The Bendu is an enormous being that is the physical embodiment of the center of the Force. As such, he is neither a practitioner of the light or dark sides of the Force, but sits in-between.
The Bendu is ancient and wise, and being an embodiment of the Force, incredibly knowledgeable and powerful. His voice echoes with this power and wisdom as well, adding to his mystical aura. He was shown to be eager to help the blinded Kanan Jarrus when the Jedi Knight's imbalance and inner turmoil awaken him from his slumber. The Bendu views both the Jedi and Sith impartially as two sides, although he also recognizes the potential for chaos if the two sides do not find balance with each other. While recognizing that the Sith Holocron taken from Malachor was dangerous, the Bendu believes an object cannot make a person good or evil, but rather the person's own desires, regardless of benevolent or malevolent intent, can make them good or evil.
The Bendu also believed that a person could change himself or herself by their own hand alone. He is also highly optimistic, as even though Kanan was blind, he correctly believed that Kanan could learn to see again through use of the Force. He was not above being slightly coarse in his method of teaching, as he broke the sensor that kept the Krykna spiders away to forcibly teach Kanan how to sense and commune with them. This may also indicate that he was slightly mischievous as well.
Powers and Abilities
- Power of the Force: As the focal point between the light and dark sides of the Force, the Bendu has immense abilities and control over the Force itself.
- Taming Beasts: The Bendu can control nature and various organisms, including the hostile Krykna of Atollon.
- Force Vision: The Bendu's connection with nature allows him to observe many events without his presence.
- Force Sense: The Bendu can sense the presence of other Force-users from a distance. Kanan's continued presence on Atollon, as well as the Jedi's inner conflict, was enough to awaken Bendu from his hybernation.
- Telepathy: The Bendu can communicate with other beings without being physically present. He was able to call for Kanan while being on another part of Atollon.
- Fold Space: Despite the Bendu's massive size, he can appear and disappear in a matter of seconds.
- Force Storm: The Bendu's greater power in the Force than most living beings allowed him to envelop himself inside storm clouds and aim destructive blasts of lightning from them capable of destroying Imperial military vehicles with ease.
- Advanced Strength: The Bendu's strength was so great that he could destroy a sensor marker with a mere flick of his hands.
- Extended Longevity: The Bendu's age is unknown, however, it can be assumed that he had been around since ancient times. He once stated that he has been on the planet Atollon long before Kanan Jarrus arrived on it, and he will be around long after the latter is gone.
- Knowledge of The Force: The Bendu has vast knowledge of the Force.
Role in the Series
The Bendu first calls out to Kanan Jarrus on Atollon through the Force, causing Kanan to come looking for him. When Kanan arrives at his location to look for him, the ancient Force-wielder wastes no time in revealing himself, introducing himself to the Jedi and revealing how he sits between the light and dark sides of the Force. He also reveals that he was awoken by Kanan's imbalance, and can sense the dark side energy given off by the Sith Holocron Kanan took from Ezra. However, where Kanan says the holocron is dangerous, the Bendu is less worried as he stated that objects cannot make people good or evil, but rather temptations, forbidden knowledge and even desires to do good could lead some down the path of evil. He was also adamant in his belief that while blind, Kanan could use the Force to see once again, taking the sensor array that protected him from the Krykna spiders and breaking it. He then watched and guided Kanan as he learned to sense the spiders, regaining the strength to the connection to the Force he had let atrophy in his grief and anguish and letting go of his fear. After successfully learning from the Bendu, Kanan left the Sith Holocron in the Force-wielder's care, telling him to keep it as a gift.
After the former Sith Lord Maul kidnapped Sabine, Hera, Chopper, and Zeb aboard the Ghost, Kanan and Ezra traveled on a speeder bike to the Bendu's lair in Atollon's wilderness. The two Jedi were surrounded by several krykna but the Bendu awoke and scared them away. When the Bendu asked the two Jedi whether they had come for a chat, Ezra related to the Force-wielder their predicament with Maul. Ezra and Kanan explained that Maul desired both the Sith holocron and Kanan's own Jedi holocron. While the Bendu was unfamiliar with Maul, he remarked that the convergence of the Sith and Jedi holocrons would be dangerous. When asked how such a situation could be dangerous, the Bendu corrected Ezra's view that the holocrons were merely libraries and pointed out that if both holocrons were merged, they could grant clarity of vision but also produce chaos. When Ezra reiterated that he needed the Sith holocron in order to save his friends, the Bendu stated that the object was a source of imbalance between him and his master Kanan. However, he told the boy that he needed to enter a cave inhabited by krykna in order to retrieve the Sith holocron. Before entering the cave, Kanan instructed his apprentice to leave his lightsaber behind and to use a comlink instead. When the Bendu inquired, Kanan explained that his apprentice needed to learn how to resolve problems with out a lightsaber. While the Bendu waited outside, the two Jedi ventured into the cave and managed to retrieve the Sith holocron after a trial which involved Ezra learning to overcome his fear of the krykna and forgiving himself for the events on Malachor. After Ezra and Kanan returned from the cave, the Bendu expressed satisfaction that the imbalance between master and apprentice had been resolved. However, he warned the two Jedi that their true test had just begun; since Maul was unable to open the Jedi holocron, the Bendu warned that the task would fall on one of them. When Ezra suggests they could wield the power of both holocrons, the Bendu warned him that it came with a price: he then opened that once a secret was known, he stressed that it could not be unknown.
When Ezra began having visions of Maul, Kanan took him to see the Bendu again. The Bendu the reiterated his statement that combining the Holocrons brought both great clarity and great danger. When Ezra then stated that he kept seeing visions of Maul and that he had pulled away before the merging holocrons could give him answers he sought, the Bendu stated that the situation was not a good one. He then, as Ezra asked how to make the visions of Maul stop, told the young Jedi not to turn around, for there was Maul, the real Maul, behind them. In the ensuing moment they were all distracted, the Bendu disappeared in an instant.
When Grand Admiral Thrawn found the base of the rebels on Atollon and then attacked him, Kanan went to the Bendu to ask for help but he refused. Bendu asserted that in his eyes the conflict between the empire and the rebels was insignificant and that he could always survive as he always have. Frustrated, Kanan called him a coward, which angered Bendu who disappeared in a cloud of dust. Later, Bendu appeared at the center of a violent tornado that he had created and ordered the Rebels and the Imperial force to leave his planet. The rebels managed to flee because the Imperials continued to attack the Bendu, who succeeded in destroying many hunters and walkers until Thrawn ordered all walkers to concentrate their fire on the Bendu, sending him crashing far from the sky.
After the battle, Thrawn found Bendu wounded on the ground and asked him what he was. A defiant Bendu replied that he was one beyond Thrawn's power to destroy. The Chiss threatened the Bendu with his blaster, but Bendu calmly replied that his destiny was to lose. At his words, Thrawn fired at the creature, but Bendu quickly disappeared before the blast could even hit him, his laughter echoing across the area at Thrawn's inability to kill him.
- The Bendu gets his name from the original name concept for the Jedi; referred to in the original script as "Jedi Bendu".
- The Bendu is the fourth being in the new Star Wars canon to be a physical embodiment of the Force. The other three were the Father (representing order), the Son (representing the dark side of the Force), and the Daughter (representing the light side of the Force), all of which appeared in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. A fifth physical embodiment of the Force, Abeloth or the Mother (representing chaos) appears in the "Legends" continuity.
- The Bendu is the last known living embodiment of the Force following the Clone Wars, as The Father, Daughter, and Son were killed by the actions of Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Ahsoka Tano during the Clone Wars.