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I've been watching The Clone Wars with my kids lately, and it reminded me of one thing that has bugged me for ages, since the days of playing Knights of the Old Republic.

Twi'lek males have "normal" human ears, while females have ear-cones.

Is there an in-universe reason given as to why male and female Twi'leks have such dramatically different ears?

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There is currently no in-universe explanation. Even the Starwars.com characters and history entry "Much to Learn You Still Have: 7 Things You Might Not Know About Twi'leks" merely says:

  1. Ears are for men only.

Ever wonder what Hera Syndulla’s got going on under those flight goggles? Well, I can assure you that as a Twi’lek female she doesn’t have ears. Not ears as we know them, anyway. Women have cone-shaped hearing organs that they often choose to cover with some sort of head wrap. Twi’leks in the films like Aayla Secura and Oola had cones made from foam rubber so they were malleable not unlike real ear lobes. The male Twi’leks have slightly elfin ears but are mostly just like you and I…assuming you’re human.

For what it's worth, at least some of the drawings of female Twi'leks in the old West End Games RPG books show them with human ears, but that's no longer current canon.

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