Business, Politics

The Emerging Hutt Hegemony

Source: Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

To the galactic east is a rather unruly group of systems that have resisted control from the Empire, the New Republic and the Old Republic before that. Centered in the Y’Toub system and its primary planet Nal Hutta, a new political phenomenon is emerging as neighboring systems align themselves with the Besadii kajidic (clan), lead by the planet’s most influential leader, Durga.

Though never explicitly stated, experts have begun referring to this region as the Hutt Hegemony, given their influence on the sector and the power the various kajidic’s hold over business interests in the region. With no particular governing body, systems under Hutt control have traditionally been managed by the most powerful businesspeople. How well they provide for the populace is a matter of some debate.

Information on Durga and his history is scarce, though it is known he recently abandoned a large engineering project and diverted his assets elsewhere because of design flaws and potential budget overruns. His kajidic has since begun investing in what his spokespeople say are more ‘tried-and-true’ business ventures. When pressed for further details they divulged that these include new opportunities in pharmaceutical research, energy development, shipbuilding and trade. The reason, they said:

“His Great Obesity, Lord Durga is concerned with the decline of the economy in the Outer-Rim. Wars, famine and unrest have left the people in need of goods and work. Lord Durga is in a position to provide, and so he provides. His benevolence reaches the stars and beyond.”

A recent interview with Coruscant University political science professor Tenunbren Vrayga revealed one potential reason behind these developments:

“The most benign explanation is that unlike the governments of the New Republic, the Empire or even Corellia, Hutt Space is decentralized, but heavily influenced by the power base on Y’Toub.There is no rule of law between the planets, but more of an understanding: The planets and systems operate in an autonomous fashion and rely on Hutt influence for economics and defense from the rampant piracy in the area. This of course goes against the popular historical notion of the typical Hutt clan, but in this case Durga may be providing a real service. Our data on that region is too incomplete to really say.”

While some news outlets are praising these events as historically significant (it being the first attempt by the Hutts to legitimately govern a galactic region), others are understandably skeptical and have gone so far as to label it a classic Hutt extortion scheme. Given their link to criminal organizations like the Black Sun, and few will forget the legacy of Jabba Desilijic Tiure on Tatooine, there is weight to the idea that the situation is less than benevolent.

A criminology expert, speaking on condition of anonymity, offered the following explanation for the surge in so-called Hutt leadership:

“The business ventures being cultivated on the surrounding planets are most likely a collection of front companies funneling illegal goods onto major trade lanes — the Hydian Way, Corellian Run, etc. At best they were legitimate businesses in the recent past, forced into aiding in the production and shipment of black market goods under threat of force. Perhaps even worse is that the peoples of the hegemony are given little choice in the matter.

When asked about the possibility of resistance, the outlook was bleak:

“Resistance means retaliation from any number of Hutt-controlled mercenary groups, pirates and gangs. Any attempt to stand up to the Hutts by the appointed leaders of a given world will see them either ousted or killed, and then replaced with a trusted, kajidic-friendly lieutenant. All the while local news outlets will be coerced or bribed into showing a populace that loves their new leader and abhors the old one.”

Recently elected Corellian Diktat Rostek Horn has strongly hinted that he believes the Hutts are responsible for the sharp increases in piracy, illegal trade and black market goods within the Corellian sphere. Corellian officials have indicated that they do not recognize the authority of Durga’s kajidic, and will put any vessels hailing from the region of Y’Toub under intense scrutiny within Corellian space.

Other galactic powers have declined to comment until they have more information and competing Hutt kajidics have been surprisingly quiet about the matter. For now, it seems, Durga’s Hegemony is here to stay.

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