Prior to the first Star Wars, no one could have guessed that an omnivorous, bipedal furry creature that was based on a monkey, a bear, and a dog could be so popular. In fact, that kind of sounds like a thing of nightmares. But Chewbacca was able to rise to the heights of popularity, right up there with R2-D2. (His huggable exterior made him doubly endearing.) Nowadays, it feels like there can be no Star Wars without the giant Wookie.
Chewbacca earned his recognition by being the wordless companion of the smuggler Han Solo. While Solo communicated with sarcastic comments and grim one-liners, all Chewie had to do was bark, snuffle, or roar. And let's not forget the infamous head tilt. If someone said something particularly puzzling, Chewie would tilt his head to one side questioningly. I swear, that move shot him straight to our hearts.
But, as with any movie that's set in a galaxy far, far away, there are flaws in Star Wars, and some of those flaws reside with poor Chewbacca. Whether it's a head-scratching factoid about Wookie culture, a nonsensical plot point that Chewie was involved in, or a question we never got answered about him, there are bits and pieces about Chewie that just don't make any sense. He'll always be our lovable Wookie, but you have to admit, there are some things regarding him that don't quite add up. Read on if you want to puzzle out with me various things about Chewbacca that are oddly confusing.
25 But It's All Hair
One of the ways to tell the difference between a male and female Wookie, it is said, is to see if they have a beard. Male Wookies grow extensive beards. Umm, have you seen a Wookie? They're basically all beard.
How are you supposed to tell if it has a beard when its entire body is covered in hair? That is like trying to find a needle in a stack of needles. I sure hope there are other ways in which to differentiate between the genders. I'm sure grievous errors might be made otherwise.
24 You Never Call
It might surprise you to learn that Chewbacca has a family back on his home planet of Kashyyyk. It's never really mentioned in the films, but in comic books and other pieces of canon, it has been revealed that Chewie has a wife and son to go home to.
Isn't it strange that he never goes to visit them in the movies? His wife and child must loathe Han Solo for keeping Chewbacca from them for so long. That bond between Chewie and Han must be really special.
23 Fellow Prison Buddies
In the new Star Wars film, Solo, we were shown Chewie and Han's meeting. Chewie was held captive by Imperials, Han found him there, and together, they escaped their cell. That's a great bonding prison-break story, but the manner in which the two met in the books was so much more impactful.
Han, an Imperial pilot, rescues Chewie from slavery by refusing an Imperial order to skin him. Chewie then swears a life debt to Han. There is not as much of a debt of loyalty to be found in Solo.
22 Name-Calling Earns A Friendship
It is clear by the end of A New Hope that Chewie has grown fond of Leia and Luke and all of his new friends. He even gives Leia a good hug after they escape from the Death Star and the enemy TIE Fighters. But where is this good nature coming from?
Not a few minutes ago, Leia had called Chewie a "walking carpet."
Did Chewbacca just forget that? This is the same Wookie that Han Solo warned Threepio could tear his arms out of his sockets if he lost a game of Dejarik.
21 Take The Shot
Here's something we've never seen in the movies, but we kind of wish we could have. In canonically-approved comic books, Chewbacca had the opportunity to shoot at Darth Vader with his bowcaster. Vader deflected the shot thanks to sensing the impending danger with the Force.
But what's most curious to me about this situation is how Chewie survived this encounter. If I was Darth Vader, I would have eliminated whoever tried to blast me to oblivion.
20 Is There A Wookie Piloting School?
Chewbacca is the ultimate co-pilot. He's the guy you want by your side when you're making the Kessel Run. But where did he learn those sick piloting maneuvers?
The glimpse we got of Kashyyyk in Revenge of the Sith made Wookie culture appear largely tree-bound. The Wookies there were holding spears for crying out loud. Chewbacca is always portrayed as an extremely competent mechanic and pilot, but the origin of his skills remain a mystery.
19 Pretty Spry For An Old Man
Unlike Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, and Princess Leia, Chewbacca has not shown his old age in the newer movies. Where his other human companions are sporting grey hair and wrinkled faces, Chewie looks the same as he did in the original trilogy.
Wookies can live to be 400 years old.
