- "...Sebulba there is going to win, I think."
"Why do you think that?"
"He always wins!"
- ―Watto and Qui-Gon Jinn discuss the impending Boonta Eve podrace
Sebulba was a male Dug who hailed from the planet of Malastare. A vicious podracer pilot who flew a massive orange podracer with a split-x configuration, Sebulba would often bump and smash his way through the competition. A skilled pilot in his own right, he nonetheless opted to install various illegal weapons on his podracer, such as a flamethrower built into the left engine, to ensure his victories on the track. The crowd favorite of a course known as the Boonta Eve Classic, located on the Outer Rim planet of Tatooine, Sebulba maintained a strong rivalry with one of podracings few human participants, a young boy named Anakin Skywalker. A short while after the Invasion of Naboo, Sebulba and Skywalker competed in a Boonta race together.
Early in the race, Sebulba bested the competitor Mawhonic, before snuffing out more pilots during the second lap. After several more close calls, Sebulba and Skywalker eventually raced into the third lap neck and neck. The Dug nearly dispatched Skywalker near the end of the lap, but the Human regained his ground. The two continued the battle for first place until Sebulba crashed into the desert sands after his cockpit got tangled with Skywalker's engines. The wreck paved the way to victory lane for Skywalker, which earned the boy his freedom from slavery. Sebulba survived his wreck and continued to race into the Clone Wars. Sometime later Sebulba abandoned podracing and began a career in battle-racing.
The Dug from Malastare
- «On the front line, the reigning champion, Sebulba from Pixelito. By far the favorite today.»
- ―Beed introducing Sebulba at the start of the race
A Dug from the planet of Malastare, Sebulba came from a Malastare locale known as Pixelito, being born some time before the Invasion of Naboo. Crafty, mean-spirited, and something of a bully, Sebulba eventually left Malastare to embellish himself as a professional podracer pilot. Eventually, he arrived on the Outer Rim planet of Tatooine, where he took the Mos Espa course known as the Boonta Eve Classic by storm, before being eventually crowned as the crowd favorite. Sticking to Tatooine, Sebulba roamed the streets of Mos Espa, spending some of his time at local cantinas. Putting much of his race money into his massive orange podracer, Sebulba also acquired two Twi'lek slaves, which served as personal masseuses. Sebulba also found himself a rivalry with a young human boy named Anakin Skywalker, who was a slave owned by a Toydarian merchant named Watto. In addition, Skywalker was a skilled pilot for his age, and was the only human at the time who participated in podraces. During a race at some point, Skywalker managed to catch up to Sebulba, and almost passed him. The Dug, while a skilled pilot, chose this point to reveal that he wasn't above finding other ways to win races. Revealing a flamethrower embedded into one engine, Sebulba flashed Skywalker's jets, causing him to crash.
The Boonta Eve Classic of 32 BBY
Prelude to the Boonta
- «You won't walk away from this one, you slave scum.»
«Don't count on it, slimeball.»
«You're Bantha poodoo!»
- ―Sebulba and Anakin Skywalker trade insults before the Boonta Eve Classic podrace
Sometime later, the next iteration of the Boonta Eve Classic was coming through Mos Espa. The day before the event, a starship from the planet of Naboo made its way to Tatooine in need of repairs. Three individuals and a droid embarked from the ship in order to find the needed parts to repair their ship. Upon arriving to Mos Espa, one of the individuals, a tall lanky Gungan named Jar Jar Binks, attempted to take food from a nearby vendor, not realizing that he needed to pay for it. When the vendor's owner made the need for payment clear, Binks spat the meal out, inadvertently shooting it off into a nearby outdoor cantina. Binks attempted to leave the scene, but was quickly caught, subdued, and pinned to the ground by Sebulba, who had been the victim of the thrown food. Strangling Binks, Sebulba prepared to pummel the hapless Gungan until Skywalker intervened, informing the Dug that Binks was an outsider with friends whom the Dug may not want to tangle with. Sebulba quickly threatened the Human before departing back to his seat at the bar. Later, another one of the newcomers, a Jedi Master named Qui-Gon Jinn, paid the Boonta's entry fee to allow Skywalker to participate in the next race.
The next day, the Boonta participants began to assemble at the Mos Espa Grand Arena, with most of the vehicles being parked inside a large hangar. Skywalker's pod was pulled up near Sebulba's pit, where the Dug gleefully showed off his Twi'lek twin slaves Ann and Tann Gella while resting in an old trophy. Actually, Sebulba was protecting his podracer from the race commissioners and other pilots with the excuse of a massage. Here, Watto boisterously declared his plans to bet heavily on Sebulba, off of the basis that the Dug had supposedly never lost a race. Jinn provided a counter-bet, stating that if Skywalker wins the race, Watto could keep all of the race earnings as severance pay to make up for the lost bet money, in exchange for Skywalker's freedom. Watto ultimately agrees but doubted Skywalker would win, again preferring Sebulba. After watching the exchange take place, Sebulba began further preparations for the race. With a team of mechanics, Sebulba moved his podracer to the starting grid, where he was placed on the second outside pole-position, with one pilot on the outside, and the Aleena pilot Ratts Tyerell to the Dug's right. Skywalker's pod was placed almost directly behind Sebulba's and Tyerell's pods.
