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"Na chuba negatori Na! Na! Natoota…"
―Oola refuses Jabba's advances[6]

Oola was a green-skinned Twi'lek female from a primitive clan on the planet Ryloth. She was kidnapped by Bib Fortunamajordomo of the crime lord Jabba Desilijic Tiure—who had her taught exotic dancing and told her many lies about the grandeur of Jabba's Palace on the planet Tatooine. She was offered a chance to escape enslavement while in the city of Mos Eisley, but chose to take her chances at the palace based on the lies she had heard.

Fortuna then present Oola as a gift to Jabba, who took a special interest in her and often had her dance with fellow slave Yarna d'al' Gargan. During her time at the palace she witnessed Jabba host various guests, including the bartender Shrem, who he fed to his pet rancor, Pateesa, and the bounty hunter Boba Fett, who delivered the smuggler Han Solo to the crime lord.

In 4 ABY, Oola was sat with Jabba on his throne when the droids R2-D2 and C-3PO delivered a message from their master, Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker, asking to bargain for Solo's freedom. She later danced with Gargan for the Hutt and his court during a performance of the song "Jedi Rocks" by the Max Rebo Band; however, during the performance Jabba tried to pull her closer and she resisted. As punishment for embarrassing him, Jabba dropped Oola through a trap door into the rancor pit, where the dancer was devoured by Pateesa while the crime lord's court cheered.

Biography[]

Fall from grace[]

Oola was a Twi'lek female who was born to the chieftain[7] of a primitive clan[4] on her species' homeworld of Ryloth.[1] She devoted herself to dancing, and was trained at a celebrated school,[7] but was betrayed by a jealous rival, after which her life slipped further into shame and humiliation.[8] She was enslaved when the Twi'lek Bib Fortuna, majordomo of the Hutt crime lord Jabba Desilijic Tiure, kidnapped Oola from her clan. He then had other Twi'leks train her in the art of exotic dancing so that he could present her to his employer[4] as a present.[9]

Fortuna brought Oola to the desert planet Tatooine, but before he delivered her to Jabba's Palace there, she was offered a chance to escape by a stranger in the city of Mos Eisley.[4] This offer of a different path in life would have given her an opportunity to avoid life in the palace,[7] but Fortuna had told Oola so many lies about how glorious the Hutt's home was that she wished to see it for herself and refused this,[4] and other, offers,[1] preferring to take her chances on Tatooine.[7]

Dancing with death[]

At the palace, Jabba lavished particular attention on Oola[4] as he found her highly desirable, but she refused to give into him[10] and denied his advances,[4] leaving her with no other choice[11] but to dance for her life while chained to his throne.[4] She would regularly dance duets with the Askajian Yarna d'al' Gargan, another of Jabba's slaves, with Oola dancing with dainty, graceful choreography[5] that contrasted with Gargan's slower more deliberate moves,[12] which were often humorously improvised.[5]

In 3 ABY,[13] she was among those in Jabba's throne room when the bartender Shrem presented the Hutt with a spitscuttle, which spat in the crime lord's face, leading to Shrem being dropped alongside the Trandoshan Skikkesk through a trap door into the pit below the room where Jabba kept his pet rancor,[14] Pateesa.[15] She was later present in the throne room again when the bounty hunter Boba Fett delivered to Jabba the smuggler Han Solo, after Solo had been frozen in carbonite.[16]

Oola dancing for Jabba

Early one morning[8] in 4 ABY,[2] Oola was perched on the edge of Jabba's throne[6] with the Hutt when the droids R2-D2 and C-3PO were brought before the crime lord with a message from their master, the Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker. Oola and Jabba watched the holographic message, in which Skywalker asked to bargain with Jabba for the freedom of the Jedi's friend Solo and gifted the Hutt the two droids as a sign of good will. When the message ended, Jabba merely laughed and declared he would not be giving up his favorite decoration, as he displayed the frozen smuggler on the wall of the throne room.[3]

The last dance[]

"Aah!"
"Whoops! Uh-oh!"
"Aah!"
―Oola screams as Sy Snootles reacts to her being dropped into the rancor pit[3]

Shortly before Princess Leia Organa and the Wookiee Chewbacca arrived as part of the plan to rescue Solo, the Max Rebo Band performed for Jabba and his court. Oola and Gargan[3] gracefully[5] danced together to the song in front of Jabba's throne, and when it ended[3] the Hutt demanded Oola repeat her performance. Misinterpreting this as an order directed at them, the band began playing an improvised version[6] of the song "Jedi Rocks."[17] Oola and Gargan once again began to dance,[3] but feeling the urge for much closer contact with the Twi'lek, the Hutt brutally yanked the chain attached to Oola's collar.[5]

Oola openly resisted the Hutt's advances, and for this public humiliation,[5] Jabba dropped the dancer through the trap door into the pit below the throne room. The sudden interruption to the music elicited shock from other performers including the singers Sy Snootles, Joh Yowza, Lyn Me, and Greeata Jendowanian. Oola rolled upon hitting the floor of the pit and then threw her chain behind her and stared up through a grating at the throne room where court members excitedly began to cheer and gathered to watch her fate.[3]

