No creature of fantasy springs onto the big screen fully formed. For every goblin or alien that becomes imprinted on our pop culture consciousness, there are dozens of concept art carcasses littering the floor. Perhaps no franchise has a bigger discard pile than the Star Wars galaxy. Between the Expanded Universe and the unused concept art for the original trilogy, you could populate an entirely new cinematic universe. Ralph McQuarrie alone has created so much of what we think of as Star Wars, and also a ton of concept art that feels like the Mirrorverse version of a galaxy far, far away.
But sometimes a change isn’t something fun like “Stormtroopers used to have lightsabers” or “C-3P0 doesn’t look like a half-melted Oscar statue, thank the Maker.” Sometimes it’s something nightmare inducing, like this knowledge of what Hutt biology originally looked like. If you don’t like bugs, this revelation will haunt your nightmares.
That’s right. In Return of the Jedi, Jabba the Hutt could’ve been caressing the skin of Princess Leia with hundreds of little centipede legs. But wait, if you’ve been reading the Star Wars comics from Marvel, you might be feeling a little twinge of familiarity. That’s because Lucasfilm may have gone back to the concept art well to bring another Hutt to life: Grakkus.
For those who don’t know, Grakkus the Hutt isn’t like the other girls Hutt. He’s obsessed with collecting Jedi artifacts, up to and including Jedi themselves. In order to feed his hobby, Grakkus needs to be mobile. What’s a slug to do? Surgically graft spider legs onto his body then never miss arm day ever again, obviously.
This isn’t the first time — nor the last — Lucasfilm has upcycled an idea they’d had to abandon in the past. From introducing alien species to pod racers, if an idea is good it never truly dies. It just goes into the files until someone can find a use for it.