You can picture his face and hear the sounds he makes when the name Chewbacca is dropped. He is one of the most-famous sidekicks in sci-fi cinematic history, serving primarily as the traveling companion of Han Solo (may he rest in peace), but now serving as that to Rey, as she has taken lead ranks in navigating the Millennium Falcon. He is the lone standout Wookiee in the Rebel Alliance and has appeared in nearly all the Star Wars films, namely Episode(s) III, IV, V, VI, VII (‘The Force Awakens’) and will also play a role in the soon-to-be-released VIII (‘The Last Jedi’).
‘Chewie’ hails from the homeworld of Kashyyyk. His planet is masked in a dense forest, while his kind are not primitive, but rather comprised of minds capable of sophisticated technology and intricate architecture. His weapon of choice, a Bowcaster, which is a traditional wookiee-wielded rifle, which is much more powerful than a blaster.
The character has historically been tamed by Peter Mayhew and, he will reprise the role in the upcoming The Last Jedi, but has since passed the crown to basketball player-turned actor, Joonas Suotamo, for 2018’s ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ film. This will serve as a huge responsibility and one that he welcomes with enthusiasm. For reference on both Mayhew and Chewie, check out these 15 Facts in Honor of Mayhew (Mental Floss) and these 10 Interesting Facts by Viral Killer (YouTube).
What makes this lovable wookiee so important though? Despite having served as a galactic smuggler alongside Han Solo, he has always remained loyal, while proving you don’t have to be a bad guy to smuggle. He has a plethora of good deeds on his resume, including, but not limited to: Helping Ahsoka Tano, a Jedi apprentice, escape Trandoshan slavers, guiding Yoda to flee his planet when ‘Order 66’ was issued (an attempt to wipe out all remaining Jedi) during the Clone Wars, assisting in rescuing Princess Leia from the Death Star, finding and helping reassemble C-3P0 on Cloud City, having a hand in rescuing Solo from his carbonite imprisonment at Jabba the Hutt’s palace on Tatooine, navigating an AT-ST on Endor to pave the way for an anti-Imperial advancement and, most recently, pulling the trigger to blow up The First Order’s Starkiller Base shortly after lacing a shot into Kylo Ren, who had just killed his own father, Solo. Simply put, he has lost a lot of his own kind, his best friend and colleagues along the way, but has chosen to keep fighting in conjunction with the Rebels. He’s one of the last remaining true heroes of the Clone Wars era and has been behind some of the biggest achievements for the alliance, including having helped keep numerous Jedi alive. For these reasons and so much more, we salute you, Chewie!
One of the biggest things we can’t wait to see in The Last Jedi is how the Porg will interact with Chewbacca. These are a species of sea bird native to the planet Ahch-To, where Rey first meets Luke Skywalker, at the end of ‘The Force Awakens’ film.
A complete history of Chewbacca can be found HERE. He also had a pre-Han Solo team-up, five-issue miniseries run via Marvel’s Star Wars comics back in 2015, which you can check out HERE. If you have ever wanted to learn how to talk ‘Wookie’, check out this Translator. Click HERE for his Top 10 film quotes (Buzzfeed). Lastly, if you want to sit in dim candlelight and listen to him spout off for an hour, if you need to get in the holiday spirit early or if you just want to have a good laugh, check out the videos below.
“WAGRRRRWWGAHHHWWWRRGGAWWWRR!” – Chewbacca