With some exceptions such as Jazal, a Miraluka, Pax, a Duros, most of the points of view in this story are Bothan. The story is mainly a Bothan story; a story not from the typical human protagonist point of view. It is also a story of powerful figures from a variety of species letting the entire Galaxy down, of societal collapse, of good leadership, bad leadership, incompetence, forgiveness and fundamentally evil figures making the Galaxy a worse place to live in for almost everyone.
This prologue expands upon what exactly Bothans are like in my story. The preface is entirely out of universe as it relates my story specifically to out of universe canon, expanded universe, and explains what elements I include or don't include.
The rest of this prologue is an in-universe description and is intended to be viewed as something between an in-universe dossier, a traveller's guide, and a history outline.
In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, the depiction of Bothans and descriptions of Bothans changed dramatically over time. Since the Disney canon wipe, the only canon author to tackle Bothans so far has been Claudia Gray, and all she has to say on the topic is that they growl.
There was a major contradiction created by the Clone Wars when the episode "Downfall of a Droid" depicted Bothawui as a lifeless gas giant surrounded by asteroids.
Bothawui was first introduced in the book Shadows of Empire as a temperate Earth-like world. Between the time when that that book was released, and the first season of the Clone Wars, it was generally taken for granted that Bothawui was a temperate world.
Given that Bothawui as a gas giant is likely to stay canon, I have decided to keep it. In my story, Bothawui is a gas giant surrounded by moons—some of the moons are Earth-like with breathable atmospheres and cities.
A major change I have made to the Bothans is their general history. The Expanded Universe basically made all of Bothan history extremely mild—up until 5 ABY (specifically, Return of the Jedi). The Bothans explored, they encountered new species like the Dresellians, and obeyed a Star Wars version of the Prime Directive. They avoided contact with any species who were not too advanced and settled the outer asteroids of those systems of their own volition.
After Return of the Jedi, the Bothans suddenly were devious, mischievous, and eventually became genocidal during the Vong Wars.
In my story, the Bothans have been devious and mischievous for quite some time and had periods of serious political instability, wars, ethnic conflicts, and so on. They weren't a Star Wars version of the United Federation of Planets that suddenly started misbehaving and interfering with everyone else, after a time of nothing happening. They are xenophobic and have had few dealings with other species, but they have had centuries of conflict amongst themselves and only recently stabilised thanks to the Republic and the Jedi.
Additionally, the Expanded Universe gave Bothans an implausibly ancient history of space travel going back to 4000 BBY but then supposedly developed the Spynet in 300 BBY and did not make contact with the Dressellians until 200 BBY, despite the fact Dressel is essentially in a neighbouring star system. In my story, the Bothans are relatively new to the galaxy. They are a much younger species at space faring than humans, Duros, or Wookiees. Bothans were not very consequential in EU Old Republic-era history.
For Bothan biology, the Bothans in my story are closest to the mid 2000s Star Wars Galaxies appearance and the Star Wars: Republic comic book series (e.g., Republic 78)—they are canine-like with some feline features, have snouts and don't have hooves.
However, I have added a lot of things to Bothan biology which just was not specified in the Expanded Universe, and I have made their appearances much more diverse than it was in Star Wars Galaxies or EU media.
1. Basic Biology:
Bothans are a fur-covered mammalian humanoid species which evolved from a canine-like predator in the Polar Regions of Bothawui-4. They have five fingers, five toes, two eyes, two ears, and a snout filled with very sharp teeth.
They are omnivorous, but many Spacer Bothans are vegetarians due primarily to the difficulties farming meat in space.
Their fur swirls and shifts during changes in their emotional states along with their facial expressions. Like good poker players, some Bothans, especially those trained in spycraft, can suppress or even invoke false impressions of their emotional state expressed from their fur. Most Bothans cannot control their fur voluntarily.
On average, Bothans have smaller brains than humans however, their brains are far wrinklier. The Bothan brain has less plasticity than the human brain and this allows it to be artificially modified with artificial implants far more easily than a human brain can be. Human brains have a greater ability to form new pathways around artificially implanted technology. However, this makes Bothans less likely to fully recover from brain injuries.
The Bothan sense of smell, on average, is about 30 times stronger than a human sense of smell. Their sense of hearing is about twice as good as a human's.
Bothans are tetrachromats, meaning they have a fourth colour rod in their eyes which would allow them to see into the ultraviolet spectrum. Their iris, however, has thickened over the course of their evolutionary history, to the point where it blocks most ultraviolet light. Bothans can see a few nanometers into the ultraviolet spectrum, but cannot see nearly as far as Umbarans, Kaminoans, or Bardottans. What Bothans are mostly sensitive to is the absorption or absence of ultraviolet light.
In a heavily reflective environment, organic material tends to absorb ultraviolet light. Thus, Bothans can easily see snow, urine, fur, or other organic materials as dark shadows on reflective surfaces like snow, water, or glass.
1.1 Within Species Diversity
The most genetically diverse set of Bothans live on Bothawui-4, the original Bothan home world.
