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Star Wars: Why Wookiee Jedi Are So Rare

"The Acolyte" has ripped Star Wars fans apart. Many enjoy the storytelling and mystery at the heart of the series, while others believe it's breaking franchise lore. On top of all that, it brings in a unique addition to "Star Wars" mythos, namely a Wookiee Jedi named Kelnacca (Joonas Suotamo). And while some may assert George Lucas himself had a rule against Wookiee Jedi, the truth is a bit more nebulous. 

There have been many Wookiee Jedi introduced throughout the "Star Wars" Expanded Universe. One example is Tyvokka, the master of Plo Koon, who first appeared in a 2001 comic book. However, the idea of Lucas not wanting to have too many Wookiee Jedi seems to stem from a comment by Dark Horse Comics writer and editor Randy Stradley, who answered a question in 2005 about not including Wookiee Jedi in future comics: "There are a number of species, apparently, who either lack the ability to use the Force, or who lack the subtlety of thought necessary for Jedi training." 

While the concept of Wookiee Jedi was out of the box, there are reasons why Lucas perhaps wanted to pull back on the idea. Wookiees are known for going berserk and ripping arms out of sockets, which doesn't really coalesce with the typically serene nature of Jedi. In the end, Lucas reneged on his "No more Wookiee Jedi" rule by approving young Gungi on "Star Wars: The Clone Wars." Gungi became a canon addition to the franchise, with Professor Huyang (David Tennant) telling Gungi in an episode, "Rare you are to the Jedi. Proud, your people must be." Ultimately, it's unclear how strict the Wookiee Jedi rule was, as Lucas has seemingly never commented directly on it.

There are several Wookiee Jedi ... they just aren't canon

George Lucas may have wanted to pull back on the idea of Wookiee Jedi because the idea is inherently awesome. Gungi arguably remains the most famous in this category, which likely led to the decision to make him survive Order 66 and appear on an episode of "The Bad Batch." Kelnacca's inclusion in "The Acolyte" trailer was one of many small details that made fans perk up, so it's obvious the more Wookiee Jedi the better for the fandom. And if "Star Wars" is looking for more Wookiee Jedi, there are plenty from the now non-canonical "Star Wars Legends" it could re-canonize.

For example, Kirlocca is a proficient Jedi Master, who was part of several "Star Wars" role-playing games, like "Broken Orbits: Tilnes Rising" and "An Official Engagement." Chewbacca even had a nephew at one point named Lowbacca, who went on to join the Jedi Order. The "Jedi Academy" children's book introduces a far more kindly Wookiee Jedi, Kitmum, who taught younglings very important physical feats like ... how to play dodgeball. These Wookiees and others were part of the "Star Wars Legends," meaning their existences no longer necessarily impact the mainline "Star Wars" continuity.

However, that doesn't mean some enterprising creative couldn't choose to incorporate these Wookiee Jedi or brand new ones into future "Star Wars" projects. The upcoming Rey Skywalker (Daisy Ridley) solo movie, which occurs after the events of the sequel trilogy, will see her reestablish the Jedi Order. Rey could very well recruit a Wookiee to follow the path of the Jedi alongside her and others. Who knows? If Kitmum also survived Order 66, maybe she could teach Rey's recruits how to dodge balls.