- "Only a criminal prefers survival to honor. Love life too much, and you’ll lose the best reason for living."
- ―Ancient Twi'leki free-verse song
Around 10,000 BBY, the Twi'lek homeworld of Ryloth was discovered by the Galactic Republic. Although their society was still in a primitive state, the Twi'leks had spent the past several centuries in relative harmony with one another, and they joined the Republic soon after being discovered.
Twi'lek society was comprised of a series of clans of various sizes. When the galaxy took a sudden interest in Ryloth's wealth of ryll spice, the Twi'lek clan leaders increased production of the drug and prepared to ship it offworld. Unfortunately, the clans were inexperienced in the galactic economy, and Hutt criminal cartels soon took control of the planet's mining operations. The Twi’leks were enslaved and labored in their own mines for the profit of the Hutts, or were sold outright on the open market. After generations of slavery, the Twi'lek species became far more numerous across the galaxy than on Ryloth, and most felt little connection to their own homeworld.
Sometime after 3641 BBY, the Twi'lek clans regained control of their planet from the Hutts, but the prosperity of their ryll mines still made them targets of pirates and mercenaries. To ensure their continued wealth, most of the Twi'lek clan leaders chose to deter such threats by selling their own people—in particular, their women—into slavery. The sale of Twi'lek dancing girls was continually tolerated by the Republic, and slavery remained Ryloth's primary currency as it had for past millennia, while the ryll trade fueled the planet's black market economy.
Ryloth Clan, however, was different. Located deep in Ryloth's underground warrens, this clan remained isolated from galactic influence, striving to honor the faith and dignity of Twi'leki traditions—while the rest of the world rushed to accommodate slavers and smugglers. More modernized Twi'leks disdained the clan's quaint, primitive ways. Despite Ryloth Clan's values, Twi'lek females were treated as poorly as anywhere else on the world. They were still regarded as objects, little more than beautiful, breathing ornaments, and to prevent them from undermining the authority of Twi'lek males, the women were not educated. One of the primitive clan's customs dictated that a female could only be taken from her father if he received payment for her.
In 3 ABY, Ryloth Clan was comprised of eight hundred people, all of whom acknowledged Oola's father as clan chief. This prestigious position gave both himself and his family considerable power and influence. While her father was the renowned leader of Ryloth Clan, Oola, in turn, was a renowned dancer with dozens of admirers. Considered one of the most attractive Twi'leks already, Oola increased her appeal through sensual dancing, enhanced by movements of her lekku. Regarded as irresistible to all males of her species, Oola eventually attracted the lewd attentions of a dangerous admirer: Bib Fortuna. Having spent two weeks searching for the perfect woman for his master, Jabba Desilijic Tiure, Fortuna had suddenly found her in Oola. Uncertain whether her father would agree to sell her, Fortuna violated the clan's custom and abducted Oola during the night.
Oola was brainwashed, had her teeth sanded flat—a typical slaving practice to prevent Twi'lek women from biting their masters—and was trained for months in lewd, seductive dance meant to entice her new master, Jabba the Hutt. Once she was delivered, the crime lord was so pleased with Fortuna's "gift" that he made Oola his concubine, chained at his side to await his affections. Oola was terrified and disgusted by Jabba, and when she stopped submitting to his grotesque advances, the Hutt fed her to his rancor.
Nolaa Tarkona, Oola's half-sister, was also sold into slavery, but she revolted against her masters and began a rebellion that toppled Ryloth's government—making Nolaa the first female Twi'lek leader in the history of the galaxy. Nolaa spent years trying to uncover what became of Oola after her abduction from the clan, and eventually received a spy holorecord that detailed her half-sister's ordeal as Jabba's slave.
By 23 ABY, Nolaa had founded the Diversity Alliance, a radical anti-Human political movement funded by Ryloth's profits from the ryll trade. Embittered by Oola's fate and her own experiences, Nolaa sought to punish Humans for the atrocities of the Galactic Empire and other Humanocentric transgressions. After rallying support for the Diversity Alliance from all across the galaxy, Nolaa united numerous alien races against the New Republic, and also succeeded in halting all trafficking in sentient beings, including that of Twi'lek females. However, the Alliance's true nature was revealed when Tarkona gained access to the Emperor's Plague Storehouse with the goal of exterminating the entire Human race. The Diversity Alliance was defeated at the Battle of the Emperor's Plague Storehouse, and although Nolaa escaped, she had been infected by one of the plagues and died soon after.
Behind the scenesEdit
Although Ryloth Clan has been mentioned in various sources dating as far back as 1990, the clan itself has never been shown beyond two of its members, the half-sisters Nolaa Tarkona and Oola. It is unknown which parent they share: either Oola's father (the clan's chief) or an unmentioned mother.
The clan was not given a name until Star Wars: The Official Figurine Collection 45 was printed in 2007. While this is a canonical source, the generalized nature of the name is suspicious—Ryloth being homeworld to all Twi'leks, but one small clan taking it for a name—and it may be no more than an error.
It is possible that Sienn'rha is also a member of Ryloth Clan, as she was abducted along with Oola and comes from a primitive clan as seen in X-Wing: The Krytos Trap, though no source explicitly states that the two dancers are from the same clan.
- A Time to Mourn, a Time to Dance: Oola's Tale (Mentioned only)
- Young Jedi Knights: Diversity Alliance (Indirect mention only)
- Galaxy Guide 5: Return of the Jedi (First mentioned)
- The Movie Trilogy Sourcebook
- Galaxy Guide 5: Return of the Jedi, Second Edition
- The Essential Guide to Characters
- Star Wars Finest (Card: Oola)
- Star Wars Trilogy Sourcebook, Special Edition
- Star Wars: Behind the Magic
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 96 (TWI19–22, Twi'leks - Oola)
- Star Wars: The Official Figurine Collection 45 (First identified as Ryloth Clan)
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Star Wars: The Official Figurine Collection 45
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 A Time to Mourn, a Time to Dance: Oola's Tale
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Young Jedi Knights: Diversity Alliance
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Galaxy Guide 5: Return of the Jedi
- ↑ Geonosis and the Outer Rim Worlds
- ↑ 6.0 6.1
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 The Essential Atlas
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 The Official Star Wars Fact File 96 (TWI19–22, Twi'leks - Oola)
- ↑ Galaxy Guide 5: Return of the Jedi, Second Edition
- ↑ Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi novel
- ↑ Young Jedi Knights: Jedi Bounty
- ↑ The Essential Chronology
- ↑ Young Jedi Knights: The Emperor's Plague
- ↑ The New Essential Chronology
- ↑ The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- ↑ X-Wing: The Krytos Trap