Polar Bothans have the most diverse fur colours, ranging from black to white, with grey, marble/ashy colour, and red as fairly common shades.
Bothan eye colour can be brown, brownish red, amber, blue, grey, and even violet. Violet eyes are most common on Kothlis.
The temperate and equatorial regions of Bothawui-4 have mainly tan furred Bothans, brown furred Bothans, red furred Bothans, and black furred Bothans. This due to only a small subset of the original Polar Bothan population migrating to the more temperate regions.
Spacer Bothans on Botha'ahir and the Dressel System tend to be much taller than Bothawui Bothans. This is partly due to physiological effects of growing up in low gravity, but also due to a founder effect; put simply, many of the original Bothans who settled Botha'ahir and Dressel just happened to be very tall. Some second generation Dressel and Botha'ahir Bothans who migrated to the surfaces of planets with higher gravity are also taller than average Bothawui Bothans.
The most peculiar looking Bothans (who are still considered Bothans) are Botha'ahir Bothans. Almost all Botha'ahir males and about half of Botha'ahir females are heterochromatic—one eye is a shade of blue and another eye is usually amber, brown, or red. This is due to a mutation that was common in the original settlers, propagated through a Fisherian Runaway. It is also often accompanied by fur and skin discolouration around the eye. One of the original leaders of Botha'ahir was heterochromatic and this became a cultural symbol of power.
Like near-humans, there are species in the Galaxy that are essentially near-Bothans. They look different and have evolved to be very different but are still genetically compatible and able to reproduce with Bothans.
In Bothan pre-history, the Rakatans transported Bothans across the Galaxy much like they did to humans and also conducted hybridisation experiments with some. Whether these species ever thought of themselves as "Bothans" is a matter of conjecture but they now all think of themselves as distinct species.
These include, among others, the Shishtavanens, who are Bothans that were hybridised with a species of Uvena Wolf, and the Tarsunt, who evolved separately on a nearby planet after being transported. More genetically distant but still compatible species of near-Bothans include Defels and Amarans.
2. Bothan Space:
Bothans historically inhabited a part of the Galaxy known as the "the slice," along with many other species. The area of the Slice that Bothans currently dominate, or historically were the dominant power, is the Bothan Slice.
The systems of the Slice within Bothan space are in red below:
2.1 Both System
The Both System (pronounced like it rhymes with "Hoth") is the Bothan origin system. It has twelve planets but only two are the Circumstellar Habitable Zone: the gas giant Bothawui which is the fourth planet out from the star, and the red oxidised rocky planet Botha'ahir, which is the third planet from the sun.
Bothawui has thirty-four moons but most are without a breathable atmosphere. Some Bothans live on domes on the surfaces of those moons, or even beneath the surfaces of those moons, but most live on Bothawui-4 and Bothawui-9.
Botha'ahir, while in the Circumstellar habitable zone, barely has an atmosphere. The two billion Bothans living on it all live under domes and have been working to terraform the rock for the past two centuries.
2.1-1 Bothawui-4 and Bothawui-9
Bothawui-4 was the fourth moon sighted by a Manda Corporation survey expedition. It is actually the 27th moon from Bothawui. With a population of 9 billion, it is the most populous Bothan world. 99% of the population is Bothan. As of 13 ArS (22 BBY), there is a visible Tarsunt minority and they make up most of the 1% non-Bothans. There are fewer than 10,000 humans on the planet, and fewer than 100 of any other species. Most non-Bothans live in and around Drev'shtarn, the capital city.
The planet has two main continents, both stretching from the equator to the North Pole. There are numerous islands chains in the equatorial regions, and a few large Southern Hemisphere islands.
While Bothans originated in the Polar regions of the Western hemisphere, today most Bothans live in temperate areas. The Polar and sub-polar regions of Bothawui-4 have the most diverse array of Bothan languages and religions, as well as the highest genetic diversity, however they are rural and sparsely populated.
Bothawui-9 has a population of 5 billion, mostly in the temperate lowlands. These Bothans are mainly settlers who came in several waves after the Bothan Space Age began.
Bothawui-4 orbits at an extremely inclined plane which causes it to have only two eclipses in a Bothawui year. Bothawui-9 orbits at a less inclined plane, and it experiences sixteen eclipses per year that each last four to six hours. The moons that orbit close to Bothawui's equator experience an eclipse every single day, however, all of these lack breathable atmospheres.
Bothawui-4 has gravity nearly identical to Coruscant. Bothawui-9 has 10% more gravity than Coruscant.
Botha'ahir is mainy inhabited by Clan Onel, Clan Tannen Bothans, and numerous smaller allied clans. The planet has a population of 3 billion, all of whom live under domes. Some of the domes have internal lakes and miniature saltwater seas with beaches. Since the sanctions were lifted (more in Recent Bothan History), Botha'ahir has begun importing sand to for the beaches of its artificial seas.
