOTES: Outrider is one of the few C-canon elements from the Expanded Universe which is adopted in G-canon (the films) -another being the main Jedi Council planet of Coruscant-. In addition to its appearance in Shadows of the Empire, the ship also appears in the special edition of A New Hope.


SPECS: A Death Star was an Imperial moon-sized military battlestation armed with a planet-destroying superlaser. The Death Stars were the first in a long series of superweapons developed to execute the Tarkin Doctrine, but whose concept had been explored even before the Clone Wars. The Death Star was designed to allow Emperor Palpatine to more directly control the Galactic Empire through fear. A Death Star was to be commanded usually by a Moff.

QUOTE: Bail: "Surely there's nothing new about a space fortress."
Tion: "I don't mean a mere orbital gun platform, Your Majesty. This is a machine of war such as the universe has never known. It's colossal, the size of a class-four moon. And it possesses firepower unequaled in the history of warfare."
Leia: "And this, this flying pillbox is going to make you a member of the Imperial elite?"
Tion: "More than a pillbox, Princess. It boasts a Prime Weapon capable of destroying entire planets."
Bail Organa, Tion and Leia Organa.

NOTES: Ok, I know: it's not a ship. I know. But it's also, "no moon! It's a Space Station!" So there.


SPECS: The Sun Crusher was a nearly indestructible craft that was no larger than a starfighter, but was capable of unleashing destruction on a magnitude that dwarfed even the Death Star's capabilities. Unlike the Death Star that destroyed individual planets, the Sun Crusher could destroy an entire star system by causing its star to turn into a supernova. The key to its near invincibility was layered molecular armor, a material so strong that it could resist even turbolaser shots.

QUOTE: "The only thing more dangerous than a Dark Jedi is a Dark Jedi behind the controls of a Sun Crusher…"
Han Solo, speaking of Kyp Durron

NOTES: It is believed that the spacecraft shown on the cover of Dark Apprentice is an alternative, non-canon version of the Sun Crusher.


SPECS: The X-wing was a prominent series of multiple starfighters produced by Incom with a characteristic "X"-shape of four wings, known as S-foils, extending out from the fuselage. These starfighters were found in the service of the Rebel Alliance, New Republic, and also the Galactic Alliance. They were originally meant for the Galactic Empire but when the entire Incom design team defected with the prototypes to the Rebel Alliance this deal was over.

QUOTE: "The Incom T-65 X-wing is the fighter that destroyed the Death Star. An almost perfect balance of speed, maneuverability, and defensive shielding make it the fighter of choice for Rogue Squadron."
General Carlist Rieekan

NOTES: When that quickly babbled quote from ANH is spoken: "Lock 'S' Foils in attack position", I used to believe he was saying, "Luck as falls in attack..." I think mine sounds cooler. I've since contacted Lucas about changing it. He hasn't returned my emails.


SPECS: The Millennium Falcon was the famous personal smuggling starship of Han Solo and Chewbacca. The Falcon began life as a standard Corellian Engineering Corporation YT-1300 stock light freighter. Solo won it from Lando Calrissian in the Cloud City Sabacc Tournament. Under both Calrissian and Solo, the ship endured many adventures and upgrades which led to its dilapidated exterior appearance, and played a vital role in the Galactic Civil War.

QUOTE: "You came in that thing? You're braver than I thought!"
Leia Organa to Han Solo

NOTES: Apparently, the most kick-ass ship in all of Star Wars history came about when Lucas saw a hamburger and a pickle together on a diner plate. Now that's something.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Ah, the Star Wars Universe... if it's anything Lucas got right (and there are some things), it was the creation of the plethora of alien lifeforms that inhabit it. From just the Cantina Scene alone in A New Hope we were inundated with some twenty different creatures barely on screen for a second or so at a time. Yet, be that as it may, recent authors have taken liberties with many, if not all, of these intergalactic being's back-stories and have made many common enough to garner their own Action Figures. As the original trilogy progressed, more and significantly wackier aliens were thrown into the mix up to and throughout the second series of three films. The following ten aliens are by far the most bizarre I could find. The idea was to gather a few that weren't on screen for more than minutes all told, so as odd as some of your favorites may have been, it was all determined by screen time for this list's purposes. Enjoy!



