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"I have no value to you. Kill me. My creature, Pateesa, is dead. All my beasts are gone—"
―Malakili, to Cobb Vanth — Gnome-speakernotesListen (file info)[src]

Malakili was a male human from the planet Corellia who spent much of his childhood living in the slums of the moon Nar Shaddaa. Having an affinity for animals, Malakili was hired as a beastmaster for Hutt circuses, but he was sold into slavery after a creature got loose and killed audience members. Purchased by Jabba the Hutt, Malakili served as a caretaker to the creatures in Jabba's Palace on the desert planet Tatooine. During that time, Malakili became fond of Jabba's rancor, Pateesa, and the creature saved his life during a Tusken Raider attack. Sympathizing with Pateesa, Malakili planned to one day escape with the beast.

In 4 ABY, Luke Skywalker of the Rebel Alliance arrived at Jabba's Palace in an attempt to rescue Han Solo. However, Skywalker was tricked into Jabba's rancor pit, and the Rebel killed Pateesa. Upon witnessing the death of the creature, Malaliki wept, and Jabba demanded that Skywalker and his associates be executed. However, the Rebels escaped, killing Jabba in the process. In the following months, Malakili was one of the last to leave the palace, and he wandered into the Dune Sea toward the Great Pit of Carkoon.

Feeling purposeless without his creatures, Malakili contemplated suicidal thoughts and considered feeding himself to the sarlacc. However, Malakili found the sarlacc was severely injured, so he traveled further into the desert. After wandering for a time, Malakili was attacked by the Red Key Raiders, criminals who rose to power in Jabba's absence. However, Malakili was rescued by Cobb Vanth and Issa-Or, self-proclaimed law enforcers. When the two learned Malakili was a beastmaster, they offered him a job in Freetown to work with rontos and teach a Huttlet they had captured. Malakili accepted the position, and he felt he had regained purpose.

After the rescue, Malakili worked in Freetown, where he named the Huttlet Borgo and formed a friendship with Vanth. Vanth was concerned about the growing power of the Red Key Raiders, so with Malakili's help, the sheriff formed an alliance with a group of Tusken Raiders. Soon after, Freetown was attacked by Red Key thugs, and the Tusken Raiders arrived to fight them. At some point after the raid, Malakili was reunited with Porcellus, the former head chef of Jabba's Palace. The two eventually became business partners, and they traveled to Mos Eisley, where they opened the Crystal Moon Restaurant.

BiographyEdit

Beastmaster for the HuttsEdit

Malakili-Imperial-Assault

From a young age, Malakili worked as a beastmaster for Hutt circuses.

Malakili was a male human born on Corellia,[1] a planet in the galaxy's Core Worlds.[6] Malakili departed Corellia at a young age, winding up in the slums[4] of the Outer Rim moon[7] Nar Shaddaa. Skilled with handling beasts, Malakili spent his childhood training vicious creatures called gugverms to stop stealing from local food stores; with time, the gugverms became Malakili's pets, friends, and protectors.[4] Eventually, Malakili was hired as a beastmaster for traveling[1] Hutt circuses,[4] such as Circus Horrificus,[5] in which he domesticated and taught a variety of creatures including sand dragons, kill-wings, costumed womp rats, and later on, rancors—monstrous creatures no one else could tame.[4] However, the human's circus career ended after a show on Nar Shaddaa, when one of his dangerous beasts got loose and killed audience members.[1]

As a result of the incident, Malakili was made a slave,[1] and by 0 BBY[8] he was sold to Jabba Desilijic Tiure, a Hutt crime lord on the desert planet Tatooine.[1] Serving as a caretaker in Jabba's Palace, Malakili was responsible for tending to Jabba's menagerie of creatures, including the Hutt's prized[9] male rancor,[10] Pateesa[4]—a name which meant "friend" in Huttese.[10] Pateesa was purposed with eating prisoners, and Malakili would tend the wounds he received doing so. During Malakili's time at Jabba's Palace, he became very fond of the rancor, and he, along with the Kadas'sa'Nikto Giran, considered Pateesa to be their favorite of Jabba's creatures. Pateesa also had a fondness for Malakili, and one day, when the beastmaster was attacked by Tusken Raiders, the rancor saved his life.[1] In Jabba's Palace, Malakili grew sympathetic toward Pateesa, and he planned to one day escape with the creature.[2]

Shortly before the Battle of Endor in 4 ABY,[11] Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker, a commander in the Alliance to Restore the Republic, attempted a bargain with Jabba to save the life of his captured friend, Han Solo. However, Jabba declined the offer and tricked the Jedi[3]—and the unfortunate Gamorrean guard Jubnuk[5]—into falling through a trap door leading to the palace's rancor pit. While the guard was promptly eaten by Pateesa, Skywalker evaded the beast's claws and ran under the pit's gate toward a windowed back door. When the Rebel reached the exit, he discovered it was locked from the other side and would not open for him. Malakili and Giran, who sat at a table on the door's opposite side, quickly stood up, and Giran yelled at Skywalker, jabbing a spear at him.[3]

Malakili weeping

Malakili and Giran weep at Pateesa's demise.

