Lekku (singular lek), also referred to as head-tails, were long, fleshy appendages that protruded from the head of all Twi'leks, Togruta, and male Ozrelanso. The Togrutas sported three of them, while the other species had two (occasionally four, in the case of Twi'leks).
- "It's bitten off his lekku, Winloss. He'll be dead in an hour."
- ―Nokk, on the Twi'lek Squoxx
In Twi'leks, lekku were shapely prehensile tentacles that grew from the crown of their skulls. While Twi'leks normally had two lekku, certain individuals like Orn Free Taa had four of them. Those organs were very sensitive to touch, and a damaged lek could cause severe harm to a Twi'lek: Squoxx died within an hour after one of his lekku was bitten off. 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.
In addition to their spoken language, Ryl, the Twi'leks could also communicate through subtle lekku gestures. Despite the high sensitivity of those organs, some Twi'leks like Cham Syndulla tattooed their lekku. Some wore them simply hanging down their back or falling over the chest, while others like Bib Fortuna bent them around the neck or shoulders for aesthetic purposes.
- "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
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. As seen on Governor Gupat Roshti, male Togruta's lekku were shorter than those of females. The color of a Togruta's lekku was determined by their DNA, and they grew as their wearer matured. In adolescence, the head-tails extended only slightly past the collarbones, but could reach below the waist by adulthood. The loss of a lek, as seen on the bartender Selda, was not a crippling injury, but the appendages did not grow back afterwards.
Behind the scenes
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.
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Notes and references
- Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
- Doctor Aphra Annual 2
- The High Republic: The Rising Storm
- Lords of the Sith
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Deserter"
- Obi-Wan and Anakin 2
- Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
- Star Wars Rebels: Visual Guide: Epic Battles
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Kidnapped"
- Star Wars: Aliens of the Galaxy
- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: The Visual Dictionary