Post-Disney acquisition Star Wars is no stranger to retconning some of fans’ favorite events from the Extended Universe (while also cribbing some of the best parts, like Grand Admiral Thrawn). So, it’s not too surprising that the House of Mouse is trying to quietly suggest that the jazzy music played by in-universe artists like Max Rebo and the Cantina Band is known as “jatz” and not “jizz.”
Yes, in case you weren’t aware, that particular style of music was first referred to as jizz in the 1980s junior novelization of Return of the Jedi.
While Disney hasn’t completely sterilized Star Wars — notably shows like Andor prove they’re willing to still get pretty dark — the company clearly doesn’t care much for the jizz terminology when referring to the favorite music genre of Jabba the Hutt and other characters who prefer to hang out in a hives of scum and villainy.
In 1995’s Tales From The Mos Eisley Cantina the story refers to the genre as jizz, whereas the Return of the Jedi novelization simply refers to a character as a “jizz-wailer.”
Notably, the recent official short story collection From A Certain Point Of View: Return of the Jedi features a story called “Fancy Man,” in which Max Rebo recalls his Hutt gig. In a flashback, Rebo talks about the “jatz standards” he knew by heart. However, it seems like Phil Szostak, who wrote the story, is clearly in on the joke as the story also includes an excerpt that notes the genre “came to be known by many names, some less palatable than others.”
So, technically, this little tibit of information in an official non-Legends Star Wars book does acknowledge that “jizz” might still be a slang term used for the genre officially known as “jatz.” Sure, that does mean that fans can no longer say definitively that the Cantina Band is playing jizz, but you have to imagine that the residents of Tattoine might still call it that. Maybe only the elitist “jatz” enjoyers in the Star Wars universe refer to it by its more proper name.
In the canonical Star Wars short story collection From A Certain Point Of View: Return of the Jedi the music previously called “jizz” is instead referred to as “jatz.”
There is precedence in for the genre to be called jatz instead of jizz, since the term jatz was first used in a Star Wars fiction magazine from 1993. In fact, as the AV Club points out in their article about it, the term jatz actually came before the more unsavory moniker for the genre. In 1995’s Tales From The Mos Eisley Cantina the story refers to the genre as jizz, whereas the Return of the Jedi novelization simply refers to a character as a “jizz-wailer.”
The Day The Music Died
Ever since both names for the genre have been introduced, they have been used interchangeably in Star Wars media, so it does make sense that Disney would eventually want to canonize one term over the other. You really can’t be too surprised that the version they went with is jatz and not jizz. The latter term has never been used in any official media since the Legends non-canon universe was established as its own thing.
But again, the short story did leave the door open for jizz to make its grand return. If Thrawn can make it out of the Legends universe, maybe this fan-favorite Star Wars terminology can to. And if not, fans will undoubtedly carry on the lore much to Disney’s chagrin.