The Hutt Ruling Council, alternatively known as the Council of Elders, Hutt Council, Great Hutt Council, or the Grand Council of Nal Hutta, was a five-member council that was the primary ruling body of the Hutt species. The five members were often known informally as the "Five Hutt Families," but due to internal politics, individual clans could control more than one seat on the council. The Ruling Council was sometimes referred to as the Grand Council, but that term more accurately applied to the larger Hutt Grand Council; the Ruling Council handled the day-to-day affairs of the Hutt species, and its leader spoke on behalf of all Hutts in treaties and dealings with the Galactic Empire.
The Hutt Ruling Council, also known as the Council of Elders ruled the Hutt species and all of Hutt Space. It was established when the Hutts relocated to Nal Hutta after the Hutt Cataclysms and was the brainchild of the Hutt Budhila Hestilic Amura. The Council was composed only of members of the Clans of the Ancients, those Hutt clans that could trace their lineage to the Hutts' defiled, ancient homeworld of Varl.
They governed all clans fairly, giving favor to none, and Hutts all over the galaxy abided by their decrees. The decision-making process was generally unknown, but it seemed that the most powerful of the kajidics (the Hutt criminal syndicates) held the most authority; thus, the head of the most powerful kajidic was the de facto leader of the Hutt race. The Council met in the Hutt Council Chamber, the location of which varied throughout its history; during the Clone Wars the Council met in a chamber in Gardulla the Hutt's Palace.
In 700 BBY, the Ruling Council had to deal with the rebellion from a number of their slave races after the play Evocar was circulated around Hutt Space. After crushing the uprising, the Council decided to punish Kossak the Younger due to his role in the affair, and he was killed by acid transfusion with his remains placed at the Qedriga spaceport as a reminder to all Hutts of the consequences for those who attempted to tamper with their genealogy.
During the Separatist Crisis, Zorba Desilijic Tiure was found guilty of the illegal removal of ulikuo gemstones and sentenced to forty-five years in prison at the Girigard Subsurface Correctional Facility. The Grand Council of Nal Nutta attempted to extradite Zorba so that he could be tried by a council of peers in Hutt Space, but the local laws prevented this course of action. By the Clone Wars, the Council hired Cad Bane to hunt for Ziro the Hutt, due to his possession of potentially damaging information about Hutt activities. At that time, the council consisted of Jabba Desilijic Tiure, Gorga Desilijic Aarrpo, Arok, Oruba, and Marlo.
During the Second Imperial Civil War, Vedo Anjiliac Atirue and Queen Jool sat on the Council. They were outraged at the devastation of Da Soocha, a planet sacred to the Hutts, and the bombardment of Da Soocha's moon Napdu, which killed Azzim Anjiliac Atirue. They later informed the Galactic Empire that the Galactic Alliance Remnant had taken refuge on Utapau, with Admiral Gar Stazi among them. The plan was to get the Imperials to think they had brought the Hutts into submission, but it was really a ploy for Cade Skywalker to assassinate Sith scientist Vul Isen, who created the toxin that purged Da Soocha and earlier Dac of all life. It became known that Hutts had bounties out for Sith and though they did not directly participate in the war, they funded it by bounty hunters and funding the Galactic Alliance Remnant who fought against the One Sith.
Behind the scenes
Concept art for the council chamber shows each of the council members sitting at the council's desk with a banner depicting their kajidics hanging in front of them; in the show, the banners are between the council members and do not correlate with a particular Hutt.
Gorga, Oruba, and Arok sitting in different places at the council's desk makes it appear there is no assigned seating for the council members, with the possible exception of Jabba, whose hologram appeared at the head of the council when the Shadow Collective appeared before the council.
Despite the council chamber being located in her palace, Gardulla does not appear to be a member of the council.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Evil Plans" (Appears in hologram)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Hunt for Ziro"
- The Clone Wars: Strange Allies (Mentioned only)
- The Clone Wars: Darth Maul: Shadow Conspiracy
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Eminence"
- The Hutt Gambit (First appearance)
- Rebel Dawn
- "Galaxywide NewsNets" – Star Wars Adventure Journal 7 (As "Clan Council")
- Scourge (Mentioned only)
- The New Jedi Order: Agents of Chaos II: Jedi Eclipse (Mentioned only)
- Legacy (2006) 49 (Mentioned only)
- Dark Empire Sourcebook
- Galaxy Guide 12: Aliens — Enemies and Allies
- The Essential Guide to Alien Species
- The New Jedi Order Sourcebook
- Tempest Feud
- Hero's Guide
- The Essential Atlas
- Star Wars Insider 121
- "50 Great Reasons to Rewatch Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season Three" – Star Wars Insider 125
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars The Complete Season Three
- Star Wars: The Old Republic Encyclopedia
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
- Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide: Updated and Expanded
- Star Wars: Edge of the Empire Core Rulebook
- Lords of Nal Hutta (First identified as Hutt Ruling Council)