That's their average lifespan. In Solo, Chewie was just reaching the 190-year mark. Still, he has definitely aged a bit since that prequel film. I wonder if he'll be around for the next Star Wars trilogy after Rey's story.
18 Maybe He Did It On Purpose
Threepio is sadly disassembled when he finds out the Empire landed on Bespin before he and his companions did. When Chewbacca finds himself locked in a cell with only Threepio's parts to keep him company, he decides to try to put his friend back together.
The only problem is that he fixes Threepio all wrong.
He puts Threepio's head backwards on his chest. If Chewie is such a vaunted mechanic and pilot, how could he have not known he was fixing Threepio incorrectly?
17 Where Did Chewbacca Get His Bowcaster?
Chewbacca's weapon has become iconic for its unique shape and for the fact that we've never seen anyone else wield it. In Star Wars video games, we eagerly vie to take control of the notorious bowcaster. (Though, admittedly, some iterations of the bowcaster in games have been pretty disappointing.)
A big question that has gone unanswered is where Chewie got this particular weapon. Supposedly, Wookies build their own bowcaster, but if Chewie can't even put together a droid correctly, how could he have made a weapon from scratch?
16 Maz Is A Tad Weird
Maz Kanata was a new character we met in The Force Awakens. It was our first time meeting her, but she appeared to know Han Solo and Chewbacca from a long time back. In fact, she even refers to Chewie as her boyfriend.
Does she know that Chewie has a wife and child back on Kashyyyk? If she does have knowledge of their existence, why would she refer to Chewie as her boyfriend knowing that he's a taken Wookie. (Maybe she likes to live on the wild side?)
15 The Wolverine Of Star Wars
Chewbacca usually does not get close enough to an enemy to show off his secret weapon. Wookies have extendable claws that they usually use to climb trees quickly. But Wookies can also use these bad boys in a fight.
Claws definitely add an extra layer of danger to a fist fight. It's just a shame we haven't seen Chewie use his own claws in action. Instead, we have only seen Chewie use his bowcaster to take down stormtroopers. Though I suppose there was that one time he tried to choke Lando.
14 Yoda Amnesia
In Revenge of the Sith, we find out that Chewbacca had the chance to meet Yoda when he was stationed on Kashyyyk. However, this meeting, while delightful to observe, raised questions about some events in A New Hope.
In that first Star Wars film, Chewie shares in Han Solo's skepticism about Ben Kenobi's Jedi abilities. But if Chewie had met Yoda, shouldn't he already know that Jedi existed and that the Force is an actual power that people could wield?
13 Most Convoluted Plan Ever
The fault for this bit of nonsense lies mostly at the feet of Luke Skywalker. When Han Solo, frozen in carbonite, was a prisoner of Jabba the Hutt, his friends came up with a plan to rescue him.
But what was that plan exactly, and how did Chewbacca figure into it?
Was the plan seriously to get everyone captured and then fed to the Sarlacc? Chewie's role in this plan was to be placed in a cell with Han. Oh well, at least his role wasn't to get turned into a slave for Jabba the Hutt.
12 Their Most Prized Posession
There is no Han Solo and Chewbacca without the Millennium Falcon. When we first met the smuggling duo, they introduced themselves to Luke and Obi-Wan by saying they flew the Millennium Falcon. The Falcon is a part of their identity.
But if that's the case, how did they lose it? In The Force Awakens, we learn that the Falcon has been out of their possession for years. How was that allowed to pass? Han and Chewie love the Falcon more than they love anything else.
11 Medal For Participation
The ending to the first Star Wars film was fantastic. The music was triumphant as heck, and all of our heroes got themselves recognition from the Rebel Alliance, including Chewbacca.
But what happened to Wedge Antilles? He was right there in the trench with Luke during the attack on the Death Star. He only had to pull out because of some failing machinery on his X-Wing. Chewbacca gets recognized for co-piloting a ship which arrived at the last minute, but Wedge, who was there for the whole battle, gets zip.
10 Waterproof Fur
Wookies are said to have coats that shed water easily. I suppose this trait of theirs came about due to living on a humid planet like Kashyyyk. (I still have problems accepting that entire planets can consist of a single climate experience.)
But if that's the case, would Chewie have been soaked at all during that moment in the garbage compactor on the first Death Star? Luckily for him, he spent most of his time there perched precariously by the door.
