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"Oh no! The rancor!"

Pateesa[6] (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.[7] The Hutt kept the pet in his palace on the desert planet Tatooine,[2] where he was cared for by the human keeper Malakili.[5] Pateesa was killed by the Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker during a mission to rescue his friend and fellow Rebel Han Solo.


He was acquired by Jabba at some point before or during 32 BBY[8] when Bib Fortuna gave him as a birthday gift.[5] Jabba often fed his enemies or those who upset him to the rancor Pateesa and enjoyed watching him devour those who had upset him.[9] 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 he dropped her into the pit below his throne room where he kept Pateesa, and the rancor devoured her.[2]

Pateesa with a large bone caught in his mouth

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 his demands and threw Skywalker into the pit along with the unlucky Gamorrean guard Jubnuk. Pateesa quickly ate the guard, but Skywalker proved to be more of a challenge: the young Jedi Commander, when he first attempted to eat him, placed a large femur between his jaws, forcing the rancor to let him go before snapping it in two with little effort. He tried to devour him again, but Luke smashed his hand in self-defense 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 a skull[2] that belonged to one of Pateesa's earliest victims, Bidlo Kwerve,[10] dropping the heavy door, piercing and crushing the beast's skull, killing him.[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]

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

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.[6]

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[src]

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.[6]

Art by Ralph McQuarrie.

Originally, Pateesa was intended to be a man in a suit, but the results weren't satisfyingly realistic, so it was filmed in the form of a rod puppet.[14] 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.[15]

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.[16]


Non-canon appearances[]


Notes and references[]

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  1. Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
  3. 3.0 3.1 Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know
  4. 4.0 4.1 The Odyssey of Star Wars: An Epic Poem
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Ultimate Star Wars
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Aftermath: Life Debt
  7. Star Wars Character Encyclopedia: Updated and Expanded
  8. According to Aftermath: Life Debt, Bib Fortuna gave Pateesa to Jabba before he became his majordomo. According to Star Wars: Galactic Atlas, Bib gained that title in 32 BBY, thus Pateesa must have been acquired before or during 32 BBY.
  9. Star Wars: The Visual Encyclopedia
  10. Star Wars: Complete Locations
  11. The attack on Jabba's Palace, depicted in "Chapter 16: The Rescue," is dated to be around nine years after the events of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, which include the Battle of Yavin, by "Jabba the Hutt and Other Bounty Hunters and Criminals". As the present-time events of The Book of Boba Fett occur shortly after the attack, The Book of Boba Fett must take place around 9 ABY. Additionally, SWInsider.png "A Certain Point of View" – Star Wars Insider 211 states that the Assassination attempt on Boba Fett and Boba Fett's hiring of Krrsantan, which appear in "Chapter 3: The Streets of Mos Espa" and "Chapter 4: The Gathering Storm" respectively, both take place nine years after A New Hope, which means at least two episodes take place exactly in 9 ABY.
  12. The Book of Boba Fett logo.png The Book of Boba Fett – "Chapter 2: The Tribes of Tatooine"
  13. The Book of Boba Fett logo.png The Book of Boba Fett – "Chapter 3: The Streets of Mos Espa"
  14. StarWars.com Return of the Jedi: Behind the Scenes on StarWars.com (backup link) (Slide 7)
  15. Audio commentary on Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi 2004 DVD
  16. Star Wars: Chronicles