Luminara Unduli was born on the planet Mirial, a cold, dry, and despondent world oppressed by the Trade Federation. She was taken into the Jedi Order at a young age, and so lived through little of the misery known to most Mirialans.
As a Jedi, she dedicated herself to physical disciplines; her patterned tattoos were a traditional Mirialan reflection of this somatic commitment. She trained heavily to improve her corporal prowess, working over the course of years to enhance her flexibility and agility in combat.
She became a Master in the years prior to the Invasion of Naboo. Honoring the cultural traditions of her native people, which required that any Mirialan child given to the Jedi Order be trained by Mirialan masters, she took only Mirialans as apprentices. She was a close friend to fellow Masters Shaak Ti and Quinlan Vos.
A raveled web of alliances conspired to elevate a small and unimportant world in the Mid Rim, Ansion, to a position of profound strategic significance as the Separatist Crisis threatened to split the Galactic Republic. Shortly before the outbreak of the Clone Wars, the Jedi Council dispatched Luminara and her Padawan, Barriss Office, to the previously galactically insignificant world, where they were met by Master Obi-Wan Kenobi and his apprentice, Anakin Skywalker. The four Jedi were charged with forestalling any incipient local separatist movement.
Their mission was made difficult by the cultural division which gripped Ansion: one part of the planet's population dwelt in cities and towns and engaged in trade with other worlds in the Republic; the other part lived in a loose confederation of nomadic clans on Ansion's vast, windy plains. The two factions were bitterly mistrustful of one another, and had been in conflict for more than a thousand years.
Luminara and her Padawan were ambushed not long after they arrived in the modest Ansionian capital, Cuipernam, by employees of Soergg the Hutt, a local crime lord whose services had been retained by the separatists. Cornered against a wall, Luminara sustained a minor blaster graze before Obi-Wan and Anakin arrived and defeated her attackers, who had expected only two Jedi.
Secure in their persons for the time being, Luminara and the other Jedi proceeded to the Ansionian council building, where they conducted initial negotiations with the Unity of Community Council, which represented the city-dwelling Ansionians. Like Ansion, the council was deeply divided. Roughly half its membership favored the Separatists, having been promised a quick and forceful end to the conflict with the prairie-dwelling Alwari nomads by the Separatist leadership and an escape from Republic taxes and regulations.
After a particularly unorthodox demonstration of the Force on the Armalat delegate Tolut, and a promise of a very favorable settlement with the Alwari, Luminara was able to persuade the Council to provisionally agree to remain in the Republic—so long as the Jedi delivered on her promise.
The quartet's new focus was interrupted when Barriss was captured by two mentally disabled Ansionian gangsters in the employ of Soergg, Bulgan and Kyakhta. The young Padawan was able to convince her captors to help her escape Soergg's men by offering to heal them of their injuries. Restored to their former selves, the pair quickly aided Barriss in eluding the Hutt's clutches. Unsurprisingly, Luminara located her escaped Padawan before Obi-Wan or Anakin sensed her presence.
Bulgan and Kyakhta, grateful to and in awe of Barriss—and sensing an opportunity—appointed themselves guides to the four Jedi. Luminara and her colleagues accepted the aid of the Ansonian pair, not least because the two were both outcast members of Alwari clans.
In short order, the Jedi set out on an expedition to locate the scattered Alwari clans, particularly the Borokii overclan. Luminara, Barriss, their two colleagues and their guides, crossed out of Cuipernam into Ansion's vast prairie, riding on magnificent suubztar animals recommended by Bulgan and Kyakhta as much for their prestige among the Alwari as for the very practical advantages of the beasts.
