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In a lot of Star Wars media, most notably The Phantom Menace, we see "poodoo" used as an apparent curse word or exclamation:

However, in its first appearance in Return of the Jedi, it's subtitled as "fodder":

JABBA (in Huttese subtitled): It's too late for that, Solo. You may have been a good smuggler, but now you're bantha fodder.

(Source: https://imsdb.com/scripts/Star-Wars-Return-of-the-Jedi.html)

Wookieepedia claims on its page for bantha fodder that the phrase was used as profanity due to its bad smell:

Bantha fodder was a type of food eaten by banthas. The phrase "bantha fodder" was also used as an offensive term, as the substance smelled extremely foul. Alternatively, "poodoo"—"fodder" in Huttese—was used for the same purpose.

(Source: Bantha fodder on Wookieepedia, retrieved 2023-03-30)

Unfortunately, this section is unsourced. Are there any official sources (Canon, Legends, or making-of) that explain why Sebulba might have been yelling "Food!"?

Edit: To address some of the comments/answers, I understand why it makes sense for Jabba to intimidate Han by saying he's bantha food. The part I'm curious about is how, starting with The Phantom Menace, "poodoo" seems to have been retconned as meaning "dung". There are many Legends appearances to this effect.

Some more places it appears in Canon:

  • Earlier in The Phantom Menace, Sebulba (speaking Huttese) threatens Anakin by saying he's "bantha poodoo", but unlike Return of the Jedi, the subtitles don't translate "poodoo". When he crashes later and yells "poodoo!", it's apparently a callback to this.
  • In Attack of the Clones, a Dug yells "Jedi poodoo!" at Anakin and Obi-Wan during the speeder chase.
  • There's apparently a gunship called "Bantha Poodoo" in The Clone Wars episode The Citadel. Wookieepedia doesn't cite any sources for its name, but it has artwork on it of a bantha "dropping" bombs: Artwork detail of a winged bantha with two falling bombs beneath it
  • An Anzellan in The Mandalorian S3E1: "Buy new droid. This one poodoo."

So does it mean fodder? Does it mean dung and the ROTJ subtitles were being euphemistic? Could it mean either one depending on context? Looking for official sources.

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    Given the way he deals with other people he doesn't like, Jabba may have been considering literally grinding Han up and feeding him to his banthas.
    – Cadence
    Mar 31, 2023 at 2:27
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    "Poodoo is still fodder, just at the end of its journey" ~ Star Wars Explained.
    – Valorum
    Mar 31, 2023 at 6:32
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    Q. What were the challenges involved in playing Sebulba? A. His voice was so low. I had to create another voice lor him that was easy for me to shout in order to get a semblance that this character could raise his voice. When they got me to say. "Poodoo.' I burst out laughing. I said, 'Poodoo? What does that mean?" and George said “Well you can’t say the real-world word.” Which is a shame!" ~ Euan MacLeod: Star Wars Insider
    – Valorum
    Mar 31, 2023 at 16:58
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    @A.Still - Q: Did you understand the characters' dialogue? A. It's not made up. It might read like it, because it’s an alien language, but it's been very carefully assembled. George knew it fairly well. Sebulba speaks Huttese. I think there was just a general understanding that we knew the dialect to a certain extent, because Jabba the Hutt spoke it."
    – Valorum
    Mar 31, 2023 at 17:00
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    If a crime lord who owns a bunch of banthas tells me that now I'm bantha food, I'd probably not be happy about it. Not because bantha food typically smells bad, but because I don't want to be fed to the banthas!!
    – Stef
    Apr 1, 2023 at 7:55

3 Answers 3

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'Poodoo' in its expletive form is another word for droppings (poop) although the word does mean, in literal Huttese, 'fodder' in much the same way that someone might say pigswill.

[Q. What is] Bantha Poodoo?

A. Another word for shit.

Lewis Mcleod (AKA Sebulba from The Phantom Menace) - Star Wars Interviews: Volume III

We have pretty good evidence of this in-universe also:

“But there have been more signs of the Raiders about,” Owen admitted. “The Dorrs found a pile of bantha poodoo half covering one of their perimeter sensors.”

“It may be just that there’s a few banthas running loose in the area, probably half starved and looking for some food,” Cliegg offered.

Star Wars: Attack of the Clones (official novelisation)

It stands to reason that unattended (wild) banthas wouldn't have had a pile of food left for them, nor would they have left it uneaten if they were hungry.


The word is used widely and interchangeably in Basic for the way that "shit" is used in colloquial English in various expressions;

“Because poodoo rolls downhill and Vader’s not at the top. He passes it on to everyone beneath him, for sure, but he gets it first every time the Emperor is displeased. And the fact that we are still out here displeases him plenty, I bet.”

Heir to the Jedi

and

“Like I said, we don’t play. Fhurek told me our title would be somehow tainted if we won with alien players. That’s a bunch of poodoo—but it really would be tainted if we let him get away with this.”

Star Wars Rebels: Servants of the Empire - Edge of the Galaxy

and

“That is the biggest load of poodoo I have ever heard,” Strater said. His frustration brought color to his head and made the Twi’lek woman tattooed along his scalp look as if she’d suddenly had too much sun.

Smuggler's Run

and

Our short time together has provided me with the much- needed opportunity to reflect upon the skills, methods, and motivations of these legendary warriors. Based on these facts, drawn from my many years of experience with their kind, I can now say this with almost absolute certainty:

We are in deep, deep poodoo.

Star Wars: The Secrets of the Bounty Hunters

and

Scratch that. As Luke told him everything that had happened back on Tatooine, Han felt like the biggest steaming pile of rancor poodoo in the history of the galaxy.

A New Hope: The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy

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There are at least two possible negative connotations to someone calling someone else "poodoo"

  1. Animal food is disgusting

it's pretty common for words that describe animal food to be considered negative and to be used metaphorically as insults. There's "swill" and "slops" and "chicken feed" - and "pig's breakfast," too.

  1. Being "food" implies death:

Furthermore, to suggest that someone is "food" implies that they are dead - so "poodoo" is analogous to "you're dead meat" - with the added implication that the person's corpse won't be buried, but just used to feed the animals

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    Good answer. Another parallel is to compare someone to "chopped liver", a dish that many might find unpalatable. Mar 31, 2023 at 16:44
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It is worth noting that, by strange coincidence, the 1969 Apollo Guidance Computer had several failure modes which could result in various levels of restart, one of which was known as P00DOO:

Restart the software, returning to P00, but leaving critical state information intact ("P00DOO")

I came across this little nugget by chance whilst watching Light Years Ahead | The 1969 Apollo Guidance Computer, and the following slide can be seen at 42:20:

Failure modes of the Apollo Guidance Computer

It is not clear whether the use of poodoo in the Star Wars universe is a nod to this fact, or was the source of inspiration for the term.

Nevertheless, if you find yourself a few thousand feet above the surface of the moon and your guidance computer effectively "blue screens", you could indeed consider yourself in "deep, deep poodoo".

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    This seems like a weird coincidence rather than something related to Star Wars
    – Valorum
    Apr 1, 2023 at 7:53

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