Jabba's Decorations

Reconstruction and examination of artistic treasures from the personal collection of Jabba the Hutt.

Thanks are due to, in alphabetic order:

Sail Barge Relief

Photomosaic reconstruction of a lost artistic treasure of Tatooine.

This picture decorated one of the walls of the luxury sail barge of Jabba the Hutt. It was about one-and-a-half metres long and perhaps four-fifths of a metre high. It appears to be a relief cut in tan/ochre sandstone, which according to SWCCG lore, was from the adoptive Hutt homeworld of Nal Hutta. The piece, entitled Ne Ganna Dateel Jabba is said to have been designed by a Huttese artist named Dreyba.

The image depicts Jabba resting contentedly, surrounded by what probably were some of his favorite possessions. In his right hand he holds a large thin-necked jug which presumably held a drink of the hutt's fancy. In his left hand Jabba is cradling the head of one of his reclining humanoid pets. Another pet crouches attentively near his right hand, leaning against his mighty belly. Other pets are near Jabba's tail, or standing behind him. Two are holding fans.

The whole leisurely company is under what appears to be a tent or canopy, and it seems as if there are cushions on the ground.

The picture was tragically destroyed along with the whole sail barge and its passengers, after a joyride to the Pit of Carkoon went horribly wrong. The prisoners intended as live food for the local sarlaac managed to escape. They slew the guards, courtiers and Jabba; and then blasted the barge with its own defensive laser cannon.

Closeup of a damaged protocol droid standing in front of part of the relief.

Prototype model for the observation deck of Jabba's sail barge. The mural is clearly located amidships, on the first landing of the multi-level rampway leading to the top deck. The presence of the artwork in this early conceptual model of the barge indicates its importance to the overall set.

* * * * * * * * *
Another incomplete composite, and individual glimpses of the artwork, behind the bedlam of the battle at Carkoon.

Another relief hanging in Jabba's yacht in the Dark Forces video game. The style is very similar to the one aboard his sail barge, and it may be due to the same artist. In this representation, Jabba seems to have fewer pets, but more mercenary minions surrounding him.

Sail Barge Gargoyles

Trusses and beams are regularly spaced like ribs around the interior walls of the observation deck of Jabba's sail barge. At the highest point on several major beams, in the corner between wall and ceiling, there was mounted a unique gargoyle measuring about thirty centimetres in each dimension. The gargoyles were cast or sculpted in the same semi-metallic substance as the structure of the barge.

Unfortunately these works, like the relief mentioned in the above section, did not survive the battle at Carkoon. The loss is enhanced by the fact that only a couple of the gargoyles have been photographed with enough clarity to even identify the particular creature portrayed. With presently-available data, any reconstruction would be nearly impossible.

One of the gargoyles is a rancor, with its arms drawn neatly together in front of its body. This choice suggests that the gargoyles collectively represent animals or sentients who were regarded with pride or affection by Jabba. (Jabba probably commissioned an artist to sculpt a representation of his own private rancor.)

The second distinguishable gargoyle is the head of an Ishi Tib of indeterminate age and sex. This person may have been a special favourite of the Hutt. The Ishi Tib who rode with the sail barge on its last journey to Carkoon was probably not the one honoured with the sculpture. He did not appear to command so much attention or esteem.

The rancor gargoyle is on the far right of this scene, behind Ree Yees.

Ishi Tib gargoyle, behind the head of C-3PO.

Wider interior view of the sail barge observation deck showing two of the gargoyles. The larger, rancor gargoyle is at the front of the barge, behind the Gamorrean. The Ishi Tib gargoyle is on the far left, behind Jabba. According to the symmetry shown here, there ought to be at least one more gargoyle, off the right side of the photograph, opposite the Ishi Tib sculpture.

Ishi Tibe gargoyle is visible behind three humans on the far left; the opposite gargoyle is visible but unidentifiable above C-3PO and Bib Fortuna at the far right.