"The techno union army is at your disposal, Count."
Wat Tambor to Count Dooku

The Techno Union Droid Army was a droid army owned by the Techno Union. During the Separatist crisis, Foreman Wat Tambor pledged the army to Count Dooku's Confederacy of Independent Systems, and was merged into the Separatist Droid Army.

Yes, I'm aware that Wat Tambor was on screen for a bit longer than just a few minutes, but I just really dug how he had to talk by adjusting a knob on his chest and essentially sounded like a walking Beat-Box. I can just see him in a Beck concert a la Bender in Futurama only jamming the fat beats rather than scratching his damaged chest. Yes, I just said, 'fat beats'. Sorry.


"I thought you people were demons of chaos. I realize now that order sent you to protect us."
Ryannar N'on Dikasterar speaking to Kav Dryfus in an Imperial prison, as recorded in Kav Dryfus' journal

Eloms were short, stocky, bipedal sentients, with a thick pelt of oily, dark fur, native to the frigid and mineral-rich desert planet of Elom, located in the Borderland Regions. The primitive species had extremely tough skin, several layers of fat, and their hands and feet were coated by thick calluses.

First appearing on the Sail Barge among Jabba the Hutt and his mass collection of queer creatures, the Elom hangs back in the shadows and barely makes himself visible. I'm not 100% sure if the toy pic I found was from a real production action figure, or something from a fan's design, but either way, it's cool. I never had him if he was real... too bad, too. I'd have loved to get my hands on that one.


"Six meters of muscle, teeth, and venom. Hyperfast reflexes and a vicious streak as wide as the Cron Drift. I'd say you're looking at the most efficient predator in history."
Tyro Viveca

The Florn Lamproids were a sapient carnivorous species from Florn, shaped into consummate predators by the many dangers of their homeworld. They were aggressive, ophidian colonizers who favored jungle and forest ecosystems. They had six limbs, with long black claws. Their well-muscled serpentine coils were strong enough to crush a bantha's skull, while their mouths were ringed with long fangs. They were also venomous, possessing a poison stinger on the tips of their tails as well as a milky poison in their saliva. Their oily skin was gray-green. A tiny wet sensory filament could be curled from between the yellow fangs to detect scent.

One of the best-known Florn Lamproids was Dice Ibegon, agent of the Alliance to Restore the Republic and lover of Lak Sivrak (See: Shistavanen Wolfman down a few) See this thing up there? Yeah, I have this serious issue with nasty looking things that remind me of seventh-grade science featuring me, a scalpel, and a agar platter full o' flatworm. Ugh!


"I am sending you to the Mustafar system in the Outer Rim. It is a volcanic planet. You will be safe there."
General Grievous to the Separatist Council

The two subspecies of Mustafarians had different physiologies as well as different roles in their society. The northern Mustafarians were significantly taller than their cousins and physically weaker. Because of their frail physiology, those who served as sentries commonly had their limbs enhanced with cybernetic prosthetics.

The southern Mustafarians were stronger and shorter in stature than their northern cousins. They handled the "heavy lifting" jobs of the their planet's lava mining. The southerners could withstand higher temperatures than northerners as well. Since they spent more time near the lava, they wore breath masks and thick armor to compensate.

If you can find a decent picture, outside of the massive book that I have, of a Mustafarian without its heat-resistant armor on, you will then realize just how completely wacky these beings are. Trust me. Really wacky.


"Good, I'm ready for food, fresh food… wet food."

The Shistavanens, colloquially nicknamed “wolfmen” for their lupine appearance, were a biped species from the planets of the Uvena system, such as Uvena Prime and Uvena III.Lak Sivrak was an Imperial scout who developed a reputation for success, and became an important asset to the Galactic Empire. The isolation associated with Sivrak's deep space scout work cut him off from the news of the Rebel Alliance's open opposition to the Empire. In Mos Eisley, hidden away from his employers, Sivrak dreamed of helping the Rebel Alliance as a scout. Finally his dream came true when he met Dice Ibegon, a Florn Lamproid. Lak Sivrak fell in love with Ibegon, and they left the Mos Eisley cantina. Both Lak and Dice joined the Rebels

From what I understand, the mask later used for Lak Sivrak from the ANH Cantina Scene, was actually a piece from a horror movie being shot around the same time. That's damn cool.


