In many ways, Chewbacca was possibly the first hairy daddy crush for a lot of gay boys. I mean he was a massive, furry, lovable scene stealer in every ‘Star Wars’ movie in which he appeared. He was a favorite character, defined as a fierce protector, with a commanding presence and quite a sense of humor that fans loved to have fun with.
Chances are someone you know is a die-hard ‘Star Wars’ fan. You probably should give them a call because they are likely saddened by the recent death of British-born actor, Peter Mayhew. The 7 foot 5 inch Mayhew, played the ultimate Hairy beast, Chewbacca in the global phenomenon Star Wars franchise. For fans, his death is synonymous with a feeling of ‘death’ for the character of Chewbacca.
Scores of science fiction lovers have taken to social media to comfort each other as they mourn the ‘loss’ of the most famous Wookie in the world, but with Mayhew’s passing, an age-old debate has also been rehashed: At the end of ‘Star Wars’ why didn’t Chewbacca get a medal after the destruction of the first Death Star? Many have attempted to answer this, even George Lucas himself, but to no avail.
Personally, I don’t follow ‘Star Wars’ much, or at least I haven’t since I was 12 and saw ‘Return of the Jedi’ in the movie theater. Since then, there have been a gazillion more ‘Star Wars’ movies with titles like Episode this and Episode that. I can’t keep up. What I do know though, as a kid who saw ‘Star Wars’ in the theater back in 1977, is that in the end, Princess Leia did Chewy dirty.
After all his fighting alongside Han Solo and Luke Skywalker, Leia places medals around the necks of those two but leaves Chewy totally assed-out. It’s almost like you can even see him look up to the Galactic heavens at the parade ceremony, and ask “Whhhhhhyyyyyyy?”
What’s up with that? This has never sat well with me all these years, and I wasn’t the only one who noticed it. The big debate is on again, and according to the Washington Post, some fans are comically – but seriously claiming racism as the reason. I think that’s a bit far-fetched considering nobody knows what a Wookie is. Is Wookie a race, is Chewy an animal – bear, or a beast? What is it?
Whatever it is, fans are passionately taking this gripe to Twitter and crying foul. However, there was an effort to correct this anti-Wookism back in 1997, as also explained by The Washington Post.
“That year, at the MTV Movie Awards, the character was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Carrie Fisher was there to drape the award — which looked identical to the movie medal the character had so unjustly been denied — over the towering Wookiee.”
The late great Carrie Fisher took the accolades to a whole new level at the time by telling the audience, “He’s one of the kindest, gentlest creatures I’ve ever worked with, I only wish we had love scenes.”
Can you imagine? In the 1977 original Star Wars, it was freaky enough finding out Luke and Leia were brother and sister, so I know for sure America was NOT ready for interspecies love scenes.
Ok this post was a bit of fun, but in all seriousness, R.I.P. Peter Mayhew. You brought one of the most iconinc science fiction characters to life and gave him a distinct personality that made him real. Other actors may go on to play him, but you set the stage. May the force be with you, eternally.