The planet has one lake outside of the domes—a failed early terraforming project that is slowly freezing and evaporating. Every year however, the planet builds more of an atmosphere. As of 13 ArS (22 BBY), it is projected to be terraformed within two hundred years.
At the mid-point between Bothawui and Botha'ahir is the Botha'ahir Military Exclusion Zone. Non-Botha'ahir military forces, with the exception of the Bothan Marshals, are prohibited from entering.
Botha'ahir has only 31% of Coruscant's gravity and the Bothans living here tend to grow much taller than the Bothans of Bothawui.
2.2 Koth'lar/Kothlis System
The second most-populous Bothan star system is the Kothlis system. Seven planets orbit a red giant. The fourth planet from the sun, Kothlis, is the only one with a breathable atmosphere.
Kothlis is 89% water, with an atmosphere richer in oxygen than Bothawui-4, Bothawui-9, or Coruscant. The population is nearly 1 billion with many very densely populated areas on the archipelagos and many small continents. 98% of the population is Bothan, 1% is human, and the remaining 1% is an assortment of species, mostly very wealthy immigrants.
Because the atmosphere is richer in oxygen, Kothlis Bothans have greater longevity than Bothans on other worlds. Immigration to Kothlis is highly competitive.
Thoran is a recently settled world purchased from Manda Corporation with a population of about 500 million Bothans and 60 million humans. Manda Corporation still owns much of the land on the planet. For the most part, the humans and Bothans on the world get along and most regions now have desegregated schools and trilingual Basic-Bothese-Bocce education.
The planet is on the frigid edge of its system's Circumstellar Habitable Zone. Ice coverage on the planet is 60%. The equatorial regions to the Northern and Southern Tropics are temperate in summer and cold in winter while most of the rest of the planet is frozen year around.
Thoran's location is strategic for the food security of the Outer Rim and Rishi Maze given its position on the Manda Trade Route.
2.4 Dressel System
The Dressel System is the most historically troubled part of Bothan Space.
The population of Dressel is currently between three and four billion Dresselians. At a permitter of 300,000 kilometres from the surface, the Republic maintains the Dressel Legacy World Exclusion Zone.
Over 50 million Bothans and 10 million humans in the system inhabit the large Dressel Belt. The Bothans are mainly members of Clan Askar while the humans are a diverse group that is partly the descendants of Manda settlers, and partly the descendants of space marauders who were given amnesty by the Republic.
The largest Bothan population centres are Thellus Asteroid and Tawa Asteroid. Thellus has a population of around 26 million and Tawa has a population of 4 million. Both Asteroids were once given 1/5th to 1/3rd of Coruscant's gravity through centrifugal force—essentially spinning the asteroids.
With the advent of gravplating however, both asteroids were de-spun and are now lined with gravplating set 1/3rd of Coruscant's gravity on Thellus, and 1/5th of Coruscant's gravity on Tawa. Both asteroids were the crime capitals of the Bothan Slice until 25 years ago.
25 years ago, the Bothan population of the Dressel System was mainly split between the Askar Bothans who had settled the surface of Dressel and were now exploiting the locals, and the Askar Bothans left behind in the Dressel Belt. While once a major stop between the Bothan Run and Gamor Run, the Dressel Asteroids were bypassed by much faster hyperspace routes.
Criminal gangs of violent Askars seized control of most of the mining operations in the Belt and fought with pirates for control of the system. That all changed in 12 BrS (47 BBY) once the Republic declared Dressel a Legacy World, pacified Tawa and Thellus, and forcibly evicted all Bothans from the surface of Dressel to the asteroids.
With the presence of Republic peacekeepers and an influx of wealthier Bothans who had previously been living on Dressel, conditions on the asteroids improved dramatically.
However, the Dressel system is still the most impoverished region of the Bothan Slice.
For the last twelve years (as of 13 ArS/22 BBY), all Bothan worlds, moons, and asteroids have been united under the jurisdiction of the Combined Clans and Bothan Supreme Court. Most matters are left to local government with the Bothan Council having highly constrained power.
3.1 the Bothan Combined Clans
The Combined Clans is run very much like the Galactic Senate with the local Clan governments determining how their representatives are elected. Over six hundred Clans are currently represented on the Council. Thousands of minor Clans simply have no representation on the Council.
Bothawui-4, which has the highest number of minor Clans, allows members of minor Clans and even non-Bothans to vote in the elections of larger Clans for seats on the Council. Most of the larger Bothawui-4 Clans only allow their own members to run, but all are required to allow Bothans living under their jurisdictions to vote.
On other Bothan worlds, the minor Clans lack representation on the Combined Clans for the most part.
The leader of the Combined Clans is the First Secretary, who has sole power over allowing bills to be voted on, and breaks ties if there is a need.
The final power the Combined Clans has is electing Senators to represent them in the Galactic Republic. The six-hundred member body elects two Senators to represent them on Coruscant.
3.2 Bothan Supreme Court:
The Bothan Supreme Court is currently composed of two judges from Bothawui, two judges from Kothlis, one from Botha'ahir, one from Thoran, and one from the Dressel System.
