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Twi'leks, occasionally referred to as Rylothians, were a tall humanoid species whose most striking feature was a pair of long appendages protruding from their skull, called lekku. They hailed from the planet of Ryloth, in the Outer Rim Territories, and female Twi'lek were often exported offworld as slaves.

Biology and appearanceEdit


Numa, a Twi'lek youngling

Twi'leks were a species of tall humanoids whose skin spanned a vast array of colors,[17] including white,[12] orange,[7] yellow,[13] green,[6] pink,[8] blue,[5] purple,[9] and red.[10] Their most distinctive feature was the pair of prehensile appendages that sprouted from the crown or base of their skulls,[17] known as lekku, or headtails. Although Twi'leks normally had two lekku,[1] some individuals had four.[5]

The species had two sexes, male and female. While males had ears with lobes resembling those of humans, females had cone-shaped hearing organs, found in the same place on the head.[54] Although Twi'leks naturally had blunt teeth,[55] males typically sharpened them to points.[23]

Twi'leks were usually thin,[17] although corpulent individuals were known to exist.[49] Under normal circumstances, they generally had a higher body temperature than other humanoid species.[10]

Twi'leks and humans could breed to create a hybrid[56] of the two species, such as when shortly before the death of Kanan Jarrus, he and Hera Syndulla conceived a son who appeared mostly human but inherited his mothers green pigment in his hair and ears. He was born after the liberation of Lothal, which Syndulla lived to participate in.[48]

Society and cultureEdit

The Twi'leks had a language of their own, called Twi'leki, which combined verbal sounds and an elaborate and subtle sign language using their lekku. Twi'lek's lekku could be moved to create gestures that meant things such as hello or goodbye. For example, both lekku tips crossed twice meant "I Love You".[1] Twi'leks were capable of speaking Galactic Basic, many with a noticeable accent; though it was possible for some to lose this accent if away from Ryloth for an extended period of time, it could still resurface. For example, Hera Syndulla lapsed back into the common Twi'leki accent during an argument with her father and also used it consciously when passing herself off as a slave.[55][57]


Clone WarsEdit

Innocents of Ryloth

Twi'leks skin spanned a vast array of color

The homeworld of the Twi'leks was Ryloth, a planet of harsh extremes situated in the Outer Rim Territories. That world was part of the Galactic Republic, a democratic union that governed most of the galaxy. During the Clone Wars, Ryloth was occupied by the Confederacy of Independent Systems. Unsatisfied with the tyrannical rule that the Confederacy put them under, a Twi'lek Resistance movement arose to combat the Separatists, led by Cham Syndulla. This movement was publicly backed and actively assisted by the Galactic Republic. Working with the Grand Army of the Republic and the Jedi Order, the Twi'lek Resistance managed to expel Separatist forces under Wat Tambor.[7] The Republic then annexed Ryloth.[23]

Imperial protectorateEdit

Following the end of the Clone Wars, the Republic was transformed into the Galactic Empire and Ryloth was annexed by the Empire.[58] The planet became an Imperial protectorate and the Twi'leks living on Ryloth were subjected to Imperial rule. While Ryloth was nominally independent and was still represented by Senator Orn Free Taa in the Galactic Senate, real power lay in the hands of the Imperial Moff Delian Mors.[23]

About five years after the establishment of the Empire, Cham reorganized the Twi'lek Resistance as the Free Ryloth movement in order to expel the Empire from Ryloth. While most of the Free Ryloth resistance fighters were Twi'leks, it included a number of non-Twi'leks like Colonel Belkor Dray. The Free Ryloth resistance consisted of hundreds of fighters, a network of informants and spies, and staged raids which led to the deaths of dozens of Imperial personnel. After Darth Vader killed one of Cham's lieutenants Pok and his comrades after the theft of an Imperial freighter from the Yaga Minor shipyards, Cham decided to shift from half-hearted measures towards taking full action against the Empire.[23]