As the rancor approached Skywalker, the cornered Jedi picked up a skull, and he used the Force to propel it toward the gate's utility panel. The bone crushed the button, causing the panel to short-circuit and release the several ton gate of iron and steel down on the rancor's head. Pateesa was slammed to the ground, and his skull was crushed.[12] Shocked,[9] Malakili opened the door, rushing past Skywalker to Pateesa's side, and he wept upon seeing he was dead. Whimpering, Malakili turned away from the fallen beast, placing an arm around Giran for comfort.[3]

Finding purposeEdit

"We got a couple unruly rontos that could use a steady hand. Can you handle that? There'd be payment. And a homestead for you if you care to claim it."
"I…can."
―Cobb Vanth and Malakili[src]

Following the event, Jabba demanded that Skywalker and his friends be taken to the Dune Sea and executed in the Great Pit of Carkoon, the resting place of a sarlacc, a dangerous creature and one of Jabba's favorite pets. While Jabba left aboard his sail barge, the Khetanna, to witness the execution,[13] Malakili remained in the palace with several others. However, the Rebels escaped, killed Jabba, and destroyed the sail barge, leaving the palace residents unsure of what to do. The inhabitants of Jabba's Palace said that a new Hutt would come to take the castle, so Malakili remained, waiting for his new employer to arrive. After a time, the palace began to run out of food and water, but Malakili and many other residents still stayed. However, some of the palace dwellers realized that no Hutt was coming, creating rumors that changes in the galaxy had started fighting among the Hutts in an underworld war. As many of the tenants left, Malakili became one of the last to remain in the otherwise empty fortress, but one day he also left, placing the palace[4]—and the unmoved carcass of Pateesa[14]—behind him.[4]

Dune Sea

Without his creatures, Malakili felt purposeless and wandered the Dune Sea.

Feeling purposeless without Pateesa and his other creatures, Malakili set out toward the Great Pit of Carkoon, creating an ultimatum for himself: successfully tame the sarlacc, or—if unable to—commit suicide by throwing himself into the monster's mouth. However, when Malakili reached the sarlacc, he found it was injured; the Khetanna's destruction had sent burning wreckage onto the creature, partially exposing its massive body from the sand, and Jawas had slit open its stoma-tubes to scavenge weapons, armor, droids, and tools. Upon seeing the sarlacc wailing, unable to fend off pillagers, and deprived of its sole purpose, Malakili empathized with the creature and wept.[4]

In 5 ABY,[11] months after Jabba's death, Malakili wandered toward Mos Pelgo, and one day, he was found by two thugs of the Red Key Raiders, a criminal syndicate which posed as a mining company. Malakili ran from the gang, but he was older and slower than he once was, and the thugs quickly caught up to him, knocking the human to the ground and rummaging through his few belongings. One of the thugs took Malakili's waterskin, drank what was left, and introduced himself as Bivvam Gorge. Gorge declared that the area was the territory of the Red Key, and Lorgan Movellan—the leader of the syndicate—deserved his cut of Malakili's possessions. However, a blaster bolt then struck and killed Gorge, and the remaining thug began firing at the attackers before being shot himself. Malakili feared the gunmen were also raiders, so he played dead—a trick he learned from many of his beasts.[4]

As Malakili laid in the sand, the new arrivals—a human man and a Twi'lek woman—approached, telling Malakili he was safe. The two introduced themselves as Issa-Or and Cobb Vanth, the latter wearing worn, Mandalorian armor which Malakili recognized. Vanth explained that he was a lawman and de facto mayor of Freetown, the town formerly known as Mos Pelgo. Vanth studied Malakili, saying that he looked familiar; Malakili replied, saying that he was no one. Explaining that the requirement for living in Freetown was usefulness, Vanth asked Malakili if he was useful. Malakili believed he was no longer useful to anyone, and his eyes teared up as he admitted that he had no value or desire to live without Pateesa. When Malakili mentioned the creature, Issa-Or asked if he was a beastmaster, and Malakili nodded. Vanth chuckled and informed Malakili that he had rontos in need of taming. Offering the job to Malakili, Vanth added that the position would include payment and a homestead if he wished. Hearing of the opportunity, Malakili suddenly felt a new purpose in his heart, and he accepted the offer.[4]

