Hall of Fame: Han Solo & Chewbacca
Bros, dudes, hetero life mates, all phrases used to convey two guys that have a connection that transcends friendship to a bond that lasts a lifetime. This is a common concept in movie, TV and life today but if you look back in the history of cinema one of the first was Han and Chewie.
Since we first met them in 1977 it was obvious these two have not only “seen a ton of crap” but that they had each others backs through it all. When we meet them its clear there have been many adventures and stories that have forged this relationship, and we instantly want to know what those stories are any more info about these two and their history together. As of now there isn’t much to go on and what we do have may not hold up in the new Disney canon as much of the expanded universe lore was done away with. We also know a Han Solo origin movie is in development which may shed some more definitive light on just how the two came to be but for now there are some theories fans subscribe to.
The common threads seem to be that Han was an orphan who eventually found himself to be an ace pilot in the Imperial Navy. On a mission, he came across Chewbacca as he and other wookies were being used as slave laborers. Some stories have Chewie being a child and some have him as a freedom fighter, but the end result is Han being unable to execute the wookies and fleeing the Empire with Chewbacca. Now tell me you don’t want to see that story! So whether out of a life debt or the power of the bro, Chewie and Han stuck together and became smugglers and eventual heroes against the galactic empire. Well, apparently not Chewie as he got snubbed from the medal ceremony at the end of A New Hope, he even raises protest but everyone just assumes he’s yelling out some sort of victory cheer, but that is another debate entirely.
What makes their relationship so strong is the idea that they would willingly give everything for the other, this is especially important when it comes to Han. He is presented in A New Hope as the brash, out for himself narcissist who has no concern for his fellow man and is only out for the next big score. It is funny however that it is obvious this doesn’t apply to Chewie, Chewie is always there and is just assumed to be a part of Han. So this man that is cold and heartless still has someone that he is eternally linked to. Chewie shows us that the tough guy persona Han puts up is just that and inside he is a compassionate brave man who cares very much for the well-being of the innocent. This is shown in future movies as he sacrifices himself for Leia, Luke, and even Threepio who seems to drive him up a wall. He even reconciles with Lando who handed him over to Boba Fett and double-crossed him. Blind or not as soon as he found out Lando was at Jabba’s palace any one of us would have come out swinging. He is the ultimate badass with a heart of gold and it’s never more apparent than his relationship with his “Big furry oaf”.
As for Chewbacca, it is well known that George Lucas used his dog as a reference when creating the character and even though Chewie transformed over the creation process the loyalty and strength anyone with a dog knows is clear in Chewie. There is something about that loyalty in a dog that no matter what circumstances or how life is going that dog will never leave your side or abandon you. Chewie is this personified whether he is going out in the freezing cold to check on probe droids or cowering in fear as he goes down a suspicious garbage chute. In addition, he also represents the Raw power a loud mouth troublemaker like Han needs. In any story with an instigator there needs to be a quiet protector backing up his bold claims. It’s fair to say Han doesn’t fight off Jabba or even stay alive nearly as long as he has without a wookie capable of ripping peoples arms out of their sockets over what is essentially a galactic Pokemon match. When Han is about to be frozen in Carbonite and Chewie begins to fight back knowing he has no other options Han must calm him down, he tells him his job is now to protect the princess. It is a beautiful moment as Han finally matures into the man we all wanted him to be and Chewie must let go of his life mate and protect those that Han loves. Everyone latches on to “I love you”, “I know” but this moment with Chewbacca is just as emotional if not more so as it represents the end of a relationship that has been through so much and gotten out of every sticky situation they have found themselves in. I believe this moment best portrays what makes this duo so special in pop culture.
As The Force Awakens grows closer and closer I eagerly await to see these two and how their relationship has evolved in their older years. It’s hard not to imagine them in rocking chairs on a Rebel base sharing old war stories when Rey and Finn come bursting into their lives. Regardless of the paths either take or the adventures they embark on they will always be linked and synonymous with one another. To an entire generation they are simply known as Han and Chewie and it is my honor to induct them into the Bulletproof Action Hall of Fame.