Schematics of the sail barge interior. The rancor gargoyle, which is probably the largest one, appears to be on the thick, central truss at the forward end of the observation chamber.

Animal Heads

The heads of two beasts were mounted like hunting trophies on the wall on either side of the alcove where Han Solo's carbonite block was displayed. Both were large creatures; unless their body-to-head proportions were very unusual, they may have weighted up to a ton in life.

  1. The head on the left side is a tauntaun. Its presence implies that Jabba's minions have visited Hoth, or that the species is more widespread than previously believed. The tauntaun is horned, and therefore is female.
  2. The other head is less easy to identify. Like the tauntaun, it has short facial fur, but no major antlers or horns. The snout seems vaguely flattened or piglike. It appears to be a jerba, a shaggy thin-legged beast of burden of a kind appearing outside the Mos Eisley cantina in A New Hope.

The significance of the heads of these seemingly mundane creatures is not clear. The female tauntaun, with its horns, could be a vicious beast if it is not domesticated. Alternatively, it might have significance in connection with Solo, since the Corellian had ridden a tauntaun on Hoth. Perhaps Solo has ridden a Jerba as well? Or perhaps the arrangement of animal heads implies that Solo himself, a drug smuggler, is regarded as a former pack animal in the Hutt's service.

The tauntaun head is clearly visible behind and to the right of singer Sy Snootles.

Widescreen view and closeup of the tauntaun head mounted on the wall of the audience chamber of Jabba's palace, facing towards the throne room's upstairs side exit.

The tauntaun trophy again in closeup, though poorly lit, surrounded by a jawa, a gamorrean and an amanaman. The dried human head is actually an ornament on the amanaman's trophy staff; it is not part of Jabba's collection.

In the Classic STAR WARS comics, Jabba received intelligence suggesting Solo's presence in the Hoth system. He sent bounty hunters to investigate; they caught Solo aboard the ship of the pirate Raskar, but the Corellian eventually escaped. Perhaps more minions of the Hutt returned later to continue the search, and trophied a tauntaun head while they were there?

Man in Carbonite

Jabba's favourite decoration was a unique work of art created by Lord Darth Vader. It is an improvised container for the imprisonment of a man placed in hibernation. Use of this particular subject brought great personal satisfaction to Jabba, because Han Solo was a debtor gone bad and brazen, and also a formerly trusted employee who turned traitor against the Hutt's authority. Display of the helpless, hapless Solo had practical benefits as well; it sent a powerful message to other potentially-wayward minions and members of Jabba's court.

With only his teeth not covered by the metallic substance, Solo existed in a fascinating suspension: neither alive nor dead. After his rescue, he reported a sensation of wakeful nothingness, but it remains unknown whether this was a true experience, or just a distortion of the brain's sense of time and memory. To answer this question it is crucial to learn the state of Solo's tissues in his carbonite tomb. Did the carbonite serve merely as a shell immobilising him, or did it permeate his flesh as well? Did his metabolism continue at some level, or was his entire substance fixed by chemical or thermal or electrostatic means? One can imagine that Jabba would have been morbidly fond of these questions, whether or not he knew the true answer.

Han Solo encased in carbonite, Jabba's favourite decoration.

Floral Cornice

This structure appears in a corner near the ceiling of Jabba's throne room. The meaning of the carving is not immediately obvious, and it may be abstract. As such it does not seem much like the artworks Jabba would commission, which exalt his own power. Since it is attached to the basic structural stonework of the chamber, it seems possible, and perhaps likely, that it was created by the B'Omarr monks and may have some religious significance to them.

Stone cornice, possibly a floral design of some kind.

Archway Glyphs

Several arches and doorways of Jabba's throne room were painted with sequences of crescent-shaped symbols. They were typically ten centimetres long, but their length and orientation varied. Since the languid yet robust style of the writing is reminiscent of the Huttese form, it can be speculated that this is actually a form of Huttese script. The glyphs did not appear to repeat themselves. Unfortunately the presently-available imagery does not allow us to draw the full sequence for any particular arch.

