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Eniki Kwadwo was a Rodian female whose name meant "strong and piercing wind" in her native Rodese. Born to Neebo and Andoorni Kwadwo in a tiny village deep within the jungles of Rodia, Eniki was initially deemed to be a healthy infant. Eniki had two older brothers, the eldest of which, Mujo, had a moderate developmental disability. In their isolated village, disability was not well-understood and the blame was placed on the parents. When Eniki was discovered to be Force-sensitive, her parents hoped that life within the Jedi Temple would keep her from being exposed to her brother's disability and the insensitivity of the villagers.
Around age two, the youngling minders noticed that Eniki began to exhibit signs that something was amiss. Sudden, loud noises sent her into a panic, as would the slightest touch. She would not reach out to be picked up, she avoided eye contact, and she was not speaking like the other younglings. Over the years, the symptoms became worse. At age four, Eniki was diagnosed with having a severe developmental disability. Unable to communicate in a meaningful way, panicky, and seemingly oblivious to anyone speaking to her, Eniki was deemed incapable of Jedi training. Sending her back to Rodia, however, was not an option as doing so would dishonor the family. It was decided by the Jedi Council that Eniki would remain at the Temple, eventually to be reassigned to the Jedi Service Corps. Until then, Eniki was largely segregated from the other younglings, never assigned to a learning clan.
To keep her under constant supervision, Eniki was assigned to a minder named Solah Tark. With Solah's help and a datapad full of images, Eniki learned to repeat simple phrases and communicate her basic needs. For example, she would show an image of food and say the phrase "please give." Beyond that, Eniki could not talk. She developed a bond with Solah which she expressed by petting Solah's hair.
Within a few years, Eniki progressed to a point where the Council considered integrating her into mainstream training. Though constantly under the supervision of Solah and two assistant minders, Eniki began to train with the other younglings and develop her Force talents. Her behavior was seen as odd to the other younglings, as Eniki still panicked from loud noises and often flapped her arms or rocked back and forth. While she did form a friendship with another youngling, Ric'ah T'rib, her lack of communication skills lead many to believe her as "dumb." Solah did her best to try and explain Eniki's disability, but doing so was discouraged by the other Jedi. Mental handicap was almost unheard of within the Jedi Order and many did not understand that a Force-sensitive youngling could also be affected by a disability. That caused some Jedi to blame Solah for Eniki's shortcomings.
Eniki had no sense of danger and a tendency to wander away the minute her minder's back was turned. One of those wanderings led her into the Jedi Archives where she climbed the shelves toward the ceiling. Master Jocasta Nu was at a loss for words when she saw the Rodian youngling clinging precariously to a tiny ledge high above the Archive floor. Two Jedi who were in the Archives at the time assisted Solah with getting Eniki down. Once safely on the floor, Eniki crawled underneath a desk to hide. Master Nu, in a comment to herself, though said loud enough for Solah to hear, remarked that "such a child should not be permitted to wander around by herself." Solah merely ignored the comment and coaxed Eniki out from under the desk.
Young Eniki was Solah's charge by assignment, but it was by choice that Solah dedicated herself to giving Eniki as equal an opportunity as the other younglings to reach her potential.
Personality and traitsEdit
Eniki Kwadwo had a severe developmental disability that affected her brain function. Her cognitive abilities were unaffected, however her language skills were almost nonexistent. She avoided eye contact, engaged in repetitive behavioral patterns, and resisted being touched. Similar symptoms affected her oldest brother, Mujo, though his communication skills were more developed. Eniki's disability was equated to "having one's brain be locked in a cage with no key."
Eniki was fascinated with lightsaber construction. She was able to identify every component, disassemble them, and even had built a few sabers herself without training. She could not properly wield a saber, however. Though she had been observed imitating fighting styles, she could not properly coordinate herself to fight or defend. The movements were only mimicry. Eniki had to be closely supervised when handling a saber to make sure that she does not hurt herself.
Behind the scenesEdit
The characterization for Eniki Kwadwo came about from an "If You Were a Padawan..." topic on a forum. The author joked that she would be a most troublesome padawan due to her own autism, and then began to wonder how the Jedi would handle such younglings. As opposed to just creating a character with Asperger's Syndrome, the author decided to go to the farthest end of the spectrum with a nonverbal autistic savant. Eniki's surname came from the author's phone directory, while the first name was a misspelling of Hurricane Iniki. As for the decision to make the character a Rodian... the author happens to like Rodians and thinks that humans are overrated and overused.