The creepy, winged aliens known as Geonosians may seem like lowly bugs, but they actually played an important part in the galaxy’s history, from the fall of the Separatists to the rise of the Empire. Think you know more about them than the average Star Wars fan? Read up and find out!
1. They couldn’t get the Death Star quite right.
In Rogue One, when Director Orson Krennic approaches Galen Erso for his assistance with the Death Star, there is no blatant mention of the Geonosians. However, if you’ve given James Luceno’s Catalyst a read, you’re privy to some extra details about the weapon’s construction. Apparently, the airborne aliens were responsible for designing the Death Star, but they didn’t account for how it would actually fire. When the Battle of Geonosis erupted, they hadn’t quite gotten it right just yet. Due to their incompetence, Krennic called upon Galen Erso to figure out the last piece — how to get enough power to fire a weapon of that magnitude. Erso joined the initiative with his vast knowledge of kyber crystals and the rest is history. Maybe things would have turned out a bit differently if the Geonosians actually designed the weapon to properly function.
2. They were inspired by an infestation.
Take a look at the body of a Geonosian and it’s no secret that they were inspired from insects — termites, to be exact. While coming up with the concept art for the winged warriors, George Lucas was also fighting a battle of his own. His house was infested with termites, and he wasted no time gathering up some specimens to show to his concept artists. The towering spires we see peppered through the landscape of Geonosis was a nod to the termite mounds of Africa. The background shots were actually made by a combination of still photography from the American Southwest, matte paintings, and miniature models. According to Doug Chiang, George Lucas originally wanted the species to take on a chameleon-like quality and change colors based on their surroundings. That idea eventually got nixed, but the color and texture of the Geonosians does match that of their homeworld.
3. They don’t value life much.
The Geonosian arena where Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Padmé were brought to be executed has a long history of bloodshed. Properly known as Petranaki Arena, the stadium was constructed by cutting the top of a butte and hollowing its interior. The arena wasn’t only a place for prisoners, but also the location of nasty battles between Geonosians of all caste levels. The battles were a way for citizens to prove they were filed in the correct caste, and in turn gave residents a bloody spectacle to occupy their time. Geonosians place little value on life, and watching their fellow flying fighters was not only amusing but also respectable. The bugs like battling so much that it became an issue while they were building the Death Star. So many drones were attacking each other over who got to do what work that Director Krennic needed to consult Archduke Poggle the Lesser. Poggle didn’t care too much. Geonosians will be Geonosians…
4. …except for Klik-Klak.
In the Star Wars Rebels episode “Ghosts of Geonosis,” we finally got a glimpse of post-The Clone Wars Saw Gerrera, but more importantly, we met Klik-Klak! Klik-Klak is a skittish Geonosian that tries to protect a Queen egg from getting destroyed by the violent and jaded Gerrera. Though Geonosians may seem indifferent to the suffering of their kind, when it comes to the survival of their species as a whole, they finally show some compassion. The character of Klik-Klak was created to show that a sympathetic Geonosian was possible. The production team looked to the sci-fi film District 9 as inspiration. In both the movie and the episode we see a frightening and unappealing creature seem surprisingly sweet due to circumstance.
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