Mark Hamill Has A Prototype Chewbacca Mask From A New Hope

There's no film franchise quite as epic and far reaching a Star Wars. Starting back with George Lucas' original 1977 classic A New Hope, the galaxy far, far away has continued expanding for decades of filmmaking. As such, there are generations of hardcore fans who are eager to get any glimpse of the epic space opera, and shell out plenty of cash in the process. Some hardcore fans who will spend top dollar for memorabilia, and it turns out that Mark Hamill has a fantastic piece of of the original set: a rejected Chewbacca mask.

Actor Peter Mayhew played Chewbacca in the original and prequel trilogies, before handing over the role to Joonas Suotamo for the most recent additions to the franchise. He recently shared a photo of a young Mark Hamill with a Chewie mask, and Hamill later revealed that he's still got the thing. Check out Mayhew's original post below.

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Well, this is awesome. Mark Hamill was 25 years-old when he was cast as Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, a role that would make him a household name and give him a special place in countless fans' hearts. The above image shows that young actor, seeing what it's like to have the mask on and become a Wookie. If only he knew how viral the Chewbacca mask would be years later.

After seeing Peter Mayhew's post, Mark Hamill responded on his own Twitter. The Jedi Master put his two cents in, making an awesome revelation in the process. He said:

This pic is significant NOT because I was posing behind my 1-bedroom Malibu bachelor pad in a The Quick t-shirt. It's because that Chewy mask rarity was a rejected prototype George Lucas gave me because he didn't want the finished product to be snarling. (& yes-I still have it)

Is anyone else geeking out right now? Not only did Mark Hamill reveal George Lucas' process about crafting Chewbacca for his first appearance in A New Hope, but Luke Skywalker got to snag the prototype, and has kept it to this day. Hamill has always been on the franchise's biggest cheerleaders, and this type of love and reverence for the property is why the fandom continues to adore him to this day.

It's fascinating to hear how George Lucas methodically brought Chewbacca to life. The Wookie needed to be the right parts cuddly and terrifying, mirroring how the Star Wars franchise mixes adult themes and childlike wonder. Chewie has made a whopping seven appearances across the live-action blockbusters, and will be rounding up to an even eight with J.J. Abrams' Episode IX. The character is absolutely adored, and Lucas was careful to make his appearance perfect. That he did.

Fans will also appreciate seeing a glimpse into the world of the original Star Wars trilogy, before it grew to the epic scale it's at now. Mark Hamill and Peter Mayhew are synonymous with their characters, and Lucasfilm is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

The next installment in the Star Wars franchise will be Episode IX on December 20th. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. 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. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.