- Jabba the Hutt
color = Independent
name = Jabba the Hutt
position = Crime lord
species = Hutt
gender = Hermaphroditic (male personality)"Hutt", in Stephen J. Sansweet, "Star Wars Encyclopedia" (New York: Del Rey, 1998), p. 134, ISBN 0-345-40227-8.]
height = 3.9 meters long (12.8 ft)
weapon = None (hires Assassins and
vessel = "Voidraker"
planet = Nal Hutta; resident of
affiliation = Criminal
vehicle = Ubrikkian luxury sail barge, repulsor sled
portrayer = ':
Larry Ward (voice)
Mike Edmonds(puppeteer) Toby Philpott(puppeteer)
[http://davebarclay.com/ David Alan Barclay] (chief puppeteer)|portal|Star Wars|Star Wars Logo.svg Jabba the Hutt is a
fictional characterin George Lucas's space operasaga " Star Wars". He first appeared on film in ' (1983) as a large, slug-like alien. Jabba was originally portrayed by an immense latexpuppet, but in other films he is a computer-generated image (CGI). Besides the films, Jabba the Hutt is featured in "Star Wars" literature and is sometimes referenced by his full name, Jabba Desilijic Tiure"'."Jabba Desilijic Tiure (Jabba the Hutt)", in Sansweet, "Star Wars Encyclopedia", pp. 146–147.]
The character's role in "Star Wars" is primarily antagonistic. He is a 600-year-old Hutt crime lord and
gangsterwho employs a retinue of criminals, bounty hunters, smugglers, assassins, and bodyguards to operate his criminal empire. Jabba's Palace on the desert planet Tatooineis a former monasteryfor a group of mystics known as the B'omarr monks. There he keeps a host of entertainers at his disposal: slaves, droids, and alien creatures. Jabba has a grim sense of humor, a bellicose laugh, an insatiable appetite, and affinities for gambling, slave girls, and torture.Sansweet, "Star Wars Encyclopedia", pp. 146–147.]
The character was incorporated into the "Star Wars" merchandising campaign that corresponded with the theatrical release of "Return of the Jedi". Jabba the Hutt's image has since played an influential role in
popular culture, particularly in the United States. His name is used as a satirical literary device and a political caricature to underscore negative qualities such as morbid obesityand corruption.
Although a relatively minor character in "Star Wars" fiction, Jabba the Hutt has appeared in three of the six live-action "Star Wars" films and "". The character has a recurring role in Expanded Universe literature and is the
protagonistof the comic book anthology "Jabba the Hutt: The Art of the Deal" (1998), a collection of comics published in 1995 and 1996.
"Star Wars" films
Jabba the Hutt is seen in ' (1977) and mentioned ' (1980), but his first major appearance on film came in 1983 with the third installment of the original "Star Wars" trilogy, "Return of the Jedi". Directed by
Richard Marquandand written by Lawrence Kasdanand George Lucas, the first act of "Return of the Jedi" features the attempts of Princess Leia Organa( Carrie Fisher), the Wookiee Chewbacca( Peter Mayhew), and Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker( Mark Hamill) to rescue their friend, Han Solo( Harrison Ford), who had been imprisoned in carbonitein the events of the previous film, "The Empire Strikes Back"."Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi", dir. Richard Marquand (DVD, 20th Century Fox, 2005), disc 1.]
The captured Han is delivered to Jabba by the bounty hunter
Boba Fett( Jeremy Bulloch) and placed on display in the crime lord's throne room. Friends of Han, namely, Lando Calrissian( Billy Dee Williams), droids C-3PO( Anthony Daniels) and R2-D2( Kenny Baker), Leia, and Chewbacca infiltrate Jabba's palace as part of a plot to save Han. Leia herself is soon captured and enslaved by the Hutt. Luke arrives to "bargain for Solo's life". Luke, however, is dropped into the pit of the monstrous rancor, just below Jabba's throne room. After Luke slays the beast, Jabba condemns Luke, Han, and Chewbacca to a slow death in the belly of the Sarlacc, a large alien creature in Tatooine's Dune Sea. The execution turns into a skirmish at the Great Pit of Carkoon where Luke escapes execution with the help of R2-D2 and defeats Jabba's guards. During the subsequent confusion, Leia repays the Hutt for her humiliation by strangling the Hutt to death with her slave chains. Luke, Leia, C-3PO, and R2-D2 escape just before Jabba's sail barge explodes, killing all inside.
