1.6 to 2.4 meters
Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, brown, tan, pink, white, striped and dark gray
Brain tails, sharp claw-like nails, smooth skin
Twi'leks (pronounced /'twilɛk/) were an omnivorous humanoid species originating from the planet Ryloth. They tended to eat cultivated molds, fungi, and rycrit meat. Their distinctive features included colorful skin, which varied in pigment from individual to individual, and a pair of shapely prehensile tentacles that grew from the base of their skulls. The tentacles, called "brain-tails," "lekku," or "tchun-tchin," are advanced organs used for communication and cognitive functions. Twi'leks possessed a fairly standard humanoid vocal structure and were capable of learning most alien languages; however, they usually preferred their native language of Ryl, which incorporated subtle movement of the lekku. When they wish, they can even communicate in complete secrecy using their versatile brain-tails. Twi'lek females were often used as slaves or dancers because of their beauty.
Twi'leks worshiped an unknown Goddess.
The two most striking features of a Twi'lek were their broad range of skin coloration within the species, and pair of brain-tails. The brain tails, also called "tchun-tchin" or "lekku", protruded down the back of the skull and contained part of a Twi'lek's brain. The very word "Twi'lek" is believed to be derived from semi-Basic "twin lekku." A Twi'lek's brain-tails served many purposes in their daily lives and culture, storing fat and being used as erogenous zones. The Twi'lek's native language of Twi'leki was spoken using a combination of words and subtle movements of the lekku. Newborn Twi'leks had no lekku, as they presumably grow out during childhood.
A Twi'lek's brain-tails were highly sensitive, and grabbing them forcefully was so painful that it could easily incapacitate almost any Twi'lek. Sometimes, damage to the brain tails caused lasting damage to the Twi'lek's brain. They could be replaced by cybernetics, however, as in the case of Rianna Saren.
Long or shapely lekku were considered great status symbols, and often went hand-in-hand with respect, influence, and wealth. A Twi'lek's brain-tails could be likened to phallic symbols, and for both sexes, larger lekku brought with them some indistinct positive connotations.
Their brain-tails were a source of great pride to Twi'leks, especially when confronted by other species. The name "tchun-tchin" actually referred to each lekku—'"tchun" being the left lekku and "tchin" the right. In casual conversation the Twi'leks would usually refer to their lekku as "tchun" or "tchin."
The range of possible Twi'lek skin colors was extremely diverse, including green, orange, brown, yellow, blue, gray, pink, black, white, red, and purple, all in varying shades and hues. Other types of Twi'leks included the particularly rare turquoise-skinned Twi'leks, known as Rutian Twi'leks, and the rarest red pigment of the Lethan Twi'leks, whose skin color was caused by a mutation of the genetic code. Some Twi'leks took to dyeing their skin to produce a pattern, as did the dancer Ayy Vida.
Males had humanoid ears, and among females there is equal biological evidence for humanoid ears and ear "cones". While some headdresses were cultural decoration to denote status, quite a few were originally introduced as "muzzles" to prevent the slaves from having access to a language that non-Twi'lek handlers could not understand.
Both males and females lacked body hair, with the only notable exception being eyelashes to aid in keeping out the sand and heat of Ryloth. Females typically had painted eyebrows or had their eyebrows tattooed on, in order to appear more palatable and less alien to more base-line humanoid offworlders. Boc Aseca had body hair under the armpits and on his chest, though it is unknown whether this was the result of some genetic mutation, a rare subspecies, or something else.
Female Twi'leks have been considered especially attractive and slender, which made them favorite subjects for slavery and entertainment. The beauty of female Twi'leks was well known throughout the galaxy, and as a result many young Twi'leks were sold into slavery, becoming dancers or status symbols, most notably by Jabba Desilijic Tiure. The usual ugliness of the males was also well known.
