12 Things 'Star Wars' Fans Probably Don't Know About Twi'leks And Their Home Planet, Ryloth

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Vote up the things you learned about Twi'leks and their homeworld.

Twi'leks have been part of the Star Wars franchise since the early 1980s, and thanks to their unique physiology and prominence in the galaxy, they have a lot of fans. The species has a fascinating history, culture, and much more that make them compelling. The films have featured several prominent Twi'leks over the years, including a Jedi or two, but like most things in the franchise, you'd need to check out the expanded universe to truly know about them.

Twi'leks and their home planet of Ryloth in the Outer Rim have seen a much greater representation throughout comic books, video games, and television series, which are far more expansive than any of the feature films set in a galaxy far, far away. Characters like Hera from Star Wars: Rebels or Cham Syndulla and the Free Ryloth Movement have been major focal points in various animated series, specifically The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels, which went into great detail about this common alien species.

This list aims to solve that problem by highlighting many of the interesting and informative facts about Twi'leks and their home planet of Ryloth that are out there. Take a look down below, and if you learn something new be sure to give it an upvote before you go!

  • 1
    71 VOTES

    They Have Multiple Stomachs And Can Eat Almost Anything

    One of the advantages of evolving to live in caves and underground is the lack of things to eat. Well, that's not an advantage, but it does offer up one as a species evolves. In the case of the Twi'leks, they evolved in such a way that they could eat almost anything. This includes pests and various low-calorie items. Ryloth's harsh environment pretty much made it a requirement to be able to eat whatever happens to come along, so you can give a Twi'lek pretty much anything, and they'll be happy to snack on it.

    This is possible because they have more than one stomach. They use them to break down foods that other humanoids wouldn't be able to gain any nutrition from. You might think that this means there aren't many obese Twi'leks in the galaxy, but that's simply not true. Obesity is seen as a status symbol in Twi'lek culture, so it's not uncommon to see an overweight Twi'lek in a position of power. Just look at Senator Orn Free Taa and Bib Fortuna. They clearly have gotten enough to eat in their positions of power.

    71 votes
  • 2
    64 VOTES

    Ryloth Has A Very Diverse Ecosystem

    Twi'leks come from the Outer Rim world of Ryloth, which has a diverse ecosystem. In many representations, Ryloth is shown to be relatively hostile, with various jungles, valleys, mesas, and volcanoes. The equator of Ryloth features a dense forest, and throughout most of the planet, there are dangerous predators. Because of this, the Twi'leks evolved to live in underground structures and caves.

    The planet is warmer than most, though it is hospitable, and it has five moons. The landscape is dominated by gutkurrs, a species of predatory insects. They are pack hunters who are more than happy to track down and engorge themselves on Twi'leks. It is because of the gutkurrs and lyleks (another nasty insectoid) that the Twi'leks prefer to live in easily defensible caves.

    64 votes
  • 3
    60 VOTES

    Twi’leks Would Often Serve As Spies Due To Their Prominence In The Galaxy

    Twi'leks may come from the Outer Rim, but they've populated pretty much all corners of the known galaxy. They are an intelligent species, and many have gone on to become Jedi (while others have become Sith). Still, they've also held positions in the Galactic Republic's Senate and the Imperial Senate. Many were also enslaved as they spread about the galaxy, so it's less common to find a place without Twi'leks than it is to see them in any given location.

    Because they are so spread about the galaxy, they are often seen as innocuous. This makes it possible for them to secretly move about wherever they want to go, making them ideal spies. Twi'leks have made an impact in various significant galactic affairs, including the development of the Rebellion. Hera Syndulla became a prominent Rebel leader who passed herself off as a slave to gain access to information. Nobody suspected her because she appeared to be "just another Twi'lek slave girl."

    60 votes
  • 4
    65 VOTES

    They Have Unusually High Body Temperatures

    One of the most interesting aspects of a Twi'lek's physiology is something you'd never know about unless you read Smuggler's Run: A Han Solo & Chewbacca Adventure. The book is set between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, and it centers around Han and Chewie undertaking a top-secret mission for the Rebellion. In the book, commander Alecia Beck has a cybernetic left eye, which she uses to thermally read a Twi'lek.

    Doing this reveals that the species runs much hotter than the other sentient species of the Star Wars galaxy... at least when compared to other humanoid species. Interestingly, a Twi'lek's body temperature will fluctuate if they are experiencing fear. This unique aspect of their physiology hasn't been fully explained or expanded upon. Still, it might have something to do with the fact that Twi'leks evolved to live underground and in caves, where it may not have been warm enough for other humanoids to survive. 

    65 votes
  • 5
    60 VOTES

    After The Clone Wars, The Free Ryloth Movement Ambushed Darth Vader And The Emperor

    At the end of the Clone Wars, the newly formed Galactic Empire annexed the Twi'lek home planet of Ryloth, making it an Imperial protectorate. This placed the Twi'leks living there under Imperial rule. Technically, the planet was largely independent due to its location in the Outer Rim. Still, because Senator Orn Free Taa represented it at the Imperial Senate, that didn't matter. The senator was incredibly corrupt and functioned much like a pawn of Imperial Moff Delian Mors, and by extension, Emperor Palpatine - most Twi'leks hated him.

    Around five years after the Empire's creation, the somewhat disparate Twi'lek Resistance was reorganized into the Free Ryloth Movement under the command of Cham Syndulla. The Free Ryloth Movement sought to expel all Imperial control from the planet, and over time, it morphed from an insurgency into a full-on rebellion against the Empire. It was also one of the first large-scale rebel elements that would eventually form the Rebel Alliance sometime later. 

    At one point, the Free Ryloth Movement sought to kill the top two Sith of the Empire: Darth Vader and Darth Sidious, AKA the Emperor. They attacked the Imperial Star Destroyer Perilous with mines, vulture droids, and agents. The Sith managed to escape to Ryloth, where they holed up in a small village. Unfortunately for the rebellious Twi'leks, the Sith were saved when Moff Delian brought in reinforcements, leaving the rebels to flee and reorganize.

    60 votes
  • 6
    72 VOTES

    Their Lekku, Or Head-Tails, Are Incredibly Sensitive

    The most distinctive physical feature the Twi'leks have would have to be the pair of prehensile appendages atop their heads. These are called lekku, and they grow from the crown or base of the skull and continue to grow for much of an individual's life. As you might expect, they are incredibly sensitive organs and a significant aspect of Twi'lek physiology, so if one is damaged in any way, it would significantly impact a person's health.

    While most Twi'leks have two lekku growing from their heads, some have four. They are all prehensile, but not every individual can move them to the same degree. For those with super-sensitive lekku, it's possible to use them to grab and hold objects, whereas other Twi'leks might only be able to move their lekku as a means of communicating. They can also react to the slightest touch, so it isn't uncommon to see a Twi'lek's lekku twitch and move when they brush up against something.

    72 votes