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Chewbacca is a mountain of muscle and kindness. This Wookiee is a shining example of integrity. He never shies away from fighting for a good cause, no matter how dangerous it may be. In this article, we will dive into the long history of the hero from Kashyyyk.
Despite rising to fame as Han Solo’s co-pilot, Chewbacca is more than just a sidekick. He has been fighting the evils of the galaxy since he was young. Chewbacca resisted the Trandoshan slavers, commanded Wookiees against the separatist droids, helped bring the Empire to its knees, and dashed the First Order’s hopes of restoring it. Chewbacca has featured in almost all major conflicts that affected the galaxy since the Clone Wars.
Chewbacca shares some of the personality traits common to Wookiee culture. He never falters in the face of danger and is unconditionally loyal.
When he is not fighting for the freedom of his people or protecting his loved ones, Chewbacca is playful and loves gambling. The Wookiee has a remarkably short temper and is a sore loser. Han Solo is his closest friend.
Thanks to his experience with Han Solo aboard the Millennium Falcon, he became an excellent pilot and earned a spot as the permanent co-pilot of the freight ship.
Chewbacca is also the nominal crew chief. His affinity for machinery has served him well over the years. In Kashyyyk, he used to design and craft Wookiee bowcasters for himself and other warriors. Chewbacca settled on a custom-made variant of the weapon he built on the basis of a stormtrooper blaster.
Chewbacca was born in Kashyyyk in the year 200 BBY. He was an avid explorer of the wilderness of his homeworld and traveled from one pole of Kashyyyk to the other.
The Warrior of Kashyyyk
Chewbacca served as a combat engineer in the planet’s military. A gang of Trandoshan slavers captured him during the Clone Wars. On the way to the Wasskah moon in the Trandosha system, a group of Padawans led by Ahsoka Tano hijacked the ship carrying the Wookiee captives. Chewbacca helped build a transmitter out of components of a wrecked vessel and called a rescue group under the leadership of General Tarfful.
Trandoshan gangs allied with the Confederacy of Independent Systems in hopes of enslaving more of the locals. Wookiees initially attempted to resist alone but called upon the Galactic Republic for assistance as the combined separatist and Trandoshan firepower became overwhelming.
After a heated Jedi Council meeting where Jedi General Ki-Adi Mundi delivered the Wookiee plea, the Galactic Republic sent a task force led by Grand Master Yoda to the surface of Kashyyyk. Chewbacca was part of the Wookiee war cabinet, subordinate to General Tarfful. The local leaders coordinated the war against the separatist droid army with the clone commanders and Jedi Generals deployed.
Thanks to the help of the Wookiees, the Grand Army of the Republic successfully thwarted the separatist assault landing on the oil refinery. CIS droids occupied the Wawaatt archipelago. Chewbacca, Tarfful, and Yoda oversaw the defense of the seawall. The fierce battle raged on the beach as separatist troops continued to pour forces against the Republic and Wookiee lines.
At the command center atop one of the typically tall trees of Kashyyyk, two of the clone leaders standing by Yoda received Order 66. The command directed all clone troopers to eliminate all Jedi. Yoda sensed the attack and killed both with his lightsaber as Chewbacca and Tarfful watched.
Though the clones were allied with his people, Chewbacca knew Yoda’s history as a strong advocate for Wookiee freedom. They abandoned the defensive lines at the beach to take Master Yoda to a safe location in the mountains of Kashyyyk. The Wookiees provided him with an escape pod so he could return to the Core Worlds to confront the Sith threat. The separatist army was defeated in Kashyyyk, leaving the world under the control of the Grand Army of the Republic.
Following Yoda’s departure and the reorganization of the Galactic Republic into the First Galactic Empire, Chewbacca and the Wookiees rose against the clone troops occupying their land. After Emperor Palpatine’s rise to power, slavery became legal once more in the galaxy. Trandoshan slavers that had been at war with the Republic became the Empire’s overseers for the enslavement of Wookiees in Kashyyyk.
