- "Since I have no wife or children, if I should die before my dear father, then everything I own shall belong to Zorba the Hutt, including…"
- ―Jabba the Hutt's Will
Jabba the Hutt's Will, also known as JTHW and Jabba's "true will and testament," was a disputed document circulated by Zorba Desilijic Tiure in 5 ABY, entitling Zorba to the estate of his late son, Jabba Desilijic Tiure. After his death at Carkoon in 4 ABY, no full will of Jabba's was discovered, and in lieu of a natural heir, the Hutt crime lord's holdings throughout the galaxy were seized by underlings and local authorities, as well as a few of his relatives to whom he had left some valuables. Zorba was imprisoned on Kip at the time and so was unaware of his son's death; upon Zorba's release, he collected the will's master copy from Jabba's Palace on Tatooine and began to distribute it around the criminal underworld.
The document held up to scrutiny in Hutt courts; most of Jabba's estate was transferred to Zorba, and he wrested control of the Desilijic clan from the hands of Jabba's usurpers, Kumac and Jelasi. However, Zorba's leadership was unpopular, and his reign short-lived; before long several Hutt courts declared the will a forgery, and Jabba's criminal empire was once again absorbed by various factions. Zorba was deposed as Desilijic leader and went into hiding.
Jabba Desilijic Tiure left a simple prose will on Tatooine, which was read to a gathering of the Hutt's relatives by a legal representative, though this document was not widely known and discharged only some of Jabba's possessions. Another will produced by Zorba Desilijic Tiure a year later was a simple holographic recording of Jabba dictating his will. As he had no offspring or life partner, Jabba simply stated that, should he die before his father Zorba, his entire estate should go to Zorba, and proceeded to list all of his properties, starting with those on Tatooine and Cloud City, Bespin. No executor was named, and there was no legal involvement in the testament. Jabba bequeathed nothing to his protégé Jelasi, and claimed that he had no son; however, he had borne a child, Rotta, in 32 BBY. The recording, entitled JTHW, was stored in the memory banks of an archaic droid named CB-99. CB-99 was then hidden in a secret room in Jabba's desert residence on Tatooine. Zorba claimed that Jabba made the will in secret, and CB-99's location was known only by father and son.
Zorba Desilijic Tiure was the leader of the Desilijic clan and its criminal enterprises for centuries until he was imprisoned on remote Kip in 22 BBY for illegally mining Ulikuo gemstones. He was replaced first by his sibling Jiliac and then his offspring Jabba. Free from Zorba's poor leadership and financial mismanagement, the clan flourished, and Jabba ruled an expansive, lucrative criminal empire at the height of his power. However he was killed by Leia Organa during the Battle of the Great Pit of Carkoon in 4 ABY, and the Desilijic clan was thrown into a state of chaos, bereft of its influential and talented leader.
A slew of Jabba's close relatives, including his nephew Gorga Desilijic Aarrpo, traveled to Tatooine to settle his estate. A legal representative of Jabba's read them the written will he had left, outlining what local properties he bequeathed each of them; however, the will discharged only a small amount of Jabba's legacy. Jabba used the will to humiliate his obsequious nephew Gorga in front of the other Hutts, leaving him the entire holdings of the Bank of Jabba, which in truth was a novelty ornament of little value. However, few were aware of the will, and the majority of his properties remained unclaimed. Despite an extensive search, no full testament left by Jabba could be found, and rival Hutts fought amongst themselves for most of Jabba's estate, while many properties were claimed by planetary authorities. Jabba had no clear heir, but after brutal internecine conflict Kumac and Jelasi became joint leaders of the Desilijic clan. CB-99 remained on Tatooine, undiscovered in the palace, which was claimed by local authorities.
Incarcerated on Kip, Zorba remained unaware of his son's death until he was released in 5 ABY. He learned of the events at Carkoon and retrieved Jabba's will from CB-99, seeing potential profit. After immediately circulating news of the "secret will" to his fellow Hutt kingpins, Zorba traveled to Bespin to seize properties which he now claimed to own, with a coterie of mercenaries in tow. Cloud City Baron Lando Calrissian, whose administration had appropriated Jabba's properties in the wake of his death, refused Zorba's claims. However, when Zorba played CB-99's recording to the baron, Calrissian was convinced of the will's legitimacy, and ultimately acquiesced to hand the real estate over to the Hutt.
