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Star Wars: Who Is Aayla Secura & Why Did She Have A French Accent?

Even for those familiar with the "Star Wars" prequels, Aayla Secura (Amy Allen) may not be a Jedi that automatically comes to mind. Appearing in "Attack of the Clones" and "Revenge of the Sith," the character is often seen but never heard. She is most notably seen as one of the Jedi assassinated during Order 66. However, Aayla has a rich history that was thankfully fleshed out in Dave Filoni's "The Clone Wars" series.

The animated show gives lines to the Twi'lek Jedi and expands on her people's trials and tribulations. Aayla also gets face-to-face time with Padawan Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein), giving her some teaching moments when Anakin Skywalker (Matt Lanter) is out of commission. After a ship crash, Anakin is badly injured, and Ahsoka wants to stay with him. Aayla wisely advises the youngster they need to look after the group first. Even after dying during the purge, that isn't the last we see — or rather, hear — of Aayla. 

She resurfaces in "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" in the emotional scene where Rey (Daisy Ridley) communes with Jedi such as Anakin (Hayden Christensen) and Kanan (Freddie Prinze Jr.). Aayla is one of the voices Rey hears in her desperate moment. Unlike her Jedi brethren, Aayla has an accent that can only be described as French. This is common among Twi'leks, who hail from her home planet, Ryloth.

Aayla sounds like many Twi'leks in Star Wars

The poor Twi'leks have a long history of subjugation; they're frequently enslaved, as seen in "Return of the Jedi." Ryloth was also needlessly attacked in "The Clone Wars" and the best "Star Wars" series, "Rebels." The episode "Innocents of Ryloth" shows a close and personal look at Twi'lek culture, including the species' language. Those on Ryloth, such as Numa, speak Twi'leki with each other. When speaking Basic, it makes sense that they would have an accent of some kind. But the reason their voices sound French has a simple explanation.

According to starwars.com, George Lucas himself was the one who insisted on Twi'leks sounding French when Dave Filoni was first developing "The Clone Wars." The first Twi'lek speaking role was Aayla, which expanded to the entire indigenous population of Ryloth. 

The only main Twi'lek character who doesn't sound this way is Hera Syndulla (Vanessa Marshall), but that has an explanation as well. Though she usually doesn't typically have her people's accent, this changes when she becomes emotional or goes undercover. In her first encounter with Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen), she shows her devotion to Twi'lek culture and uses her accent to masquerade as just another servant. Hera has left Ryloth to join the Rebellion but still has ties to connect her to home.