List of notable Star Wars substances
The following is a list of fictional substances, including food and drugs, found in the Star Wars series.
- 1 Artusian crystals
- 2 Bacta
- 3 Beskar
- 4 Blue milk
- 5 Bronzium
- 6 Cortosis
- 7 Death sticks
- 8 Durasteel
- 9 Kaiburr crystal
- 10 Kolto
- 11 Membrosia
- 12 Nergon-14
- 13 Permacrete
- 14 Phrik
- 15 Plasteel
- 16 Spice
- 17 Stygium
- 18 Tibanna
- 19 Transparisteel
- 20 Mesh tape
- 21 Black Ale
- 22 Tihaar
- 23 Uj'alayi
- 24 See also
- 25 Notes and references
- 26 External links
Artusian crystals are crystals used to make a life form artificially force-sensitive by trapping energy gathered inside the Valley of the Jedi. They are similar to the Kaiburr Crystal found in the Star Wars novel Splinter of the Mind's Eye and were introduced to the Star Wars mythos in the LucasArts video game Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast.
Bacta is a healing substance available from the planet Thyferra, where two competing cartels, the Zaltin and Xucphra corporations, control almost all of the product. Bacta was invented by the insectoid Vratix of Thyferra by mixing alazhi salve with a synthetic liquid chemical called kavam. This concoction is further mixed with a colorless viscous liquid called ambori. During the Galactic Civil War, the Empire realized the importance of bacta and shut down all satellite manufacturing centers, allowing the bacta plants on Thyferra to have a total monopoly on production. It is much more available than kolto, since the Empire occupied Manaan, severing the connection between the Selkath and the Rebel Alliance. It mimics the body's fluids and helps in regeneration. It is used to help with cuts and burns as well as severe cellular damage, such as frostbite.
There are several methods of bacta application. Cuts and burns can be treated with bacta patches, small disposable patches covered in bacta gel or by injection. Those suffering from serious illnesses, or serious injuries - such as frostbite - are helped by becoming submerged in the liquid in bacta tanks, such as the one that cured Luke Skywalker in The Empire Strikes Back. Also, General Grievous was put into a bacta tank after being critically injured in a shuttle crash that eventually led to the creation of his fearsome bio-droid body.
Additionally, bacta seems to have a dramatically regenerative effect on Gand.
Bacta is in many Star Wars videogames; it is often used to heal the main character in the game. This is true in Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, Revenge of the Sith, Battlefront, Battlefront II and Republic Commando. Usually, the bacta is held in small cylinders, or in a robotic structure that has a seemingly endless supply. Sometimes it can also be installed in armor for quick and direct administration. The player's custom characters in Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy are normally held in bacta tanks until they are chosen to be the main player in a level. In one of the missions of X-Wing Alliance the player has to escort bacta to a rebel hospital.
Beskar is also known as Mandalorian iron. It is a very rare metal that only the Mandalorian armoursmiths know how to shape. It is fairly useless when mined, but when it is shaped by the secrets of the Mandalorians, it becomes a very hard metal, capable of absorbing many hits from blasters and even lightsabers. The Mandalorians make their armour and swords out of it, and in the recent "Legacy of the Force" series, have made fighters and gunships out of the rare metal.
Blue milk is a dairy product in Star Wars. In Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, blue milk is shown being served on the Lars moisture farm. The milk is naturally blue, coming from the teats of Banthas on Tatooine, and has certain medicinal properties.
Bronzium is a durable bronze-colored metal used in the Star Wars universe. Its most notable use has been in the Trade Federation droideka battle droids, whose tough layers of bronzium armor supplemented by optional reflective deflector shielding and twin dual blasters make them formidable enemies. It also appears as an armor type in KotOR II. Bronzium also is mentioned in the Alec Baldwin 1994 movie, The Shadow, as a metal so rare it is considered mythical—yet, in that film, a chemist was able to identify it in his basement lab and knew a considerable amount about its molecular structure. It is supposedly so unstable that it could be used to make an atomic bomb.
Cortosis is a rare mineral from the Star Wars Expanded Universe. It is a somewhat fragile light grey, chalky rock that has the strange property of being impervious to both heat and energy. It is highly resistant to blaster bolts, and cortosis alloys are capable of resisting or even deactivating lightsabers, the only mineral to do so other than phrik and beskar. The process of mining cortosis requires the use of hydraulic jacks, since its properties render plasma torches useless.
In The Hand of Thrawn duology, Cortosis is described as causing a feedback loop with a lightsaber by "shorting out" the blade, requiring it to be reactivated (but not damaging it permanently). In the duology, Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade are in fact able to cut their way through an outcropping of cortosis by hours of repeated lightsaber strokes and reactivations. Later they encounter guard droids with an armor made up of alternating layers of cortosis and blaster-proof armor. Many fans dispute the true nature of cortosis as both definitions have been included in established canon literature. The sources that describe it as "shorting out" the lightsaber blade also describe it as a brittle mineral; bladed weapons used a cortosis alloy to incorporate the mineral's lightsaber-blocking capabilities without its fragility.
