Jabba the Hutt in all of his infamous ugliness! Jabba the Hutt: The Art of the Deal is a story of greed, gore, and twists where you can get away with rooting for the Hutt because honestly, his opponents are just as criminal as he is.
Jabba the Hutt : The Art of the Deal consists of four stories:
- Gaar Suppoon Hit
- The Hunger of Princess Nampi
- The Dynasty Trap
Writer: Jim Woodring
I burst out with a lot of wows reading this, there were so many surprises. It took me right back to childhood and my first glimpse of the villain, with my childhood fears he might do anything to the heroes, murder, torture, outright eat them, anything!
In Return of the Jedi I didn’t want my heroes of Luke, Han, Leia, Lando, Chewie and the droids to suffer under the Hutt. And I grieved for Oola. But in Jabba the Hutt Art of the Deal, everyone really is just as bad as Jabba the Hutt so I had no qualms appreciating his savvy even if he does lack a shred of morality. They are just as hungry, arrogant, and evil as he is.
It’s no surprise how it ends but how it gets there is a fun romp, if messy. Jabba the Hutt is a truly ruthless and expert businessman…er business Hutt who is good at what he does even if that is the only time ‘good’ applies to him. And while he can be a cold blooded murderer, he seems determined it be on HIS terms, not someone else’s.
Jabba the Hutt: The Art of the Deal title most fits the first and third story. The Gaar Suppoon Hit has him negotiating with someone and both trying to outdo the other and out betray the other first, much like a chess match. Jabba is every bit as diabolical and clever in this element as Grand Admiral Thrawn is in military tactics and psychology.
The Hunger of Princess Nampi veers off the whole Jabba the Hutt: The Art of the Deal bit as it’s less about negotiation and more about survival. Jabba has found the wrong ship to target when he thinks he’s happened on a helpless victim on the way home to Tatooine, but it turns out to be someone with even bigger appetite than him! This one is gory. Lot of blood!
The Dynasty Trap is an apparently simpler story, Jabba just wants to negotiate to sell his plunder and move along. But no these egotistical people want him to prove his allegiance to them, as if he was a minion. Under other circumstances, Jabba wouldn’t hesitate to do the dirty deed. But they are fatally mistaken in thinking they can boss around Jabba the Hutt! This one features a scene little kid me half expected to see in Return of the Jedi when I saw the size of his mouth!
Betrayal is a story with a different angle. The focus isn’t on Jabba and his dealings directly, but how others feel about him. This has strong echoes of the book Tales of Jabba’s Palace because there are a goodly number that want the Hutt dead, either because he deserves it, or because they want his power and possessions. I felt this a bit weaker than the others but I’d forgotten or underestimated how vicious Bib Fortuna could be!
Jabba the Hutt: The Art of the Deal Continuity
This happens anywhere from 5 years to right to the Battle of Yavin, officially. It was released in 1998 before we saw Jabba and Bib Fortuna together in The Phantom Menace. So far as I can tell nothing hinders it being anything in between there, but that’s where it was put.
Bib Fortuna’s attitude and plans pretty well match what we see in Tales of Jabba’s Palace, edited by Kevin J. Anderson. He had much the same goal in “And the Day’s Annoyances: Bib Fortuna’s Tale’. It is easy to imagine the Bib after the end of this comic realizing his initial plan was unlikely to work, and modifying it by Return of the Jedi.
In one of the stories, a slave is suggested to have been implanted with a deadly device, similar to what we hear about in The Phantom Menace.