Partial view of on of the arcs of decorative crescent-shaped symbols on the wall of Jabba's audience chamber in his Tatooine palace.

Wind Chime

A metallic chime hung in the archway of the main entrance to Jabba's throne room. Viewed from within the chamber, the object hung at about head-height in the right corner of the doorway.

It consisted of several metal cylinders hanging on fine threads. In the middle of this array there hung a unique piece of metal shaped like the silhouette of a reclining Hutt, probably a representation of the great Jabba himself. A slight disturbance or breeze would cause the hutt-shape to turn on its thread, striking and exciting one or more of the chimes. A larger disturbance, such as a clumsy princess whacking her head through the middle of the whole contraption, would excite all of the chimes loudly.

According to the corresponding SWCCG card, this wind chime was brought to Tatooine from Nar Shaddaa, which is a traditional centre of Hutt activity. Apparently the Hutts regard these kinds of chimes as symbols of renewal.

Wind chime in the main entry to Jabba's audience chamber. [ROTJ; ROTJ; BTM]

Throne Cyclopses

The SWCCG game card claims that these ornamental head sculptures portray Abyssin. However there are several important differences between the features of these artworks and the face of the Abyssin named Myo who was seen in the Mos Eisley cantina. The lips of an abyssin are split and curve inwards, and the face is humanoid and flat; Jabba's sculptures have long snouts instead. Abyssin have blunt molars in their mouths; the heads on Jabba's throne have sharp teeth. If the ornaments are related to the abyssin, they are caricatures. At best, they may be a distantly related animal species from the same world.

Metallic cyclops head ornament attached to Jabba's repulsorsled throne.

In addition to the four at the front, a single cyclops head occurs on each of the left and right ends of the throne. [Star Wars to Jedi: the Making of a Saga]


In what may be a non-so-subtle indication of his priorities in life, Jabba kept an ornate barbeque behind his throne. The device was almost constantly attended by cronies cooking huge slabs of meat. The main section is a table-like structure at about human knee-height, with a pattern in relief on the metal sides and legs. Flames flicker from the top of the table. A rotisserie is supported about a metre above the flames.

The region around Jabba's throne, with barbeque behind it. [Behind the Magic]

Hooka Pipes

Jabba's court caters to its denizens' most degenerate tastes, and so many of the ornaments may be instruments of twisted hedonism. Among them is a system of hooka pipes built into the walls. Typical fittings are branched clusters of brassy cylinders several centimetres in diameter, with thinner flexible tubes connecting to the tips. The tubes presumably lead to the pipes or other suitable attachments.

The most important fact about the hookas, from a technical point of view, is that each one is different. Thus they are good landmarks for locating characters and scenes.

Hooka fittings in the first arch over the band area, over the place where Sy Snootles usually stands and sings.

Hooka fittings in booth 4 from the main entrance (left side of this image).

Hooka fittings in booth 3 from the main entrance (left side of this image). What looks like a portable hooka sits on the floor near the pillar between booths 2 and 3. This is the scene as it was during the dancing and the negotiations over Chewbacca's bounty.

Hooka fittings in booth 3, but at a later time:the main occupants are now Elom, Hermi Odle and Ishi Tib.

Booth 2, with hooka at top right. This booth is distinctive for the glowing patch exposed beneath the rectangular light vent. Hooka pipes for booth 1 are visible to the left.

Distant view of booths 1 and 2; the hooka at the back of booth 1 is visible through the arch of booth 2, at the right side of the picture.

Booths 2, 3 and 4 seen from the middle of the room. Hermi Odle and Elom are identifiable in booth 3, the hooka of which is visible also. There is a panel of switches on the pillar between booths 2 and 3. Part of Max Rebo's instrument is visible to the right of booth 4.

