Star Wars Knew How It Wanted to Murder a Jedi, But Couldn’t Decide Who Did It

AbraxasNovember 4, 2021


Shaak Ti was a gifted Jedi who came to prominence during Star Wars’ Clone Wars era, but her legacy among fans is all the ways she was killed.

At the start of Star Wars‘ Clone Wars, Jedi Master Shaak Ti was a respected member of the Jedi High Council. She was present when Anakin Skywalker was given his first solo assignment on behalf of the Council to protect Senator Padmé Amidala from repeated assassination attempts.

During the war, one of her most notable achievements was her role as Jedi liaison on Kamino, where she assisted in making the clones more effective and conditioning them to work alongside wielders of the Force. She played a prominent role in attempting to uncover the secret of the clone bio-chip that led to the death of the Manchurian candidate clone known as Fives and ultimately led to the Jedi Purge. However, the most remarkable thing about Shaak Ti is the number of ways Star Wars imagined and depicted her death.


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Who Was Shaak Ti?

Shaak-Ti-Star-Wars-The-Clone-Wars

Shaak Ti appears multiple times throughout Attack of the Clones: in the Jedi Temple on Coruscant while attending Council and a few times on Geonosis in the arena battling against Separatist forces. The bulk of her canonical exploits take place during Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series, where her skills as a diplomat and accomplished duelist are put on display.

In the Star Wars: Clone Wars micro-series, Shaak Ti is one of the few Jedi survivors of General Grievous’ onslaught on the planet Hypori. She valiantly faces him again later in the series while protecting the Supreme Chancellor from a Separatist kidnapping attempt. Her defeat there leads directly into the opening events of Revenge of the Sith, and her first of many deaths.

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General Grievous Kills Shaak Ti on the Invisible Hand

Shaak Ti death deleted scene from Revenge of the Sith

In one deleted scene that would have extended Anakin and Obi Wan’s rescue attempt of the Supreme Chancellor early in Revenge of the Sith, they walk into a staged corridor where Grievous is waiting for them, flanked by two pairs of Magna Guards. The would-be rescuers and the captive Shaak Ti greet each other just before the droid general ignites a blue lightsaber behind her, burning a hole through her heart and exiting her chest.

George Lucas and Rob McCallum, one of the producers, claimed the decision to cut the scene was motivated purely by the economy of time. The original script clocked the rescue mission and surrounding space battle just beyond the atmosphere of Coruscant at about an hour and they needed it to come in at half that. So, despite their satisfaction with the scene, they removed it and felt that the most important information migrated to the bridge scene.

Anakin Kills Shaak Ti in the Jedi Temple

Vision of Shaak Ti final death from The Clone Wars

Another deleted scene from Revenge of the Sith shows Shaak Ti meditating in her quarters when someone enters. While her eyes are still closed, she is aware of the intrusion as well as the identity of the intruder. She remains calm because she knows him well and has not sensed his intent. Mildly irritated, she asks, “What is it, Skywalker?” and before the next breath, Anakin kills her in silence. Another blade goes through her back, boring a smoldering hole through her sternum, and Anakin leaves to saunter through the carnage he has wrought.

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Lucas never went into the specifics about why this scene was cut but it is Shaak Ti’s canonical demise as confirmed by Star Wars: Galactic Atlas, written by Emil Fortune and illustrated by Tim McDonagh, and published in 2016. The scene does eventually appear on screen in two different properties. The first is in The Clone Wars Season 6, Episode 11, “Voices,” when Yoda travels to Dagobah to begin his training in life after death from Qui-Gon Jinn. He receives incomplete visions of the future during his exploration, one of which is Shaak Ti being impaled from behind by a blue lightsaber. The other is a scene from the Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga when Obi-Wan and Yoda surveil the security recordings after the massacre at the Jedi Temple.

Starkiller Kills Shaak Ti on Felucia

Shaak Ti dying again in The Force Unleashed

Though the video game The Force Unleashed was part of the official canon at the time it was made, Disney’s purchase of Star Wars in 2014 relegated its tale of Darth Vader’s powerful apprentice to the Legends continuity. In this version of her death, she is bested by Starkiller and instead of allowing herself to be killed by him, joins the Force by lunging backward into a pit and ending her cycle of death once and for all.

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