Most female Twi’lek’s wear a little hat like headgear or headdress, this is most likely due to the practical need of hide hairlines and Lekku seems.
These hats seem to be only worn by the female Twi’lek’s and have several popular variations, but they almost universally cover the ears, hairline, including the back of the head, and side of the head. Often times they have spaces for the ear-cones to show through.
Concept art for Oola, shows the inspiration of the Twi’lek hats, Oola’s human design has a hat that covers much less of the head. A gag was included originally as well in the concept design, and the ear-cons appear to have originally been a part of the headdress. (Images By: DIY The Galaxy of Star Wars) (Images From: The Art of Return of the Jedi: Star Wars Book)
Sometimes these hats have chin straps, such as Oola, Hera and Aayla’s.
Some of these hats cover the cheeks with little flaps
While others don’t cover hem at all.
Many of the hat’s feature medallions on the forehead.
Some of the hats cover the ear-cones, such as Oola and Hera and the child Twi’lek, they can sometimes be decorative when covering the ear-cones.
These hats can be completely decorative such as those of senate Twi’lek’s, or only have decorative parts, such as Oola’s.
Some of these hats come in multi colors,
while others come in brown which seems to be a popular color,
Or, like Hera and Numa, have different colors and patterns on their hats and they also cover more of the Lekku.
In combination with these hats some Twi’lek’s wear their Lekku wrapped in strips of fabric or leather or with a sleeve over them. These can be done only a little or almost all over the Lekku, or not done at all.
Males typically don’t wear hats, a few wear helmet like hat,
For the most part the males only form of decoration or headgear is wrapping their Lekku.
Some don’t wear any form of Lekku decoration at all.
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.
“Silk crepe de chine, from the French “crepe of China”, is a famously versatile silk, possessing a very glossy luster and a subtle texture, as well as a surprisingly light weight and truly excellent drape. The fabric, slightly more textured than silk 4-ply woven crepe, is made with tightly twisted weft yarns, or filling, running in reverse directions from left to right. These twisted yarns produce both the crepe texture of the material and its flexible drape. Silk crepe de chine is probably the most durable of cultivated silks – those woven of single, reeled strands – and is found to be exceedingly even and uniform in texture. Silk crepe de chine is popular for bridal and formal evening wear, and also works well in blouses and men’s shirts. Also used in home décor, the fabric lends a light and luxurious feel to any project. Silk crepe de chine is also an exceptionally forgivable silk when it comes to sewing, as it takes thread well and will typically not fray overly when cut. Dry cleaning is the recommended method of care for this fabric”.
The body of Leia’s political dress is very simple; the dress seems to be cut out on a ‘T’ pattern, the fabric being folded in half fully length ways and then again width ways.
Because of the way the fabric is folded before cutting there are only 2 seems one on ether sides. There is no front or back seems, there are also no shoulder seems and no seem on the top of the sleeves. There are really only 4 seems on Leia’s dress, the 2 side seems which are continuous up through the underside of the sleeves, 1 seem for the collar and the seem for the keyhole back opening.
The side seems are left open from about the knee down, to allow for ease of movement, this split in the dress does no go any high then Leia’s knee, (roughly just below the knee cap).
Leia’s political dress is self lined, meaning that the same fabric that was used to make the dress is used to line it. Leia’s dress has the raw seams enclosed between the lining and the body of the dress.
The bottom hem of the dress comes down to break at the top of Leia’s foot and is a folded hem that is secured down with invisible stitching, possibly sewn by hand.
The top of Leia’s dress is blouses and appears to have elastic ruching used to gather in the waist. (Sadly there are no pockets).
Though different necklines where plaid around with in the concept art faze for Leia’s political dress, the approved design has a turtleneck collar (possibly more of a mock-turtleneck since it does not fold over). This turtleneck collar closed in the back with what appear to be hooks and eyes that are sewn on the inside of the collar so they are not visible from the outside.
Princess Leia’s political dress closes with a series of hooks and eyes closer at the neck, and a keyhole back opening. This opening is more or less a strait cut opening down the center back that goes no lower than mid shoulder blade.
Leia’s hood is made out of a single layer of crepe de chine (so it’s not lined), the hood comes down to roughly just below the top of Leia’s hips. The hood seems to be likely cut out on a trapezoid shape and gathered on the edges before being sewn under the collar.
The hood is attached under the turtleneck collar and the hoods hem is a rolled hem which is stitched down by hand with an invisible stitch. The hood is also left open in the back and is not a closed hood, the fabric for the most part lays over the top of the head.
Leia’s political dress has open wide cut sleeves, Leia’s sleeves at the widest point, the wrist, appear to be more than 14” long (Pam’s Costumes: suggests 14″ inches in length for the sleeves). The image below shows Leia’s hand at shoulder level and the sleeves drops down to roughly Leia’s waist. (Perspective in the image has to be taken into account when figuring out the proper length of the sleeve.)
Note: that for movies there are lots of the same costume made, and often times those used during action sequences will have shorter hems and less full skirts and sleeves. It is likely then that Leia’s dress will appear slightly different throughout the movie and promo stills.
There are no shoulder seems or seems on the top of the sleeves, [some of the patterns that were released had raglan sleeves; however, this is not how the screen dress is constructed]. Since the dress is cut out on a ‘T’ pattern, the only seems that exists are on the underside of the sleeves where it’s the continuation of the single body seem on the side of the dress.
Leia’s political dress belt was made to have a medieval look, the belt itself is made out of leather with aluminum medallions. Leia’s belt also has a clear line of stitching around the entire border.
There are 7 to 8 medallions depending on the belt (the belt worn in ANH has more medallions then the belt worn in ESB). There are 6 to 7 rectangular medallions and 1 center diamond medallion (though more rectangular medallions can be added as needed as long as there evenly spaced). The medallions are made out of aluminum and snaps are used to close the belt in the back. In some versions of the belt, such as the one worn in ANH, a medallion covers up the snap closure, however, the belt worn in ESB appears to only have 7 medallions, leaving the snaps uncovered. (This picture pattern below for the medallions is a rough pattern and may have to be adjusted for each individual Leia, figuring out proportions helps.)