"Victims of the almighty Sarlacc - His excellency hopes that you will die honorably. But should any of you wish to beg for mercy, the great Jabba the Hutt will now listen to your pleas."
Skirmish at the Great Pit of Carkoon
Skirmish at Carkoon
Type: Fictional event
Category: Skirmish
Continuity: Star Wars
Dates: 4 ABY
Locations: Dune Sea, Tatooine
Participants: Luke Skywalker; Han Solo; Chewbacca; Leia Organa; Lando Calrissian; R2-D2; C-3PO; Jabba the Hutt; Boba Fett
Appearances: Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)

The Skirmish at Carkoon is an unofficial name referring to a fictional event that takes place within the internal continuity of the Star Wars multimedia franchise. For purposes of this database, it may also be referred to as the Skirmish at the Great Pit of Carkoon, the Battle of Carkoon or the Battle of the Great Pit of Carkoon. The event took place in the 1983 feature film Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. The events leading up to the skirmish, as well as the skirmish itself, comprise the first third of the film.

The Skirmish at Carkoon is a minor land battle fought between members of the Hutt crime cartel led by Jabba the Hutt and a band of escaped prisoners, who also happened to be high-ranking members in the Alliance to Restore the Republic. The skirmish is the culmination of a series of events effected by the prisoners in an effort to rescue their captured ally, Han Solo. The event took place on the planet Tatooine in the Western Dune Sea at the Great Pit of Carkoon. It took place four years after the Battle of Yavin and very shortly before the Battle of Endor.

History Edit

The Rescue of Han Solo Edit

Main article: Rescue of Han Solo

The events leading up to the skirmish began as a comprehensive strategic attempt to rescue Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt who had been frozen inside of a block of carbonite and delivered to him by the bounty hunter Boba Fett. The architects behind his rescue consisted of his close friends, Princess Leia Organa, his co-pilot Chewbacca the Wookiee and his friend Luke Skywalker. Additionally, Lando Calrissian played a major role in the rescue due in no small measure for the part he played in Solo's original capture in the first place. Skywalker also employed his droids C-3PO and R2-D2 as key tools in the rescue, though Threepio was largely unaware of the greater plan of action.

Lando Calrissian infiltrated Jabba's cartel as a guardsman under the alias Tamtel Skreej and worked at Jabba's palace in the weeks leading up to the rescue. Calrissian maintained a steady presence in Jabba's throne room and was able to keep a close eye on Solo's frozen body, which had been hung on a wall as a personal decoration.

The first phase of the rescue plan involved Luke sending C-3PO and R2-D2 to Jabba's palace under the guise of delivering a message. Artoo played a holographic message of Luke Skywalker to Jabba who entreated the Hutt to negotiate a deal for Solo's life. As a token of good will, he offered him the two droids as a gift. Jabba had no intention of letting Solo go, but he accepted Skywalker's gift. He kept Threepio in his throne room to serve as a translator, while Artoo was assigned as a service droid aboard his sail barge, the Khetanna. [1]

The second phase of the rescue operation involved Princess Leia and Chewbacca. Princess Leia assumed the alias of an actual bounty hunter named Boushh, which proved to be an effective disguise since Boushh's outfit completely covered his head and body and he used a vocal synthesizer to disguise his voice.

As Boussh, Leia entered Jabba's throne room with Chewbacca chained to her. She negotiated with Jabba over the price of the bounty on Chewbacca's head. Negotiations turned tense when Boushh presented a thermal detonator and threatened to set it off unless Jabba agreed to an exorbitant sum. Impressed by the bounty hunter's inventiveness, he agreed to the terms, and Chewbacca was taken away.

Later that evening, Leia crept into the audience chamber after everyone had fallen asleep. She found the alcove holding Solo's frozen form and thawed him from the carbonite. As they tried to leave however, Jabba and his underlings suddenly appeared before them. He took Leia as a slave and outfitted her with a skimpy costume and collar. He kept her chained closed to him upon his dais. Solo was throne into a dungeon where he was reunited with Chewbacca. At this time, Han was temporarily suffering from blindness due to hibernation sickness as a result of carbonite exposure.

The third phase of the rescue operation involved Luke Skywalker himself. Now a Jedi, Luke used his mental powers to trick Jabba's majordomo, Bib Fortuna, into bringing him to the throne room. Luke's powers were ineffective against Jabba, but he stood firm and demanded that Solo, Organa and Chewbacca were to be released to him. Jabba activated a trap door beneath Luke's feet and he fell into a cavern pit, which was home to one of Jabba's favorite pets - a giant, monstrous creature known as a Rancor. Luke managed to evade being eaten by the thing, and ran past him through a large iron gate. When the Rancor attempted to follow him, Luke activated the controls on the door, bringing the heavy gate down, crushing the top of the Rancor's head.