Prior to the admission of Clan Askar and Botha'ahir to the Combined Clans in 1 ArS, it was composed of three judges from Bothawui, three from Kothlis, and one from Thoran.
The Supreme Court has the final authority in interpreting Bothan law. Controversially, they have also begun re-interpreting Republic law in Bothan space and making rulings on the Constitutionality of Republic law—the Republic views its Courts as above the court systems of the member worlds.
3.3 the Diplomatic Corps
The Bothan Diplomatic Corps has sole authority to enter treaties with foreign powers (subject to judicial review by the Bothan courts). The highest level of the Diplomatic Corps is the Diplomatic Council, a one hundred-member legislature that votes on treaties and appoints ambassadors.
3.4 the Marshalcy
The Marshalcy is the sole Federal Law Enforcement agency in Bothan space. By treaty, Marshals cannot be prevented from landing on any Bothan world represented on the Bothan Combined Clans and have authority to make arrests anywhere in Bothan space if given a warrant.
As of 13 ArS (22 BBY), they run a fleet of three capital ships, dozens of corvettes, hundreds of smaller spacecrafts, and thousands of airspeeders. They are the only power Botha'ahir allows to fly into the Botha'ahir Military Exclusion Zone with weapons.
The Marshalcy also run several detention centres on Bothawui-4, including a maximum-security detention centre on the tropical island of Velhom.
All Marshals are trained at the Bothan Martial Academy, along with the military officers of the local worlds that maintain militaries (Bothawui, Botha'ahir, and Kothlis maintain their own navies and marines).
3.5 the Spynet
The Bothan Spynet is a not-so-secret civilian intelligence agency funded through the Bothan Diplomatic Corps. Botha'ahir and the Dressel System were only given access twelve years ago. For the last few centuries, the Spynet has been the most comprehensive intelligence network in the Galaxy.
The clandestine organisation runs numerous safe houses in Republic, neutral, and Hutt Space.
The Bothan Spynet gets most of its information by paying independent contractors, as opposed to actively sending out agents.
Alya Analytics is the sole legal distributor of Spynet information to other species, although numerous illegal distributors exist.
4. Languages and Cultures
Bothese is the main language on most Bothan worlds and the Bothan Way is the dominant cultural force on all Bothan worlds except Botha'ahir. There are animist polytheistic religions in the Bothawui-4 Polar Regions. Clan Ales, a minor Clan in Arctic Circle, worships Tsamu, a giant plum-coloured Civet.
(A Grammar of Bothese can be found on DeviantArt golm-fervse-dra/art/A-Grammar-of-Bothese-847514993).
Additionally, some a follow a Jedi-founded Force religion on Kothlis. Many younger, more idealistic Bothans have converted to the Jedi religion as a counterculture against the Bothan Way.
The main sub-unit of Bothan society are Clans. A Bothan surname has two components, the first of which is the family name, and the last part is the Clan name.
Lir Sey'les, for instance has the first name Lir, family name Sey, and Clan name Ales. Clans that begin with vowels lose the first vowel in the surname compound so Alya becomes 'lya, Ales becomes 'les, and Onel, becomes 'nel. Clans that begin with consonants like Tannen do not lose the first vowel but are still separated from the family name with a ' when written in High Galactic Script. Thrus Lon'tannen is a Bothan with the first name Thrus, family name Lon, from Clan Tannen.
Clans vary in size and scope. The smaller Clans generally do not have representation on the Bothan Council and are closer to large extended families with hundreds or thousands of individuals. The larger Clans are closer to nation states with many millions or even hundreds of millions of individuals.
The more powerful Clans maintain their own citizenship systems and own local legal systems while members of smaller Clans tend to just hold their local planetary or regional citizenship.
4.2 Cultural Divisions
The main Bothan cultural division is between Spacers and non-Spacers. This is a cultural division common across the Galaxy however, due to Bothan history and the territoriality of many Clans.
Dressel Bothans and Botha'ahir Bothans are considered Spacers. These two populations became less isolated from one another, and more isolated from the Bothawui-Kothlis-Thoran Bothans, while they were under sanctions and banned from the Combined Clans.
Botha'ahir in particular was in a three-hundred-year cultural isolation from the rest of the Both System. The self-centred Bothan Way religion has almost no presence on Botha'ahir and average Dressel, Bothawui and Kothlis Bothans seem extremely egotistical to Botha'ahir Bothans.
However, the sharp cultural divisions are becoming less and less pronounced. More Botha'ahir Bothans are moving to Bothawui and both assimilating to Bothawui culture, and paradoxically, influencing it.
Botha'ahir and Askar music is now extremely popular on Bothawui and many younger Bothans attempt to talk like Botha'ahir or Askar Bothans to sound more tough and street smart.
Conversely, many Botha'ahir Bothans are beginning to blame parts of their own culture for their isolation and poverty. Now, with renewed freedoms and improving quality of life, historical folk heroes and military figures from Botha'ahir's past are falling under increased scrutiny and controversy.
