For this post, I wanted to talk about a very niche and specific topic: Gand syntax. It’s been fairly inconsistent over the last 20+ years and recently finally became more standardized, so I thought it would be fun go to over its history.
The Gand species was first identified by West End Games’ Galaxy Guide 3 but the topic of this post didn’t come into play until (as far as I know) X-Wing: Rogue Squadron in 1996. The novel included a Gand, Ooryl Qrygg, as a major side character and established that Gand refer to themselves in the third person, normally by their first name but by their second name when shamed, and it is possible for them to earn the right to first person pronouns if they achieve a number of notable feats and accomplishments. Throughout the X-Wing series and its related books, Ooryl and the other Gand stick to this rule of thumb.
Zuckuss’ first major speaking story role came in his and 4-LOM’s short story in the Tales of the Bounty Hunters book from later in 1996 and in a bit of nice continuity, he sticks to the third person rule here. Of course, this ended up being the only time he did in Legends (as far as I know). The Shadows of the Empire comic, Underworld: The Yavin Vassilika, and most importantly The Bounty Hunter Wars trilogy all featured him prominently but did not have him speak in the third person. The Essential Guide to Alien Species retconned this and other inconsistencies in his characterization by declaring that Zuckuss was mentally unstable and possessed split personalities.
Other Gand throughout Legends were similarly inconsistent. For example, Vaabesh, a Jedi Gand in the Jabiim arc of the Republic comic, did not follow the rule, whereas the Gand in The Old Republic MMORPG did. I could run through a list of all the times Gand did or did not but I don’t think it’s important to the general point. More often than not, Legends forgot about this idea.
Works since 2014, on the other hand, have been far more consistent. Churrk, a Gand on Parnassos in Phasma, does speak in the third person as established by the X-Wing books, as does Rinn in the Age of Republic: Jango Fett comic.
Most importantly, Zuckuss finally had an onscreen speaking role in season two of The Freemaker Adventures, in the episode Return to the Wheel. And he does actually speak in the third person, saying things like “Zuckuss is as good as Fett!” and “Do you know how many filters and robes Zuckuss must go through?” It’s pretty great.
Zuckuss also speaks in the third person throughout the Star Wars Adventures story arc he costars in, included in #10-11 and written by Cavan Scott. I don’t expect many other people to care about this as much as I do but I think it’s pretty neat that a detail established in an X-Wing novel has finally become a consistent part of Star Wars canon.