Jabba was furious at this and Luke was taken prisoner. As punishment, Skywalker, Solo and Chewbacca were sentenced to be executed. Jabba decreed that they would be cast into the Great Pit of Carkoon in the Western Dune Sea, which was the nesting place of a tentacled creature called a Sarlacc. As translated by Threepio, "In its belly, you will find a new definition of pain and suffering as you are slowly digested over a thousand years". [1]

The skirmish Edit

Skirmish at the Great Pit of Carkoon 002

The battle begins.

Luke, Han and Chewbacca were taken aboard a Bantha-II cargo skiff and taken out to the Pit of Carkoon. A second skiff, filled with more of Jabba's henchmen, escorted them as did Jabba and his entourage aboard his sail barge, the Khetanna. In attendance on the barge were C-3PO, R2-D2, Leia Organa, bounty hunter Boba Fett, Jabba himself, and several of Jabba's guests and underlings. Before the execution was to commence, Jabba had Threepio issue a proclamation, entreating the prisoners for a final option to beg for mercy - mercy, which of course would never be given. Han retorted that he would get "no such pleasure" from them.

Luke Skywalker turned towards the sail barge and issue a final warning to Jabba: "Free us, or die". Jabba laughed and ordered his guards to push Luke into the pit. Before walking the plank, Luke gave a signal to Lando Calrissian, who was still in disguise as a skiff guard and also gestured to R2-D2, who was viewing the event from a window on the barge. Artoo fired a projectile from a housing in his body towards the skiff. The projectile turned out to be Luke's lightsaber. After doing a flip off the plank, Luke landed back on the open deck of the skiff and caught his saber. Igniting it, he swung wildly at three guards, while Lando began grappling with a fourth. He then used his saber to free Han and Chewbacca from their manacles.

On the sail barge, a Nikto guard mounted a blaster cannon onto the side of the ship and fired a shot into the skiff. The impact threw Lando over the side, but he managed to snag onto a length of cable, which only barely kept him out of reach of the Sarlacc's hungry tentacles.

Luke cuts Boba's blaster

Luke cuts Fett's blaster.

Boba Fett then used his rocket pack to fly from the barge to the skiff where he drew his blaster upon Skywalker. Luke cut through the blaster, so Fett ensnared him with a grappling line from his gauntlet. Luke cut himself free, but a second shot from the mounted cannon caused Boba Fett to fall over.

The second desert skiff turned about to face them and the guard opened fire on Luke. He leaped from one skiff to the other and began fighting off the armed henchmen. Boba Fett got up and drew a bead on Luke Skywalker. Han Solo, still partially blind heard Chewbacca bark a warning about Boba Fett. As he turned about, he knocked into the bounty hunter, accidentally activating his rocket pack. Boba blasted off the skiff and slammed into the side of the sail barge. He then rolled down the dune and fell into the gaping maw of the Sarlacc.

Leia kills Jabba

Leia's revenge.

On the sail barge, Princess Leia decided that it was time to make her move. Using a length of her slave chain as a hammer, she cut the power to the inner chamber, causing everyone to scramble about in a panic in the darkness. Before Jabba could even figure out what was going on, Leia circled behind him with her chain, wrapping it around his neck. She pulled on it with all of her strength, eventually strangling Jabba to death. Afterward, R2-D2 used a mini-torch to cut Leia's chains, setting her free.

Topside, the Nikto guard continued firing blasts at the first skiff. The vessel lurched forward from the impact, causing the still-dangling Lando Calrissian to drop ever-closer to he Sarlacc. A tentacle reached out and ensnared his leg. Han Solo leaned over the edge of the skiff while Chewbacca was holding his legs and used a discarded rifle to blast the Sarlacc tentacle until it let Lando go.

After Luke finished dispatching all of the guards on the second skiff, he leaped over to the sail barge and took care of the gunner, as well as a Gamorrean guard. While defending himself against three more foes, he saw Princess Leia emerging topside. He provided cover and told Leia to get to the blaster cannon and point it at the main deck of the sail barge itself. Luke finished off his foes, grabbed a hanging rope and fired the cannon, before swinging off to the first skiff with Leia in his arms. R2-D2 and C-3PO managed to get topside and Artoo pushed Threepio off the edge of barge into the sand just as the sail barge exploded. By most accounts, everyone else present aboard the barge was killed in the explosion.