9 Solitary Confinement With A Friend
We meet Chewie in Solo while he's in an earthy pen, chained to a stake and constantly teased by Imperials garrisoned on the planet Mimban. It's there that Han Solo encounters his Wookie companion.
But a big unknown is how exactly Chewbacca ended up on Mimban in the first place. The film does not answer this question, but it would be fascinating to learn how Chewie ended up so far away from his home planet of Kashyyyk.
8 An AT-ST License
The Battle of Endor could have ended direly for the Rebel Alliance if they had not befriended the native Ewoks. During the battle on the planet's surface, Chewie and a couple of Ewoks commandeer an All Terrain Scout Transport.
The way I figure it, an AT-ST would not operate the same way as a certain Corellian freighter, so how would Chewbacca have known how to drive the thing? As can be seen in the film, not only does Chewie learn how to control the AT-ST, he can also shoot with it quite expertly.
7 Why Use The Bargaining Chip?
In a young adult novel (that is considered canon), it is revealed that Chewbacca and Rogue One droid K-2SO had a run-in with each other before the events of Rogue One.
In order to rescue a captured Han Solo, Chewie must retrieve an artifact from a planet for the Empire. K-2SO and his friend Cassian Andor get the artifact first, so Chewie then has to create a distraction near where Han is being hel prisoner so that they can escape together. But if it was that easy to save Han, why didn't Chewie do that in the first place?
6 Wookie Versus Wampa
The idea of pitting tough characters against other tough characters has always been a fascinating time waster. For example, what would happen if Master Chief fought the Alien from Alien? See? It's fun?
One hypothetical battle you don't have to imagine is the fight between a Wookie and a Wampa. The Wampa wins. While settling the Rebel Base on Hoth, Chewie gets himself caught by a Wampa in the cartoon Star Wars: Forces of Destiny.
5 A Good Grooming
One way in which a Wookie can pay a compliment to another Wookie is to groom them. That's how a Wookie shows esteem for someone else. Han Solo and Chewbacca are very close, so it makes me wonder if Chewie ever groomed Han Solo.
I know that when they were reunited in Jabba's Palace after Han was finally released from the carbonite, Chewie did fondly comb back Han's hair, so maybe that counts as grooming to a Wookie. Aww, Chewie was just so happy to see Han again.
4 Like It Raw And Wriggling
Luke, Han, Chewie, and the droids meet the Ewoks on Endor when Chewie falls for a trap the Ewoks left in the woods. The Ewoks had hung a piece of raw meat on a tree, and when the meat was tugged at, a net trap lifted whoever was standing nearby up into the air.
For some reason, Chewie was irresistibly drawn to the meat.
Are you telling me that Chewie likes to eat raw meat? Does he not have things cooked? And are you telling me Chewie saw nothing suspicious in some random meat on a tree?
3 Goodbye Old Friend
In The Force Awakens, both Han and Chewie befriend the young scavenger Rey and the runaway stormtrooper Finn. But if you think about it, Rey and Finn are new acquaintances. It makes no sense then that Chewie would partner up with Rey immediately after Han passes away instead of going with, I don't know, General Organa!
Chewie has known Leia for years now.
Why would he choose to follow after Rey instead of remaining with his old friend?
2 No Gratitude For Your Savior
Lando betrayed Han, Leia and Chewie on Bespin, so it is understandable that Chewie would still be a little raw about that. But when Lando removed Chewie's handcuffs, thereby demonstrating he was not helping the Empire anymore, did Chewie really have to choke him?
If someone is taking off your bonds, that's a fairly certain sign that they're trying to assist you. True, Chewbacca has a bit of a temper. But he should definitely try to rein that in when he should be saying thank you.
1 Use Your Wookie Persuasiveness
Luke and Chewie go back a long time, maybe not as far back as Han and Chewie, but still. They've known each other for quite a while. So who do you think would have a better chance of convincing Luke to leave his isolation and help the Resistance, Rey or Chewie?
Clearly Chewie would have had more of an leg to stand on. And yet, it's Rey who tries to do most of the persuading on the island of Ahch-To. Chewie could have totally emotionally blackmailed Luke into returning to his sister.