The final topic within cultural divisions is body language. Botha'ahir and Dressel asteroid Bothans historically educated their children in the Universal Spacer hand gestures common all over the Galaxy. Over the centuries, these have supplanted the original Bothan gestures and body language common on Bothawui-4, Bothawui-9, Kothlis, and Thoran.
4.3 Bothan Cultural Norms vs Galactic Norms
The most important thing to most Bothawui, Dressel, Kothlis, and Thoran Bothans (but not most Botha'ahir Bothans), is what everyone else thinks of them. The ideal Bothan is very rich, loud, and has influence over others. The next best thing is to be friends with an ideal Bothan.
Bothawui Bothans tend to use greetings and smile excessively. Customer service is very important. When a Bothawui Bothan accidentally bumps into someone, it results in profuse apologies—a typical Bothan would not want a stranger to dislike them.
From the perspective of nearly everyone else in the Galaxy, many Bothans are self-aggrandising to the point of being immature, obnoxiously self-centred, and egomaniacs. When Bothans engage in unethical behaviour (or at least, behaviour that is unethical in other cultures), this stereotype gets more entrenched.
Botha'ahir Bothans, at least the more patriotic Botha'ahir Bothans, do not like many of the cultural traits of Bothawui Bothans either.
The dominant religion, the Bothan Way, was founded on Bothawui-4 by a survivor of a Botha'ahir nuclear attack three centuries ago. It began as a treatise on acceptable and productive behaviour, centred on the wisdom of doing things that benefit oneself rather than doing things that destroy others.
In the Polar Regions of Bothawui-4 this is viewed more of as a philosophy, while different groups mainly worship their own local god or gods. In the equatorial regions however, it is a religion in of itself.
In the rural regions around Bothawui-4's North Pole, the smaller Clans tend to all focus worship on a different god in a polytheistic belief system. Thus, Clan Ales worships a god that looks like a plum coloured Civet, while Clan Oton worships a god that looks like a giant Asril Tree. However, they both believe in each other's gods as well.
In the Dressel System, the Bothan Way slowly morphed into a religion of Bothan Supremacy and a rigid caste system over the native Dressellians. This mostly ended when the Republic declared Dressel a Legacy World and evicted all Bothans from the surface.
However, numerous Bothan-worshipping cults still exist in the Dressel Belt, and there are tens of thousands of Dressellians who still worship Bothans even after they were evicted from their planet.
An additional religion is the Bothan Church of Light, based on the Jedi religion. When the Republic became more active in Bothan space, the Jedi established several churches in the Dressel system, on Bothawui, and Kothlis. The religion never managed to get any converts anywhere except for on Kothlis.
On Kothlis, many younger idealistic Bothans converted to the Bothan Church of the Light in protest of the Bothan Way. As of 13 ArS, it has several million members.
Numerous Bothan minority languages are spoken in the Polar Regions of Bothawui-4, many which are unrelated to Bothese.
Most of the Bothan minority languages went extinct centuries ago, but one, Shkara, has 30 million speakers as of 13 ArS (22 BBY) and is not going extinct anytime soon. Bothese borrowed numerous words from Shkara when Equatorial Bothans colonised the Pole.
Basic education is becoming more prevalent in Bothan space. In the poorer areas of the system such as the Polar Regions of Bothawui-4 and the the Dressel asteroids, it tends to only be taught in private schools. Basic is taught in school on all areas of Bothawui-9, Kothlis, and Thoran.
Thoran is the most successfully multilingual area. Government services are available in Bothese, Basic, and Bocce and education is mandatory in all three languages. Essentially all Thoran Bothans and humans are trilingual in Bocce, Bothese, and Basic.
Higher education on Bothawui-4 is increasingly in Basic. In an attempt to attract more non-Bothan students, the Bothan Martial Academy and Bothawui Pilot Academy now teach all of their classes in Basic.
The Bothese language is explored further in a Grammar of Bothese, and sections on orthography, phonology, and brief word lists.
4.5-1 Askar Creole
Askar Creole is a Basic-based Creole with Bocce, Bothese, and Dresselese influences. It spoken in the Dressel Belt and in some areas of the surface of Dressel. Most of the humans and Bothans of the Dressel Belt speak it natively.
The Creole originated as a trade language with the Manda-Bothan interactions in the original mining operations of the Dressel Belt, once the population shifted from using Bocce (a Pidgin created by the Baobab Fleet for interplanetary communication).
When Clan Askar Bothans enslaved large parts of the Dressellian population, it became an interlanguage used between the Bothans and their Dressellian slaves. Some dialects of Askar Creole are still spoken natively on the planet's surface, mainly on the areas of the planet still controlled by Bothan-worshipping Dressellian cults. Those cults tend to use Bothese as their liturgical language and Askar Creole as their home language.
However, Dressellian languages are spoken on most of Dressel, including all of the urban areas under the control of the provisional Republic-backed government.