Vanth then asked Malakili if he knew anything about Hutts, and Malakili affirmed that he did. When Vanth asked if he could train one, Malakili protested, saying that Hutts were sentient beings and not pets. Vanth amended his question, asking if Malakili could "teach" one; the trainer then responded that he could, but he wanted to know why. Vanth explained that the Red Key had tried to bring a baby Hutt into the empty palace, but Vanth and his partner had interrupted the syndicate's plan and captured the Huttlet. Vanth asked Malakili if he liked the offer, and Malakili replied that it sounded like purpose, and he thanked the lawman. With the deal complete, Issa-Or prompted the two to move on, leaving the Red Key corpses behind to show others that law was being reinstated.[4] After his rescue, Malakili worked in Freetown, where he taught the Huttlet—whom he named Borgo—and formed a friendship with Vanth. Vanth was wary of the Red Key's growing power, so the sheriff made a deal with a group of Tuskens—they would leave Freetown alone in exchange for water. To take the deal a step further, Malakili procured a pearl from the stomach of a krayt dragon, gifting it to the Tusken Raiders for their protection.[15]

Mos Eisley

Malakili eventually traveled to Mos Eisley, where he opened a restaurant with Porcellus, Jabba's former chef.

Months into Malakili's stay, the alliance was put to use when an army of Red Key Raiders, led by Movellan, attacked Freetown. During the raid, Malakili was chained up by Movellan's thugs, and he, along with Vanth and Borgo, was dragged into the town's center. Borgo was fearful of the raiders, so Malakili comforted the Huttlet, saying that everything would be fine. As Movellan prepared to kill them, Vanth signaled Malakili with a nod and a wink, and the beastmaster returned the nod, instructing Borgo to alert the Tuskens. However, Trayness, a Red Key thug, clubbed Malakili in the head, causing the man to clutch the bleeding wound and fall. Responding to Malakili's order, the Huttlet released a howl, and soon after, the town's front gates opened as a Tusken astride a massive bantha charged toward the Red Key thugs. As more Tuskens arrived, Malakili used a magna-driver to remove his and Vanth's shackles, and the lawman attacked Movellan, stating that Freetown would never submit.[15] Some time after the skirmish, Malakili was reunited with Porcellus, the former head chef of Jabba's Palace. The two became business partners, and they eventually traveled to Mos Eisley, where they opened the Crystal Moon Restaurant.[5]

Personality and traitsEdit

"You know much about Hutts?"
"I know quite a bit."
"You think you could train one?"
"I…they are sentient beings, not pets."
"Fine. Teach one, then."
"I could. I believe."
―Vanth and Malakili[src]
RIP Pateesa

Following the death of Jabba, Malakili was one of the last to leave the palace (and Pateesa) behind.

Malakili was a male Corellian human[1] with blue eyes and light skin.[3] Having a giant[12] and burly stature,[9] he stood at a height of 1.72 meters (5 feet, 8 inches)[1] and had a mass of 95 kilograms.[2] Although Malakili was naive,[4] brutish,[12] tough, crude,[16] and antisocial, he displayed tenderness and sympathy towards animals,[2] caring deeply for all of his creatures.[16] Malakili cared most of all for the rancors, which he thought to be precious, and he took joy in working with them.[4] When Pateesa, Malakili's favorite creature,[1] was killed, he wept with shock.[9] After the deaths of Pateesa and Jabba, Malakili believed Skywalker was a lucky fool and Skywalker's Rebel friends were cruel.[4]

Malakili believed that his sole purpose in life was working with animals, and without his creatures he felt useless. After abandoning the palace, Malakili contemplated feeding himself to Jabba's sarlacc as a means of committing suicide, but he found the creature severely wounded. Malakili sympathized with the monster as its only purpose had been taken from it, and the human wept for its fate. As he wandered the deserts of Tatooine, Malakili felt like a scrap of cloth or piece of trash being blown across the sand without destination or meaning, and he believed he was going to die.[4]

After rescuing Malakili from Red Key Raiders, Vanth told him that he looked familiar, but Malakili responded that he was no one. Malakili added that he had no value or use to Vanth, and he told the man to kill him. When Issa-Or inquired if Malakili was a beastmaster, Malakili thought he was undeserving of the word "master," but he acknowledged that he trained beasts. Once Vanth offered Malakili a job in Freetown, Malakili felt that he had found a new purpose, and he felt the darkness inside of his heart be replaced with light.[4] Malakili stayed in Freetown for months, and during the raid on Freetown, he felt gleeful, despite receiving injuries.[15]

