Salacious B. Crumb was a Kowakian monkey-lizard employed as a court jester for Hutt crime lord Jabba Desilijic Tiure. Known for his shrill laugh and sadistic sense of humor, Crumb started out as little more than vermin on Kwenn Space Station during the days of the Galactic Republic, eventually escaping onto a ship belonging to Jabba the Hutt.
When Jabba found Crumb eating from his food bowl, he attempted to digest him, though the Kowakian monkey-lizard escaped, covering Jabba's two henchmen with goo in the process. Jabba found this extremely amusing, and offered Crumb a role as his court jester; if Salacious managed to amuse Jabba at least once a day, he would be allowed to eat and drink as much as he wished. However, if he failed to do so, he would be killed. For over a dozen years he lived in Jabba's Palace, playing many tricks and practical jokes on some of the palace's regulars, and becoming one of the most disliked members of Jabba's court.
Salacious Crumb was born on the planet Kowak, and was the cousin of Gibberous Crumb.. He somehow managed to wind up on Kwenn Space Station, located on the border of the Mid Rim and Outer Rim. There, Crumb was treated as lowly vermin, though in truth he was very intelligent. He was, however, a nuisance to those who maintained the station, and eventually they could no longer put up with this parasite, and hired Mantilorrian rat-catchers to hunt him down. Crumb managed to evade the Mantillorrians for a time, though eventually, with the rat-catchers hot on his tail, Crumb was forced to take refuge in a vessel which had stopped at Kwenn station.
Although Crumb was unaware at the time, the ship belonged to Jabba Desilijic Tiure, an extremely wealthy and powerful Hutt crime lord who operated out of Tatooine. Jabba was on one of his rare excursions offworld, accompanied by his two most prominent henchmen, Bidlo Kwerve and Bib Fortuna; he had to settle an important debt on Kwenn space station. While Jabba was absent attending to business, Crumb sneaked aboard his ship, hiding in the Hutt's lavish chambers. Crumb helped himself to some of Jabba's delicacies, though it was not long before the Hutt crimelord returned, furious to find another being sitting playfully in his feeding bowl. Enraged, the Hutt attempted to swallow Salacious whole, though the little monkey-lizard was far too quick for him, and swiftly evaded his every move. With the bowl sitting precariously on his head, Crumb darted and lunged from rafter to rafter, until Jabba's two henchmen, Bidlo Kwerve and Bib Fortuna, entered the room, arguing about something, as was the norm.
The two majordomos were preoccupied with their argument to notice that Crumb was perched just above them; the mischievous monkey-lizard dropped the bowl, filled with a green, goo-like substance, directly onto the two's heads. Covered in the green goo, Kwerve attempted to fire his sidearm at Crumb, though the goo had interfered with the weapon's internal workings, and all it did was fire more goo onto Fortuna. While his henchmen were livid, Jabba had taken a liking to the spindly creature which had stolen onto his ship, and was almost delirious with laughter at the events which Crumb had caused. Jabba managed to stop his men from killing each other, and beckoned for Crumb to come down and speak with him. The Kowakian was offered a job and a future working effectively as Jabba's court jester in his magnificent palace on Tatooine. There were, however, strings attached: Crumb had to make Jabba laugh at least once a day—failure to do so would result in him being eaten by Jabba. Confident he would be able to entertain Jabba daily, Crumb obliged, and traveled with the Hutt and his men back to his palace on Tatooine.
- «All day, every day, Hutt say 'Crumb, Salacious Crumb,' he say, 'Salacious Crumb, make me laugh now or I eat you!'
- ―Salacious Crumb, describing his employment
Crumb became something of a fixture in Jabba's court, teasing, mocking and cackling at practically anyone and everyone who visited the palace. He sat at the base of Jabba's dias, sleeping and eating when there was nothing to be made fun of. Jabba was very fond of the little monkey-lizard, though most others were not; Bubo longed to digest him, while two of Jabba's most senior subordinates—Ephant Mon and Bib Fortuna—sought to end his life. Crumb, however, had survived any attempts to end his life, and by 0 BBY, he had retained his position as court jester. He was alongside Jabba when Greedo, a young Rodian bounty hunter, came to the desert citadel hoping to gain exclusive bounty rights to Han Solo, a smuggler who owed Jabba a large sum of money. It was one of the rare occasions that Crumb did not attempt to ridicule a guest, though he watched on with interest from Jabba's dais. Although Crumb spent the majority of his time lounging alongside Jabba, he sometimes wandered from there, playing tricks on any guests of Jabba's. He also spent time with Jabba's band, perched behind the Ortolan musician named Max Rebo; Salacious liked to dance to the music produced by the band. When Jabba had unwanted or unwelcome guests, Crumb served to intimidate them by malevolently repeating any of Jabba's threats. This also made him very unpopular among outsiders.
