- "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 human male 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. Skywalker was tricked into Jabba's rancor pit, where, to Malakili's distress, the rebel killed Pateesa. In the aftermath, Skywalker escaped with Solo, and Jabba was killed. Over 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 considered committing suicide, and he wandered further into the desert.
In the desert, Malakili was attacked by the Red Key Raiders, criminals who had risen to power in Jabba's absence, but he was rescued by Sheriff 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. Malakili accepted the position and felt he had regained purpose. 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. Later, when Freetown was attacked by Red Key thugs, the Tusken Raiders arrived to help. Eventually, Malakili was reunited with Porcellus, the former head chef of Jabba's Palace. Together, they traveled to Mos Eisley and opened the Crystal Moon Restaurant.
Biography[edit | edit source]
Beastmaster for the Hutts[edit | edit source]
- «Bring me Solo and the Wookiee. They will all suffer for this outrage.»
- ―Jabba Desilijic Tiure, responding to Pateesa's unexpected death[src]
Malakili was a human male 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 a beastmaster 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 eventually rancors, monstrous creatures no one else could tame. His circus career ended after a show on Nar Shaddaa, when one of the dangerous beasts got loose and killed audience members.
As a result of the incident, Malakili was made a slave and, by 0 BBY, 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, who was named after the Huttese word for "friend." Pateesa was purposed with eating prisoners, and Malakili would tend to 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. In Jabba's Palace, Malakili grew sympathetic toward Pateesa, and he planned to one day escape with the creature.
Shortly before the Battle of Endor in 4 ABY, Jedi 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. Jabba declined the offer and tricked the Jedi, who, along with the Gamorrean guard Jubnuk, fell 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 Skywalker reached the exit, he discovered it was locked from the other side and would not open for him. Malakili and Giran were in the adjoining chamber, playfully fighting over their dinner, and when Skywalker tried opening the barred gate, the two laughed at the rebel and used spears to force him away.
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 smashed the button, causing the panel to short-circuit and release the gate down upon the rancor's head, crushing the beast's skull. Shocked, Malakili opened the door, rushed to Pateesa's side, and wept upon seeing he was dead. Whimpering, Malakili turned away from the fallen beast, placing an arm around Giran for comfort.
Leaving the palace[edit | edit source]
Following the rancor's death, 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. Some of the palace dwellers realized that no Hutt was coming, creating rumors that changes in the galaxy had caused fighting to erupt 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, putting 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 commit suicide by throwing himself into the monster's mouth. 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.
Finding purpose[edit | edit source]
- "We got a couple [of] 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 the town of Mos Pelgo. En route, he was found by two thugs of the Red Key Raiders, a criminal syndicate that posed as a mining company. Malakili ran from the gang, but he was older and slower than he once had been, and the thugs quickly caught up, knocking him 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 that the leader of the syndicate, Lorgan Movellan, deserved his cut of Malakili's possessions. 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.
The new arrivals, a human man and a Twi'lek woman, approached Malakili, introducing themselves as Cobb Vanth and Issa-Or. Vanth explained that he was a lawman and de facto mayor of Mos Pelgo, which had been renamed Freetown. When the pair asked Malakili if he had any skills, he stated that he was worthless without his creatures. Issa-Or asked Malakili if he was a beastmaster, and he replied that he was. Hearing this, Vanth offered Malakili a job taming rontos, which the trainer accepted. Asked if he could train a Huttlet, the beastmaster replied that he could teach one and agreed to work with Vanth in Freetown. Feeling a new sense of purpose, Malakili taught the Huttlet, whom he named Borgo, in Freetown. Vanth, acting as Freetown's sheriff, was wary of the Red Key's growing power, so he made a deal with a group of Tusken Raiders, who agreed to leave Freetown alone in exchange for water. To complete the deal, Malakili procured a krayt dragon pearl, gifting it to the Tusken Raiders in exchange for their protection.
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. 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.
Sometime 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.
Personality and traits[edit | edit source]
- "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."
- ―Cobb Vanth and Malakili
Malakili was a Corellian with blue eyes and light skin. Having a giant and burly stature, he stood at a height of 1.72 meters, or five feet, eight inches, and had a mass of 95 kilograms. Although the Corellian was naive, brutish, tough, crude, and antisocial, he displayed tenderness and sympathy toward animals, caring deeply for all of his creatures. Malakili cared most of all for the rancors, whom he thought to be precious, and he took joy in working with them. When Pateesa, the human's favorite creature, was killed, he wept with shock. After the deaths of Pateesa and Jabba, Malakili thought that Luke Skywalker was a lucky fool and that the Jedi's rebel friends were cruel.