As the expedition progressed, Luminara noticed a clear tension between Barriss and the confident Anakin, and discussed the brash Padawan's unusual case with Obi-Wan. On the way, they had to fend off attacks by gairk at a river crossing, and seek shelter from a large flock of suicidal kyren. At the camp of the first Alwari clan they encountered, the Yiwa, Luminara and the others were welcomed, but were required to provide entertainment that evening. After gaining a deeper understanding of the Alwari sense of tradition, Luminara contrived an entertainment that would satisfy the Yiwa. Taking a handful of sand from the ground, she let it fall through her fingers, but against the wind. Turning the stream of sand into a coil with expert manipulation of the Force, Luminara lifted twirling columns of sand around her in glittering spirals. Then she also began to twirl herself, until she was rapidly whirling around with spirals of sand forming a vortex around her as she rose off of her feet into the air. Climatically, the sand was formed into a globe around her as she spun in mid-air. Her dizzying performance completed, she returned to her place among the other Jedi amid the Alwari equivalent of applause. Even her companions were impressed by this feat.
Luminara again had cause to worry about Barriss when the Padawan disappeared chasing a Gwurran thief Tooqui. However, the Padawan was found, this time surrounded by rambunctious, inquisitive Gwurrans. Tooqui insisted on coming along with them, and Luminara reluctantly agreed, passing off responsibility for him to Barriss. The Gwurran would prove his worth when he rescued all four Jedi and the two Alwari after the Qulun clan used a scented perfume to send the Jedi to sleep and capture them in order to receive a payment from Soergg. After they escaped with their mounts, Luminara would later save Anakin's life when he was attacked by two predatory shanhs.
After being led to the Borokii clan, the Jedi were required to retrieve a tuft of wool from the exceedingly rare albino surepp herd animals without modern technology. Luminara went into the herd at night, bouncing off the top of each animal and retrieved the wool. On the way back, she slipped and was knocked unconscious. The other Jedi brought her out of the herd and the negotiations proceeded. The Borokii agreed to the settlement, but the Jedi were required to deal with their traditional enemies, the Januul clan. Under the leadership of Obi-Wan, the Jedi agreed, although Luminara was flabbergasted. When the two clans drew up to engage each other, the Jedi went in between of them and declared their intention to not fight either side. Luminara and the other Jedi then fended off attacks launched against them by both sides, but they parried only weapons, injuring and killing none of the combatants. Stunned, both clans agreed to the Jedi's proposition.
Returning to Cuipernam to inform the Unity Council, Soergg again tried to ambush the Jedi, who were then aided by an honor guard of both Januul and Borokii clans. Luminara then proceeded to the negotiations, where Ansion—a vital hub of alliances—agreed to stay in the Republic. Her hard work, research, ingenuity and skill had helped keep a vital world in the Republic.
Shortly after Luminara and Barris returned from the mission to Ansion, it became apparent that a full-fledged military conflict between the Galactic Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems would occur. Obi-Wan Kenobi was captured by the Confederacy on Geonosis, and Luminara and her Padawan joined Master Mace Windu's quickly launched rescue mission.
Luminara and Mace were the vanguard for the approaching Jedi. The pair slipped past the planet's significant anti-orbital defenses and commandeered newly landed TX-130S fighter tanks which they used to destroy Geonosian gun emplacements blocking the way to the arena. When Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Senator Padme Amidala were brought to the Geonosis arena, Luminara, Barriss, and 212 other Jedi revealed themselves to Count Dooku, the leader of the Confederacy, who was personally overseeing the planned execution. A heated but short battle followed; 179 Jedi Knights fell in battle before Master Yoda arrived with the newly-created clone army in several LAAT gunships to rescue the thirty-three Jedi who remained. The stadium was littered with droid parts. Luminara and her Padawan survived; they and the other surviving Jedi joined the battle as military commanders.
Luminara served as a Senior Jedi General in the Gran Army of the Republic during the Clone Wars. Units under her command included the 41st Elite Corps and a Republic naval task force. During the war, Unduli commanded a Republic task force during an engagement with a Separatist fleet near the Kaliida Shoals Medical Center that had arrived to assist the Confederate warship Malevolence, which was under attack by Republic forces.
Four months after the Battle of Geonosis, Luminara led her Padawan to the secret Jedi temple on the icy world Ilum, where the two traveled to complete Barriss's final lightsaber construction ceremony as a Padawan. Moments after the observance was completed, the two were attacked by invisible Separatist chameleon droids, which had infiltrated the temple in an attempt to destroy the cavern's precious natural lightsaber crystals.