The second film appearance of Jabba the Hutt is in the of "A New Hope" which was released in 1997 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the original "Star Wars". Han Solo has a confrontation in a
Mos Eisleycantina with the alien bounty hunter Greedo (Paul Blake and Maria De Aragon) that ends with the latter's death. According to Greedo, Jabba "has no use for smugglers who drop their shipments at the first sign of an Imperial cruiser." Jabba had hired Han to smuggle the illicit drug spice from the asteroid Kessel. Han, however, was forced to dump his cargo when an Imperial search team boarded the " Millennium Falcon", Han's ship. Greedo tells Han, "Jabba's put a price on your head so large, every bounty hunter in the galaxy will be looking for you." In a scene that had been cut from the 1977 original, Jabba and an entourage of bounty hunters are seen in a hangar bay outside the "Millennium Falcon", trying to find the smuggler. Jabba confirms Greedo's last words and demands that Han pay the value of the shipment. Han promises to compensate Jabba as soon as he receives payment for delivering "goods"— Obi-Wan Kenobi( Alec Guinness), Luke Skywalker, R2-D2, and C-3PO—to the planet Alderaan. Jabba warns Han that if he is not paid back soon, he will post a bounty "so big, you won't be able to go near a civilized system." Due to circumstances beyond Han's control, however, he never completes his deal with the Hutt. ["Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope", Special Edition, dir. George Lucas (DVD, 20th Century Fox, 2005), disc 1.]
Jabba the Hutt's third film appearance is in the 1999
prequel, "". The character's scene is minor and has little to do with the plot of the film. During the Boonta Eve Classic podrace at Mos Espa on Tatooine, in which nine-year-old Anakin Skywalker( Jake Lloyd) wins his freedom by outracing his competitors, Jabba the Hutt is featured in his grandstand accompanied by Gardulla the Hutt (a Hutt female) and his Twi'lek majordomo Bib Fortuna( Matthew Wood). Although he is the host of the race, Jabba is totally uninterested and even dozes off, missing the race's conclusion. ["Mos Espa Grand Arena" at the [http://www.starwars.com/databank/location/mosespagrandarena/index.html Star Wars Databank] .] ["Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace", dir. George Lucas (DVD, 20th Century Fox, 1999), disc 1.]
Jabba's fourth and final appearance is in "". In this 2008 film Jabba the Hutt's son, Rotta, is captured by Separatists in an attempt to frame the Jedi and the Republic. Anakin Skywalker and his padawan apprentice manage to save Rotta and return him to Jabba, securing permission for the safe passage of Republic ships through his territory.
"Star Wars" literature
The first appearances of Jabba the Hutt in
Star Wars Expanded Universeliterature was in Marvel Comics's non-canonical adaptations of "A New Hope". In "Six Against the Galaxy" (1977) by Roy Thomasand "What Ever Happened to Jabba the Hut?" (1979) and "In Mortal Combat" (1980), both by Archie Goodwin, Jabba the Hutt (originally spelled "Hut") appeared as a tall humanoid with a walrus-like face, a topknot, and a bright uniform.
While awaiting the sequel to "Star Wars", Marvel kept the monthly comic going with their own stories, one of which includes Jabba tracking Han Solo and Chewbacca down to an old hideaway they use for smuggling. Circumstances however force Jabba to lift the bounty on Solo and Chewbacca, thus enabling them to return to
Tatooinefor an adventure with Luke Skywalker— who has returned to the planet in order to recruit more pilots for the Rebel Alliance. In the course of another adventure, Solo kills the space pirate Crimson Jack and busts up his operation, which Jabba bankrolled. Jabba thus renews the reward for Solo's head and Solo later kills a bounty hunter who tells him why he is hunted once more. He and Chewbacca return to the rebels. (Solo mentions an incident with a "bounty hunter we ran into on Ord Mantell" in the opening scenes of "The Empire Strikes Back".)