The natural grace and exotic beauty of the female Twi'leks made them a popular target among slave traders. Many Twi'leks actually encouraged the slave market on their own planet. Some saw it as a chance to make money by kidnapping or selling orphaned children, while others saw slavery as a way of saving children from growing up in Ryloth's harsh environment. A number of Twi'leks believed that slavery was an efficient way to proliferate their species and preserve their culture, as the Twi'leks lacked their own means of inter-planetary travel. Regardless of how it came about, many Twi'leks lived as slaves or entertainers and were considered status symbols, especially the females of rarer skin hues: the Rutian and Lethan Twi'leks. Twi'leks that managed to escape from captivity usually turned to a life of thievery, with both genders making use of their powers of seduction.
While many Twi'leks lived their lives as merchants or even criminals, the race also had a proud and honorable warrior tradition. It was Twi'lek warriors who invented the Chir'daki, or Deathseed, starfighters that married the TIE Fighter cockpit to the S-foils of the X-wing starfighter as well as using a rotation system similar to what allowed the B-wing starfighter. During the Bacta War, Twi'lek warriors assisted Wedge Antilles in the fight against Ysanne Isard.
The clothing of Twi'leks depended on their gender. While most male Twi'leks wore long, loose robes, female Twi'leks typically wore tighter, more revealing clothing to maintain their elegant figures and enhance their value to males. Twi'lek dance costumes were typically made up of silky veils that clung to their bodies, although other kinds were used, such as a revealing net costume Oola once wore.
When meeting a stranger or guest for the first time Twi'leks will usually exchanges gifts or something else as a welcome. When welcoming a large number of beings they will usually throw a party and use their traditional dances as entertainment. It is as Cham Syndulla once said, "it is customary to share what we do have."
Twi'leks when on Ryloth live in simple mud brick dwellings that protect them for the scorching heat of their homeworld. They often decorate them with native textiles and simple things. When in a city Twi'leks use more galactic standard dwellings with technology though they are still modified to survive Ryloth's environment.
Twi'lek society was divided into clans, with each clan having its own city. Each city had its own government, which was led by a five-member head-clan. These five Twi'leks would lead the society in all matters until one member of the head-clan died. At that point, the remaining members of the head-clan would be cast out into the barren landscape on the day-side of the planet, presumably to die, thus allowing the next generation to take over. If the next generation was not yet ready to claim their inherited positions, then a set of regents would be selected to rule until the proper time.
Rather than having separate personal and clan names, a Twi'lek would have a single name that combined these two elements. The personal portion of the name would be selected with the clan name in mind, often involving an intentional alteration of the words or a shift in the letters to change the meaning of the name as a whole. This change was meant to symbolize a way of unity. A Twi'lek's name would also be split into multiple parts if they were exiled as a criminal, as this was considered very dishonoring.
In some cases, Twi'leks would combine the multiple-part name of a non-Twi'lek into a single name, often changing the pronunciation in the same way that they would alter their own given names and clan names. For example, Twi'leks often pronounced Wedge Antilles's name as Wedgan'tilles so that his name meant Slayer of Stars — if a Twi'lek were to use the Galactic Basic Standard pronunciation, it would mean, in a generous translation, "one so foul he could induce vomiting in a Rancor."
An example of a true Twi'lek name would be Nawar'aven. This name would be split into two parts when used outside of the local culture, becoming Nawara Ven (the clan name in this case being Ven, but the name Nawara was selected with the intention of moving the last a into the second half of the name, thus changing the meaning).
Another example of this naming system could be the name of the species itself; if separated, Twi'lek could mean: "Twin lekku."
It is worth noting that this naming convention did not appear to be in use during the waning days of the Galactic Republic, when even prominent Twi'lek leaders such as Ro Fenn and Pol Secura preferred using their core names even in private conversation with each other on Ryloth.
The game Star Wars: X-wing has a training mission to be played around the planet "Twi'lek." It is probably a mistaken reference to Ryloth.
In the game Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, Chop'aa Notimo's generic blaster-wielding thugs are Twi'leks.
Lucas himself has adopted the Expanded Universe name Twi'lek, as evidenced by a remark of his during the production of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith that is documented in an Episode III Set Diary entry.
The Twi'leks featured in The Clone Wars all speak with French accents. According to Dave Filoni, this was specifically requested by Lucas.