In the Dressel Belt and on the surface of Dressel, the acrolectal dialects of Askar Creole sound like extremely accented Basic and can be understood by Basic speakers fairly readily (with confusion caused by an occasional Bothese or Dressellian word). More Basilectal forms however are very different from Basic, and in some cases, not intelligible.
5. the Major Players:
As of 13 ArS (22 BBY), single the most powerful Clan is Clan Alya on Kothlis. The Askar Clan, however, is making a major resurgence after decades of instability and sanctions. Clan Amai is the most powerful arms manufacturer, and most powerful Clan on Bothawui-9.
Clans Onel and Tannen are the most powerful on Botha'ahir.
With numerous systems leaving the Republic and conflicts flaring up all over the Galaxy, dozens of Clans are making moves to increase their power.
Mainly based on Kothlis, but with millions of members living on Bothawui-4, Clan Alya is not the most populous Clan, but it is the most exclusive and the wealthiest. They currently control the only privatised part of the Bothan Spynet: Alya Analytics.
Military, security firms, stockbrokers, and media from all over the Galaxy pay for access to declassified reports sanitised for private release. While Alya Analytics does not give users direct access to the Spynet itself, having a subscription to Alya Analytics is akin to having access to some of tomorrow's news—getting some of tomorrow's news at the same time the media does.
The Alya Clan pays other Bothan Clans, and information sources from other species, for the rights to release information to their private service. It is highly regulated, however. The Bothan Way prohibits killing for profit or directly getting others killed for profit. Thus, names almost never appear on Alya Analytics reports, and Clan Alya prohibits Bounty Hunters or mercenaries from using it.
Clan Amai is the oldest armour manufacturer in the Bothan Slice and one of the Bothan Clans that predates the Manda-Bothan first contact event. Before Bothans had even acquired hyperspace technology, they were one of the dozen Clans to flee the nuclear devastation on Bothawui-4 and settle Bothawui-9.
As of the beginning of 13 ArS (22 BBY), Clan Amai runs the second largest Bothawui defence corportation: Thrask Industries, along with all of its subsidiaries, including Thrask Research and Thrask Solutions.
Most Amai members live on Bothawui-9, but there are a few million that live on Bothawui-4 as well.
In early Bothan spacefaring, Clan Askar had the most prolific explorers and spread to the furthest reaches of Bothan space. Askar Bothans helped map the Reena Trade Route and discovered Dressel.
They were historically based on Bothawui, but millions of Askar members on Bothawui renounced their allegiance and joined other Clans when Askar was banned from the Bothan Combined Clans.
While many Bothawui Bothans trace their ancestry to Askar, today, it is mostly Spacer Bothans living in the Dressel Asteroid Belt who actually bear the Clan name. The exceptions are mainly Bothans who have married into the Clan in the last twelve years.
Clan Askar is the Bothan Clan with the grimmest modern history. They were banned from the Combined Clans for over a century for dodging sanctions, but it was the exploitation and eventual cannibalism of the Dresselian species that brought the Jedi down on them.
After being evicted from Dressel's surface starting in 12 BrS (47 BBY), many Askar Bothans were now swimming in useless firearms in an increasingly safe Tawa and Thellus. One group of Askars, with help from Clan Otrek, armed the human Tarkin family on Eriadu in 11 BrS (46 BBY), as well as other militant factions throughout the Outer Rim. They eventually prevailed over Q'anah's Marauders.
The Jedi continued to occupy Clan Askar territory for almost twelve years, finally withdrawing all peacekeeping forces in 1 ArS (36 BBY).
Since then, the life expectancy of Askar Bothans has raised from a low of 42 back to 65, personal wealth has more than quadrupled on average, and, 14 years ago, Askar was given a seat again on the Bothan Combined Clans. The Askar asteroids have become safe enough to attract some Bothawui and Botha'ahir immigrants, desperate for work or a cheap investment opportunity, and willing to sacrifice some creature comforts to seize it.
Clan Tannen is the second largest Clan on Botha'ahir. They fought alongside Clan Onel in a devastating war against Bothawui, Kothlis, and the Baobab Merchant Fleet in 307 BrS (342 BBY) after seizing control of Botha'ahir the year before.
Following the nuclear devastation they unleashed on Bothawui, Clan Onel and Tannen agreed a ceasefire with Bothawui and the Baobab Merchant Fleet. They did not agree to the terms of the peacetreaty, however, and spent the next three centuries in cultural and political isolation under harsh economic sanctions.
Clan Tannen became the main manufacturer of speeders, refrigerators, and power generators on Botha'ahir while it was under sanctions. When the Jedi negotiated a peace treaty in 1 ArS (36 BBY), Clan Tannen was able to flood the Bothan market with their cheap tiny airspeeders designed to be flown under domes. They now compete with the generally higher-quality speeders produced by Bothawui, Kothlis, and systems outside of Bothan space like Sullust.
