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Jabba the Hutt in Star Wars explained - Tatooine’s slimiest criminal

The shiftiest space slug in the galaxy has shown up in many Star Wars movies and TV series, so here's the villain's history explained.

Jabba the Hutt in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

While Jabba the Hutt may not be the reason anyone presses play on a Star Wars movie, the gangster has been a recurring figure in a galaxy far, far away.

So much so, when you count up his appearances in Star Wars movies and series, you might be surprised to remember just how often we’ve seen him threaten, kill, and spread crime. He’s not the best Star Wars villain (come on, that’s Darth Vader), but he does represent important political threads in the universe.

Jabba the Hutt in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

Jabba the Hutt in Star Wars explained

Jabba the Hutt (Jabba Desilijic Tiur) was a crime lord and a leading member of the Grand Hutt Council and Hutt Clan in Star Wars.

Jabba headed a criminal enterprise from his Tattooine palace, where he partook in piracy, slavery, and trafficking. Aside from the illegal activity, Jabba — and the Hutts, historically — was influential due to the grip organized crime had on the planet.

Criminals finding their way into politics and the economy because of their wealth protecting them, thank god this is fictional, right!?

In terms of personality, Jabba is ruthless, cruel, and business-orientated. He frequently was seen throughout the canon enjoying being mercilessless.

Jabba the Hutt in Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Jabba the Hutt’s backstory explained

As a member of the Hutt clan, Jabba headed an expansive criminal empire on Tattoine and used alliances with governments to skirt the law.

During the Clone Wars, Jabba’s influence was vied for by both the Galactic Republic and the Confederacy. When Rotta, Jabba’s son, was kidnapped, Jabba vowed to back whoever safely retrieved him. Separatists were behind the attack, so Jabba put his weight behind the Republic.

Jabba continued to work out of the Outer Rim after the Clone Wars and the Empire rose to power. After the Rebels destroyed the Death Star, the Emperor sent Vader to strike a deal with Jabba to source materials for Imperial military production. His co-existence with the Empire allowed the Hutts to dodge the Imperial crackdown on crime.

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Jabba the Hutt in Star Wars movies explained

Jabba the Hutt appears in several movies in the Star Wars universe, as well as The Clone Wars series.

After Han Solo became indebted to him, Jabba placed a bounty on his head in the first of the Star Wars movies in order, A New Hope.

In Return of the Jedi, a carbon-frozen Han sat in Jabba’s palace — a gift from Vader. We know how that went, though: Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia Organa orchestrated a daring rescue, and chaos ensued.

Although their initial plan went off the rails, Jabba was eventually choked to death by Leia, who used the chains he had her in to do it. Bit of a gross moment overall, but he got what he deserved in the end.

Jabba the Hutt in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

With a vacuum of power after his death, most of his slaves were freed, and Bib Fortuna took his place as Daimyo of Tatooine until Boba came along in the Star Wars series The Book of Boba Fett.

Jabba also appeared in The Phantom Menace and showed up several times in the animated series The Clone Wars. At one point, Guillermo del Toro was tapped to direct a Jabba film but it never happened — a fate shared with several previously announced new Star Wars movies.

We’re big on GDT over here, he’s made some of the best science-fiction movies of the last couple of decades, but do we really need a Jabba movie? We don’t think so.

If you enjoy reading up on Star Wars characters‘ backstories, we’ve also got Darth Maul explained. You can also find out more about the Star Wars cast and Andor season 2 before we get any future new movies.

Away from Star Wars, check out our list of the best movies of all time.