Jabba the Hutt

Jabba the Hutt is a character appearing in George Lucas's space opera film saga Star Wars. He is depicted as a large, slug-like alien. His appearance has been described by film critic Roger Ebert as a cross between a toad and the Cheshire Cat.

In the original theatrical releases of the original Star Wars trilogy, Jabba the Hutt first appeared in Return of the Jedi (1983), though he is mentioned in both Star Wars (1977) and The Empire Strikes Back (1980), and a previously deleted scene involving Jabba the Hutt was added to the 1997 theatrical re-release and subsequent home media releases of Star Wars. Jabba's role in Star Wars is primarily antagonistic; he is introduced as the crime boss who has a bounty on Han Solo's head. He is the crime lord and gangster of Tatooine, who employs a retinue of criminals, bounty hunters, smugglers, assassins and bodyguards to operate his criminal empire. In his palace on the desert planet Tatooine, he keeps a host of entertainers at his disposal: slaves, droids and alien creatures. Jabba has a grim sense of humour, an insatiable appetite, and affinities for gambling, slave girls, and torture.

The character was incorporated into the Star Wars merchandising campaign that corresponded with the theatrical release of Return of the Jedi. Besides the films, Jabba the Hutt is featured in Non-Canon Star Wars Legends literature. Jabba the Hutt's image has since played an influential role in popular culture, particularly in the United States. The name is used as a satirical literary device and a political caricature to underscore negative qualities such as morbid obesity and corruption.

By Dean Hanley

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