This past weekend, I finally wore my Hula Oola tank top from Beep Boop Beep Clothing while out shopping with my parents and my dad was puzzled by what was on my shirt. “Is that from a cartoon or something?” Silly Dad, she’s from Return of the Jedi! My mom, I think, sorta knew it was from Star Wars, at least. My mom decided to post a picture of my tank top on Facebook asking if anyone knew who was on it for our amusement. Most people did not know, except for a few fellow huge Star Wars fans who came into the conversation after I gave up and revealed the answer. Look at how cool my top is:
I love my Oola top; I love the Hula girl twist and this tank is so incredibly soft and comfy.
Why did I bother getting something with a character who is killed so shortly after her introduction, you ask? I’ve always liked her. I think part of it is my general affinity for the alien species in the Star Wars universe. As you know, I love Ahsoka Tano, so Torgruta’s are my favorite, and I would say Twi’leks are next because stylistically, they’re just so cool looking. They’re very similar to humans but different enough that you know when you first see them that they’re certainly not humans. I love their colors, like how Aayla Secura is a bold blue, while the other Twi’lek in Jabba’s Palace is a very light blue.
The other part of my fondness of Oola is honestly…I feel bad for the poor girl. As far as we can see in the film, she’s in chains in a sexy, very revealing outfit and dances for Jabba (at the very least. I don’t even want to think of what else she may have had to do). How did she get here? Maybe she was an aspiring dancer, dancing in clubs, and some minion from Jabba’s Palace saw her and knew that his creepy boss would be particularly fond of her. I doubt Jabba found her himself, seeing as how inefficiently he moves around. Maybe life on Tatooine is rough, and maybe, like Luke Skywalker, she wasn’t meant for a life of mediocrity on a moisture farm. Maybe she wanted to dance and even sing for millions in a city more like the ones we have seen on Courouscant. Maybe she thought working at Jabba’s Palace was simply a step on the ladder. Most importantly, I don’t think it was made clear to her that she would be some sort of slave, literally in chains. I do, unfortunately, think this was a common thing for Jabba, however. Giant, slimey, slug pervert must always be near a beautiful, scantily clad woman. I have to go back and see, but I feel like in the Clone Wars movie and show he wasn’t really doing that, maybe because he had his gross little son to watch over. Who was the mother?! We don’t know! Where did this stinky little son go?! Maybe he died and then Jabba went crazy with a creepy, disgusting bachelor life! Anyway, this isn’t about Jabba, it’s about the tragedy of Oola. The only time she looks happy in Return of the Jedi is when she’s dancing while the Max Rebo Band performs. But even then, she just looks like she feels numb when it’s all over. Then Jabba has to pull her chains for a closer look and she’s had enough. Probably more than just a closer look, as he licks his lips. This wasn’t what she signed up for. It would appear that she’s been molested and used by Jabba for one too many times and is finally taking a stand by pulling back on her chains. Or, perhaps she hadn’t even been at the palace too long and was disgusted at the first advance Jabba made, but I highly doubt it. Sadly, I think she had been abused for a while. I just feel bad because I know this isn’t what she thought her life would become, some sort of dancing-sex-slave in chains. She was young and naïve and had to be tricked into this life. When she resists Jabba, he sends her to her inevitable death by the Rancor. Which is cruel, insane, and just plain messed up on so many levels. And she doesn’t know what to do! How could she? I’m going to guess that she was around 20 years old, probably from a poor family, and she had to have been lacking a lengthy repertoire to get a normal, steady job to support her aspirations, let alone any skills to defend herself.
Before the prequels, I feel like the character of Oola and the blue Twi’lek that sings in Jabba’s Palace give at least the mild impression that Twi’leks were somewhat of an oppressed race. Not a lower species in any way, but sadly, treated as such. With that impression in mind, it’s cool to watch the prequels and see Aayla Secura and know that Twi’leks could be force sensitive and badass. I don’t know about you, but I like that part of the prequels, seeing all of the other Jedi and the species they were, because in the originals all we see are humans and Yoda. Not that that isn’t enough, but it’s simply fun to see.
Oh, and I can’t forget Hera, the amazing pilot from Star Wars Rebels!
One more thing…I have to admit that I’ve never read any of the Expanded Universe/Legends stories, so forgive me if there’s already an Oola backstory out there. The only Star Wars books I read when I was kid were the novelizations of the movies, because that was all I needed at the time. The movies were actually enough for me, I didn’t crave anything more, like I do now. Plus, from the little I know about the Expanded Universe/Legends, I’m not terribly fond of the things that have happened and I enjoy that Lucasfilm denounced its’ canon before Disney bought them, so now I don’t feel bad for not having any interest in them. I’m excited for all of the new books, like Claudia Gray’s Lost Stars and Bloodline, which are just waiting for me on my bookshelf. I’m also super excited about the new Ahsoka Tano novel that will debut this October, but also actually quite sad and angry that I didn’t write it.