Kithaba was a Klatooinian male slave who worked as a skiff guard for the crime lord Jabba Desilijic Tiure on the planet Tatooine. During the Galactic Civil War, Kithaba was assigned to travel with the prisoners Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Chewbacca in a Bantha-II cargo skiff to the Great Pit of Carkoon, where they would be executed. At the pit, the prisoners had a brief exchange with Jabba, who was viewing the executions from onboard his sail barge Khetanna, before Skywalker attacked Kithaba and his colleagues with a lightsaber that the droid R2-D2 had provided him with. Kithaba was the first guard to be knocked from the skiff, but managed to avoid the maw of the sarlacc that lived in the pit for some time while it consumed several of his colleagues. Shortly after Jabba himself was killed, the sarlacc wrapped its tongue around Kithaba and swallowed him.
Kithaba was a Klatooinian slave who was owned by the Hutt crime lord Jabba Desilijic Tiure during the Galactic Civil War between the Alliance to Restore the Republic and the Galactic Empire. In 3 ABY, Jabba came into possession of the smuggler Han Solo frozen in carbonite and chose to display him in his palace on the desert planet Tatooine. In 4 ABY, a group of Solo's friends mounted an effort to rescue him from the Hutt, with the former smuggler Lando Calrissian infiltrating the palace in disguise, and the two droids C-3PO and R2-D2 entering Jabba's services as gifts from the Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker. Princess Leia Organa then also infiltrated the palace disguised as the bounty hunter Boushh and handed the Wookiee Chewbacca over to Jabba as a prisoner, but after thawing Solo out from his carbonite prison she was captured. Finally Skywalker himself arrived and managed to kill Jabba's pet rancor.
Outraged by the loss of his pet, Jabba demanded that Skywalker, Solo and Chewbacca be executed at the Great Pit of Carkoon, where they would be fed to a sarlacc that Jabba claimed would digest them alive over one thousand years. Kithaba was one of several of Jabba's men who was assigned to accompany the prisoners on a Bantha-II cargo skiff through Tatooine's deserts to the pit. The Kadas'sa'Nikto Vedain piloted the skiff, while Kithaba guarded the prisoners alongside four other guards, including the disguised Calrissian and the Weequay Pagetti Rook.[source?] A second skiff carried another group of guards alongside the prisoner skiff, while Jabba and his court traveled on the sail barge Khetanna to view the executions.
Upon reaching the pit, Skywalker used a mind trick to persuade one of the guards to remove his handcuffs, after which Rook forced Skywalker out onto a gangplank over the sarlacc while Kithaba and the others guarded Solo and Chewbacca. Jabba then had C-3PO offer the prisoners a chance to beg for mercy, but all three gave him no such pleasure, with Skywalker warning the Hutt that if he did not free his prisoners, he would be killed. This amused Jabba greatly, but unafraid of his captives the Hutt ordered the executions to begin, and as Kithaba watched, Rook stepped forward to force Skywalker off the plank. The Jedi dropped from the skiff, but caught the end of the plank and leapt back up, catching a lightsaber that R2-D2 had launched to him from the sail barge as he fell. Landing back on the skiff, Skywalker swiftly attacked the guards, and Kithaba was almost immediately knocked over the railings of the skiff to the sand below. He was not immediately devoured, however, and managed to outlive several of his fellow guards including those on the second skiff, and Jabba himself, who was strangled by Organa. Before the fighting was over, the sarlacc managed to curl its long tongue around the Klatooinian and drag him screaming into its waiting maw. Skywalker and his companions then destroyed the Khetanna and escaped Tatooine.
Personality and traits
While at the Great Pit of Carkoon, Kithaba wore a yellow waistcoat over a white shirt with a pair of red pants. He also wore a red bandana, a bandolier, a belt, and pairs of boots and gloves. He carried a black spear-like weapon while on the skiff.
Behind the scenes
Kithaba was portrayed by stuntmen Dickey Beer in Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, which was released in 1983. During production of the film, the two Klatooinian skiff guards were known as Barada 1 and Barada 2, in reference to the phrase "Klatoo Barada Nikto" from the film The Day the Earth Stood Still. Barada 1, who was positioned on the second skiff, ended up keeping his name and became Barada, while Barada 2 would eventually be identified as Kithaba in Jabba's Palace Limited, an expansion for the Star Wars Customizable Card Game released in 2004. The name was canonized by the Star Wars Character Encyclopedia: Updated and Expanded, which was written by Pablo Hidalgo and Simon Beecroft and released in 2016.
Kithaba's costume, along with those of all the non-human skiff guards, was created as a joint effort between the film's creature and costume departments. The masks were first sculpted in clay then made into plaster molds that latex could be poured into. Once the head was complete, the costume department designed costumes that could keep the masks on, and added velcro and harnesses to hold them in place. His clothing consisted of a pair of modified red ski pants, which had the zippers covered and a braided tuxedo stripe added to the legs, and a full-sleeved and fitted-cuffed white cotton shirt. Over the shirt the character wore a yellow, padded cap-sleeved waistcoat which snapped to the shirt on the back and at each opening at the front. Costume accessory technician Mick Becker then assembled a bandolier, bandana, and belt to finish off the costume along with a pair of boots and gloves.
In the 2016–2017 animated television series LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures, Kithaba appears in a non-speaking role as one of the Hutt crime lord Graballa's henchmen. He appears in several episodes including "Race on Tatooine", "The Test", "The Kyber Saber Crystal Chase", "The Embersteel Blade", and "Return to the Wheel".
- Star Wars in Pictures: The Original Trilogy
- Star Wars Treasury: The Original Trilogy
- The Original Trilogy Stories
- Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi (First appearance)
- Star Wars: Return of the Jedi: 6 stories in 1
- Rescue from Jabba's Palace
- LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures – "Race on Tatooine"
- LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures – "The Test"
- LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures – "The Kyber Saber Crystal Chase"
- LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures – "The Embersteel Blade"
- LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures – "Return to the Wheel"
- Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy
- Ultimate Star Wars (Picture only)
- Star Wars: Complete Vehicles (Picture only)
- Star Wars Character Encyclopedia: Updated and Expanded (First identified as Kithaba)
- Star Wars Encyclopedia of Starfighters and Other Vehicles (Picture only)
- Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary, New Edition (Picture only)
- Ultimate Star Wars, New Edition (Picture only)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 19 (Weapons & Uniforms: Jabba's Skiff Guards) (Picture only)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 32 (Databank A-Z: Kel Dor–Ki-Adi-Mundi) (Picture only)
- (Picture only)
- Star Wars: Book of Lists (Picture only)
- Star Wars Complete Vehicles, New Edition (Picture only)
- "Battle of Hoth and the Second Death Star" – Star Wars Encyclopedia