HomeOriginal ContentThe Bendu: Who is He? And What's His Role in the Force?

The Bendu: Who is He? And What’s His Role in the Force?

Any Star Wars Rebels fans will surely remember the recurring character Bendu, who played a prominent role in Season 3. Bendu, a creature of immense size and mysterious powers, resided on the planet Attolon, where the Rebel’s Phoenix Squadron hid against the Empire.

Months after losing his sight in a duel against Darth Maul, Kanan Jarrus discovered Bendu while using a Jedi meditation technique. Kanan’s inner imbalance is what’s said to have brought Kanan and Bendu together. Previously, it had been suggested that Bendu had been in a form of hibernation on Atollon, before being awoken by Kanan’s imbalance in the Force.

Many believe that the Force is merely the Light and the Dark sides, or good versus evil. However, when Bendu introduced himself as “the one in-between,” he was referring to the Force. Bendu informed Kanan that he refused to take sides in the Galactic War between the Empire and Rebellion. Bendu had a unique connection to the Force; he could communicate with Kanan telepathically and also vanish at will, regardless of his monstrous size, and reappear whenever he pleased. Also, Bendu could transform himself and in the season finale, Bendu transformed into an enormous lightning storm to fend off the attacking Imperials on his home planet, Atollon. Nonetheless, Bendu’s lightning storm also affected the rebels because Kanan and the Ghost were struck as well. Like the Jedi Master Yoda, Bendu displayed the ability to see into the future through the Force but believed that these visions could not always be trusted.

Bendu could very well be less of a physical being and more of an expression of the Force itself. Bendu’s lighting attack itself was more of a force of nature than a personal doing. He could very well be representing the “balance of the Force” itself, abhorring to chaos, but also relishing in control and balance.

My main takeaway after several Star Wars Rebels viewings is that there were a lot of people who made a HUGE deal over Bendu being “the one in the middle”, like he presented a non-Dark or Light path. But to be able to believe that requires to ignore his particular brand of internal darkness, which was grounded in fear. It was fear to be involved in the conflict, so he selfishly hid from it.

Kanan was right to call Bendu a coward, because that’s what he was. His middle ground was hiding from the conflict, hoping it would never come to him. He found out, just as Kanan did before, the conflict will eventually find you. And when the time came for Bendu to do the right thing, he instead lashed out at everyone, which led to his downfall.

His middle path was one the Jedi could never follow. Sure, they could learn from him, and I think appealing to him for knowledge stoked the fire of his ego in a big way, which would be why he even bothered to help them, but they could never take his path, because that requires giving up the fight and letting the Dark Side win.

Since Atollon is most definitely not part of the Rebel’s storyline anymore, will we ever witness more of Bendu since he prophesied Thrawn’s downfall? There can be nothing less than bad blood between the two and with a rumored Star Wars Rebels sequel in the making, it seems like a perfect opportunity for a return of Bendu.

Start the discussion on our forum and chat room!

Dakota Latusek
“I don’t fear you! Then you will die braver than most.” — Ezra Bridger & Darth Vader

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