Despite being a slave to Jabba,[1] Malakili saw the Hutt as an employer who provided him with food, a home, and a purpose. When Vanth and Issa-Or introduced themselves as law enforcers, Malakili did not believe them, nor did he believe there could be any law on Tatooine without the Hutts. Vanth asked Malakili if he could train a Huttlet, and Malakili replied that Hutts were sentient beings, not pets. Once Vanth reworded the proposition, Malakili accepted.[4] Later, Malakili named the Huttlet Borgo, and during the raid on Freetown, the beastmaster comforted Borgo using a singsong voice.[15]

Skills and abilitiesEdit

"You a beastmaster?"
"I train beasts. Yes."
―Issa-Or and Malakili[src]

Good with animals from a young age, Malakili trained vicious gugverms on Nar Shaddaa to stop stealing from food stores, and with time the creatures became his pets, friends, and protectors. Malakili was hired as a beastmaster for Hutt circuses, and he trained a variety of creatures including sand dragons, kill-wings, womp rats, and rancors, which no one else could tame. During his slavery to Jabba, Malakili worked with the Hutt's creatures, including the rancor Pateesa. Malakili befriended the rancor and tended wounds he received, and Pateesa saved Malakili's life during a Tusken Raider attack. While wandering the desert, Malakili was rescued from Red Key Raiders by Vanth and Issa-Or, and the Corellian played dead—a trick he learned from many of his creatures.[4] Malakili's skills also allowed him to procure a krayt dragon pearl, which he gifted to Tusken Raiders for their protection.[15]

EquipmentEdit

"What else you got, wanderer?"
―Bivvam Gorge, to Malakili[src]

As a rancor keeper, Malakili wielded a gaderffii stick,[9] and he used cages for transporting young rancors.[16] Additionally, Malakili's sleeping quarters in the palace were connected to the rancor pit, and the room was equipped with a device capable of stunning the beast into submission.[5] At the time of Skywalker's arrival, Malakili wore a dark, sweat-soaked rag belt, ancient circus pants, a brown headdress, spiked armbands, and wrist guards.[1] While wandering in the desert, Malakili wore a hood and carried a satchel which contained a waterskin, a lucky braid of bantha fur and teeth, a small water shiv made out of dewback bone, and a few droid gears and shiny chits to pay off Jawas or Tusken Raiders.[4] During the skirmish in Freetown, Malakili used a magna-driver to remove Vanth's shackles.[15]

Behind the scenesEdit

"I like the idea that everyone loves someone. And even the worst, most horrible monster you can imagine was loved by his keeper. And the rancor probably loved his keeper."
―George Lucas[src]
Malakili concept

Costume concept art for Malakili simply labeled him as the "human rancor keeper."

Malakili first appeared in Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, the final film in the original trilogy, which was released on May 25, 1983. Malakili was created by George Lucas over a year before the film's release, as Lucas liked the idea of someone loving the rancor.[17] The character was portrayed by Paul Brooke, and his sobs were provided by Ernie Fosselius;[18] neither Brooke nor Fosselius were credited in the film.[3] In Return of the Jedi, Malakili was unnamed, listed in production notes as the "human rancor keeper" or the "rancor keeper that cries";[17] he was later given the name "Malakili" in the Star Wars Roleplaying Game of the Star Wars Legends continuity.[19]

Malakili's name was first canonized by Star Wars: Galactic Defense,[16] a tower-defense mobile game released in 2014[20] and discontinued in 2016. In Galactic Defense, Malakili, alongside Luke Skywalker, were unlockable Champions available during the limited-time event "Enter the Pit." Players who won Malakili were able to use him on missions, and they could use his Champion Skill of summoning a young rancor to help fight enemy forces.[16] According to The Force Awakens: Head-to-Head, a young readers reference book by Pablo Hidalgo, Malakili would likely lose in a theoretical fight against Bobbajo,[2] a storytelling Nu-Cosian who trained various critters.[21] In 2015, Chuck Wendig, author of the novel Aftermath, expressed interest in potentially writing stories about the dianoga, Chief Chirpa, or Malakili.[22] Subsequently, Wendig featured Malakili in the remainder of The Aftermath Trilogy; Malakili appears in interlude chapters of Aftermath: Life Debt and Aftermath: Empire's End, and the character's voice was performed by Marc Thompson for the audiobook narrations.[4][15]

AppearancesEdit

Non-canon appearancesEdit

SourcesEdit

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Non-canon sourcesEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

External linksEdit

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