Emperor Palpatine conspired to lure the Free Ryloth rebels into a trap by organizing a visit to Ryloth with Darth Vader and arranging for information on the trip to be leaked to the Ryloth rebels. Cham seized the opportunity to kill the two Sith Lords and fragment the Empire. The two Sith Lords traveled to Ryloth in the Imperial Star Destroyer Perilous. Cham's rebels attacked the Perilous with space mines, Vulture droids, and rebels disguised as rescue crew. However, Vader and the Emperor managed to escape to Ryloth. Following a prolonged pursuit, the Free Ryloth rebels tried to close in on the two Sith Lords in a remote village. Imperial forces under Moff Delian however arrived at the village and routed the rebels. Cham and his surviving comrades fled to resume their struggle.[23]

Cham's daughter Hera Syndulla became a key leader in the rebellion against the Empire and led her own rebel cell. She believed that Ryloth's freedom was linked to the rebellion. Hera disagreed with Cham's focus on Ryloth and the two parted company. Three years before the Battle of Yavin, the Empire used a Quasar Fire-class cruiser-carrier to bomb Ryloth. Despite their differences, Cham and Hera's rebel cells joined forces to steal the cruiser-carrier for the Phoenix Cell. As a result, ties were established between the Free Ryloth movement and the wider rebellion.[55]

Two years before the Battle of Yavin, the Empire dispatched the Chiss Grand Admiral Thrawn to deal with the Ryloth insurgency. By studying Twi'lek art, culture, philosophy, and history, Thrawn was able to devise successful tactics that led to the fall of Tann Province. The Free Ryloth movement lost many fighters and Cham was forced to flee his own home. Hera, Cham, and the other rebels then took part in an unsuccessful attempt to recover a family heirloom, the Kalikori, from Thrawn. Despite failing to recover the object, the rebels escaped an attempt by Captain Slavin to capture the rebels and Cham.[57]

Inspired by the Free Ryloth Movement and Phoenix Squadron, many Twi'leks decided to fight against the Empire and join the Alliance to Restore the Republic to see peace in their homeworld.[59] In 5 ABY,[60] Ryloth was freed when Imperial forces on the planet abandoned its bases.[20] After the rise of the First Order, many Twi'leks feared an occupation of Ryloth would be inevitable and swore allegiance to Leia Organa's Resistance.[59]

Twi'leks in the galaxyEdit

Twilek Jedi Knight RotS

A Twi'lek Jedi General during the Clone Wars

Since female Twi'leks were regarded as graceful and beautiful beings, many of them were forced into a life of slavery at the hands of the galaxy's wealthy and powerful.[17] Other Twi'leks, however, found themselves in positions of power; Bib Fortuna served as the majordomo to the crime lord Jabba the Hutt for decades,[29] Aayla Secura was a Jedi Knight of the Jedi Order,[43] and Senator Orn Free Taa represented his homeworld Ryloth in the Galactic Republic's Senate and later the Imperial Senate.[49] Due to their frequent use as slaves, Twi'lek could move surreptitiously through places an army could not penetrate. Because of that, some found employment as undercover agents.[61]

Cham Syndulla was a leader of the Twi'lek Resistance during the Clone Wars[7] and later became the leader of the Free Ryloth movement.[23] His daughter Hera Syndulla also became the leader of the Spectres[62] and later became Phoenix Leader in the Phoenix Squadron, a member of the rebellion and eventually reaching the rank of General.[47][63]

Behind the scenesEdit

The name Twi'lek wasn't spoken in any Star Wars films. It was first coined by the Star Wars Legends 1987 West End Games publication The Star Wars Sourcebook.[64] The name was brought back to canon in the species' Databank entry.[17]


