In another recycling of the “Bendu,” the Empire-era “Star Wars Rebels” cartoon introduced a sentient that calls himself the Bendu (voiced by Tom Baker), a titan Force-sensitive entity with a moose-like, Henson-esque visage that burrows itself in the planet of Atollan. For “Rebels” viewers who might not know of the Bendu monks (because those monks are relegated to non-television supplemental material), they might interpret Benduday as a reference to this beast.
However, in-universe, “Benduday” obviously wouldn’t be named after the mysterious and obscure creature who would probably be indifferent to fame. Yet, his shared name with the Bendu monks underlines the Buddhist-influenced ideas of balance that permeate Force philosophies. A neutral force, the creature claims to exist as “the one in the middle,” between the light and the dark side, between Jedi and Sith. Mostly, the Bendu’s greatest aspiration is just to get some peace — and lots of sleep. And when the Bendu does get angry, he unleashes his Force wrath on both Empire and Rebellion (in the “Zero Hero” season 3 finale).
“Rebels” depicts the Bendu as well aware of Jedi, Sith, their holocrons, and their pesky conflicts. Although the Bendu can advise Jedi if he’s in the right mood, we don’t know for sure if he played a role in inspiring Force philosophies in other pre-Jedi sentients long before the events of “Rebels.”