Jabba’s Vanilla Scented Band Member Droopy McCool

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Part of what made star wars such a fun experience for all types of fans has been the way each film offers huge and tiny details that enhance the overall narrative and the world these characters inhabit. This had been explored in the original trilogy, which offered amazing detail but took its time explaining it. This includes certain functions of certain devices and the ecology of a planet and its species. But perhaps the best kept secret of Return of the Jedi is also his coarsest.


In Jabba’s Palace, he is described as having a scent of vanilla that pervades the room. But this scene wasn’t because Jabba the Hutt liked to keep air fresheners in his house. Instead, his source came from a Max Rebo Band member named Droopy McCool. This character has only ever been seen in the background and in groups and has been largely unexplored. But curiosity reached its climax with Fans and even got a answer by Lucasfilm Story Group member Pablo Hidalgo.

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Droopy McCool was a Kitonak from Kirdo III and one of the few to appear in the star wars movies. He is best known for his massive size, pale complexion, and leathery skin. Comparatively, he best resembles a humanoid pig with incredibly small eyes. Their skin was tough and protected them from the harsh climate of Tatooine, and their bodies secreted the smell of vanilla, probably sweat. This unique trait dates back to the 1995 novel Star Wars: Children of the Jedi by Barbara Hambly. In the book, a brief line in Chapter 14 mentioned the vanilla scent of the species.


Droopy was a member of the Max Rebo Band and featured in Return of the Jedi to play the song “Jedi Rocks”. On stage he was called Snit, but his real name Kitonak can only be spoken through whistles. He was the main horn player of the group and played the chindinkalu flute. Droopy was very good at his job and had made many friends in the band. That said, his fate was surprisingly heartbreaking for such a small character.

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While Droopy showed no signs of sadness and was constantly surrounded by his band friends, he couldn’t shake a feeling of loneliness for his own. While some species are known to get by on their own, Droopy preferred the company of his species. When Jabba’s sail barge exploded and he was killed, Droopy heard the faint tones of his people in the sand dunes of Tatooine and was last seen leaving the group as he headed towards the desert.


Although Droopy as a character has a surprisingly unique backstory, many will likely only remember the scent his species can give off. That said, this Kitonak trait is easily one of the strangest, and smelling such a disarming scent in a place as dangerous as Jabba’s Palace only makes its source even stranger. Droopy McCool may not be as beloved as other supporting characters like Max Rebo, but he’ll probably be remembered for a scene that may smell good but is mostly about the body oils of his kind.

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