‘Star Wars’ Just Ruined Jabba the Hutt’s Defining Characteristic

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jabba the hutt

Credit: Lucasfilm

Ever since Star Wars fans first met Malakili the rancor in Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983), the species has been inextricably connected to Jabba the Hutt.

star wars jabba's palace return of the jedi
Credit: Lucasfilm

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Jabba, it seemed, was set apart from all other Star Wars characters due to the fact that he had domesticated one of these beasts and kept it as a pet — it added to the Tatooine-based crime lord’s generally offputting mystique.

The connection between Jabba and rancors has continued for decades, even into Dave Filoni’s latest project, the animated series Star Wars: The Bad Batch.

muchi the rancor bad batch
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In Episode 5 (“Rampage”), former Jedi informant Cid (Rhea Perlman) sends Clone Force 99 — Hunter, Wrecker, Tech, Echo, and young female clone Omega — on one of the first mercenary missions to rescue a character named “Muchi” from a group of Zygerrian slave traders on Ord Mantell.

hunter and muchi bad batch episode 5
Credit: Lucasfilm

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At first, Hunter (Dee Bradley Baker) and his team assume Muchi is a young girl, but they soon discover she is a young rancor instead. Ultimately, the elite squad of clone troopers (and Omega) successfully complete their mission and deliver Muchi to Jabba’s righthand man, Bib Fortuna (Matthew Russell Wood), who apparently intends to take her directly to Jabba’s palace.

bib fortuna in the bad batch episode 5
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This episode further drives home the notion that Jabba the Hutt’s love of the rancor species was unique.

Now, almost on the heels of The Bad Batch episode, Star Wars has made Jabba’s passion for rancors significantly less special.

jabba the hutt
Credit: Lucasfilm

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The Star Wars: The High Republic multimedia initiative’s recent IDW comic book issue, “High Republic Adventures #6” — written by writer Daniel José Older and illustrated by Harvey Tolibao and Pow Rodrix — has just changed how Star Wars fans will view rancors and Jabba the Hutt forever.

star wars the high republic adventures 6 cover preview
Credit: StarWars.com

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The issue revolves around Jedi Padawan Farzala Tarabal — who is, ironically, a Zygerrian — negotiating with various Hutt clans on their home planet Nal Hutta, as a direct result of the tenuous alliance between the Hutts and the Jedi Order at this point in the Star Wars timeline.

As ScreenRant notes, Farzala discovers something interesting during his time on Nal Hutta:

…Farzala and his pilot Leox Gyasi are soon attacked by a massive blue rancor [a jungle rancor in Star Wars Legends materials], being the pet of the clan’s diplomatic envoy Skarabda the Hutt. Apparently, owning a rancor seems to be seen as a status symbol for the Hutts, making Jabba’s rancor not as unique as it once was.

avar kriss riding rancor high republic adventures 6
Credit: Lucasfilm

Their article goes on to note:

Not only that, but Marvel Comics’ High Republic series have seen Jedi Master Avar Kriss fighting alongside Myarga the Hutt who owns two trained battle rancors herself. Despite not being native to Nal Hutta, it seems as though the most powerful Hutts go out of their way to own rancors. However, while this is certainly a new revelation into Hutt culture and history, it comes at the expense of dynamics Jabba used to have prior to the High Republic era.

malakili the rancor in return of the jedi
Credit: Lucasfilm

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Although learning more about Hutt culture in the Star Wars canon is intriguing, this new piece of information does undoubtedly diminish a characteristic that previously helped to define Jabba the Hutt as an individual, not just as a member of a Hutt clan.

With the Hasbro HasLab beginning crowdfunding efforts for a new Star Wars project featuring a Star Wars The Vintage Collection version of Malakili on August 30, this is an interesting time for rancors to begin playing a larger role in the Star Wars universe.

More on Rancors

star wars episode vi rancor and luke skywalker
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The official Star Wars Databank describes rancors as:

Rancors are towering hulks of muscle and reptilian flesh that walk on two stubby legs and use their disproportionately long arms to capture prey. A salivating, tooth-filled maw dominates their flat faces, and their armored skin is so tough that they can shrug off blaster bolts as little more than annoyances. While not inherently vicious – Felucia’s farmers co-existed relatively peaceably with spined, brightly colored jungle rancors – these creatures were prized as trophies by crimelords and other wealthy, amoral individuals. Jabba the Hutt kept a rancor in a shadowy chamber beneath his Tatooine throne room. After Luke Skywalker killed the beast, an outraged Jabba ordered the public execution of the Jedi and his friends.

More on Jabba the Hutt

star wars a new hope special edition (l-r) han solo, jabba the hutt, and boba fett
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The official Star Wars Databank describes Jabba the Hutt as:

Jabba the Hutt was one of the galaxy’s most powerful gangsters, with far-reaching influence in both politics and the criminal underworld. There were no second chances with Jabba, something Han Solo would find out — though the slug-like alien would ultimately fall victim to his own hubris and vengeful ways.

What do you think about this new revelation about rancors and the Hutt clans? 

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