Non-canon appearancesEdit


Notes and referencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know
  2. 2.0 2.1 Battlefront II: Inferno Squad
  3. Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary, New Edition
  4. Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith 19: Fortress Vader, Part I
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 TCW mini logo Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Liberty on Ryloth"
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 TCW mini logo Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Deserter"
  9. 9.0 9.1 Star Wars: Commander
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Smuggler's Run: A Han Solo & Chewbacca Adventure
  11. 11.0 11.1 TCW mini logo Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Innocents of Ryloth"
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 StarWars-DatabankII Lyn Me in the Databank (backup link)
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 13.7 Star Wars: Uprising
  14. 14.0 14.1 StarWars-DatabankII Jinx in the Databank (backup link)
  15. SWCustom-2011 Hera, the Pilot on
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 17.5 17.6 17.7 StarWars-DatabankII Twi'lek in the Databank (backup link)
  18. 18.0 18.1 Solo: A Star Wars Story The Official Guide
  19. 19.0 19.1 Han Solo, Part II
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 20.4 Aftermath: Life Debt
  21. 21.0 21.1 Last Shot
  22. Solo: A Star Wars Story The Official Guide
  23. 23.00 23.01 23.02 23.03 23.04 23.05 23.06 23.07 23.08 23.09 23.10 23.11 23.12 23.13 23.14 23.15 23.16 23.17 23.18 23.19 Lords of the Sith
  24. Chewbacca, Part II
  25. TCW mini logo Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Lightsaber Lost"
  26. Aftermath
  27. SWCustom-2011 "Grievous Intrigue" Episode Guide - The Clone Wars on
  28. StarWars-DatabankII Beezer Fortuna in the Databank (backup link)
  29. 29.0 29.1 StarWars-DatabankII Bib Fortuna in the Databank (backup link)
  30. StarWars-DatabankII Gobi Glie in the Databank (backup link)
  31. Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel
  32. Battlefront: Twilight Company
  33. Darth Maul, Part II
  34. StarWars-DatabankII Liana Kor in the Databank (backup link)
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 SWCustom-2011 "The Deserter" - The Clone Wars Episode Guide on
  36. Poe Dameron 4: Lockdown, Part I
  37. StarWars-DatabankII Numa in the Databank (backup link)
  38. Star Wars: Forces of Destiny—Ahsoka & Padmé
  39. StarWars-DatabankII Oola in the Databank (backup link)
  40. Kanan 7: First Blood, Part I: The Corridors of Coruscant
  41. "The Crimson Corsair and the Lost Treasure of Count Dooku"
  42. 43.0 43.1 StarWars-DatabankII Aayla Secura in the Databank (backup link)
  43. StarWars-DatabankII Cham Syndulla in the Databank (backup link)
  44. StarWars-DatabankII Hera Syndulla in the Databank (backup link)
  45. Rebels-mini-logo Star Wars Rebels – "Jedi Knight"
  46. 47.0 47.1 Rebels-mini-logo Star Wars Rebels – "Wings of the Master"
  47. 48.0 48.1 Rebels-mini-logo Star Wars Rebels – "Family Reunion – and Farewell"
  48. 49.0 49.1 49.2 StarWars-DatabankII Orn Free Taa in the Databank (backup link)
  49. IDWStarWarsAdventuresLogoSmaller ""Tales from Wild Space: A Small Push""—Star Wars Adventures 12
  50. IDWStarWarsAdventuresLogoSmaller "All Aces Battle Royale"—Star Wars Adventures 16
  51. Star Wars: Complete Locations
  52. Bloodline
  53. SWYTlogo Rebels Recon #2.07: Inside "Blood Sisters" on the official Star Wars YouTube channel
  54. 55.0 55.1 55.2 Rebels-mini-logo Star Wars Rebels – "Homecoming"
  55. TwitterLogo Pablo Hidalgo (@pablohidalgo) on Twitter "They're not Cut's children, biologically, but they did have a human father. [...] It wasn't said, but it was part of their character design." (screenshot)
  56. 57.0 57.1 Rebels-mini-logo Star Wars Rebels – "Hera's Heroes"
  57. A New Dawn
  58. 59.0 59.1 Star Wars Battlefront II
  59. Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates the Battle of Endor to 4 ABY and the events of Shattered Empire, Part IV, which take place three months after the battle, to 5 ABY. Furthermore, the novel Aftermath states that months have passed since the Battle of Endor, while Aftermath: Life Debt begins two months after the end of Aftermath. Therefore, the events of Aftermath: Life Debt begin at least four months after the Battle of Endor, which corresponds to 5 ABY. Additionally, Galactic Atlas dates the Battle of Jakku, as depicted in Life Debt's sequel, Aftermath: Empire's End, to 5 ABY as well, thereby firmly placing Aftermath: Life Debt in 5 ABY.
  60. Star Wars: Uprising—Crew Member: "Twi'lek Infiltrator"
  61. Star Wars Rebels: Spark of Rebellion
  62. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  63. The Star Wars Sourcebook
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