- "I think I've earned the right to wear this again."
- ―Ahsoka Tano to Cad Bane
Those who were of a species that grew hair or fur grew a small single, long, and tight braid of hair behind their left or right ear, though behind the right ear was traditional. Those who chose to could weave a ribbon of cloth or special beads like silka beads into the braid. Some species were recorded to have woven their facial hair into a braid (if they could not grow one from their scalp).
Members of species unable to grow hair might instead wear a woven braid of canvas or cloth around the wrist, neck, ear, or horn, or use body modifications such as piercings or markings. Other alternatives emerged over the centuries: Chagrian and Iktotchi wore circlets on their cranial horns. Sluissi Jedi wore a simple tattoo across their left cheek. Swokes Swokes could have a medallion implanted below their foreheads. Togruta could wear chains or beads that run between their montrals. Twi'leks could wear chains or beads that run between their lekku.
Braids have a yellow band at the top and a red band at the bottom. Additional beads or other color bands are added to mark the Padawan's area(s) of study. Different colors possess different meanings. White indicated the Padawan was studying healing, blue meant mechanics, red meant piloting, yellow meant the lightsaber, other weapons, or combat in general. Green beads or bands indicated the areas of study for a consular, the living force, or precognitive visions. Black indicated that the Jedi equivalent of covert operations was a major area of study. The yellow band is applied when a Master takes on the Padawan before thirteen standard years of age, or the equivalent depending on the species. The red band is applied after the Padawan turns sixteen standard years of age when the Padawan completes their Temple courses and starts studying independently under the guidance of their Master.
Padawans that were members of the Jedi Order were encouraged to grow a braid or in some way show their rank for easy identification. When a Padawan was declared a Knight, upon completion of the Trials (around twenty standard years of age, though often earlier or later depending on the student) the lock would be severed with a lightsaber. If a Padawan was instead expelled from the Order, the braid was ripped off, as happened to Ahsoka Tano.
Behind the scenes
Between scenes of the prequel trilogy movies, Padawan braids worn by Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker often change sides. All of these are mistakes in the movies (this could be due to the shot being flipped in post-production, or they wore hair extensions put on for the scene, as real braids take months or years to grow). Traditionally the braid is worn on the right.
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- Threats of the Galaxy
- Star Wars Galaxies Trading Card Game – Squadrons Over Corellia (Card: Padawan Braid) (backup link)
- The Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force