This article was originally published in Death and Taxes on April 14, 2014.
It is the elephant in the room, or giant sentient slug in the room, that has haunted generations of Star Wars fans.
What was the purpose of Jabba’s slave girls? Based solely on what we see in “Return of the Jedi,” the gangster’s comely harum spent one-third of their screen time dancing, another third being eaten by monsters and a third of their time laying around sexily. I think it’s the laying around sexily part that makes us wonder what the point was. They could be there for Jabba and his insatiable slug desires, or as mere set pieces.
Which brings us to the question of the hour: Did Jabba the Hutt make unwanted sexual advances on Leia Organa? Absolutely. There is no doubt that Jabba pawed, fondled, pinched, prodded and slobbered on Princess Leia. He’s the Dov Charney of a galaxy far, far away. Jabba surrounded himself with a plethora of beautiful, weak-minded aliens who were forced to act as if he doesn’t look like a greasy turd. Jabba’s Palace was a hostile work environment for Twi’leks, pig-faced guards and unwashed Rancor trainers alike.
However, if Jabba had actual sex with slave Leia is yet to be determined. First, we don’t even know if Hutts have sex. According to the Star Wars expanded universe, all Hutts reproduce asexually; they keep their young in their wrinkly skin folds much like marsupials. However, this may not mean that little Hutt balls pop off if you get them wet or that they have sex-changing frog DNA. If we compare Hutts to banana slugs, for instance, this would mean that Hutts are hermaphrodites with both male and female genitalia. Fun fact: The banana slugs’ favorite sex position is 69, dude! Another fun fact: After mating, banana slugs often eat (as in literally eat) each other’s penises. So have fun with that, Mrs. the Hutt.
Second, why would Jabba ever find Leia attractive? No matter how good she looked in that gold bikini (and she did look good), if you’re a giant space slug then you are probably attracted to other giant space slugs. Legs? Gross. Smooth skin? No thanks. Symmetrical nostrils? Disgusting. Odds are that Jabba the Hutt would be more titillated by the likes of other, similarly repulsive-looking aliens such as Slurms MacKenzie, the “Slither” alien and possibly the coffee-chugging worms from “Men in Black” for when he’s feeling extra raunchy.
But assuming, for a moment, that bipedal humanoids do it for Jabba, was Leia really who he’s after?
The sail barge, the dancing girls, an in-house jazz fusion band, the frogs–these were just cries for help. Jabba the Hutt was a confused kid, trying to come to terms with his own sexuality. Was he a man? Was he a woman? Who knows?! The only constant was his obsession with a certain, scruffy-looking nerfherder.
Why give Han Solo a second chance to get him his money? Why send the most expensive bounty hunter in the galaxy to bring back a second-rate smuggler … alive? Why keep him frozen in carbonite so you can look at him every single day? Why only sentence the rebel scum to death after he’s had a tender moment with the woman he loved? Because if Jabba can’t have him, no one can. Jabba the Hutt never had sex with Leia or any other slave girl in his palace because he was and had always been in love with Han Solo.