No Star Wars fan can forget the first time Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi walked through the Mos Eisley cantina’s murky threshold in A New Hope, greeted by a veritable circus sideshow of the galaxy’s weirdest alien species. Sure, it might’ve been a little scary, but it was served up with a telltale smile and a wink that’s left us feeling nostalgic for decades.
Return of the Jedi went down a similar road years later with the equally memorable Jabba’s palace — before taking a hard right into the realm where nightmares are born. Monstrous mercenaries and obscene abominations that would feel perfectly at home under your bed or in your closet lurked about the palace’s many dank corridors and archways, a far cry (emphasis on cry) from the cantina’s ‘50s-era sci-fi charm.
There’s no turning down this invitation: you have an audience with the exalted Jabba’s creepiest, freakiest buddies!
1. B’omarr Monks
In Legends storytelling, long before it became his secluded vice den, Jabba’s palace was once — and partially remains — the monastery of the B’omarr Monks. The B’omarr Order’s truly enlightened have their brains removed and placed in jars to ponder the universe free of sensual distractions, carried about by eerie spider-like droids; sharp-eyed fans will remember a lone monk’s brief appearance in Return of the Jedi when C-3PO and R2-D2 first enter Jabba’s palace, ambling out of the shadows for a bit of Tatooine sunshine. Giving the monks a wide berth, Jabba’s thugs oftentimes fear that, they too, might wind up as disembodied grey matter…
2. Loje Nella
During Return of the Jedi’s production, and before his Expanded Universe elaboration, the mossy Loje Nella — a discontented accountant in Jabba’s employ — was referred to by the film crew as “Toadstool Terror,” a fitting handle for someone who could’ve easily been found growing under the palace kitchen’s sink. It was some time before Loje was confirmed to be a member of the insectoid Riorian species. This, when you really think about it, is actually more terrifying than a sentient fungus.
Jabba’s palace isn’t without its share of verminous infestation, but the line between pest and guest tends to blur with Ghoel. Affixed to the walls and disregarded as a mindless wad of nothing, Ghoel is a highly intelligent Wol Cabasshite eager for some spirited conversation. So, don’t be shy if you see him…
There are plenty of reasons why one should reconsider sleeping off their bender at Jabba’s palace — as if robotic brain spiders weren’t already a red flag — the unassuming Attark being one of them. Counting himself among Jabba’s many bizarre pets, Attark waits until the twin suns have set, and everyone’s fallen asleep, before sniffing around for fresh blood, getting his fill courtesy of the near-comatose lushes sprawled out on the floor. And by virtue of his animalistic pretense, no one’s the wiser. Paler and lightheaded, maybe, but still.
5. Cane Adiss
No matter where you are in the galaxy, there’s always someone, somewhere, shattering their parents’ expectations. Dropping his own version of the classic I’m-going-to-art-school bomb, the twin-headed Cane Adiss disgraced his family when he pursued his space-faring ambition according to Legends continuity. As it always goes for aspiring smugglers in the Star Wars universe — just ask Han Solo — Cane soon entered the service of Jabba the Hutt, distinguishing himself as one of the crime lord’s top spice runners/mutated terror giraffes. While he’s been seen in other media such as the Star Wars Customizable Card Game and Star Wars Insider, Adiss has an overlooked appearance in Return of the Jedi, due to the fact that he’s just a pair of heads on sticks. With the credits he’s made over the years, here’s hoping he can finally buy the body of his dreams.
Like any Amani, or common bounty hunter, for that matter, Amanaman lives for the hunt, taking pride in each and every one of his kills. While there’s nothing wrong with pocketing a small souvenir to remember the occasion, dragging around your victim’s dried-out corpse and the heads of three more on a stick is — and we’re trying to be delicate here — maybe a step or two beyond societal convention? Take, for argument’s sake, Boba Fett and his braided Wookiee scalps. They make for excellent topics of conversation, are conveniently lightweight, and aren’t disturbingly obtrusive. Which is why you’d never see him lugging around two Wookiee corpses everywhere. So take note, Amanaman, a necklace of teeth or a knife carved from bone would’ve been enough.
7. Hermi Odle
Even by his native Baragwin standards, Hermi Odle’s got a face that any mother would hesitate to love, but Jabba wasn’t concerned with looks when he brought him into his fold. Hutts love their guns and things that go boom, and Hermi’s one of the finest weaponsmiths in the galaxy.
These are just about the weirdest members of Jabba’s palace we could coax into the light, but are there any that we missed? Sound off in the comments below!
Steven Romano is a writer, a geek culture enthusiast and, above all, a longtime fan of the galaxy far, far away. Landspeeder, don’t bantha, over to his blog and Twitter at @Steven_Romano.