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The Akul In Tales Of The Jedi Explained

"Tales of the Jedi" is a collection of animated shorts that rarely cross the 15-minute mark. However, sometimes big things come in small packages, and that age-old adage rings true in this case. Each short in "Tales of the Jedi" adds more depth to the backstories of some of the most popular Force-sensitive warriors in the franchise — including Dooku, Anakin Skywalker, and Ahsoka Tano — while simultaneously exploring some familiar and unfamiliar corners in the galaxy far, far away.

The first episode, "Life and Death," depicts the birth and early life of Tano on her homeworld of Shili. The main storyline revolves around Tano and her mother as they embark on a hunting trip, which brings them into contact with kybucks and a terrifying creature with giant teeth.

The latter animal is known as an akul and its species has been referenced in the "Star Wars" story before. However, "Tales of the Jedi" gets more up close and personal with the akul than any other "Star Wars" project to date.

The akul are fierce predators from the planet Shili

Akul are large four-legged cat-like creatures with canine teeth that can be found roaming the grasslands of Shili, looking for meat to feast on. As depicted in the first episode of "Tales of the Jedi," they're carnivorous predators that don't take kindly to the locals entering their terrains. Furthermore, the episode shows that they're very imposing and difficult to defeat.

According to Fandom, the Togratus fear the akul as the creatures have a history of destroying their settlements and villages. They kill their prey by biting into their necks and breaking them, and it's practically impossible for anyone to escape their clutches due to the strength of their jaws. Ahsoka and her mom got off lightly in this episode, but luck was on their side.

However, while the Togratus fear the akul, they also have a tendency to hunt the species. In fact, defeating an akul was a rite of passage for some of Shili's fiercest warriors during their formative years.

Akul teeth are worn by their conquerors as a badge of honor

Episode 1 of "Tales of the Jedi" showcases an akul in a terrifying light, but it bucks expectations by making the creature sympathetic later on. The carnivore resists the temptation to eat young Ahsoka Tano and brings her back to her mother unscathed. The akul sensed the Force in the baby Jedi and they became friends — and no one got hurt by the time the end credit rolled.

Unfortunately, it seems that Tano slaughtered one of the beasts in her later life. Per Den of Geek, the Jedi wore a headdress that contained akul teeth later on. The animals' teeth can only be worn by those who have single-handedly slain an akul, so Tano clearly didn't befriend every single one of the beasts that she encountered throughout her life.

Of course, Tano isn't the only character who's faced an akul. Some "Star Wars" fans will have spotted a similar headdress on Jedi Master Shaak Ti, who's a strong warrior in his own right.