Gungans: Love ‘Em or Hate ‘Em?

Though they may not be first to mind as an integral species in in the universe, Gungans have appearances in four of the six Star Wars films. With a particularly important role to play in The Phantom Menace, and several main characters in the film, no Star Wars fan can deny the Gungans; role in the films. This is the start of a short series exploring Gungans and some of my feelings about the species.


Before expressing some of my opinions, I’ll first give a brief overview of the species and history in Star Wars.

Gungans are native to the planet Naboo. They are an amphibious , humanoid species that typically live in the swamps of Naboo. They tended to be isolationist, existing primarily within their own socio-political community structures. Their underwater capital is Otoh Gunga, where the Gungan council sits led by a Boss (like Boss Nass in The Phantom Menace).


After The Phantom Menace, Gungans worked more closely with the Naboo government. Though typically a peaceful species, the Gungans do have a warrior culture, and utilized their energy field technology for effective warfare. They maintain an army called the Gungan Grand Army.



Gungans spoke a type of modified Galactic Basic with a mix of Gungan words. This, with their appearance, underwater lifestyle, and use of animals as beasts of burdens probably led to the view by many others that Gungans are a primitive species. However, with their biotechnology, and blue plasma energy, they are a technologically advanced society. Plus, their cultural structure is a complex one, with a combination of that warrior subculture yet isolationist policies that eventually changed to working more with the human Naboo society and participating in the Galactic Republic. Their political structure works well. Though it seems a little bureaucratic at times, the Gungan council and Boss usually work well to regulate and protect society. They would follow strict cultural rules, for which a Gungan could be exiled from society for breaking (as the Gungan Jar Jar Binks was). This strictness though seems to be what has kept their unique culture intact. Plus, the events of The Phantom Menace see the Gungan people more open to interaction with other societies.


Gungans, while perhaps odd looking and sounding to the viewer, are actually an advanced species with a culture, biotechnology, and war fighting capabilities to be respected.

If you could live in an underwater city, would you?

~ Bethany Blanton



Drew Karpyshyn Interview – SWBW #26


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Aaron propped his feet up and let Teresa do all the work this time around. She brings us an awesome interview with fan-favorite Star Wars author Drew Karpyshyn, writer of the Darth Bane Trilogy, Revan, and Annihilation.

In this hour-long interview Drew talks about everything from his writing style, favorite characters, video games, Star Wars Legends and so much more.

Teresa also gets insight from Drew about the characters and story from his current fantasy trilogy, Chaos Born.

At the end of the interview she asks him questions sent into us from Facebook and Twitter. Here he discusses Episode VII, the possibility of writing more Star Wars, theories on Yoda and more.

You don’t want to miss this one!

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Three Star Wars Characters I have an Irrational Love For

Tastes vary and tastes change, but it is often our first impressions and earliest preferences that stick with us. I can’t tell you the number of times I have seen the Star Wars films, but I can tell you that the characters that drew my attention most as a child are still the ones that make me smile every time I watch the films. If you are like me you probably have your own set of supporting or background characters that you love. I thought I would share with you three characters from the original trilogy that I have an irrational love for.

A New Hope: Kabe

A number of thoughts pass through my mind when I see Kabe, the diminutive female Chandra-Fan sidle up to the bar. If the cantina is such a rough-and-tumble place, what is this little critter doing in there? Just how much butt must Kabe kick?

I also am impressed with the eagerness to imbibe that drink of whatever concoction Wuher cooked up. The contrast of large appetite and small stature provides a note of humor in stories.

Finally I am struck with the irrepressible urge to say, “awww, how cute.”

The Empire Strikes Back: Toryn Farr

In the male dominated originally trilogy, Rebel communications officer Toryn Farr sticks out. We learn next to nothing about her, but two things make me always cheer her appearance.

Toryn has some of the coolest toys in the galaxy. The sensor screens that she operates are one of my favorite pieces of set in the entire trilogy.

More important than her tech is Toryn’s courage. She is one of the last to evacuate the Hoth base, even after the Imperials have made landfall and the whole base is shaking she stays in the command center to make sure her comrades can get away.

Return of the Jedi: EV-9D9


Prior to Return of the Jedi we had seen droids that where obstinate, cranky, sarcastic, helpful, brave, and even quietly menacing. When we enter Jabba’s Palace we meet a whole new set of sadistic and evil droids in the bowels of the palace.

Of these droids my favorite is EV-9D9. A supervisor and interrogator droid EV was just plain nasty. Now it is hard to tell if EV is one of my favorite characters because of her appearance in the film or because of how awesome the action figure was.

I received a case of loose Star Wars action figures and accessories from my cousin Joe and EV was one of my favorite figures because of her articulated mouth. I don’t know why I was so tickled by that feature but playing with EV is something I still remember today.

Do you share my irrational love of Kabe, Toryn, and Ev-9D9? Are there other characters you irrationally love? Let me know on Twitter:


A Couple of Fuzzballs (Part 2 of 2) – SWBTF #131


Your thoughts, your Ponders, and your replies to past Ponders. All this and more! All on the next Star Wars Beyond the Films. YOUR Star Wars discussion podcast! YOUR ticket to the EU! YOUR Podcast of Legends!

This week true believers, Beyonders, Fanboys, Fangirls, respected aliens around the galaxy, The Defender of the EU; Mark Hurliman, and your EU Guru; Nathan P. Butler, sit down and answer some general feedback. Your hosts asked for your Ponders, and Ponder you did! This episode Beyonders across the internet chime in via email and offer their own opinions on the Galaxy we all love and enjoy. So many, in fact, that we had to split the episode in two again! Listen on as part two wraps up our coverage of your letters. Strap in and tighten your crash webbing Fandom, Star Wars Beyond the Films is setting off on another rapid-fire trip into the galaxy far, far away!

We've got Operators Taking YOUR Calls!

Fandom has many Points of view, and we here at Star Wars Beyond the films feel that no fan should be left behind, and no point of view unheard. That said- our Fandom is HUGE! And has a wide fan base to pick it’s P.O.V.s from. This week’s episode your hosts continue where they left off last episode.

Feedback From:

  • David
  • Scott
  • Hans
  • Nicolas
  • Glenn
  • Jonathan

Once more your hosts cover too much feedback this episode, but don’t worry, give it a go; you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you might even get a little education on Star Wars while you’re at it. But no matter how you slice it and dice it, you’ll be having another adventure Beyond the Films. So sit back, hang on, enjoy the show, and may the Force be with you!

Also be sure to check out the latest SWBTF Video Links from your hosts:

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Spanish Palpatine – SWR #135


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On this week’s podcast, Riley, Bethany and Mark talk about discovering the social side of fandom, the latest Episode VII rumors, and a new tidbit on Star Wars Rebels.

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