All Bothawui Bothan manufacturers have lost significant proportions of the market share to Clan Tannen. The eventual goals of Clan Tannen are to expand into the Bothan Defence Industry.
Clan Onel was one of the two Clans that originally seized control of Botha'ahir from the Baobab Merchant Fleet. Onel is the largest Clan on Botha'ahir and historically ran the military caste.
With the easing of economic sanctions, Clan Onel has begun to diversify and branch out. Many of their Clan members have left Botha'ahir for better prospects on other worlds in Bothan Space.
In the Bothan Combined Clans, the head of Clan Onel is a vocal advocate for leaving the Republic entirely, not just merely staying neutral in the Clone Wars.
One of the thousands of Bothawui-4 based Clans, Otrek has a long military tradition. One fifth of the instructors at the Bothan Martial Academy are members of Clan Otrek so nearly every Bothan officer has taken at least a few courses from an Otrek.
The Clan has a major stake in the human corporation Koensayr Manufacturing and run a subsidiary of Koensayr called Novastar Corporation, importing Y-Wings to Bothan Space.
In 12 BrS (47 BBY) several Admirals from Clan Otrek played a major leadership role in the Republic Peacekeeping operation to the Dressel System and committed thousands Bothans to the conflict.
A year after pacifying the system, Clan Otrek made outreaches to the moderate factions of Clan Askar. Eventually, Clan Otrek got Askar involved in Otrek's secret armament and advisory operations throughout the Seswanna Sector—namely by selling forces throughout the region Boola Carbines at a very reduced rate. Among them was the up and coming Tarkin family.
Idra, also known as the Stone Clan, is the most politically powerful Clan and the Clan that controls the main sect of the Bothan Way Religion.
Members of the Clan can be found on Bothawui-4, Bothawui-9, and Kothlis but the majority live on Bothawui-4. The eldest member of the immediate bloodline of Golm Fervse'dra is traditionally the Bothan who inherits the Grand Prophet position within the Bothan Way Church. Currently, this title is held by a female Idra named Alor Ov'dra who is 89 years old. Her younger brother, Vasho Fervse'dra is next in the line of succession.
The Idra Clan Leader, Savyelk Trey'dra, is currently the First Secretary of the Combined Clans.
6. Pre-Republic History:
Bothans are relatively new to interstellar travel. Humans from Manda, who were exploring the realms between the terminus of the Manda Hyperspace Route and the Core, made Contact with the Bothans in 523 BrS (558 BBY).
At the time of the Manda Contact Event, the Bothans on Bothawui-4 were at in a technological regression from an Information Era stage of technology after a nuclear war. Millions of Bothans had settled Bothawui-9, escaping the devastation, using primitive pre-hyperdrive ships.
The Baobab Merchant Fleet invested heavily on both moons, and, in exchange, the moderate Bothan factions sold them resources and the rights to crop species that could grow in sub-polar climates.
In 513 BrS (548 BBY), the Baobab Merchant Fleet began constructing habitable domes on Both's third planet, Botha'ahir. Millions of Bothans from the more devastated areas of Bothawui-4 volunteered to move to the uninhabitable planet for work and housing.
In 499 BrS (534 BBY) Three of the wealthiest Clans, lan Alya, Clan Ilya, and Clan Ojia, pooled their resources and purchased Kothlis from the Baobab Merchant Fleet. Millions of Bothans from those Clans began settling the world, imposing strict quotas on members from other Clans who wished to move there.
After fifty years, the Baobab Merchant Fleet began expanding to the Outer Rim, and investments in the Both System declined. The Baobab Merchant Fleet kept investing enough in the Both System to stave off anarchy and keep the flow of agriculture and lithium out of the system stable, but the quality of living declined.
In 308 BrS (343 BBY), Onel and Tannen, the most populous Clans on Botha'ahir, both originally imported from completely different parts of Bothawui-4, seized control of the planet and hijacked several Baobab vessels on the surface. They declared independence from Bothawui and the Baobab Merchant Fleet and declared their intention to terraform the planet.
Several Clans on Bothawui-4 volunteered to help the Baobab Merchant Fleet retake the world in exchange for ships. In 307 BrS (342 BBY), a joint Manda-Bothawui-Kothlis invasion landed on Botha'ahir, unaware that Clan Onel had spent the last year using nuclear fuel from Baobab Reactors to build nuclear weapons. More than 140,000 Bothawui Bothans and 30,000 Manda humans were killed at the landing sites on the first day. The slightest tear in a space suit from the nuclear shockwaves and debris was fatal.
After another joint Manda-Bothawui-Kothlis strikeforce captured Dome 47 from Clan Tannen, Clan Onel launched an interplanetary ballistic missile across the system to Bothawui. Ten warheads devasted cities across the Karnosk peninsula, killing over 400,000 Bothans. After Clan Onel threatened to launch sixteen more, the Manda-Bothawui-Kothlis strikeforce withdrew from Dome 47 and agreed to a ceasefire.
