We’re continuing the Star Wars comic reviews with a trio of Jabba the Hutt one-shots from 1995 – the fourth doesn’t come out until 1996, so we’ll hold off on that one for later.

 

Credits:

The Gar Suppoon Hit

The Hunger of Princess Nampi

The Dynasty Trap

Writer: Jim Woodring
Penciller: Art Wetherell
Inker: Monty Sheldon
Letterer: Steve Dutro
Colorist: James Sinclair
Cover artists: Steve Bissette & Cam Kennedy
Editor: Ryder Windham
Writer: Jim Woodring
Penciller: Art Wetherell
Inker: Monty Sheldon
Letterer: Steve Dutro
Colorist: Matt Webb
Cover artist: Mark Harrison
Editor: Ryder Windham
Writer: Jim Woodring
Penciller: Art Wetherell
Inker: Monty Sheldon
Letterer: Steve Dutro
Colorist: Rachelle Menashe
Cover artist: Mark Harrison

All 3 stories are included in the trade Jabba the Hutt: The Art of the Deal, which is available in Print and Kindle/Comixology versions from Amazon.com, along with the 4th installment, which I’ll be covering later.

Plot Synopsis:

The Gar Suppon Hit

Jabba travels to the castle of gangster Gar Suppoon to negotiate with him to obtain a poisonous creature called a Tromonid, in exchange for a piece of biotech called the Pontak Hypergland, and the gland’s creator, scientist Pineas Pontak.. In the course of the negotiations, Gar attempts to put one over on Jabba by giving him a neutered Tromonid (he wanted a breeding pair), and Jabba responds by revealing that he’d had Pontak’s brain removed as insurance. Suppoon pulls a gun, and Jabba releases the Tromonid, who stings Suppoon before being killed.

Jabba then produces the anecdote and a grenade, offering the anecdote in return for Pontak and and the Hypergland, along with some Spice. Suppoon agrees, and then after receiving the anecdote, neutralizes Jabba’s grenade with the assistance of his bodyguard. Jabba then informs the bodyguard that Suppoon was responsible for the massacre of his village, and the bodyguard kills Suppoon. Jabba leaves the bodyguard in charge of Suppoon’s operation, but in return for Jabba’s role in this, he wants a reasonable cut.

The Hunger of Princess Nampi

On the way back from Gar Suppoon’s castle, Jabba’s ship detects a Nuffin freighter ahead. Intending to get a second payday, they decide to raid the freighter – only to discover that the freighter was owned by Orooturooan Princess Nanpi. She demanded that Jabba give control of his ship and treasure to her, but Jabba refuses. Jabba is imprisoned and the captain of Jabba’s ship, Scuppa, tries to appeal to Nanpi by flattering her and offering to get the code from Jabba. Long story short, Scuppa gets eaten by Nanpi, and Jabba reveals that he’d had a bomb surgically installed in Scuppa, and he detonates it, causing Nanpi to be killed.

The Dynasty Trap

Now with an additional ship under his control, Jabba decides that on his way back to Tatooine, he’d sell the princess’s ship to another business associate –  Cabrool Nuum. As Nuum also no longer deals in slaves, he has Nanpi’s crew and retainers spaced. On arrival, Jabba discovers that Nuum is going senile, and ultimately ends up in squabbling between Nuum’s two heirs. Jabba ends up imprisoned when he refuses to assassinate Nuum’s business rival Vu Chusker as a favor, leading to him killing Nuum with the assistance of one heir, killing that heir with the assistance of the other, killing the final heir to break out of the prison, and finally killing Chusker on general principle as he prepares to leave the planet.

Worldbuilding

We’re introduced to the Orooturooans, who kill their males after mating (well, in this case before mating). We also meet two more gangsters before they are killed by Jabba.

Characterization

Jabba The Hutt: He’s depicted here as a savvy and ruthless negotiator – one who is prepared to utterly annihilate you and take your operation should you attempt to screw him. This characterization is also entirely at odds with his depiction in Return of the Jedi – Jabba as depicted in these comics would have had R2 and C-3PO scanned for any weapons of any type, because he’s the kind of guy to have stuck any kind of bomb or explosive in the droids to deliver to an agent later.

Other Notes

This is the most violent Star Wars comic to date. When Nanpi eats Scuppa, she bites off his head, with blood pouring into her mouth before she finishes eating him. When Jabba detonates the explosive charge, Nanpi explodes into red bloody chunks, leaving blood and gore splattered all over the room. Nanpi’s retainers, after being spaced, are explicitly described as bursting in vacuum, with blood spattering on the windows of her ship (and presumably also the hull).

These comics are comparable, in their level of violence, to the late ’80s, early ’90s fare of Peter Jackson.

Final Thoughts

This is a work that could only exist in these early days of the Star Wars Expanded Universe. As time goes on, and as we get closer to Shadows of the Empire, the remasters of the Original Trilogy, and finally the prequels, it’s clear that Lucasfilm, and Lucas in particular, take more of a stance that material like this just won’t fly. There can certainly be violence, but once we hit the prequels, we’ll never see it to this extreme.

As it is, the sheer level of blood and gore in this work really turns me off from it. It causes the series to really not mesh with the rest of the Star Wars Universe. We also don’t have any information where this fits in the timeline. Jabba is more willing to get his hands dirty in these comics than in the films, where he was sitting back in his palace, dispatching his underlings to carry out his demands.

With the characterization we get between the films and the comics – film Jabba would certainly have sent Greedo, and comic Jabba would have definitely been waiting at Docking Bay 94. However, Jim Woodring’s version of Jabba would probably not have let Han talk his way out of that situation. If Han didn’t have the money in hand, he’d probably have just killed Han and taken the ship. He probably also would have tried to kidnap and rob or ransom Obi-Wan and Luke afterwards, but whether that would plan would have worked is another matter (Han didn’t know that Obi-Wan was a Jedi, and so neither would Jabba).

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