The hanar are a species resembling Earth's jellyfish and are one of the few non-bipedal Citadel races. Hanar are known for their intense politeness when speaking, and their strong religious beliefs regarding the Protheans, whom they refer to as "the Enkindlers".
The hanar "stand" slightly taller than a human, although most of their height is in their long tentacles which have three fingers at the base. The invertebrate, water-native hanar cannot support their own weight in normal gravity. When interacting with mainstream galactic society, they rely on contra-gravitic levitation packs that use mass effect fields. Their limbs can grip tightly, but are not strong enough to lift more than a few hundred grams each. Hanar also possess the ability to secrete natural toxins.
It is not known if hanar have more than one gender, or are asexual (as some jellyfish species are). Despite evolving in water, hanar also appear able to breathe air, or use technological means to enable this.
The hanar homeworld, Kahje, has 90% ocean cover and orbits an energetic white star, resulting in a permanent blanket of clouds. Due to the presence of Prothean ruins on Kahje, the hanar have developed a religion centered on the ancient species, calling them the "Enkindlers". Hanar myths often speak of them as an elder race that uplifted and civilized them by teaching them language.
Several hundred years ago, the hanar made contact with the drell on their nearby homeworld of Rakhana. Drell society was quickly collapsing due to overpopulation and warring over scarce resources, so the hanar rescued several hundred thousand drell and brought them to Kahje, where they integrated into hanar society with the remaining drell dying out. Now the drell serve as a client race of the hanar, and although to outside observers the relationship can be construed as a form of slavery, the reality is very different. Drell have integrated with every level of hanar society, and most consider it an honor to serve a hanar family in a tradition referred to as the Compact. Many drell become unofficial members of the family, and some even earn the privilege to learn their masters' "soul names".
The hanar communicate using sophisticated patterns of bioluminescence—which other species need machine assistance to translate (though many drell apply genetic modification to their eyes in order to perceive higher frequency flashes which allows them to understand the hanar)—and speak with scrupulous precision and extreme politeness. Most hanar take offense at improper language, and must take special courses to unlearn this tendency if they expect to deal with other species.
The hanar have two names, a "face name" and a "soul name." The face name is used as a general label for use by strangers and acquaintances. The soul name is kept for use among close friends and relations, and tends to be poetic. For example, a hanar known for its cynicism may take a name that means "Illuminates the Folly of the Dancers." That said, hanar are extremely polite, almost to a fault. They never refer to themselves in the first person with someone they know on a face name basis: to do so is considered egotistical. Instead they refer to themselves as "this one," or the impersonal "it." It is only around those who know their soul name that they would ever consider using the first person. Even when flustered or angry, a hanar will still maintain exquisite poise, and will remain formal even with those it wishes dead.
Drell servants usually carry out hanar assassinations, as the hanar are too cumbersome out of the water to participate in a physical fight—though Zaeed Massani mentions that he was once nearly strangled by one. The drell assassin Thane also maintains that the hanar have a strong grip and possess strong natural poison.
The hanar practice a religious holiday called Nyahir or "First Cresting Bloom" which lasts a full thirteen days and revolves around celebrating the gift of speech, which they attribute to having come from the Enkindlers. It is a mixture of contemplation and competition, with the faithful engaged in stylized debates, poetry duels, and other traditional hanar art forms. The winners of these events have their names inscribed in bio-luminescence on the side of Mount Vassla, an underwater volcano at the heart of one of the oldest Prothean ruins on Kahje.
Few hanar are willing to deal with other species. Economic contacts are limited to a handful of trade stations on their borders. Due to this self-imposed isolation and the unique physiology of the race, their economy is small and isolated from the rest of the galaxy. Few standard technologies (designed for bipedal and fingered species) are available in their space, and they produce very few goods that are usable by others. However, in Mass Effect: Revelation, Edan Had'dah had a liking for hanar-produced liquors. This is likely to have been procured through the discreet gray-market trade relationships the hanar still maintain with the batarians, despite the latter species own political and economic isolation from the rest of Citadel space. Possibly due to their physical frailty, the hanar employ robo-miners to excavate valuable resources.
The hanar government is known as the Illuminated Primacy. According to gossip between a salarian and a turian in the Council Chambers, the hanar are considered likely prospects for a Council seat in the near future, though what great deed the hanar did for the Council to warrant consideration is not revealed.
Other races sometimes see the hanar as elitist because of their intolerance for "incorrect" speech (and occasionally refer to them derisively as "jellies"). The hanar themselves are known to become vocal if their religious rights appear threatened in any way, which occasionally causes clashes with other Citadel races. A hanar on the Presidium steadfastly defends its right to preach about the Enkindlers in a non-proselytizing zone even when a C-Sec officer asks it to leave, and Commander Shepard hears a news story on the Citadel about the hanar blockading a Prothean ruin being excavated by the salarians.
Nonetheless, the hanar have been known to work closely with other races from time to time. On at least one occasion, agents of the hanar government worked alongside the Systems Alliance, participating in a raid on a batarian science lab which was studying what eventually proved to be Reaper technology.
The hanar navy is relatively small, but is supplemented by drell combat specialists: accomplished spies, saboteurs, and assassins trained from a young age. The hanar do not normally commit their drell allies to open warfare, but they make an exception during the Reaper invasion of 2186 if Commander Shepard manages to prevent the invasion of Kahje.
Kahje is protected by an automated planetary defense system. While the system is effective against most attackers, it is vulnerable to internal sabotage, as only moderate government clearance is necessary to access it and a single computer virus can quickly compromise the entire network.
Notable Hanar Edit
- In the French version of the game, the hanar are called "hanari", perhaps due to the pronunciation of their name (pronunced "anar" in French, which is slang for "anarchist").
- On the Citadel, the games merchant mentions asari-hanar porn games being sold in Shin Akiba; a reference towards the erotic game ('eroge) genre of PC Games and Akihabara (Akiba), as well as "tentacle porn".
- On Illium, there is an advertisement for a movie featuring Blasto, a hanar Spectre. It is apparently about a Dirty Harry-like hanar Spectre who has "a lover in every port, and a gun in every tentacle." Blasto, near the end of the trailer, says "Enkindle this" followed by a gunshot, a humorous reference to their religion. There is also a reference to the Dirty Harry line, "I know what you're thinking, did he fire six shots or only five?...You've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?" In referencing this line, the hanar says, "This one has forgotten if its heat-sink is over capacity. It wonders if the criminal scum considers itself fortunate?"
- Sold on Omega at a store run by a batarian is a pornographic magazine called Fornax. The cover depicts a hanar in a supposedly suggestive pose sitting in a chair.
- The Hanar equivalence of alcohol or at least equivalent practice is mindfish, a hallucinogenic fish that is a favorite of the hanar.
- Mark Meer voiced the entirety of the hanar race.
|Citadel||Asari • Drell • Elcor • Hanar • Human • Keeper • Salarian • Turian • Volus|
|Non-Citadel|| Batarian • Collector • Geth • Krogan • Leviathan • Quarian • Raloi • Reaper |
Virtual Alien • Vorcha • Yahg
|Historical||Prothean • Rachni • Other Historical Races|