After collecting the droids, the group arranged to leave Tatooine and return to the Alliance fleet. [1]

Adaptations Edit

The Skirmish at Carkoon was presented in issue #2 of the four-issue Star Wars: Return of the Jedi comic book limited series published by Marvel Comics. The entire series was simultaneously published in Marvel Super Special #27, released in the Spring of 1983. By and large, the events from the comic are similar to that of the movie, but there are a few notable differences:

Han Solo and Lando Carlrissian have extended dialogue that was not in the film. The two quip back and forth to one another while Han is trying to keep Lando from slipping into the Sarlaac's maw.

Of the aliens presented on the desert skiffs and on the upper deck of the sail barge, only Vedain and Queequeg actually resemble their movie counterparts. The human Taym Dren-garen is represented as a brown-skinned reptilian alien. An alien standing next to Taym, possibly a counterpart to Klaatu, is seen wearing tattered rags and looks nothing like any alien species from the mythos.

On the sail barge, one of the spectators is an IG-series assassin droid, possibly even IG-88. Although the expanded universe has well established that IG-88 had associations with other bounty hunters hired by Jabba the Hutt, including Boba Fett and Bossk, there is nothing in the film to indicate that he was part of Jabba's entourage.

Survivors Edit

  • Another sail barge survivor is the bounty hunter Bossk. It is unclear exactly how he escaped, but it is known that he was in fact on the barge and that he is later revealed to be alive and well.
  • Everyone's favorite dopey blue-skinned Ortolan Max Rebo is yet another of the fortunate few who was able to get his lumpy butt off the Khetanna just in time.

Participants Edit

Combatants Edit

Skiff #1

Skiff #2

Sail barge

Non-combatants Edit

Locations Edit

Vehicles Edit

Who's Who Edit

Barada Barada was a Klatooinian and a slave owned by Jabba the Hutt. Barada was on the Bantha-II cargo skiff piloted by Pote Snitkin on the day that Jabba decided to feed his prisoners, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Chewbacca to the Sarlacc at the Great Pit of Carkoon. Luke Skywalker rebelled against them, slashing his way through Jabba's forces with his lightsaber. After finishing off the first group of foes, Skywalker leaped to the second skiff, slashed Barada with his saber, sending him tumbling into the Sarlacc's mouth.

Boba Fett
Boba Fett 003 Boba Fett was the clone son of Jango Fett. Growing up in the ashes of the Clone Wars, Boba took on the Mandalorian armor and weaponry of his father and became one of the most feared bounty hunters in the galaxy. During the Galactic Civil War, he was hired by Jabba the Hutt to find and capture Han Solo. Fett was present at the Skirmish at Carkoon and nearly lost his life after falling into the maw of the Sarlaac.

Gailid Gailid was a tax accountant and henchman to Jabba the Hutt. He was present on the second desert skiff that brought Jabba's prisoners to the Great Pit of Carkoon. After finishing off his first group of captors, Luke Skywalker leaped to the second skiff and attacked the others. Gailid tried firing at him, but couldn't connect. Luke leaped off the skiff to deal with the sail barge, leaving Gailid's final fate unknown.

Han Solo
Han Solo 001 Han Solo was a Corellian smuggler who earned himself a reputation for quick-thinking and hasty actions. Partnered with his wookiee co-pilot Chewbacca, Han was the captain of the Millnenium Falcon and one of the heroes of the Battle of Yavin. Turning away from his scoundrel lifestyle, he joined the Rebel Alliance and led a ground assault victory at the Battle of Endor.

Luke Skywalker
Luke Skywalker Growing up a moisture farmer on Tatooine, Luke was encouraged to learn the ways of the Force by his mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi. Luke joined the Rebel Alliance and single-handedly destroyed the Empire's Death Star station. He continued his Jedi training under Master Yoda and redeemed his evil father, Darth Vader at the Battle of Endor.

Kithaba Kithaba was a member of the Klatooinian race. He was an assassin the employ of Jabba the Hutt and worked out of Jabba's palace on Tatooine. Kithaba was on the first desert skiff that brought captured prisoners to the Great Pit of Carkoon. Luke Skywalker rebelled against his captors and began swinging at them with his lightsaber. Kithaba has the distinction of being the first of several to fall and be eaten by the Sarlacc.

