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  • Scott Johnson

The Star Wars Customizable Card Game Part 5: Cloud City and Jabba’s Palace Expansions

By Scott Johnson

November 1997 saw the release of the Cloud City expansion followed by the May 1998 release of Jabba’s Palace. These two expansions were some of the most abundantly printed sets in the game and, as of the time of this writing, unopened packs can still be purchased at close to their original retail prices. While Cloud City had only a few character cards, Jabba’s Palace had dozens of alien characters. The main chase cards in Cloud City were new versions of Han Solo and Princess Leia, as well as the debut of Lando, Lobot, Boba Fett, and Slave I. Jabba’s Palace featured Jabba the Hutt, a new variant of R2-D2, the slave version of Leia which deployed as a captive, and a spy version of Lando with the alias Tamtel Skreej. Cloud City allowed light side players to build decks that included tibanna gas mining which allowed for extra bonuses in cloud sector locations, while dark side players had access to carbon freezing and bounty effects that bounty hunters could use to freeze characters in carbonite and/or capture and escort them to prison locations such as the Cloud City: Security Tower, or Jabba’s Palace: Dungeon.

The Jabba’s Palace cardpool let both light and dark side players to synergize bonuses of existing alien characters from Premiere and A New Hope and expanded the number of musician, bounty hunter, gambler, information broker, thief, and smuggler characters in the game. Many of these character types received bonuses when present together in battle. Both sets also included sabacc interrupt cards which allowed certain characters at a location to play a game of sabacc against the opposing player. Players would start with two cards and could draw up to an additional four cards to try and get as close to 11 with those cards’ total destiny number. Each card had rules modifiers depending on which sabbacc interrupt was played and the winner could either steal an eligible card from the loser’s sabacc hand or discard a card from play. Having a perfect sabacc of 11 allowed the winner to double the steaks by stealing or discarding two cards. Stealing cards allowed for each side to have access to resources and effects which they could not have in their deck otherwise since many were either light side or dark side exclusives.

Some background characters from the film that were first named in the Cloud City set included:

· Mining Guild senior accountant Kebyc (an anagram of Decipher employee Becky Higgerson) presented in the Rogues Gallery of Star Wars Insider 148

· Tibanna gas miner Willrow Hood, who later had a Hasbro action figure and was included in Hyperspace’s “What's The Story?” feature

· Cloud City security officer Utris M'toc

· Wiorkettle, the Snivvian

· Captain Bewil (an anagram of Decipher employee Sandy Wible)

· Chief Retwin (an anagram of Decipher employee Jason Winter)

· E-3PO, the droid who insults C-3PO before he wanders off and gets blown apart

· Imperial Trooper Guard Dainsom (an anagram of Decipher employee Bob Madison)

· Lieutenant Sheckil (an anagram of Decpher employee Tom Lischke) who was portrayed by

Boba Fett actor Jeremy Bulloch. The lore of Sheckil’s card states that he is the twin brother of a famous mercenary.

Additionally, ships from Cloud City include the rebel transport Bright Hope from Of Possible Futures: The Tale of Zuckuss and 4-LOM, and the rebel frigate Redemption from the X-Wing PC game. For baseball fans, there is an apparent strikeout reference in the Swing-And-A-Miss interrupt card lore. Lieutenant Cecius (who unfortunately per his card lore, hasn’t had a date in years) is interestingly from Vogel 7 which appeared in the River of Chaos comic and is also mentioned in X-Wing: Iron Fist. Per game designer Chuck Kallenbach, the lore of all these cards were specifically approved by Lucasfilm.