In the proposed peace treaty, Bothawui demanded reparations from Botha'ahir. Botha'ahir refused. Bothawui then blockaded Botha'ahir, leading to nearly three centuries of Botha'ahir's isolation from Bothawui and the Republic.
A survivor of the nuclear devastation on Bothawui unleashed by Botha'ahir, Golm Fervse'dra, then spent the next decade writing a political treatise called Kor Droga "the Way." It called for the accumulation of one's own power and influence, as opposed to destroying the power and influence of others.
The Way, later known as the Bothan Way, quickly spread across the moons of Bothawui and, by 260 BrS (295 BBY) was re-interpreted into a religion with promises of better outcomes in the afterlife based on positive influence. Bothawui Bothan culture progressively became more and more self-centred, boastful, and status obsessed.
In 249 BrS, with the risk of nuclear warfare abated, all of the Bothawui-4 Clans merged into one government: the Combined Bothan Clans.
Bothawui-9 would join the Combined Bothan Clans in 230 BrS.
7. The Republic Era
Republic ambassadors established a High Comission on Bothawui in 235 BrS (270 BBY) and four years later, offered Bothawui representation on the Galactic Senate.
The Clan with the largest star fleet, Askar, began aggressively exploring neighbouring systems, selling rights to discovered worlds to the Mining Guild and other Bothan Clans.
Clan Askar discovered Dressel in 201 BrS (236 BBY). The planet was populated by a pre-industrial sentient species with wrinkled cranial lobes, the Dresselians. The primary resources Clan Askar was interested in, were the rare metals in the vast Dressel Belt.
Two Dressel asteroids were hollowed out for resources, and then, from 199 BrS (235 BBY) to 189 BrS (245 BBY), Clan Askar built the first Bothan settlements in space. Millions of Askar Bothans moved to the Dressel Belt in one of the largest gold rushes in Galactic History.
In 157 BrS (192 BBY) the Bothan Combined Clans then kicked Clan Askar out after Clan Askar began trading with Botha'ahir, violating Bothawui sanctions. Botha'ahir lithium reached the Galactic market, in spite of Bothawui's best efforts.
The worst possible consequence came to fruition—removal from the Bothan Combined Clans. Clan Askar became more radical and began settling the best areas of Dressel, forcing the pre-industrial locals out, exposing the environment to Bothan diseases and invasive species, and, in some cases, enslaving the local Dresselians.
The Askar asteroids suffered from a massive flight of capital as the wealthier Askars left to Dressel. Thellus became the crime capital of Bothan space and Tawa was not far behind. By 100 BrS (135 BBY), the life expectancy of Askar Bothans living in the Dressel asteroids had fallen from 70 to 42 and literacy had fallen from nearly 100% to 56%.
Within a few generations, the Bothans living on Dressel morphed the Bothan Way into a new religion where the Bothans were gods over other species. The Republic Senate responded with sanctions to the Dressel System and the occasional Judicial Corps diplomatic mission. Bothawui and Kothlis continued slapping the Askar Clan with sanctions, to no effect.
All of this continued until the most violent and radical Dressel Bothans did something that truly shocked the sensibilities of the Core. In 12 BrS (47 BBY), Republic Judicial forces witnessed Clan Askar Bothans cannibalising Dresselians and returned to the Senate with holofootage. In an emergency session, the Galactic Senate voted to give Dressel the status of a Legacy World, making it unlawful to exploit it or the inhabitants.
When Clan Askar made no moves to evacuate the planet, 40 Jedi and 30,000 Judicials arrived in the system, along a joint Bothawui-Kothlis fleet. The entire Askar fleet was destroyed or captured within a few days.
The Jedi-led strike force then moved on Tawa and Thellus, eliminating or capturing most of the local Askar militias, pirates, and Askar gangs. The Jedi strike force then used the empty parts of these asteroids as a vast area to relocate the Dressel Bothans, reuniting them with the Askar Bothans already living in the asteroids.
The Dressel Bothans were given 72 hours to vacate the planet and receive amnesty. Over 90% of the planet's 18 million Bothans accepted it and were relocated to Thellus and Tawa. The Republic installed a temporary Jedi overseer in each asteroid and left a large peacekeeping force.
10% of the Dressel Bothans attempted to stay on the planet but were all removed or, in some cases killed within five months.
The Republic became far wearier of any instability within Bothan Space and far more doubtful of the Bothans ability to handle it. The Senate began looking into ways to resolve the standoff between Botha'ahir and Bothawui.
In 1 ArS (36 BBY), a Jedi taskforce successfully negotiated a peace treaty between Bothawui and Botha'ahir and negotiated for Clan Askar to re-join the Combined Clans.
Botha'ahir suffered from a mass exodus, with over a billion Bothans leaving the planet for jobs and a better life on Bothawui-4, Bothawui-9, Kothlis in rarer cases, or even the Askar asteroids. However, Botha'ahir also received increased trade, and as of 13 ArS (23 BBY), the terraforming project is moving faster than it ever has.