Monday, June 30, 2008

Chewbacca (SW 1978-79)




Alas, poor Chewbacca. He's the only major figure that never got another outfit or any changes to his figure during the entire original run. It wasn't until the 1990's that Hasbro started making "Chewbacca as Boushh's Prisoner," "Chewbacca on Hoth," or "Chewbacca with Farrah Fawcett-like hair." Nope, in the original run we just get Chewbacca with the slicked-back fur, and a bowcaster gun that doesn't even have a crossbar.

Chewie came on the original 12-figure Star Wars back, where the figures were drawings instead of pictures of the actual toys. Even the TIE fighter and X-Wing pictured seem a little distorted due to the concept drawings and not photos. Look closely at the descriptions for those two vehicles - did "Laser Light" really need to be trademarked? Oh, and don't forget to send away for the exciting figure stand!

Chewie also came on an ESB card, 2 ROTJ cards (one with original picture and one with a picture from Endor), and a Power of the Force card with coin.

Why should you own him? Five reasons:

1. One of the tallest figures in the original line - crush those scrawny Stormtroopers.

2. Who else is going to sit in the co-pilot's seat in your Millennium Falcon? Luke? This ain't like dusting crops boy!

3. Relive the exciting conclusion to Empire Strikes Back where Chewie desperately tries to ignore the fact that Lando is wearing Han's clothes.

4. Lord your ownership of this figure over your wimpy Ewok-owning friends.

5. You owe it to Chewie since the medal-snub at the end of Star Wars.

Backstory:

Chewbacca was a Wookiee from the planet Kashyyyk (that's no typo - it really is 3 Y's). His father was Attichitcuk, his son Lumpawaroo, and his wife Mallatobuck. Between his adventures with Han he got to see his family, but he was devoted to Han because of his Life Debt to him. Chewie incurred this life debt after Han (an Imperial Lieutenant at the time) saved him from being killed by Han's superior officer. The two escaped together, living the life of smugglers and eventually hooking up with the Rebel Alliance.

Chewbacca's home life was explored a little more deeply in the atrocious Star Wars Holiday Special that ran once on CBS November 17, 1978. In it, Han tries to get Chewie home for the Wookiee "Life Day," while we mostly see Chewie's family doing stuff at home. It was only shown once, and was later denounced by Lucas, but many of the factual elements were kept for Chewbacca's biography in the official novels and comics. There are usually bootlegs sold on Ebay, and downloadable video on the web if you look.

Unfortunately, around 25 years after the Battle of Yavin (the first Star Wars movie) Chewbacca was killed by a falling moon while saving the inhabitants of Sernpidal and Han and Leia's son Anakin. Han blamed Anakin for Chewie's death, but later came to the conclusion that nothing could have been done. Poor Chewie - first no medal and then he has a moon fall on him.

More? His Wookieepedia article

30th in alphabetical order

2 comments:

Gi Joe Cole said...

You're kiddin'. I never knew that Chewie died. He had to be my favorite Star Wars character, well maybe besides Solo. I dunno. Up in the air on that one.

Ben said...

Yep, the book he died in was "Vector Prime" from 1999. Poor Chewie - no medal, now this.