Cortosis is common in weaponry in the Star Wars universe. Many melee weapons are made with a "weave" of cortosis to fight lightsaber bearing enemies. In the ancient times of the Old Republic, during times of war with the Sith, it was common for fighters to carry cortosis-weave vibroblades and vibroswords, which could be used to fight Jedi and Dark Jedi in close-range combat. Sith in ancient times commonly carried a vibrosword rather than a lightsaber for two reasons, firstly, vibroblades would wound opponents in a more painful manner, due to the dicing way the vibroblades cut, secondly, vibriblade wounds are more prone to bleed-out, as the intense heat from lightsabers cauterizes any wound they make.
In the game Jedi Outcast, Galak Fyyar processes cortosis ore into a black armor that is used by his Shadowtroopers. He also builds a suit of power armor that he uses himself. It is unknown whether all cortosis ore deposits are capable of such processing; the ore Fyyar used was smuggled from Cloud City.
Cilona-extract death sticks are fictional narcotic substances found in the Star Wars universe. They are relatively cheap, and are smuggled into the clubs of cities by slythmongers. The drug offers euphoria in exchange for a horrific outcome, producing a twisted version of reality enhanced by bright colors. With each dose the user's life is shortened, and the successive dosages take away larger chunks from a lifespan.
Usually, death sticks are taken as an additive to a drink and are commonly seen in small tubes of red or yellow liquid. Death sticks are banned on all republic worlds, but are sold freely on lawless worlds such as Tatooine and other Outer Rim worlds, often exported to civilized worlds such as Coruscant where they are peddled by drug dealers. The Bando Gora distributed a more potent and deadly form of death stick laced with a powerful neurotoxin until the cult was destroyed by Jango Fett.
Elan Sel'Sabagno attempted to sell Jedi knight Obi-Wan Kenobi death sticks in a nightclub on Coruscant, however he abruptly reconsidered under some Force-powered suggestion and went home to "re-think his life".
Durasteel is one of the most used alloys in the Star Wars galaxy. It is a brown, heavy substance, yet very flexible and can resist heat, cold and monumental physical stress. Because of its properties, it was an important material for the manufacturing of spacecraft hulls. It was seen in Knights of the Old Republic and mentioned in the Jedi Apprentice book series as well as casual references throughout almost all of the books.
The Kaiburr crystal is a fictional archaeological relic from the planet of Mimban. Local Mimban legend said that the god Pomojema used the crystal to heal the wounded, but in reality it was the Force that was responsible. The crimson-colored gem had the ability to enhance Force powers. The crystal's mystical powers diminish proportional to its distance from an ancient temple on Mimban.
The crystal is, however, the most powerful crystal that can be used in a lightsaber. They were normally used in the lightsabers in the old Jedi Order, but for unknown reasons the mines were lost, fading out of history and making the crystals extremely rare.
In the 1978 novel Splinter of the Mind's Eye (picture of the crystal on front cover), the old woman Halla along with companions Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia sought out and found the crystal. It was used to heal the wounds of Princess Leia and of Luke after they had been injured. The crystal was then given to Halla, who had been searching for it for seven years.
In Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, the Jedi Exile and her companions could use the Kaiburr crystal to enhance their lightsabers. The crystal was described as the most powerful crystal that can be used in lightsaber construction.
Kolto is a highly effective healing agent, and the competitor to the medical fluid bacta. It is applied the same way in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Kolto is naturally found only on the planet Manaan, where the native Selkath mediate and sell it to both the Galactic Republic and to the Sith, not wanting to cause conflict. Kolto is found in a single, massive chasm at the bottom of the great ocean which completely covers Manaan. The main kolto deposit was guarded by a giant firaxa shark, which the Selkath named as the mythological Progenitor, legendary guardian and source of kolto itself.
During the Jedi Civil War the Republic attempted to devise a procedure which would allow them to synthesize a kolto-like substance. This was not known to be successful, but a synthetic substance with similar properties, bacta, was eventually developed independently by the Vratix of Thyferra.
During the course of Knights of the Old Republic it is possible that Revan could irreparably damage the kolto supply causing a galactic shortage by poisoning the water to kill the giant shark. However, this shortage is not carried into Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II.
Membrosia is an alcoholic spirit of the Star Wars Universe. Normally gold-coloured, there is a type called Dark Membrosia which comes from the Dark Nest Killiks. Dark Nest Membrosia has a narcotic effect on insectoid species. The death of Alliance Supreme Commander Sien Sovv was brought about when his ship was hit by a tanker whose Vratix pilot had been drunk on Dark Nest Membrosia.