Booths 1 (extreme left) through to four (right). The hooka in booth 3 is visible; the glowing area beneath the booth 2 light vent is also identifiable.

Pipe assembly on the wall near the tail end of the throne (far background to the left of the bright red aperture).

Hooka fittings at the head side of Jabba's throne. First image: behind Calrissian; second image: above and behind the man and yuzzum; third image: to Jabba's left, above his head; fourth image: right side, far behind the Gamorrean (whose back is turned to Jabba); fifth image: far wall, behind Bib Fortuna (ignore extratextual foreground film crew). [Behind the Magic; Star Wars to Jedi: the Making of a Saga]

Jabba's Tattoo

Jabba wears a tattoo on the back side of his right forearm. The tattoo appears to be something deeper than just pigment inserted under his skin; the hide appears to have been deliberately scarred with a pattern. The name of a presently unreleased SWCCG game card, Desilijic Tattoo, indicates that it is a mark of Huttese clan affiliation.

Closeups of Jabba's tattoo. [SWCCG card game; From Star Wars to Indiana Jones]

Other Furniture

A variety of interesting but mundane works of art and craft were kept around Jabba's palace.

spiral vase

Several distinctive items sat near Solo's display alcove, including a large vase or drinking vessel with a narrow tapering neck and decorated with a spiral pattern of ridges. This vessel looks as if it has a capacity of ten litres or more, which is not much for a Hutt to drink unless the contents are very potent. The use of such a container is obviously not beneath the dignity of a Hutt, because the relief aboard his sail barge portrays him brandishing a similar vessel.

A similar or identical object appears to have been used as a drinking vessel elsewhere in the throne room. Sometime between Oola's last dance and the delivery of Chewbacca, Amanaman, who sat in booth 3, fell prone and apparently unconscious. A spiral flask (like the one near Solo's alcove) was in his right hand. At a different time the same item was seen upright on the floor at the base of the pillar between booths two and three.

Spiral vase on a small table near the Han Solo sculpture piece.

Similar spiral flask near the pillar between booths 2 and 3 (counting away from the main entrance). In the first image the vessel is in Amanaman's right hand, near Bubo's rump. [Behing the Magic]

platter stand

There is a very curious piece of furniture to the left of Han Solo's display alcove and below the tauntaun head. It has a vertical stalk and a base like a lamp stand, and it is adorned with a small flat horizontal surface on top, plus two others branching off the stalk at different heights. It may be related to the fruit table encountered by C-3PO, though it looks less regularly shaped, in the avaiable pictures.

Another piece of furniture sitting near Solo. The nature and purpose of this object are unknown. [ROTJ Storybook; The SW Trilogy Scrapbook: The Galactic Empire]

fruit table

In Jabba's audience chamber a multi-platformed brass/gold table stood near the wall immediately to Jabba's left. The levels of the table appear to be comprised of several linked petal-shaped segments. When C-3PO was knocked off the dais during negotiations over Chewbacca's bounty, he fell into the table and became mashed with some of the moist greenish fruit sittting on the lowest visible level of the table.

The table, the fruit, C-3PO, the stairs near Jabba's left hand, and a Yuzzum onlooker.

drink tray

Aboard Jabba's sail barge, the droid R2-D2 served drinks from a tray attachment that bore a striking similarity to the multi-level fruit table which C-3Po encountered back in the palace throne room. Specifically, the platter is made of segments that appear the same as the segments of the table's horizontal surfaces.

R2-D2 and modular serving tray.

trumpet vase

Between the throne and the main doorway there stood what looks like a very tall trumpet-like structure. It may be a movable ornament, like a vase, or perhaps it may be a piece of aparatus or piping. Since the only available image is cut off at the edge, the object could even be the leg of a very high table or similar structure.

Tall trumpet-shaped vase, at far right of image [Star Wars to Jedi: the Making of a Saga]


Jabba's audience chamber

Jabba's audience chamber


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Last updated 16 February 2001.

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