The Marvel artists based Jabba on a character later named Mosep Binneed, an alien visible only briefly in the Mos Eisley cantina scene of "A New Hope". [Roy Thomas, "Marvel Star Wars #2: Six Against the Galaxy" (Marvel, August 1977).] [Archie Goodwin, "Marvel Star Wars #28: What Ever Happened to Jabba the Hut?" (Marvel, October 1979).] [Archie Goodwin, "Marvel Star Wars #37: In Mortal Combat" (Marvel, July 1980).] Jabba the Hutt, Behind the Scenes, [http://www.starwars.com/databank/character/jabbathehutt/?id=bts Star Wars Databank] ; last accessed July 3, 2006.] The 1977 mass market paperback of Lucas's "Star Wars" script describes Jabba as a "great mobile tub of muscle and
suettopped by a shaggy scarred skull", but gives no further detail as to the character's physical appearance or species. [George Lucas, "Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker" (paperback; New York: Del Rey, 1977), p. 107, ISBN 0-345-26079-1.]
Later Expanded Universe novels and comics adopt the character's image as seen in the film. They also elaborate on his background prior to the events of the "Star Wars" films. For example, "
Zorba the Hutt's Revenge" (1992), a young adult novel by Paul and Hollace Davids, reveals that Jabba's father is a powerful crime lord named Zorba the Hutt and that Jabba was born 596 years before the events of "A New Hope", making him around 600 years old at the time of his death in "Return of the Jedi". [Paul Davids and Hollace Davids, "Zorba the Hutt's Revenge" (New York: Bantam Spectra, 1992), ISBN 0-553-15889-9.] Ann C. Crispin's novel " The Hutt Gambit" (1997) explains how Jabba the Hutt and Han Solo become business associates and portrays the events that lead to a bounty being placed on Han's head. [A. C. Crispin, "The Hutt Gambit" (New York: Bantam Spectra, 1997), ISBN 0-553-57416-7.] Other Expanded Universe stories—especially the anthology of Dark Horse comics by Jim Woodringtitled "Jabba the Hutt: The Art of the Deal" (1998)—likewise detail Jabba the Hutt's rise to the head of the Desilijic clan, his role in the criminal underworld of the "Star Wars" universe, and the establishment of his crime syndicate on Tatooine in the "Star Wars" galaxy's Outer Rim Territories. [Jim Woodring, "Jabba the Hutt: The Art of the Deal" (Dark Horse Comics, 1998), ISBN 1-56971-310-3.]
Tales From Jabba's Palace" (1996), a collection of short stories edited by science fictionauthor Kevin J. Anderson, pieces together the lives of Jabba the Hutt's various minions in his palace and their relationship to him during the last days of his life. The stories reveal that few of the Hutt's servants are loyal to him and most are in fact plotting to have him assassinated. When Jabba the Hutt is killed in "Return of the Jedi", his surviving former courtiers join forces with his rivals on Tatooine and his family on the Hutt homeworld Nal Hutta make claims to his palace, fortune, and criminal empire. [Kevin J. Anderson, ed., "Tales from Jabba's Palace" (paperback; New York: Bantam Spectra, 1996), ISBN 0-553-56815-9.] Timothy Zahn's novel " Heir to the Empire" (1991) reveals that a smuggler named Talon Karrdeeventually replaces Jabba as the "big fish in the pond", and moves the headquarters of the Hutt's criminal empire off Tatooine. [Timothy Zahn, "Heir to the Empire" (paperback; New York: Bantam Spectra, 1991), p. 27, ISBN 0-553-29612-4.]
