"If I told you half the things I've heard about Jabba the Hutt you'd probably short-circuit."Tales From Jabbas Palace
follows on from where Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina
and Tales of the Bounty Hunters
leave off, being an anthology of short stories by different writers edited by Kevin J. Anderson
. This time around the action is focused on the ramshackle collection of thugs, murderers, plotters and luckless slaves that make up the court of Jabba the Hutt. Just as the stories from Mos Eisley Cantina
revolve around the arrival of Luke and Obi-Wan in Episode IV
and the Bounty Hunters
tales centre around the pursuit of the Millennium Falcon
in Episode V
, this collection takes place around the delivery of Artoo and Threepio to Jabba's palace at the beginning of Episode VI
Surprisingly the Bloated One himself is not the star of any of the stories, though he plays a big role in nearly all of them. As with the other volumes the quality of the stories varies greatly but for anyone who wants to know how Mara Jade
infiltrated Jabba's mob or how Boba Fett got out of the Sarlacc this is your book.
- A Boy and His X: Malakili's relationship with the rancor. His story is even called "A Boy And His Monster."
- And I Must Scream: "A Barve Like That" details what it's like to be eaten by the Sarlacc. It's... not pleasant. Also, the fate of Bib Fortuna at the hands of the B'omarr Monks.
- Author Appeal: Timothy Zahn likes to write about Imperials who aren't pure evil.
- Battle Butler: Ephant Mon, who holds the distinction of being Jabba's only true friend.
- Big Eater: The bandleader Max Rebo arranges for his group to be paid in free food (later EU books explain that food is exceptionally scarce on his homeworld).
- Brain in a Jar: The B'omarr monks, and the eventual fate of Bib Fortuna and several others. In the X-Wing Series comics we see that Bib got out of it eventually.
- But Now I Must Go: At the end of the band's tale, Droopy Mc Cool declares that he's going into the desert to find other kitonaks and does so. According to the epilogue, he's never seen again, but some people hear sounds like flutes playing and assume it's Droopy and his 'brothers'.
- Circus of Fear: Before entering Jabba's service Malakili was beast-tamer at the aptly named Circus Horrificus, which later showed up in the Republic comic series.
- The Ditz: Gartogg the guard, who is moronic even by the standards of other Gamorreans.
- Eldritch Abomination: The Sarlacc has traits of one, particularly in how it tortures its victims by forcing them to experience the memories of other victims, past and present. And then claims each victim's mind for itself.
- Fluffy Tamer: Malakili the Rancor's keeper.
- Gambit Pileup: Where to even begin?
- Bib Fortuna is plotting to kill Jabba. Bib knows of a separate plot by Tessek, Ree-Yees, and Bubo, but just wants to let that progress to see if those three end up killing Jabba for him.
- Tessek has arranged to set Jabba up to be arrested in the middle of a drug buy by the Imperials...but he plans to double-cross the Imperial Prefect by arranging for everybody to be killed in the middle of the arrest, effectively removing both Jabba and the head of Imperial law enforcement on Tatooine.
- J'Quille the Whiphid—on orders from Jabba's chief criminal rival, the Lady Valarian—has bribed the kitchen boy to put slow-acting poison in Jabba's food each day...however, the kitchen boy ends up getting murdered by Dannik Jerriko!
- Dannik Jerriko does this because his species kills and feeds on other sentients' brains, and in Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina he had been eagerly anticipating doing this to Han Solo. With Solo in Jabba's captivity and soon to be executed, Jerriko is pissed at being denied his prey and has thus targeted Jabba. He wants to get Jabba good and scared by killing lots of people in his service before finally killing Jabba himself. The movie main cast throws a Spanner in the Works, obviously.
- Multiple people finish their stories right before they hurry off to plant a bomb on Jabba's sail barge in an attempt to blow him up when he rides out to feed the heroes to the Sarlacc; only one bomb is found in one of the later tales, and it's disarmed, but that's moot because it happens moments before the barge gets blown up by the heroes anyway.
- As we know from the film, the Rebels infiltrate the palace to rescue Han and various hijinks ensue around them.
- Finally, after Jabba dies and some of the plotters return to the palace with the intent of taking his place, they fall victim to the B'omarr monks; the monks used to own the palace before Jabba forcibly took it from them. They aren't very pleased about this, and so once Jabba's gone and his surviving minions start fighting amongst themselves, the B'omarr monks make their move and retake the palace.
- Gory Discretion Shot: "A Time to Mourn, a Time to Dance: Oola's Tale" fades out right before Oola gets dropped into the rancor pit.
- It's Personal: "I am Wuntoo Forcee Forwun. Traffic controller. Second class. You deactivated my my manufacturing lot-mates. Now the equation must be balanced."
- Jedi Mind Trick
- Laser-Guided Karma: Ortugg the Gamorrean guard finally becomes so disgusted with Gartogg's stupidity that not only does he not allow Gartogg to come on the sail barge when Jabba and his gang take the Rebels out to be fed to the Sarlacc (something that Gartogg has been constantly begging him for), but he announces that when he gets back he is going to kill Gartogg and have him ground up into rancor meat. And what happens to Ortugg? Like nearly everyone else in the gang, he gets killed when the sail barge he had prevented Gartogg from boarding blows up, purging that Jerkass from existence and finally freeing Gartogg (who gets a happy ending of sorts) from Ortugg's bullying.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: The anthology has 19 short stories and all contain at least one main character and often several supporting characters unique to that story.
- Magic 8 Ball: In George Alec Effinger's story "The Great God Quay", the Weequays have one they use to seek wisdom from their god. Its responses are surprisingly accurate.
- Pen Name: Daniel Keys Moran had the story "A Barve Like That" published under the name "J. D. Montgomery" after some Executive Meddling. It's not a pure case of Alan Smithee because Moran says 80% of the story was left intact.
- Planet of Hats: Exploited. The Max Rebo Band gets stuck working for Jabba in "And the Band Played On" because Sy Snootles made the mistake of letting Max handle the contract negotiations. Max is an Ortolan, whose Hat is Big Eaternote , and Jabba offered to pay them in food.
- Punch Clock Villain: Certain of Jabba's minions (Tessek, Barada, Porcellus) are otherwise lawful beings who happen to work for a gangster, and they can be quite friendly when they're not in shootouts or carrying out executions and the like.
- Remember the New Guy: Apparently, Mara Jade was in the palace at the time Luke Skywalker launched his rescue mission; we just never happened to catch a glimpse of her (because, of course, as a fictional character she wasn't created until nearly a decade after Return of the Jedi.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: While some members of Jabba's gang stick around to try and take over, others grab whatever they can and leave after Jabba's death.
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Oola's story.
- Smug Snake: Bib Fortuna. In fairness he comes across as reasonably cunning (even if he is a "weak minded fool") but he definitely isn't the Magnificent Bastard he sees himself as.
- The Starscream: Bib Fortuna. Actually a lot of people are trying to bump off Jabba but Fortuna fits the trope closest.
- Supreme Chef: Porcellus.
- Villain Protagonist: At least half the stories.
- "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Since most of the characters in this book never really figured heavily in future stories, one of these was included where it had been absent from the other books.