It’s time again for the Star Wars character corner, an in-depth look at one incredible characters that populate this series. This week let’s learn about the galaxy’s most notorious crime-lord and giant . . . slug . . . thing: Jabba the Hutt.
Born Jabba Desilijic Tiure six hundred years before the battle of Yavin, Jabba the Hutt is the child of Zorba Desilijic Tiure. At the young age of eighty, gangster Jabba established himself on Tatooine, moving it into an old monastery building. He worked as a gun-runner, defeating other criminal empires such as Sise Fromm and Prince Xizor, heir to the Black Sun criminal empire. He acquired minions, such as his majordomo Bib Fortuna, who can be seen in Episode VI.
The crime lord was very active during the Clone Wars, smuggling slaves, guns, and supplies to both sides of the conflict. He found himself in the interesting position of aiding a general of the Republic during a battle on Tatooine, and briefly allied with the Jedi to retrieve his son Rotta in exchange for passage through Hutt space after Rotta’s was kidnapped by Separatists, but despite this, he always attempted to profit from both sides of the war. He had dealings with notorious Jedi hunter Cad Bane, the Chairman of the Pantoran Assembly, and was even forced into an alliance with Darth Maul, Savage Opress, and Pre Vizsla.
After the end of the Clone War and the rise of the Galactic Empire, Jabba’s criminal empire continued to grow. He discovered the smuggling skills of a young Han Solo, and became the true head of the Desilijic kajidic crime empire after the death of his grand-uncle. At the beginning of the rebellion, Jabba had become the most powerful crime lord in the outer rim, perhaps the entire galaxy. It was at this time that Han Solo dumped a load of smuggled spice to avoid detection, resulting in Jabba setting a bounty on him.
It was that bounty that led to the crime lord’s eventual death. After Boba Fett captured Solo in a carbonite slab, R2-D2, C-3PO, Chewbacca and the disguised Princess Leia Organa arrive. Their plan to free Solo fails, forcing the new Jedi Luke Skywalker to intervene. This led to an execution attempt by Jabba at the Sarlacc, Skywalker’s exciting escape, and Jabba’s death by strangulation at the hands of Leia.
Behind the Scenes:
In several of Lucas’ early drafts of Star Wars, Jabba was a human smuggler, pirate, and finally crime lord. He was original going to appear in Episode IV, but the scene was cut for time. The puppet used to film Episode VI weighed one ton, took three months to build, cost half a million dollars, and required six puppeteers to control. Larry Ward, the voice for Greedo, provided Jabba’s as well. The sounds of Jabba’s limbs and mouth were created by running a hand through a bowl of cheese casserole, and a muddy towel scraping the inside of a garbage can.
Jabba’s appearance and legacy in the original trilogy created a famous and recognizable character that would be featured in popular culture many times. . Action figures, comic books, toys, and, of course, Halloween costumes have all featured Jabba. His appearance has been parodied many times, including in Family Guy, South Park, and Mel Brooks’ 1987 Spaceballs, and his name has become synonymous with weight, greed, obesity, and corruption
We hope you’ve enjoyed this edition of the Star Wars Character Corner; be sure to come back often for more cool fan information!