When you want to throw an awesome party in the Star Wars universe, you need to hire a Bith band. Known across the Galaxy for their musical talents, they are often seen in cantinas and at political functions. Their talents do not stop at music though, as they have great intelligence and can fill many roles in society, such as scientists, criminals, and even Jedi. Learning more about this unique species may help us understand the roles they will play in Star Wars: The Old Republic.
The Bith hail from a planet named Clak'dor VII, located in the Outer Rim Territories along the Rimma Trade Route. Their society stretches back millions of years, making them one of the galaxy's oldest and most respected races. This long lineage allowed them to evolve to their fullest, even maturing past some things that are necessities to other species. Sleep, for instance, is no longer required daily. Only when supremely exhausted do Bith rest. Even then they do not sleep, but merely fall into a trance-like state, remaining aware of their surroundings.
Oddly enough, this advanced species also evolved past the act of procreation. They have instead created technology to do the work for them, combining DNA samples from two parents until the ideal child is predicted. Bith are usually born with a pale pink or yellow hue, with a green Bith thrown in every now and then. Their eyes are large, ovoid, and lidless, yet capable of focusing on microscopic details, making them naturals in the scientific and technological fields. It also gives them a wicked case of nearsightedness.
Music and sound is where the Bith are most widely known. People who may not know a Bith off the top of their head can be reminded simply by mentioning the cantina band in Mos Eisley. This propensity for musical creation and performance comes partially from their exceptional dexterity, but is also due to their ability to perceive tones the way that most species perceive colors. An example of this is seen is Knights of the Old Republic II, on Nar Shadaa. Perceptive players can find a Bith scientist in the docks who has detected a strong but subtle signal being broadcast throughout Nar Shadaa. Players can find nodules attached to certain droids throughout the planet broadcasting the signal, and further investigation can unravel the mystery of the transmission.
Three hundred and twenty years before the battle of Yavin, two city-states, Nozho and Weogar, butted heads over an advanced hyperdrive patent. The resulting civil war was devastating, with biological warfare that lead to the near-destruction of Nozho and ecological devastation for their home planet. Those who survived sealed themselves inside city domes, declared themselves pacifists and devoted their time to more civilized matters, such as art, music and technology.
Being pacifists, the Bith chose not to participate in the Clone Wars, for a while at least. The pressure from the Separatists finally caused the Bith to join them, although the Bith disdain for the Republic didn't hurt either. Still, they restricted their support of the Confederacy of Independent Systems (CIS) to technology and culture. At the birth of the Galactic Empire, they lent their technology to the Empire. The Imperials are well known for their xenophobia, and the Bith were not excluded from this. Their persecution led to Clak'dor VII being one of the first planets liberated after the battle of Yavin. Afterwards, they stayed mostly to themselves, alone and isolated in their dome cities. Three years later, though, they witnessed the Hapans, a fiercely independent species, lend aid to the New Republic, and decided to join as well.
There have been a few Force-sensitive Bith through history, most served as Jedi Consulars or Healers and a few as Jedi Knights. One of these was Jedi Master Ph'ton, who served as a General during the Clone Wars. It is rumored that during the Great Jedi Purge, some of the Bith Jedi escaped their demise by fleeing to Clak'dor VII and hiding. Another notable Bith Jedi was Ulaha Kore, a Jedi Knight of the New Jedi Order.
The Bith, like many species, are much more than what we perceive them to be. Though different in many ways, they share a multitude of other aspects. After the war that nearly destroyed them, they showed a remarkable understanding and appreciation of life, cutting the cancerous violent tendencies from the culture of their species. They are not only talented musicians, artists and scientists, but notable and respected data technicians and bartenders, oddly enough. Bith can be found in every walk of life, from politics to the seedy underbelly of every society, if you look hard enough.
The Old Republic sees Bith spread evenly across many roles. Some are Jedi Masters and padawans while others are businessmen, criminals and normal everyday folk. Not every Bith will be holding a musical instrument, which is refreshing to see for once. Who knows what will be learned when the game goes live? With a species that is so sparsely mentioned in the era, BioWare can take certain creative liberties with their history, which is something to look forward to.