TOR Lore 101: The Hutts
The Hutts have often played a major role in Star Wars lore, and seem to poised to do the same in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Yet, for many of our listeners, Jabba the Hutt in Return of the Jedi is their only exposure to this race.To remedy this, Mos Eisley Radio’s two local lore hounds, Evan and Leo, discuss the Hutts, their homeworld, and what to expect once we are all in the game.
“I know that laugh…”
Evan: If we’re gonna talk Hutts, we have to start with Jabba and where he came from creatively. Originally, the character was said to have been greatly inspired by the characters played by film actor Sydney Greenstreet, particularly in movies like The Maltese Falcon and Casablanca. Although this might have been the case with regards to the deleted, and later re-done, Docking Bay 94 scene, for those seeing Jabba’s first official on-screen incarntion, I think the Jabba we all know and love owes more to Marlon Brando’s Don Corleone in The Godfather. This wouldn’t be surprising given the friendship between Lucas and Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola
Leo: Everybody knows that gangsters gotta be fat, and Lucas came up with the name “Hutt” as a derivation from the Arabic word for “whale.” Jabba, however, isn’t really the best representative of his race as a whole. Most people remember him as the big fat slug who had a thing for half naked Humans and Twi’leks. His love of alien women was considered a bit of a strange and sick fetish amongst other Hutts. Not all Hutts are as fat or immobile as Jabba either. Those among the lower castes can’t afford to have a repulsor platform to carry them around everywhere and have to move under their own power instead. For this reason size is considered a measure of one’s status in Hutt society. Of course, a small Hutt is still pretty damned big by our standards.
E: Wasn’t there even a bizarre story from Tales From Jabba’s Palace about him and, who was it, Ephant Mon beating up Stormtroopers? In any case, for some the only other Hutt they might know is Ziro the Hutt from The Clone Wars. Whether or not you like the show, they at least took this Hutt in a different direction and didn’t just make him a clone (insert joke) of Jabba. His character was based on Truman Capote and it shines through in the accent. Unlike other Hutts, Ziro speaks mostly basic, though that may have had more to do with making it more TV-accessible than anything else. His episodes in the third season give us more Hutts than I think we’ve ever gotten before.
L: Pfft. Much like everything else on that show, I hate the Hutts on Clone Wars. Although I do remember reading an article somewhere speculating that Ziro was the first openly gay Star Wars character. An amusing proposition when you consider the fact that all Hutts are, in fact, hermaphrodites. They possess both sets of sexual organs, and so whatever gender an individual Hutt associates themselves with is a matter of their own choice. So some Hutts always think of themselves as male or female, while some switch gender roles throughout their lifespan. For example, it is quite common for “male” Hutts to consider themselves “female” while pregnant and raising a child.
E: *Sigh* Yes, exactly. Ziro can’t be gay in terms of how we use the term since they’re all hermaphroditic. But having purple body paint and talking like Truman Capote certainly does make you wonder what direction they were going. Though there is a third season episode where we learn “he” had a romantic relationship with Sy Snoodles.
But we’re getting WAY off track here. Point is, we haven’t seen too many Hutts that were not anything more than Jabba clones. The Han Solo Trilogy gave us a small look at how they’re organized as their own crime entity within and yet separate from the Black Sun organization, run during The Saga by Prince Xizor. We also get a taste of that in both KOTOR games where the Hutts you deal with (and even dance for, depending on your character design) enlist your help to get a leg up on The Exchange.
The Glorious Jewel and the Smuggler’s Moon
L: Hutta and its moon, Nar Shadda, are two areas that are relatively unexplored in much of Star Wars lore. There are several comic books that give us a view of Nar Shadda but very few novels have ever visited these two places. The novel Fatal Alliance, despite it’s many many many flaws, was nice simply because it’s gave us a look at Hutta and it’s culture.
A little known fact is that the Hutts are not actually native to their “home planet” of Hutta. Hutts originally evolved on the world of Varl which was destroyed at some point in ancient history. One story (the one commonly accepted by the galaxy at large) is that they fought a massive war across the planet which utterly devastated the ecosystem. The Hutts, however, tell a tale of their two suns, whom the Hutts worshiped as gods, being destroyed in a cataclysm involving a black hole. Since the Hutts survived when their gods did not, many Hutt feel that this has elevated their race to god-like status and has certainly led to the Hutts feelings of superiority regarding all other races. After this, the Hutts claimed the world of Evocar as their own, enslaved the native Evocii, and renamed the planet Nal Hutta.
E: The relationship between the Hutt overlords of Nal Hutta and the enslaved Evocii is actually brought up very early on in the stories for those classes which start on Nal Hutta, the Bounty Hunter and Imperial Agent. I really did not know much about Nal Hutta apart from what little they told us in Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords while you roam around Nar Shadda. I guess I am glad that we’re seeing more Nal Hutta than perhaps we will see of Nar Shadda, at first at least, since the latter has already been used in two well-known SW games, the aforementioned KOTOR 2 and Dark Forces 2: Jedi Knight.
I’m not sure which would be a more interesting place to explore, actually. In Hutta, we have a swamp world gone industrial; kind of like as if someone went to Naboo and turned all the bog regions into dumping plants (though I don’t think anyone would mind the locals being forcibly removed). For Nar Shadda we’re looking at almost a REALLY dirty version of Coruscant. We’d mentioned how Corellia is a slightly-less-polished version of the Galactic Capitol, but this city world (moon), sometimes referred to as the “Vertical City,” is likewise huge, but also just plain nasty.
L: So little has been seen of Hutta that it will be cool to see, but I’m more partial to the cityscapes that Nar Shadda will offer us. The city moon of Nar Shadda will be a really cool contrast to Coruscant’s city. I’m looking forward to seeing how Bioware differentiates the two worlds that at first glance seem so similar, but are really quite different. The moon should have quite a few Evocii, since that is where the Hutts exiled them to after taking over their homeworld. I’m particularly excited to explore the undercity of Nar Shadda, which is full of mutated, violent Evocii.
E: Alright, well, we obviously have lots of ground to cover with just these two worlds. Hopefully, as the Bounty Hunters and Imperial Agents are running around Nal Hutta and while everyone gathers on Nar Shadda for Huttball, they’ll stop and smell… wait. No. They really shouldn’t smell ANYTHING on either of these planets. If they learn one things from this, it’s this: Hutts are gross. Also, don’t go anywhere with one of them, even if they offer you candy. I’m sure metal bikinis chafe.