Order 66 nearly wiped out the Jedi forever. Nearly 10,000 members of the Order died when Palpatine executed his monstrous plan. We know some survived long enough to see the Emperor’s fall, but those handful of Jedi are not who Ahsoka Tano turned to for help during the early days of the New Republic. Instead, Ahsoka called on a very old droid that knows as much about the ancient Order as anyone, Star Wars’ Huyang. Who is Huyang, and what makes him so invaluable to a galaxy in desperate need of lost Jedi knowledge? Here’s everything you need to know about Ahsoka‘s robot professor who helped generations of younglings build their lightsabers.
Who Is Star Wars: The Clone Wars‘ Professor Huyang
Which will you choose?
The Clone Wars animated series introduced a witty, smart, confident, very ancient robot with an important job. For a thousand generations, Star Wars‘ Professor Huyang, a Mark IV architect droid, guided younglings as they crafted their very own lightsabers.
Built roughly 25,000 years before Luke Skywalker blew up the first Death Star, by the time of the Clone Wars, Huyang operated out of the Jedi spaceship the Crucible. There, he would greet burgeoning Padawans who loved telling wild tales of the droid’s mysterious origins. Soon, they’d have their own tales to tell after partaking in the challenging Jedi trial known as the Gathering. That right of passage was how they acquired the kyber crystal that would power their lightsaber.
Huyang said a lightsaber is a “Jedi’s only true ally,” and he made sure every Youngling had one that suited them. After he accompanied them to the planet Ilum to find their crystal, he would then aide them on his ship in building their lightsaber. The lightsabers used by Yoda, Ahsoka Tano, Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan, Mace Windu, and countless other legendary Star Wars Jedi all traced back to Huyang.
While not a Jedi or Force-users, the droid’s job came with its own risks, too. During one trip with Ahsoka and a group of younglings, Weequay pirates attacked Huyang’s ship. The marauders attacked the professor and cut off both his head and arms. The youngsters managed to put him back together. In doing so, they saved more than just a lightsaber instructor. Huyang was a living memory of the Jedi Order. He retained the exact design and specifications of every lightsaber he ever helped build. (This was how Huyang identified Baylan Skoll as a former Jedi who disappeared at the end of the Clone Wars in Ahsoka.)
And as Lucasfilm says, Huyang’s databanks contain “a repository of ancient Jedi lore.” That record is more vital after Order 66.
What is the gathering?
Who Voiced Huyang on The Clone Wars? Who Is the Voice of Huyang on Ahsoka?
Doctor Who and Good Omens star David Tennant voiced Huyang on The Clone Wars. Tennant returned to the role for Ahsoka and also voices Huyang in his live-action form.
The 2022 Star Wars book Brotherhood actually referenced Tennant’s role as the Tenth Doctor by saying Huyang “was so old that the ancient droid supposedly arrived at the Jedi Temple in a big blue box thousands of years ago.” You can decide for yourself if that allusion to a TARDIS makes Star Wars‘ Huyang and the Doctor Who‘s Tenth Doctor the same character canonically.
What Is Huyang’s Role on Ahsoka?
Ahsoka revealed what happened to Huyang after the Jedi Order fell in the Star Wars universe. Huyang survived the destruction of the Jedi Order (though we don’t know how) and, ultimately, the Galactic Empire’s reign. At some point, the droid joined up with Ahsoka Tano. That was likely following Palpatine’s first death, since Huyang was there when Ahsoka took Sabine Wren on as her Padawan. That only happened after the Empire’s defeat. Huyang was also there when Sabine quit.
Huyang’s life is more like that of a regular droid assigned to a ship on Ahsoka. He flies for and with Ahsoka, helps her on missions, and offers analysis, guidance, and advice. In episode three of Ahsoka, Huyang scans Morgan Elsbeth’s Eye of Sion and identifies it as a hyperspace ring, combining the information with his knowledge of the Jedi archives to explain how intergalactic travel could be possible.
Huyang also remains headstrong and needs to be reined in, so he really is like every other Star Wars droid now. But he still serves the Jedi Order. He’s encouraged Sabine, despite her historically low aptitude for the Force, to resume her training. Huyang’s blunt assessment of her failed first attempt reminded Sabine why she finds Huyang “annoying,” but he said he’s merely “logical.”
Still, there is a softness to the droid. In Ahsoka, he reminds Sabine and Ahsoka that they should stay together because “they always did better that way” and appears to grieve when they, in fact, do not. It is clear Huyang cares very much about the duo. And Huyang has a great deal of trust and belief in them, especially in Ahsoka.
What Happens to Huyang at the end of Ahsoka?
Toward the end of the series, the droid heads out to galaxies unknown with the one-time Jedi in the mouth of a Purgill. And even though this is new territory, we see Huyang help Ezra to build a lightsaber in Ahsoka‘s finale, familiar ground for the droid. Although Huyang won’t say how old he is exactly, he does offer Ezra a hilt that was meant for his Jedi Master, Kanan Jarrus. Huyang shares that he taught Jarrus how to build his lightsaber, reminding us of his long Star Wars legacy and also evoking the current importance of the knowledge he shares. At the end of Ahsoka, Huyang remains with Ahsoka and Sabine, stranded in Peridea.
Regardless of what happens next, though, Huyang is right. The past is the past, and no one knows that more than the droid who carries the ancient past of the Jedi with him at all times. Just as Huyang was to generations of younglings, for Ahsoka, Sabine, and the galaxy far, far away, there’s no better droid to help a Jedi Knight build not just lightsabers but a better future.
Originally published on August 22, 2023.