Chewbacca: Character Explained

credit: Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens

Chewbacca was a brown hairy character of the Wookiee race. He usually appeared together with Han Solo, for example, in Episode VII (The Force Awakens), where the pair found the Millennium Falcon conveniently sitting in the middle of a battlefield in Jakku, along with Rey and the company who was after Luke Skywalker. Like Darth Vader, Chewbacca had a unique and memorable sound of his own. However, unlike the Sith Lord, whose iconic sound was just his breathing, Chewbacca’s memorable sound was his talking in his native language. A language that some human characters seemed to understand as well.

Being Han Solo’s sidekick, particularly an alien sidekick, he also took the roles and jobs that Han Solo could do all by himself. This includes smuggling, piloting (the Millennium Falcon), fighting (Chewbacca did not have a lightsaber and only fought using a laser gun that worked similarly to a crossbow), being a mechanic, and most importantly, being a Resistance fighter. Below, like some of the characters we have covered in the past, such as Han Solo, his son Ben Solo (Kylo Ren), and the droid R2-D2, we will look into the character of this Wookiee military leader. We will try to follow his life from his early years to his encounter with Han Solo and his life in the Resistance up to the moment of his death.

Early life

Chewbacca, nicknamed “Chewie” or “Chewy,” was born in the forested, swampy planet of Kashyyyk, in its capital city of Rwookrrorro. He was a member of the Wookiee race, peaceful furry sentient animal-like creatures whose waterproof fur became advantageous in the terrain of their planet.

Capture

During the Clone Wars, he became a lieutenant and led the defense of his home planet Kashyyyk and the allies of the Republic. Later on, after the war ended, Chewbacca and his people (fellow Wookiees) were captured by the Republic’s forces and enslaved them. Some were sent to the spice mines of Kessel. Now, it is worth noting that “spice,” in the Star Wars universe, referred to a substance that was then illegalized because it was abused and used like drugs in real life. It wasn’t an illegal substance at first.

Other Wookiees were unfortunate enough to be sent to science labs, where they were forced to serve as lab rats and be subjected to numerous science experiments. Meanwhile, Chewbacca found himself in a pit in Mimban, where he was designated as “the Beast,” sort of like a monster to which erring prisoners could be sent there to be eaten as punishment.

credit: Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens

Meeting Han Solo

Han Solo was deemed a deserter by Tobias Beckett, a criminal pretending to be an Imperial officer. He sentenced Solo to be sent to “the Beast.” Once there, Han Solo talked to the beast in Shyriiwok, Chewbacca’s native language, and together they cooperated to escape from the pit. Grateful for setting him free, Chewbacca owed Han Solo his life, so he followed him wherever he went, essentially becoming his lifelong companion.

This debt of life was also expressed in The Force Awakens. After Kylo Ren killed Han Solo, he felt devastated and went into a fit of rage to avenge his fallen friend.

Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker

Death

There were two possible death scenarios for Chewbacca – the Canon and the Legends scenarios. However, the first one does not seem to be an acceptable explanation for Chewie’s death.

It went like this. In The Rise of Skywalker, Rey was trying to save Chewbacca by pulling down using the Force of the ship that was abducting him. Meanwhile, Kylo Ren was also on the scene and attempted to pull the ship to his side. This resulted in a struggle resembling a “floating” tug-of-war. In a bad stroke of luck, Rey accidentally released the Sith Lightning (she was a descendant of Palpatine), destroying the spaceship and “killing” Chewie. While watching the scene made it seem that Chewbacca died, the viewers were assured that he was still alive later on.

In the Legends saga, the planet Sernpidal was in danger of being destroyed due to its moon, Dobido, falling to it. The rescue mission of the Sernpidalians was led by Han Solo and Chewbacca. After the evacuation, Anakin was blown away from the Falcon, so Chewbacca saved him and put him back inside, but in turn, he was knocked away by another strong force of the wind. He was flown directly into the path of the falling moon.

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