Having abandoned Jabba's Palace, Malakili contemplated feeding himself to Jabba's sarlacc as a means of committing suicide. Upon finding the creature severely wounded, the beastmaster sympathized with the monster, as its only purpose had been taken from it, and he wept for its fate. Malakili believed that his sole purpose in life was working with animals, and he felt useless without his creatures. As he wandered the deserts of Tatooine, the beastmaster 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 Cobb Vanth rescued Malakili from Red Key Raiders, the sheriff told him that he looked familiar, but the Corellian 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, the human thought he was undeserving of the word "master," but he acknowledged that he trained beasts. Once Vanth offered Malakili a job in Freetown, the beastmaster felt that he had found a new purpose, and he felt the darkness inside of his heart be replaced with light. Malakili stayed in Freetown for months, and during the raid on Freetown, he felt gleeful, despite receiving injuries.
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, the former slave did not believe them, nor did he believe there could be any law on Tatooine without the Hutts. Malakili considered the Hutts sentient beings, not pets, and he thus corrected Vanth after being asked if he could train a Huttlet, remarking he could instead teach one. Once Vanth reworded the proposition, the beastmaster accepted. Later, Malakili named the Huttlet Borgo, and during the raid on Freetown, the beastmaster comforted Borgo using a singsong voice.
Skills and abilities[edit | edit source]
- "You a beastmaster?"
"I train beasts. Yes."
- ―Issa-Or and Malakili
Skilled 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. The human was hired as a beastmaster for Hutt circuses, and he trained a variety of creatures, including sand dragons, kill-wings, womp rats, and rancors, the latter of which no one else could tame. During his slavery to Jabba, Malakili worked with the Hutt's creatures, including the rancor Pateesa. The slave befriended the rancor and tended wounds he received, and Pateesa saved Malakili's life during a Tusken Raider attack.
While wandering the Tatooine desert, Malakili was rescued from Red Key Raiders by Vanth and Issa-Or, and the Corellian played dead, a trick he had learned from many of his creatures. The human was able to gather a krayt dragon pearl, which he gifted to Tusken Raiders in exchange for their protection.
Equipment[edit | edit source]
- "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 that 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. During the skirmish in Freetown, Malakili used a magna-driver to remove Vanth's shackles.
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
- "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 conceived by George Lucas, who liked the idea of someone loving the rancor. The character was first imagined as an alien, but he was changed to a human. In December 1981, Malakili's costume concept was finalized by Nilo Rodis-Jamero. Malakili was portrayed by Paul Brooke, and his sobs were provided by Ernie Fosselius; neither Brooke nor Fosselius were credited in the film. According to sound designer Ben Burtt, Fosselius based Malakili's sobbing on that of legendary early screen comedian Stan Laurel. Many film critics praised Malakili's brief appearance, and Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times noted that details like Malakili's distress are what make Star Wars films "more than just space operas."
In Return of the Jedi, Malakili was unnamed, listed in production notes as the "human rancor keeper," but he was later named in the Star Wars Roleplaying Game of the Star Wars Legends continuity. In the new Star Wars canon, the name "Malakili" was first used in the mobile game Star Wars: Force Collection, which initially launched in 2013. Although the launch of Force Collection predates the Star Wars canon reset of 2014, Lucasfilm Story Group member Leland Chee confirmed that the game was kept updated to fit with canon.
Beyond Return of the Jedi, Malakili appeared in Star Wars: Galactic Defense, a tower defense mobile game released in 2014 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. According to Star Wars: 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. In 2015, Chuck Wendig, author of the novel Aftermath, expressed interest in potentially writing stories about Omi, Chief Chirpa, or Malakili. Subsequently, Wendig featured Malakili in the remainder of The Aftermath Trilogy, with the character appearing in interlude chapters of Aftermath: Life Debt and Aftermath: Empire's End.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
- Star Wars: Galactic Defense
- Bounty Hunt (Picture only)
- Star Wars 73 (Variant cover only)
- Choose Your Destiny: An Escape Mission (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi (First appearance)
- Star Wars: Return of the Jedi junior novelization
- Return of the Jedi: Beware the Power of the Dark Side!
- Return of the Jedi: Beware the Power of the Dark Side! audiobook
- Aftermath: Life Debt
- Aftermath: Life Debt audiobook
- Aftermath: Empire's End
- Aftermath: Empire's End audiobook
- The Legends of Luke Skywalker (Appears in a story)
- "The Tale of Lugubrious Mote"—The Legends of Luke Skywalker: The Manga
Non-canon appearances[edit | edit source]
- LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens ("Jabba's Palace" Character Pack)