Wiseguy Wookiee: Chewing scenery in The Force Awakens

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Chewing the scenery in Star Wars: The Force Awakens

The Millennium Falcon’s walking carpet of a co-pilot’s sure got a mouth on him — not that you’d know it to watch Star Wars movies, including The Force Awakens.

The screenplay for Episode VII has been floating around for a while now, apparently from its release for Academy Awards consideration. There are all sorts of interesting tidbits being analyzed across the web, but the one thing that stands out is it’s a really fun script to read, and a quick one at that.

My favorite touch, though, is that a few times the writers — “Lawrence Kasdan & J.J. Abrams and Michael Arndt,” as they’re curiously conjuncted — actually give Chewbacca meaningful dialogue, rather than just vague instructions for the actors and sound crew to issue random Wookiee grunts and growls.


I don’t know if the writers did this in the other Star Wars movies, but it’s fun to see it here. Of course, it’s not usually hard to glean Chewie’s meaning, but it’s interesting that they give it to us up front in this exchange when the Falcon gets boarded by its rightful owners shortly after Rey and Finn’s daring escape from the junkyard planet Jakku.

Then there’s this exchange closer to the end of the movie, when Han, Chewie and Finn embark on their fateful journey to Starkiller Base to find Rey and disable the shields for the Resistance attack:


You have to admire the fuzzball’s composure — by now, he’s used to Han’s fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants approach, and just rolls with it.

After all, there were no arguments when Han Solo was at the helm.

Bonus trivia

The old Expanded Universe of Star Wars novels, comics and games — now largely overwritten and rebranded “Legends” — dubbed the Wookiee language “Shyriiwook.” It also held that many Wookiees could speak “Basic,” and Chewbacca simply had a speech impediment that prevented this.

Here and there ...

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Jayson Peters
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