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The Hutt Gambit

A. C. Crispin

Cover artist

Drew Struzan


Pat LoBrutto, Tom Dupree

Publication information

Bantam Spectra

Release date

September 1997

Media type







Rise of the Empire era




The Han Solo Trilogy

Preceded by

The Paradise Snare

Followed by

Lando Calrissian and the Mindharp of Sharu

The Hutt Gambit is the second book in the Han Solo Trilogy by A. C. Crispin. It tells the story of how Han Solo and Chewbacca came to be partners, as well as how he got started in the smuggling business, how he met Lando Calrissian, and how he began working for Jabba the Hutt. It goes on to depict the Battle of Nar Shaddaa. Narration for the audio version was performed by David Pittu.






  • ISBN 2265081256; French paperback (Le Gambit du Hutt)
  • ISBN 802520166X; 2005, EGMONT ČR, 240-page Czech paperback (Huttský gambit)
  • ISBN 9785699184217; 2006, Eksmo Publising, 416-page Russian hardcover (Хэн Соло и гамбит хаттов)

Publisher's summary

Once one of the Academy's brightest stars, Han Solo is now a fugitive from the Imperial Navy. But he has made a valuable friend in a former Wookiee slave named Chewbacca, who has sworn Han a life debt. Han will need all the help he can get. For the Ylesian Hutts have dispatched the dreaded bounty hunter Boba Fett to track down the man who already outsmarted them once. But Han and Chewie find themselves in even bigger trouble when they agree to lend their services to crime lords Jiliac and Jabba the Hutts. Suddenly the two smugglers are thrust into the middle of a battle between the might of the Empire and the treachery of their outlaw allies…a battle where even victory means death!


Han Solo has been discharged from the Imperial Navy and is down on his luck. Not only has he failed in achieving his dream, he has a Wookiee claiming to have given him a life debt and won't stop following him, no matter how often he objects or attempts to flee. However, the Wookiee—whose name is Chewbacca—proves his worth to Han when he saves him from an incensed Barabel after a game of sabacc. Chewbacca swore his life debt after Han saved him from being mercilessly killed by Imperial slavers. Although Han detests slavers more than anyone else in the galaxy—having seen in person what they do on Ylesia—he really wishes the Wookiee had left him alone. As far as Han is concerned, he saved the Wookiee to repay Dewlanna for saving him nearly five years earlier, when Han escaped Garris Shrike.

Seeking work, Han makes his way to Nar Shaddaa, the Smuggler's Moon. He and Chewbacca meet a number of smugglers and begin working for one of Han's old classmates, Mako Spince, as transport pilots. Han also meets Shug Ninx, a master mechanic and owner of his famous Spacebarn. With Mako's help, Han finds an apartment in the Corellian Sector and comes closest to "settling down" as he ever has, insofar as a smuggler can "settle down." Within only a few months, and after extensive experience flying, Han seeks greater opportunities and eventually seeks a career with Jabba the Hutt and Jiliac.

Intrigue among the Hutts

Jabba and Jiliac are impressed with Han's credentials and experience and hire him to smuggle spice around the Galaxy. Han quickly proves his skill to the Hutts and is given tougher and more exciting assignments, such as the infamous Kessel Run. On his first Kessel Run, Han's friend and old-time smuggler Roa accompanies him to avert any mishaps. Although the first Run was not terribly smooth, even Roa was impressed by Han's natural piloting ability.

Initially unbeknownst to Han, Jiliac and Jabba are preparing to make their bid for supremacy among Hutts by targeting the Besadii clan's spice refining operation on Ylesia. Han narrowly escapes a brutal pirate attack, the blame for which is laid upon the Besadii clan. Aruk the Hutt, clan leader of Besadii, and his offspring, Durga, are outraged at such claims. A Council was convened on Nal Hutta to discuss recent events, but Besadii clan was not found guilty of any transgressions. It was at this time when Jiliac and Jabba decided Aruk needed to die.

New friends, new enemy

Han had never been happier. By now, Chewbacca had proven himself a very capable and valuable partner in the smuggling trade. Han established himself as one of the best smugglers in the galaxy, and became Jabba's favorite. However, the astronomical bounty offered for Solo from Teroenza was still available. In desperation, Teroenza contacted the most infamous bounty hunter in the galaxy: Boba Fett.

