May The Fourth Be With You!
Today the world celebrates a rare geek double holiday, International Star Wars Day and Free Comic Book Day. As fans reflect on what Star Wars means to them, the recent death of Peter Mayhew– the actor who portrayed Chewbacca, weighs heavy on our hearts.
In order to both mourn and celebrate the galaxy’s greatest copilot, I have compiled a list of the six best Chewbacca moments. For obvious reasons, I have limited the list to scenes in which Chewbacca was portrayed by Mayhew (nothing but love to Joonas Suotamo, but I think he’ll understand). Give the hyperdrive a big kick, because here we go!
6. Chewbacca Takes Revenge On Lando – Star Wars Episode VI: The Empire Strikes Back. Chewbacca does what everyone in the audience wishes they could do after Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams) betrays the heroes to the Empire.
5. Chewbacca Takes Revenge On Starkiller Base – Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. After Han (Harrison Ford) dies in a horrible scene that I still can’t watch without crying, Chewbacca uses his grief and anger to injure Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and blow up Starkiller Base.
4. Chewbacca Shows Up To In A Stolen AT-ST – Star Wars Episode VI: The Return Of The Jedi. Just when our heroes think they are finally safe, another AT-ST walks towards them. They look at the walker, and out of the hatch pops Chewbacca, ready to blow this thing and go home. Han’s face changes from desperation to joy.
3. Han and Chewbacca Reunite After Han Is Freed From Carbonite – Star Wars Episode VI: The Return Of The Jedi. No one loves Han more than Chewie. Not even Leia (Carrie Fisher). So after Chewbacca takes a big risk in order to try and free Han from Jabba’s (Larry Ward) clutches, he is overjoyed to see his best friend alive once again.
2. Chewbacca Saves C-3PO From The Scrap Heap – Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. Chewbacca has saved the life of every Star Wars main character at one point or another. When Darth Vader’s (David Prowse and James Earl Jones) goons send C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) to be melted down for scrap, Chewie finds him, rescues him, and reassembles him – mostly.
- Let The Wookie Win – Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. R2D2 (Kenny Baker) attempts to play Chewbacca at holographic chess and learns that Chewie is a bit of a sore loser. At the end, when Chewie leans back and looks satisfied with himself, was our first and best introduction to Chewbacca as a character. An iconic moment for an iconic character.