Chewbacca resisted the imperial occupation for around one standard year but fell captive to the Trandoshan slavers. The gangsters forced him to cut down the giant wroshyr trees native to the planet before sending Chewbacca off-world.
Meeting Han Solo
In the swampy world of Mimban, Chewbacca became a pit fighter for the entertainment of imperial troops locked in battle there. One of his would-be victims was Han Solo, an imperial trooper thrown into the pit for the Wookiee to kill. The soldiers did not know that Solo spoke the Shyriiwook language to some extent. The two agreed to work together to escape. They forced their way into a criminal crew led by Tobias Beckett. Because Solo restored his freedom, Chewbacca pledged a life debt to him.
The pair participated in a botched raid on an imperial train carrying refined coaxium. This failure was costly for the Crimson Dawn crime syndicate. Han Solo convinced the gang’s leader to let the two live in exchange for a substitute shipment of coaxium. In search of the tools to prosecute the raid, Solo attempted to gamble against Lando Calrissian with his ship, a YT-1300 light freighter, at stake.
The smuggler lost but accepted to fly his ship to Kessel himself for a cut of their earnings. The Millennium Falcon’s navigational droid helped instigate a riot, which served as cover for them to extract the coaxium shipment. The substance in Kessel was unrefined, which made it volatile and required the heist pilots to deliver it to the refinery as fast as possible. Han Solo assumed the controls and plotted a course through the Kessel maelstrom. Despite the extreme risk involved, they reduced the journey time from the usual 20 to 12 parsecs.
At Savareen, Chewbacca and Solo found themselves embroiled in the struggle between locals, criminals, and the Galactic Empire. Tobias Beckett, who had been working as a mole in the crew at the behest of Dryden Vos, betrayed them. The pirate held Chewbacca hostage until Qi’ra killed Vos and stole his yacht. Han Solo rescued the Wookiee and mortally wounded Beckett. They were left for dead by Qi’ra.
After the affair, Chewbacca and his friend managed to leave the world and went after Lando Calrissian in Numidian Prime. Han Solo proposed a rematch, again with the Millennium Falcon at stake. This time, he removed a card Lando kept hidden in his sleeve. Solo won the game fair and square, making him and Chewbacca the official owners of the Millennium Falcon.
Though their bond started over a Wookiee life debt, Chewbacca and Han Solo grew a deep friendship. Using the Millennium Falcon’s speed and maneuverability, they became professional smugglers. They initially cooperated with other smugglers, but after many disagreements, the pair decided they were better off working alone.
While running what initially seemed like standard smuggling run, Chewbacca and Solo ran into an Imperial blockade. The cargo aboard the Millennium Falcon belonged to Tatooine crime lord Jabba the Hutt, so surrendering was not an option. The crew attempted to escape but found a squadron of TIE fighters in pursuit. They had to jettison the cargo in space to lose their pursuers. The Millennium Falcon successfully broke away from the blockade despite some battle damage, but the failed delivery put them in debt with Jabba the Hutt.
After becoming an outlaw within criminal circles, Chewbacca spent his life on the run. He and Solo still ran missions they came across to earn money to repay Jabba, but their availability was limited. Bounty hunters hunted them down across the galaxy to claim the handsome reward put on Solo’s head. Realizing that running away would only delay the inevitable, Chewbacca and Han Solo decided to return to Tatooine in hopes of renegotiating their debt directly with Jabba the Hutt.
The Mission to Alderaan
On their way to meet Jabba, the Hutt, Chewbacca, and Han Solo landed the Millennium Falcon in docking bay 94 at the Mos Eisley Spaceport. At Chalmun’s Spaceport Cantina, Ben Kenobi approached them. He offered a total of 17000 credits for a trip to Alderaan. Chewbacca arranged the specifics of the mission, which included taking Kenobi, young farmer Luke Skywalker, and two droids. The Jedi required no encounters of the imperial kind.
After closing the deal, the Millennium Falcon’s crew went to prepare their ship ahead of the scheduled departure. In docking bay 94, they were greeted by Jabba the Hutt and a group of bounty hunters working at his behest. Negotiations were brief yet tense, but Han Solo and Chewbacca convinced their boss to extend their deadline to repay him for the cargo jettisoned during their last run-in with the Galactic Empire.