Together, they were able to halt the droid assault, but much of the temple was brought down upon itself by mines the droids had set before attacking. Luminara and Barriss plunged into the depths of the temple cavern as great slices of rock and small and precious crystals alike plummeted to the ceremonial floor.
For moments, they were able to elude the stone maelstrom, but even their great powers working in concert were soon not enough to allow escape. The Jedi were trapped. Barriss reached out bodily with the force to halt the falling debris above her, and succeeded, only to glance at her Master, who sat in meditative harmony with the Force and falling stone. The apprentice joined the master in reflective poise, and, together, they calmly held up the crushing vault of stone which piled above them. Eventually, the pair were extricated by the efforts of Master Yoda, who had sensed their battle at a great distance while traveling through space.
With Offee overseeing an operation on Geonosis, Unduli traveled to Rodia to escort captured Trade Federation Viceroy Nute Gunray to Coruscant for trial. The Jedi Master was joined by Anakin Skywalker's Padawan, Ahsoka Tano. Aboard the Venator-class Star Destroyer Tranquility, Unduli spearheaded the interrogations of the viceroy, whose denial of information cost Tano her patience. The Padawan threatened Gunray with her lightsaber, and though Unduli scolded the Padawan for using fear as a weapon, the viceroy agreed to "negotiate." Before any information could be gleaned, the Tranquility was attacked by Dark Acolyte Asajj Ventress and a battle droid squad, who had arrived to rescue Gunray.
After Luminara and Clone Commander CC-1004, nicknamed "Gree," managed to destroy the army of B2 super battle droids, the Jedi Master sensed that Tano was in danger and rushed to meet with her. Unduli arrived to assist the Padawan in confronting Ventress, who was cornered. However, while "surrendering," Ventress activated thermal detonators that she had planted in the Star Destroyer's engine room, crippling the cruiser, and escaped to the ravaged engine room. Although Tano offered to help, noting her past run-ins with Ventress and stating that the assassin was "too powerful with any one Jedi," Unduli unwisely pursued the assassin on her own, leaving Tano to guard Gunray.
Finding and engaging Ventress in a lightaber duel, Unduli was hampered by a wound to the left eye early in the battle and was eventually trapped beneath several pipes the Dark Acolyte collapsed on her from the ceiling. As Ventress moved to deal the killing blow, the Jedi Master was saved by the timely arrival of Tano, who had decided to disobey her orders in the interest of helping Unduli. The Mirialan accepted the Padawan's help for the continuing duel, but in the end, Ventress escaped with Senate Commando Captain Faro Argyus, who had defected to the Separatists and freed Gunray from Republic custody. Unduli and Tano transmitted the signal of the Consular-class cruiser that the Separatists had used to escape the Tranquility to Jedi Master Kit Fisto, who tracked Gunray to the third moon of Vassek. Unduli apologized to Tano for not taking her advice before the Padawan departed to rendezvous with her own Master.
Luminara was later sent to Geonosis to help Masters Ki-Adi-Mundi and Obi-Wan Kenobi destroy Poggle the Lesser's new droid foundry there. Along with her Padawan, Barriss Offee, she joined Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano in the storming of the droid factory. Whilst she and Skywalker acted as diversions, the two Padawans Barriss and Ahsoka made their way through the vast underground catacombs to destroy the factory.
Following this, Unduli went in search of Poggle the Lesser, who had retreated into the catacombs of an ancient temple. While she and a trooper searched the temple, a sandstorm prohibited reinforcements from reaching their positions.While communicating with Masters Kenobi and Mundi via hologram, Unduli's clone trooper was killed by the undead hordes of the mysterious Hive Queen Karina the Great. Having been knocked unconscious and captured, the Jedi Master was taken before Karina. Jedi Kenobi and Skywalker came to her rescue; they were not far of when Luminara regained consciousness and wrestled her way out of the zombie's reach, realizing what they were up against,she contacted Kenobi and told him not to come after her but she was cut off as the zombies overwhelmed her. The Jedi disregarded her warnings and continued their search until they came upon Karina's abode where they found Luminara in an energy trap for her to be infested with brain worms. With Kenobi and Commander Cody delaying the zombies and the Queen, Skywalker freed Unduli and the two captured Poggle. Cody and his troops shot down the cave support, burying the Queen and taking Poggle prisoner.
