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The Star Wars franchise is a massive one which has entertained moviegoers for decades. And one character has been present throughout all three trilogies, as well as Solo: A Star Wars Story. That's right, I'm talking none other than everyone's favorite Wookie, Chewbacca. The furry giant is a role created by the late Peter Mayhew, before it was passed on to 33 year-old actor Joonas Suotamo. And it turns out that Suotamo actually wears heels when filming as Chewie. Think about that the next time he towers over the other characters.
Chewbacca has a hulking physical presence, as Wookies stand very tall and can rip your limbs off with their bare hands. Joonas Suotamo stands at an impressive 7'0, but it turns out that he still needed to wear heels to get even taller. The reason? Because the filmmakers want to make sure he's the same height as the late Peter Mayhew. Suotamo was recently asked if it was hard to act with the Chewie mask on, to which he said:
It’s actually not difficult at all. Because the mask is so tight on my face, it doesn’t hinder my visibility; I can see fine. And it’s not that heavy. So, it’s not a hard thing to do. I can move fine, but sometimes, I wear these small heels to make me a couple inches taller because I’m only 7’0. That hinders me a little bit but not too much. The intention was to match Peter’s listed height from when he was younger, but when doing running scenes or action shots, we sometimes did not use the high heels.
Well that is certainly a week behind the curtain for Star Wars movies. Because while Chewbacca is a beloved giant and a fierce warrior, it turns out that Joonas Suotatmo is actually wear high heels for some of his scenes. Pain is beauty, Chewie.
Star Wars fans can re-watch the Skywalker Saga on Disney+. You can use this link for a free 7-day trial to the streaming service.
Joonas Suotamos's comments to THR show how methodically Chewbacca's appearance is approached in the Star Wars franchise. Peter Mayhew stood at a whopping 7'2 when he filmed his myriad appearances in the space opera. And since Suotamo is not quite that tall, he needs to be fitted with his own pair of heels to give him a boost. Chewie just can't go shrinking after all these years.
Of course, high heels aren't necessarily the best thing to be wearing during action/running sequences. While Bryce Dallas Howard made it look easy in Jurassic World, Joonas Suotamo and the various Star Wars directors seem to put safety first when it comes to his portrayal of Chewbacca. But he does wear heels throughout alot of his time playing Chewie. Although I have to wonder what type of shoes they are.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is in theaters now, complete with Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca. In the meantime, check out our 2020 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.