According to film historian Murray Pomerance, Jabba the Hutt's many flaws include vice, lust, greed, and gluttony. [Murray Pomerance, "Hitchcock and the Dramaturgy of Screen Violence", in Steven Jay Schneider, ed., "New Hollywood Violence" (Manchester, Eng.: Manchester University Press, 2004), p. 47, ISBN 0-7190-6723-5.] The character is known throughout the "Stars Wars" universe as a "vile gangster" [From the title crawl of "Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi"; also a description from the "Return of the Jedi" novelization at [http://www.primapublishing.com/delrey/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780345307675 Del Rey] ; last accessed July 3, 2006.] who amuses himself by torturing and humiliating his subjects and enemies. He surrounds himself with scantily-clad slave girls of all
species, chaining many of them to his dais. The Star Wars Databank— an official online database of "Star Wars" information — remarks that residents of his palace are not safe from his desire to dominate and torture. Jabba would send even his most loyal servants and prized possessions to their deaths.Jabba the Hutt, The Movies, [http://www.starwars.com/databank/character/jabbathehutt/ Star Wars Databank] ; last accessed July 3, 2006.] For example, in "Return of the Jedi", the Twi'lek slave dancer Oola is fed to the rancor monster because she refuses to satisfy his lust. [Kathy Tyers, "A Time to Mourn, A Time to Dance: Oola's Tale", in Anderson, ed., "Tales from Jabba's Palace", p. 80.]
Jabba the Hutt's physical appearance is as grotesque as his character and reinforces his personality as a criminal deviant. As Han Solo puts it in "Return of the Jedi", Jabba is a "slimy piece of worm-ridden filth." Film critic
Roger Ebertdescribes him as "a cross between a toad and the Cheshire Cat", [Roger Ebert, review of "Return of the Jedi", Chicago "Sun-Times", May 25, 1983, at [http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19830525/REVIEWS/305250301/1023 RogerEbert.com] ; last accessed July 3, 2006.] and astrophysicist and science fiction writer Jeanne Cavelosgives Jabba the "award for most disgusting alien." [Jeanne Cavelos, "Just Because It Goes 'Ho Ho Ho' Doesn't Mean It's Santa", "The Science of Star Wars: An Astrophysicist's Independent Examination of Space Travel, Aliens, Planets, and Robots as Portrayed in the "Star Wars" Films and Books" (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1999), p. 57, ISBN 0-312-20958-4.] Science fiction authors Tom and Martha Veitch write that Jabba's body is a "miasmic mass" of flesh that shakes as he laughs. He emits an unmistakable smell: "The Hutt's lardaceous body seemed to periodically release a greasy discharge, sending fresh waves of rotten stench" into the air. His swollen tongue drips with saliva as he feeds on creatures that resemble frogs and maggots. [Tom Veitch and Martha Veitch, "A Hunter's Fate: Greedo's Tale", in Kevin J. Anderson, ed., "Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina" (paperback; New York: Bantam Spectra, 1995), pp. 49–53, ISBN 0-553-56468-4.] Jabba's appetite is insatiable and he is not discriminatory about his diet. For example, his jester, the Kowakian monkey-lizard Salacious B. Crumb, must make the Hutt crime lord laugh once a day, every day, or Jabba will eat him. [Ryder Windham, "This Crumb for Hire", in "A Decade of Dark Horse" #2 (Dark Horse Comics, 1996).] [Esther M. Friesner, "That's Entertainment: The Tale of Salacious Crumb", in Anderson, ed., "Tales from Jabba's Palace", pp. 60–79.]
Jabba the Hutt does show rare moments of charity, however. For instance, in one Expanded Universe story, he prevents a Chevin named Ephant Mon from freezing to death on an ice planet by covering him with his bloated layers of fat; the two are eventually rescued, and Ephant Mon becomes totally loyal to the crime lord, making him the only resident of Jabba's palace that the crime lord trusts. [Ephant Mon, Expanded Universe [http://www.starwars.com/databank/character/ephantmon/?id=eu Star Wars Databank] ; last accessed July 3, 2006.]
Concept and creation
Jabba the Hutt's appearance underwent several changes between different versions of the films. The shift in the concept of Jabba the Hutt from a furry creature to a slug and from a puppet to CGI represent two of the more glaring changes to the character in the concept and creation process.
