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«Master Jabba—a boon! Please…spare the rancor. He is a gentle beast and has done no wrong.»
«Very well, Malakiki. I, too, am fond of the creature. Your pet may live.»
―Malakili and Jabba the Hutt[6]

Pateesa[7] (Huttese for "friend") was a male rancor[3] owned by the Hutt crime lord Jabba Desilijic Tiure after his majordomo Bib Fortuna gave it to him as a birthday gift.[8] He was kept as Jabba's pet in a shadowy chamber beneath the Hutt's throne room in his palace on the desert planet Tatooine,[2] where the rancor was cared for by the human keeper Malakili.[5] Jabba used Pateesa to feast on the gangster's enemies, most notably the Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker during a mission to rescue his friend and fellow Rebel Han Solo. Through a trap door, the Hutt laughed and dispensed the young Jedi into the underground dungeon and unleashed the massive rancor. But to the shock of Jabba and his henchmen, Luke was able to kill the beast, leading the outraged gangster to order the public execution of the Jedi and his friends.[2]


Jabba's pet[]

"Oh no! The rancor!"

Pateesa[7] was given as a birthday gift[5] to Jabba Desilijic Tiure by a high-ranking henchman,[9] Bib Fortuna,[5] whose one-time competitor for the position of majordomo, Bidlo Kwerve, became an early victim of the rancor.[9] Jabba kept Pateesa in a shadowy chamber beneath his Tatooine throne room, having often fed his enemies or those who upset him to the rancor and enjoyed watching those victims being devoured.[10] When the Twi'lek dancer Oola displeased the Hutt shortly before the Battle of Endor in 4 ABY, after she had enough of following his orders and entertaining him, Jabba dropped her into the pit below and watched her death of being eaten by Pateesa.[2]


Pateesa in his cavern

Shortly after Oola's death, Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker arrived at the palace with the intent of rescuing his friend Han Solo, whom Jabba held captive. However, Jabba rejected the Skywalker's demands, dispatched him into the pit along with the unlucky Gamorrean guard Jubnuk, and unleashed Pateesa. The young Jedi Commander backed away from the terrifying rancor while the Gamorrean tried futilely to scramble out of the pit. Pateesa quickly ate the guard, but Skywalker proved to be more of a challenge: after being seized in one of the beast's huge hands, the Jedi placed a large femur between his jaws before he could be devoured, forcing the rancor to let him go before snapping it in two with little effort. The rancor tried to grab Luke again, but the Jedi smashed his hand with a rock. Luke, out of options due to the rancor's handlers preventing him from escaping, waited until the rancor followed him into his small holding pen at the back of the pit and smashed the control panel with the skull[2] belonging to Bidlo Kwerve,[9] dropping the heavy door, piercing and crushing the beast's skull.[2] As Pateesa died, he moaned weakly, with Malakili rushing to his aid, before breaking down in tears.[2]


«Bring me Solo and the Wookiee. They will all suffer for this outrage.»
―Jabba Desilijic Tiure, responding to Pateesa's unexpected death — (audio) Listen (file info)[2]

To the shock of Jabba and his thugs, a mere human was able to kill the beast. Pateesa's death greatly upset Jabba, who immediately demanded Skywalker and his companions be executed at the Great Pit of Carkoon. However, Jabba's decision to underestimate Skywalker again ultimately sealed his fate, as he perished above the pit whereas the Jedi and his allies escaped.[2]

RIP Pateesa

Pateesa's corpse

Malakili was devastated by the rancor's death, believing that he had failed him and no longer had purpose in life. The trainer was also bitter towards Skywalker for killing his pet and companion. Malakili found a new purpose in life when he encountered the vigilante lawman and Mayor of Freetown Cobb Vanth, who enlisted his services in looking after the Huttlet Borgo and taming two rontos.[7]

By 9 ABY,[11] Pateesa's corpse was no longer in the rancor pit.[12] A new rancor was gifted to Boba Fett by Jabba's cousins, the Twins, as an apology for trying to kill him. The new rancor resided in Pateesa's old rancor pit.[13]

Behind the scenes[]

"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 on Pateesa's relationship with Malakili[14]
Rancor suit btm

Pateesa was originally to be portrayed by a man in a suit.

Pateesa, then identified simply as Jabba's rancor, first appeared in the 1983 film Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi[2] and was later identified in Chuck Wendig's 2016 novel Aftermath: Life Debt.[7] The Star Wars: The Bad Batch episode "Rampage" later introduced a rancor in Jabba's care named Muchi.[15] LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga claimed Muchi and Pateesa were the same rancor by naming the rancor carried by Malakili as "Pateesa Muchi."[16] However, Pateesa is identified as a male by Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know,[3] while Muchi was established to be a female in "Rampage."[15]


Art by Ralph McQuarrie.

Originally, Pateesa was intended to be a man in a suit, but the results weren't satisfyingly realistic, so a rod puppet was designed and constructed for filming.[17] For the base audio of the rancor's roars and howls, Ben Burtt recorded his neighbor's cute but aggressive dachshund named Max, then pitched the audio down.[18]

An image often mistaken to be Pateesa battling a krayt dragon is actually a joke from the crew of Industrial Light & Magic. They placed a model of Vermithrax Pejorative, the dragon from the 1981 film Dragonslayer, in the arms of the rancor model and took a picture. The picture was included in the 1997 behind-the-scenes book Star Wars: Chronicles.[19]



Pateesa with a large bone caught in his mouth

Non-canon appearances[]


Notes and references[]

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