I Couldn't Find a Cool Quote, So Here's Some Equally Cool Bits O' Trivia:

In Return of the Jedi, mime artist Philip Herbert wore a full-body creature suit to portray Hermi Odle.

Hermi's deformed lip is unique to him, Baragwins generally have normal lips, like the Jedi Astaal Vilbum.

Hermi Odle is likely a take on 'Hear Me Yodel'.

Although Odle is supposed to have shot Pote Snitkin on Jabba's sail barge, Snitkin was not aboard the barge; he was driving one of the skiffs.

Baragwin were easily recognized by their hunched backs, wrinkled skin, and large heads mounted on thick necks. There were no obvious differences between male and female Baragwin. Hermi Odle was one of the aliens in Jabba the Hutt's employment at his desert palace. Odle was a large Baragwin who wore a tattered cloak and had droopy lips. He took up residence on Tatooine after his ship was shot down by an Imperial patrol. He was employed by Jabba after he impressed the Hutt with his weapon-making skills.


"My goodness, stop blathering. I do not handle business like some other crime lords do. I think this can be settled quietly. I understand that the shipment was lost. Consider yourself on probation, and report for your next assignment. The value of the cargo will be deducted from your cut of this new shipment. This time."
Lady Valarian, to an employee

Whiphids were tall, muscled, furred sentient beings from the planet Toola. They were notable for their great tusks. On Toola, Whiphids lived a primitive lifestyle, hunting caraboose and other large animals, such as the motmot, their favored prey. Their language consisted of approximately six thousand words. As Whiphids came into contact with more technically advanced races that came to Toola to buy ice, they began to show great curiosity about the rest of the galaxy. Many Whiphids left Toola, supporting themselves as big game hunters, mercenaries, or bounty hunters.

Famous Whiphids included the crime lord Lady Valarian, the Jedi Master K'Kruhk and the criminal spy J'Quille.

There is a scene in Episode II where Yoda, while training a class of youngling Jedi's, is interrupted by Obi Wan and one of his students is a Whiphid. Apparently, many are quite in tune with the force.


Since Amanaman Doesn't Talk, Well... No Quotes. Again. Here's Some FAST FACTS!

Amanaman can be seen several times in Jabba's Palace. He is first seen when Jabba reveals Han Solo frozen in carbonite. He can also be seen when the Max Rebo Band performs—although he is reclining so he is hard to spot—, he is seen again when Leia and Han are discovered, and the last time he is seen is when Luke and Han are sentenced to death.

The Amanin (singular, Amani), sometimes called Amanaman, were a primitive race from the planet Maridun. Amanin were hard to miss in a crowd, being two to three meters tall with bright yellow and green skin, arms long enough to reach the ground, and very short legs. They were found in the galaxy at large as mercenaries, heavy laborers and wilderness scouts.


"We are the slaves, to our own laziness, to our own comforts. We are nothing more than parasites, feeding on the lives of our fellows. This must stop."
from Ephant Mon's memoirs

Ephant Mon was a Chevin male from the planet Vinsoth. Despite his awkward appearance, Mon was a skilled and powerful combatant, and during his youth, he was considered handsome by Chevin standards. He started off as a mercenary in his youth before becoming a gunrunner, supplying arms to all sorts of military factions, from planetary militia groups to the more organized Rebel Alliance. His goods were usually stolen Imperial weapons which, though outdated, were still serviceable. Mon also worked as a slaver at some point in his lengthy life.

I love this guy! Not only does his face look like a slice of sausage in the shape of a slide, but he appears as though he could, at any given time, eat you. Very cool.


"Bom Vimdin is a true mercenary: one who would sell his soul, the fate of his people, and even that of the galaxy for a few credits. He cares little for what happens to those he harms provided the credit balance in his account grows."
Airen Cracken

Advozsec (singular: Advozse) were a humanoid species, easily distinguished by the single horn on top of their hairless heads. Their home planet of Riflor was geologically unstable, with frequent volcanic eruptions: a condition which shaped their culture and their place in the galaxy.

I came across this dude not only from ANH, but also in the very same book I spoke of earlier. He immediately caught my eye as easily the most bizarre, and some how scary, beast in the galaxy. No wonder that Cantina Scene used to scare the piss out of me when I was a tot. THIS GUY!