"Episode IV: A New Hope"
The original script to "A New Hope" describes Jabba as a "fat, slug-like creature with eyes on extended feelers and a huge ugly mouth", but Lucas stated in an interview that the initial character he had in mind was much furrier and resembled a Wookiee. When filming the scene between Han Solo and Jabba in 1976, Lucas employed Northern Irish actor
Declan Mulhollandto play the stand-inand read Jabba the Hutt's lines wearing a shaggy brown suit. Lucas planned to replace Mulholland in post-production with a stop-motion creature. The scene was meant to connect "A New Hope" to "Return of the Jedi" and explain why Han Solo was imprisoned at the end of "The Empire Strikes Back". [George Lucas interview, "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope", Special Edition (VHS, 20th Century Fox, 1997).] Nevertheless, Lucas decided to leave the scene out of the final film on account of budget and time constraints and because he felt that it did not enhance the film's plot. [George Lucas commentary, "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope", Special Edition, dir. George Lucas, (DVD, 20th Century Fox, 2004).] The scene remained in the novelization, comic book, and radio adaptations of the film, and has been posted on YouTube.
Lucas revisited the scene in the 1997 Special Edition release of "A New Hope", restoring the sequence and replacing Mulholland with a CGI version of Jabba the Hutt and the English dialogue with Huttese, a
fictional languagecreated by sound designer Ben Burtt. Joseph Letteri, the visual effects supervisor for the Special Edition, explained that the ultimate goal of the revised scene was to make it look as if Jabba the Hutt was actually on the set talking to and acting with Harrison Ford and that the crew had merely photographed it. Letteri stated that the new scene consisted of five shots that took over a year to complete. [Joseph Letteri interview, "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope", Special Edition (VHS, 20th Century Fox, 1997).] ["A New Hope": Special Edition — What has changed?: Jabba the Hutt", January 15, 1997, at [http://www.starwars.com/episode-iv/bts/article/f19970115/indexp2.html StarWars.com] ; last accessed July 3, 2006.] The scene was polished further for the 2004 release on DVD, improving Jabba's appearance with advancements in CGI techniques, although neither release looks exactly like the original Jabba the Hutt puppet. ["Star Wars: The Changes — Part One" at [http://www.dvdactive.com/editorial/articles/star-wars-the-changes-part-one.html DVDActic.com] ; last accessed July 3, 2006.]
At one point of the original scene, Ford walks behind Mulholland. This became a problem when adding the CGI Jabba, since he had a tail that happened to be in the way. Eventually, this problem was solved by having Han stepping on Jabba's tail, causing the Hutt to react with a yelp of pain.
Lucas confesses that some people were upset about the CGI Jabba's appearance, most complaining that the character (and others like it) "looked fake". Lucas dismisses this, stating that whether a character is portrayed as a puppet or as CGI, it will always be "fake" since the character is not real. He says he sees no difference between a puppet made of latex and one generated by a computer.George Lucas commentary, "Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi", Special Edition, dir. Richard Marquand (DVD, 20th Century Fox, 2004).] The CGI character performed actions that the puppet could not, such as walking. Jabba's film appearance in "The Phantom Menace" was as a CGI based on the character from "A New Hope".
"Episode VI: Return of the Jedi"
Lucas based the CGI on the character as he originally appeared in "Return of the Jedi". In this film, Jabba the Hutt is an immense, sedentary, slug-like creature designed by Lucas's
Industrial Light & MagicCreature Shop. Design consultant Ralph McQuarrieclaimed, "In my sketches Jabba was huge, agile, sort of an apelike figure. But then the design went into another direction, and Jabba became more like a worm kind of creature." [Ralph McQuarrie, quoted in Laurent Bouzereau, "Star Wars: The Annotated Screenplays" (New York: Del Rey, 1997), p. 239, ISBN 0-345-40981-7.] According to the 1985 documentary "From Star Wars to Jedi", Lucas rejected initial designs of the character. One made Jabba appear too human — almost like a Fu Manchucharacter — while a second made him look too snail-like. Lucas finally settled on a design that was a hybrid of the two."From Star Wars to Jedi: The Making of a Saga", narrated by Mark Hamill (1985; VHS, CBS Fox Video, 1992).] "Return of the Jedi" costume designer Nilo Rodis-Jamero commented,
My vision of Jabba was literally
Orson Welleswhen he was older. I saw him as a very refined man. Most of the villains we like are very smart people. But Phil Tippettkept imagining him as some kind of slug, almost like in "Alice in Wonderland". At one time he sculpted a creature that looked like a slug that's smoking. I kept thinking I must be really off, but eventually that's where it led up to." [Nilo Rodis-Jamero, quoted in Bouzereau, "Annotated Screenplays", p. 239.]
