Jabba's Sail Barge
© 2015 Disney
As Tatooine was controlled by the Hutt clans, Jabba was on-hand to kick off the Boonta Eve Classic Podrace. The arena cheered his entrance, though the thrilling race proved not entertaining enough to keep Jabba awake.
The Hutts had remained neutral during the Clone Wars, and this was not acceptable to Count Dooku. The Sith Lord devised a plot to lure Jabba to his side: he would kidnap Rotta, the gangster’s infant son, and frame the Jedi for the crime. Anakin Skywalker and his new Padawan, Ahsoka Tano, however, thwarted Dooku’s plan, and delivered the boy back to the slithery crime lord. The Republic had won Jabba’s favor -- for the time being.
Jabba also served on the Hutt Grand Council, a governing body that settled issues and disputes among Hutt clans throughout the galaxy. During the Clone Wars, he and the Council would make decisions that impacted not only their business interests, but the Republic, as well. In one instance, Jabba contracted Cad Bane to free Ziro, his uncle, from a Republic prison; Ziro was in possession of a journal that documented criminal activities of the Hutt families, and Jabba did not want it falling into the hands of the Republic. Bane was successful, but Ziro managed to escape his grasp. In the end, however, it mattered not -- Jabba had a backup plan. He hired Sy Snootles, Ziro’s former lover, to assassinate his slippery uncle. The family secrets were secure once more.
Jabba confronted Han Solo in Docking Bay 94 of Mos Eisley Spaceport, strong-arming the smuggler to pay his debts. The crime lord had placed a bounty on Han, and his patience was worn thin. Despite Han blasting Greedo, one of Jabba’s henchman, the giant slug-like alien allowed him more time to pay up… for an extra 15 percent.
Boba Fett had successfully tracked and captured Han Solo, delivering the Rebel frozen in a carbonite slab to Jabba the Hutt on Tatooine. Jabba hung Han on a wall in his palace, calling him his “favorite decoration.” But the former smuggler’s friends would soon appear to stage a rescue mission.
It began with R2-D2 and C-3PO arriving with a message from Luke Skywalker, asking to bargain for Han’s life and offering the droids as a gift. Jabba said there would be no bargain, keeping the droids anyway. Soon, a bounty hunter called Boushh appeared, a captive Chewbacca in tow, looking to collect on the Wookiee. The crime lord offered 35,000 credits, and all seemed well. Later that night, however, Boushh stealthily unfroze Han; as it turned out, the masked infiltrator was Princess Leia, the love of the captured Rebel. Their reunion was cut short, however, by Jabba’s ominous laugh. He knew it was Leia all along, and took her captive, as well. Finally, a cloaked figure entered Jabba’s palace: Luke, again offering Jabba the chance to bargain or suffer the consequences. The gangster laughed and dispensed Luke into the hidden underground lair of his massive rancor, a terrifying creature that was kept only to feast on Jabba’s enemies. A powerful Jedi, Luke defeated the rancor to the shock of all watching.
In anger, Jabba took the small band of Rebels to the desert, where he planned to feed them to the Sarlacc -- a sand-dwelling creature that would eat and digest them over a thousand years. This would be the crime lord’s final mistake. R2-D2 had hidden Luke’s lightsaber in one of his many compartments, launching it to the Jedi. In a flurry of strikes, Luke decimated Jabba’s henchmen. During the ensuing chaos, Leia threw her chains around Jabba’s neck -- choking him until he let out one last gasp.