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The 30 Greatest Star Wars Characters
From Admiral Ackbar to... Yoda - we count down Lucas' best creations

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5. CHEWBACCA

Chewbacca

George's dog, Indiana, may have lent his name to a certain fedora-topped icon, but we owe him far more than just Dr. Jones. "Indiana used to ride on the front seat of my car," says Lucas. "He was a big dog, and when he sat there he was bigger than a person, so I had this image in my mind of this huge furry animal riding with me. That's where Chewbacca came from."

Appropriately, the Millennium Falcon's first mate remains man's single best friend in the Star Wars universe. In a galaxy where loyalty is at a premium and double-cross and deceit run deep, it's this 200 year-old Wookiee that's its beating heart, the character you would always most want by your side when the going got tough. (The Expanded Universe novel Rebel Dawn tells us that he and Han Solo first met when Han - then a lieutenant in the Imperial Navy - found him unconscious aboard a slave ship and was ordered by his superiors to skin him; Han refused and Chewbacca swore a "life-debt" to him in return.)

Chewie has some fine moments in A New Hope - his chess-based tantrum, the prison-wing ambush - but it's in The Empire Strikes Back, and Cloud City especially, that he really shows his true colours; his mistrust of Lando, his carrying then fixing of the broken Threepio and his heartbreaking howl of anguish as Han gets frozen in carbonite, misting over millions more eyes than any number of "I love you"/"I know" romantic one-twos ever could. Here was, quite simply, the best chum an intergalactic smuggler could ever have.

"George thought of him as looking like a lemur with a huge, ape-like figure," remembers designer Ralph McQuarrie. "I added an ammunition bandolier and rifle. I had shorts on him and a camouflaged flak jacket, but that was edited out..." Of course, over the years Chewbacca has faced far bigger obstacles than dodgy beachwear. He survived 1978's TV car-crash that was The Star Wars Holiday Special, in which we were introduced to his extended family of Mallatobuck (aka Malla), Attichitcuk (aka Itchy) and Lumpawarrump (aka Lumpy).

He dodged a bullet in Return Of The Jedi, where an original and subsequently discarded storyboard saw him take a Boba Fett laser bolt intended for Luke onboard a desert skiff. And he ultimately met his maker, in officially the No.1 Most Memorable Moment of the Expanded Universe, when in the 1999 novel Vector Prime he sacrificed his own life to save that of Han's son, Anakin. (A tragedy that saw Solo subsequently sink into alcoholism and depression.)

That his return, alongside an army of fellow Wookiees, was a draw second only to the birth of Vader for fans in the build-up to Episode III, is proof positive though that, no matter how untimely his demise, the popularity of the saga's purest character, the Mighty Chewbacca, is timeless. Not bad for a walking carpet.

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Your Comments

1 RE: I Agree
To paraphrase Palpatine, likeable is a point of view. More

Posted by Litshttam on Wednesday July 9, 2014, 20:47

2 I don't agree.
'George Lucas's 30 worst creations'...? Nah, it's just going to be slagging him off, for the sake of it... AGAIN! Its really good to see more appreciation (and fairness) in articles towards George. Just check out 'The Guardian online', they take every opportunity to slag Star Wars off, including loads of unqualified opinions and non-truths. The film critic even started a recent post saying 'Star Wars isn't known for its creativity...' - its farcical. As a character from another space franchise said "...its easier to destroy than create". More

Posted by Funk_Knight on Thursday July 3, 2014, 10:17

3 I don't agree.
'George Lucas's 30 worst creations'...? Nah, it's just going to be slagging him off, for the sake of it... AGAIN! Its really good to see more appreciation (and fairness) in articles towards George. Just check out 'The Guardian online', they take every opportunity to slag Star Wars off, including loads of unqualified opinions and non-truths. The film critic even started a recent post saying 'Star Wars isn't known for its creativity...' - its farcical. As a character from another space franchise said "...its easier to destroy than create". More

Posted by Funk_Knight on Thursday July 3, 2014, 10:17

4 I Agree
A WORST Star Wars Characters list will be more interesting. Jar Jar obviously would be No. 1. Though I also agree he had a good character arc (But that doesn't make him likable) More

Posted by Darren47 on Wednesday July 2, 2014, 23:50

5 RE: Binks' Arc Is Actually One Of The Best In The Saga
Or Boris Johnson. Or Bush Jr. Take your pick, really. More

Posted by Litshttam on Wednesday July 2, 2014, 22:04

6 RE: Binks' Arc Is Actually One Of The Best In The Saga
L: Litshttam Jar Jar Binks starts off as mythic-archetype - the fool / jester the hero meets by the roadside - and becomes a commentary on the nepotism in politics; his befriending of Padmé Amidala in The Phantom Menace leads to his appointment as Gungan-representative in the senate by Attack Of The Clones. The unfit-for-purpose-but-sincere plonker inadvertently starts the Clone Wars, too, falling for the Hegelian-machinations of Palpatine hook, line and sinker. Sure, Yoda he ain't, but I like him. o, Jar Jar Binks is... Tony Blair? (How wude.) More

Posted by chris kilby on Wednesday July 2, 2014, 12:45

7 RE: Predictable...
L: GrizBe I'd much rather see the 30 worst / dumbest Star Wars characters. We all know Jar Jar would top that, but it'd be more fun then this. ax Rebo? Droopy McCool? More

Posted by chris kilby on Wednesday July 2, 2014, 12:44

8 30 Greatest Characters?
Loads of these were generic 'Stormtrooper', 'Scout Trooper', 'Jawa' etc, not actual characters. Also, Anakin/ Darth Vader, whether you like it or not, is the same dude! Also Ben and Obi-Wan. I've seen several top Star Wars character lists, this is the worst attempt I've seen. More

Posted by AyannaNyx on Wednesday July 2, 2014, 01:26

9 Binks' Arc Is Actually One Of The Best In The Saga
Jar Jar Binks starts off as mythic-archetype - the fool / jester the hero meets by the roadside - and becomes a commentary on the nepotism in politics; his befriending of Padmé Amidala in The Phantom Menace leads to his appointment as Gungan-representative in the senate by Attack Of The Clones. The unfit-for-purpose-but-sincere plonker inadvertently starts the Clone Wars, too, falling for the Hegelian-machinations of Palpatine hook, line and sinker. Sure, Yoda he ain't, but I like him. More

Posted by Litshttam on Tuesday July 1, 2014, 13:38

10 Predictable...
I'd much rather see the 30 worst / dumbest Star Wars characters. We all know Jar Jar would top that, but it'd be more fun then this. More

Posted by GrizBe on Tuesday July 1, 2014, 11:13

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