Jabba’s Palace featured tons of aliens, many of whom had no formal name in the films or in the EU. Decipher used anagrams of many who worked on the game as well as letter tiles from a literal Scabble bag to create tons of names from scratch. There also other easter eggs in the lore of cards such as Ardon 'Vapor' Crell, a union moisture farmer from Local 253, the numbers of which come from Decipher’s mailing address in Virginia. The background characters from the film that were first named in the Jabba’s Palace set included the following. Many of these were also in the “Who's Who in Jabba's Palace" article in Insider issue 60 by Daniel Wallace, as well as the second version in Insider 134 written by Leland Chee:

· Ardon 'Vapor' Crell (moisture farmer mentioned above)

· Attark, of the Hoover species (due to his resemblance to a Hoover vacuum cleaner)

· Aved Luun, the Jawa shaman

· BG-J38, Jabba’s dejarik and hologames droid from the Lapti Nek scene (BG-J38 received a Legacy Collection action figure)

· Garon Nas Tal, of the Saurin Trandoshan sub-species

· Ghoel, of the Wol Cabasshite species

· Jess, the platinum-haired human dancer in Jabba’s Palace

· Kalit, the Jawa chief

· Laudica, woman in a red jumpsuit often mistaken for Melina Carniss from Timothy Zahn’s Sleight of Hand: The Tale of Mara Jade

· Leslomy Tacema, the Duros (an anagram of Lucasfilm Licensing’s Stacy Mollema)

· Loje Nella, assistant accountant to Mosep Binneed

· Palejo Reshad, the Coreillian spice trader who also appears in Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided to give players a quest (an anagram of Decipher’s Joseph Alread)

· Pucumir Thryss (Tibanna gas miner who left Cloud City after it was taken over by the Empire and ironically went to hide at Jabba’s Palace)

· Rayc Ryjerd, the Bimm suggler

· Rennek, the nerf herder (an anagram of toy manufacturer Kenner)

· R'kik D'nec, the Jawa hero (an anagram of Decipher’s Kendrick Summers)

· Tanus Spijek, the Elom rebel spy (an anagram of Decipher’s Justin Pakes)

· Vul Tazaene, the Kiffar security officer

· Yoxgit, the exiled Ugnaught

· Wooof, the Kadas'sa'Nikto smuggler

· Wittin, the Jawa warlord

· Vizam, the Kajain'sa'Nikto guard who received a 2014 series Black Series action figure

· Velken Tezeri, former Imperial who went to work for Jabba (an anagram of Decipher’s Kevin Reitzel)

· Vedain, the Kajain'sa'Nikto skiff pilot

· Thul Fain, the former Imperial pilot turned smuggler for Jabba

· Taym Dren-garen, henchman of Jabba’s employed to provoke Tusken Raider attacks on Tatooine settlements

· Pote Snitkin, the skiff helmsman (an anagram of Decipher’s Keith Skipton)

· Nysad, the Kajain'sa'Nikto guard on the cover of Galaxy Guide 10: Bounty Hunters (an anagram of Decipher’s Sandy Wible)

· Murttoc Yine, spy and information broker (an anagram of Decipher’s Tim Courtney)

· Kithaba, the Klatooinian assassin

· Herat, the Jawa shaman who has a significant role in Tatooine Ghost and is probably the most minor character to appear on the Return of the Jedi movie poster

· Giran, the assistant rancor keeper

· Gailid, assistant accountant to Mosep Binneed

· Fozec, ISB spy monitoring Jabba

· Bane Malar, bounty hunter who received a 2008 Legacy Collection action figure

As was the case in the Premiere and A New Hope sets and their coordination with the EU lore of Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina, the Jabba’s Palace set showcased many characters who appeared in Tales from Jabba’s Palace. The lore of these cards references events and descriptions from that anthology as well as other EU such as early West End Games guides. One such character is Ree-Yees. An avid traveler, Ree-Yees famously appears in Star Tours visiting other planets with his three-eyed camera and smoking, despite flash photography or smoking being strictly prohibited (but you can’t expect a Gran convicted of murder would be one to follow the rules, right?).

As much as you search the background of Jabba’s Palace, Mara Jade or her alias Arica is nowhere to be found. She was not filmed in any version of the many edits of Return of the Jedi despite rumors she would appear on the DVD release. However, Arica does appear in the audio drama (in addition to references to Shadows of the Empire). In the next article I will discuss how Mara Jade first became a live action character via the casting of professional model, Shannon McRandle for the Star Wars CCG. Stay tuned to for the next part of this series covering the Special Edition and Enhanced sets.



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