How Chewbacca finally got his 'due' in the Star Wars sequels

Apr 24, 2019
chewbacca last jedi

At the end of A New Hope, and despite his helpful efforts to rescue Leia and co-piloting the Falcon when he and Han knocked Vader out of the way, Chewbacca didn't get a medal.

It's become a bone of contention for Chewbacca fans. He did as much as Han and yet received nothing for his trouble. 

Neither does pilot Wedge Antilles who bravely flew during the Battle of Yavin either...

In the subsequent two movies, Chewbacca was still effectively a supporting partner, good for a gag here and there but never really getting a chance to truly shine. 

The last three sequel movies beginning with 2016's The Force Awakens have upped the role of our favorite Walking Carpet quite a lot which has meant Chewbacca's character has been given his 'due' as a character and his potential has been finally achieved.

The Force Awaken's featured a new Chewbacca of sorts. 

The ailing Peter Mayhew shared the duties with newcomer Joonas Suotamo and in a way, this was a regeneration of the character. While Chewbacca was there as Han's sidekick, a running gag involving his bowcaster led to him directly shooting his best friend's son with his (serving as a crucial plot point).

The pain of that action was palpable and resulted in Chewbacca going on one of the greatest Star Wars Stormtrooper killing sprees the franchise will probably ever see - for this writer only Vader's massacre of the Rebels in Rogue One beats it for ruthless killing.  

It also showed a mature side of Chewbacca, even though his best friend had just died, he finished the mission and set off the explosions, allowing Poe Dameron to fly in and save the day. He then found the time to find and rescue Rey from a planet that was about to explode. He didn't know if she was dead or alive and could have taken off - be he still looked for her. 

Amusingly, when he arrived back at the Rebel base, Princess Leia again snubbed Chewbacca in favor of Rey, a person she had never met. This unintentional snub by the scriptwriters was fixed by director and writer Rian Johnson in The Last Jedi when Leia and Chewie were reunited at the end on Crait.

The Last Jedi let Chewbacca take command of the Falcon and with it came the duty to take Rey to the island. While used in yet another food gag (he's a Walking Food Bill after all), Chewbacca had his moment to shine when he piloted the Falcon with as much grace and precision as anyone who had piloted her before. He led the Tie Fighters away from their attack on the Rebels. His actions meant those on the ground of Crait did not all die. 

chewbaca solo movie

It was, however, the Solo movie when Chewbacca finally had a chance to star in a Star Wars film, Sure Alden, Glover, Allen and the Dragon lady from Game of Thrones were the billed as the stars, Chewbacca appeared in more scenes than any other movie he'd been and had more action pieces than ever before.

The fight which introduces Chewbacca to Han Solo is surely now a classic Star Wars scene and his role in freeing the slaves in the Kessel minings was fantastic as we finally got to see him rip arms off someone on-screen:

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe> The way he lifted up a slaver and thrashed him to the ground was just as brutal:

He was scripted as doing this in The Force Awakens - check out the deleted scene:.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

We also got to find out more detail about him, details which 6 other movies never mentioned - his age and the name of his father!

Chewbacca didn't have too big a role in terms of screen time in The Rise of Skywalker, he was the subject of a death fake-out, a rescue and flew the Falcon with Lando in the big finale. His reaction to learning of the Death of Princess Leia was gut wrenching. 

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