A few words can sum up every droid in Star Wars. For C-3PO, it's prickly, cantankerous, and easily baffled. For R2, it's high-spirited, reckless, and adventurous, almost to a fault. And for Huyang – the Jedi droid who appears in several prominent Star Wars-related media – it's sarcastic, dry-witted, sardonic, and blunt. A professorial Mark IV droid used to instruct and advise aspiring pupils in the Jedi Order, Huyang has appeared in such widely-watched series as Star Wars: The Clone Wars and its live-action continuation, Ahsoka, his refined personality differentiating his character from the likes of R2 or 3PO before him.
Voiced by the celebrated Doctor Who actor David Tennant, this centuries-old Jedi ally dates back to the Dawn of the Jedi era, making him one of the oldest and wisest droids in Star Wars’ main continuity. Both cynical and often inspirational, Huyang remains one of the most unique droids in the Star Wars universe, not only for his personality but also for his deep connection to the Force and Jedi Order.
Given his relatively limited backstory in the context of Ahsoka, casual Star Wars fans might wonder about the exact details surrounding Huyang’s origins within George Lucas’s universe, including the circumstances of his creation, his role in the Jedi Order, and which Jedi he interacted with over the course of his lifetime.
From his initial creation millennia before the events of Ahsoka to his adventures with Ahsoka Tano in the Clone Wars, here is everything you need to know about Huyang in the Star Wars canon.
Much of Huyang’s past remains a mystery within Star Wars, even with most characters in the Jedi Order unsure of Huyang’s exact origins. Constructed at some point in 25,020 BBY, Huyang’s existence dates back to the very foundation of the Jedi Order (established in 25,025 BBY amidst the “Dawn of the Jedi” era).
Aside from this initial date of construction, Huyang went on to become an enigmatic figure in the Jedi Order, with future generations swapping dramatic theories about how he came to join the Order. In one story, a group of Jedi students claimed that he traveled to the Jedi Temple in a strange blue box, having traveled the galaxy in the preceding millennia. (This theory makes a humorous allusion to Tennant’s tenure in Doctor Who, a series centered around a time-traveling alien who journeys across the universe in a bright blue police box.)
Role in the Jedi Order
While no one can yet decipher Huyang’s exact past, the Jedi created Huyang to assist fledgling Jedi pupils in constructing their lightsabers – a position he took great pride in. In fact, due to the spiritual nature surrounding a Jedi building their lightsabers, Huyang’s responsibilities made him one of the most valuable figures in the Jedi Order for literal millennia.
Accompanying prospective Jedi students to the planet Ilum – an ancient world rich in kyber – Huyang waited until these students retrieved the kyber crystal necessary for powering their lightsaber. After the Initiates secured the crystals, Huyang provided valuable technical and moral support to them as they created their lightsaber, coaching them through the process as they took their first steps towards becoming official padawan learners.
As with his early years, little information survives about Huyang in the 25 millennia between the Dawn of the Jedi and the Clone Wars. With his integral importance in the Jedi Order, however, Huyang met a number of important Jedi throughout the faction’s history, personally aiding future masters like Yoda and Mace Windu in their formative years.
As a droid, Huyang’s artificial nature limited his connection to the Force. However, the centuries he spent in the Order and the memories he accumulated over the years gave him a more fundamental knowledge of Jedi traditions, supplying him with an almost mystical connection to the Jedi. Witnessing such spectacular moments in the Jedi's history, Huyang also became renowned for his storytelling abilities, stupefying Jedi young and old with fabled legends from the years past.
The Clone Wars and First Meeting with Ahsoka Tano
Having served the Order for 25,000 years, Huyang experienced multiple galactic conflicts. By 20 BBY, Huyang had taken up residence on the Old Republic-era starship, the Crucible – a vessel that piloted young Jedi learners to Ilum, carrying out the ceremonial Jedi rite of passage known as “The Gathering.” As he had for centuries, Huyang accompanied a new batch of Jedi recruits to the ancient planet (along with Padawan Ahsoka Tano), waiting as they gathered kyber crystals from the planet’s underground caverns.
Upon their return to the Crucible, Ahsoka introduced Huyang to these young students, with Huyang advising them on how to construct their lightsabers. As he carried out this symbolic Jedi ritual, a gang of pirates under Captain Hondo Ohnaka boarded the Crucible, intent on stealing the students’ supply of kyber. Safeguarding the children from harm, Huyang protected these Initiates from the pirates’ clutches, helping Ahsoka drive Ohnaka’s forces off the Crucible (although Hondo and his band of buccaneers captured Ahsoka).
Saving Ahsoka from Hondo Ohnaka
Hoping to sell the captive Ahsoka off to the Separatist Alliance, Hondo transported Tano to the planet Florrum. Reaching out to Separatist General Grievous, Hondo seemingly arranged a bargain with the infamous droid commander, only for Grievous to betray Ohnaka, invading Florrum and capturing the space buccaneer.
Around the same time, Huyang led the Jedi Initiates on a rescue mission to Florrum, temporarily freeing Ahsoka at the cost of the Crucible before promptly falling back into the pirates’ hands. With their leader captured, Ohnaka’s forces freed Ahsoka and her friends, allying with them to combat the encroaching Separatist Army. Upon freeing Hondo, the joint group of pirates and Jedi personnel fled upon Hondo’s remaining vessel, escaping the planet and regrouping with the Republic Fleet before Grievous could lay his mechanical hands on them.
Reuniting with Ahsoka
As Chancellor Palpatine ordered the genocide of the Jedi in 19 BBY, Huyang somehow fled from the Republic authorities, ensuring his survival as Palpatine dissolved the Republic and reformed it into the tyrannical Empire. At some point after Order 66 (likely following the Galactic Civil War), Huyang reunited with the former Jedi Ahsoka Tano.
Assuming his role as an instructor and mentor to future generations of Jedi Knights, Huyang accompanied Ahsoka on her various missions across the galaxy, as well as instructing Ahsoka’s padawan, Sabine Wren – a pupil Huyang felt ill-fit for the Jedi Order. In addition to helping Ahsoka train Sabine, Huyang also took an active part in Ahsoka’s quest to track down Grand Admiral Thrawn and locate the missing Ezra Bridger.