Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Jabba the Hutt
Jabba Desilijic Tiure, or simply Jabba the Hutt, (596 BBY–4 ABY) is a character in the Star Wars movies. Jabba is of the Hutt race, and like most of his species, a gangster. Hutts are a large slug-like race with thick, leathery skin, human-like arms, large black eyes, and wide mouths. A Hutt may weigh in excess of several tons. The species are hermaphrodites and reproduce by fission. They speak Huttese, a language reminiscent of Quechua.
Like all Hutts, Jabba is considered to be very unpleasant. He is also seen as somewhat lascivious since he tends to lust after the beautiful alien female slaves he keeps in his palace.
In The Phantom Menace, Jabba makes a cameo appearance at the Boonta Eve Classic podracing event where he declares the beginning of the race. He is then seen asleep at the end of the race, until Bib Fortuna wakes him. Jabba was computer generated and credited as playing "himself."
Prior to A New Hope, Jabba sent Han Solo on a Kessel run to smuggle spice. However Han was forced to dump the spice when he was boarded by an Imperial starship. Jabba demanded that Han pay him the value of the cargo. When the smuggler failed to pay him back, he put a price on Han's head. Greedo attempted to collect the bounty, but was killed for his efforts.
George Lucas filmed a scene for Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope in which Jabba confronted Solo in the Millennium Falcon's launch bay, but this scene did not appear in the original 1977 theatrical release. In this scene, following the death of Greedo, Jabba met Han in the Millennium Falcon's hangar bay, where he agreed to let Han go, in exchange for a premium of 15%, with a warning that if Han delayed payment again, he would have a price on his head so high that Han would not be able to go near a civilized star system.
In the footage shot Jabba was portrayed by an actor in a shaggy coat, a temporary stand-in that would be replaced by a stop-motion creature in post-production, a process that was unsuccessful due to the limitations in visual effects at the time. Eventually the 1997 re-release of the film restored the sequence but with a CGI version of Jabba (more mobile than suggested by his sedentary Return of the Jedi appearances) obscuring the original actor, and newly recorded dialogue in the Hutt language (also introduced in the later film).
A challenge was that the scene had been staged for two ordinary-sized humanoid characters, and Harrison Ford, playing Solo, had walked around the other actor, without allowance for the bulk and large tail that the later version of Jabba would have. Lucas and his effects team dealt with this by manipulating the image so that Solo appears to walk over Jabba's tail and Jabba yelps in pained surprise. This somewhat humorous effect was not entirely popular with fans of the series, since it was inconsistent with the plot. In another odd twist, as Solo leaves Jabba for his ship, he says that Jabba is a "wonderful human being", which can make the scene puzzling as the current Jabba is not human and sarcastic in that Jabba is not wonderful either.
Further improvements in CGI techniques led to yet another version of the scene for the 2004 re-release.
The bounty on Solo's head was eventually collected, between Episodes 5 and 6, by Boba Fett.
In Return of the Jedi, after a failed attempt by Princess Leia and Chewbacca to rescue Han Solo, Luke Skywalker's attempt succeeds and leaves Jabba the Hutt dead after being strangled by Princess Leia (given Jabba's immense size, and Leia's lack thereof, it is likely that Leia was - perhaps unwittingly - using a form of Force choke on Jabba). In this movie, Jabba is "played" by a large puppet requiring several operators.
Outside of Star Wars films
In the radio version of the series, a version of the scene with Han Solo added to Episode IV was included, with a new character called Heater replacing Jabba.
In the Expanded Universe, the death of Jabba cancelled the debts of many individuals and as such, Luke was held with considerable favour for removing that dangerous complication in their lives.
Years after Jabba's death, many Hutts preferred that Jabba lived. If he did live, there would have been no Darksaber project. The disastrous deal that the Hutts made with the Yuuzhan Vong would never have happened.
Jabba the Hutt also got his own little comic-book. It was called The Art of the Deal and features Jabba, Bib Fortuna and the rest of Jabba's crew, where he - through the adventures he gets in - lectures in dirty tricks and exchanging of favors.
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