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What Color is Jabba the Hutt? (Part 3: Jabba Collectibles)

JABBA COLLECTIBLES

In the first article in this series, I talked about how Jabba appeared in Return of the Jedi, and how the actual puppet must have appeared in person. And in the second article, I went over the various CGI versions of Jabba.

However, what really got me interested in this topic in the first place was the wide variety of color schemes that you see used on Jabba collectibles. I can’t think of any other major Star Wars character that varies so much. Sure, there’s a certain range of possible colors (not too many pink Jabbas out there), but aside from that, you really have no idea what color a Jabba collectible will be until you see it. And actually that’s part of the fun. I’m really only bothered by it when something tries for a realistic, accurate color scheme and fails. But I am interested in the reasons why there are so many differences.

Take a look at the images to the right, for example. Different versions of this image are used on countless vintage merchandise. You can find it on everything from cereal bowls to towels to wristwatches. And yet they are almost all different in color! One major reason for this is probably a desire to simplify the color scheme and reduce it one main color. This is the only real explanation for the two all-green examples, which don’t really look anything like Jabba as he appeared in Return of the Jedi. And this was before Lucasfilm introduced different color schemes with their CGI versions!

It’s not too surprising that companies wanted to use a single color for Jabba, since it wasn’t really practical to have a complex blended color scheme for a vintage action figure, much less a bubble bath bottle or candy container. But it’s more than just that. As I mentioned before, Jabba can look pretty different depending on the lighting and setting. If someone was using the film as a reference they would get a different idea of his color than if they were using production stills. People who first saw Jabba in the Phantom Menace, the “special edition” of A New Hope, or The Clone Wars would have a very different idea from someone who first saw him in Return of the Jedi. And someone who grew up with the vintage action figure would have a very different idea of the color that Jabba is “supposed” to be than someone whose first toy was the Jabba Glob figure, for example. All of these things influence the colors that people choose. It’s a sort of Rorschach test for Star Wars fans.

Check out my Collection List to see some of the different colors that they have used for Jabba over the years.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. August 19, 2010 10:49 am

    so… Jabba the hut is green then?

  2. icruise permalink
    August 19, 2010 10:51 am

    Funny. 😀

  3. November 24, 2010 4:39 pm

    Great article. its unfortunate that i found it after painting my custom jabba sculpture. but i did think a lot about this and did quite a bit amount of research. At first I tried to get the color scheme close to RotJ, and I was aware that the light made all the difference to the puppet’s color. I think it was because of that that the paint job looked awkward, and decided to do the logical thing and match the color scheme closer to that in the production photos. I also worked backwards from what i saw in the movie and tried to imagine how the colors would read if they were in a well lit environment. It came out a lot better. I tried to stay away from looking @ other people’s paint jobs, especially the sideshow collectible version, but it the end it came out similar to that one.

  4. Kyle Beaudette permalink
    September 20, 2015 9:06 pm

    I just sculpted my own Jabba, and I was soooo frustrated trying to find painting reference. Posted my pic to the starwars subreddit and they sent me here.
    Sigh. Could have used this info three hours ago.

    • mightyjabba permalink*
      September 20, 2015 9:29 pm

      I think I saw it on Twitter. Looked pretty good!

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