Later, Chewbacca and Han Solo welcomed their new passengers to the Millennium Falcon. As the Wookiee performed the pre-flight checklist to prepare the ship for the journey to Alderaan, a detachment of stormtroopers bust into the dock. An imperial informant had spotted the C-3PO and R2-D2 earlier and relayed this information to troops hunting for the droids. Han Solo returned fire while ushering Chewbacca to speed things up and get the Millennium Falcon off the ground. An imperial blockade fleet waited for them near Tatooine’s orbit, but the Millennium Falcon made the jump to hyperspace towards Alderaan.
During the journey, passengers and crew spent time together. Chewbacca challenged R2-D2 to a round of the dejarik holographic board game. The Wookiee became visibly frustrated when the astromech droid made a devastating move. C-3PO attempted to mediate in R2-D2’s favor, but this only angered Chewbacca more. Hearing the commotion, Han Solo casually mentioned that Wookiees were famous for tearing arms out of their victims when contradicted. C-3PO reconsidered and ultimately instructed R2-D2 to forfeit the match.
When the Millennium Falcon exited hyperspace, Chewbacca and Han Solo were left confused. According to their navigational computers, they should have seen the planet of Alderaan. Instead, they found an asteroid field and a small moon in the distance. The satellite was the DS-1 Death Star deep space battle station, a secret superweapon the Galactic Empire had finally completed after decades of work.
Before the crew could react, the Death Star locked its tractor beam onto the Millennium Falcon to pull it into one of its hangars for inspection. Left without choice, Chewbacca, Solo, and the ship’s passengers from Tatooine hid in the floor compartments nominally used for smuggling goods. Once they had landed, they waited for the imperial boarding party to investigate before ambushing them and stealing their uniforms.
The group was split into two groups, hoping to find a way out of the battle station. Ben Kenobi navigated the service areas of the Death Star to try and disable the tractor beam. Guided by a tip from R2-D2, Chewbacca, Han Solo, and Luke Skywalker went after Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan.
The station’s database listed her as a captive in Detention Block AA-23 and mentioned she was due to be executed for treason. To access the cell block, Chewbacca wore handcuffs while Luke Skywalker and Han Solo played the part of stormtroopers escorting him to his cell.
The three fought the imperial guards and beat back a counterattack before escaping with Princess Leia through a hatch leading to the garbage compactor. After a narrow escape facilitated by R2-D2, they made their way back to the hangar. As they fended off stormtroopers and prepared the ship, Ben Kenobi was defeated in battle by Darth Vader. The Jedi had successfully disabled the tractor beam, and the Millennium Falcon left the Death Star to Yavin 4.
At the moon of Yavin 4, the Rebel Alliance prepared to launch an attack against the Death Star using data stored in R2-D2’s memory. Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa attempted to convince Han Solo and Chewbacca to join the cause. However, the smuggler was adamant about returning to Tatooine to settle his debt with Jabba the Hutt. The Wookiee was frustrated by his best friend’s choice but knew that he could not abandon him.
During the rebel assault, its fighters and bombers suffered tremendous losses at the hands of the Death Star’s defenses. As the fight dragged on, Han Solo had a change of heart, thanks in part to Chewbacca’s badgering. The two flew into battle aboard the Millennium Falcon and arrived just in time to take out fighters pursuing Luke Skywalker.
The young Force-sensitive pilot fired a perfectly placed proton torpedo shot into the auxiliary reactor exhaust port, initiating a chain reaction that destroyed the battle station.
Energized by the victory at the Battle of Yavin, Chewbacca and Han Solo stayed within the rebel military structure as full-fledged members, despite the latter having reservations about overstaying his welcome. The Rebellion abandoned its base at Yavin 4 after the Galactic Empire had discovered its location.
The Millennium Falcon’s crew took part in many scouting missions for a suitable place to regroup the rebel fleet. They had multiple close encounters with bounty hunters working for Jabba the Hutt. The intensity of these convinced Han Solo that he had to return to Tatooine and settle his debt to the crime lord.