The Twi'lek's attention was then drawn to a large door into the pit that began to open, revealing Pateesa behind it.[3] As Gargan watched helplessly[5] while laughing, Oola screamed in fear[3] before being eaten alive by the beast.[5] Many of those who had cheered on Oola's demise, including Jabba himself, would themselves perish[3] just the next day[8] during Skywalker, Organa and Chewbacca's rescue of Solo.[3]

Personality and traits[]

Oola was enthralled by the stories of grandeur that Fortuna told her about Jabba's Palace and turned down opportunities to escape so that she could see it.[1] The nubile[6] Twi'lek danced with dainty and graceful choreography[5] and was younger and slimmer then her regular dance partner Gargan.[12] She refused to give in to Jabba's advances[10] but never learned how to mind his vile temper.[9] Although aware of the drastic punishment she would face if she failed to please Jabba, Oola's revulsion at his bloated body was even greater then her fear.[8] Despite her agility, she was unable to escape from the rancor. She had an olive green complexion, a delicate neck,[5] and black eyes.[3] The Twi'lek stood 1.6 meters (5 foot, 3 inches) tall.[4]

Equipment[]

While enslaved, Oola wore a revealing[8] and suggestive outfit made of black netting[5] that was uncomfortable[8] and flimsy.[4] It included a belt made from leather straps,[4] a black and gray headpiece, black sandals, and a gray collar with a chain attached.[3]

Behind the scenes[]

A prototype maquette of Oola

Oola was portrayed by Femi Taylor in the 1983 original trilogy film, Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi,[3] in both the original release and in additional scenes filmed later for the 1997 Special Edition. Since Taylor's appearance was almost unchanged after 14 years, she could film a close-up of Oola's terror at the rancor,[18] extending the scene by a few seconds.[19]

Oola's cone-shaped hearing organs were made from foam rubber so that they would be malleable in a way similar to earlobes.[20] Her lekku were made with foam latex in order to be as light as possible so that they respond to Taylor's gestures or movements. They were blended into the actress's green skin makeup, which took four hours to apply.[21] An early prototype maquette of Oola had blue skin, while later prototype maquettes depicted her with red skin and white hair.[22]

According to Femi Taylor in a TheForce.net interview, during the early development of Return of the Jedi, Oola was meant to have a major part in the scenes at Jabba's Palace because her fate was not to be eaten by Jabba's rancor. Instead, Oola was to survive and escape from Jabba's Palace. Although director Richard Marquand storyboarded the sequence of Oola's escape, it was cut because of budget constraints, so the character's role was considerably reduced, as well as her fate.[23]

In an interview with the Aggressive Negotiations podcast, Star Wars: The Clone Wars writer Henry Gilroy stated that the events of the Battle of Ryloth in that series likely involved many Twi'leks being sold into slavery by the Confederacy of Independent Systems, going on to suggest that Oola may have been brought to Jabba's Palace as a result.[24]

Appearances[]

Non-canon appearances[]

Sources[]

Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Ultimate Star Wars, New Edition
  2. 2.0 2.1 Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates the events of Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, which include the death of Oola in Jabba's Palace on Tatooine, to 4 ABY.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 Star Wars Character Encyclopedia: Updated and Expanded
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 Star Wars: Geektionary: The Galaxy from A - Z
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Star Wars: Return of the Jedi junior novelization
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 ToppsDigitalLogo.png Star Wars: Card Trader (Card: Oola - Twi'lek Dancer - Base Series 1)
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 Return of the Jedi: Beware the Power of the Dark Side!
  9. 9.0 9.1 Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know, Updated and Expanded
  10. 10.0 10.1 Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary, New Edition
  11. Star Wars: The Visual Encyclopedia
  12. 12.0 12.1 StarWars-DatabankII.png Yarna d'al' Gargan in the Databank (backup link)
  13. The events of Doctor Aphra Annual 3 take place between issues 22 and 39 of the Star Wars: Doctor Aphra comic-book series. In issue 22, Accresker Jail is decommissioned. Crimson Reign 3 states that Jeremoch Colton had been in the wreckage-prison for over three years when Madelin Sun visited him. Crimson Reign 3 issue also states that he was imprisoned after the capture of the Tantive IV, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates to 0 BBY. The rebel base on Hoth is still intact during the events of Doctor Aphra 40, and Galactic Atlas dates the base's destruction to 3 ABY. Therefore, the events of Doctor Aphra Annual 3 have to have occurred in that year.
  14. Doctor Aphra Annual 3
  15. Aftermath: Life Debt
  16. War of the Bounty Hunters 5
  17. StarWars.com Music in the Star Wars Galaxy: The Modal Nodes vs. The Max Rebo Band on StarWars.com (article) (backup link)
  18. SWInsider.png "Femi Taylor: Oola-La!" – Star Wars Insider 34
  19. Star Wars: Behind the Magic
  20. StarWars.com Much to Learn You Still Have: 7 Things You Might Not Know About Twi'leks on StarWars.com (backup link)
  21. Star Wars: Women of the Galaxy
  22. Star Wars: Chronicles
  23. TheForce.Net - Jedi Council - Interviews | Femi Taylor. TheForce.net. Archived from the original on November 26, 2017.
  24. Mills, John: Issue 181: Henry Gilroy: The Ryloth Arc (Podcast) (2019-09-20). Aggressive Negotiations: A Star Wars Pod. The Nerd Party. Archived from the original on July 9, 2020.
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