FTOOM FAST-FACT – Will the real Jabba the Hutt please stand up!

Why does ‘Marvel Jabba’ look so different than the on-screen Jabba the Hutt? Taken from a discussion in the most recent episode of Classic Marvel Star Wars Comics podcast where we broke down issue 28 in the classic line titled – ‘What Ever Happened to Jabba the Hut? In 1977, as we watched Star Wars we were taking in a whole new world. Very quickly we learned what a Wookiee was, a Droid, and a Millennium Falcon. We saw these characters and vehicles on-screen and could make a connection. But when Greedo cornered Han Solo in the Mos Eisley Cantina and told him that Jabba put a price on his head, we were all wondering – Who is this Jabba?

That is all we get on Jabba, just a mention (except in the the Special Edition in 1997 where we do see the crime lord). For those wondering who or what this Jabba was, we just had to turn to the Star Wars adaptation from Marvel Comics. Here we saw Han Solo confronting Greedo’s boss, Jabba the Hutt. This green-skinned ‘Marvel Jabba’ had wisps of white hair coming out of his cheeks and small beady black eyes. And he had a very fit physique. 

It would be another six years until Jabba the Hutt made his big screen debut in Return of the Jedi. But for those of us who remembered reading the Marvel adaptation, we were very confused. This slimy bulbous crime lord in the film bore no resemblance to the ‘Marvel Jabba.’  

So the question was, who is this alien seen in the Marvel comics? (‘Marvel Jabba’ can be seen in issue #2 – Six Against the Galaxy, issue #28 – What Ever Happened to Jabba the Hut, and issue #37 – In Mortal Combat.)

According to Marvel artist, Steve Leialoha, George Lucas gave Marvel a copy of the Star Wars script that included the Jabba scene. Even though Lucas cut the scene from the theatrical release, he told Marvel to keep it and fill in Jabba with any alien from stills taken of the Cantina creatures. Little did Lucas, or the Marvel creative team know, that decades later fans would be pulling this inconsistency apart and want an in-universe answer. 

Thanks to West End Games and Decipher’s Customizable Star Wars Card Game, backstories and characters were given life and names. In 1996, Decipher had given the ‘Marvel Jabba’ the name Mosep. While the Ultimate Alien Anthology reference book from Wizards of the Coast gave him the last name Binneed in 2003. And Mosep Binneed was born. Now he just needs a backstory.

In John Jackson Miller’s novel, Kenobi (2013), which features Mosep Binneed, Jackson explains that he travels under the name of Jabba the Hut when he represents the crime lord and his interests since he is his accountant. As Mosep says, “It doesn’t hurt to confuse the competition.” 

But what about the misspelling of Hutt? Why is there only one ‘T’ in the comics and novelization? A popular fan theory is that when Mosep takes on the name Jabba the Hutt, he only spells Hutt with one ‘T’ which is how those on the inside know it is him. 

And now what has been Mosep’s fate? Mosep returned in the novella anthology, Canto Bight (2011). He is featured in the story, ‘The Ride,’ written by John Jackson Miller which takes place 34 years after the Battle of Yavin. 

Now you can recreate the classic panels from the Star Wars comic adaptation where Han Solo confronts ‘Marvel Jabba’/Mosep Binneed. In 2015, Mosep Binneed was immortalized in plastic when he became a Black Series action figure from Hasbro. And now the Jabba the Hutt/Hut/Mosep Binneed mystery circle is complete. 

To hear the lastest Classic Marvel Star Wars Comics – Issue 28: ‘What Ever Happened to Jabba the Hut?’ – listen here (link provided on 1/14/21)

Click here for more on Mosep Binneed

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