One of the thematic elements of the Star Wars Universe is that Chewbacca gets fucked. No medal in the original. Consigned to fuck around with teddy bears in Jedi and saddled with that stupid Tarzan yell they give him. No hug from Leia in The Force Awakens and he’s certainly not getting one now.
But the greatest indignity comes in Empire. The Rebels are on the ice planet of Hoth. (People make fun of Star Wars for having mono-climatic worlds, but if the earth were a little farther out, we’d be an ice planet. Desert and forest planets, however, remain dumb as shit.) You will recall that Hoth gets cold enough to kill creatures that had evolved there, and what does Chewie get to wear when he and Han go outside to check out the Imperial probe droid? Han is in a fetching blue parka with a furred hood. Look:
(All of Han’s costumes contained black (or almost black) and white to symbolize his rogueishness.)
Look at that coat! That is a heavy-ass coat! I think he has more than one scarf! It is cold.
And what does old Tobacco the Space Monkey get?
Now: we can’t see all of him. Chewie may be wearing mittens. Probably, though, he is not wearing mittens and is instead completely naked except for his bandolier, which, one would assume, is made out from leather and metal; those are not the right materials for 800 below. (Also: Chewie’s bandolier is his collar because his character is “world’s best dog.” Discuss.)
“But, TotD,” you’re saying. “Chewbacca is covered in fur. Therefore, he could survive on–”
Damn you for making me shoot you. Why would you do that to me? That’s why Palpatine won.
Yes, Chewie is covered with fur, but so are lemurs; you can’t take a lemur to Hoth. It would die quickly, if it didn’t already on the ride over. (Lemurs have specialized diets and do not thrive in captivity.) All fur is not equal. A tiger is simply covered with fur, and it wouldn’t last a minute. Look at that chilly bullshit. A polar bear could survive, but polar bears evolved where it is very cold; wookiees evolved on Kashyyyk, where it is temperate.
Please stop nitpicking Star Wars.
This not a nitpick. This bespeaks of a graver injustice.
Chewie never gets the respect he deserves.
Chewie is a hippie with a pituitary disorder in a space monkey suit. Imagine how that thing smelled by the end of the shoot.
I don’t want to.
Stop talking about Star Wars. Everyone hates it.
The people think highly of me.
Chewie didn’t have a coat because the director thought he looked cool with his fur flapping around. There’s no reason beyond that. Plus, the Rebel base didn’t have any cold-weather gear his size.
That is straight-up racist. Speaking of racism, I would like to discuss wookiees further.
There’s nothing better you could be doing?
Very small amount of backstory that I’ve almost certainly bored you with before: when Disney bought Star Wars, the first thing they did was kill the Expanded Universe. Nothing besides the movies counts now, and there is a lot besides the movies: books, comics, cartoons, video games, etc. all conglomerated into this unwieldy glop called the Expanded Universe. The men and women who run Disney took one look at all the clones and space dragons and force-blocking salamanders, and chucked the whole thing out the window.
(The Expanded Universe was as spectacularly nerdy as you’d think: there were levels of canonicity arranged in concentric circles. The movies and anything confirmed or denied by George Lucas was in the center. This was called–and I’m serious–the G canon. Surrounding that was the T canon, which were all the cartoons, and the next one out is the C canon, which stands for Continuity canon and that makes no fucking sense, and I think you’re getting the idea of the depravity that was the EU and everything surrounding it.)
But they’re already starting to bring it back: Admiral Thrawn (just about the only good character created for the universe) has returned, and I’m sure someone’s going to regrow the Emperor and stick him in a giant robot soon. There is one plot point from the EU that they need to leave in the messy past, however, and it deals with Chewbacca and how he met Han; the spin-off film is coming up and I pray they don’t go with this idea. The Disney version of Star Wars is already markedly dumber than before, and the franchise didn’t start off at a high reading level.
Wookiees were slaves. You may want me to stop there, but I’ll keep on going. The Empire used the Wookiees as slave labor…wait for it…to build the Death Star. (I told you this shit was dumb.) Han was in the Imperial Academy and transporting a bunch of them, including Chewbacca, when a crisis of conscience leads him to free the wookiees and start wearing vests. Chewbacca swears the traditional life debt to him, and they go off on adventures. This, Enthusiasts, is the single stupidest thing in Star Wars, and I am including the incest.
Slave labor? And not even “a slave caste that had been raised and inculcated to be such.” The Empire went and snatched up wookiees and poked them with sticks to make them work. Why would you want a work force of smart monsters waiting for you to turn your back so they could rip out your spine? You have droids, Empire. Let the droids do it. Or–and this is a wild idea–hire some contractors. If it’s credits you’re worried about, then you could stiff the contractors at the end of the job. I know a guy who has risen to the highest of ranks using that strategy. Do not enslave wookiees, Empire.
In conclusion, Kashyyyk is a land of contrasts.
Good job, champ.
We’re all winners here.