Star Wars obviously has some great main characters, but it’s also filled with intriguing minor characters as well. So I thought it would be fun to do a series on these small but significant characters in the various Star Wars films.
The first one that came to mind, and seemed the most interesting to me, was Lor San Tekka (played by Max von Sydow). If you’ll remember, he was the person Poe Dameron met on Jakku at the beginning of The Force Awakens and received some important information from him. It turned out to be a partial map that led to Ach-To, location of the first Jedi Temple, and of the missing Luke Skywalker as well.
When I first saw TFA, I had so many questions about this character: who was he, actually, and how did he acquire this information? How did he know Leia? How did Poe find him? And what the heck was his name (it was never mentioned in the film)?
We learn his name in the The Force Awakens Visual Dictionary, along with some other vital information about him. I don’t have that book, but learned some things about San Tekka during the course of my own research.
It turns out that San Tekka is a member of The Church of the Force, which is a group of beings who are not Force sensitive but believe in the power of the Force, and that there can be no balance in the Force until the Jedi return. The Church was forced to go underground during the Imperial era, but had more freedom during the New Republic. The village he was in on Jakku, Tanual, was made up of members of the Church of the Force (who unfortunately were all killed by Kylo Ren’s forces, as well as San Tekka himself).
Speaking of Kylo Ren, Lor San Tekka makes an appearance in the comic The Rise of Kylo Ren. San Tekka is an explorer, and one of his missions as a member of the Church of the Force is to locate ancient Jedi artifacts. Luke Skywalker, after the Battle of Endor, explores the galaxy also looking for Jedi artifacts before he begins to rebuild the Jedi Order. San Tekka accompanied Luke on several missions, including in The Rise of Kylo Ren. This is presumably how Leia knew him, and Kylo Ren, of course.
Kylo Ren: “Look how old you have become.”
Lor San Tekka: “Something far worse has happened to you.”From The Force Awakens
So how did Poe find him? This is recounted in the comic Star Wars: Poe Dameron. In it, Poe and his team, Black Squadron, follow in San Tekka’s exploratory footsteps. They meet with a spiritual people called the Creche, whom San Tekka lived with for a time to learn about their culture.
Light of the Jedi Spoiler Alert!
Lor San Tekka is an explorer, and he comes from a long line of galactic explorers. One thing I found very interesting in the High Republic novel Light of the Jedi is that we meet some San Tekka ancestors. Marlowe San Tekka and his husband Vellis are visited by Jedi Knights Avar Kriss and Elzar Mann, during their investigation into the Great Disaster. Since the Disaster occurred in hyperspace, they went to the San Tekkas, who are the head of the San Tekka empire: the family had made their fortune in hyperspace prospecting, finding routes through the wild spaces of the galaxy. It was dangerous work, but the San Tekkas seemed to have a knack for it and sold the navigational data for a fee.
There’s another San Tekka in the book, one that Marlowe and Vellis know about but don’t share with the Jedi: Mari San Tekka. She was a relation who had been kidnapped by the Nihil when she was young, and is now over 100 years old. Mari has a special talent: she can find routes through hyperspace with her mind alone, and can navigate a ship through these paths with her mind. The Nihil–specifically, Marchion Ro and his father before him–have used that ability to give the Nihil the gift of the Paths and made them strong. It also caused the Great Disaster, orchestrated by Marchion Ro.
So Lor San Tekka comes from an important, and formerly wealthy, family (they might still be wealthy, I don’t know) connected to hyperspace lanes. He comes from a long line of explorers, people who may have had a special (Force connected?) talent in finding these routes.
I find this information about a minor character from a Star Wars movie all very fascinating. It took me a few years to figure out who the guy actually was and get my questions answered, lol, but that’s okay. I’m very eager to find out more about the San Tekkas in later installments of the High Republic novels.
What do you think of Lor San Tekka? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!