Designed by visual effects artist Phil Tippett, [Biography of Phil Tippett at [http://www.starwars.com/bio//philtippett.html StarWars.com] ; last accessed July 3, 2006.] Jabba the Hutt was inspired by the anatomy of several animal species. His body structure and reproductive processes were based on annelid worms, hairless animals that have no
skeletonand are hermaphroditic. Jabba's head was modeled after that of a snake, complete with bulbous, slit-pupilled eyes and a mouth that opens wide enough to swallow large prey. His skin was given moist, amphibianqualities. Jabba's design would come to represent almost all members of the Hutt species in subsequent "Star Wars" fiction.
In "Return of the Jedi", Jabba is portrayed by a one-ton puppet that took three months and half a million dollars to construct. While filming the movie, the puppet had its own makeup artist. The puppet required three puppeteers to operate, making it one of the largest ever used in a motion picture.
Stuart Freeborndesigned the puppet, while John Coppinger sculpted its latex, clay, and foam pieces. Puppeteers included David Alan Barclay, Toby Philpott, and Mike Edmonds, who were members of Jim Henson's Muppet group. Barclay operated the right arm and mouth and read the character's English dialogue, while Philpott controlled the left arm, head, and tongue. Edmonds, the shortest of the three men (he also played the EwokLogray in later scenes) was responsible for the movement of Jabba's tail. The eyes and facial expressions were operated by radio control.
Lucas voiced displeasure in the puppet's appearance and immobility, complaining that the puppet had to be moved around the set to film different scenes. In the
DVDcommentary to the Special Edition of "Return of the Jedi", Lucas notes that if the technology had been available in 1983, Jabba the Hutt would have been a CGI character similar to the one that appears in the Special Edition scene of "A New Hope".
Jabba the Hutt only speaks Huttese on film, but his lines are subtitled in English. His voice and Huttese-language dialogue were performed by voice actor Larry Ward, whose work is not listed in the end credits. [Larry Ward at the [http://imdb.com/name/nm1843827/ Internet Movie Database] ; last accessed July 3, 2006.] A heavy, booming quality was given to Ward's voice by pitching it an
octavelower than normal and processing it through a subharmonicgenerator. [Tomlinson Holman, "Sound for Film and Television" (Burlington, Mass.: Focal Press, 2002), p. 11, ISBN 0-240-80453-8.] A soundtrackwas recorded to accompany the movement of the puppet's limbs and mouth. The sound effects were created by a hand running through a bowl of cheese casserole and a muddy towel scraping along the inside of a garbage can. [Ben Burtt commentary, "Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi", Special Edition, dir. Richard Marquand (DVD, 20th Century Fox, 2004).]
Jabba the Hutt's musical theme throughout the film, composed by
John Williams, is played on a tuba. One reviewer of "Return of the Jedi"'s soundtrack comments, "Among the new thematic ideas [of the score is] Jabba the Hutt's cute tuba piece (playing along the politically incorrect lines of tubas representing fatness) ...." [Review of "Return of the Jedi" soundtrack by [http://www.filmtracks.com/titles/jedi.html Filmtracks.com] ; last accessed July 3, 2006.] The theme is very similar to one Williams wrote for a heavyset character in " Fitzwilly" (1967), though the theme does not appear on that film's soundtrack album. Williams later turned the theme into a symphonic piece performed by the Boston Pops Orchestrafeaturing a tuba solo by Chester Schmitz. The role of the piece in film and popular culture has become a focus of study by musicologists such as Gerald Sloan, who says Williams' piece "blends the monstrous and the lyrical." [Gerald Sloan, "Yuba Meets Jabba: The Expanding Role of Tuba in Film Music", "TUBA Journal", quoted in "Evening The Score: UA Professor Explores Tuba Music In Film", June 27, 2000, at [http://dailyheadlines.uark.edu/1190.htm University of Arkansas "Daily Digest"] ; last accessed July 3, 2006.]