The search for a new base led the Rebellion to the desolate ice planet of Hoth. Chewbacca and Solo arrived aboard the Millennium Falcon at the newly built Echo Base. This massive complex inside a glacier had multiple hangars and housed thousands of rebel military and civilian personnel. The Alliance intended to use it as a long-term base.
Around a month after Echo Base became operational, Luke Skywalker went missing during a routine patrol mission. Han Solo departed at night to search for his friend, while Chewbacca stayed behind to prepare the Millennium Falcon. He became worried when Solo failed to make it back after the blast doors were closed for the night. A search-and-rescue flight found Solo and Skywalker alive.
Back at Echo Base, there was no time to rest. Rebel signals intelligence officers had detected a radio transmission from the planet’s surface. They suspected it was a false alarm but dispatched Chewbacca and Han Solo to investigate just in case. They spotted an imperial Viper probe droid hovering over the snow. Solo and Chewbacca split up to distract the probe and destroy it, but its presence signaled that the Empire knew about the rebel base in Hoth. Back at Echo Base, the commanding officer ordered an evacuation.
The imperial army and navy launched a full-scale assault landing on the planet as the Rebel Alliance attempted to get most of its forces off-world. The sudden attack forced Han Solo and Chewbacca to postpone their return to Tatooine. Princess Leia, C-3PO, and R2-D2 could not board their designated transport during the evacuation, so the Millennium Falcon’s crew helped them onto their ship and departed the planet.
As they passed through Hoth’s orbit, they hoped to jump to hyperspace and evade the Imperial blockade, but the Millennium Falcon had a damaged hyperdrive. Chewbacca had not managed to finish its repairs when the Empire attacked Hoth. Short of options and with multiple imperial vessels in pursuit, they sent the ship into an asteroid field in hopes of losing their pursuers.
Knowing the odds were against them, Han Solo hid the ship inside a cave on an asteroid to allow Chewbacca to finish repairing the hyperdrive. Mynocks swarmed the Millennium Falcon before he could complete the work. Tremors following the firefight against the beasts alerted the crew that this cave was the stomach of a space slug.
Chewbacca and Solo rushed back inside and made a hasty departure. Out of options, they feinted a head-on attack run against a star destroyer’s bridge before landing on its rear and floating away with the garbage released from the destroyer’s chute. The Millennium Falcon crew was unaware that elite bounty hunter Boba Fett had followed them.
The Carbonite Trap
Han Solo and Chewbacca knew they would not get far without fixing the hyperdrive. The ship’s captain decided to fly to the gas giant Bespin, where an old acquaintance ran a tibanna mining colony called Cloud City. Leia Organa was reluctant to trust this plan but went along. After arriving in Cloud City, the crew and passengers received a warm welcome. During a reception banquet, however, Calrissian revealed the truth to them. Following a tip by Boba Fett, Darth Vader had landed troops in Cloud City to capture the rebels and use them to lure Luke Skywalker in.
The Empire placed Chewbacca in a separate cell, left only with the remains of C-3PO. The Wookiee attempted to reassemble the protocol droid. Chewbacca was reunited with Han Solo and Leia Organa when they placed his pilot into the carbon freezing pit. The Wookiee wanted to fight and free his friend, but Solo asked him to show restraint. Chewbacca was subsequently put in handcuffs, while the Empire froze Han Solo in carbonite.
Lando Calrissian freed the other rebels, troubled by Han Solo’s suffering and the constant change of conditions. Chewbacca attempted to choke him for betraying his friend but was convinced to let go. As it turned out, Boba Fett had already loaded the smuggler onto his ship and departed before Chewbacca could save his friend. Lando helped them reach the Millennium Falcon and left with them. The mechanics of Cloud City had fixed the hyperdrive, allowing the ship to jump to hyperspace.
Chewbacca, Landon, Leia, C-3PO, and R2-D2 departed Cloud City under stormtrooper fire. As they prepared to leave Bespin, Leia grew worried about Luke and instructed Lando and Chewbacca to turn back. They rescued the aspiring Jedi, who had a severed hand after losing a duel to Darth Vader.