1.6 to 2.4 meters
Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, brown, white, and dark gray
Twi'leks (pronounced /'twilɛk/) were an omnivorous humanoid species originating from the planet Ryloth. They tended to eat cultivated molds, fungi, and rycrit meat. Their distinctive features included colorful skin, which varied in pigment from individual to individual, and a pair of shapely prehensile tentacles that grew from the base of their skulls. The tentacles were called lekku, or brain-tails. Twi'leks possessed a fairly standard humanoid vocal structure and were capable of learning most alien languages; however, they usually preferred their native language of Twi'leki, which incorporated subtle movement of the lekku. Twi'lek females were often used as slaves or dancers for their beauty.
Colors held more meaning to a Twi'lek than simple skin tone. Colors aligned a Twi'lek with where on Ryloth they were born. Typically each clan or family was composed of a certain color, various shades thereof. The exceptions of course being the rare colors which were so uncommon, that is was seldom there were even two of them in one family over generations, let alone more than that.
There were various different reasons that Twi'leks were different colors, some of those having to do with elements and other various means. Blue and aqua colored Twi'leks, called Rutian, were born of the Water Doctrin and were known for being peaceful mediators. Those born brown or gray, called Darian, were born of the Earth Doctrin and they were known for being violent warriors.
If a child was born yellow or orange, called Tolian, they were born of the Fire Doctrine and would be known for being headstrong explorers. Green Twi'leks, called Tukian, were born of the Spirit Doctrine and were known for being religious priests. Finally, there were those born with purple and pink skin, called Tyrian, that were born of the Music Doctrine. They were known for being adept in the arts such as music, poetry and dancing and were typically artists. There were also rarer colors such as white, red and black.
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Twi'leks have natural extra energy, and thus are very suited as entertainers and combat professions that have heavy action specials. While there have been Twi'lek Jedi, not many are known to exist at this time.
From the OS Databank.
Few things are as graceful as a female Twi'lek in motion. This beautiful image has forever doomed generations of young Twi'leks into servitude, as the wealthy and corrupt have taken to brandishing Twi'leks as badges of prestige.
Twi'leks are tall, thin humanoids with skin pigment that spans a rainbow of colors. Their most distinctive feature is a pair of shapely prehensile tentacles that grow from the base of their skulls.
In the waning years of the Republic, the Twi'lek homeworld of Ryloth was represented in the Galactic Senate by the corpulent blue-skinned politician Orn Free Taa. Even a politician of high office was not above flaunting a pair of lovely Twi'lek aides as a sign of influence and wealth.
The Twi'leks use their head-tails, or Lekku, when they speak their native tongue of Lekku. The language is a series of Vibrations and movements of the Lekku.
Twi'leks are omnivorous, eating cultivated molds and fungi, as well as meat from bovine animals called rycrits. They have a sly disposition of patience and adaptability. As the Twi'leks learned from evolving through the harsh storms of their world, strength does not always come from confrontation. Often, as a Twi'lek proverb says, "one cannot defeat a heat storm, one must ride it."
The Twi'leks have developed an industrial-level technology, with windmills and turbines providing power to their homes and industries carved into the Ryloth mountains. Each city complex is autonomous, and governed by a head-clan. Having no native space-faring technology, the Twi'leks instead rely upon neighboring systems (such as Tatooine), pirates, smugglers, and merchants for their contact with the galaxy.
The planet Ryloth provides the galaxy with ryll, a powerfully addictive recreational substance and mineral. Twi'leks have adapted to the criminal attention brought to their world by selling their own people into slavery. This way, the Twi'leks have something to give the criminals, and still retain control of the ryll mines. Unfortunately many Twi'leks, mostly female, bear the brunt of this despicable trade-off.
During the Galactic Civil War, the Twi'leks remained neutral, not wanting to become involved in the struggle. They viewed the Rebel Alliance and the Empire as two heat storms that would eventually dissipate. Only after the storm had cleared, could the opportunist Twi'leks emerge and prosper.