How Did Han & Chewbacca Meet? Where’s Chewie’s Medal? & Other Wookie Questions
JJ Abrams recently discussed why Leia bypassed her old friend Chewbacca and hugged Rey instead, someone she’d never actually met, after Han Solos death in The Force Awakens. Basically Chewie was too busy making sure Finn was okay, and Leia and Rey could feel each other’s pain due to both being Force Sensitive. They both naturally wanted to comfort each other, even though Chewie knew Han and Leia for much, much longer.
“That was probably one of the mistakes I made in that. My thinking at the time was that Chewbacca, despite the pain he was feeling, was focused on trying to save Finn and getting him taken care of. So I tried to have Chewbacca go off with him. [Then] focus on Rey, and then have Rey find Leia and Leia find Rey. The idea being that both of them being strong with the Force and never having met, would know about each other — that Leia would have been told about her beyond what we saw onscreen and Rey of course would have learned about Leia. And that reunion would be a meeting and a reunion all in one, and a sort of commiseration of their mutual loss”
Another thing to consider, aside from the official version from Abrams, is that Wookies live about 400 years. Chewbacca was fully grown and fighting with Yoda when Han was just a boy during the Clone Wars. Do Wookies see Humans more like we humans view pets? Easy to love, but you always know they’ll die long before you. It’s undeniably sad when they die, but you’re aware you’ll eventually move on and maybe get a new one. Maybe Chewie had already had a few human companions at this point, and Han was just his most recent. Just a thought, but it does make me smile to think of Chewie thinking of Han like his dog, despite Chewie being the fuzzball.
All this brings up at interesting point: how did Chewie and Han meet up? What was the relationship like before we first meet them in A New Hope? Many fans were wondering if we’d get to see the origin of their relationship in the upcoming Han Solo anthology film, and the CEO of Disney, Bob Iger seems to have confirmed that we will:
We have other [stand alone movies] in the works, including one which is an origin story about Han Solo and Chewie,” Iger said recently. “And that’ll come after Star Wars 8 in 2018. And then there will possibly more thereafter.
The Lucas Story Group seems to be responding to long-standing fan questions regarding Chewbacca recently, with the mystery of why Chewie didn’t receive a medal at the end of A New Hope being answered in the Chewbacca comic series