Klaatu Klaatu was a member of the Kadas'sa'Nikto of the Nikto race. He was an indentured servant in service to Jabba the Hutt. Klaatu was on Jabba's sail barge during the Skirmish at Carkoon. He came above deck to fight Luke Skywalker, who cut his blaster in half with a lightsaber. Klaatu retreated below deck, but died soon after when the sail barge exploded.

Nysad 002 Nysad was a Kajain'sa'Nikto of the Nikto race. He was a member of the crime cartel operated by Jabba the Hutt based out of Jabba's palace on the planet Tatooine. During the Skirmish at Carkoon, Nysad was aboard Jabba's sail barge. the Khetanna, when Luke Skywalker leaped upon it from a desert skiff. He tried gunning Luke down, but Skywalker deflected two shots with his lightsaber, which rebounded, killing Nysad.

Pote Snitkin
Pote Snitkin 003 Pote Snitkin worked for Jabba the Hutt and was the helmsman of the second skiff during the Skirmish at Carkoon. Prisoner Luke Skywalker rebelled against his captors and began fighting Jabba's henchmen with his lighstaber. During the chaos, Pote's rival, Hermi Odle took advantage of the chaos and shot his enemy with a stun weapon, knocking him off the skiff and into the Sarlacc.

Queequeg The silent and stoic Queequeg was a member of the Weequay race. He worked as a guard and henchman for Jabba the Hutt and was stationed aboard the desert skiff that brought Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Chewbacca to the Great Pit of Carkoon for execution. At Jabba's signal, Queequeg prodded Luke with a vibro-ax, but Luke forward-flipped over him and began fighting his captors. Queequeg was struck by Skywalker's lightsaber and fell into the Sarlaac.

Rogua Rogua was a Gamorrean guard in service to Jabba the Hutt on Tatooine. Along with Ortugg, he was charged with guarding the gates to Jabba's palace. He escorted Chewbacca the Wookiee to his cell and was soon after Force choked by Luke Skywalker. Rogua was on Jabba's sail barge and attacked Luke Skywalker, but was taken down by one stroke from his lightsaber.

Taym Dren-garen
Taym Dren-garen Taym Dren-garen was a human henchman employed by Jabba the Hutt. During the Skirmish at Carkoon, he came up from below deck on Jabba's sail barge and fired at Luke Skywalker, shooting him in his cybernetic hand. Luke retaliated, striking him down with his lightsaber.

Vedain Vedain was a Kajain'sa'Nikto of the Nikto race. He was a member of the crime cartel operated by Jabba the Hutt based out of Jabba's palace on the planet Tatooine. Vedain piloted the first desert skiff during the Skirmish at Carkoon. He fought with Lando Calrissian and fell off the skiff to be eaten by the Sarlacc.

Velken Tezeri
Velken Tezeri Velken Tezeri was a human henchman employed by Jabba the Hutt. During the Skirmish at Carkoon, he was positioned on the first desert skiff along with Jabba's prisoners. Luke Skywalker ignited his lightsaber and fought back. Velken was caught by surprise and was knocked off the skiff, becoming the second victim of the sarlacc that day.

Vizam Vizam was a Kajain'sa'Nikto of the Nikto race. He was a member of the crime cartel operated by Jabba the Hutt based out of Jabba's palace on the planet Tatooine. Vizam was Jabba's weapons master and was present at the Skirmish at Carkoon. He manned the anti-personnel turret aboard the barge. He was killed by Luke Skywalker.

Wooof 001 Wooof was a Kadas'sa'Nikto and a member of the criminal court of Jabba the Hutt. He was present when Luke Skywalker tried to bargain with Jabba for the freedom of Han Solo. During the Skirmish at Carkoon, Wooof was below deck on Jabba's sail barge, but came topside when Skywalker attacked the barge. He shot at Luke who deflected his blasts back on him with his lightsaber.

Yotts Orren
Yotts Orren Yotts Orren was a member of the Kadas'sa'Nikto (Green Nikto) subspecies of Nikto. He was a smuggler and a mechanic who came into the employ of Jabba the Hutt on Tatooine. Yotts Orren was on the second desert skiff that escorted the prisoners Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Chewbacca to the Great Pit of Carkoon to be eaten by the Sarlacc. In the ensuing battle, Luke Skywalker retrieved his ligthsaber, leaped to the second skiff and slew Yotts with a quick slash of his blade.

Related categories Edit

See also Edit


The World of Star Wars

Star Wars miscellaneous

References Edit

Navigation Edit

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