- "Are you a boy or a girl?"
"Like, male or female?"
"Yeah, you know."
"I don't know, actually. I mean, I know what you mean, but I don't know yet whether I am male or female. On my planet, it's not determined until age thirteen."
- ―Boba Fett, a Human, and Garr, an Excargan
Most beings and creatures in the galaxy had a gender or a sex. The physical and behavioral characteristics, such gender roles and secondary sexual traits, associated with particular genders differed among species for reasons such as reproduction, culture, or labor. Many genders and sexes existed; "female" and "male" were common to many species, but what defined those genders varied. Some beings were not gendered and some species did not have a concept of gender. Others alternated or changed their physical traits over time.
Droids, which were self-aware automata designed to perform tasks for organic beings, could have masculine programming or a feminine personality; if so, they would be addressed as and refer to themselves with the associated pronouns instead of "it." A restricted intelligence profile of SCORPIO, who had an 9-NIX rating on the Wreyn-Tsatke Cyber-Psychology Scale, noted that she may have identified herself as female.
Genders by species
Some Humans believed that females achieved maturity at a quicker rate than males. During the Yuuzhan Vong War, Jaina Solo teased her twin brother, Jacen, about being more mature than him to lighten the mood as they discussed their futures. In the primarily Human Mandalorian culture, any gender was welcome in their ranks, and their Mando'a language did not have gender-specific terms.
Excargans were genderless until around thirteen years old, when their bodies changed and their gender was determined. They did not know in advance what their future gender would be. Ten-year-olds Boba Fett, a Human clone, and Garr, an Excargan, once discussed Garr's frustrations with how other children treated everyone as a boy or a girl instead of just a person. Fett said the others were stupid, and he would treat Garr as a friend. Later in life, Fett was aware of around a dozen genders among alien species.
The Vratix were insectoids that each played different reproductive roles throughout their life cycle, but it was inappropriate to address them as a particular gender or as individuals. Since they had hive minds, they used the names of their hives and plural pronouns. Every three years, an adult X'Ting cycled between male and female through a three-month-long metamorphosis in sexual phase called the Change. During the Change, wealthy X'Ting could consume viptiel to ease their emotional and physiological instability. Because gender was variable, it was not a factor in the X'Ting caste system. As the Xi'Dec evolved, they developed 180 different appearance types and hundreds of specialized sexes, each with adaptive abilities that suited their rapidly-changing planet, Stic. Six percent of the population were of the most common variety, Xi'Alpha.
- Han Solo: "Uh, Lord Jiliac, are you feeling—"
- Jabba Desilijic Tiure: "Human idiot! Can't you see that Lord Jiliac is now Lady Jiliac? She is expecting! In her delicate condition, she really should not make this effort, but we Desilijic are nothing if not faithful to our duty!"
- Han Solo: "Your pardon, Lady Jiliac. I am not familiar with your species' … uh, er … reproductive habits. I meant no offense."
- Jiliac Desilijic Tiron: "No offense taken. My people reproduce as they will, and I decided it was time for me to do so."
- ―Han Solo, Jabba Desilijic Tiure, and Jabba's aunt Jiliac Desilijic Tiron discuss her shift in gender
Many Hutts maintained one lifelong gender, most often male; however, some male Hutts would be regarded as female during a pregnancy. Hutts possessed multiple sex organs simultaneously, and they could reproduce with another Hutt or conceive a Huttlet without a partner. Rotta's father, Jabba Desilijic Tiure, was his sole parent. The Human male Han Solo had met Jiliac Desilijic Tiron prior to her pregnancy, and was subsequently admonished by Jabba for incorrectly referring to her as if she was still Lord Jiliac. Solo quickly apologized to Lady Jiliac, and she did not take offense at his mistake.
Behind the scenes
Several Star Wars video games allowed the player to choose the gender of the main character during gameplay, then that character later received a specified gender in other sources or appearances. Characters later identified as male include Rookie One, Jaden Korr, and Revan; the Jedi Exile was later canonized as female and named Meetra Surik.