Jabba the Hutt Was Based on a Renowned Film Noir Actor
It takes a particular kind of crazy person to do Hollywood creature design. Just look at something like the giant drooling slug-gangster Jabba the Hutt -- what kind of drug-addled Hollywood mind thinks up that? It turns out they started with a photo of a regular ol' fat guy and ... just kept making it weirder.
As we have mentioned previously, Jabba was almost an Irish space pimp dressed like a Braveheart extra:
Instead of dumping him in the Rancor pit, this Jabba seems more likely to challenge Luke to a drinking contest.
Thankfully, that incarnation of the character was ultimately banished from the final cut of the first movie, leaving George Lucas plenty of time to rethink the design of a character so fearsome that his name alone made Han Solo shit his pants. The wait more than paid off. By the time Return of the Jedi came out, Jabba had become the legendary disgusting pile of alien slug poop that has challenged Slave Girl Leia erections for 30 years.
The Real-Life Inspiration:
The production team for Star Wars came up with the ultimate design for Jabba after they were instructed by Lucas to make the character look "alien and grotesque ... just like Sydney Greenstreet."
In case you're unfamiliar with that name (which is entirely possible, since the man has been dead for 60 years), Sydney Greenstreet was an English actor best known for his roles in two of the most famous Humphrey Bogart movies ever made, Casablanca and The Maltese Falcon, wherein Greenstreet essentially played human versions of Jabba the Hutt:
Lucasfilm, Warner Bros.
Now that's just rude. Uncannily accurate, but rude.
For example, in The Maltese Falcon, Greenstreet played the coldblooded smuggler/criminal Kasper Gutman (appropriately nicknamed "The Fat Man"); then, in Casablanca, Greenstreet portrayed Signor Ferrari, an infamous underworld figure known throughout the city for his various criminal dealings, which incidentally included slavery, just like a certain obese space worm from the Star Wars universe.