Jabba the Hutt’s guards appeared as fighters in The Mandalorian. Why are the Gamorreans not guards and mercenaries on Tatooine anymore?
The Mandalorian season 2 brought back Jabba the Hutt’s guards, the Gamorreans, as arena fighters. When the Mandalorian visited Gor Koresh seeking information on other Mandalorians, two Gamorreans were fighting with vibro-axes to entertain the crowd and attract gambling bets. This is an unusual environment for the Gamorreans, who commonly served as guards and mercenaries for the Hutt clan, but the shake-up following Return of the Jedi may have led them to their new line of work. The power structure of the galaxy has changed since the original trilogy, and the Gamorreans in The Mandalorian are another sign of the disarray in the era following the collapse of the Empire.
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While Gamorreans often worked for the Hutt clan on Tatooine, they are originally from the planet Gamorr, an Outer Rim planet near Hutt Space. Their proximity to Hutt territory would have made employment with the clan an obvious choice for a warrior culture with little technological advancement or space travel. Almost all of their appearances in Star Wars canon have involved their warriors working for the Hutts, but after the events of Return of the Jedi, that was no longer an option.
Princess Leia put an end to Jabba the Hutt’s reign as a crime lord, and any business the clan did with the Empire would have fallen through not long after. The Empire has not fully reasserted its presence yet in the First Order, so the Hutts are left to pick up the pieces on their own, and they wouldn’t be in a position to employ many Gamorreans at this point. Opportunities would be limited for the former henchmen of the vicious Hutts, leading them to seek out disreputable employers like Gor Koresh. Koresh shot one of his fighters just to make a point, and the surviving fighter still willingly jumped into the fray with the Mandalorian to protect his paycheck, so it seems they’re still the expendable henchmen of the galaxy under new management.
However, the Gamorreans may have also been unfairly stereotyped into henchman and mercenary roles in canon. The Mandalorian expanded the Tusken Raiders’ role in the story, and the Gamorreans could be getting the same treatment in the show. Their fighting skill and proficiency with melee weapons would make them excellent choices for performative duels, and there’s no indication they are new to fighting for entertainment. One episode of The Clone Wars even featured a Gamorrean clown as part of Preigo’s traveling circus, so the Gamorreans may have been working in entertainment all along. There’s no telling how small a percentage of the population worked for Jabba the Hutt.
The galaxy has gone through significant changes in the few years between the original trilogy and The Mandalorian, and the Gamorreans have rolled with the shift. With the return of Boba Fett, the show may continue to explore how those changes affected Tatooine, since the bounty hunter escaped the sarlacc at the former seat of Jabba the Hutt. The mercenary Gamorreans from Tatooine are likely to appear again in new roles, alongside a few who have left those days behind them. The Mandalorian has done an excellent job of subverting the narrow roles alien species serve in the canon, so the Gamorreans could continue to pop up in unlikely places.
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