Eventually, the Troig race commentators, Fode and Beed, began to introduce the race's participants. After introducing the majority of the pilots, Fode and Beed then announced Sebulba, who in response to his name, jumped on top of his cockpit to wave to the adoring crowd. After the crowd died down a little, Jabba the Hutt arrived in a personal viewing box. Before the race could begin, the Dug decided to taunt Skywalker a final time. Finding the boy's podracer, he broke a piece of machinery off of one of Skywalker's engines before encountering the Human at his cockpit. Sebulba vaguely implied the sabotage, before Skywalker insulted the Dug. Sebulba responded with an insult of his own before heading back to his own podracer. Soon after, Jabba officially announced the start of the race, with the pilots bursting out into the track. Two were left behind, however. One was the pilot named Ben Quadinaros, who was having issues with his power couplings. The other stalled pilot was none other than Skywalker, who was left to furiously attempt to get his pod back up and running.
Sebulba takes control
With the race in full swing, the pilots were looking to secure their positions in the pack. During the initial stretch of the race, the Gran pilot Mawhonic, who started on the inside pole position of the front row, found himself neck and neck with Sebulba. After a quick brawl while passing through sweeping mesas and rock formations, Sebulba finished Mawhonic's podracer by keeping him pressed against a rock wall. With that, the first collision of the race had occurred. By this time, Skywalker had managed to escape the starting grid and was quickly overtaking opponents. However, Sebulba maintained the lead throughout the entire first lap. Entering the second lap, the Dug was being shadowed by a podracer almost as big as his own, one that belonged to a skinny pilot known as Mars Guo.
Skywalker managed to make it to the front of the pack and attempted to pass Sebulba in a similar fashion. Sebulba repeated his attempted attack, but the agile Human managed to swerve out of the way, only for one his engine cables to break away from the pod. Sebulba roared away, with Guo closely following behind. Skywalker managed to reattach his cable, though, and after dealing with another engine problem, made his way back up the pack, eventually landing behind Guo. Racing over the final stretch of desert land before the arena, Sebulba finally made a move on the persistent Guo. Using a piece of debris he had acquired somewhere, Sebulba tossed the debris behind him and into Guo's left engine intake. Clogging the motors inside, the engine intake stopped working before the entire engine combusted. With Guo crashing into the desert sands, Skywalker was free to move ahead, going neck and neck with Sebulba as they passed the grid line into the third lap.
The final lap
- ―Sebulba after his crash
Going into the third lap, Sebulba still managed to hold the lead, as narrow as it was. With Skywalker close behind, and now out of surprise tricks, Sebulba resorted to sheer brutality in order to keep Skywalker either behind him or to batter the boy enough to turn his pod into an inferno. Approaching the Laguna Caves, a part of the course where Tyerell had crashed earlier, Sebulba rammed Skywalker off-course, forcing him onto a steep service ramp. Boosting, Skywalker sped up the ramp at an exhilarating speed, only to throw himself up into the sky. The boy was quick to act and adjusted his pod accordingly, and managed to level his podracer's nosedive as he headed back for the ground. Not only did he save himself from an explosive wreck, but his jump off of the ramp put him directly in front of a surprised Sebulba. Skywalker continued to hold the lead until they ran into a series of archways. Suddenly Skywalker's left engine bucked and began to give off a stream of dense smoke. Sebulba's earlier sabotage was beginning to take effect as Skywalker pushed his pod to its limit.
Choking on the smoke, Sebulba realized his chance to take the lead again and moved on ahead. However, by this point the other competitors had caught up to the lead pair. The Xexto podracer Gasgano quickly took second position, and followed closely behind the Dug leader. In the back, Skywalker managed to resolve his engine difficulties and quickly regained his ground, passing up several other podracers before gaining a tail on Gasgano. Although Skywalker had issues with passing the Xexto earlier in the race, this time he swerved past Gasgano with little effort and eventually flew parallel with Sebulba as they headed for the final stretch of the course. Angered by the Human's persistence, Sebulba resumed a savage beating of Skywalker's pod, only to have Skywalker's left engine latch onto several cables located on the Dug's cockpit. Locked together as they sped down the remainder of the track, Sebulba attempted to tear away to no avail. Finally, Skywalker activated his thrusters, clearing Sebulba's pod. In doing so, his engine tore Sebulba's cables apart, causing the orange podracer's energy-binders to deactivate, sending the massive vehicle tumbling into the ground. The Dug survived, left cursing in what remained of his cockpit as Skywalker won the Boonta.
Eventually, Sebulba rebuilt his podracer or bought a new one of the same model, and kept on racing on through an intergalactic conflict known as the Clone Wars. Sometime after the war's beginning, posters could be found advertising a showdown between Sebulba and the previously luckless Ben Quadinaros, who were now considered to be the sport's greatest rivalry. One such poster was owned by Sebulba's old nemesis, Anakin Skywalker. Sebulba also visited the planet Nal Hutta during the Clone Wars, where he was handing out autographs at ten o'clock am on a Saturday.
