If you watched The Freemaker Adventures then you are aware of the many characters, factoids, and idioms that are unique to that great series. “Superstar Pilot Guy”, the Gamorrean flu, Baird Kantoo, and “zappity-zappity” are just a few examples.
One character, and his quest for greatness, that emerged from the series and captured the hearts and minds of many was the Hutt crime lord, Graballa. Born in 465 BBY and cousin to the more infamous and deadly-serious crime lord Jabba Desilijic Tiure, Graballa’s hopes and dreams were as large as his immense body.
Growing restless and feeling unfilled after two centuries of ore mine management, Graballa had his sights set on bigger things, on glamour and fortune. Having lived under the thumb of his more successful cousin, Graballa would have to settle for less than adequate resources including a group of henchmen that were average at best. But what he really wanted in his heart of hearts, was to open his very own luxury hotel and casino, and he would call it, “Graballa’s Beachside Resort and Buffet”
He would present this idea to Jabba on a couple of occasions, getting laughed at or dismissed each time, but that didn’t deter the durable Hutt. The first time, Graballa tried to appeal to Jabba’s rather large eating habits saying, “I know you’re a buffet guy.” And when that failed to get a response, he re-worked a couple of details, made some adjustments and re-presented it to Jabba a few episodes later in “Race on Tatooine” This time around, calling it “Graballa’s New and Improved Beachside Resort”, he would drop the “buffet” part hoping to sway his cousin. It didn’t have the desired effect.
We wouldn’t hear about the resort for a while as Graballa was busy with get-rich schemes and being forced to work alongside Imperials such as Sith Lord wannabe Naare and actual Sith Lord Darth Vader. He would find himself, time and time again, an ally in their hunt for Kyber Crystals and Rowan Freemaker. But in the episode, “The Embersteel Blade” Graballa would find himself at the Mygeeto Auction House mingling with some of the Galaxy’s most influential and wealthy, hoping to find investors for the resort.
There, he would run into Kordi Freemaker, who was masquerading as wealthy Clawdite Princess Alo Kortessi of Zolan. The Freemakers were there to purchase a Theta-Class H-2 Star Shuttle because they needed its embersteel wings for the Arrowhead. Believing her cover story, Graballa and Yeppau go into sales pitch mode and try to sell her on the idea of investing in the resort, which has been converted back to its original name.
This time around, he has added a few new angles to the pitch, including lounging on sapphire sands, Jawa juice and a rub-down from their very own Besalisk masseur, Pong Krell.
“Not too hard on the shoulders.”
The pitch doesn’t work, mostly because Kordi is there on other business, but when circumstances change Graballa ends up kidnapping Kordi who he still thinks is the wealthy princess. He’s hoping her parents will pay a very handsome reward to see her safe return. I don’t have to tell you, none of this works out for Graballa and to make matters worse, Jabba has volunteered him to work with Darth Vader on another mining expedition.
This is how things would go for Graballa for a while. While he would exact some measure of revenge on Naare, the relationship didn’t bear any fruit as far as riches are concerned. And when he was forced by his cousin to work with the Empire, he was short changed in the end but that didn’t stop him from one last proposition to Lord Vader himself. After helping Vader get enough Kyber Crystals to power the second Death Star and receiving a rare gift of praise from the Dark Lord, Graballa pushes his luck and makes his pitch…
“For a reasonable investment, you can make this little slice of paradise also, fully operational…”
The Chosen One responds with a Force Choke and throws Graballa across the hangar square into a nearby wall. The Hutt took that as a maybe.
So, that was the last time we saw Graballa on The Freemaker Adventures, with his dreams of owning a resort temporarily stifled. While he would appear in the LEGO Star Wars: All-Stars episodes “The Chase with Han/Escape with Chewbacca” and “Dealing with Lando/Han and Chewie Strike Back” his focus in those was on Pace Freemaker for a deal gone bad. Ironically enough, it was over an undelivered Jedi Starfighter that caused Pace to get on Graballa’s bad side, but not the same Delta-7 that belonged to Anakin Skywalker.
Finally, in last week’s episode called “Scouting for Leia/A Mission with Maz”, after 40 long Star Wars years, we got to a see our conquering hero, Graballa the Hutt, standing outside his very own and brand new “Graballa’s Beachside Resort and Buffet”! Located in the city of Canto Bight on the planet Cantonica, the resort boasts many exciting things including a life-size golden statue of Graballa, pretzel and drink in hand. We don't know yet how he procured the funds for the resort or who he swindled into investing in his future, perhaps we'll never know.
This long-awaited moment of celebration was unfortunately ruined, this time by the First Order, specifically Kylo Ren and Captain Phasma. They want Graballa to track down the Jedi Starfighter that belonged to Anakin Skywalker, which was last seen in the possession of the Freemakers. So, looks like he’s under the thumb of the current tyrannical ruling body again, this time instead of the Empire, it’s the First Order.
But, no matter what happens, he’s finally got his resort, and they can’t take that away from him. Graballa, more than most anything else, is a hard-worker. His persistence throughout the years has finally gifted him his golden statue, but instead of a calf or fleece, it was a statue of himself. And in my opinion, he’s earned it. He’s taught us all that if you dream big and work hard, good things can happen.
I don’t know about you, but I’ll be looking to make a massage appointment with a certain Besalisk masseur.
Till next time…MTFBWY.
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