Twi’lek’s are some of the oldest and best loved aliens in Star Wars, this post is part of a series braking down Twi’lek’s from the movies and TV shows.
Ears and ear-cones, these are variously listening appendages that Twi’leks have and can sometimes be a little inconsistently represented in Star Wars. In Return of the Jedi, Bib Fortuna has human like ears, these ears where actually part of the prosthetic that was built for the actor.
Oola has a headdress that covers her ears and is where the idea of the ear-cones most likely arose. In the concept art for when Oola’s design was human shows that the white cones are a part of her headdress. However, since than Oola’s headdress seems to have morphed into ear-cons for female Twi’leks.
The purple Twi’lek singer Lyn Me does not appear to have ear-cone, instead her headdress covers her ears and as there are no lumps under the headdress it appear that her ears are likely to be like Bib Fortuna’s and are humanoid ears. Which is why it seems likely that Oola’s headdress is the point origin for ear-cones.
Getting into the prequels, Aayla Securra and all other Twi’leks have what appear to be ear-cones. These ear-cones are the same color as their Lekku and skin so it looks like they are what female Twi’lek’s have for ears. No male Twi’lek to date has been represented with ear-cones. (see further down article for male Twi’lek’s ears.)
Star Wars The Clone Wars has several different episode that future Twi’lek’s heavily, in these episodes the male Twi’lek’s have humanoid ears and humanoid ears with points.
My Unfounded Theory:
It’s possible that the first Twi’lek’s from [Retune of the Jedi] had normal humanoid ears, but Oola’s headdress has been interpreted into ear-cones. (Note: that in concept art as seen earlier in this post, the ear-cons are a part of Oola’s headdress, particularly in her human design.) The idea of Twi’lek’s morphed from what they had stared as in [Retune of the Jedi] and developed into something new. So in this theory the female Twi’lek’s ears have been retconned and now they have ear-cones instead of humanoid ears.
It also appears that some of the hats that Twi-lek woman wear have decorative covers that go over the ear-cones.
Images from Cap-That.Com