Amanin are one of the most bizarre intelligent species in the Galactic Empire. These fearsome platyhelminths from the planet Maridun were first revealled in Return of the Jedi when an Amanaman adventurer was seen entertaining himself as a guest at the Palace of Jabba the Hutt.

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Body Form
The Amanin body form is that of a platyhelmith. Amanamen are sentient planarians. As such it can be expected that their skin will be moist and sensitive to drying. Amanin must shelter in wet and dark places. We can also assume that they will have a ready ability to regenerate lost limbs and organs. They may even be capable of being cut in half without being killed, regrowing as two new individuals.
The Amanin brain is distributed throughout the body, consistent with planarian biology. Galaxy Guide 12 agrees with this conclusion. It may be possible for simple aptitudes or aversions to be transmitted between individuals if there is a sufficient exchange of body material. Amanin (as planarians) may be capable of learning by proxy, and cannibalism would be an important and advantageous part of the species' lifestyle. Mutual cannibalism may be a cultural norm. Devouring exchanged tissues would allow amanin to share learning and perhaps even memories.
It is likely that the mouth is the only openning to the digestive cavity. Unlike the undigested materials excreted by mammals, an amanaman will eject its wastes through the mouth. This process is likely to be an unsettling sight for insensitive non-amanin witnesses. Reproductive organs are also likely to be situated in the mouth cavity, ensuring that male and female Amanin are externally indistinguishable (or else fully hermaphroditic).
Amanin skin is wrinkly and moist. As a planarian species, their skin probably maintains its consistency through the secretion of a slime, which may additionally be toxic to other animals. (The bright colouration of the creature's face and belly might be a biological warning that Amanin are dangerous to eat or touch.) As long as the skin remains moist, the entire surface is chemosensitive, allowing an Amanin to smell through its whole body and taste whatever it touches. Minor body wastes may also be exuded through the slime coating.
The striped camouflage pattern along the rim of the body indicates that the amanin have cause to fear at least one natural predator, and/or it is important for an amani hunter to hide from his own prey. The pattern and general colouration of the amanamen suggests that the foliage typical of the Maridun jungles must have fronds or leaves of this general shape, with olive greens and perhaps yellow hues dominating. (Unless the yellow is simply a warning colour, associated with the poisonous skin secretions.)
The deep red of the bulbous red eyes is a distinctive feature deserving explanation. There are two possibilities.
  1. The first is that the red is a pigment at the surface of the eye or in the medium of the eye, and amanin vision is insensitive to red light. Their sight would cover higher ranges of the spectrum: from yellow to violet and perhaps onwards into the ultraviolet.
  2. The other possibility is that the eye colour is due to selective reflectivity of a tapetum layer at the back of the eye. This lining is present in animals living in dark or nocturnal conditions; It reflects incoming light back through the vision cells so that the photosensitive tissues are doubly exposed to light. A red tapetum would imply that red bands are the most desired parts of the spectrum, and amanin would have particularly strong vision in red light.
Whichever is the case, the eye colouration indicates something distinctive about the ambient light of the planet Maridun. If that information could be settled, we would implicitly know something about the characteristics of Maridun's sun.
The gills appear most distinct on the Kenner action figure, so it is possible that they are only an exagerration of a more ordinary feature. They are not seen clearly in any of the photographs obtained to date, so they might really be no more than a particularly wrinkled area. If they are functional gills then they hint that there is a great amount of moisture on Maridun and that amani have some ability to survive under water.
The long strong arms of an amani and the relative shortness of its legs suggest that the primary means of locomotion is climbing and swinging from branches. The legs are as long as those of an adolescent human, and therfore should be able to sustain a waddling gait, probably combined with a loping action by the arms. This suggests that amanin naturally abide in thick jungle.
The enormous hands are roughly half a metre long. This great size makes them valuable as tactile devices (thanks to the chemosensitivity of the skin) as well as being dextrous and strong manipulatory appendages. The three fingers and one thumb on each hand are very long and each sport large sharp claws, indicating that the amanin are ferocious carnivores. The hands and arms seem well-suited to grasping and snaring vigorously struggling prey. It is likely that the ecological role of the amanin is that of an ambush predator, with a habit of hiding, pouncing and wrestling rather than an open, chasing hunt. The size of the hands may also be supportive/indicative of an arboreal lifestyle.


The Amanin homeworld has been named Maridun, according to Galaxy Guide 12. The planet is not described in detail, but is said to be primitive and has at least two terrain types: open plains and forests (where the natives are said to dwell).

The characteristics of amani vision imply that the natural light on the surface of Maridun is rather different from that of most human-standard worlds. If the eye colouration is taken to imply insensitivity to red light, then the emission of Maridun's sun must be predominantly in colours which are higher in the spectrum than the reds, oranges or yellows principally emitted by low or medium mass main sequence stars. The sun which amanin evolved under would be a blue or white giant. Its mass could only be in the low end of that range, since intelligent life wouldn't have time to evolve on a planet of a very high mass star. The sun's lifetime would be shorter than the time needed for complex life to develop.

