Xi?an and Mando ? Photo By Lucasfilm
Two decades ago, a single piece of STAR WARS lore from the now-defunct Expanded Universe embedded itself in my brain and never let go. While making a character for the STAR WARS table-top role-playing game, I came across a passage about Twi?lek culture meant to explain why Bib Fortuna looked like an alien Nosferatu while the women of his species had very human teeth. The explanation was in-universe sexism. At the time, Twi?lek women were mostly portrayed as slaves, and as such, Lucasfilm decided their ?masters? filed their naturally sharp teeth down for, ahem, safety reasons.
Needless to say, I rolled a female bounty-hunter Twi?lek who not only re-filed her teeth, but wore a nice string of teeth on a necklace from every slaver she killed.
Fast forward to five years ago, and I found myself standing face-to-face with Dave Filoni at San Diego Comic-Con right before the first season of STAR WARS REBELS aired. Still unable to let go of the horrific mutilations done to Twi?lek women in the name of aesthetics, I brought the question up to Filoni as it pertained to Hera Syndulla, who has very human teeth. Being a huge frackin? nerd, Filoni actually had an answer. Skip to the 6:50 mark if you just want to watch that part (and please forgive me calling Hera, Sabine).
?That?s not something that exists in the canon. George and I never once talked about filed-down teeth.?
Two years after that interview, the second season of STAR WARS REBELS actually canonized the new rules in the episode ?Homecoming.? It is now official STAR WARS lore that Twi?leks are born with blunt, human-like teeth but some choose to file theirs into points for aesthetic cultural reasons. At the time, it was indicated this modification is mostly a male-presenting one.
Then this week, I suddenly started getting blown up in text messages and DMs. Apparently my weird obsession with Twi?lek dental work was more than I realized if everyone I knew was reaching out to ask if I had seen Episode Six ? ?The Prisoner? ? of THE MANDALORIAN yet. ?Twi?lek teeth!? was the cryptic message I received from three separate people. And lo and behold, Natalia Tena was playing a female Twi?lek named Xi?an.
And her teeth are pointy. Hell yes. Equality among dental modifications canonized! Bless you, Lucasfilm, for never letting even the smallest detail go. It?s part of what makes a galaxy far, far away feel like a living, breathing universe.