The Skull That Saved Luke Skywalker’s Life – The Legend of Bidlo Kwerve

Remember when Luke Skywalker fell into the Rancor Pit in Return of the Jedi? He didn’t have his lightsaber and was having to use his wits to save his skin from becoming the “Main Course” for Jabba’s pet. And he defeats the Rancor by throwing a skull at the door controls. Of course you do, why else would you be following a Star Wars Page?

Well that skull, used to be attached to a living person and he has a story of his own. Like nearly everyone in Star Wars. Looking at you Willrow Hood. Though some of this one is Canon thanks to the Star Wars Book: Complete Locations which was published in 2016.

The book tells us the skull one belonged to a man called Bidlo Kwerve who was a former employee of Jabba the Hutt who competed against Bib Fortuna to be the Hutt’s majordomo (Chief Stewart). Fortuna was successful in claiming the job, while Kwerve ended up as one of the earliest victims of the crime lord’s pet Rancor. In Legends Bidlo Kwerve was a Corellian pirate and smuggler who served Jabba. Bidlo is described as a tall, grizzled man with scarred features and a mane of black hair, he was known for his greediness and hot temper, and was quick to respond to any perceived insults. Kwerve and  Bib Fortuna like in Canon would compete to become Jabba’s new majordomo after the Hutt deemed his previous retainer, Naroon Cuthus, too old and incapable of carrying out his duties. Kwerve and Fortuna hated each other with a passion and went to great lengths to prove themselves in Jabba’s eyes, though Jabba considered each as incompetent as the other. Kwerve also had a dislike to Jabba’s top pilot, Han Solo, and the two often clashed, both in words and with blasters.

In 2 BBY, he considered leaving Jabba’s employ because of the continual menial tasks that were being asked of him, and though Fortuna encouraged him to quit, he never did. Shortly before the Battle of Yavin, Kwerve discovered a crashed ship in the Tatooinian desert, with a live Rancor inside it. Hoping to present the beast to Jabba for his birthday, he begrudgingly sought the aid of Fortuna to help him transport it to Jabba’s Palace. Jabba was impressed with the initiative shown by his two top lieutenants and offered to make one of them his new majordomo; the other would be given the “greater honour,” though Jabba did not specify what this was. Ever greedy, Kwerve accepted the “greater honour” and he became the Rancor’s first victim and was eaten alive in a pit below Jabba’s court. Bidlo would get his revenge, posthumously, when Luke Skywalker used his skull to kill the Rancor in during his rescue mission to save Solo and his friends in 4ABY.

And now you know both stories about a skull that appeared in a film for mere seconds.

Connor Heggie