A surprising number of characters, including Bib Fortuna and Boba Fett, survived the explosion of Jabba’s sail barge in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.
Warning: this list contains SPOILERS for The Boba Fett Book.
The Boba Fett Book has continued a fun and curious tradition established in the mandalorian. It seems that several inhabitants of Jabba’s palace survived the complete and utter destruction of the Quetanna, Jabba The Hutt’s sailing barge in Return of the Jedi. While some of the survivors are obvious, like Boba Fett, others have been far more surprising and raise questions about how they lived.
Star Wars comics and books established that several characters survived the sailing barge explosion at Sarlaac Pit. While some of those same characters have since been confirmed to be survivors in canon, some remain question marks. Their proximity to confirmed survivors gives fans some hope that they will also be shown to have survived in live action at some point in the near future.
Boba Fett is by far the highest profile survivor of the battle at Pit of Carkoon. For nearly forty years, Boba Fett was thought to be dead in canon, swallowed by the monster Sarlaac after leaving the relative safety of the sailing barge to confront Luke Skywalker. Boba Fett surviving Return of the Jedi is one of the biggest and biggest revisions to Star Wars canon.
Boba Fett’s escape from the Sarlaac closely mirrors the story of the 1984 Marvel comic “Jawas of Doom” from issue # 81 of the original series. He escapes from the monster and is captured by Jawas who is searching the wreckage of the barge.
Bib Fortuna is one of the largest surprise survivors in canon. As the butler of Jabba the Hutt, he was present on the sailing barge in the Carkoon Well. It was assumed that he was lost when he exploded, but it was shown that he took Jabba’s throne at the end of the mandalorian the second season.
He didn’t survive much longer after that, but it is far from clear how he survived the blast from the sail barge. It is possible that he and others jumped off the ship when it was exploding and then returned to Jabba’s empty palace.
Bossk is somewhat difficult to detect in Return of the Jedibut he is present on the sailing barge. What is unclear from canon is his survival after the Carkoon Pit, although non-canon sources have shown that he survived the explosion of the Quetanna.
Books and comics set after Return of the Jedi shows Bossk alive and still active as a bounty hunter. He also has more confrontations with Boba Fett. Given the large number of Trandoshans in the series so far, Bossk is one of the most likely characters to appear in The Boba Fett Book.
One character whose fate in canon is certain is EV-9D9. EV-9D9 appeared in the dungeon below Jabba’s palace and was in charge of reprogramming and refitting droids for service in the palace and on the barge. One of the biggest surprises of the mandalorian he was looking at the droid as a bartender.
EV-9D9 was not a bartender anywhere, but was behind the bar at the canteen in Mos Eisley, which became famous in the first Star Wars film. It’s also funny since the cantina had an infamous “no droids” policy when Luke Skywalker first visited.
Tessek is the squid-shaped Quarren visible throughout Jabba’s palace and on the sailing barge in Return of the Jedi. While the live action has yet to confirm the character’s status, Legends sources have shown that Tessek survived the destruction of the Quetanna.
In the story “A Free Quarren in the Palace: Tessek’s Tale” from the anthology Tales from Jabba’s Palace, Tessek escapes on a speeder bike. However, his luck is short-lived, as he eventually transforms into a B’omarr monk, the spider-like droid with human brains in jars that is seen gliding through the palace.
Saelt-Marae, best known for Star Wars Toy collectors like “Yak Face” is another Legends survivor of the sailing barge. He is clearly seen on the barge throughout the Pit of Carkoon sequence, but various non-canon reference books have shown that he is alive.
The details of their escape are vague, but Saelt-Marae got off the barge before it exploded. He also seized a great deal of Jabba the Hutt’s wealth and essential documents, using them to increase his own power and status in the galaxy.
Droopy McCool is a member of the Max Rebo Band and is presumed lost with the sailing barge, but recent events in The Boba Fett Book their chances have improved. The survival of his bandmate Max gives Droopy some hope, and Legends had him as a survivor too.
“And the band kept playing: the story of the band” by Tales from Jabba’s Palace reveals that Droopy survived the barge explosion by jumping off the ship before it exploded. He left the band and went their separate ways after that.
Sy Snootles is at the heart of the “Jedi Rocks” sequence on Return of the Jedi, one of the worst revisions to the original Star Wars trilogy. Some fans may have agreed that Sy’s fate remained a mystery as a result, but Legends made her survive with her bandmates.
The same short story that established Droopy McCool and Max Rebo as survivors also granted Sy Snootles a second chance. But his life took a bad turn afterward. Got addicted to spices, a drug in the Star Wars universe, and never did much after.
8-D8 is one of the sail barge’s most unexpected survivors. The skeletal droid in Jabba’s dungeon that tortured other droids appeared in The Boba Fett Book as some kind of translator for Boba Fett, far removed from his previous duties at the palace.
8-D8 also has a surprisingly erudite personality for his well-known background. He is voiced by Matt Berry, the writer, actor, and singer that fans have seen in other movies and TV shows like What we do in the shadows Y London toast.
Another big surprise for the fans in The Boba Fett Book it’s Max Rebo. The blue Ortolan also lived in Legends by jumping to safety. His presence at the Shrine run by Garsa Fwip indicates that his bandmates may have survived as well.
However, Max Rebo has clearly moved on, playing a new version of his organ alongside a Bith, possibly a member of Modal Nodes from the cantina scene in A new hope. Max seems to have done very well since the destruction of the barge.