- "Make no mistake, the Mon Calamari saved the galaxy."
- ―Mon Mothma
Biology and appearanceEdit
On average, a member of the species stood between 1.3 to 1.8 meters tall and also smelled of salt and the sea. They were a fish-like amphibious humanoid species with salmon-colored skin, webbed hands, high-domed heads and huge, fish-like eyes. They were equally capable of breathing both on land and in water with them being at home in either environment. Male Mon Calamari had protrusions on their chin called "barbels" which grew more numerous with age. Most Mon Calamari had salmon-colored skin, often mottled with light and dark patterns, though examples of other skin colors were known. The Mon Calamari are able to descend to depths of up to 30 meters below sea level without requiring breathing or pressure apparatus. Though they can breathe water, they find it somewhat uncomfortable, and use organic gills whenever possible. Mon Calamari could stay underwater for an indefinite period of time, although a frightened Mon Calamari, particularly a juvenile, could drown underwater. They also did not need to decompress when resurfacing. They tended to smell of salt and sea giving them a particular identifiable odor.
Their hands, apart from being webbed, also featured five claw-tipped fingers; one opposable thumb with two more shorter claw-like protrusions, two long middle fingers, and two extremely short outer fingers. As an additional feature, Mon Calamari hands also presented three suction-cup like holes on their palms. Mon Calamari could swivel their eyes independently from one another, focusing on two areas at once. Mon Calamari saw in different wavelengths than Humans, making it difficult for one species to view visuals designed for the other and vice versa. Their eyes were often used to express emotion; staring with the left eye was a way of showing surprise, while staring with the right eye was either a challenge to fight or an expression of love, depending on the circumstances.
Due to their fish-like appearance, the Mon Calamari were referred to by the somewhat derogatory Deal-slang expression "Mon Cals in a fishbowl", which referred to the act of making several big and easy deals from naïve or less-than-intelligent clients.
Society and cultureEdit
- "I tell you, it was like blasting Mon Cals in a fishbowl."
- ―Deal-slang expression
The Mon Calamari had developed a very advanced and civilized culture. Art, music, literature, and science showed a creativity surpassed by few in the galaxy. Mon Calamari literature depicted stars as islands in a galactic sea. This showed a passionate longing to explore space and discover other civilizations. In terms of temperament, they were both soft spoken and gentle. They were extremely tempered to the point that they were slow to anger and had the remarkable ability to maintain their concentration without being distracted by emotional responses. Other notable personality traits included being inquisitive and creative as well as being quiet. In addition, they were known for a near-legendary quality of being both determined and dedicated. This meant that once a Mon Calamari decided on a course of action, they were not easily swayed from that decision. As they were idealistic and daring, they often fixated themselves on causes that seemed hopeless or lost from the start. As such, they had a great deal of enthusiasm and spirit which was often masked by their quiet, orderly exterior. Ultimately, a Mon Calamari often attempted to demonstrate that even dreamers and thinkers were capable of daring and bravery when the need arose. This meant that they often thought of the needs of the society and believed in performing the greater good to the point that they placed it above the good of the individual.
They had developed a reputation for being one of the most skilled starship designers in the galaxy. This partly stemmed from the fact that they saw everything as a work of art rather than being a simple tool or weapon. Their technology was notable for being unique, yet comparable to that of the other inhabitants of the galaxy. While their starships were significantly different from those of other races, they were in fact more efficient in design. However, such vessels tended to be extremely difficult to construct. The mathematically-minded Givin could not stand the Mon Calamari spaceships, as they were too organic and not geometric enough.
The Mon Calamari language was shared with the Quarren though many members of the species adopted Basic as their common tongue. In fact, they were able to speak both of these languages with ease though in the case of Basic, their vocal cords often produced a gurgling sound when they spoke in that tongue.
Their species had long been recognized for their organizational and analytical skills. It was this trait that made them brilliant strategists and tacticians. In terms of governance, the Mon Calamari made use of a highly efficient representative form of government that was similar to a Senate. They tended to be lawful and an organized people with little tolerance for those that operated outside the status quo. As such, Mon Calamari tended to dislike and mistrust smugglers, with the famous Admiral Gial Ackbar being no exception. The loathing of smugglers and all things smuggling on the part of the Mon Calamari was considered to be the stuff of wardroom legend. This facet of Mon Calamari culture led to some tension in the early days of the New Republic. One of the cultural beliefs of the species was that the truth of a person's character was capable of being expressed through their eyes. Mon Calamari also possessed a keen love of flying through the stars.
While the Mon Calamari cherished peace, they were not above waging war in causes that they believed were just. As such, though noted for being peaceful, they were also known to possess warrior clans within their society with a long tradition of military service within certain families that extended generations. These clans believed that their skills as warriors were second to none and fiercely believed in their superiority on the battlefield. Conflict with the Galactic Empire would forever change Mon Calamari culture. Once their allegiance to the Rebel Alliance had been solidified, the Mon Calamari began a massive military buildup. The shipyards over their home planet of Dac began converting their ships for war. Though new to warfare, the Mon Calamari quickly adapted and soon found themselves at home with the concept. Nearly overnight, thousands of Mon Calamari began to fill the ranks of the Alliance.
As soldiers, the Mon Calamari were known to fight with a resolve that rivaled the Wookiees. As pilots, the Mon Calamari would control their ships like an artist would control a paintbrush. Their most notable role in the Rebellion were the officer and tactical positions that the Rebels desperately needed to fill. The Mon Calamari were renowned for their leadership and tactical brilliance both in space and ground combat. After the defeat of the Empire and the establishment of the New Republic, the Mon Calamari found themselves unwilling to return to their pre-Imperial pacifism and military disarmament. Instead the Mon Calamari felt the galaxy was yet to be safe and continued to devote ships, personnel, and resources to the Republic. Even 40 years after the Battle of Yavin the Mon Calamari were still noted for their continued military excellence, with many Mon Calamari serving at the highest ranks of the military.