(Welcome to The Galaxy-Wide Star Wars Character Guide, where we give proper due to the smaller figures in Star Wars history.)
Imagine it’s 1983. A few years prior, you left the Star Wars galaxy with a couple doozies to consider. Not only did audiences learn Darth Vader was Luke Skywalker’s father, but their favorite rogue and smuggler, Han Solo, ended that film frozen in carbonate and captured by the bounty hunter Boba Fett. For those of us who are a bit younger, it’s hard to imagine how torturous and exciting those three years between films were for Star Wars fans, the galaxies of possibilities they conjured for what Return of the Jedi had in store for them. And then the film arrived and spent a significant amount of running time… finally ending The Empire Strikes Back.
What Return of the Jedi lacks in storytelling, it more than makes up for when it comes to new characters. Before we even get to the Ewoks, Jabba’s barge is a fascinating place to hang out, filled with all kinds of new Star Wars weirdos to ogle, including Jabba himself. If you just have to spend an hour-long story layover somewhere, you could do a lot worse.
Among all the new creatures, Jabba’s Palace hosts one of Star Wars’ most pleasantly obnoxious aliens: Salacious B. Crumb. The B stands for bastard.
Which Character is This Again?
Jabba’s Palace is filled with a lot of jerks. You have the Rancor, Bib Fortuna, and Jabba himself. But then you have a guy whose whole job is to be obnoxious: Salacious B. Crumb. He’s basically Jabba’s court jester, having been in Jabba’s employ for a dozen years by the time of Return of the Jedi. Their relationship is simple: Salacious makes Jabba laugh once a day in exchange for as much food and drink as he wants. Fail to make Jabba laugh even once and he dies.
Making it over a dozen years indicates some skill on Salacious’ part, but we see no evidence of it. His main thing is simply to laugh at people, perhaps hoping that contagious laughter will save his hide. That Jabba is an easy laugh, it seems.
According to Star Wars lore, Salacious is a Kowakian monkey-lizard (c’mon Star Wars, pick one). They generally serve as pets to criminals and are known for their obnoxious laughter. Which means Salacious isn’t even unique among them. It’s just a whole species of jerks. But Salacious is special to us, and that’s all that matters. He’s also dead as hell, so that helps.
Does This Character Warrant a Toy?
Yes, Salacious B. Crumb is wholly deserving of a toy. You can have a small hard plastic toy just like all the others. You could also make a stuffed version. Throw in a hard plastic beak if you want it to be extra special. The issue is making sure it is scaled to whatever Jabba toy you’re currently playing with. The two are kind of a packaged deal and you don’t want the sizes to be off. That’s quite a challenge though because Salacious is pretty small.
In any case, Salacious is cute despite being awful. We all have a Salacious B. Crumb in our lives and it can be nice to fling them – in toy form, of course – across the room one minute and cuddle them the next.
How Important is This Character?
Like so much of what we get on Jabba’s Barge, Salacious B. Crumb offers a ton of fun Star Wars flavor in a dish that we probably didn’t need to eat. At this point, we’ve all had time to process Return of the Jedi’s lacking urgency and learn to love what it does offer: Han Solo’s rescue, Lando’s redemption, and Luke’s off-screen transformation into a badass (or just a cooler outfit; it’s hard to say).
However, the film’s real bounty is a ton of great new Star Wars characters. You walk away from that film just dying to learn more about the pig guards, the fleshy thing wrapped around Bib Fortuna’s head, what a cute, baby Rancor might look like, and above all, what’s up with Salacious B. Crumb. Not because these things are important to Star Wars, but because they represent why the Star Wars world is so cool. Salacious B. Crumb does not have a single effect on the larger Star Wars story. He’s just there to be a space jerk, and by golly, that’s exactly what he is. Not everything needs a purpose.
Is This a Secretly Great Star Wars Character?
Time has been kind to Salacious B. Crumb and he has become a beloved institution of mockery within the Star Wars galaxy. It’s hard not to love him, he’s just so awful. If you read the comics, he apparently once laughed at Darth Vader and got off with just a warning. This proves that even the hardest heart out there found him compelling enough to give him a second chance. No one knows why, but there it is all the same. The world needs a-holes like Salacious B. Crumb for some reason. Now go find the Salacious B. Crumb in your life and give them a hug. But then make sure you don’t put a “kick me” sign on your back or something silly like that.
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