The Star Wars franchise is currently in the midst of its third trilogy, with the space opera spanning decades of fans and blockbusters. And while each trilogy explores different timelines in the overall franchise's narrative, there is one character that has been present in nearly every movie: Chewbacca. The behemoth Wookie was originally played by the great Peter Mayhew, with actor Joonas Suotamo taking on the mantle of the role through his work in The Last Jedi and Solo: A Star Wars Story. J.J. Abrams' untitled Episode IX is currently filming, and a new report indicates we might be seeing more of Chewbacca than originally planned when we return to the galaxy far, far away.
This latest rumor, which is not confirmed by Lucasfilm, teases that Joonas Suotamo has been called back to the Episode IX set for reshoots. The actor reportedly filmed a ton of his work on the upcoming sequel while doing Ron Howard's Solo. But Abrams apparently needs more of Chewie, hopefully giving the Wookie a larger role in the final installment of the Skywalker Saga.
If this report by Star Wars News Net is to be believed, than we should expect Chewbacca to become a slightly larger presence in Episode IX. While unconfirmed, this move makes a great deal of sense. After being largely in the background for The Force Awakens, Chewie became a bigger comedic presence in The Last Jedi and Solo. And while the latter standalone film was a box office disappointment, it helped drum up new excitement for characters like Lando Calrissian and Chewbacca. J.J. Abrams seems cognizant of this, and has therefore brought Billy Dee Williams back to play Lando, and is now reportedly giving Chewbacca more screentime. Let's just hope he's not chewing on any Porgs.
With Episode IX currently in the midst of filming, bits of information about the mysterious sequel have slowly begun trickling out. A cast list was confirmed first, revealing that Mark Hamill's Luke will be returning (likely as a Force Ghost), and that Carrie Fisher's General Leia would be included through unused footage of the late actress. The pressure is on for J.J. Abrams to complete the trilogy he began with The Force Awakens, while also wrapping up the Skywalker Saga once and for all. There are a lot of characters to properly service before the film ends, including Chewbacca. So we should probably be glad that Joonas Suotamo is reportedly heading back to set to film additional footage for the Wookie.
Unfortunately, we'll have to wait quite some time before Episode IX arrives. The franchise switching things up by not releasing a new movie this holiday season, having released Solo a few months after The Last Jedi.
All will be revealed when Episode IX arrives in theaters on December 20th, 2019. In the meantime, check out our 2018 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.
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Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.