The Millennium Falcon finally left for the Rebel Alliance rendezvous point, where a medical droid helped Skywalker heal and fitted him with a new robotic hand. Luke, Leia, and the two droids stayed with other rebel leaders to plan their next move. Chewbacca and Lando, however, traveled to Tatooine to rescue Han Solo.
After arriving on the planet, Chewbacca and Calrissian began scouting Jabba the Hutt’s palace, where Han Solo remained frozen in carbonite. The number of guards and staff working for the Tatooine crime lord made a direct assault impossible. Left with little choice, they decided to infiltrate the palace. Due to his stature, Chewbacca could not blend in. However, Lando Calrissian was a stranger to the Tatooine underworld. He became part of Jabba’s crew disguised as a guard, which granted him access to the palace’s insides.
Using Lando’s reports, Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, and Chewbacca formulated a plan to rescue Han Solo. First, the Jedi delivered droids R2-D2 and C-3PO to Jabba’s palace as offerings, suggesting an exchange for the frozen smuggler. As predicted, Jabba refused the offer but kept the droids. While C-3PO was confused, R2-D2 was aware of Skywalker’s plan. His master had secretly housed his lightsaber in one of his tool storage units.
Chewbacca entered the palace handcuffed and escorted by Leia, disguised as the bounty hunter Boushh. She ostensibly arrived to claim the bounty on the Wookiee and impressed Jabba the Hutt by threatening him with a thermal detonator. The crime lord invited her to partake in the party, which granted Organa access to the palace.
Jabba placed Chewbacca in a cell below ground. Han Solo joined him after Leia rescued him from the carbonite. The pair had planned to escape, after which Lando Calrissian would get Chewbacca and the droids out of the palace, but the cronies caught them before the plan came to fruition. Leia had to work as Jabba’s throne girl.
Later that day, Luke Skywalker entered the palace. Diplomatic attempts to free the other rebels were fruitless. Jabba the Hutt threw Skywalker into the rancor pit, where the Jedi defeated his pet monster. The gangster ordered Chewbacca, Han Solo, and Luke Skywalker to be executed in the Great Pit of Carkoon by the Dune Sea. The pit was home to a Sarlacc monster.
Luke Skywalker retrieved his lightsaber from R2-D2 and freed Chewbacca and Han Solo. The rebels fought Jabba the Hutt’s army of cronies. Leia Organa used the ensuing confusion to choke the gangster to death using the chains binding her to his throne. Chewbacca was wounded by a guard while attempting to save Lando Calrissian from the Sarlacc. Han Solo took his place and successfully freed his old friend from the beast. After defeating the bandits in the dune sea, the rebels sailed back to the Millennium Falcon and left Tatooine.
The Forest Moon
Chewbacca and his friends flew to the Rebel Alliance’s staging area, where its commanders briefed officers on a troubling discovery. The Galactic Empire had begun building a new, improved version of the Death Star orbital station near the forest moon of Endor.
To destroy it before it was fully operational, they had to disable a shield generator on the satellite. As soon as the rebels appointed Han Solo to lead the mission, Chewbacca volunteered. The group included Leia Organa, Luke Skywalker, R2-D2, C-3PO, and twelve Pathfinders. Chewbacca flew the Endor Strike team aboard a captured Imperial shuttle.
After a run-in with imperial scouts, the group lost contact with Leia Organa. The Pathfinders continued their mission while Chewbacca, Solo, Skywalker, and the droids searched for her. The Wookiee sprung a trap that captured the group in a net.
The Ewoks took the captives to their camp, where Leia Organa was. Early attempts at diplomacy were chaotic. The locals assumed C-3PO to be a god while preparing others for execution in his honor. Luke Skywalker used the Force to convince the locals to free him and his friends. After C-3PO told the Ewoks of their plight, the tribe agreed to help them fight the Empire.
The rebel group launched a raid on the shield generator bunker. Despite entering the facility successfully, The Empire had anticipated their arrival and ambushed them with a large force. A timely attack by Ewok tribes and Chewbacca distracted the imperial troops long enough for Leia Organa, Han Solo, and Chewbacca to destroy the shield generator.