Five months after the Battle of Geonosis, Luminara Unduli would fight against General Grievous on the pastoral Republic world Nadiem in the Outer Rim. She was tasked with evacuating a city under threat from General Grievous's approaching droid army, she dispatched a strike team under her padawans Barriss Offee's command to Threadneedle Canyon, a strategic choke point between the city and the Separatist column.
She had ordered her Padawan to attempt to set off explosives to block the droid army's path, but Barriss, mindful of Luminara's lessons in hiding in plain sight, decided to play dead as the droid army walked past, and then attack them from the rear.
Luminara's strike team set off their explosives while the droid army was crossing through the canyon, destroying the column entirely. General Grievous' remaining forces were eventually defeated, though Grevious himself escaped Luminara, her army and a blockading naval force commanded by Saesee Tiin.
Soon after departing from Nadiem, Luminara and her Padawan at last parted ways. Barriss had grown much as a Jedi under her instruction, and had little still to learn from her. Following a similar mission on Drongar, Barriss ascended to the rank of Jedi Knight, and they saw little of each other for the remainder of the war.
Luminara was one of several Jedi generals dispatched to the Wookiee homeworld of Kashyyyk during the Outer Rim Seiges to defend the vital Republic member world from Separatist attack. The Confederacy of Independent Systems desired secret hyperspace routes recorded in the Wookiee archives that could possibly turn the war in its favor, and was threatening to overrun the planet.
Luminara commanded the first units of the Grand Army to land on the Wookiee homeworld, including the 41st Elite Corps, led by Commander Gree. She was quickly joined by units commanded by Quinlan Vos and Commander Faie.
Alongside sparse members of their respective clone army divisions, Luminara and Vos, as well as Wookiees led by an elder from the Palsaang tribe, Gumbaeki, infiltrated an encampment of Trandoshans, using the Separatist raiding party as an excuse to capture and enslave Wookiees. They easily and swiftly destroyed the encampment and freed the hairy simians, but an ambushing crab droid pinned down the small force until the Devaronian smuggler, Vilmarh Grahrk, a friend of Master Vos, and his young Wookiee friend, Gumbaeki's grandson, Chak, intervened by firing on the droid with their small ship's weapons.
By the time the primary droid assault was launched, Luminara and Vos had returned to the Republic command base at Kachirho, where they had been joined by Master Yoda. Luminara's 41st Elite and detachments of the 501st Legion, supported by Wookiees, were assigned to fight on the beachfront defending the sea wall and to hold the line until Separatist forces were fully committed. When the droid army committed in full, Yoda gave the word to Luminara to charge the left flank of the droid army. Simultaneously, Quinlan Vos, alongside Chewbacca and Tarfful, was sent across the lagoon to lead an attack on approaching Separatist forces.
The battle seemed to go back and forth until, despite the best efforts of the combined Wookiee/Grand Army of the Republic defense, Kachirho became in danger of being overrun by the Separatists. The 501st Legion was beaten back by Separatist forces, which advanced on the Kachirho seawall in an attempt to destroy a crucial oil refinery.
The best efforts of Luminara's soldiers managed to keep the sea wall intact until General Yoda could arrive to push the Confederacy back. With the foiling of this crucial mission, the droid army began to retreat. Luminara turned to the healing of wounded clone troopers and Wookiees as the battle neared its end.
After the battle dwindled on Kashyyyk, Unduli was surrounded by her troops as she was initiating clean up procedures. While preparing to assist in the healing of the wounded, Order 66 was transmitted to the clone troopers under her command. Unaware of her imminent danger, Unduli could not even draw her lightsaber before being shot in the chest by the troopers led by the clone Commander Faie. When the Galactic Empire emerged, official records compiled by Sate Pestage stated that Luminara was executed because she was a conspirator in the plot to overthrow the Republic.
Eight months after the execution of Order 66, the Wookiee Chak created a memorial to the Jedi lost on Kashyyyk in one of the high caves. Her image stood above that of Quinlan Vos, and adjacent to Master Yoda's.