In addition to smuggling and evading Imperial customs ships, Han was living it up on Nar Shaddaa. He enjoyed two things above all: women and gambling. One such woman was an illusionist named Xaverri, who stunned audiences around the galaxy with her amazing magic acts. After seeing her perform, Han became acquainted with her and their relationship became intimate. Taking a break from smuggling for several weeks, Han and Chewbacca joined Xaverri, serving as stage hands and occasionally performing in her shows. Xaverri, who had strong sympathies to the smugglers, soon decided enough was enough and Han and Chewbacca returned to their home on Nar Shaddaa.

After a particularly enjoyable evening with Xaverri, Han was returning to his apartment when he was stabbed by a toxic dart. The toxin, which was made at Rlyoth, was a blue liquid and prevented any willful action on Han's part and total obedience to whoever spoke. Terrified and unable to move, Han knew that a bounty hunter had jumped him. That bounty hunter, unknown to Han was, of course, Boba Fett, the most infamous bounty hunter in the galaxy.

Although Han would not have agreed, what happened next could only have been the will of the Force. A professional gambler and entrepreneur named Lando Calrissian had dire need of a professional pilot and understood that Han Solo was the best. While seeking out Han, he witnessed his capture at the hands of Boba Fett. Not only did Lando not wish to see a potential associate harmed, he also hated anything to do with bounty hunters. While Fett was busy with Solo, Lando sneaked up on the bounty hunter and jammed a blaster into his neck. Unable to resist, Boba Fett was humiliated when Lando injected the same toxin he had used on Solo. Lando also secured the antidote for Han and freed him. However, they ordered Boba Fett to leave entirely. After Fett unarmed himself, he was saved because both Lando's and Solo's conscience would not allow them to kill even a bounty hunter in cold blood. Then, Fett was coerced to fly clean through Imperial Space. Once the effects of the toxin wore off, Fett would swear revenge against Han and Lando, for very few people outsmarted him and lived to tell the tale.

Having gained a new friend and valuable ally in Lando, Han was obliged to choose a ship as his own from Lando's used ship lot on Nar Shaddaa in exchange for teaching Lando how to fly. Han selected a worn, battered freighter that he christened the Bria, after his tragic first love, Bria Tharen. Lando kept the lot's prize for himself, however. It was that ship on which Han taught Lando to fly, and the ship that stole Han's heart: the Millennium Falcon.

Hutt war

On Ylesia, business was booming and the Besadii clan was making unprecedented profits. However, not everyone was pleased. After the death of Zavval, Aruk dispatched his nephew, Kibbick the Hutt, to act as overlord to Teroenza and the t'landa Til "priests." Kibbick, however, was a bumbling idiot and completely inept. This further frustrated Teroenza, who entertained thoughts of seizing the Ylesian operation as his own. In addition to Aruk's refusal to fund Teroenza's exorbitant bounties on Han Solo and Bria Tharen, these factors prompted Teroenza to respond to an outstanding offer from Desilijic clan.

Teroenza gave in to his frustration and contacted Jiliac. The two gangsters exchanged views and came to agree that the best course of action would be to eliminate Aruk. Months earlier, Teroenza discovered that Aruk had an insatiable appetite for nala tree frogs and began shipping them by the ton to Nal Hutta. Jiliac had obtained an ultra-secretive toxin that could not be detected. The toxin worked by creating an addiction and slowly, over many weeks, would rot the consumer's brain. Once the toxin was removed from the consumer's diet, he would die of shock from the loss of the addictive poison. By exposing the nala tree frogs to trace amounts of the poison, Teroenza would kill Aruk through his own gluttony. Jiliac and Teroenza agreed, and their plan worked.

Teroenza's seemingly endless shipments of nala tree frogs to Nal Hutta were indeed exposed to the toxin and Aruk unknowingly became addicted to it. Even though he suffered a near-stroke and seizure as a result of the toxin, not even his son Durga suspected the cause. Aruk's physician advocated exercise and cautioned against uncontrolled gluttony. Aruk argued that a Hutt of his age and influence could do as he pleased. When Teroenza shipped one last case of nala tree frogs without the toxin, Aruk went into shock and soon died a most agonizing death as his brain hemorrhaged.

