Jabba the Hutt proves he is more than just a vile gangster in Star Wars: Age of Rebellion – Jabba the Hutt #1.
Warning: This article contains plot points for Star Wars: Age of Rebellion – Jabba the Hutt #1.
Age of Rebellion: Jabba the Hutt #1
Story: Greg Pak | Art: Emilio Laiso, Roland Boschi, Marco Turini | Color: Andres Mossa, Rachelle Rosenberg, Neeraj Menon | Lettering: VC’s Travis Lanham | Cover Artists: Terry and Rachel Dodson | Production Designer: Anthony Gambino | Assistant Editor: Tom Groneman | Editor: Mark Paniccia
If there is a character in Star Wars that personifies the underworld, it is Jabba the Hutt. He first came to Star Wars fans’ attention as the one responsible for the bounty on Han’s head. Jabba sent Greedo after Han in the cantina. Despite his reputation as a vile gangster, Jabba’s actions did little to enhance his reputation as someone that did anything other than rely on his wealth and his minions’ willingness to engage in violence to carry out his will. However, Age of Rebellion – Jabba the Hutt #1 enhances Jabba’s reputation as he handles matters on his home planet of Tatooine.
The Vile Gangster
When Jabba the Hutt was first introduced to audiences, the opening crawl of Return of the Jedi described him as a vile gangster. Nothing in the rest of the movie did anything to contradict that characterization. Jabba keeps Han Solo frozen in carbonite and hung from a wall in his audience chamber. He sentences Artoo and Threepio to servitude. When Leia, disguised as Boushh, arrives to collect the bounty on Chewbacca, the Hutt throws the wookiee in the dungeon. Then he enslaves Leia in a revealing metal bikini when he catches her trying to free Han. Finally, he sentences Luke, who survived being fed to the rancor, Han, and Chewbacca to a slow death in the belly of the Sarlacc. Vile gangster, indeed.
Later, Jabba was added to the special edition of A New Hope, and he hardly came off better. When he arrives in Docking Bay 94, he is escorted by a team of bounty hunters. After Han arrives, Jabba only agrees to give him more time after Han tempts him with a bigger payoff. Eventually Jabba would appear in The Phantom Menace. In the first of the prequels, Jabba didn’t appear so much as a vile gangster through his actions. After all, he fell asleep during the podrace. If anything, his reputation as a menacing gangster took a hit, and he seemed something of a buffoon. Jabba the Hutt #1 changes this quite a bit.
Lord of His Domain
Jabba the Hutt #1 begins with the wealthy of Canto Bight enjoying a rare and expensive drink from Tatooine. “The Tusken Wind” is brewed by the Tuskens, and it is solely available from Tatooine. It is in short supply even on Canto Bight, and the price for a single glass is astronomical. Next, the scene shifts to Jabba receiving a delegation of Tuskens. These Tuskens have a complaint. Both the Imperials and the Jawas are trampling Tusken territory. Initially Jabba balks at the Tuskens bringing their troubles to him, but the Tuskens point out that nothing happens on Tatooine without his consent. Either Jabba needs to do something, or there will be consequences. Jabba puts the Tuskens in their place, and when they acquiesce, he assures them all will be well.
Despite his assurances, Jabba takes no immediate action to aid the Tuskens in Jabba the Hutt #1. His next order of business is chasing a few scoundrels out of his audience chamber. They arrived seeking access to the Tusken Wind, and they know Jabba is its sole provider off the rare beverage on Tatooine. He controls the market. Jabba refuses. Then he does something unwise, in admonishing the scoundrels to leave the Tuskens alone, he tells them precisely where to find where the Tusken Wind is brewed and not to bother the Tuskens there. The scoundrels can hardly believe Jabba was so foolish. Or, was he?
The Word Spreads
Jabba the Hutt #1 plays out beautifully after this. The scoundrels retire to a local cantina and debate whether it is wise to go after the Tusken Wind. They aren’t particularly careful though. When they decide to go for it, they are overheard by a Jawa. When the Jawa rushes off to tell his fellows about the Tusken Wind, an Imperial spy droid catches wind of the details. The particular Imperial receiving this report has financial problems, and this golden opportunity to make some credits falls right in his lap. Before long, the scoundrels, the jawas, and the Empire are all looking for the Tusken Wind. But, it doesn’t go as any of them planned.
While the Tuskens brew their prized libation in the middle of the night, the scoundrels, Jawas, and Imperials make their move. They all arrive at the location Jabba leaked at the same point. Only, there are no Tuskens, no encampment, and no Tusken Wind. There is Boba Fett lying in ambush though. After he takes a shot at the Imperials, all hell breaks loose, and soon the scoundrels, Jawas, and Imperials are all wiped out.
Jabba the Hutt #1 concludes with the Tuskens returning to Jabba’s palace and offering him tribute. They rightfully recognize Jabba as responsible for orchestrating the solution to their problems with the Jawas and Imperials. They deliver another shipment of the Tusken Wind. Jabba receives the gift only to discover from Bib Fortuna that a Coruscant Cartel discovered a synthetic version of Tusken Wind, and the Tusken’s product is now worthless on the market. To this, Jabba chugs what the Tuskens brought him and declares it priceless.
Final Thoughts on Jabba the Hutt #1
Jabba the Hutt #1 is perhaps the most fun issue of Age of Rebellion so far. Jabba skillfully orchestrates the solution to his and the Tusken’s problem by relying on his reputation of violence and oafishness. In the process, he barely risked anyone in his employ. This was very clever writing by Grek Pak.
Thus far, the Age of Rebellion series has excelled at revealing the hidden truth of the iconic characters of the Galactic Civil War. For instance, despite his protests to the contrary, Han really was a Rebel. Similarly, despite his beginnings as a scoundrel, Lando looked after his people when things were at the worst — even when it cost him his last credit. Luke evolved from the headstrong moisture farmer into a thoughtful and patient Jedi in Luke Skywalker #1 capable of resisting the lure of the Emperor and the dark side of the Force. Similarly, Jabba proved to be more than just the vile gangster prone to violence in Jabba the Hutt #1.
Jabba’s motivation wasn’t likely altruistic. The Tuskens were many on Tatooine. They had the ability to make trouble for Jabba. Although Jabba didn’t care to expend his own resources to solve this problem, he had a self-enacting solution on hand. Furthermore, surprising many, he had the ingenuity to enact the plan. After reading Jabba the Hutt #1, you won’t think of Jabba as merely a violent oaf.
Dennis Keithly is a graduate of the University of Missouri, North Texas attorney, husband, father of two, and co-host of Starships, Sabers, and Scoundrels. In addition to Star Wars, Dennis is a fan of science fiction, fantasy, and super heroes in general. When not engaged in fictional universes, Dennis is reading a good book or watching the NHL, football, or studying the NFL draft.