The Name Membrosia could Be derived from the name Ambrosia, which is the food and drink of Greek gods
Nergon-14 is an unstable, highly-reactive substance used in Imperial proton torpedo detonators and other explosives. It is mined extensively on the planet Tyne's Horky by crime boss Kleb Zellock for sale to the Empire and on the planet Christophsis. Governor Bisad Koong of Roon also possesses large quantities of the substance for sale to 'interested parties'. It is first seen in the cartoon Star Wars: Droids.
Permacrete is a substance used to pave roads and walkways. It is also often used in the construction of buildings. It was developed over 9000 years previous to the Battle of Yavin. Like Durasteel, permacrete is implied to be stronger than its real world equivalent. In KotOR I, the permacrete detonator is an extremely powerful bomb which the player can use to help a Twi'lek escape a bounty placed on his head by blowing up his entire apartment to make it look like he was killed.
Phrik is a very dense alloy in Star Wars. It is able to resist lightsabers. General Grievous traveled with his droid bodyguards, a set of IG-100 series MagnaGuards, who wielded electrified staffs made of phrik. Darth Sidious' lightsaber had a phrik alloy covering. The dark troopers also had body armor made of the alloy.
Plasteel is a durasteel-reinforced plastic substance in Star Wars. It is mentioned often in Star Wars books and in the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic video game series, in which many items can be found stored in "plasteel cylinders". The Imperial Stormtroopers' well-known white armor was made of plasteel pressed thin enough to be worn comfortably, yet still able to provide total protection from melee and slug weapons. However, such thin plasteel cannot completely deflect blaster bolts.
There are several different kinds of spice in the known galaxy; they are all grouped under the spice rubric not because of any chemical derivations, but rather because they "spice up" the user in some fashion, either temporarily boosting physical strength and stamina, making the user feel invincible, or heightening awareness or creating euphoria. These "spiced" up abilities do not last long and the user eventually needs another dose of the substance and quickly becomes addicted.
Compare Spice (Dune).
One of the most common types of spice is glitterstim spice. Also known as glitterstim, it is a psychoactive substance harvested in the Star Wars universe, with both intoxicating and telepathic effects. Glitterstim is activated by light and consumed orally, crackling in the mouth in a manner much like Pop Rocks. Glitterstim is only found on the planet Kessel.
Although harvesting and dealing glitterstim was highly restricted under the authoritarian rule of the Galactic Empire, the Old Republic government did not presume that it was their role to prohibit it. One firm, authorized by Palpatine himself, was allowed to import glitterstim to Coruscant, among other worlds. The prices were so astronomical that only elites like Grand Admiral Miltin Takel could afford to buy Wendell Wright-Sims' wares. Only highly experienced smugglers, such as Han Solo, even attempted to smuggle the substance past the many Imperial patrols despite the dangers. Fear of the "spice mines of Kessel" was not confined to C-3PO.
The "Kessel Run" is a dangerous spice run from the planet Kessel, where glitterstim is harvested. A black hole cluster near the system is a particularly perilous stretch of space to traverse, and only Han Solo piloting the legendary Millennium Falcon could pass close enough to the cluster in order to shave the distance down to a mere twelve parsecs. A black hole also shaved a portion of the Falcon's ventral hull off, showing how narrowly Solo made it through the run.
Glitterstim is actually the secretion of a crystalline, spider-like lifeform indigenous to the caves of Kessel. It must be harvested deep underground, away from any light, or else the drug will activate before it can be shipped off. Likewise, spice is usually carried in a tube with black paper on the sides, which allow for the user to peel off only the paper covering a dose of spice without activating the whole tube.
Under the influence of glitterstim, the consumer may lose control of himself, much like someone who is drunk. What makes glitterstim so widely sought after, however, is its ability to induce temporary telepathy. Lovers, warlords, and even spies have been known to make use of it. In fact, while imprisoned on Kessel, Han Solo was subjected to a mind probe by the leader of the Kessel spice mines, Moruth Doole, while Doole was under the influence of glitterstim.
Carsunum was a rare and highly illegal spice variant mined on Sevarcos. Use of carsunum granted a boost of both mental and physical abilities as well as a pleasurable sense of well-being; however, once the spice hit ended, side effects could vary from jitters to death.
Ryll, mined on the planet Ryloth, is a relatively weak form of spice used to create a number of medicines used throughout the galaxy. It is also smuggled into the Corporate Sector for illegal sale to the workers. As a recreational substance, ryll can be addictive and dangerous.
Ryll was one of the forms of spice processed on Ylesia prior to the Battle of Yavin.
Ryll, specifically of the rarest variety, ryll kor, is instrumental in creating rylca, a medicine used to cure the deadly Krytos virus.
