The puppeteers and actors behind the strange creatures (as well as Jabba’s tail) of Jabba’s Palace appeared together on Celebration Stage with Warwick Davis. Here are some highlights from their Jabba-jibber-jabber.
That’s real smoke. The secret behind Jabba’s pipe smoke? A puppeteer sat underneath Jabba, smoking a cigar, blowing its smoke through a tube and eventually out of Jabba’s pipe. Movie magic!
Salacious in body and spirit. The personality of the character — namely, laughing at the misfortune of others — came directly from the character’s name, of which puppeteer Tim Rose had to look up the meaning.
Jabba did indeed lick Leia. During the second take of the Leia-capture scene, director Richard Marquand wanted a more “real reaction” of disgust from Carrie Fisher when Jabba licks his lips in front of her. The puppeteer obliged, sticking the tongue out further, and heard Fisher let out an “Ugh!” In the next (and final) take, the puppeteer was asked to dial it back.
Bib Fortuna likes the Max Rebo Band’s early stuff. Michael Carter, the actor behind Bib Fortuna, said that he remembered watching the puppeteers rehearse the big musical number in Jabba’s Palace for days. When it was changed in the Special Edition, he was disappointed.
Oola’s backstory. Actress Femi Taylor says she wasn’t told much about who Oola was when she got the part, so she created a backstory herself. She imagined the character was from a very poor background and that “death was her destiny.”