Its destruction allowed the rebel spaceships to blow up the second Death Star, effectively dooming the Galactic Empire. That evening, Chewbacca, the rebels, and the Ewoks celebrated this great victory.
The New Republic and Resistance
The Empire’s demise and the rise of a New Republic sent Chewbacca on many missions to rid the galaxy of its old evils. For the Wookiee, none was more important than the liberation of Kashyyyk. During an attack on imperial remnants operating from his homeworld, Chewbacca fell prisoner until Han Solo rescued him. The pair helped the Wookiees defeat the main imperial garrison there.
Han Solo insisted he and Chewbacca had to part ways and look after their families for now. The Wookiee was devastated but agreed. Chewbacca and other Wookiees cleared the remaining imperial holdouts in Kashyyyk, freeing his kind from slavery, and rekindled with his son.
After a brief retirement following his planet’s liberation, Chewbacca and Han Solo paired up again to work as smugglers. They enjoyed this career for years, even after losing the Millennium Falcon during a mission. Chewbacca and Solo retrieved their ship in the orbit of Jakku. Aboard it was a scavenger from the desert planet and a deserting stormtrooper from the First Order. They clarified things with the stowaways and fended off two gangs that had boarded the ship.
The First Order ambushed the group in Takodana. Chewbacca received blaster wounds while Kylo Ren kidnapped Rey. After recovering, Chewbacca and Solo brought Finn along for the Resistance strike against Starkiller Base on the planet of Illum. The three encountered Rey, who had escaped her cell on her own.
After a brief confrontation, Kylo Ren murdered his father, Han Solo. Chewbacca fired and wounded the Sith apprentice. The Wookiee then triggered the detonators that allowed Poe Dameron’s strike force to complete the attack and destroy the base. Chewbacca wanted to avenge Han Solo but ultimately opted to fight his way to the Millennium Falcon and rescue Rey and Finn.
Chewbacca helped Rey convince Luke Skywalker to help her become a Jedi. When the Resistance and the First Order clashed again during the Battle of Crait, he used the Millennium Falcon to lure the enemy’s air support away from the speeders launching a counterattack. When the battle was over, Chewbacca used the ship to evacuate survivors.
After meeting with an informant who confirmed the return of Emperor Palpatine, the Millennium Falcon departed to track down the Sith Wayfinder. They met Lando Calrissian on the planet of Pasaana, who helped them find the device. During the search, however, the First Order briefly captured Chewbacca.
Chewbacca returned to the Millennium Falcon to lead the assault against the Sith Fleet near Exegol, crewing his ship with Lando Calrissian and Wedge Antilles. The Resistance defeated the Sith and the First Order. At the base in Ajan Kloss, Maz Kanata gifted Chewbacca the medal Han Solo had earned for the Battle of Yavin.
Question: Is Chewbacca dead?
Answer: In the Star Wars canon, Chewbacca is alive, making him the oldest living character from the main cast across the three trilogies.
Question: How did Yoda know Chewbacca?
Answer: Yoda acted as a Jedi General for the Republican troops protecting Kashyyyk from a separatist invasion. Chewbacca was one of the Wookiee military commanders.
Question: Where did Han Solo meet Chewbacca?
Answer: The two met at a pit on the planet of Mimban. Imperial troops threw Han Solo into the enclosure for entertainment, but the two found a common language and conspired to desert.
Question: When did Chewbacca first appear?
Answer: The Wookiee made his debut in Star Wars: A New Hope, launched in 1977.
Question: How old is Chewbacca?
Answer: Around the time of the Battle of Yavin, Chewbacca is 200 years old.
Chewbacca is one of the most loved characters in Star Wars. He features in all three trilogies and is both a fierce warrior and a loving friend. Thanks in no small part to his efforts, the Rebellion was able to defeat the Galactic Empire, he freed the people of Kashyyyk, and the First Order failed to take over the galaxy as it had intended. Thanks to his long lifespan, there are many more adventures in stock for the mighty Chewbacca!