Life Size Jabba the Hutt Bust (“Han Solo’s Revenge”/Jabba in Carbonite Version)
This is a bust (or more accurately, a wall hanging) made by John Coppinger, who sculpted the original Jabba the Hutt puppet. The original puppet was scrapped a while after Return of the Jedi ended. This always seemed strange to me, since Lucasfilm keeps a lot of stuff for its archives. But according to John, parts of Jabba’s latex skin were already deteriorating even then — mostly the parts that touched the throne. So maybe this decay along with the huge unwieldy size of the puppet made them decide to scrap it. In any case, John had the foresight to save one latex test casting from the original sculpt — a skin just like they used in the film, but unpainted.
John kept the skin for 25 years before it finally made its way into the hands of an American collector who had a custom display made for it. But John had always intended to make a casting of the skin to preserve it, so before he sold it, he made a fiberglass mold that would allow him to make casts of the original skin. This bust is one of those casts. The irregular shape is due to the shape of the original skin.
I first posted about this piece about a year and a half ago, but at the time I couldn’t afford one and chalked it up to one of those things I would get “someday.” I never forgot about it, though, and finally decided to bite the bullet and contacted John to see if they were still available. Luckily, they were.
He made two versions of the bust: one realistically painted one and one metallic version. I prefer the metallic version, since with life-sized pieces in particular it can be difficult to get a paint job to really look realistic, and I like how you can see all of the details of the sculpt well in this version. Plus, it has a “Jabba in Carbonite” look that’s pretty cool. “Han Solo’s Revenge” indeed! :D Since the metallic version is also cheaper, it was a no-brainer for me.
The bust is about 5 feet wide by 3 feet tall and is made of a combination of cold cast aluminum (resin with aluminum powder in it to give it a metallic look) and fiberglass, mounted on a wooden backing board. John sent it directly to me from the UK, and I was more than a little nervous that it might arrive damaged, but luckily it was fine.
I have it hanging on my wall above the fireplace in my home office. I’m a little undecided whether I should put anything else on the mantle in front of it. Part of me thinks it should stand alone, but I’m running critically low on space and my Attakus statues look pretty good with it, so I’m displaying them there for the moment at least.
John has told me that these are still available on a very limited basis, so if you would like more information you can contact him via his website (there’s an email link at the bottom of the page). I will say that this wasn’t cheap, but it’s the only collectible I know of that has an actual connection to the original prop. It’s really the centerpiece of my collection.