Jabba The Hutt
Real Name: Jabba Desilijic Tiure
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Jabba Desilijic Tiure is his real name, and bein' a crime boss is his game. The behind-the-scenes history of Jabba is a fascinating exploration through the creative process of George Lucas, warts and all, but what we ended up with on screen, and in comics, is perhaps a little more straightforward.
Jabba may have started out in comics as "Jabba the Hut", and had the appearance of a "humanoid walrus", but after Return of the Jedi, his character has settled down into the slug-like "godfather" figure we've come to know.
Getting to know Jabba was helped tremendously by Dark Horse's exploration of pre-Episode IV stories--most notably the Tales of the Jedi series. Though set long before Jabba's birth, the series gave a much greater backstory to the Hutts as a species--much of which was incorporated, in one way or another, to Jabba's subsequent solo outings.
The one thing that the comics, more than any other medium, did for Jabba was to better define what the last part of his name, "the Hutt", actually meant. By showing it to be his species, rather than an honorific title, we saw that Jabba was not unique, and that the Outer Rim territories were under the nominal rule of various Hutt "fiefdoms"--many of which weren't at all scared of Imperial encroachment.
In demonstrating the longevity of individual Hutts, and the strength of Hutt culture--and most importantly Tatooine's long affiliation with the Hutts--Dark Horse plausibly gave us a reason why the Empire never bothered with gaining control over Tatooine. In a real sense, the strong implication of Dark Horse's portrayal of Jabba and other Hutts, is that the reason the Empire never found Luke is because the planet just wasn't worth the trouble of tangling with the Hutts.
Once the prequel movies were made, of course, there were clear reasons why Vader himself wouldn't have likely returned--but it is through Dark Horse's deeper portrayal of Jabba that we get a sense that there were some places made so corrupt by Huttese control that neither the Republic nor the Empire ever had a significant presence.
Jabba's first appearance in comics was in the original A New Hope adaptation, in much the same role we see him having in versions of the movie available today. It is frequently used by Lucas "Special Edition defenders" to help prove that the changes made from the original cut of the movie to the final one were reasonable, because Lucas did intend for them to be a part of the movie all along. Detractors counter by saying that, had Jabba really been meant to appear as he eventually did, there would have been at least some concept art finished that Marvel could've used.
And concept art on the slug-like Jabba was clearly not present at the time. Jabba's appearance in Star Wars (Marvel) #2 was therefore drawn using an unseen alien from the cantina scene as the base. It would take Lucas five years to settle on the design we now know.
Consequently, Jabba has two distinct forms in comics. Mostly, he's seen as pictured at top right. But in his initial appearance, he's much more humanoid, as seen in the picture at bottom right.
Star Wars fans subsequently built a backstory to this original Jabba, claiming that he was "Jabba's accountant", and that Jabba frequently sent out "doubles" to disguise his true identity. This view was common in the 80s and early 90s, but has now more or less been vitiated by both the so-called "Special Editions" (which firmly place the "real" Jabba in-scene), and by further clarification of what "the Hutt" means. Now that it is clear that "the Hutt" refers to his species, it would be incredible to believe that any being, other than another Hutt, could serve as his body double.
Confusingly, Marvel itself bought into this fan theory and actually tried to make something out of "their" Jabba. In issue 28 of the Star Wars run, they featured him in a story called, "Whatever Happened to Jabba the Hut?"--but most agree that this would no longer be canonical. Bloodwulf (1995)
First Appearance: Star Wars (1977) #2
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View a chronological listing of this character's appearances
A Decade of Dark Horse (1996)
#2 Classic Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1994)
- 'The Next Penetration'
TPBTPB Darth Vader (2015)
- 'The Comic Book Adaptation'
Dave Stevens: Covers & Stories (2012)
Jawa Force (1997)
Marvel Comics Illustrated/Marvel Illustrated Books (1970)
Marvel Super Special (1977)
#27 Star Wars (1998)
- 'Return of the Jedi'
Star Wars (2015)
#4 Star Wars Fan Club Special (2008)
- 'Book I, Part IV: Skywalker Strikes'#15
- 'From the Journals of old Ben Kenobi'
#2010 Star Wars Galaxy Collector (1998)
- 'Thank The Maker'
Star Wars Galaxy Magazine (1994)
Star Wars Omnibus (2006)
Star Wars Tales (1999)
Star Wars: A Hunter's Fate (2004)
Star Wars: A New Hope - Manga (1998)
Star Wars: A New Hope - The Special Edition (1997)
Star Wars: Battle of the Bounty Hunters (1996)
Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999)
Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (2009)
Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace - Manga (1999)
Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (2010)
Star Wars: Jabba the Hutt (1995)
TPB Star Wars: Podracing Tales (2000)
- 'The Art of the Deal'#1
- 'The Gaar Suppoon Hit'#2
- 'The Hunger of Princess Nampi'#3
- 'The Dynasty Trap'#4
Star Wars: Return of the Jedi - Manga (1999)
Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire (1996)
#3 Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Character Encyclopedia (2010)
- 'Part 3 of 6'#4
- 'Part 4 of 6'#6
- 'Part 6 of 6'
Star Wars: The Jabba Tape (1998)
Star Wars: Underworld - The Yavin Vassilika (2000)
Star Wars: Union (1999)
Star Wars: Vader's Little Princess (2013)
The Bad Eggs: That Dirty Yellow Mustard (1996)
- 'When You Whiz Upon A Star...'
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