Durga, unlike Kibbick, was very clever and understood immediately that Aruk's death had involved foul play, despite the fact that no physicians could locate any foreign substances. Even so, Durga seized control of Besadii despite misgivings about his unusual birthmark that, according to Hutt legend, was an evil omen. Durga was quick to establish himself as rightful clan leader and, with the aid of Black Sun, set up a number of fatal "accidents" for his naysayers. With Besadii firmly in his grasp, he had Aruk's corpse frozen and sent to Coruscant. Durga intended to hire the best forensics team in the entire Galactic Empire discover the true cause of death.

The Battle of Nar Shaddaa

Throughout the galaxy, Rebel activity had reached an all-time high and Palpatine decided to put an end to it before it got any worse. One of the sectors targeted for Imperial retribution was the lawless expanse of Hutt Space, and Nar Shaddaa in particular. Moff Sarn Shild had been bribed by the Hutts for years but he denounced his corruption with the aim of rising through Imperial ranks. Despite the pleas of the Hutts, he was stalwart in his resolve to level Nar Shaddaa.

Desperate to prevent such a disaster, the Hutts convened again on Nal Hutta and decided to offer anything to Shild to prevent the attack. Having superseded Besadii as supreme Hutt clan, Jiliac and Jabba selected Han to visit Shild on Coruscant because of his familiarity with Imperial military procedure. Reluctantly, Han returned to Coruscant to meet with Shild. Upon his arrival, Han was horrified upon discovering an old friend with Shild: Bria Tharen. To all anyone who was unaware of her mission—including Han—Bria appeared to be Shild's mistress. Shocked and devastated at seeing her that way after all those years, Han left Shild both unsuccessful and emotionally distraught. Unbeknownst to Han, however, Bria was working undercover for the Corellian Resistance and spying on Shild. She, too, was devastated at Han's reaction. It would be nearly three years until she could tell him the truth.

The one thing that Han was able to accomplish on Coruscant was learn that Admiral Winstel Greelanx would be commanding the attack force. Again, Han was sent to meet Greelanx and offer any bribe he could. Greelanx accepted an exorbitant bribe in the form of precious gems in exchange for his battle plans, allowing the defenders of Nar Shaddaa a fighting chance. Han returned to Nar Shaddaa with the plans. Along with Mako Spince, Shug Ninx, and the others, Han developed a plan to defend Nar Shaddaa from the Empire. Han's friend Xaverri even returned to assist their effort.

Unknown to the smugglers, however, was that the the Admiral received a mysterious priority transmission commanding him to retreat at the first believable opportunity and allow the smugglers to "win." Greelanx was puzzled, but followed through. When the Empire did attack Nar Shaddaa, the smugglers' fleet was ready after numerous drills. Although the battle did not go as smoothly as practiced, the smugglers were able to defeat the Imperial forces decisively. Despite grievous casualties, the smugglers won the day and Nar Shaddaa survived the wrath of the Empire.

Following the battle, Han delivered the gems to Greelanx. Before Han could return, however, he heard from inside an adjoining room Greelanx's execution at the hands of none other than Darth Vader. Han hastily returned to Nar Shaddaa, happy but shaken. Having won the battle, Han and Chewbacca returned to smuggling, as had everyone else. The Bria was little more than flying scrap now, and Han decided it was time to replace her. Lando let Han know about an upcoming sabacc tournament on Cloud City he would be attending. Han decided he would go too, and maybe he would win enough to buy a ship. Meanwhile, the Moff in charge of Hutt space is in the midst of the biggest, and last, decision of his life. Moff Sarn Shild knows that the imperial loss at the Battle of Nar Shaddaa will not go over too well with Palpatine. So falling back on an old childhood memory, he tries to decide his own death. By blaster or by poison?


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Droid models



Organizations and titles

Sentient species

Vehicles and vessels

Weapons and technology


Cover gallery

This is a gallery of the different cover variations of The Hutt Gambit.

This article uses material from the "The Hutt Gambit" article on the Starwars wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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