According to film historian Laurent Bouzereau, Jabba the Hutt's death in "Return of the Jedi" was suggested by script writer Lawrence Kasdan. Lucas decided Leia should strangle him with her slave chain. He was inspired by a scene from "
The Godfather" (1972) where an obese character named Luca Brasi( Lenny Montana) is garroted by an assassin. [Bourezeau, "Annoted Screenplays", p. 259.]
With the premiere of "Return of Jedi" in 1983 and the accompanying merchandising campaign, Jabba the Hutt became an icon in American
popular culture. The character was produced and marketed as a series of action figure playsets by Kenner/
Jabba's role in popular culture extends beyond the "Star Wars" universe and its fans. In
Mel Brooks' "Star Wars" " Spaceballs" (1987), Jabba the Hutt is parodied as the character Pizza the Hutt, a cheesy blob shaped like a slice of pizza whose name is a double pun on Jabba the Hutt and the restaurant franchise Pizza Hut. Like Jabba, Pizza the Hutt is a loan sharkand mobster. The character meets his demise at the end of "Spaceballs" when he becomes "locked in his car and [eats] himself to death." ["Spaceballs", dir. Mel Brooks (MGM, 1987).] The Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museumin Washington, D.C., included a display on Jabba the Hutt in the temporary exhibition "Star Wars: The Myth of Magic", which closed in 1999. Jabba's display was called "The Hero's Return," referencing Luke Skywalker's journey toward becoming a Jedi. ["The Hero's Return", "Star Wars: The Myth of Magic" exhibition at [http://www.nasm.si.edu/exhibitions/StarWars/sw-unit12.htm National Air and Space Museum] .]
Since the release of "Return of the Jedi", the name "Jabba the Hutt" has become synonymous in American
mass mediawith repulsive obesity and corruption. The name is frequently utilized as a literary device—either as a simileor metaphor—to illustrate character flaws. For example, in "Under the Duvet" (2001), Marian Keyesreferences a problem with gluttonywhen she writes, "wheel out the birthday cake, I feel a Jabba the Hutt moment coming on." [Marian Keyes, "Under the Duvet: Shoes, Reviews, Having the Blues, Builders, Babies, Families and Other Calamities" (New York: HarperCollins, 2001), p. 199, ISBN 0060562080.] Likewise, in the novel "Steps and Exes: A Novel of Family" (2000), Laura Kalpakian uses Jabba the Hutt to emphasize the weight of a character's father: "The girls used to call Janice's parents Jabba the Hutt and the Wookie ["sic"] . But then Jabba (Janice's father) died, and it didn't seem right to speak of the dead on those terms." [Laura Kalpakian, "Steps and Exes: A Novel of Family" (New York: HarperCollins, 2000), p. 58, ISBN 0380806592.]
In his book of humor and popular culture, "
The Dharma of Star Wars" (2005), writer Matthew Bortolinattempts to show similarities between Buddhist teachings and aspects of "Star Wars" fiction. Bartolin insists that if a person makes decisions that Jabba the Hutt would make, then that person is not practicing the proper spiritual concept of dharma. Bortolin's book reinforces the idea that Jabba's name is synonymous with negativity:
One way to see if we are practicing right livelihood is to compare our trade with that of Jabba the Hutt. Jabba has his fat, stubby fingers in many of the pots that led to the dark side. He dealt largely in illegal "spice" trade—an illicit drug in the Star Wars galaxy. He also transacts business in the slave trade. He has many slaves himself, and some he fed to the Rancor, a creature he kept caged and tormented in his dungeon. Jabba uses deception and violence to maintain his position. [Matthew Bortolin, "The Dharma of Star Wars" (Somerville, Mass.: Wisdom Publications, 2005), p. 139, ISBN 0861714970.]
