Stop the presses! Stop the presses! Hoojibs are canon! I repeat, Hoojibs are now canon! Cue the Naboo parade music. Writers Cavan Scott, Chip Zdarsky, and Jason Loo reintroduces the legendary alien species to the Star Wars canon, in Star Wars Adventures Annual 2021 after their 40-year hiatus. Hoojibs will now stand side by side in the annuls of Star Wars canon with the likes of Luke Skywalker, Padmé Amidala, Rey, and countless memorable characters. This will be a day long remembered. Hoo-ray!
The Hoojib Hoppers!
First appearing in the classic Marvel Star Wars comics in 1981, Hoojibs have since gained fans who call themselves “Hoojib Hoppers.” These Hoppers typically gather at Star Wars Celebrations or any time fans of Skywalking Through Neverland, aka Skywalkers, meet-up where they hop around and take group pictures. Along their journeys they gave caught up with famed Star Wars collector Stephen Sansweet, artist Randy Martinez, and journalist and major Star Wars fan Anthony Breznican. If you’ve seen the running of the Willrow Hoods, the fans who run around dressed like the character seen for a few seconds in The Empire Strikes Back who carries an ice cream maker, it’s kinda like that.
Hoojibs have been a part of the Star Wars ether but just residing mainly on the perimeter. And now, like another unlikely character to rise to canon level, the green-furred bipedal rabbit, Jaxxon, Hoojibs have transitioned to the main Star Wars universe. But how did Hoojibs get here? What are they exactly? Why have the obtained such a following? What’s their story? Well, Hoojib 101 is about to begin.
What do Hoojibs look like?
In legends, Hoojibs were sentient, telepathic, energy-feeding rabbits indigenous to the planet Arbra. Hoojibs lived peacefully in a geothermal cave. Menaced by the fearsome predators called the Slivilith, the Hoojibs defeated the creatures with the help from the Rebel Alliance. The Alliance then established a base inside the crystal cave following the Battle of Hoth.
The classic Marvel Star Wars comics weren’t shy with their weirdness. And by weirdness, I mean awesomeness! And Hoojibs were the prime example. Hoojibs were small, furry critters distinguished by their large eyes, floppy ears, and single, thin antennae protruding from their heads. In addition, they had four three-toed limbs and were agile runners and climbers in their native forests. They were basically space bunnies.
Hoojibs communicated through telepathy and had a spokesmind to speak on behalf of their kind. They did not call themselves Hoojibs, though they recognized that others used that term. They could communicate directly with intelligent beings and gain images from the minds of less intelligent creatures like the Slivilith. Hoojibs are capable of vocalizing sounds, including a cry of SCREE! intended to frighten predators and fearful yelps of YI!.
Hoojibs, while an intelligent, civilized species, had no need for technology and existed for centuries as power-feeders, sort of like a mynock. They held friendship in high regard, even putting themselves in harm’s way for the sake of their friends. Hoojibs such as Plif were aware of concepts of physical attractiveness among the Human species.
Plif was one of the best-known Hoojibs. He accompanied Luke Skywalker on several missions before and after the Battle of Endor. Plif eventually became a New Republic senator (believe it or not).
Hoojibs in Marvel Comics
Hoojibs made their first appearance on October 20, 1981, in Star Wars #55, written by David Michelinie and illustrated by Walt Simonson.
In this story, Princess Leia Organa leads a survey team to the forest planet Arbra, hoping to establish a permanent Alliance base of operations after being forced to evacuate their last outpost on Hoth. Instead, Leia’s crew discovers that the woods are inhabited by small, telepathic, rodent-like creatures known as Hoojibs. The Hoojibs feed off electricity, so they scamper around the survey camp during the evening, draining all of the power away from the Rebels’ equipment and weaponry. The following morning, Princess Leia encounters a Hoojib named Plif—the spokesmind for the entire Hoojib population. Plif explains that the Hoojibs thrive off electrical radiation and typically feed on a trove of geothermal crystals in a nearby cave. However, they recently abandon the cave due to the presence of a large, flying creature known as a Slivilith. Leia agrees to help Plif oust the Slivilith so that the Hoojibs can regain their food source and stop draining resources from the rebels.
The Slivilith flies downward into the survey camp and begins attacking the rebels. The officers are practically powerless since their blasters no longer hold a charge. They herd the creature back towards its nesting grotto and keep it at bay through non-energy-based melee weapons such as lances and polearms. Finally, Chewbacca manages to grab the Slivilith by its tentacles and smash it down upon the power rod crystals, killing it. Grateful for their assistance, Plif volunteers to share the environs of Arbra with the Rebel Alliance. Leia reports back to the fleet that they have found a new permanent base of operations.
Meanwhile, Luke Skywalker has a conversation with Lando Calrissian. Lando has had concerns about the state of affairs in Cloud City on the planet Bespin ever since he voluntarily abdicated his position as Baron Administrator. Taking the Millennium Falcon, Lando excuses himself from the fleet and returns to Cloud City.
Hoojibs were a common sight in the Star Wars comics in the 1980s. Besides issue #55, Hoojibs also appeared in issues 56, 58, 60, 62-64, 67, 77, 82, 87, 90, 97, 101, and 104-108. Their most recent appearance was in Star Wars Adventures: Han Solo and the Hollow Moon of Khorya, the first in a series of graphic novellas published by Dark Horse Comics in 2009.
Hoojib Read-a-long Books
Issue #55 of Star Wars was eventually adapted into the read-a-long book and cassette, Planet of the Hoojibs (1983; by David Michelinie, illustrated by Greg Winters)
Planet of the Hoojibs presents some events slightly differently than Star Wars 55, somewhat simplifying the story. In Planet of the Hoojibs, the Hoojibs actually speak instead of communicating telepathically. In addition, Luke Skywalker and Lando Calrissian never appear in this version of the story.
So there you have it. All the Hoojib news you can handle and then some! Star Wars Adventures Annual 2021 is coming this November 2021. I just have one question, Hoojibs or Porgs?