Star Wars’ Plo Koon is never seen without his vital mask, and few know what he actually looks like when not wearing it.
Jedi Master Plo Koon has a significant legacy in the Star Wars universe. A Kel Dor from the planet Dorin, he served on the Jedi Council and as a Republic General during the Clone Wars. Plo Koon was the one who found Ahsoka Tano and brought her into the Jedi Order. But outside his role as a Jedi, he has a distinct and recognizable look thanks in part to the unique mask he wears on his face at all times. However, because Plo never takes the mask off, few know what his face actually looks like, and it’s never specified in the popular canon works why he even wears it. But a look into expanded lore, such as behind-the-scenes concept art and comics, reveals the mystery behind both these questions.
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Why Star Wars’ Plo Koon Wears A Mask
The Kel Dors are a humanoid species that have the ability to survive in the inhospitable vacuum of space, though not indefinitely. The leathery hide that is their skin allows them to do this. It is also this ability that forces the Kel Dors to adopt a mask in oxygen-rich environments. In sharp contrast to most other species, oxygen is actually toxic to them. This is also why they wear goggles along with their masks in order to protect their eyes from literally melting out of their skulls if they are exposed to too much oxygen. In this way, Plo Koon’s mask is actually a life support device.
According to Henry Gilroy, a writer for Star Wars: The Clone Wars, George Lucas thought Plo’s real face was too weird-looking to be liked by fans. His appearance is certainly unique, but his calm and wise nature helps his popularity. Plus, there is something intriguing and engaging about such a distinctive character design.
What Does Plo Koon Look Like Behind His Mask?
This image is from the old Star Wars database and shows Plo Koon’s face without his goggles. However, the canonical status of this image is in question. It is sourced from a behind-the-scenes feature and never appears in any similar form within any films or television series. In addition, it is also a pre-production stage image, which means that there is a good chance that the image is of an incomplete rendering of the character. However, it does give fans at least an idea of how Plo can be conceived without a mask.
Plo Koon sans mask and goggles can be found in 2009’s Star Wars: Purge: Seconds to Die, a comic written by John Ostrander and penciled by Jim Hall. However, this comic also faces the same issue as the aforementioned image; it’s not confirmed canon. So while there is currently no established canon reference to what Plo Koon or any other Kel Dor looks like without a mask, fans can visualize what he actually looks like through both the concept art and his appearance in Seconds to Die .
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