Stygium was a crystal only found on Aeten II. The Galactic Republic, in 22 BBY (Before the Battle of Yavin), passed a law controlling the trade of stygium, as it was a crystal that, when used properly, could entirely cloak a vehicle. In the Galactic Republic's early years these devices were common, since Aeten II held an abundance of them. A notable later vehicle to utilize the crystals was the Scimitar, Darth Maul's starfighter, which carried an array of stygium crystals in its long prow. During the events from the capture of the Tantive IV to the Battle of Endor, Grand Admiral Martio Batch sent an Empire superweapon to Aeten II, the Tarkin. There, the Tarkin blew open the planet to reveal its stygium core. Using the crystals and the original stygium implementation, he started the Phantom TIE project. However, saboteurs from the Rebel Alliance destroyed the project and Batch fled. The stygium crystal cloakings disappeared after the creation of the New Republic, although they were still available from Aeten II.
Stygium as a Lightsaber Crystal
In its pure, crystal form it was known to be suitable for use as a lightsaber crystal. When a Force-sensitive individual was wielding a weapon with this crystal in it, he was somehow more gifted in natural stealth and dexterity.
Tibanna gas is a main export of Cloud City on Bespin. It is briefly mentioned in The Empire Strikes Back, when Solo discovers that Calrissian is now running Cloud City, but its use was never revealed in the movie. The novels eventually explained it as a blaster gas, used in many small-arms laser weapons, and in the first Rogue Squadron game for the Nintendo 64, Tibanna gas was noted as being used in the blasters of Imperial TIE Fighters as well as Rebel Fighters. Tibanna gas in a cooled, liquid form is also used as a coolant in hyperdrive engines, and its sale and distribution is regulated by the Imperial Mining guild. Semi-legal operators of illicit spacecraft seek out sources of Tibanna gas that are not regulated by Imperial authorities, so as to keep their operations secret. However, it is flammable, and must be handled with care.
Transparisteel is a transparent metal alloy used in Star Wars. It is used to make windows and viewports on all manner of ground, air and spacecraft.
Not to be confused with "Transparent Aluminum" from Star Trek, which actually kind of exists in real life - http://www.surmet.com/technology/alon-optical-ceramics/index.php
Mesh tape is an adhesive tape made of very dense fibers and completely capable of making a seal strong enough to remain on a ship for years even with regular hyperspace jumps. The fibers used in Mesh tape are a titanium filament and aeromesh filament and a heavy durasteel layer filament making the tape difficult to work with but very versatile. It is most likely a reference to duct tape.
Black Ale a Mandalorian alcohol that is uncommonly found in the galaxy but is well known by Mandalorians. Black ale is a smooth sweet alcohol with a dark brown color and no smell.
Tihaar a strong Mandalorian spirit made with mixed fruit juices, and aged until it's clear.
Uj'alayi also known as Uj Cake, is a Mandalorian dessert made with dried fruit and crushed nuts. Uj'alayi is very sweet and soft, and usually is made in a disk-like patty.
Notes and references
- Star Wars: Specter of the Past 1st printing, 1997. Timothy Zahn. ISBN 0-553-29804-6
- Vision of the Future, 1st printing, 1998. Timothy Zahn. ISBN 0-553-10035-1
- Star Wars: I, Jedi, 1st edition, 1998. Michael A. Stackpole, ISBN 0-553-57873-1
- Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, 2002 Computer Game
- Star Wars: Obi-Wan Xbox Game
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, 2003 Xbox and Computer Game
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, 2005 Xbox and Computer Game
- The Essential guide to Planets and Moons (Star Wars), 1st edition, by Daniel Wallace, Scott Kolins. 1998. ISBN 0-345-42068-3
- The Annotated Screenplays, softcover, 1997. George Lucas, Leigh Brackett, Lawrence Kasdan, Laurent Bouzereau, ISBN 0-345-40981-7
- The Han Solo Trilogy by A. C. Crispin:
- Wedge's Gamble, 1st paperback printing, 1996. Michael A. Stackpole, ISBN 0-553-56802-7
- Jedi Search, 1994. Kevin J. Anderson, ISBN 0-553-29798-8
- A Guide to the Star Wars Universe, 2nd edition, 1994. Bill Slavicsek, ISBN 0-345-38625-6
- Star Wars Adventure Journal
- Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
- Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
- Starfighter: Crossbones
- The Phantom Menace Incredible Cross Sections
- Entry by Dan Wallace on the official Star Wars site laying out the full Expanded Universe history of cloaks, weaving together the confusing stories of Grand Admiral Martio Batch, Grand Admiral Thrawn and Zaarin, Rebel Assault 2, the Star Wars prequel materials, TIE Fighter etc.
- News story from the HoloNet
- SWI Criminal Organizations & Spice Guide