‘The Mandalorian’ Season 3’s best cameo may seem a little Salacious

‘The Mandalorian’ Season 3’s best cameo may seem a little Salacious
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‘The Mandalorian’ Season 3’s best cameo may seem a little Salacious

Creating an icon from mere maniacal cackling is a problem, however it’s one Star Wars achieved in 1983 with the introduction of Salacious B. Crumb.

This muppet-like onlooker, who lounged round Jabba the Hutt’s palace in Return of the Jedi, capabilities principally to taunt the crime lord’s adversaries along with his weaselly giggle. The voice is a significant distinction to Jabba’s stentorian guffaw (which Crumb also mocks at one level). 

Jabba’s courtroom jester might look like a bit of beaked gremlin with winged ears and a long tail. In universe, nevertheless, he’s a Kowakian monkey-lizard from the Outer Rim planet Kowak. And to this weirdly enthusiastic fan’s absolute delight, these unusual little creatures flip up once more in Season 3 of The Mandalorian.

In Season 3, episode 1 of The Mandalorian, our favorite tiny inexperienced gurgler, Baby Yoda Grogu, is not the place we left him, heading off to coach with Luke Skywalker, however has as an alternative reunited with papa Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal). Coasting in his little hovering orb pram via the now-respectable streets of Outer Rim buying and selling hub Nevarro, Grogu spots a tree populated with a monkey-like creature which cackles at Grogu, a presence which made me Pointing Rick Dalton meme furiously from my sofa (blink and you may miss it on the 12:30 mark of the episode).

Sure, I needs to be specializing in our helmeted protagonist’s quest to search out redemption in the Living Waters beneath the mysterious mines of Mandalore, however have a look at ’em!


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“These impish creatures hailing from planet Kowak are known for their shrill laughter and sophisticated senses of humor,” in accordance with Lucasfilm’s official web site. “Kowakian monkey-lizards come in a variety of colors ranging from browns and yellows to reds and blues. They seem to be a favored pet among denizens of the underworld.”

A short historical past of Salacious B. Crumb and Kowakian monkey-lizards

A scene from the film "Return of the Jedi" shows three sci-fi characters, one giant slug-like, one with a pinkish tentacle around its neck, and another little monkey-like creature with a beak.

Salacious! And buddies.
Credit: Lucasfilm/Fox/Kobal/Shutterstock

Dedicated to his sluggish gang boss Jabba and certain brimming with courtroom secrets and techniques, the original Salacious B. Crumb was created in ILM’s famend Creature Shop run by Phil Tippett, visible results supervisor on the first three Star Wars motion pictures. Crumb was modeled for Return of the Jedi by sculptor Tony McVey, who also sculpted the Kowakian monkey-lizards for The Mandalorian, voiced by Mark Dodson, and managed by puppeteer Tim Rose — who also famously managed the puppet for Admiral “It’s A Trap!” Ackbar.


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Tippett told last year’s Star Wars Celebration he got here up with the creature’s title unintentionally after attempting to explain his undone shoelaces after just a few beers at a Mexican restaurant. Which, lol. In an interview with Dicejunkies, Rose referred to the Salacious B. Crumb puppet as “what Kermit the Frog would look like if he’d taken too many steroids…If you were to take the skin off Salacious and the skin off Kermit they are exactly the same, the bodies, the way they were manipulated, were exact copies of each other.”

According to the official web site, the Salacious one is 70 centimetres tall. But do not let that measurement idiot you — in Return of the Jedi, Crumb makes use of his little sharp beak to tear C-3PO’s eye out, and he would have gouged out the opposite one if R2-D2 hadn’t interrupted him. 

And that snicker? It’s not a light chuckle. “In the wild on planet Kowak, Kowakian monkey-lizards use laughing as a way to scare off any predators,” ForceCenter podcast host and creator Jennifer Landa explains on the Star Wars weblog. “Their laugh has power, and perhaps the reason why is because it is so haunting. Some might say it’s also annoying.

“Regardless, that shrill shriek undoubtedly leaves a long-lasting impression. Just think about being dropped into the rancor pit and the last factor you hear before dealing with your destiny is the cackle of a Kowakian monkey-lizard.”

Other Kowakian monkey-lizards that have appeared in Star Wars include brothers Pikk Mukmuk and Pilf, pets owned by Weequay pirate Hondo Ohnaka in The Clone Wars series.

“Equally irritating however differing in shade, these two help the Weequay pirate gang with every little thing from pouring drinks to swiping lightsabers from visiting Jedi and Sith Lords,” writes Dana Jennings, associate producer for StarWars.com. “Their names are a intelligent play on ‘pilfering’ and ‘pickpocketing,’ two of their most developed expertise.”

Nevarro, then and now.

Though the Kowakian monkey-lizards do nothing but stare and cackle at Grogu on Nevarro, it’s a neat creature inclusion in the season’s opening episode. And their appearance encapsulates what Din remarks to Grogu: “Quite a bit has modified round right here.”

And he’s right. The Mandalorian started in Nevarro in Season 1, where it was the headquarters for the Bounty Hunters Guild, the hidden location for Din’s Mandalorian covert, and home to an Imperial base in the days of the New Republic.

Since then, former Bounty Hunters Guild expeditor turned magistrate Greef Karga (Carl Weathers) has transformed Nevarro into an above-board trading centre “now not pleasant to pirates,” brimming with “respectable” merchants, a college the place the old dodgy cantina was, and new creature residents (albeit ones with no ethical allegiance to anybody, so, Nevarro gonna Nevarro).

With the presence of Kowakian monkey-lizards on Nevarro, nevertheless, you might say life has, uh, discovered The Way.

The Mandalorian is now streaming on Disney+ with new Season 3 episodes weekly.