If, on the other hand, the redness is due to reflective surfaces behind the retina then we come to the opposite conclusion about the Maridun star. It could be a dim orange or red dwarf with the planet in a relatively close orbit in order to provide for its balmy climate. A red giant star would bathe its worlds in red light, but this kind of ailing stage at the end of the stellar life-cycle is too brief to allow for the development of life. A world which develops life before its sun turns into a red giant will be seared or consumed by the star; a world which becomes clement during the red giant stage of its sun will suffer the star's total demise long before an intelligent species can arise.

A short-lived system with an extreme star could support habitable planets, and advanced life could be present provided it originated elsewhere. Creatures flushed out of the equivalent of galactic bilge-water from a visiting freighter could conceivably adapt to the new light and reach sapience within a few tens of millions of years. Indeed an empty planet might promote a huge amount of speciation.

If the Amanin are not the result of fortuitous interstellar infestation, the perhaps the peculiar ambient light of Maridun could be explained without being directly related to the temperature of the star. If the planetary atmosphere contains a haze or some other kind of translucent substance, the colours of its sunlight may be filtered. If the air only transmits bluish and violet light then red eyes would be effectively black.


Reveller at Jabba's Court

The only Amanaman so far seen on film was a guest of Jabba the Hutt. This specimen was approximately eight feet tall. He wielded a three-pointed wooden staff which bore three human skulls and various smaller pieces of human remains. These trophies are a testament to the hunter's enormous brawn, dexterity and cunning; he almost certainly killed his prey bare-handed.

He was in the Jabba's Presence Chamber when R2-D2 and C-3PO arrived, standing near Han Solo's carbonite-encased form, on the side of the chamber to Jabba's right.

By the time the party was in full swing he had wanderd to a position almost directly opposite Jabba. During the dance he appeared to smoke a cigar and growled his ferocious speech as he regarded the dancers.

When the bounty hunter Boushh was revealled as Princess Leia Organa, the Amanaman stood in the crowd of courtiers opposite Jabba, behind a Gamorrean Guard and beside Ephant Mon.

He stood near the passage leading to the palace dungeons when Solo was brought to receive his sentence after Skywalker killed the Rancor. Again Ephant Mon was standing nearby. It can be assumed that these two primatives had a friendly or empathic relationship.

Amanaman was never seen aboard Jabba's sail barge or either of the escort skiffs, so it appears that he did not accompany Jabba to the Pit of Carkoon. He probably declined the excursion in order to stay indoors and thereby avoid the damaging effects of Tatooine's dryness on his moist planarian skin.

According to Behind the Magic:

Amanin. A species of tall beings with long arms, large hands, and yellow-and-green flesh. They are commonly known as Head Hunters because they enjoy killing sentient beings and mounting their heads on long poles. During filming, this creature was known as Amanaman by the crew, and that term has often been used as a nickname for the Amanin species in published sources.

According to A Guide to the STAR WARS Universe:

The long-armed alien with big hands who carried a three-headed staff and spent time in Jabba the Hutt's court was a member of the Amanaman race, more commonly known as Head Hunters.

According to the Kenner action figure's collector coin:

Long-armed creature at JABBA's Court, called "Head Hunter" because of his staff with three heads.

Detailed colour portrait of the Amanaman from Jabba's palace. Note the five short toes on the moon-shaped bent feet. Three human skulls hang from this headhunter's trophy staff, as testiment to his prowess in hunting sapient beings. [The second image is a smaller version of the first.]

A portrait of the Amanaman in Jabba the Hutt's throne room. The first version is a screen capture from Behind the Magic. The second picture is a large and detailed greyscale version from Galaxy Guide 12. The third image is a smaller, cropped colour version taken from Kenner's Amanaman action figure. Interestingly, this images places him near a wind chime. This decoration looks the same as the one hanging in the archway of the main entrance to Jabba's throne room. Amanaman never stood in that doorway during the movie, so perhaps there was more than one wind chime.

Amanaman admires Jabba's favourite decoration.

Amanaman, woken with the rest of the court by a pair of humans smooching in the night, peeks out from behind a Gamorrean as Jabba gives orders for the handling of Solo and the Princess.

Amanaman reclining in an alcove, possibly intoxicated or resting. He has what appears to be a spiral drinking flask in his right hand. On Earth, sleep is a characteristic of vertebrates, but perhaps this plathyhelminth does something similar. [Behind the Magic]

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Amanaman in profile appears to be smoking a cigar and roars his approval as Jabba's dancers perform. Does he appreciate the music and dancing or does he merely want to eat one of the dancers? A widescreen view of Amanaman watching the dance. The foreground silhouettes, from left to right, are: Tessek, a jawa, Bubo and Amanaman.

Amanaman as drawn in the Return of the Jedi Manga comic.

Cantina Patron in Battleground Tatooine

A rather short Amanaman appears on the cover of the comic X-Wing Rogue Squadron - Battleground: Tatooine #1 . According to the preview blurb for this comic, the story revolves around the search for the immense secret arms cache accumulated by Jabba the Hutt. The story takes place roughly three or four months after Return of the Jedi.

