How Chewbacca Was Key To Lucasfilm Changing 'Star Wars' Continuity

When Lucasfilm was bought by Disney a few years ago, they made a decision that split the Star Wars fanbase in half. They decided to chuck all of the years of Expanded Universe stories that had been told in novels, video games, cartoons, and other forms of media. It was a smart move; while there were some great stories told there was also a lot of crap. And Star Wars needed a fresh, lean start for The Force Awakens.

But was there another reason to trim the EU fat, so to speak? Star Wars guru Lucasfilm Story Group member Leland Chee, the guy who manages The Holocron, the complete Star Wars database, says Chewbacca is was a driving reason for the change. For those who don't know, Chewie was killed by the Yuzhan Vong in the 1999 novel Vector Prime, and Lucasfilm saw a chance to bring him back to life as too good to pass up...

"For me it came down to simply that we had killed Chewbacca in the Legends — a big moon had fallen on him. Part of that [original decision] was Chewbacca, because he can’t speak and just speaks in growls, he was a challenging character to write for in novels. Publishing had decided they needed to kill somebody, and it was Chewbacca."

"But if you have the opportunity to bring back Chewbacca into a live action film, you’re not gonna deprive fans that. There’s no way that I’d want to do an Episode VII that didn’t have Chewbacca in it and have to explain that Chewbacca had a moon fall on his head. And if we were going to overturn a monumental decision like that, everything else was really just minor in comparison."

There was certainly a lot more to it than that, but it's hard to argue that we would have been bummed to see Han in the Millennium Falcon without his furry pal in the co-pilot seat. Of course, they ended up killing Han anyway, but at least it became a moment we all experienced and not something that was just written about in a book from twenty years ago. [SyFy]