By the end of the Galactic Empire, Sebulba had abandoned podracing for battle-racing, in which he piloted an ugly christened the Widowmaker. Owing the Hutts large amounts of credits, the Dug ran in dangerous circles, having some connections with pirates who robbed the supply lines of the Rebel Alliance.
Almost immediately after the Alliance's decisive victory over the Empire at Endor in 4 ABY, Sebulba signed up for a battle-race near Neskar Station. As the contestants were already off and fighting, an Imperial Star Destroyer came out of hyperspace before them. The Destroyer's commanding officer then ordered everyone to surrender, but one of the contestants, "Rizzo Landian," revealed himself as the Alliance hero Lando Calrissian, piloting the famed Millennium Falcon. When Calrissian suggested all racers to join forces and drive off the Imperial ship, Sebulba begrudgingly agreed, temporarily assuming the callsign of Gold Four. With the Star Destroyer dispatched, Calrissian revealed to the Dug that he had come for him in hopes of obtaining information on the anti-Alliance pirates. Initially, Sebulba refused, and tried to convince the other racers to band with him against Calrissian, invoking honor among thieves. However, when it became clear that he would have to face the Rebel hero alone, the Dug came to his senses and agreed to talk.
Personality and traits
Sebulba was an arrogant and aggressive individual. Many of the competitors in the Boonta wished to beat the Dug on a personal level, including Gasgano and Ratts Tyerell. A vicious pilot, he did not let his small stature get in the way of his challenging of larger opponents, such as the Gungan Jar Jar Binks, who was close to twice that of Sebulba's size. Although he shared a rivalry with Anakin Skywalker, he didn't believe the boy posed any threat to him. When he sabotaged Skywalker's podracer, he simply did so to ensure Skywalker's inability to win. On course, Sebulba was a skilled pilot, but even so he would resort to violent combat and illegal weaponry to oust competitors as he saw fit. Sebulba stood at a total of 1.12 meters tall, and he had yellow eyes. His skin was primarily shades of purple, with light colors covering most of his neck and body, and darker purples on his face, the top of his head, and his limbs and fingers. The ridge on the top of his head was red.
Sebulba piloted a large orange podracer that had engines with a split-X design. Sebulba put most of his earnings into refining his podracer–not only in performance but also in secret weapons such as a flamethrower installed in one of the engines. The heavily modified engines were each 7.47 meters in length, while his orange cockpit was 3.96 meters in length. A sturdy vehicle, it could survive the punishment that Sebulba would grant it when ramming into opponents. When racing, Sebulba wore padded armor with a helmet that displayed goggles with large round lenses that would protect his eyes. His gear was gray in color.
Skills and abilities
When he came to Tatooine, Sebulba took the settlement of Mos Espa by storm, eventually becoming the reigning podracing champion there. A skilled pilot, he was regarded as the reigning Boonta champion, even though he was not the course's sole victor prior to the Boonta. Despite this, he was not content with his own abilities, and on occasion he had resorted to illegal weapons to destroy the competition. If it wasn't an opportune time to use a weapon, he would simply smash his adversaries into a flaming wreck. Sebulba was fairly strong as well, being able to bring a full grown Gungan to the ground, albeit a fairly clumsy one.
Behind the scenes
Sebulba first appeared in the 1999 novel, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, which was released as a tie-in for the later released film of the same name, which Sebulba was explicitly created for. Concept art for the character was created by Terryl Whitlatch, and some pieces of art can be traced back as far as 1996. A sculpture was created by the Lucasfilm Ltd. art department based on the drawings, and the character was represented in the film as a computer-generated character, whose final form differed noticeably from the earlier art and sculpture. The most obvious difference was the lack of any extruding, sharp teeth, a feature prominent in the art. A puppet based off of the maquette also existed, which was created by the art department for use in an animatic of the podrace seen in the film.
- "Tales from Wild Space: Podracer's Rescue"—Star Wars Adventures (2017) 6
- Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace (First appearance)
- Star Wars Journeys: The Phantom Menace
- Star Wars Journeys: Beginnings
- Star Wars: The Prequel Trilogy – A Graphic Novel
- Star Wars: The Phantom Menace Graphic Novel Adaptation
- "Race to the Finish Line"—5-Minute Star Wars Stories
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Friends and Enemies" (Poster only)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Rise of Clovis" (Poster only)
- Choose Your Destiny: A Podracer Mission
- "A Race for Answers"—Star Wars Adventures (2017) 23
- "The Lost Stories, Part 3"—Star Wars Adventures (2017) 32 (Appears through imagination)
- William Shakespeare's The Phantom of Menace: Star Wars Part the First
- Disney Infinity 3.0
- LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures – "Race on Tatooine"
- LEGO Star Wars: Droid Tales – "Exit from Endor" (In flashback(s))
- The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special
- LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
Notes and references
- Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace
- Star Wars: Complete Locations
- Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace DVD Special Features
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Rise of Clovis"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Friends and Enemies"
- "A Race for Answers"—Star Wars Adventures (2017) 23
- Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace DVD special features