The Daily Mail has published a feature on Toby Philpott, a British puppeteer most famous for his work with Return of the Jedi baddie Jabba the Hutt. Philpott hung up his puppet strings a long time ago, and now he’s working as a computer trainer at a library in Cardiff. Nonetheless, Reporter Hayley O’Keefe got some interesting details from Philpott about his work on Episode VI.
Philpott was spotted while working in Mexico by legendary puppeteer Jim Henson, and got the job as Jabba through that connection. He operated Jabba’s left arm, and was one of four puppeteers who brought the sluglike interplanetary gangster to life:
The challenge was working together so Jabba looked like one sentient creature, and not four guys in a tent.
‘So we’d get George Lucas to address Jabba rather than us individually which did freak him out a bit at first.’