- "I have no value to you. Kill me. My creature, Pateesa, is dead. All my beasts are gone—"
- ―Malakili, to Cobb Vanth
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.
Shortly before the Battle of Endor in 4 ABY, Luke Skywalker of the Rebel Alliance attempted to rescue Han Solo from the palace. However, Skywalker was tricked into Jabba's rancor pit, and the Rebel killed the creature. Upon witnessing the death of Pateesa, 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 wandered 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. At some point after the rescue, 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.
Early life and careerEdit
Malakili was a male human born on Corellia, a planet in the galaxy's Core Worlds. Malakili departed Corellia at a young age, winding up in the slums of the Outer Rim moon 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. Eventually, Malakili was hired as an animal trainer for traveling Hutt circuses, such as Circus Horrificus, 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. 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. As a result, Malakili was made a slave, and by 0 BBY he was sold to Jabba Desilijic Tiure, a Hutt crime lord on the desert planet Tatooine.
Serving as a caretaker in Jabba's Palace, Malakili was responsible for tending to Jabba's menagerie of creatures, including the Hutt's prized male rancor, Pateesa (Huttese for "friend"). Pateesa was purposed with eating prisoners, and Malakili would tend the wounds he received doing so. One day, when Malakili was attacked by Tusken Raiders, Pateesa saved his life. 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.
Death of PateesaEdit
Shortly before the Battle of Endor in 4 ABY, 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—and the unfortunate Gamorrean guard Jubnuk—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.
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 skull 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. Shocked, 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.
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, 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 (and the unmoved carcass of Pateesa) behind him.
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 inside 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, trying to fend off pillagers, and deprived of its sole purpose (as he himself had been), Malakili wept, and he wandered further into the desert.
- "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."
- ―Cobb Vanth and Malakili
In 5 ABY, 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 a thug hit him from behind, sending him to the ground. The thug pressed a boot onto Malakili's neck, and the criminal removed Malakili's hood, pushed a blaster into the back of his skull, and ripped Malakili's satchel from his shoulder, emptying its few contents.
One of the thugs then took Malakili's waterskin, drank what was left, and introduced himself as Bivvam Gorge. Asking Malakili what else he owned, 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. Gorge then threatened Malakili, adding that Movellan's "cut" could be Malakili's ears or tongue if he had nothing better. As the second thug chuckled, Gorge reinforced the warning by stabbing a knife into the sand. Immediately after doing so, a blaster bolt struck and killed Gorge, and the remaining thug began firing at the attackers before being shot himself. Malakili determined that the killers of the thugs must be even worse than the thugs themselves, so he played dead—a trick he learned from many of his beasts.
As Malakili laid in the sand, he heard footsteps and a man's voice telling him he could get up. A woman's voice added that they were not raiders, but law. Confused, Malakili rolled over and sat up, seeing a man in worn, Mandalorian armor Malakili believed to look familiar, and a tall, scarred Twi'lek woman. The Twi'lek identified herself as Issa-Or, and the man removed his helmet, identifying himself as Cobb Vanth, a lawman and de facto mayor of Freetown, the town formerly known as Mos Pelgo. Issa-Or elaborated, saying that Freetown was a place for good people willing to work and resist the syndicates. Malakili did not understand what she meant, but he nodded in reply.
Kneeling down, Vanth studied Malakili, saying he looked familiar. When Malakili stated that he was no one, Vanth told him that everyone was someone. 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 and his other creatures. When Malakili mentioned that, Issa-Or asked if he was a beastmaster, and Malakili nodded, saying that he trained beasts. Looking at the Twi'lek, Vanth chuckled and informed Malakili that they had a couple of 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. Issa-Or added that there was one more job available, and Vanth leaned in close to Malakili, helping him up and asking if he knew much about Hutts. Malakili affirmed that he knew a good amount, prompting Vanth to ask if he could train one. Hesitant, Malakili protested, saying that Hutts were sentient beings and not pets. Vanth, amending his offer, asked Malakili if he could "teach" one. The trainer responded that he could, but he wanted to know why, so Issa-Or said that they had one in Freetown.
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. Restating the offer, Vanth asked Malakili how it sounded, and Malakili replied that it sounded like purpose, and he thanked the man. Vanth retorted that thanks could be given by doing the job. 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.
Following his rescue, 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. At the spaceport, Malakili and Porcellus opened the Crystal Moon Restaurant.
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
Malakili was a male Corellian human with blue eyes and light skin. Having a giant and burly stature, he stood at a height of 1.72 meters (5 feet, 8 inches). Although Malakili was naive, brutish, tough, and crude, he cared deeply for all of his creatures. Malakili cared most of all for the rancors, which he thought to be precious, and he took joy in working with them. When Pateesa, Malakili's favorite creature, was killed, he wept with shock. After the deaths of Pateesa and Jabba, Malakili believed Skywalker was a lucky fool and Skywalker's Rebel friends were cruel.
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.
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.
Despite being a slave to Jabba, 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.
Skills and abilitiesEdit
- "You a beastmaster?"
"I train beasts. Yes."
- ―Issa-Or and Malakili
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 later 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.
- "What else you got, wanderer?"
- ―Bivvam Gorge, to Malakili
As a rancor keeper, Malakili wielded a gaderffii stick, and he used cages for transporting young rancors. 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. 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. 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.
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
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. The character was portrayed by Paul Brooke, and his sobs were provided by Ernie Fosselius; neither Brooke nor Fosselius were credited in the film. In Return of the Jedi, Malakili was unnamed, listed in production notes as the "human rancor keeper" or the "rancor keeper that cries"; he was later given the name "Malakili" in the Star Wars Roleplaying Game of the Star Wars Legends continuity. Malakili's name was first canonized by Star Wars in 100 Scenes, a visual reference book written by Jason Fry and published by Dorling Kindersley on August 18, 2014.
Outside of the film, Malakili's first canonical appearance was in Star Wars: Galactic Defense, a tower-defense mobile game released by DeNA Co., Ltd. for iOS and Android platforms on October 30, 2014 and discontinued on April 28, 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. 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, a storytelling Nu-Cosian who trained various critters.
On July 12, 2016, the novel Aftermath: Life Debt was published as the second installment to the Aftermath Trilogy by Chuck Wendig. Malakili appeared in an interlude chapter of the novel, and his voice was performed by Marc Thompson for the audiobook narration.
- Star Wars: Galactic Defense
- Star Wars Bounty Hunt: Lift the Flap (Appears in illustration only)
- Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi (First appearance)
- Return of the Jedi: Beware the Power of the Dark Side!
- Aftermath: Life Debt
- LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens ("Jabba's Palace" Character Pack)
- "Red Five"—Star Wars Insider 150
- Star Wars in 100 Scenes (First identified as Malakili)
- Ultimate Star Wars
- Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know
- "The Return of the Jedi Archives of James Kahn, Part I"—Star Wars Insider 160
- Star Wars: The Card Game – Imperial Entanglements (Card: Malakili)
- Star Wars High-Tek (Card: Malakili)
- Star Wars High-Tek (Card: Paul Brooke as Malakili)
- The Force Awakens: Head-to-Head
- Star Wars: Imperial Assault – Bantha Rider Villain Pack (Card: Beast Tamer)
- Star Wars Character Encyclopedia: Updated and Expanded
- Star Wars: Complete Locations
- Star Wars: Card Trader