So just earlier today, in doubleofive’s recently resurrected childhood misconceptions thread I posted this:
Chase Adams said:
And finally, here’s a weird one:
I have a specific memory of a scene in ROTJ where Salacious Crumb is chewing on Jabba’s tail and bites a chunk out of it. I know, sounds awful, I have no idea why I remember this, seeing that it never happened but I always thought as a kid that he started eating Jabba!
After SilverWook replied by suggesting it could be because there is a shot of Crumb looking at Jabba’s tail eagerly that my imagination formed a scenario where he actually bites it!
It got me seriously thinking, has anybody noticed the small detail of the scar in Jabba’s tail, could that be another factor that created this false memory?
Found this link:
Taken from the website:
There appears to be two conflicting stories regarding the split in Jabba’s tail.
The first one is listed on IMDb;
Whilst clambering over Jabba the Hutt, one of the high heels that Carrie Fisher was wearing accidentally punctured the latex casing and pierced Mike Edmonds who was operating the tail inside.
Although sounds like an interesting anecdote, the filming sequence is wrong (Jabba’s death scene was filmed last due to the danger of damaging his latex outer casing). On top of that, there’s no attribution for the quote, the injured section would be far higher and most tellingly this factoid isn’t mentioned in any of the countless interviews given by the other Jabba operators.
The second (and more plausible and mundane) explanation is that the scar makeup simply covers a join line.
As you can see from this video, Jabba had two different tails, one which was mechanically articulated and one which was operated using a simple string pulley. The split occurs precisely where you see the scar.
John Coppinger, Animatronics Engineer for Return of the Jedi described it thusly:
“Once Jabba was finished and tested in the workshop we had to plan how to move and install him onto the moving throne base on set. This was quite high up on a rostrum. He also had to be dismantled and moved to the bedchamber set and later to the sail barge set. For both of those we fitted a simpler internal tail volume, made of segments of foam polystyrene that could curl up tighter than the cable version. This simpler tail was flickered and thrashed (when he died) with fishing line strung from poles (i.e. a giant string puppet)”