Calrissian may have taken the will at face value, but Zorba subsequently had to prove its validity through the Hutt courts. Though many were surprised at its contents, the document was deemed legitimate, and Zorba took control of Jabba's legacy. He usurped Kumac and Jelasi to become Desilijic clan leader. However, Zorba spent most of his time pursuing a vendetta against Jabba's killer, Leia Organa, and was known for his lack of business acumen during his previous reign as clan leader: the Desilijic clan dwindled further into obscurity, with Durga's Besadii clan becoming the most powerful criminal enterprise among the Hutts. Desilijic tired of Zorba's leadership and sought to depose him. Hutt courts began to rescind their stamp of approval for Jabba the Hutt's Will, declaring it a forgery, and Zorba went into hiding.
The legitimacy of Jabba the Hutt's Will was not universally accepted after Zorba produced it. He claimed the will was a secret between himself and Jabba, and only the two of them were aware of its existence and location. Upon its dissemination in 5 ABY, the document startled many, who did not expect Jabba to be so generous to his father in death.
However, at least initially, the testament held firm in the face of scrutiny. Lando Calrissian accepted it as genuine, and so did Zorba's retinue of mercenaries. It was also recognized by the Hutt courts, who granted Zorba everything the document entitled him to. Additionally, a New Republic scribe, writing long after Zorba was suspected to have died, accepted its legitimacy.
Ultimately, most of the Hutt courts opted to overturn their decision and declare the document a fabrication. However, the Hutts had ulterior motives to take this course of action: Zorba was a proven failure as clan leader, and under his leadership the clan's influence and revenue were dwindling, so a large number of his subordinates sought to topple him. Additionally, many Hutts stood to gain from such an annulment, with Zorba's inherited wealth divided up among a slew of Hutt interests.
The date of creation was not stated in the supposed recording of Jabba. However, as Zorba had been incarcerated over a quarter of a century before his son's death, its existence predated Zorba's arrest in 22 BBY. Additionally, the droid that stored the JTHW file was antiquated and covered in dust when Zorba reactivated it in 5 ABY: it had been there so long that Zorba was unsure if its memory banks would still be functioning. The will also stated that Jabba had no children, but by 32 BBY he had produced one child.
Jabba was suspected to have been coaching the ambitious Jelasi as his protégé and heir, but the will left Jelasi nothing. That everything went to Zorba was startling to many of Jabba's former associates; he and Zorba had not been close, and Jabba kept to himself, running his own business ventures without Zorba's interference. Jabba had no remorse about Zorba's imprisonment, and Zorba had hoped to gain from Jabba's astute leadership upon his release.
Behind the scenesEdit
Jabba the Hutt's Will was created by Paul and Hollace Davids for Zorba the Hutt's Revenge (1992), part of the Jedi Prince series of children's books. The document was later referenced by Daniel Wallace in The New Essential Guide to Characters (2002) and Cory J. Herndon in Hutt! Hutt! Hutt! (2003), as well as The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia (2008). The document's validity has not been definitely established by canon. Zorba the Hutt's Revenge presents it as Jabba's genuine will, but Hutt! Hutt! Hutt! suggests it is a forgery, while The New Essential Guide to Characters refers to it as Jabba's "true will and testament."
The will does not jibe with established canon in that Hutts are hermaphroditic and do not marry, while the will claims that Jabba has no wife. It also states that Jabba has no child, but since the will's creation Star Wars: The Clone Wars has established that Jabba bore a child in 32 BBY; however, Rotta's eventual fate has yet to be established in canon, and the date of the will's creation is not clear.
In 1998, John Wagner's The Jabba Tape briefly featured Jabba's will, different to the Davids' creation, being read by a lawyer in the immediate aftermath of the Hutt's death, conflicting with the assertion in Zorba the Hutt's Revenge that no will was found. However, The New Essential Guide to Characters tries to reconcile these two conflicting facts, specifying that only some of Jabba's holdings were released during the events of The Jabba Tape.
- The New Essential Guide to Characters (Indirect mention only)
- (Indirect mention only)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 140 (HUT18, The Hutts)
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia ("JTHW" and "CB-99" entries)
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 Zorba the Hutt's Revenge
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 The New Essential Guide to Characters
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 The Jabba Tape
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Galaxy Guide 11: Criminal Organizations
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Visual Guide
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 HoloNet News Vol. 531 48 (content now unavailable; backup links 1 2 on Archive.org) —
- ↑ The Hutt Gambit
- ↑ 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10
- ↑ The Official Star Wars Fact File 140 (HUT18, The Hutts)
- ↑ Rebel Dawn