We have a special treat today in the form of a guest submission from DH Member Allenion. Enjoy!
The Hutts have reached a new level of infamy in the Old Republic with the upcoming expansion, Rise of the Hutt Cartel. These giant slugs have watched the Republic and Empire duke it out from the sidelines for 39 years, observing and carefully profiting off of the conflict. Now, the Hutts have made their first act of open warfare: the attempted seizure of the planet Makeb.
For a brief glimpse into the history of the nefarious Hutt Cartel and what its past could mean for your future in Star Wars: The Old Republic, hit the jump.
From Slavery to Domination
Like countless other worlds, Varl, original homeworld of the Hutts, was ruled by the Rakatan Infinite Empire about 28,000 years before the Great War.
Lucky for the conquered Hutts, the Rakata were struck by a destructive plague, marking the beginning of their loss of power. Aware that their overlords were weakening, the inhabitants of Varl took up arms against their conquerors. It is important to note that the Hutts did not possess any followers, slaves or guns for hire at this time, and would not for many years. The Hutts fought alone.
Ultimately, the Hutts drove the Rakata from Varl and the surrounding systems, but not before stripping their weakened former masters of advanced starships and weapons. Once victorious, the Hutts unleashed their voracious appetites for power on the rest of the galaxy using this stolen technology, forming the first Hutt Empire.
As the Infinite Empire continued to liquidate, the Hutt Empire swallowed everything in reach until every nearby system was under Hutt control. This was a golden age for the Hutts. The era was spent, not continuing their conquest, but gorging themselves.
Even the season-spanning feasts of The Great Feastmaster of Nar Shaddaa, Drooga the Hutt, pale in comparison to the bouts of gluttony the Hutt Empire enjoyed. These lavish conquerors began an entire era devoted to draining the lives of countless conquered planets. With a potential lifespan of 1,000 years, the Hutts easily feasted for decades at a time.
However, as the Hutts continued to grow in power and voracity, the warlords began turning their Rakatan super-weapons on each other, vying for dominance. The result was the complete devastation of their resources. Many planets, including their homeworld Varl, were left uninhabitable. The Hutt Empire had finally eaten itself from the inside.
Let's Cut a Deal
The survivors of this self-initiated apocalypse recognized that their status as a galactic power was at an end. Their weapons, planets and resources had been all but destroyed and their once powerful society had caved in on itself. No longer would they be conquerors and commanders. The Hutt Empire was dead. They became businessmen. They became the Hutt Cartel.
Their first goal: find a new homeworld. The self-proclaimed businessmen set their eyes on Evocar, home of the primitive Evocii. Upon arrival, the Hutts blinded the tribal Evocii with riches and fascinating technology in exchange for land; so much land that before the Evocii knew it, they had traded their entire homeworld to the Hutts. Evocar became Hutta, meaning “Glorious Jewel” in Huttese, and the planet was transformed from a verdant forest-planet to a toxic wasteland.
Eventually, most of the Evocii were forced to live on a nearby moon, but even that could not be called their home. The Evocii became the backs upon which Nar Shaddaa, the Treasure of Hutt Space, was built. When the enslaved race appealed to the Republic, they were met with silence. Subjugated though they may have been, their agreement with the Hutts was entirely legal.
From their newly acquired homeworld, the Hutts expanded to other worlds, not through military might, but through big business. The Cartel, seeing a weakened economy on a nearby world, would insert their “legitimate” mining or gambling business there, monopolize whatever resource they were after and take control of that world’s economy and culture. This has been common practice from the taking of Evocar through the Great War, until now.
Return to Power
After generations spent rebuilding their Empire in darkness, the Hutt Cartel has risen from the shadows once again to vie for galactic dominance. Taking Makeb is the first openly militaristic act from the Hutt Cartel in millennia, but the Hutt’s true motives are still unknown.
It is to be assumed from Supreme Chancellor Leontyne Saresh’s statement, “The Hutts will not be allowed to expand their dominion at our expense,” that Makeb was previously a Republic world. The Republic’s motivation for intervening is clear. It would be disastrous to lose worlds to the Hutt Cartel and Empire. Republic forces fighting for Makeb’s freedom will likely have to choose whether freeing Makeb means saving the lives of its citizens or risking them for the greater good.
The Empire’s stake in this conflict is, by nature, more complicated. At first glance, it would seem wiser to stay away from the action and let the Republic and the Cartel destroy each other. However, judging from past Imperial infiltration on worlds like Belsavis and Ord Mantell, it is likely that the Empire has found the means to take advantage of both the Cartel and the Republic while they are distracted with each other, finding ways to weaken both rivals simultaneously. The Hutts must want something specific from Makeb, and if the Empire can take it before they do, it will give them that much more advantage.
Only time will tell what the rise of a third galactic superpower will mean for the Republic and the Empire.