Outside literature, the character's name has become an insulting
term of disparagement. To say that someone "looks like Jabba the Hutt" is commonly understood as a slur to impugn that person's weight and/or appearance.For example, see "Fat Wars: The Obesity Empire Strikes Back" at [http://www.consumerfreedom.com/news_detail.cfm/headline/2812 Center for Consumer Freedom] .] The term is often employed by the media as an attack on prominent figures. For instance, actress and comedian Roseanne endured what W. C. Goodman called "vitriolic attacks based on her weight" at the hands of " The New York Observer" columnist Michael Thomas who often compared her with "Star Wars" blob monster" Jabba the Hutt. [W. C. Goodman, "The Invisible Woman: Confronting Weight Prejudice in America" (Carlsbad Calif.: Gürze Books, 1995), p. 57, ISBN 0936077107.] In an episode of the animated television series " South Park" titled " Starvin' Marvin in Space" that aired in 1999, Christian Children's Fundspokeswoman Sally Struthersis portrayed as the Hutt and accused of gorging herself on food relief meant for starving Ethiopians. ["Starvin' Marvin in Space", Episode 311, "South Park", 17 November 1999 (DVD, Paramount, 2003).] Another reference appears in the Family Guyepisode He's Too Sexy for His Fatwhen Peter mentions his husky ancestor Jabba the Griffin. [ Movie Connections at the [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0576939/movieconnections Internet Movie Database] ] [ Sally Struthersis parodied as Jabba the Hutt in a 1999 episode of " South Park".]
In another sense of the term, Jabba the Hutt has come to represent greed and anarchy, especially in the business world.Koenraad Kuiper, "Star Wars: An Imperial Myth," "Journal of Popular Culture" 21.4 (Spring 1988): p. 78.] For instance,
Michael Jordanbiographer Mitchell Krugel uses the term to disparage Chicago Bulls's general manager Jerry Krauseafter Krause made a comment about Jordan and other players' multi-million dollar contracts: "Krause added to his Jabba the Hutt image during the media gathering that preceded the opening of camp when he answered a question about the prospect of rebuilding the Bulls without Phil or Michael in the imminent future by saying, 'Organizations win championships. Players and coaches are parts of organizations'." [Mitchell Krugel, "One Last Shot: The Story of Michael Jordan's Comeback" (New York: St. Martin's Press, 2003), p. 55, ISBN 0312992238.]
Jabba the Hutt has likewise become a popular means of caricature in American politics. For example, opponents of
CaliforniaDemocratic legislator Jackie Goldbergcommonly depict the politician as the "Star Wars" character. The " Los Angeles Daily News" has caricatured her in cartoons as a grotesquely overweight Jabba the Hutt-like figure and the " New Times LA" referred to Goldberg as "a human Jabba the Hutt who consumes the good while producing the bad." [Patrick Mallon, "California Dictatorship" (Philadelphia: Xlibris, 2004), p. 235, ISBN 1413467970.] William G. Ouchi uses the term to describe what he sees as the inefficient bureaucracyof the public school system: "With all of these unnecessary layers of organizational fat, school districts have come to resemble Jabba the Hutt—the pirate leader in "Star Wars"." [William G. Ouchi, "Making Schools Work: A Revolutionary Plan to Get Your Children the Education They Need" (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2003), p. 96, ISBN 0743246306.]
*Mangels, Andy. "The Essential Guide to Characters". New York: Del Rey, 1995. ISBN 0-345-39535-2.
*Reynolds, David West. "Star Wars Episode I: The Visual Dictionary". New York: DK Publishing, 1999. ISBN 0-7894-4701-0.
*Wallace, Daniel. "The New Essential Guide to Characters". New York: Del Rey, 2002. ISBN 0-345-44900-2.
*Wallace, Daniel, and Kevin J. Anderson. "The New Essential Chronology". New York: Del Rey, 2005. ISBN 0-345-49053-3.
*Wixted, Martin. "Star Wars Galaxy Guide 7: Mos Eisley". Honesdale, Penn.: West End Games, 1993. ISBN 0-87431-187-X.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.