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"It is something approaching the sacred, really. A vital part of our identity."
"For the Twi'leks, the caressing of the lekku is an act that is beyond mere sensuality."
Kaasha Bateen and Lando Calrissian[1]
Two kinds of lekku

Both the Twi'leks (left) and the Togruta (right) had lekku.

Lekku (singular lek), also referred to as head-tails or brain-tails, were long, fleshy appendages that protruded from the head of all Twi'leks, Togruta, and male Ozrelanso. The Togruta sported three of them, while the other species had two (occasionally four, in the case of Twi'leks).

In Twi'leks[]

"It's bitten off his lekku, Winloss. He'll be dead in an hour."
Nokk, on the Twi'lek Squoxx[2]

In Twi'leks, lekku were shapely prehensile tentacles that grew from the crown of their skulls.[3] While Twi'leks normally had two lekku,[3] certain individuals like Orn Free Taa had four of them.[4] Super-sensitive lekku could be used for grabbing and holding objects. Those organs were very sensitive to touch, and a damaged lek could cause severe harm to a Twi'lek[3]- Squoxx died within an hour after one of his lekku was bitten off.[2] Lekku loss did not always kill Twi'leks, however: the Jedi Master Loden Greatstorm lived for some time after his lekku were cut off while he was in the captivity of the Nihil. If not for his later death in battle, Greatstorm would have been fitted with prosthetic replacements.[5]

In addition to their spoken language, Ryl[6], the Twi'leks could also communicate through subtle lekku gestures.[7] For example, the right lek tip raised meant "hello," the left lek tip dipped meant "goodbye," both lekku tips crossed over twice meant "love you," and both lekku tips jabbed into the speaker's back meant "may spice salt your wounds!" Despite the high sensitivity of those organs,[3] some Twi'leks like Cham Syndulla tattooed their lekku.[8] Some wore them simply hanging down their back[9] or falling over the chest[10], while others like Bib Fortuna bent them around the neck or shoulders for aesthetic purposes.[11]

In Togruta[]

"Farming accident, a long time ago. They can give you prosthetic hands and feet, but they can't do much about your lekku."
Vartan, about Selda's missing lek[12]

Lekku grew in size as their wearer matured, starting out only visible around a Togruta's head but eventually reaching past their shoulders and beyond.

The name "lekku" was also used to describe the striped head-tails of the Togruta. That species, however, had three such appendages: two lekku to the front, falling over the chest, and one thicker lek that was centered at the rear base of their skull.[13] As seen on Governor Gupat Roshti, male Togruta's lekku were shorter than those of females.[14] The loss of a lek, as seen on the bartender Selda, was not a crippling injury, but the appendages did not grow back afterwards.[12] A Togruta's montrals were connected to their lekku. The color of a Togruta's lekku was determined by their DNA.[13]

Lekku grew as their wearer matured.[15] As an infant, lekku were only found around the Togruta's head.[16] In adolescence, the lekku extended only slightly past the collarbones, but could reach below the waist by adulthood.[15] The elder Togruta Gantika had lekku that only extended to her stomach.[16]

In Ozrelanso[]

In male Ozrelanso, lekku were tentacles that grew on the sides of their skulls[17].

Behind the scenes[]

Lekku first appeared in the film Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, along with the Twi'lek species.[11] In The High Republic: Into the Dark, Togruta Jedi Master Jora Malli's lekku are misidentified as her montrals when the appendages are described as streaming behind her when the airspeeder she is riding goes into a dive.[18] Ahsoka Tano's lekku lost length between her animated[19] by 4 BBY,[20] and live action depictions.[21] For Ahsoka, her lekku were slightly extended.[22]


Non-canon appearances[]


Non-canon sources[]

Notes and references[]