This particular specimen appears to be much shorter than average and has some very distinctive features.

The backs of the hands and arms lack the dark green striping colouration seen in other known specimens. There is none of the usual striping around the visible areas of the body edge. The eyes are set further apart than the Amanaman who was at Jabba's palace. The top of the head hood has a slightly lumpy appearance. This may indicate the existence of racial differences amongst amanin.

The skin on the neck and upper body seems puffier or fatter than on Jabba's amanaman, who had a loose and wrinkled hide. The puffiness of this specimen's skin makes the neck gills (if they exist other than just on the Kenner figure) practically invisible, flush with the rest of the body. Perhaps the difference is a sign of health or age. Both these amani were both on Tatooine, which is a rather dry planet. Amanin skin is sensitive and moist; it must require careful preservation in such a dry environment. It is possible that the individual at Jabba's palace was suffering from partial dehydration, causing the wrinkling. As a participant in Jabba's revelry, it could be expected that the Return of the Jedi Amanaman was taking less care of its health.

On the other hand, the tight skin of the Amani in Battleground: Tatooine might be a sign of youth. This one has no skull trophies on his staff, which suggests inexperience. The Amanaman in Jabba's palace had the skulls of at least three defeated human foes or prey, suggesting some seniority.

There remains a slight possibility that these are in fact the same individual. Both seem to be at least marginally involved with Jabba. However Jabba's organisation held a strong influence on the planet Maridun, homeworld of the Amanin, so there could easily be countless numbers of these beings among Jabba's minions and enemies. If the two are in fact the same Amanaman then there is a need for a good explainations for the changes of the green/yellow skin pattern, height, ornamental staff, facial features and skin texture.

Unfortunately the Amanaman did not appear inside any of the issues of the series, despite the implicit promise of the cover art. However with luck, the Amanaman will prove to be a major character in some future comic series. Perhaps this appearance might eventually lead to other novels and comic series which are specifically devoted to amanaman adventures.

A rather short, smooth-skinned Amani stands over two New Republic pilots on the cover of the Dark Horse comic X-Wing Rogue Squadron - Battleground: Tatooine #1.

Pirate Henchman for Leonia Tavira

During the first few months immediately after the Battle of Endor, a remarkable pirtate career began. Leonia Tavira, who used her wiles and charms to displace the wife of an Imperial Moff, and then the Moff himself, was driven from her stronghold by the X-Wing Rogue Squadron, and into an alliance with the Kavil's Corsairs pirate group. In the dying days of the Sate Pestage's rule of the Empire, Tavira's leadership of this pirate band allowed the organisation to grow to the point where it compared with some former-Imperial warlord forces.

One of Tavira's ferocious pirate henchmen was a large gnarly amanaman. His most prominent physical characteristic is the distinctiveness of his gill slits [like those on the Kenner action figure]. The gills may have been more visible because he is seen standing in an environment which is more moist than that of Tatooine where other amani were pictured; or it may be a genuine racial or personal characteristic. It's also possible that exposure of the gills may be a voluntary or involuntary muscular flaunting action, perhaps signalling aggression or some other important form of arousal.

This amanaman pirate has one other interesting characteristic: he is the only member of his species known to date who is not naked. His clothing consists of a single blue/purple scarf around the neck below the gills, tied in a tight but neat knot wit hthe two ends hanging for about thirty or forty centimetres. This may be a significant clue to the limits to practices of self-decoration in Amanin culture.

Amananman pirate from the Kavil's Corsairs group stands ready behind influential pirate leader Leonia Tavira and a Nikto colleague. Though partly obscured in this image, we can see that this amanaman carries some kind of wooden staff or spear, and wears a neck-scarf or sash.

Other Illustrations

Amanin SWCCG game card. The individual depicted actually has the same stripe pattern as the one seen in Jabba's throne room in Return of the Jedi, but his accessory is different. This staff or spear has no ornaments.

A detailed view of the prototype model for the Return of the Jedi Amanaman. Note the smoothness of the skin compared to the creature appearing in the film, and the presence of darkly-coloured excreta or slime dribbling from the mouth.

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The Amanaman action figure from Kenner, in original package. Closeup views of both sides of the collector's coin accompanying the original Amanaman action figure.

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Laughing at the Han Solo carbonite decoration. The staff is held in his right hand; the right arm is casting a shadow across his belly. The short legs and tail can be seen. Nearly falling over backwards with laughter.

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Towering over Solo and a Gamorrean guard to the right of the picture. Narrowscreen views of Solo being shoved past Amanaman.

Behind and to the left of Solo and the guard. The top of the staff is shown in this picture, and one of the human skulls is visible.

A narrowscreen view of one of Amanaman's hands and two of the human skulls on the top of Amanaman's staff. (To the right of Solo.) Amanaman is darkly peeking over Solo's left shoulder.


Online since early 1995.
Last updated 5 September 1999.
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