Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Chewbacca (or Chewie) (c. 200 BBY - c. 25 ABY), a fictional character of the Star Wars universe, is a seven-and-a-half-foot (2.28 metre-) tall Wookiee and co-pilot of Han Solo's ship, the Millennium Falcon. Wise and sophisticated, he has a great deal of technological savvy. While Chewie is perfectly able to understand the galactic-standard language Basic, he is unable to speak it due to his species' vocal structure. He communicates in his own language, Shyriiwook, while Solo always speaks to Chewie in Basic. Chewbacca was played by actor Peter Mayhew in the Star Wars movies.
Chewbacca undertook a Wookiee "life debt" to Han Solo due to Solo saving his life at some point before A New Hope. From the time Solo saved his life, up to Chewbacca's death on the planet of Sernpidal, the two were nearly inseparable.
Initially, Princess Leia did not like Chewbacca, calling him a "walking carpet." But eventually she almost became as close a friend to Chewbacca as Han Solo. Chewbacca was very close to Han and Leia's children, becoming an uncle of sorts to the three children.
In The Star Wars Holiday Special, Chewbacca has a family (wife Mallatobuck 'Malla' and son Lumpawarrump 'Lumpie') on Kashyyyk, his homeworld. With other major Star Wars characters, he visits them on Life Day. His family also appears in some of the novels, most notably the Black Fleet Crisis .
In Vector Prime, the first in the New Jedi Order series of books, Chewbacca died when a Yuuzhan Vong weapon caused the moon of the planet sernpidal he was standing on to crash into the planet. Chewbacca's friends were all emotionally crushed by this loss. Han Solo was the most affected, and for a time he sought refuge among alcohol and the stars. Han believed that it was his son Anakin's fault that Chewie had died. As a result a rift opened between Han and Anakin.
Chewbacca will be making an appearance in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. He is a major player in the Battle of Kashyyyk and he and the Wookie General, Tarfull, were responsible for Yoda's escape when the Clone Troopers turn on the Jedi.
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