Hyperspace Beacon: Making a deal with the Hutts in SWTOR

Hyperspace Beacon Dealing with the Hutts in SWTOR
Hutts. When you say that word to a layman, he probably thinks that you're talking about grass-topped houses, but if you say that word to the Star Wars fan, the image that springs to his mind is Jabba the Hutt. The giant green and yellow slug was mentioned all the way back in 1977 when Star Wars was first released. In fact, he was supposed to show up in that movie, but due to budget restraints, the special effects department couldn't mask over the late Declan Mulholland. The scene was later added back in for the special edition, but it really nullified the mystery of Jabba and made the Hutt appear to be more of a joke than the dangerous gangster that he should have been.

Hutts. In Star Wars: The Old Republic, Nem'ro is the central figure to both the Bounty Hunter and the Imperial Agent storylines for the first 10 levels. On the Republic side, you run into an overarching story on Nar Shaddaa involving Bareesh the Hutt and Republic Ambassador Averdon, one that pits you against warring criminal organizations. These gargantuan blobs are central to both the Republic and Imperial stories on Quesh and the endgame operation for Karagga's Palace. And now, the first SWTOR expansion will center around the Hutts and the planet of Makeb.

Hutts. Where did they come from? How did they come to power? Are they different in TOR than they are in the movies? Let's take a moment to explore these criminal overlords.

Hyperspace Beacon Dealing with the Hutts in SWTOR
To the human eye, Hutts are indistinguishable from one another. All of them look like giant blobs of fat, which is mostly true. A large portion of a Hutt's body is fat. However, there is a large portion of muscle and skin, too. But the most distinguishing physical characteristic of a Hutt is what is not there: bones. In the PvP warzone, Baron Deathmark says, "Hutts don't have feet." That is only partially true. Hutts have one giant foot, but it doesn't have the structure of bipeds. It is made of muscle and pushes a Hutt around similar to a slug. Some Hutts have grown so large that they can no longer push themselves around.

So how did this species survive to dominate their homeworld, given their physical limitations? They have short arms. They are slow-moving. They have no bone structure. The easiest answer that I can devise is that they lived defensively. A Hutt's skin is not only thick but resists puncture and most chemical reactions thanks to the mucus it secretes. (Yeah, ew.) It's also known that Hutts produce an aroma of dead skunks, burnt cabbage, and raw sewage -- a healthy combination that has been known to cause a Sarlacc to spew the creatures out instead of digesting them.

Hyperspace Beacon Dealing with the Hutts in SWTOR
Most people in the Star Wars galaxy consider Hutta (or Nal Hutta) to be the origin world of the Hutts, but historians know that Hutts originally came from the non-so-distant planet of Varl.

According to the Hutts, Varl was struck by a celestial cataclysm that destroyed the planetary atmosphere, making the world uninhabitable, but historical evidence points to the Hutts as the source of the planet's downfall. Rakata records say Varl was a lush green world instead of the wasteland that it is now. Research also found that Varl had multiple moons, which are now non-existent. Historians believe the Hutts drained the planet dry of resources during wars between the clans. Perhaps these conflicts also literally destroyed the planet's moons.

When the slugs fled Varl, they landed on Evocar. Immediately, the Hutts named the planet the Glorious Jewel, or as we know it, Nal Hutta. If you've played the Agent or Bounty Hunter starting quests, then you know of the Evocii. These sentients originated from Evocar but were quickly subjugated by the more-powerful Hutts.

Now, the once-lush land of Evocar is a complete industrial wasteland. Are you starting to see a trend? Well, if you are, then you know exactly what happened to Quesh when the Hutts moved in there, too: The Hutts started draining the planet of its resources. If I were to guess, that is the exact plan these mob bosses have in mind for Makeb in the next expansion.

Hyperspace Beacon Dealing with the Hutts in SWTOR
The Force and the Hutts are, generally, not friendly in more ways than one. First off, Hutts are completely immune to mind tricks, and because of their natural defenses, they are very resilient to other types of Force abilities as well. During the Inquisitor and Warrior stories, Hutts are electrocuted with Force Lightning and choked with telekinesis, but these Force powers are very difficult to pull off against the stronger Hutts.

Strangely, there have been Hutts who have become Jedi. I know it's weird, and from a storytelling perspective, it seems quite gimmicky. However, there it is, and admittedly, a Hutt wielding a lightsaber is extremely funny.

Hyperspace Beacon Dealing with the Hutts in SWTOR
We SWTOR fans know that the Hutts own the area of the galaxy known as Hutt Space. In the classic time period of Star Wars, the Hutts still owned a good chunk of the same area of the galaxy, but it was overseen by the Galactic Empire. There wasn't really a governing body of Hutt overlords. The Hutts were more disorganized and more closely resembled their Earth mob boss counterparts.

However, during the time of the Old Republic, there appears to be a bit more cohesion between the different Hutt families. When we meet Nem'ro on Hutta, he's fighting against Fa'athra, another Hutt boss. So the setting seems familiar from the classic era. But when we get to endgame, we start to see a bit more organization, though the three families on Quesh take a step closer to being organized and give hints to being a larger galactic force that they first appeared. Spoilers: They play the Empire and the Republic against each other.

Karagga's palace introduces us to the next level of organization. The operation itself doesn't really reveal anything, but the questline surrounding the instance reveals that organized Hutts can actually be dangerous. As the title of the expansion tells us, Hutts are rising. Perhaps now, this seemingly madcap mob is a force to be reckoned with. We'd better watch out.

The Hyperspace Beacon by Larry Everett is your weekly guide to the vast galaxy of Star Wars: The Old Republic, currently in production by BioWare. If you have comments or suggestions for the column, send a transmission to larry@massively.com. Now strap yourself in, kid -- we gotta make the jump to hyperspace!

This article was originally published on Massively.