Star Wars‘ Chewbacca is undoubtedly one of the most iconic characters in cinematic history, but have you ever wondered what he’d sound like if he spoke English? Ever since his first appearance in the original Star Wars, Chewie has been an irreplaceable part of the franchise, appearing in tie-in comics, books, and video games. According to the previous movies’ timelines and up until Star Wars: The Last Jedi, he is currently 234 years old. In his early life, he was married to Mallatobuck and has a son named Lumpawaroo.
Many a fans’ curiosity is piqued when watching everyone’s favorite Wookiee grunt, howl and trill in his native Shyiiwook tongue and be understood by Han Solo or Rey. However, what audiences hear when they’re in the theater is not what the actors hear during filming. In fact, Chewie is able to have conversations with his co-stars because he’s speaking their language.
Yes, Chewbacca can speak English – or at least the costumed actor playing him on set does. Peter Mayhew is the voice behind this legendary Star Wars character. Film critic Marshall Julius shared a rare behind the scenes video with fans on Twitter, in which Mayhew can be heard shouting at Han Solo in his normal voice. This is a great moment during the filming of the original Star Wars trilogy, and definitely worth checking out.
Not only does Chewie speak English, but he does so in a distinctive Yorkshire accent as he argues with his friend and partner in crime. After hearing this glimpse of the real conversations having on set, Peter Mayhew’s voice will ring in the back of fans’ minds whenever Chewbacca “talks” to Han Solo during their adventures on the Millennium Falcon.
Chewbacca was originally inspired by George Lucas’ dog, an Alaskan malamute called Indiana, who acted as an unofficial copilot by often sitting in the passenger seat of his car. Peter Mayhew’s height helped him land the role in the movie, since he was a whopping seven feet and three inches tall. The original actor behind the Chewbacca mask sadly passed away in April 2019, and Chewie has been played by Finnish actor Joonas Suotamo from Star Wars: The Force Awakens onwards.
Mayhew was not only an actor but the author of two books, Growing Up Giant and My Favorite Giant. He enjoyed being a part of Hollywood’s most popular franchise and also shared his literary talents with the world – quite an impressive legacy. He will always be remembered as the “fuzzball” whose voice became one of the most distinctive sounds of the Star Wars universe.
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