Sometime during his stay in Jabba's Palace, Crumb greeted Melvosh Bloor, a Kalkal professor, who was visiting Jabba's Palace in order to get an audience with the Hutt crimelord, with plans to write a report on Jabba. Bloor was to rendezvous with Darian Gli, a spy of Lady Valarian—Jabba's largest on-world rival and competitor—who had promised to get him an interview with Jabba. In truth, Gli had been killed, though Bloor was unaware of this; Crumb took advantage of the professor's ignorance.
Salacious played on Bloor's assumption that he was indeed Valarian's contact, laughing at him and attempting to frighten him, to the extent that the Kalkal had almost fired at him when he first emerged from the shadows of one of the palace's corridors. However, he did not shoot the monkey-lizard, who led him to a dark chamber off the corridor, where Bloor hoped to speak in private with who he erroneously thought was his contact. Though he was initially repulsed by the creature, Bloor began to build trust in Crumb, who was listening to the man's every words, occasionally offering a repetition of the Kalkal's words. Bloor misconstrued this as a sign of Crumb's agreement with his statements, further indicating that the Kowakian was trustworthy.
When Crumb learned that the visitor's true contact had guaranteed a meeting with Jabba, he offered to Bloor to do so, knowing that the results would most likely be spectacularly entertaining. However, Crumb's increasingly common explosions of laughter and screams were beginning to trouble Melvish, and his previous sense of trust was quickly diminishing. When his supposed guide told him that a creature named Salacious Crumb had ended the life of another professor—Bloor's superior, P'tan—Melvish Bloor attempted to back out of the deal, though the prospect of authoring a report of the Hutt crimelord was too inviting for him to turn down, so he continued following the little monkey-lizard. When they reached Jabba's Palace, Bloor naïvely announced his name and title, and what he wished to conduct with Jabba. As Crumb had expected, Jabba refused, citing that if he told the professor his secrets, any of his rivals could freely examine them.
Furious at yet another academic having entered his court, Jabba scorned Crumb, calling him by name. Bloor instantly realized he had been tricked, and that his fate would likely mirror that of P'tan. With Bloor surrounded by Gamorrean guards, Crumb began to laugh at him, telling him that it was he who had assumed Crumb was Darian Gli, and telling Jabba that the professor had insulted him. Bloor still had his blaster hidden away, however, and grabbed a hold of Salacious, sticking the barrel of the weapon forcefully into the creature's nose. Suddenly, however, Jabba had a change of mind, and agreed to answer Bloor's questions. Crumb watched, perplexed, as the professor's datapad filled to the brink; with the interview over, Bloor thanked Jabba and prepared to depart.
The Hutt, however, had grown tired of Crumb's antics, and this was the second occasion that he had brought academics into the palace in an attempt to amuse the Hutt. Jabba asked but one thing of Melvish Bloor: to make him laugh. A gleeful Crumb watched Bloor struggle to think of a joke that would amuse Jabba, and when he did, the Hutt announced that he had heard it before. Bloor was killed by Jabba's fearsome rancor below his court, though Crumb had yet to earn his pay by making Jabba laugh for that day. He did so by joking on a phrase the late professor had mentioned earlier, "publish or perish." Jabba was amused, and allowed Salacious to continue to act as court jester.
Behind the scenes
As seen in the 1985 documentary From Star Wars to Jedi: The Making of a Saga, Crumb's puppeteer Tim Rose actually gave Crumb a voice (other than Crumb's laughing as seen in Return of the Jedi), which he frequently used in conjunction with the puppet to joke around on set. The voice heard in the film is that of Mark Dodson.
Bib Fortuna actor, Michael Carter via an interview on TheForce.net, has alluded to several cut scenes from Return of the Jedi that involved Jess and Salacious B. Crumb. Some of these scenes appear in "Lapti Nek": The Music Video from Jabba's Palace.
- "Best Birthday Ever" — Star Wars Tales 16
- "Skippy the Jedi Droid" — Star Wars Tales 1
- "Fortune, Fate, and the Natural History of the Sarlacc" — Star Wars Tales 6
- Star Wars Infinities: Return of the Jedi
- The Return of Tag & Bink: Special Edition
- Star Wars Adventures in ABC
Notes and references
- Star Wars Character Encyclopedia
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 73
- Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
- Open Aarms
- The Essential Guide to Characters
- Galaxy Guide 5: Return of the Jedi
- This Crumb for Hire
- That's Entertainment: The Tale of Salacious Crumb
- Tongue-tied: Bubo's Tale
- Of the Day's Annoyances: Bib Fortuna's Tale
- Old Friends: Ephant Mon's Tale
- A Hunter's Fate: Greedo's Tale webstrip
- Payback: The Tale of Dengar
- Shadows of the Empire (comics)
- Spare Parts (short story)