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For decades, it feels like everyone but the audience could understand what Chewbacca’s been saying in the Star Wars saga. Chief among those characters is his friend, Han Solo, played by Harrison Ford throughout the infamous smuggler’s appearances in the legendary film series. Well now, there’s now video showing that not only did Ford actually have lines to play off of when filming both Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back, but those lines still exist in behind-the-scenes footage.
Prepare to have your mind blown, as Chewbacca speaks like a human in the video below:
Breaking into two scenes of dialogue, the first comes from 1977’s Star Wars: A New Hope, where Chewie, played by the late Peter Mayhew, talks to Han about his skeptical attitude towards the late Sir Alec Guinness’ character, Obi-Wan Kenobi. What were previously the classic vocal grunts that used to stand in as Chewbacca’s vocals was, instead, the following line of dialogue spoken on the set of the first Death Star:
That old man’s mad.
After that line, Harrison Ford’s Han goes on to ask Luke exactly where he found Obi-Wan, and the rest is history. It’s not a groundbreaking revelation that shakes the Star Wars series to its core, nor is it a bit of trivia that neatly ties in one film to another. Still, it's a fun thing to know what lines were written in the scripts to two of the fundamental entries into the franchise’s history.
The scene from 1980’s Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back isn’t a big moment in Star Wars history either, as the dialogue is from the scene where Chewie is making repairs to the Millennium Falcon on Hoth. Towards the beginning of the film, we hear Peter Mayhew’s dialogue in-between the lines that we know Ford spoke in the film, as follows:
Where the hell have you been? … Where ‘you goin? … Tell them we’re leavin’ then!
While Chewie has been seen as Han Solo’s conscience to a certain degree, this moment shared on Twitter shows that even in the earlier history of the character’s original trilogy appearances, he was just as rough and tumble as Han.
Though with the dialogue that’s now been shared from the original scripts firmly planted in the collective heads of Star Wars fandom, one has to wonder if we could ever see new versions of the films in the classic trilogy, or even any other films with Chewbacca in them, be released with an audio track and/or subtitles that’d reveal the previously unknown dialogue of Chewie’s past.
With Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker headed to theaters at the end of the year, the audience will undoubtedly be trying to figure out what actor Joonas Suotamo’s version of this Wookie is saying to his friends of all species. Especially since he’s one of the people teasing the big twists and turns the final film in the Skywalker Saga will contain, confirming that just as we thought, Chewbacca knows more than the audience thinks he does.
The “Chewbacca Cut” of the Star Wars series will probably never happen, but it’s still fun to take a look at the rare bits of footage and audio that do exist out there. Maybe fans will be inspired to try and create their own versions of the dialogue, but in any case, we now know there’s a lot more to Chewbacca than we see on the surface.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker heads to theaters on December 20.