One of the few female
Jedi characters in the Star Wars
movies, Jedi Master
and Council member Shaak Ti is introduced in Attack of the Clones
. She has no lines and extremely limited screen time, but she does get featured in the climactic battle
of the movie, wielding a blue lightsaber
which she uses to deflect blaster fire. Although this short appearance in ATOC does not give her enough time to display any special traits, the Visual Dictionary
and various Star Wars fan sites
tell us she is extremely quick and agile, and uniquely suited to group combat.
Shaak Ti is a Togruta from the planet Shili, a species new to Episode II. One other Togruta appears in this movie, in the class of "younglings" that Yoda is seen training. Both Shaak Ti and the young Togruta Padawan have bright red skin with large white eye patches and white lips, a pair of black and white striped horns which are actually ultrasonic sensing organs, and three striped tentacles surrounding the head. The disruptive camouflage of these tentacles, or "lekku", is said to confuse predators on the Togrutas' home planet, where they typically live in dense tribes. Whether this dubious defense works or not, it does give Shaak Ti a striking appearance. Her robes are black and dark brown, and rather more elaborately embroidered than usual for Jedi.
The name Shaak Ti seems to be a play on words. In Tantric tradition, the concept of "Shakti" looks suspiciously similar to Lucas's Force. The word Shakti refers to the cosmic female energy inherent in all things, and the goddess Shakti is the mother goddess, the female counterpart to Shiva.
Shaak Ti is played by Orli Shoshan, making her the first Israeli Jedi, and perhaps even the first Israeli actor credited in a Star Wars movie. All right, second if you count Natalie Portman, who was born in Jerusalem.
Oh yes, and for those who care about these things, Shaak Ti's action figure is one of the best ever. Part of the "Star Wars Saga" Collection 2, she is posed as if deflecting blaster fire and comes with a blaster effect that clips onto the blade of her lightsaber. Facial sculpting is immaculate, and her robes are flared quite dramatically. She is rather hard to find as of this writing, although she is not one of the rarest figures. She does have a variant packaging with the blue "backdrop", which is supposedly more valuable than the plain packaging.
Clone Wars and Episode III Update: Due to Shaak Ti's performance during the Clone Wars, she becomes a General and is decorated by Palpatine, eventually becoming his bodyguard. At one point, the Ep. III script had her being captured along with Palpatine by General Grievous and killed by him in one of the first scenes of the movie. This was later changed to her being killed by Anakin in the Jedi Temple. This scene was actually shot, but dropped from the final cut. I don't remember seeing her in the movie, and I'm really not sure she is in it at all. So if anybody out there does know what Shaak Ti does in ROTS, please let me know.
- http://www.padawansguide.com/shaak.shtml (pictures)
- http://www.cinescape.com/starwars/Star_Words_2.asp (name interpretation)
- http://www.episode-x.com/episode2/characters/page1.shtml (picture and description)
- http://starwarsfreak.ogreboy.net/archives/march/march1723.html (species information)
- Thanks to Walter for quoting the Episode II Visual Dictionary entry, and NothingLasts4Ever and TheLady for corrections.